Cornell College - Environmental Studies Program
600 First Street SW
Mount Vernon, IA 52314
Solving environmental problems requires an integration of discipline specific knowledge with an appreciation of the linkages between the sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities. Cornell’s Environmental Studies program includes faculty with diverse interests and skills from across the liberal arts, and a curriculum highlighted by a variety of coordinated courses and off-campus programs.
Introduction to Environmental Studies (ENV 101) introduces students to the breadth of environmental issues and represents a novel classroom model. The course is co-taught by two faculty members, one from the natural sciences and one social scientist or humanist, and is organized around a particular theme. Several afternoon discussion sessions are led by faculty members from other disciplines and are drawn from their particular area of expertise. For example, salmon fisheries of the Pacific Northwest can provide the thematic framework that introduces students to contributions that geology, biology, chemistry, philosophy, sociology, political science, and economics bring to a complex environmental issue.
Major & minor: Environmental Studies
Other innovative class linkages in Environmental Studies involve courses taught in parallel, where two classes share field trips and/or readings, as is done with Ornithology (BIO 254) and American Nature Writers (ENG 350). Alternatively, students may participate in sequenced classes, in which the same students move from one class to the next as a group, and which include contributions from both professors in each class. Sequenced Environmental Studies courses include Introduction to Sociology (SOC 101) and Physical Geology (GEO 111). Linking courses allows students to develop a more holistic perspective on the causes of and solutions to environmental problems.