School of Earth, Society, and Environment
|Stephen Marshak, Director of School|
|3086 Natural History Building|
1301 W. Green St.
PH: (217) 333-3440
The major in Earth, Society, and Environmental Sustainability (ESE) offers a unique, multidisciplinary program in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS). Students will learn about the interconnectedness of environmental, economic, and social systems of the world; the implications of our actions on the environment; factors that determine the sustainability of human institutions, organizations, cultures, and technologies; finding solutions through innovative approaches; and expanding future options by practicing environmental stewardship. Following the classical definition of sustainability, the aim is to develop citizens, businesses, and societies that meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to do the same.
Required introductory coursework provide breadth in the essential natural and social sciences needed for interdisciplinary environmental sustainability study. The major offers two concentrations within which majors gain content expertise: Science of the Earth System, and Society and the Environment. Depth of knowledge is achieved by requiring a minimum of five advanced classes in a coherent field of study.
The major is available to both on-campus and off-campus students. On-campus students need only be eligible to be in LAS to transfer to the degree. The program is also designed so that students with an associates (or equivalent) degree, or who have sufficient previous coursework, can transfer to the University and complete a Bachelor of Science degree entirely off-campus. Students interested in completing the course off-campus, but have less than 60 hours of coursework, should consult with the program advisor.
The degree will prepare students for a variety of career paths in either the private or the public sector, as well as for graduate study. The interdisciplinary background in both scientific and human aspects of environmental problems will prepare students for a variety of positions with businesses, state and federal regulatory agencies, research institutions, consulting firms and nongovernmental education and advocacy organizations. The major also provides a platform for entry into professional schools (e.g. law, business, and public policy programs) as well as graduate study in a variety of physical science and social science disciplines, and in interdisciplinary programs related to the environment.
For the Degree of Bachelor Science in Liberal Arts and Sciences
Major in Earth, Society, and Environmental Sustainability
Students select one concentration in consultation with an academic advisor:
On-campus UIUC students can transfer to this degree without any special requirements.
Off-campus students who plan to transfer to this degree should have completed, or have in progress, the following:
- the Composition 1 requirement.
- the third level of high school foreign language or second level of college foreign language.
It is highly recommended that off-campus students complete the following requirements before transferring to the online degree - students who have not completed the following requirements may have to take additional coursework (either at UIUC or elsewhere) and should consult the program advisor:
- the UIUC LAS language requirement should be satisfied.
- the General Education Distribution Requirements of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences should be completed.
- the Cognate Coursework should be completed.
Minor in Earth, Society, and Environment
The ESE minor is designed for students who desire to obtain a background in topics related to environmental studies, in order to support study and practice of their major field. A minimum of 18 hours is required.
For more information and a list of approved courses visit: www.earth.illinois.edu.
Questions may be addressed to Jonathan Tomkin, firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Introductory course from the Earth's Physical Systems, Resources, and Hazards Area course list.||3-4|
|Introductory course from either the Environment and the Human Response or Sustainability, Policy, and Global Change Area course lists||3-4|
|ESE 200||Earth Systems||3|
|Three Advanced Courses from a list maintained by the minor advisor, at least two of which must be listed or cross listed as ESE courses||9-12|
Environmental Sustainability Courses
At the dawn of the 21st century, business and society is confronted with a confluence of factors, including environmental degradation, widespread poverty, and the need for renewable sources of energy. The diverse sources of information that point to an uncertain future suggests that a 'business as usual' approach has to be replaced with more proactive alternatives that address the needs of the environment, consumer welfare and community development. This course on sustainable marketing management begins to address these issues and engender an appreciation among our students for the challenges that lie ahead for businesses. Looks at the relationship between sustainable business practices, societal welfare, and ecological systems. Student projects will apply marketing and business concepts to create a sustainable business plan for organizations.
Fossil fuel supplies are finite and growing energy demands of an ever increasing population will quickly deplete these reservoirs. Focuses on the use and availability of renewable and alternative energy sources such as wind, solar, bio-fuels, ethanol, geothermal and nuclear power as well as the impacts of using these alternative energy sources on climate, society and the global economy. Students will develop the student's perspective on human energy consumption at all scales through a complete scale analysis of energy production and consumption – from the individual to the national government to the world economy.
Explores the notion of sustainability as a core business tenant, and how entrepreneurs and their companies are working to create and capture financial, social, and environmental value. The focus is on on large, for profit companies, but lessons will extend to smaller, non-profit, and governmental organizations. The aim is to prepare participants for the green challenge of adopting and implementing socially responsible practices in the workplace. 4 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours.
Environmental Studies Courses
Approved for letter and S/U grading. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
Develops systems-thinking skills needed to make connections between different disciplines to better understand problems and trade-offs related to sustainability. Students will gain competence in conducting cost-benefit and life-cycle analyses and learn about sustainability metrics while improving their ability to communicate about the integrated dimensions of sustainability within an interdisciplinary setting. Prerequisite: For students enrolled in the Sustainability, Energy and Environment Fellows Program.
