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Bard College Catalogue 2022-23
M. Elias Dueker (director), Myra Young Armstead, Jordan Ayala, Katherine M. Boivin, Cathy D. Collins*, Robert J. Culp, Michèle D. Dominy, Ellen Driscoll, Gidon Eshel, Kris Feder, Felicia Keesing, Peter Klein*, Cecile E. Kuznitz, Beate Liepert, Peter L’Official*, Susan Merriam, Gabriel Perron, Jennifer Phillips (BCEP), Bruce Robertson, Susan Fox Rogers, Monique Segarra (BCEP), Gautam Sethi (BCEP), Danielle Spiegel-Feld (BCEP), Sophia Stamatopoulou-Robbins, Yuka Suzuki, Olga Touloumi*, Susan Winchell-Sweeney (BCEP)
Archaeologist in Residence: Christopher R. Lindner
* Member of Steering Committee
By adding the Environmental Studies (ES) concentration to their major program, students from any program on campus can come together through ES to help make environmental and social change in real time and for decades to come. The ES concentration, working closely with the Center for Environmental Sciences and Humanities (cesh.bard.edu), prepares students to address environmental questions in and across a variety of disciplines and scales, local to global, and past/present to future. ES studies equip them with both practical and theoretical tools and ideas that have emerged from the methods and practices of environmental humanities and sciences. The concentration trains students to engage with the interdisciplinary nature of environmental questions and “wicked” problems such as climate change, biodiversity, urbanization, inequality, and generational justice. With the overarching goal of addressing environmental justice within the environmental sciences and humanities, ES aims to cultivate the exchange of multidisciplinary academic communication with community engagement, hands-on problem solving, and renewed awareness of Indigenous and other marginalized realities, and create a new generation of mindful local-to-global environmental thinkers, policymakers, and activists.
RequirementsES requires 20 credits total. For Moderation—students declare their concentration during Moderation into any Bard academic program—students must complete:
• Environmental Studies 100, Introduction to Environmental Studies
• One additional ES cross-listed course (100 level or above). Sample courses include:
American and Indigenous Studies 101, Introduction to American and Indigenous Studies
Arts 135, The Architecture of an Urbanized Planet
Biology 102, Food Microbiology
Biology 171, Tree of Life
History 2356, American Indian History
Philosophy 140, Other Animals
Physics 141, Introductory Physics I
Sociology 138, Introduction to Urban Sociology
• An ES Practicum. These 300-level, hands-on, community-engaged courses are offered every semester, and often change to address current issues and realities of environmental justice communities. Sample practicums include:
Environmental Studies /American and Indigenous Studies 309, Environmental Justice: Art, Science, and Radical Cartography
Environmental Studies 321, GIS for Environmental Justice
Environmental Studies 327, Leading Change in Organizations
Environmental Studies 339, Kingston Housing Lab
• Two additional ES or ES cross-listed courses in the sciences or humanities (200 level or above), one of which must be offered outside of the student’s major. Examples include:
American and IndiStudies 310, Art, Animals, Anthropocene
Anthropology 362, Climate Change, Culture Change
Biology 202, Ecology and Evolution
Biology 224, Biostatistics
Environmental Studies 205, Planetary Consequences of Food Production
Environmental Studies 223, Air Quality Research
Environmental Studies 224, Climate Change and its Human Dimension
Physics 215, Climate and Energy
Politics 372, Environmental Political Theory
For more information, email Environmental Studies Director Eli Dueker at [email protected]
Introduction to Environmental Studies
Environmental Studies 101
Humans have profoundly altered the character of Earth’s biosphere since the advent of agriculture and urbanization 10,000 years ago. This course explores how global problems such as climate disruption, species extinction, and depletion of fossil soils, fuels, and waters are interlinked with one another but also with social problems such as financial instability, widening economic inequality, food insecurity, intensifying conflict and militarization, and declining public health. Issues are considered from the level of individual responsibility to local, regional, national, and global dimensions.
Environmental System Science
Environmental Studies 102
DESIGNATED: ELAS COURSE
This course introduces and integrates core concepts and methodologies from physical, biological, and social sciences to build students’ capacity to think critically about the causes and solutions to complex environmental problems and sustainability challenges. The class learns about and practices the scientific method through study of the air, land, water, and waste around campus. Additional goals are to better understand the climate system, watershed processes, waste fate and transport, and other core environmental sciences.
Geophysics of Racism and Classism
Environmental Studies 107
The focus of this discussion-based seminar is the disproportionate shouldering by some communities—Native Americans, African Americans, Central American migrants—of environmental burdens exerted by human actions. While social aspects of this uneven burden are widely discussed, the natural science manifestations are not. This course strives to bridge this gap. Topics include storm surge, forest fires, agricultural chemical toxicity, water quality degradation, municipal water systems, and air pollution due to proximity to oil and gas facilities, among others.
