EUS takes advantage of its immediate surroundings, using the campus and the region as a laboratory for natural and social science research and interpretation through language and the arts. The Hudson River estuary, with its wetlands and watershed, is framed by the Catskill Mountains to the west; its valley communities offer a variety of historical and natural resources.
This focus area emphasizes the scientific basis for environmental problem-solving.
Drawing on coursework from chemistry, biology, and physics, students develop skills to conduct research that addresses pressing environmental problems. Students learn to identify, quantify, and monitor environmental change, as well as propose scientifically based solutions to environmental degradation. Because environmental science occurs in the context of social, economic, and political realities, students in this focus area are also encouraged to ask and answer questions that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries, engage meaningfully with the greater public through community-level interactions, working with citizen scientists, and participating in local policy making.
Potential Careers in Environmental Science
Ecologist, field biologist, conservation biologist, ornithologist, environmental chemist, lab administrator, educator, professor, science journalist, volunteer coordinator, citizen science coordinator, nonprofit executive, gis specialist, park ranger, park administrator
Courses in Environmental Science
EUS 101: Introduction to Environmental & Urban Studies (required)
EUS 102: Introduction to Environmental & Urban Science (required)
BIO 111: Microbes in the Environment
BIO 117: Botany for Herbivores
BIO 118: Conservation Biology
BIO 153: Global Change Biology
CHEM 141: Basic Principles of Chemistry I
CHEM 142: Basic Principles of Chemistry II
PHYS 124: Climate Change
EUS T200: Farm Tutorial
EUS 214: Environmental Monitoring Lab: Water Quality on the Saw Kill
EUS 221: Water
EUS 222: Air
EUS 240: Advanced Readings in Environmental Science
EUS 2XX: Oceanography
EUS 2XX: Ecosystem Modeling
Global Perspectives on Environment, Society, and Culture
As a course of study, Global Perspectives on Environment, Society and Culture focuses on a wide range of local and global issues concerning the environment—human and nonhuman—and seeks to raise awareness of potential contributions to cultural heritage and environmental issues. Our aim is to understand the perspectives that social and cultural analysis provides for the study of biocultural diversity, protected natural areas, climate change, sustainability, environmental justice, and environmental conflict and policy. The focus area supports the role of social science and policy in relation to the environment wherever it may be appropriate—both within academic institutions and beyond in the wider community. Courses are offered by the Anthropology, Economics, Historical Studies, Human Rights, Sociology, and Political Studies programs.
The goal of Global Perspectives on Environment, Society and Culture is to expand students’ knowledge of human cultures and diverse ecosystems by analyzing environmental conflicts and global threats to cultural heritage and the environment. Students develop their skills of inquiry and analysis by learning to think through anthropological, historical, social and political theoretical lenses and learning the methodological tools of social and spatial analysis. Collaboration and practicum experience – both within academic institutions and beyond in the wider community – will advance student curiosity and understanding while fostering critical independence with a concern for understanding practical applications and engagement.
Popular and scholarly examples of authors and thinkers in or adjacent to the field: Jessica Barnes, Peter Brosius, Susan Crate, William Cronon, Michael Dove, Arturo Escobar, Erik Hirsch, Tim Ingold, Eban Kirksey, Eduardo Kohn, Myanna Lahsen, Ben Orlove, Hugh Raffles, Anna Tsing, Paige West, Richard White.
Potential Careers in GPESC
Landscape architect, urban planner, environmental historian, public historian, nonprofit executive, environmental artist, environmental writer, international correspondent, environmental journalist, nature writer, science writer, educator, environmental sociologist, environmental anthropologist
Urban and Regional Studies
This focus area considers cities and the built environment from the perspective of the social, cultural, political, technological, and economic processes that shape them. Our aim is to embark on a thorough study of the challenges and opportunities associated with the phenomenon of urbanization in the United States and abroad. Questions of infrastructure, social configuration, growth, sustainability, gentrification, environmental justice, housing, urban policy and planning are central to our examination of the urban and rural environment. Courses in Urban and Regional Studies are offered by Anthropology, Art History and Visual Culture, Economics, Historical Studies, Sociology, and Political Studies.
