Programs

Environmental Studies

Environmental Studies Students

Environmental Studies offers a diverse selection of thought-provoking and hands-on courses. The program is tailored to prepare students for successful graduate studies or satisfying careers. Our goal is to prepare future leaders in civic or federal services, environmental consulting, environmental law, fish and wildlife, environmental assessment and management, or emerging “green” industries and services.

Environmental Studies might be for you.  if…

  1. You like the outdoors and high-tech analysis
  2. You are interested in a wide range of disciplines (and want to try out different things)
  3. You strive to gain 21st century job skills for a satisfying and well-paid career
  4. You care about your impact on the planet
  5. You seek intellectually stimulating and thought-provoking ideas
  6. You value Hands-on skills needed for grad school, other disciplines and professions
  7. You like to bridge disciplines, for example, tourism, business, hydrology, toxicology, history, English, biology, chemistry, geography, GIS/GPS, remote sensing)

For more information contact:
Enrollment Management
Phone: 1-888-5-COTTEY
E-mail: enrollmgt@cottey.edu

All required courses and electives for the Environmental Studies major strike a balance between the social and natural sciences as they relate to the environment. Students are exposed to the scientific principles, fieldwork, current research, perspectives and theories, as well as other academic disciplines that contribute to the study of the environment and its connections to social responsibility, global awareness, economics, politics, and policy development. Experiential learning is a fundamental component of the Environmental Studies major. Experiential learning includes exposure to and the application of cutting-edge technology, meeting professionals, review and authorship of research articles, and participating in field trips and field work in areas such as air and water quality, sustainable tourism, terrestrial ecology, and prairie ecosystem preservation. Students will have an opportunity to participate in the Institute’s interdisciplinary excursions. Summer internships and service learning, while not a requirement, provide students with important real-world experiences.

RATIONALE FOR REQUIRED COURSEWORK:

Basic Requirements:
These courses provide students with a broad foundation, perspectives, theories, and context for more specific areas in environmental studies. Courses were chosen and designed to balance the social and natural sciences. Courses in the natural sciences and analytical disciplines, such as GIS, provide the foundation to understand and analyze ecosystems and environmental interactions. Social science classes as well as other interdisciplinary courses provide the connection to humans and our technological, economical, and political interactions related to environmental topics.

Interdisciplinary Requirements
These requirements represent the international relations and business, English, and environmental studies outlooks on the Institute issues of women’s leadership, social responsibility, and global perspective. Although these issues are emphasized throughout the environmental studies curriculum, the additional courses will enable a thorough imprint of the Institute’s signature and provide the opportunity for an interdisciplinary application of environmental studies in the fields of English and international relations and business.

Upper Division Electives:
Environmental studies is a broad interdisciplinary field. While it is important to provide an overview and foundation (through required courses) it is also critical to offer specializations through course electives. Course electives are designed to prepare our students for a competitive job market or continued academic careers in specializations that match their goals and needs. Two possible specializations might be environmental science and technology and environmental policy and business.

Capstone Research Project
The capstone research project will be the culmination of the student’s work and will prepare her as a future scientist or professional with in-depth knowledge in key areas of her choosing.

Suggested lower division classes

As part of any major at Cottey College, students have to fulfill general education’ requirements. In order to fulfill these requirements students are encouraged to choose classes related to or beneficial for environmental studies. The provided list names classes with an environmental connection that might also fulfill general education requirements.

Sample Program for Environmental Studies Majors

Year 1 Fall Spring
First Year Writing Seminar 3 College Writing 3
MAT 103 College Algebra or higher 3 Humanities course 3
Fine Arts course 3 Dance or Physical Education course 2
BIO 101 Introductory Biology or
BIO 107 Principles of Biology
4 Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies 3
IDS/EVS 125 World Regional Geography 3 Math or science course 4
Total: 16 Total: 15
Year 2 Fall Spring
ENV 331 Sustainable Tourism 3 BIO 204/204 L Genetics or
BIO 207/207L General Zoology
4
Technology intensive course 3 MAT 112 Statistics 3
ENV 270 Introduction to GIS 3 ENV/IDS 350 Env. Conditions 3
CHE 130/131 Intro to Environmental Chemistry 4 Elective 3
BIO 105/105L General Botany or
BIO 120 Environmental Science or
BIO 206 Molecular Biology
3-4
Total: 16-17 Total: 13
Year 3 Fall Spring
ENV 315 Ecosystems, Functions/Mgmt 2 ENV XXX Elective 3-5
ENV 335 Earth Science: Soil, Water, Atmosphere 3 Interdisciplinary 3
ENV XXX Elective 3-5 Foreign Language 6-8
HIS/ENV 320 American Environmental History 3 Elective 3
Elective 3
Total: 15-17 Total: 15-19
Year 4 Fall Spring
ENV Elective 3-4 490 Capstone Project 3
ENV 485 Capstone Res/ Outreach Project I 3 Science course 3-5
Writing intensive course 3 Electives 9
Interdisciplinary course 3 Electives 9
Elective 3
Total: 15-16 Total: 15-17
Total Hours: 120-130

Ujjaini Das, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies
Department Coordinator
143 RBAC
ext. 2134

Ganga Fernando, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
201 Grantham
ext. 2180
gfernando@cottey.edu

Angela Firkus, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of History
216 Grantham
ext. 2201
afirkus@cottey.edu

Robert Jones, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology
212 Grantham
ext. 2240
rjones@cottey.edu

Chris Peterson, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology
202 Grantham
ext. 2212
cpeterson@cottey.edu

Brenda Ross, Ph.D
Professor of Chemistry
220 Grantham
ext. 2215
bross@cottey.edu


Environmental Studies majors conduct original research in the form of capstone research projects. Students explore various topics including:

  1. Comparing water pollution in Guatemala and Nevada, Missouri
  2. Eco-cultural aspects of multicultural festivals at Cottey College
  3. Environmental justice issues related to water pollution in Lake Victoria, Uganda
  4. Lack of Public transportation and its associated problems in Nevada, Missouri

Students attend and present their research at national and regional level conferences such as:

  1. The Plains Anthropological Society Conference
  2. The Missouri Academy of Sciences
  3. The National Association of Environmental Professionals Conference

Additionally, Students annually participate at the Academic Showcase at Cottey College.


Students attend various fieldtrips that are organized by the Environmental Studies program every year. These trips include:

  1. Prairie State Park, Mindenmines, Missouri
  2. Bridal Cave, Ozarks, Missouri
  3. Ha Ha Tonka State Park, Ozarks, Missouri
  4. The Missouri Department of Conservation reserve, Missouri
  5. The Heifer International, Arkansas


Learner-centered experiential learning is practiced where the instructor and the students co-produce knowledge throughout the course of the semester. Teaching methods include:

  1. Lectures
  2. Guest speakers who periodically deliver expert knowledge face-to-face, via skype, or by phone
  3. Laboratory exercises
  4. Fieldtrips
  5. Group discussion and group presentations organized by students
  6. Individual student research projects
  7. Relevant videos and documentaries

  1. Graduate study in environmental studies or a specialized area within the field such as environmental management, environmental design, resource management, geography, environmental anthropology, environmental sociology, Geographic Information System (GIS) and environmental science
  2. GIS professional in industry such as the utility sector, banking, environmental organizations both government and non-government
  3. Environmental analyst in non-profit organizations such as The Greenpeace international, The Nature Conservancy, and The Basel Action Network
  4. Environmental analyst in government organizations such as US Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Conservation, Department of Natural Resources, and Park Services
  5. Environmental consultants for companies
  6. Environmental educator
  7. Environmental policy analyst
  8. Sustainability specialist