Environmental Studies 125
An examination of basic physics as it relates to understanding and modeling environmental phenomena. Topics covered include Newton’s laws of motion and linear and angular momentum conservation applied to oceanic and atmospheric flows; thermodynamic conservation laws, heat transfer, phase transition, and heat engines applied to hurricanes and midlatitude storms; and turbulence and turbulent transfer of environmentally important attributes. The course requires some math, and a willingness to learn more.
Geographic Information Systems
Environmental Studies 203
In this project-based course, students explore the various spatial analysis methods used by scientists, planners, and public policy makers to improve the understanding and management of our world. They learn the fundamentals of modeling, data analysis, and mapping using geospatial technologies, and then apply these skills to a team-based research project of their own design.
Planetary Consequences of Food Production
Environmental Studies 205
Can one produce local organic food with relative environmental impunity? Life-cycle analyses repeatedly show that, on a national average, transportation is relatively unimportant in food production’s overall environmental footprint. While this appears to cast doubts on the “local food” notion, the picture may change dramatically with organic food production because of the absence of environmentally adverse agrochemicals. The course makes use of an innovative campus greenhouse.
Food Systems: Human Health and Environmental Health
Environmental Studies 215
Nutrition science implicates modern diets—based on processed grains, soy, seed oils, and sugar—in the soaring rates of diabetes, heart disease, obesity, autoimmune diseases, and some cancers. Meanwhile, the industrialization of agriculture has accelerated environmental damage from soil erosion, nutrient loss, water pollution, and deforestation. So what are humans supposed to eat? This question is often overlooked in debates over farm policy. The course provides an overview of the geomorphology, ecology, history, economics, and politics of food systems, with a particular focus on the United States.
Environmental Studies 218, 318
A look at the fundamentals of land-atmosphere interactions, with a focus on agricultural and built environment perturbations. The course is offered at the 200 or 300 level, with a more intense lab at the 300 level.
The Dust Bowl
Environmental Studies 220
CROSS-LISTED: HISTORICAL STUDIES
The Dust Bowl—the prolonged, sustained, and widespread drought that ravaged the southern Great Plains throughout the 1930s and early 1940s, and the blowing sand and soil that accompanied it—is arguably the single most devastating environmental catastrophe in U.S. history. It is also a nearly perfect example of how a natural, entirely expected phenomenon can be turned into an unmitigated regional catastrophe by ill-conceived human action. Students review the physical elements of the Dust Bowl and place them in historic/economic context.
Environmental Studies 221
DESIGNATED: ELAS COURSE
This course explores the earth’s hydrosphere and its interactions with the biosphere, lithosphere, and atmosphere. Topics include origins of the hydrosphere, origins of life, the global hydrologic cycle, anthropogenic influences on that cycle, and pressing environmental issues such as climate change, protection of drinking water resources, ecosystem degradation, and wastewater treatment.
Environmental Studies 222
CROSS-LISTED: ARCHITECTURE, BIOLOGY
DESIGNATED: ELAS AND RJI COURSE
Recent global catastrophes, including COVID-19 and unusually destructive wildfires, have highlighted the importance of equitable access to clean air in human and ecological health. Students learn the scientific principles behind measuring and managing air quality on local, regional, and global scales, and interact with other Bard network institutions to think cross-disciplinarily and cross-nationally about the global nature of air “management.” Lab work is guided by scientific questions generated by communities including Kingston, New York, and Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
Air Quality Research
Environmental Studies 223
Harmful algal blooms in the ocean, freshwater lakes, streams, and rivers are increasing across the United States, threatening drinking water supplies, aquatic ecology, and human health. While we know that these blooms can be toxic to animals and humans if ingested or through skin contact, we know very little about exposure to these toxins through the air. Using cutting-edge equipment, students conduct research focused on characterizing and quantifying connections between water quality and air quality regionally. Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 102 or another 100-level lab course.
Climate Change Science and Its Human Dimensions
Environmental Studies 224
Understanding the scientific facts of a changing climate in the past and present guides our decision making today for a climate future 20, 50, and 100 years from now. This course addresses how greenhouse gases and other man-made disturbances impact Earth’s climate, how ongoing and projected future anthropogenic changes compare to natural variability, and the implications of climate change to human and natural systems. A lab component explores physical principles in hands-on experiments. Specific issues of interest can be investigated in group projects.
Environmental Studies 226
CROSS-LISTED: ECONOMICS, MATHEMATICS
An introduction to various modeling techniques used in environmental decision making. For example, how rapidly should the switch to renewable energy generation be made? The answer depends, in part, on the rapidity with which fossil fuels are being depleted. Students use statistical methods to estimate the timing of peak global crude oil production. Other issues addressed include developing predator-prey models to predict changes in populations of species and modeling the sustainability of fisheries under various regulations of regional fisheries councils. Prerequisite: Mathematics 141.
