Academic Programs

Interdivisional Programs

Environmental and Urban Studies

Overview

The Environmental and Urban Studies (EUS) Program at Bard is a primary field of study that requires a student to complete a concentration in a primary discipline. EUS focuses on empirical studies that give students the skills to understand the interconnection of living and constructed systems. Such an approach capitalizes on transformations within an array of social and natural sciences, from systems theory to environmental toxicology, and furthers Bard’s holistic approach to ecology and development through studies of the Hudson River estuary and valley. The Hudson River forms a laboratory and stepping-off area for an integrated understanding of global environmental transformation. Details of program requirements and opportunities are available at the EUS website.

EUS has links to Hudsonia and the Bard College Field Station on campus, the Bard Globalization and International Affairs Program in New York, and a rich variety of internship and junior-year abroad programs, including a junior year practicum in Kingston, New York. Students also draw on resources at the Bard Center for Environmental Policy, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, and The Rockefeller University laboratories.

Students with a strong foundation in science and/or economics may apply to the 3-2 program with the Bard Center for Environmental Policy, earning in five years a B.A. and a master of environmental policy or master of climate science and policy degree.

Areas of Study

Recent courses have addressed the global ecology of disease and epidemics; consequences of alternative property systems for environmental sustainability and distribution of wealth; exposure to environmental contaminants; the human place in nature; environmental racism; globalization; deforestation; species extinction; and international efforts to protect the global environment. Senior Projects have addressed suburban sprawl and urban blight; the impact of land-use planning; watershed protection; depletion of ocean fisheries; habitat and farmland loss; agricultural and industrial pollution of the Hudson River and other waterways; risks and benefits to local residents of nuclear power stations, industrial plants, and landfills; and the politics and economics surrounding the provision of municipal and social services. EUS will be home to a farm and local food project that will combine practical and academic experience.

Requirements

EUS at Bard has three tracks that students may follow individually or in combination: a social science orientation (drawing on such disciplines as history, political studies, philosophy, anthropology, and human rights); science (with emphasis on ecology, biology, and environmental chemistry); and urban studies (focusing on urban design and history, planning, cultural geography, and architecture). All students are expected to be familiar with elements of each track. For example, a student might draw on environmental chemistry to examine urban air pollution, environmental disease, and policy planning for air quality control.

Moderation into EUS takes place simultaneously with the choice of a primary concentration. Three EUS or EUS cross-listed courses are required for Moderation, including at least one core natural science course and one core course in social science or social studies. At least one of these must be at the 200 level or higher. At Moderation students indicate which track they intend to pursue and construct the board accordingly. For graduation, three additional courses at the 200 level or higher, including at least one at the 300 level, are required: a course in quantitative empirical methods; a natural science course in environmental studies; and a core social science course in environmental studies. Students are encouraged to develop some facility with either GIS (geographic information systems) or another mapping system. EUS students are also encouraged to participate in relevant internships, service projects, and study abroad programs during the junior year and/or summers. These opportunities should be discussed at Moderation. All juniors and/or seniors participate in a one-semester EUS Colloquium.

Courses

Required courses include: EUS 101, Introduction to Environmental and Urban Studies; EUS 102, Introduction to Environmental Science; Biology 142, Organismal Biology, or Biology 152, Biodiversity; Environmental Studies 399-400, Environmental Studies Research Seminar; Sociology 205, Economics 206, Economics 229, or another course in empirical methods. Related courses offered by other programs have included: Field Study in Natural History, American Environmental History, Introduction to Microeconomics, Urban and Regional Economics, Environmental Ethics, and Environmental Politics in the United States.