Environmental Studies (2022 - 2024)
ENVST-UA 100, 101, and 900 are required for the major in environmental studies; ENVST-UA 100 and 101 are required for the minor.
Environmental Systems Science
ENVST-UA 100 Offered every fall. Hayek, Killilea, McDermid. 4 points.
Survey of critical issues, including: human population; global chemical cycles; ecosystems and biodiversity; endangered species and wildlife; nature preserves; energy flows in nature; agriculture and the environment; fossil fuels to renewable forms; Earth’s waters and atmosphere; carbon dioxide and global warming; urban environments; wastes; paths to a sustainable future. Covers demanding material to prepare students for upper-level courses.
Environment and Society
ENVST-UA 101 or SOCS-SHU 135 Offered every spring. Carlson, Jamieson, Jerolmack, Kanter, Nagle, Rademacher, Schlottmann. 4 points.
Survey of central concepts including: environmental history; nature and the environment; rise of environmentalism; environmental skepticism; anthropogenic global change; population and consumption; ecological footprint analysis; environmental justice; public goods and collective action problems; regulatory regimes; environmental politics; environmental movements and values; environmental protest and disobedience; future of environmentalism.
Environmental Studies Senior Seminar
ENVST-UA 900 Prerequisites: open only to senior ES majors who have completed both Environmental Systems Science (ENVST-UA 100) and Environment and Society (ENVST-UA 101 or SOCS-SHU 135). Offered every semester. 4 points.
Integrates environmental research and professional practice into the senior year experience, teaches critical and integrative thinking, and enhances community and cohort building.
Evolution of the Earth
ENVST-UA 210 Identical to BIOL-UA 2. Offered in the spring. Rampino. 4 points.
The large-scale structure and history of the universe and origins of stars and planets; the origin of the earth; geological and climatological history; origin and history of life; evolution and natural selection; and the origin of intelligence.
ENVST-UA 226 Offered in the spring. McDermid. 4 points.
The nature of energy and fossil fuels; the growth of population and energy consumption per capita; weather and climate; ice ages and their astronomical cause; the greenhouse effect; evidence for abrupt climate changes in the past and their human impact; modeling and prediction of climate change; the environmental and social consequences of unchecked global warming; and possible solutions.
Topics in Environmental Science
ENVST-UA 250 Offered every other year. 4 points.
Topics vary. May include environmental systems, design, planning, monitoring, and modeling.
Where the City Meets the Sea
ENVST-UA 275 Identical to BIOL-UA 140. Offered in the spring. Killilea. 4 points.
Uses the built and natural environments of coastal cities as laboratories to examine the environmental and ecological implications of urban development in coastal areas. Student teams use field-based studies and Geographic Information System (GIS) data to examine patterns and processes operating in coastal cities. Offered simultaneously at NYU New York and NYU Abu Dhabi, and students collaborate extensively with students from their sister campus.
Advanced Topics in Environmental Science
ENVST-UA 300 Prerequisite: Environmental Systems Science (ENVST-UA 100). Offered every year. 4 points.
Topics vary. May include environmental systems, design, planning, monitoring, and modeling.
Introduction to Environmental Modeling
ENVST-UA 305 Prerequisite: Environmental Systems Science (ENVST-UA 100) and knowledge of algebra and basic statistics. Offered in the fall. 4 points.
Utilizes a systems dynamics modeling platform (STELLA). Causal modeling and the representation of systems as a set of processes, basic numerical methods, model development in STELLA, and analytical approaches to make inferences from model results. No coding experience is necessary.
Environmental Quantitative Methods
ENVST-UA 310 Prerequisite: Environmental Systems Science (ENVST-UA 100). Offered in the fall. McDermid. 4 points.
Collection, analysis, and interpretation of environmental data and modeling results. Considers identification of significant trends and changes in data.
Environmental and Molecular Analysis of a Disease
ENVST-UA 315 Identical to BIOL-UA 500. Prerequisite: Fundamentals of Ecology (ENVST-UA 325, identical to BIOL-UA 63). Killilea. 4 points.
The environmental determinants of disease vectors and the molecular techniques used to measure prevalence of a pathogen in these vectors. Students conduct a semester-long research project to determine the prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi (the Lyme disease causative agent) in tick populations from local forests. Combines field collection, lab work, and epidemiological models.
