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ENVS 111: Environmental Field Studies

IGETC Major Requirement Offered
Yes- 5B Yes- Environmental Studies A.A. Fall, Spring

Professor: Adam Green, Ph.D.

Materials: This course has an online text that is free to students. No other materials are required.

ENVS 111: Environmental Field Studies is a lab and field based course that goes with ENVS 110 and can be taken at the same time or any time after taking ENVS 110. This allows you to satisfy the Area 5B IGETC requirement for a life science with lab combination (ENVS 110 and 111) if needed.

ENVS 111 is designed to better connect students to the issues around humans and their interaction with the surrounding environment and teach some basic skills in environmental science. Most labs are off campus in the field where we explore local ecosystems, collect data on biodiversity and environmental quality. During this course you will learn more about the basic science we cover in ENVS 110 and some of the issues specific to managing ecosystems, protecting species, water supply and quality, food systems, and waste management.

In this modern era dominated by technology with a rapidly growing population you have to be educated in these issues to have any hope of finding a place in our evolving economy. As a species we need to be informed and make educated decisions or we will make it more difficult for our children and possibly bring about the decline of human societies. We take a hard look at the the evidence and discuss ways to make change and create opportunities for future careers.

We cover the following topics:



We visit places that showcase biodiversity to see some of the amazing species we have on the planet, explore how people study them, and learn about the issues associated with their protection.





We will visit a local organic farm and see how they produce food, and discuss the ecological, economic, and social challenges of food production.

We will also look into the Tragedy of the Commons, population dynamics, and the challenge of managing our global fisheries.


We will look at the watershed and see what human activities can impact water quality. We also look at the importance of aquatic ecosystem function and how that provides critical goods and services for human populations.




Human poulation currently use a huge quantity of energy to power our buildings, transportation, industry, and even our food system. How we produce and use this energy may determine whether we can maintain a reasonably stable climate and allow for developing countries to achieve a high quality of life.

We will calculate our energy use and how that translates into greenhouse gas emissions. We explore the connection between water, food, energy, and climate change.


Managing our waste is a critical part of how we impact the environment.We will explore trash, waste water, and air pollutants. You fill find out where "away" is when you throw something "away."

We will also discuss how we can reduce or eliminate waste.


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