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    Skidmore College
  Jan 17, 2018
Catalog 2017-2018 
Catalog 2017-2018

Environmental Studies and Sciences

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The ES&S Program has 7 dedicated ES faculty members, and 50 affiliated faculty from other departments who teach ES-designated classes.  They have a wide range of domestic and international experience, conducting cutting-edge research on an array of important issues.  They publish articles and books on subjects ranging from conservation of agricultural biodiversity to voluntourism in Costa Rica, and from carbon fluxes in the ocean to the effect of particulate matter on the chemical balance of the atmosphere, and even made a documentary on local sustainability initiatives in the Hudson Valley (see  Their publication record is impressive, but more important is their dedication to excellence in teaching and to their students.

Director of the Environmental Studies and Sciences Program: Bob Turner

Coordinator, Environmental Studies and Sciences Program: Anne Gallagher Ernst

Associate Professor: Karen Kellogg

Assistant Professor: Nurcan Atalan-Helicke, Kurt Smemo

Visiting Assistant Professor: Andrew Schneller

Lecturer: Thomas Hart

* = part time

Affiliated Faculty:

American Studies: Gregory Pfitzer

Anthropology: Michael Ennis-McMillan, Heather Hurst

Asian Studies: Ben Bogin

Biology: Catherine Domozych, David Domozych, Corey Freeman-Gallant, Elaine Larsen, Sylvia McDevitt, Joshua Ness, Monica Raveret Richter, Bernie Possidente, Erika Schielke, Patti Steinbgerger

Chemistry: Kim Frederick, Steven Frey, Raymond Giguere, Judith Halstead, Juan Navea

Economics: Monica Das, Sandra Goff, Robert Jones, Mehmet Odekon

English: Michael Marx

Geosciences: Jennifer Cholnoky, Margaret Estapa, Amy Frappier, Greg Gerbi, Victor Guevara, Kyle Nichols

Government: Katherine Graney, Feryaz Ocakli, Bob Turner

Health & Exercise Science: Paul Arciero, Susanne D'Isabel

History: Eric Morser, Tillman Nechtman

Management and Business: Cathy Hill, James Kennelly

Philosophy: William Lewis

Religious Studies: Eliza Kent

Sociology: Amon Emeka, Rik Scarce

World Languages: Oscar Perez

Resource Staff:

GIS: Alex Chaucer, Tom Hart

Library: Jenna Pitera


Department Overview

Environmental challenges are among the most pressing issues facing citizens in the twenty-first century. Few local, national, or international conflicts lack an environmental dimension. Understanding these environmental problems requires an interdisciplinary approach that integrates the natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, and the arts. We cannot adequately understand an issue like water pollution through a single disciplinary perspective; it involves anthropology, biology, business, chemistry, economics, geosciences, government, history, literature, and sociology. The mission of Environmental Studies and Sciences is to help students develop literacy at the intersection of these disciplines.

We emphasize the integration of problem-solving within an interdisciplinary framework. Our students design and carry out empirical research and develop and defend their conclusions through clear written and spoken presentations. Environmental Studies and Sciences students will graduate with rigorous and multifaceted problem-solving skills necessary to frame, describe, analyze, and offer realistic solutions to environmental challenges.

The Environmental Studies and Sciences program includes courses that are interdisciplinary and that address environmental issues from a disciplinary perspective, and offers both a major and a minor degree. We immerse our students in the complexities of environmental issues through both classroom and experiential learning, locally and abroad. Students enrich their academic learning with experiences outside the classroom to foster responsible citizenship and to help our students understand the challenges of creating environmentally sustainable communities.

Major Requirements



Minor Requirements




Course Listing

ES 302 - Environment and Development in the Middle East  


CLUSTER A: Culture, Society, and the Environment

Courses in Cluster A examine the social and cultural dimensions of environmental issues. Drawing upon disciplinary and interdisciplinary foundations in the social sciences, humanities, and arts, these courses provide the student with an understanding of how changes in the environment affect social organization and cultural development. Courses in this cluster also examine how society and culture affect the environment and influence human response to environmental issues. Cluster A courses emphasize social and cultural perspectives (i.e., social sciences, humanities, and arts), although concepts in the natural sciences may be introduced as background material. Cluster A courses apply to the Environmental Studies major, the Environmental Science major, and the ESS minor.

AS 221 - The Himalayas: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the "Roof of the World"  
EN 224 - Literature and the Environment  
ES 305 - Environmental Education  
ES 306 - U.S. Public Lands and Oceans: Policy, Law, Management, and Current Events  
  (when topic is Contemporary Issues in Public Health)
HI 264 - History of the American West  
HI 267 - American Indian History   
MB 351 - Special Topics in Management and Business  (when the topic is Business and the Natural Environment)
SO 351R - Population Dynamics/Soc Persp
  (when topic is Green Italy: Gardens, Food, and Material Culture)


CLUSTER B1 AND B2: Exploring the Natural World

Courses in these clusters examine the physical and biological aspects of environmental issues and, to a significant extent, examine how these aspects influence and are influenced by people. These courses offer students a scientific foundation in environmental issues by drawing on disciplinary and interdisciplinary courses in biology, chemistry, geology, mathematics, physics, and/or other disciplines. Cluster B courses emphasize the natural sciences, although social and cultural dimensions may be introduced as background material.
Cluster B1 courses apply to the Environmental Studies major only, whereas Cluster B2 courses can be used for both the Environmental Studies major and the Environmental Science major.  Both B1 and B2 courses can count towards the ESS minor.

Cluster B1

ES 252D - Topics in Environmental Studies and Sciences  
EX 242 - Principles of Nutrition for Health and Performance  
  (when applicable)


Cluster B2

BI 239 - Parasitology, Epidemiology, and Public Health  

  (when topic is Ecology of North America)
CH 232 - Analytical Methods in Chemistry  
ES 252C - Topics in Environmental Studies and Sciences  


BI 235 - Biostatistics  
EC 237 - Statistical Methods  
ID 210 - Introduction to GIS  
MS 104 - Introduction to Statistics  
SO 226 - Statistics for the Social Sciences  




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