Carroll College, Helena Montana
Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge Montana

Course Descriptions

ES: Courses in Environmental Studies

EAS 101 Earth Science 4 Cr  A survey of the earth: its interior, surface processes, climate, landscapes, oceans,


 and the environmental impacts and influences of these processes on mankind. Topics include the structure of the earth, rivers,glaciers, earthquakes, geological time and plate tectonics. Lecture topics are reinforced by hands-on activities and field trips including rock and mineral identification and the use of maps and images in the laboratory.

ES 121  Environmental Science  4 Cr 
An introductory course focusing on the scientific analysis of environmental issues. Using core concepts from physics, chemistry, biology and earth science, students will exam key issues associated with sustaining biodiversity, natural resources, environmental health, and human societies. Topics will nclude ecological principles; land, water and energy use; epidemiology and toxicology; air, water and solid waste pollution; ecological economics; and environmental policy, law and planning. The course includes a laboratory and fulfills the CORE requirement for Natural Sciences. Required for Environmental Studies: Environmental Policy and Project Management majors. Open to all Carroll students. Fall semester, odd-numbered years.

ES 200 Environmental Beta 3 Cr Environmental beta is an experiential course designed to introduce students to the many perspectives from which they can engage with the natural world. The course begins with a week-long river trip down the Missouri River where students and faculty explore the integration of the scientific, social, political, historical and spiritual aspects of a wilderness landscape. Faculty from the Environmental program will be joined by faculty from anthropology, philosophy, English, other humanities and social sciences. Students will develop skills in the observation, description and interpretation of the natural world, building connections with the land, the Carroll faculty, and with each other. The second part of the course includes weekly meetings or field trips exploring the many and diverse environmental careers that students may pursue. From non-profits, to government agencies to outdoor education, student will hear from the different professional who have followed or found careers preserving, protecting, restoring, or teaching about the environment. Prior to Fall Semester: 5 day trip Missouri River in August followed by 1 hour weekly meetings through fall semester.

ES 201  Environmental Practicum  1 Cr A practical exploration of an environmental issue on the Carroll College campus, or
indyencompassing the campus and the local community, through class analysis of the issue and concrete engagement with its resolution. The course may be taken for credit of to three times in different semesters, with an exploration of at least two different topics/projects.

ES 205 Human Ecology 3 Cr This class will focus on how humans interact with their environment, concentrating on biological, social and economic aspects. The course will investigate the principles of evolutionary theory with special emphasis on human behavior and cultural diversity. The class will examine adaptive design of traits, behaviors, and life histories of humans in an ecological context, including the role of social and cultural factors in the maintenance or disruption of ecosystems, contemporary ecological concerns and conservation ecology. Fall semester

ES 220 Topics in Conservation Biology 3 Cr   A course designed to improve the scientific literacy of students interested in solving the conservation/environmental challenges that result from overuse of natural resources. Using concepts and practices from taxonomy, ecology, genetics, and geography, Conservation Biology seeks the most effective strategies for addressing threats to biological diversity, ecological integrity and environmental health. The course will change geographic focus from year to year to allow students to take the course more than once and explore different bioregions. The neotropics (Latin America) will be the geographic focus in even numbered years and will fulfill a requirement for the Latin American Studies Minor. Open to all Carroll students. Fall semester

snow pit

ES 300A Winter Ecology in Yellowstone 3 Cr    Winter ecology is the study of the relationships between living organisms and their winter environment. Particularly relevant to organisms in temperate regions covered by snow for at least two months of the year, winter is an environmental factor that greatly influences an organism’s evolution and ecology. Designed as a field immersion experience followed by an open-ended project experience, students will practice basic field techniques, collect original data and complete at least one analytical project focused on the winter environment and the behavioral/physiologicaladaptations of plants and animals. Students will begin with a two-week immersion experience in January (before spring semester) in Yellowstone National Park. Subsequently, during spring semester, students will complete an analytical project of their choice. Topics will include: climate and climate change, snow characteristics, migration, hibernation, behavioral/physiological tolerance adaptations of plants and animals, animal tracking, weather patterns, and geothermal microclimate features of Yellowstone. Prerequisite: Any natural science course. January into spring semester even numbered years.


ES 304 Environmental Field Methods 4 Cr This course is designed to introduce students to the various field methods employed in the broad field of environmental science. Interdisciplinary in nature, environmental problems often require understanding and integration across disciplines and an understanding of how data is collected and analyzed. Environmental scientists may find themselves interpreting geologic maps, sampling soils, or designing inventory or monitoring projects. An understanding of the concepts and practices in each of these disciplines will prepare students to evaluate and use existing data, or to design new field-based investigations. Prerequisites:  EAS 101, MA 207 or permission of instructor. Spring semester odd numbered years

EAS 320 Geomorphology 4 Cr  This course is an introduction to the physical and chemical geologic processes that are active on the surface of the earth. We will use a "pattern and process" approach integrating description, analysis and interpretation of landforms, surface patterns, sediment, stratigraphy, and soils in order to understand geomorphic processes and how they reflect the evolution of landscapes.

ES 395  Environmental Studies Research 3 Cr   A senior year research paper or research project, in lieu of an honors thesis, focused on a specific environmental issue; the paper or project should provide evidence of scholarship in and integration of scientific, social scientific, and humanities analyses of or perspectives on the issue; presented to the department faculty and student peers.

ES 400 Environmental Omega 1 Cr Environmental Omega is a senior capstone experience where students compile a final portfolio of the work they have completed over the course of their degree, reflect on internship/research and/or field experiences, and chart a path for the future. Meeting once a week, students will come together as a peer -working group as they prepare applications for graduate school or employment. Pre-requisite: senior environmental major. 

ES 401 Environmental Impact Assessment 3 Cr  This class is designed to provide an analytical overview of the theory and practice of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which is used to identify potential environmental impacts of various activities and to propose means to avoid or reduce the significant impacts. The class will concentrate on understanding the role of NEPA in regards to environmental management, including the strengths and limitations. The class will utilize application exercises and expert guest speakers to present examples of current NEPA practices. Prerequisites: ES 121. Spring semester

ES 495  Environmental Studies Seminar  3 Cr    An analysis of selected environment-related writings and a discussion of selected environmental themes with presentations by students and faculty and invited lectures as available. Required of all Environmental Studies majors and minors in their junior or senior year. Spring semester, odd-numbered years.

ES 496  Internship  1-3 Cr    A one-semester focus on an environmental issue explored through a working association with a federal or state agency, a private enterprise, a community group, or a non-profit organization.