Environmental Studies 232
DESIGNATED: ELAS COURSE
The world’s oceans are vastly underappreciated in terms of their influence on our daily lives, regardless of where we live. The course takes an earth sciences approach, coupled with a socioeconomic lens, to understand this influence globally, regionally, and locally, using the Hudson River Estuary, New York Harbor, Coney Island, and other coastal areas as a living lab. Students are introduced to the fundamental biological, physical, and chemical mechanisms governing global oceans, and explore the central role oceans play in climate change.
Advanced Readings: Environmental Science
Environmental Studies 240
While prohibitively technical at times, some fundamental advances in environmental science can be translated into English and made at least partially palatable for the curious, motivated student. This seminar-style course explores recent key papers covering climate change, water resources, and agriculture.
ES Practicum: Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration
Environmental Studies 304
DESIGNATED: ELAS COURSE
With climate change intensifying the hydrologic cycle and exacerbating existing challenges to water management, we face a need to simultaneously restore and adapt aquatic ecosystems to improve water quality and prepare for greater uncertainty in precipitation. This course looks at how to maximize resources to simultaneously restore degraded water quality, enhance resiliency to climate extremes, sequester carbon, and enhance biodiversity. In addition to hands-on practice in the field, students write and present a mock proposal for a restoration/adaptation project in response to an actual grant solicitation.
Social Entrepreneurship Practicum
Environmental Studies 305
DESIGNATED: OSUN COURSE
In this collaborative, cross-institution course, student teams conceive and develop models for social enterprises. Bard students engage with classes from American University of Central Asia, Al-Quds Bard, Central European University, and Earth University in Costa Rica through synchronous online learning and in-person labs. The course culminates in a “shark tank” for sustainability among and between teams from the different universities. Readings and discussions are focused on issues such as urban-based innovation ecosystems, social obstacles to risk taking, and drivers of change from decarbonization to artificial intelligence, among others. Prerequisite: Economics 101.
Environmental Justice Practicum—Art, Science, and Radical Cartography
Environmental Studies 309
CROSS-LISTED: AMERICAN AND INDIGENOUS STUDIES, EXPERIMENTAL HUMANITIES, HUMAN RIGHTS
DESIGNATED: ELAS AND RJI COURSE
Maps are generally assumed to be objective, accurate representations of data and the world around us when, in fact, they depict the knowledge and values of the humans who draft them. This course explores ways in which ecological issues are entangled with colonial histories of racism and supremacy, resource extraction, and expansion through mapping. Native American scholarship grounds study of the impact of mapping as a tool used to claim ownership and invite exploitation. The evolution of radical cartography to imagine alternative mapping is also considered.
Climate and Agroecology
Environmental Studies 311
DESIGNATED: ELAS COURSE
This course examines the linkages between agroecosystems and the climate system, beginning with projections for climate change impacts on crop production. The class looks at expectations for the influence of elevated CO2 on yield; the role that agriculture can play in climate change mitigation, given the large greenhouse gas emissions associated with farming systems; soil carbon management; and various strategies regarding climate change adaptation, including the role of genetically modified crops, biodiversity, and system resilience.
Reimagined Farms in Reimagined Spaces
Environmental Studies 317
This course examines the role farms and gardens play within institutions, and the interplay of race, gender, class and power within these spaces. Working closely with a local farmer and through lectures and site visits, students consider issues surrounding land use, equity, and social capital. As a final project, they develop a mission statement and reimagined direction for Bard’s agricultural initiatives. Prerequisite: Moderation or permission of the professor.
Hudson Valley Cities and Environmental (In)Justice
Environmental Studies 319 / Sociology 319
See Sociology 319 for a full course description.
GIS for Environmental Justice
Environmental Studies 321
CROSS-LISTED: HISTORICAL STUDIES, HUMAN RIGHTS
DESIGNATED: ELAS AND RJI COURSE
The course provides instruction in the fundamentals of using spatial information, conducting spatial analysis, and producing high-quality cartographic products. Students learn how GIS can be used as a tool for identifying and assessing environmental justice issues at the local, regional, and global scale. They then apply these skills to a team-based research project focused on an environmental justice problem. The course culminates in a presentation session, where students show their analysis and results to their peers, professors, and the greater Bard community.
Making the State of the Planet Accessible: Understanding the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) #6 Reports
Environmental Studies 323
CROSS-LISTED: GIS, HUMAN RIGHTS
DESIGNATED: OSUN COURSE
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was formed in 1988 as a United Nations body to “provide policymakers with regular scientific assessments on climate change, its implications, and potential future risks, and to put forward adaptation and mitigation options.” The first three sections of the sixth report were released in fall 2021. The reports are notorious for being inaccessible to the general public, so the focus of the course is on breaking through that inaccessibility via readings and discussions with experts and with students in other parts of the world.
