Environmental Studies Winter Courses for Sophomores and Freshmen

ENVIR 100: Introduction to Environmental Studies

5 credits – Dr. Elizabeth Wheat and Dr. Kristi Straus – Counts for I&S/NW and Env. Studies Core – Open to all majors. Great intro for Freshmen and Sophomores who are exploring environmental majors.
  • Learn about contemporary environmental challenges and responses, including topics on climate change, biodiversity conservation, sustainability, and natural resource management. 
  • Recognize the complexity in environmental issues and our connections to these issues at multiple scales, from local to global. Participate in a dynamic and unique learning experience with an interdisciplinary teaching team. 
  • Practice environmental communication and critical thinking skills through peer engagement, iterative writing assignments, a team project, and a public poster presentation.

ENVIR 439: Attaining a Sustainable Society

3 credits – Dr. Elizabeth Wheat – Counts for I&S/NW and Env. Studies Perspectives: human & social dimensions/policy & decision-making – Open to all majors. Freshmen and Sophomores encouraged!
  • Is a sustainable society possible? Building a sustainable future depends on restructuring the global economy and dramatic changes in values and lifestyles. Is sustainability a reasonable goal? What is the timeline? Grapple with these and other questions in this 3 credit course. 
  • Identify major impediments to achieving a sustainable society. Choose from among one of four hopeful movements (food, energy, economics, governance) and explore how that movement is helping our society move toward a more sustainable future. 

ENVIR 495 B: Farm Lunch Seminar

1 credit – Dr. Elizabeth Wheat – Counts for Env. Studies Perspectives: fieldwork/human & social dimensions – Open to all majors. Sophomores encouraged!
  • Learn about urban food systems in this 1-credit seminar taught by a farmer and food systems expert.
  • Focus on carbon and climate change as it relates to food and examine issues in our backyard to the global food system (big picture).
  • Deepen systemic understanding of agriculture and food systems and foster community by discussing these issues with faculty, staff and students and guest speakers interested in the food movement at UW.

ENVIR 495 D: Environmental Education Field Practicum (NEW COURSE)

5 credits – Tim Billo – Counts for Env. Studies Perspectives: fieldwork/human & social dimensions – Open to all majors. Sophomores encouraged! Must contact instructor (timbillo@uw.edu) to enroll.
  • Amazing opportunity to design and deliver an environmental education curriculum for one of Washingtons most diverse middle schools in Seattles  international district. (Curriculum will be taught in 3 days, the last week of the quarter).
  • Students will gain teaching skills for environmental education in an outdoor setting, and will be offered insights and avenues into excellent career opportunities in environmental education.
  • Instruction includes environmental education techniques, visits to classrooms and occasional speakers from local environmental education organizations.

ENVIR 495 F: Environmental Communication, Messaging and Outreach

3 credits – P. Sean McDonald – Open to all majors. Freshmen and Sophomores encouraged!
  • You walk the walk, but can you talk the talk? Effective environmental communication is critical for practitioners and engaged citizens alike. This course will explore the variety of media and methods for conveying environmental information in the digital age. 
  • Discuss how information is conveyed - Is a picture really worth a thousand words and can the right picture help produce positive environmental change? How do journalists decide the environmental stories they write? How do advocates walk the line between “truth” and propaganda? What’s twitter all about and how can I use it professionally?
  • Learn how to put communications theory into practice and listen to guest speakers who are communications professionals. Focus on individual networking and marketing, presentation skills, and professional environmental communication for science, policy, advocacy, and business.
  • Student quote: "I believe that all Environmental majors should take ENVIR 495 F with P. Sean McDonald. Not only will the course teach you vital communication skills but it also allows you to practice and learn about the importance of proper communication. Often times there is a communication barrier between policy makers, scientists, and citizens. This class dives into strategies to help bridge that gap." 
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