Introduction to Environmental Studies: Global Climate Change

Fall Open
Class Standing
Gerardo Chin-Leo
Shangrila Joshi

This program is a one quarter freshman/sophomore level program designed to introduce students to the field of environmental studies. The program will focus on understanding global climate change, its root causes, and its consequences to society. This environmental issue will be studied using an interdisciplinary approach drawing on the natural and social sciences. Through our study of Ecology and Oceanography, students will develop an understanding of the physical, chemical, and biological processes that determine climate, and how human activities contribute to contemporary climate change. Students will be introduced to critical social science frameworks such as environmental justice and political ecology to understand environmental change, and they will be invited to apply these frameworks to understand global climate change.

Student learning will be facilitated through lectures, seminars, labs, films, field trips, and workshops. Natural science lectures will present themes relevant to climate change such as carbon cycling, composition and dynamics of the ocean and the atmosphere, geo-engineering solutions, etc. Social science lectures will critically examine various explanations for the ecological crisis, including those that focus on population growth, economic growth, modernization, and structures of oppression, using examples and case studies from local and global contexts. In seminar, students will develop critical reasoning and communication skills by writing analytical essays, participating in and facilitating seminar discussions, and presenting current environmental news. Through labs and field work, students will learn to use a variety of instruments and will apply the concepts presented in lectures to the interpretation of lab and field observations. Students will complete an independent project to identify a solution to global climate change or by developing a scholarly critique of an identified problem. They will present their work through an oral presentation at the end of the quarter.

This program incorporates Greener Foundations. Greener Foundations is Evergreen’s in-person 2-quarter introductory student success course, which provides all first-year students with the skills and knowledge they need to thrive at Evergreen. First-year students who register for 14 credits in this program will be placed into Greener Foundations for an additional 2 credits, totaling 16 credits. Once first-year students have been placed into Greener Foundations, they will receive an email confirming their registration status.

This program will repeat in winter. Students who take this program in fall should not take the program again in winter. 


Course Reference Numbers

So (14): 10029
Fr (14): 10170

Academic Details

Environmental studies, marine science, political ecology, sustainability studies


$50 required lab fee


In Person (F)

See definition of Hybrid, Remote, and In-Person instruction

Schedule Details
Purce Hall 3 - Lecture


Date Revision
2022-04-12 $50 required lab fee added
2022-03-11 This program is now 14 credits (was 16)