Introduction to Conservation Analysis
ENVST-UA 320 Prerequisite: Environmental Systems Science (ENVST-UA 100) or Principles of Biology II (BIOL-UA 12). Carlson. 4 points.
Critically explores current and past biodiversity conservation problems and proposed or attempted solutions through a quantitative modeling lens. Students apply several modeling techniques used to measure and address biodiversity loss to diverse species, ecosystems, global regions, spatial and temporal scales, and anthropogenic impacts.
Introduction to Marine Ecology and Conservation
ENVST-UA 323 Prerequisite: Environmental Systems Science (ENVST-UA 100). Jacquet. 4 points.
Ecological relationships between marine organisms and their environment. Anthropogenic impacts (overexploitation, pollution, invasive species, climate change) and proposed and tested solutions for these problems.
Fundamentals of Ecology
ENVST-UA 325 Identical to BIOL-UA 63. Prerequisite: Environmental Systems Science (ENVST-UA 100). Schneider-Paolantonio. 4 points.
Presents basic ecological principles and concepts, including ecological relationships within ecosystems, energy flow, biogeochemical cycles, limiting factors, community ecology, population ecology, niche, climax, and major ecological habitats. These topics are related to current environmental problems such as habitat destruction, climate change, biological invasions, loss of biodiversity, and overpopulation. Several field trips are scheduled during the regular class periods.
New York Underground
ENVST-UA 327 Prerequisite: Environmental Systems Science (ENVST-UA 100) or Principles of Biology II (BIOL-UA 12). Schneider-Paolantonio. 4 points.
Life and resources underneath New York City, considered under four headings: water, energy, transportation, and biology. Examines the mechanics, history, and significance of the infrastructure and explores the biotic components of this unique and fascinating subterranean environment. Field trips are scheduled throughout the semester.
ENVST-UA 330 Prerequisite: Environmental Systems Science (ENVST-UA 100). 4 points.
Encouraged for students interested in learning about the science of environmental problem solving. Topics: major drivers of planetary change, including habitat loss, overexploitation, invasive species, pollution, and climate change, human impacts on the deep sea, and even the rise of human-made debris in outer space.
Food Production and Climate Change
ENVST-UA 331 Prerequisite: Environmental Systems Science (ENVST-UA 100). Offered every year. McDermid. 4 points.
How humans have modified the environment to meet increasing food demand; effects of climate change and variability on growth and harvesting of crops, and how these effects vary across geographic, economic, and even gender space; the environmental footprint and efficacy of emerging food movements; and alternative future food production trajectories and their environmental, socio-economic, and nutritional impacts.
Current Topics in Earth System Science
ENVST-UA 332 Prerequisite: Earth System Science (ENVST-UA 340) or Evolution of the Earth (ENVST-UA 210) or Life Science: Earth, Life, and Time (CORE-UA 312). Offered in the spring. Rampino. 4 points.
Students read, discuss, and report on original recent journal articles (as well as articles that take conflicting views) and texts that review the subject matter as already known. Current questions in both earth system science and biological evolution.
Limits of the Earth: Issues in Human Ecology
ENVST-UA 333 Prerequisite: Environmental Systems Science (ENVST-UA 100) or Principles of Biology I and II (BIOL-UA 11, 12). Volk. 4 points.
The dynamics of nature's life-support systems and the past, present, and future of human dependency on those systems. Topics: energy, agriculture, water, population, consumption and waste production, and sustainability.
Earth System Science
ENVST-UA 340 Formerly ENVST-UA 200. Prerequisite: Environmental Systems Science (ENVST-UA 100). Offered in the fall. Rampino. 4 points.
Earth as a system entails interactions among the atmosphere, oceans, solid earth, and life. Geophysics and plate tectonics; circulation of the oceans and atmosphere; cycles of elements essential for life; and the coevolution of climate and life on earth over the past 4,500 million years. Current global environmental problems: the greenhouse effect from increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide and other gases, the effects of deforestation, and the depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer.
The Global Carbon Cycle
ENVST-UA 345 Prerequisite: Environmental Systems Science (ENVST-UA 100). Killilea, Volk. 4 points.