Students will work with faculty, staff, and/or the Student Sustainability Committee to advance campus sustainability goals and the Illinois Climate Action Plan. This course is designed to enable students to apply their disciplinary knowledge to tackle inherently interdisciplinary problems, while also developing and enhancing their critical analysis, leadership, organizational, and project management/evaluation skills and preparing them for addressing sustainability issues in their careers. 1 to 4 undergraduate hours. 1 to 4 graduate hours. Approved for letter and S/U grading. May be repeated, if topics vary. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
Problem-focused learning and a holistic and interdisciplinary perspective to address critical sustainability-related challenges facing society. Students will gain critical thinking skills to examine the sustainability of various decisions, analyze the trade-offs between the economic, environmental and social dimensions of sustainability of alternative solutions, learn techniques to operationalize the concept of sustainability and develop practical skills in sustainability assessment. Team projects will develop team building skills, communication skills and project management skills. 4 undergraduate hours. No graduate credit. Prerequisite: ENVS 301. For students enrolled in the Sustainability, Energy and Environment Fellows Program.
Earth, Society, & Environment Courses
Special topics in Earth, Society, and the Environment; content is variable. May be repeated if topics vary.
Interdisciplinary lecture class intended to introduce Earth Systems studies, which focuses on integrating social and natural science approaches to studying the Earth and its environments.
Group expedition to study environment and sustainability issues at a nearby field site. Includes in-class meetings, student-led presentation, and a field trip that may be short as part of a day or as long as several days. Field trip and field trip fee required. Additional fees may apply. See Class Schedule. Approved for letter and S/U grading. May be repeated in separate terms if topics vary. Prerequisite: For ESE majors, minors, and Sustainability Living Learning Community students. Non majors can apply to the waitlist.
Seminar exposing students in the Environmental Fellows Program to different disciplinary perspectives on specific environmental issues, as revealed in the scholarly literature. Specific problems will vary from term to term. This seminar helps students make the transition from disciplinary to interdisciplinary thinking. Team-taught. Same as ATMS 311. Prerequisite: Admission to Environmental Fellows Program or consent of advisor.
Study of the science of water on planet earth, the developing water crisis, and some possible solutions to it. Topics include water's unique physical and chemical properties; how it profoundly shapes the earth/ocean/atmosphere system; dynamics of oceans, atmosphere, lakes, rivers, groundwater, and ice masses; current fresh water supplies and their distribution on earth relative to population; current and future water crises and the compounding effects of droughts, floods, and global change; and prospects for some technological and economic approaches to easing the crisis. Same as GEOG 370 and GEOL 370.
Equips students to write about the environment for various audiences, with a focus on specific current efforts to promote sustainability on the Urbana-Champaign campus. We will practice effective techniques for each stage of the writing process-from defining topics, to gathering information, to crafting active, engaging prose. Readings will include models of effective environmental writing and "how to" pieces by experts. Research will include visits to campus sites and student-conducted interviews with subjects. Same as ENGL 360. Prerequisite: Completion of campus Composition I general education requirement.
This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:
Group expedition to study environment and sustainability issues at a field site. Includes in-class meetings, student-led presentation, and field trip; expeditions run during spring break, winter break, in mid-May or in intercession; dates depend on location. Field Trip and field trip fee required. Additional fees may apply. See Class Schedule. May be repeated up to 12 hours in separate terms if topics vary.
Capstone experience for majors in Earth, Society, and Environment Sustainability. 3 undergraduate hours. No graduate credit. Approved for Letter and S/U grading.
Introduces the physical (energy, mineral, and soil) resources of the Earth, the environmental consequences of producing and using resources, the controls on resource supplies, and the alternatives to traditional supplies. Focuses on the geological origin and context of resources, the means of exploration and production, the history of production, and sustainability issues related to consumption and depletion. Provides an understanding of why resources can be scarce and expensive, why many are not renewable, and why their use impacts the Earth System. May include field trips. 3 undergraduate hours. 3 graduate hours. Credit is not given for both ESE 445 and GEOL 380. Prerequisite: Junior standing or higher.
An interdisciplinary approach to investigating the meaning and practice of sustainability in the contemporary Earth system. As a consequence, students explore the sustainability of crucial resources - water, soil, energy, mineral and the biota - in the context of the social and environmental systems in which these resources are used, including the moral, physical, ecological, political and economic. Same as GEOG 482 and GEOL 483. 3 undergraduate hours. 3 graduate hours. Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing, or consent of instructor.
Survey of the fundamental science and US policy underpinning the practices of environmental consultancy. Environmental consulting is an interdisciplinary field drawing together engineers, geologists, environmental scientists, biologists, chemists, lawyers, social workers, social scientists, lobbyists and analysts. This course describes the myriad of pathways into environmental consulting and prepares students with the fundamental policy and science concepts. Subjects covered are the framework of environmental policy, chemicals of concern and their properties, environmental site assessment, site remediation, land use and ecosystem restoration as well as indoor environmental concerns. Same as GEOL 486. 3 undergraduate hours. 3 graduate hours.
Advanced topics course, consisting of seminar or lectures in subjects not covered by regular course offerings; for advanced undergraduates and graduate students. Possible field study in a prominent geological locality; includes in-class meetings, student-led presentations, and field trip; trips run during spring break, winter break, in mid-end May; dates depend on location. Additional fees may apply. See Class Schedule. 1 to 4 undergraduate hours. 1 to 4 graduate hours. Approved for letter and S/U grading. May be repeated in the same or separate terms to a maximum of 12 undergraduate hours or 8 graduate hours. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
Provides students with both the experience of the real-world editorial process and with a research product (the published essay) that showcases their professional development as well-informed and persuasive writers on environmental issues. Same as ENGL 498. 3 undergraduate hours. No graduate credit. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.