In Urban and Regional Studies, students learn how to articulate various conceptions of the city, urban space, and the built environment. Through the study of texts and case studies, students develop an understanding of the variable actors and forces involved in urban processes. Our goal is to situate individual cities and case studies within the context of global processes, while remaining attentive to shifts at the local, regional, and national scales. Eventually, students will be able to describe the form of cities and the built environment as evidence of the cultural, technological, and political processes and conflicts that shape them. Students will also develop an understanding of the history of cities and of the different disciplinary approaches to the field.
Popular and scholarly examples of authors/thinkers in or adjacent to the field: William Cronon, David Harvey, Doreen Massey, Henri Lefebvre, W. E. B. Du Bois, Ferdinand Tönnies, Lewis Mumford, Georg Simmel, Le Corbusier, Jane Jacobs, John Logan, Harvey Molotch
Potential Careers in Urban and Regional Studies
Urban planner, urban designer, geographer, policy maker, cartographer, politician, city administrator, parks administrator, landscape architect, nonprofit executive, economist, environmental lawyer, community organizer/activist, educator, politician, environmental engineer
OneNYC (formerly PlaNYC)
NYC Office of Sustainability
Courses in Urban and Regional Studies
EUS 101: Introduction to Environmental and Urban Studies (required)
EUS 102: Introduction to Environmental and Urban Science (required)
ANTH 101: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
ARTH 125: Modern Architecture, 1750–1930
ARTH 126: Modern Architecture, 1930–1990
ARTH 132: Cultural Practice of Mapping
ECON 100: Principles of Economics
HIST 139: City Cultures
SOC 138: Introduction to Urban Sociology
EUS 228: Environmental Politics
ANTH 212: Historical Archaeology
ANTH 219: Divided Cities
ARTH 201: Greek Art and Architecture
ARTH 210: Roman Art and Architecture
ARTH 236: 16th-Century Italian Art, Architecture, and Urbanism
ARTH 238: Mapping the 19th-Century City
ECON 206: Economics from the Ground Up
ECON 221: Economic Development
ECON 226: Urban and Regional Economics
ECON 237: Economics of the Public Sector
HIST 2014: History of New York City
HIST 232: American Urban History
HIST 2302: Shanghai and Hong Kong: China’s Global Cities
LIT 2311: St. Petersburg: City, Monument, Text
PS 288: Water, Power, and Politics
SOC 231: Environment and Society
SOC 269: Global Inequality and Development
EUS 308 (Practicum): Culture through Nature: Landscape, Environment, and Design into the 21st Century
EUS 316: Waste
EUS 319 (Practicum): Hudson Valley Cities and Environmental (In)Justice
EUS 3XX (Practicum): Preservation, People, and Place—Rethinking the Bard Campus
ANTH 319: Toxicity and Contamination
ANTH 323: The Politics of Infrastructure
ARTH 307: Contested Spaces
ARTH 312: Roma in Situ
ECON 321: Seminar in Economic Development
HIST 319: The Suburban Ideal
HIST 328: Jewish New York, 1881–1924
HIST 3XX: Research in U.S. Urban History
Empirical Analysis courses
EUS 203: Geographic Information Systems
EUS 226: Environmental Modeling
ANTH 211: Archaeological Methods
ANTH 324: Doing Ethnography
ECON 229: Introduction to Econometrics
SOC 205: Intro to Research Methods
SOC 333: Qualitative Research Practicum
Agriculture and Food Systems
Interest in food systems has intensified over the last decade as consumers have begun to ask questions about the source of their food and its implications for land use, climate change, food access, globalization, and culture in the 21st century. Students selecting Agriculture and Food Systems as a focus area will have the opportunity to work across social and natural sciences in developing an understanding of the challenges of feeding 10 billion people in ways that are sustainable, equitable, and humane. Students will gain an understanding of such varied topics as the importance of soil carbon dynamics for soil health and nutrient cycling; controversies around the role of dietary choices for greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture; food deserts and access to healthy food for low-income populations, and the interaction of globalization and organic production with livelihoods in developing countries. As an example of a complex system, this focus area provides a vehicle for understanding social and ecological systems and the necessary elements of resilience to support growing populations while protecting the environment on which humans depend. Courses in Agriculture and Food Systems can be found in Anthropology, Biology, Chemistry, Economics, History, Human Rights, and Sociology.
This focus area is appropriate for students interested in farming, agricultural policy, food access, food sovereignty, animal science, agroecology, complex systems, ethics of eating, plant and soil sciences, global food systems, history of agriculture, ecology of industrial and alternative agriculture, land use and climate change, or the nexus between diet and health and related topics.