Examines the dynamics of marine and terrestrial ecosystems, the circulation of atmosphere and ocean, and the soil. To project the future of atmospheric CO2, we consider relationships among wealth, energy use, and CO2 emissions and explore how fossil fuel emissions are tied to the present and future trends of the global economy.
Energy and the Environment
ENVST-UA 350 Prerequisite: Environmental Systems Science (ENVST-UA 100). Offered in the spring. 4 points.
Utilizes the technical vocabulary of energy, including the concepts of work, energy, and power. Some basic chemistry and thermodynamics are introduced, permitting comparative analysis of energy systems. An introduction to life-cycle cost estimation is included, and associated environmental-impact calculations for energy systems are presented.
Fundamental Dynamics of Earth's Atmosphere and Climate
ENVST-UA 360 Identical to MATH-UA 228. Prerequisite: Calculus I (MATH-UA 121) or equivalent with a B- or higher. Recommended: General Physics I (PHYS-UA 11) or equivalent; further coursework in calculus. Pauluis, Smith. 4 points.
The unifying principles of planetary fluid dynamics. Topics: global energy balance, convection and radiation (greenhouse effect), effects of planetary rotation (Coriolis force), structure of atmospheric circulation (Hadley cell and wind patterns), structure of oceanic circulation (wind-driven currents and thermohaline circulation), and climate and climate variability (including anthropogenic warming).
Biogeochemistry of Global Change
ENVST-UA 370 Identical to BIOL-UA 66. Prerequisite: Environmental Systems Science (ENVST-UA 100) or Principles of Biology I and II (BIOL-UA 11, 12). Killilea. 4 points.
Biological controls on the chemistry of the environment and geochemical regulation of ecological structure and function. Specific case studies in global biogeochemical changes (e.g., acid precipitation, nitrogen deposition, eutrophication of the oceans).
Geographical Information Systems for Ecology
ENVST-UA 372 Formerly At the Bench: Ecological Analysis with Geographical Information Systems. Identical to BIOL-UA 64. Prerequisite: Environmental Systems Science (ENVST-UA 100 or Principles of Biology II (BIOL-UA 12) or equivalent. Killilea. 4 points.
Geographic information systems (GIS) are computerized systems for the capture, storage, management, analysis, and display of geographically referenced data and their attributes. Coordinate systems, data transformations, spatial analysis, and accuracy assessment. Laboratory exercises analyze ecological data and examples and provide extensive hands-on experience with ArcGIS, a professional GIS software package.
Climate and Life
ENVST-UA 385 Prerequisite: Environmental Systems Science (ENVST-UA 100). McDermid. 4 points.
Designed to help students understand and explore the role of the biosphere in Earth’s systems and processes, with particular emphasis on the climate system. Explores key biosphere-climate interactions and feedbacks, how they shape each other, and their evolving relationship from Earth’s beginning to the future. Analyzes Anthropocene influences on these biosphere-climate interactions, inclusive of future attempts to leverage these interactions in order to address global climate and environmental change.
ENVST-UA 390 Prerequisite: Fundamentals of Ecology (ENVST-UA 325). Schneider-Paolantonio. 4 points.
Cities are unique from other systems in terms of hydrology, temperature, noise, air quality, and many other abiotic factors. Investigates the consequences of urban constructs on ecological systems. Topics: nutrient cycling, organismal behavior and phenology, disease, drivers and patterns of biodiversity in urban systems, green spaces, urban planning, and the future of these expanding man-made landscapes.
Ethics and the Environment
ENVST-UA 400 Identical to PHIL-UA 53. Offered in the fall. 4 points.
Environmental philosophy encompasses questions in metaphysics, the philosophy of science, and the history of philosophy, as well as in such normative areas as ethics, aesthetics, and political philosophy. Presents basic concepts in value theory and introduces some major controversies.
Climate Politics: When Policy Meets Reality
ENVST-UA 407 Wagner. 4 points.
What is the optimal way to curb carbon emissions? Should we raise the price of fossil fuel, or subsidize low-carbon energy? What is the role of solar geoengineering? We discuss different climate policy objectives and policies throughout the semester, considering how they can be implemented politically.
ENVST-UA 410 Wagner. 4 points.
Develops some of the fundamental economic tools for environmental policy analysis and management. Economic principles as applied to environmental problems—often, though not exclusively, focused on climate change.
Environmental History of the Early Modern World
ENVST-UA 415 Identical to HIST-UA 115. Appuhn. 4 points.