Leading Change in Institutions Practicum
Environmental Studies 327
DESIGNATED: OSUN COURSE
This is a collaborative, cross-institution course in leading change in organizations where student teams develop and advance proposals for organizational innovation within the university. Examples include carbon footprint analysis, expansion of local food offerings, improved daycare or transportation for students and workers, or improved recycling systems. Bard students work with classes from Palestine, Kyrgyzstan, Bangladesh, and Lithuania through a mixture of synchronous online learning and in-person labs. The course culminates in a “shark tank” for sustainability between teams from the different universities.
Environmental Futures and the Global Climate Crisis
Environmental Studies 328
DESIGNATED: CALDERWOOD SEMINAR
Glacial melt, tropical deforestation, sea-level rise, desertification, ocean acidification. How will these processes determine our environmental futures? Can we respond to the increasing threat of a sixth extinction? Students select a critical environmental issue related to human-induced global climate change and follow it as their investigative “beat” for the term. Through varied written assignments, students hone their analytic and writing and editing skills for cogency and elegant expression as “public” writers, collaborating in and modeling effective environmental communication as an instrument for climate action.
Kingston Housing Lab
Environmental Studies 339
CROSS-LISTED: ARCHITECTURE, HUMAN RIGHTS
DESIGNATED: ELAS COURSE
This practicum brings students into the ongoing work of the Kingston Housing Lab, a project that combines critical geography with the politics and philosophy of prison abolition, bringing both to bear upon the struggle for housing justice in Kingston, New York, and Ulster County. Students engage the latest academic literature on housing insecurity and evictions as an ongoing crisis in late capitalism, receive training in ArcGIS, and participate in efforts to repair relationships between tenants and landlords.
Environmental Studies 405
This graduate-level course analyzes the complex legal, political, cultural, and ethical factors that influence policy making. Students examine state and social responses to new and ongoing environmental problems, taking into account the nature of state-federal relationships in developing and applying environmental law; the evolving role of technology; tensions between private and public interests; and equity considerations. In addition to U.S. environmental policy, the course explores international environmental regime development.
Climate Science to Justice
Environmental Studies 407
CROSS-LISTED: HUMAN RIGHTS
This senior seminar critically evaluates historic data on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by country and sector along with projected impacts of climate change on food, energy, and water resources to demonstrate the uneven and inequitable distribution of climate drivers, risks, and social costs. Students estimate the contributions of proposed and enacted climate policies at the state, regional, and national levels to GHG reductions and compare them to the magnitude of GHG reductions recommended in scientific consensus documents.
Environmental Law for Policy
Environmental Studies 409
An introduction to the core concepts of environmental law in the context of interdisciplinary policy making. Students examine responses and solutions to environmental problems that rely on legal and regulatory instruments, judicial decisions, and voluntary agreements, while exploring the interaction between environmental law and policy. They also consider the nature of international, federal, state, and local relationships in developing and applying the law; the role of technology and science; and tensions between private and public interests.
Climate Change and Water Resources
Environmental Studies 410
Climate change is altering the global hydrologic cycle and impacting aquatic ecosystems and water resources available for human use. This course draws upon the physical science of hydrology, the biological science of ecosystem ecology, and the social science of water resource management to build interdisciplinary understanding of complex climate-ecological-social systems related to water.
The Food/Energy/Water Nexus
Environmental Studies 412
Modern human societies depend upon the large-scale provision of food, water, and energy but too often fail to recognize the interconnectedness of these key resources in decision-making processes. This course uses multidisciplinary evidence to identify conflicts and tradeoffs in the provision of food, energy, and water; investigate integrated approaches to resource management; and critically evaluate policy and decision making around these issues in the face of climate change. Prerequisites: a 200-level science laboratory course and a 200-level course in social or historical analysis.
Sewage, Sanitation, and SDG6 (UN Sustainable Development Goal 6): Clean Water and Sanitation for All
Environmental Studies 413
CROSS-LISTED: AMERICAN AND INDIGENOUS STUDIES, BIOLOGY, HUMAN RIGHTS
According to the United Nations, more than 4.2 billion people do not have access to effective sanitation, including citizens of the richest countries in the world. For example, residents of Mt. Vernon, New York, located in one of the state’s richest counties, regularly must remove solid and liquid waste from overflowing toilets and basements as 100-year-old sewer pipes disintegrate. This seminar studies the science of wastewater treatment and tracks the direct interactions of policy, science, and the societal barriers of racism, sexism, and classism on achieving equal access to adequate sanitation.