Apr 14, 2021  
Course Catalog 2020-2021 
    
Course Catalog 2020-2021

Environmental Studies


Karl Offen, Professor of Environmental Studies; Program Director
Paul Brehm, Assistant Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies
Janet Fiskio, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies and Comparative American Studies
Kip G. Hutchins, Visiting Instructor and Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow of Anthropology and Environmental/East Asian Studies
Swapna Pathak, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies
John E. Petersen, Paul Sears Professor of Environmental Studies and Biology
Chie Sakakibara, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies
Md Rumi Shammin, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies


Visit the department webpage for up-to-date information on department faculty, visiting lecturers and special events.


The Environmental Studies (ES) Program provides an interdisciplinary approach to the study of human interactions with the environment. Faculty in Environmental Studies are engaged in research and teaching that span climate change, energy systems, systems ecology, natural resources and conflict, indigenous environmental issues, political ecology, environmental economics, environmental humanities, environmental justice, food and agriculture, urban sustainability, US environmental policy, and global environmental issues and politics. They collaborate with indigenous, African diaspora, and Asian communities, as well as with local, county, and “Rust Belt” communities in the Great Lakes bioregion.

See information about Research, Internships, Study Away and Experiential Learning (RISE).


Advanced Placement

Our introductory Environment and Society (ENVS 101) course, which is an interdisciplinary course that emphasizes a social science perspective, is strongly recommended for all ES majors. However, majors or intended majors with AP credits who wish to be exempted from taking ENVS101 at Oberlin College may do so under the following circumstances:

  • Must score a 5 on AP Environmental Science; and
  • Must take an additional upper-level social science or humanities course from the program’s list of approved courses as a substitute for ENVS 101.
Declaring the Environmental Studies Major

The major should be declared by the end of a student’s sophomore year or earlier. Students interested in declaring an ES major should proceed according to the following sequence:

  1. Carefully read through the “Course Requirements for the Major” and the “Curricular Pathways Requirements” sections below.
  2. From the ES Program Office or the program’s web page, obtain the “ES Major Flowchart,” “Checklist of ES Major Requirements,” and “Curricular Pathways for Environmental Studies Majors” documents. After reviewing these documents, contact a potential ES advisor, and schedule a time to discuss the major. The current list of advisors is available from the ES Program Office and the ES web site. Please contact the Program Office for assistance with finding an advisor.
  3. In consultation with your advisor, discuss your interests and identify an appropriate area of interest  within the major. Complete the Registrar’s Declaration of Major form along with the Checklist of ES Major Requirements.
  4. Submit these forms, signed by your advisor, to the ES Program Office. These documents, when approved by the Program Director, constitute an agreement between you and the ES Program as to the content of your major.
Declaring the Environmental Studies Minor

A student interested in a focused, but less extensive, study of the environment may pursue a minor in Environmental Studies by submitting a one-page rationale to the program director along with a completed “Declare Initial Minor” form obtained from the Registrar.

An applicant’s rationale statement should clearly explain the goals that they hopes to achieve by pursuing the minor and should describe how courses taken and planned provide a cohesive focus that contributes to fulfilling these goals.


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