Senior Seminar Info and Applications

 

ENVS Senior Seminar Application Timelines

Application Timeline for Fall 2022 Senior Seminar

  • April 13: Applications open 
  • April 27: Early application deadline (11:59PM PST)
  • April 28: Rolling applications begin -- there is no guarantee that applications will be considered if submitted during rolling application period; once the course fills up, no more apps will be reviewed
  • May 6-13: Early application decisions announced to students
  • May 16: Undergraduate student enrollment begins (for continuing students)

**Applications still open for fall!**

Application Timeline for Winter 2023 Senior Seminars

  • October 12: Applications open 
  • October 26: Early application deadline (11:59PM PST)
  • October 27: Rolling applications begin -- there is no guarantee that applications will be considered if submitted during rolling application period; once the course fills up, no more apps will be reviewed
  • November 3-10: Early application decisions announced to students
  • TBD: Undergraduate student enrollment begins (for continuing students)

Application Timeline for Spring 2023 Senior Seminars

  • January 25: Applications open
  • February 8: Early application deadline (11:59PM PST)
  • February 9: Rolling applications begin -- there is no guarantee that applications will be considered if submitted during rolling application period; once the course fills up, no more apps will be reviewed
  • February 16-23: Early application decisions announced to students
  • TBD: Undergraduate student enrollment begins (for continuing students)

Please see below for course offerings and apply to any of our senior seminars by clicking the link above.  

 

ENVS Senior Seminar Course Descriptions

Fall 2022 (One senior seminar section will be offered)  

ENVS 196 - Climate Change Adaptation & Mitigation - Michael Loik 

Description: Adaptation and mitigation broadly refer to proactive approaches to combating climate change. Adaptation refers to the actions we can take to prepare for climate change. Mitigation generally refers to technologies, processes, and policies that we can put in place to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. In this senior seminar, we will first review the frontiers of the climate change adaptation and mitigation literature. Then, we will undertake hands-on projects in which we will measure the effectiveness of local adaptation and mitigation projects. Students will gain practical experience with state-of-the-art technologies for monitoring environmental variables and greenhouse gases. Students will be required to write a Senior Thesis about some aspect of climate change adaptation or mitigation. 

Prerequisites: ENVS majors with senior standing who have passed ENVS 100/L and three additional upper-division courses. Enrollment by application.

Winter 2023 (Two senior seminar sections will be offered)  

1. ENVS 196 - Applied Mycology - Greg Gilbert

Description:
This course is designed to develop hands-on laboratory skills important in putting fungi to work, and in designing, testing, and communicating about fungal applications.  Students will be exposed to a range of techniques for growing and manipulating fungi under laboratory conditions through examination of the published literature and through hands-on experience, as well as through exploring regional commercial applications of fungi. Working in groups, students will develop their own quarter-long projects that apply mycological methods to solve particular problems or answer research questions.  To meet disciplinary communication requirements, students will write a full scholarly report on their projects describing project goals and findings, supported by scholarly literature and statistical analysis of experimental results, and present results orally.   

Prerequisites: ENVS majors with senior standing who have passed ENVS 100/L and three additional upper-division courses. Preference will be given to students who have taken ENVS 163 and 163L (Plant Disease Ecology / Lab, offered Fall 2022), or who have similar experience with sterile technique in microbiology or mycology. With instructor permission, non-ENVS students participating in the Sustainability Minor who have appropriate laboratory experience can sign up for an integrated 3-unit CRSN 151C version focused on techniques in applied mycology and on project development, without requirements for meeting Disciplinary Communications. 

2. ENVS 196 - Climate Justice - Jeff Bury 

Description: As the pace and scale of global climate change rapidly escalates over the next few decades, it will pose profound environmental, social, economic, and political challenges for humanity. This senior seminar will focus on what climate justice is and why it is a critical component for current efforts to confront the climate crisis. The course will be organized around a series of student-led research analyses that examine climate justice and how it might be achieved in relationship to our most recent knowledge about the complex nature of this unfolding crisis. The specific themes to be addressed will be determined by the participants in the course, but will likely include global carbon budgets and taxes, vulnerability and adaptation, migration and climate refugees, geoengineering, and alternative energy. The goal of these evaluations will be to assess why climate justice is important and how it might current and proposed efforts to address climate change and the social, political, and economic constraints affecting how it might be achieved. 

The class will be organized around two different sections. The first section will consist of bi-weekly seminars in which students will read and discuss the idea of climate justice and the most recent and significant papers and reports focusing on climate change. During this section, participants will select specific thematic focus areas for further research. The second section of the course will consist of student presentations and larger class discussions evaluating each of these focus areas and a specific set of proposals that seek to confront the climate crisis.

Each student will be expected to prepare a written research paper that includes a review of the salient literature related to their focus area that addresses the question of how, in what ways, and if their selected case-study proposal might confront the climate crisis.

Prerequisites: ENVS major with senior standing and has completed ENVS 100/L and 3 additional upper-division courses. Preference will be given to those who have demonstrated past academic excellence and have background course work or professional experience related to the course focus.

Spring 2023 (One senior seminar section will be offered)  

1. ENVS 196 - Race and the Environment - Instructor TBD 

Description*: What does race and racialization have to do with the environment? Who gets to define “nature”? How do we, individually and collectively, come to be in right relation with the planet? This course introduces students to the entangled forces of coloniality, racism, and capitalism as they shape global ecologies, and vice-versa. Drawing on sources that center the expertises of Indigenous, Black, and Brown communities, we explore how racialization occurs through imperial violence to ecologies and their inhabitants. We study long arcs of colonial science and power to understand how nature has been normalized as an object of ownership, extraction, pollution, and control. We explore whose knowledge shapes environmental discourse, how discourse shapes material realities, and under what conditions science resists colonial habits of thought or enables them to flourish. Taught as a pilot to the forthcoming lecture course, this seminar is highly reading and dialogue intensive. Class discussions will be student-led and will focus on deep analysis of written texts (including peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, popular media articles) alongside selected multimedia (podcasts, films, art, music). Students will complete a research project that culminates in a synthesis paper and/or a variety of public education texts.

*Exact course content is subject to change. This description is tentative and will be updated as spring quarter approaches.

Prerequisites: ENVS majors with senior standing who have passed ENVS 100/L and three additional upper-division courses. Enrollment by application.