The early modern period marks a moment of sudden and dramatic environmental change across the globe. Analyzes how this process unfolded, and treats basic problems in environmental history: the changing human relationship to the natural world; the relationship between environmental change and human societies; the importance of biotic exchange in world history.
Environmental History of New York City
ENVST-UA 420 Identical to HIST-UA 275. Needham. 4 points.
Topics from the 17th century to the present. Nature and natural forces as key components of historical change. Includes site visits to investigate the history of our and NYU's immediate environment.
Science in Environmental Policy
ENVST-UA 422 Prerequisite: Environment and Society (ENVST-UA 101 or SOCS-SHU 135). Offered in the spring. Kanter. 4 points.
For a range of environmental issues we review how the science emerged and evolved over time, the different roles scientists played (from agenda setting to monitoring implementation), and the controversies that arose as the interests of scientists, policy-makers, and other stakeholders interacted.
History of United States Environmental Policy
ENVST-UA 423 Prerequisite: Environment and Society (ENVST-UA 101 or SOCS-SHU 135). Carlson. 4 points.
Addresses U.S. environmental policy through several lenses, including (1) a set of two introductory sessions in which students are introduced to key terminology, concepts, and orientations toward the domain of environmental policy; (2) a core series of sessions through which we survey how historical precedents have shaped contemporary U.S. environmental policies and programs.
Environmental Qualitative Methods
ENVST-UA 424 Prerequisite: Environment and Society (ENVST-UA 101 or SOCS-SHU 135). Rademacher. 4 points.
Explores the research methodology of ethnography as it is applied to environmental studies through the field of environmental anthropology. Close reading and analysis of ethnographies, with the aim of understanding how qualitative data allow for a more robust understanding of environmental change.
ENVST-UA 431 Identical to SCA-UA 631. Offered in the spring. Charles-Guzman. 4 points.
Environmental issues in cities and towns: their causes and how to remedy them. Larger questions about the relationship between human society and the natural world in the urban context. Utilizes the analytic tools of sociology and ideas from economics, political science, philosophy, geography, and natural science to develop a theoretical framework for understanding these issues.
ENVST-UA 435 Prerequisite: Environment and Society (ENVST-UA 101 or SOCS-SHU 135). Offered in the spring. Kanter. 4 points.
Major global environmental threats of the 21st century: scientific justifications for action, institutions and policies formed and implemented to manage threats, and stakeholders involved in helping or hindering action.
Food, Animals, and the Environment
ENVST-UA 440 Identical to ANST-UA 440. Prerequisite: Environment and Society (ENVST-UA 101 or SOCS-SHU 135). Offered every spring. Schlottmann. 4 points.
Studies human interaction with both food and animals and the environmental impacts and ethical issues that arise from such interaction. Focuses on the moral standing of animals, animals as food, and the environmental impacts of agriculture, transportation, and consumption.
Global Environmental Politics
ENVST-UA 445 Offered in the spring. 4 points.
Law, politics, and policy of issues and debates in energy, climate, biodiversity, food, and water. How environmental problems are solved and solutions enforced (or not).
Topics in Environmental Values and Society
ENVST-UA 450 Identical to ENVST-UA 9450 at NYU Shanghai and NYU Sydney. Prerequisite: Environment and Society (ENVST-UA 101 or SOCS-SHU 135) or permission of the instructor. Offered every semester. Jamieson, Jerolmack, Kanter, Rademacher, Schlottmann, Sebo. 4 points.
Business and the Environment
ENVST-UA 465 Identical to ECON-UB 225. Jacquet. 3 points.
Broad overview of pressing questions regarding the relationship between business and the environment. Considers the major drivers of environmental change, the shifting roles of government and non-government organizations (NGOs), and areas where there may be business opportunities.
Climate and Society
ENVST-UA 470 Prerequisite: Environment and Society (ENVST-UA 101 or SOCS-SHU 135); recommended: Climate Change (ENVST-UA 226). Offered in the fall. Schlottmann. 4 points.
Explores how societies understand and respond to climate change. Analyzes values, assumptions, and perceptions that contribute to our understanding of climate change. Topics: ethics, justice, and responsibility; definitions of nature; cost-benefit analysis and the precautionary principle; geoengineering; contrarianism; framing and communication; social engagement; and education.