Popular and scholarly examples of authors and thinkers in or adjacent to the field: Marion Nestle, Thomas Lyson, Michael Pollan, Peter Singer, Raj Patel, Wendell Berry, Eric Schlosser, Mark Bittman, Alton Brown, Anthony Bourdain, Julie Guthman, Staffan Lindeberg, Richard Manning, Barbara Kingsolver, Laurie Drinkwater, Tim Crews, Alice Waters, Dan Barber, Denise Minger, David Montgomery, Jamie Oliver, Sandor Katz, Will Alan, Joel Salatin, Ruth Reichl, Julia Child, Mark Kurlansky, M.F.K. Fisher, Wes Jackson, Tara Tscharntke, and Keith Paustian
Potential Careers in Agriculture and Food Systems
Nonprofit executive, farmer, sustainability manager, social scientist, policy analyst, corporate social responsibility (CSR) director, professor, supply chain supervisor, veterinarian, food entrepreneur, cooperative extension agent, agribusiness researcher, food writer/journalist, biotechnologist, entomologist, plant/soil scientist, nutritionist, food scientist, restaurant owner, chef, farm educator, food hub coordinator, tourism/marketing manager, arborist, landscape architect, GIS specialist, community developer, market researcher, international aid agent, United Nations diplomat (FAO, UNESCO, WHO)
US Department of Agriculture, Federal Drug Administration, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Environmental Protection Agency, US Agency for International Development, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Army Corps of Engineers, US Forest Service
Environmental Humanities and the Arts
Environmental Humanities and the Arts welcomes students interested in environmental philosophy, ecocriticism, literature of the built and natural environment, science and nature writing, media studies, and environmental education. Students in the Environmental Humanities and the Arts focus area read and work between academic and popular discourses and think broadly on the relationship between nature, culture, and forms of media and communication. Courses in Environmental Humanities and the Arts may often be found in Art History, Literature, Studio Art, and Written Arts.
The Environmental Humanities and the Arts focus area is diverse in terms of method, subject, and geographical focus, and in the wide variety of course offerings, students will develop the skills not only to conduct research and inquiry into historical and contemporary debates on environmental issues, but also to reflect, respond, and participate in those debates through various forms of communication, representation, and other media. The focus area takes to heart the notion of interdisciplinarity within the humanities, and in proximity to, and collaboration with, the social and natural sciences, and embraces both scholarly engagement as well as popular considerations and representations of environmental discourse.
Popular and scholarly examples of authors and thinkers who are in or adjacent to the field: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, Alexander Wilson, John James Audubon, Florence Merriam Bailey, John Burroughs, John Muir, Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson
Potential Careers in Environmental Humanities and the Arts
Science writer, policy writer, environmental writer, blogger, editor, reporter, filmmaker, producer, professor, radio host, nonprofit executive, environmental artist, environmental educator, science educator, park ranger, museum executive, zoo executive, historic site administrator, farm educator, camps director, citizen science coordinator, sustainability manager, volunteer manager, community organizer, media consultant, sales manager green business, corporate social responsibility (CSR) director, development director, public relations/outreach specialist, social media manager, social scientist
Environmental Economics, Policy, and Development
Economics is the study of choices among alternatives and the consequences of those choices as they interact in a complex system of markets, governments, and other institutions. Economics allows us to see how alternative governance systems affect the allocation of resources, both within and between generations. In a world in which vital natural resources—soil, oil, minerals, water, land and space, ecosystem services—are growing scarcer, the study of how people and communities do and may respond to tightening resource constraints is a core component of environmental and urban studies.
In this focus area, students learn to analyze the environmental and economic consequences of alternative governance structures, property systems, taxes, spending programs, financial institutions, and regulatory frameworks. Each of these institutions influences market prices, which signal relative scarcity (often incorrectly). Each influences the resource constraints faced by decision makers, and may even influence subjective preferences. We examine how markets work to allocate resources efficiently (economically). We study the circumstances under which markets fail to achieve optimal outcomes, which is the normal case for markets involving environmental and ecological resources. We examine the ways in which property rights structure and government policy regimes promote or retard progress toward healthy cities and environmental stewardship.
Potential Careers in Environmental Economics, Policy, and Development
Ecological/environmental economist, housing executive, educator, professor, city/regional planner, nonprofit executive, politician, municipal leader, environmental lawyer, park administrator, international development agent, United Nations diplomat (FAO, UNESCO, WHO)