Topics in Environmental Values and Society
ENVST-UA 475 Prerequisite: Environment and Society (ENVST-UA 101 or SOCS-SHU 135) or permission of the instructor. Offered every semester. 1-3 points.
Environmental Justice and Inequality
ENVST-UA 480 Identical to SOC-UA 970. Prerequisite: Environment and Society (ENVST-UA 101 or SOCS-SHU 135). Offered in the spring. Jerolmack. 4 points.
Traces the origins of the uneven distribution of environmental problems and hazards across various communities and analyzes how environmental problems reflect and exacerbate social inequality. Surveys the historical emergence of the environmental justice movement and explores competing moral and political visions for achieving equal protection from environmental hazards (both natural and manmade).
Urban Environmental Change
ENVST-UA 490 Prerequisite: Environment and Society (ENVST-UA 101 or SOCS-SHU 135). Rademacher. 4 points.
Explores the gap between aspirations for, and the enactment of, urban sustainability. How contests over environmental knowledge, sociocultural ideology, and discourse shape human engagement with urban nature, and in turn influence social and natural transformation.
Urban Greening Lab: New York
ENVST-UA 495 Prerequisite: Environment and Society (ENVST-UA 101 or SOCS-SHU 135). Offered every year. Rademacher. 4 points.
How New York's historical and contemporary context have shaped the meaning, implementation, and social experience of environmental improvement. Seeks to integrate ecosystem ecology concepts, urban design principles, and social scientific sensibilities.
Journalism and Society: Covering the Earth
ENVST-UA 503 Identical to ENVST-UA 9503 at NYU Sydney and NYU Washington, D.C.; identical to JOUR-UA 503. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Offered every fall. Fagin. 4 points.
Traces the development of traditional environmental journalism from John Muir to John McPhee and examines how the field is adapting to a fast-changing media landscape. Issues of environmental advocacy, citizen media, issue framing, risk balancing, and the scientific process.
Making Art in the Anthropocene: Project on Ecology, Species, and Vibrant Matter
ENVST-UA 593 Identical to ANST-UA 393 and THEAT-UT 801. Not open to first-year students. Chaudhuri, Erti. 4 points.
Prior artistic training/practice is not required, but artistic and creative work is required. Examines "post-humanist" theories of species, ecology, and matter, as well as a variety of literary, cinematic, and visual art works reflecting them. Students use space, objects, movement, sound, imagery, and writing to explore the aesthetic implications of these theoretical ideas.
Animals and Society
ENVST-UA 610 Identical to ANST-UA 200 and SOC-UA 970. Jerolmack. 4 points.
How relationships with animals reflect and shape social life, culture, and how people think about themselves. Explores the myriad and contradictory positions that animals occupy in society and deconstructs the social origins of these seemingly natural categories. How humans and animals coordinate interaction without language.
Animals and Public Policy
ENVST-UA 630 Identical to ANST-UA 500. Offered every fall. Wolfson. 4 points.
Considers how public policy is created, how social change occurs, and the influence of science, government, business, and non-governmental organizations on animal-related policies, legislation, litigation, and consumer campaigns, as well the meaning of "animal rights" and the impact of the modern animal protection movement.
Literature and the Environment
ENVST-UA 675 Identical to ANST-UA 475 and ENGL-UA 675. Topics determine prerequisites. Athanassakis. 4 points.
Internship in Environmental Studies
ENVST-UA 800 Prerequisites: open only to ES majors who have completed Environmental Systems Science (ENVST-UA 100) or Environment and Society (ENVST-UA 101 or SOCS-SHU 135). Offered every semester. Schlottmann. 4 points.
Experiential education and analysis in environment-related organizations including nonprofits, research institutes, and governmental organizations. Students and the internship adviser agree to specific goals and a schedule for achieving them. Interns meet collectively during the semester for discussion and brief reports. (Students may also choose the NODEP-UA 9981 internship at NYU Berlin, NYU Sydney, and NYU Washington, D.C.)
Honors Seminar in Environmental Studies
ENVST-UA 950 Open only to senior ES majors with a GPA of 3.65 both in the major and overall. Offered every spring. Jacquet, Rademacher. 4 points.
Students pursue independent research projects and workshop them under the supervision of a faculty member.