Environment (ENVA)

ENVA A105 Foundations in Environmental Studies 3 crs.

Students explore the major questions of Environmental Studies through readings, class discussions, interaction with faculty and others working in the field, field observation, and through their own inquiry. This course is required of all Environmental Science and Environmental Studies majors.

ENVA A497 Internship 3 crs.

Students gain practical experience in environmental fields by conducting service learning projects or volunteer work at some community, government, tourism, or non-government organization. It is expected that students will complete at least 120 hours of service. Internships typically require an off-campus director that oversees day-to-day activities and an on-campus faculty sponsor that acts as the liaison between the student, director and the Environment program. Prior to undertaking an internship, a proposal must be submitted for approval through an Environment program faculty member.

ENVA A498 Independent Research 3 crs.

Students work with a faculty advisor to conduct theoretical, field, and/or laboratory research in some aspect of Environmental Science or Environmental Studies. Typically, this involves identifying an original question in an environmental topic, collecting and analyzing data, and preparing a written report of the findings. Prior to undertaking independent research, a proposal must be submitted for approval through an Environment program faculty member.

ENVA A499 Independent Study 3 crs.

Students work with a faculty advisor to conduct formal supervised activities providing educational experiences focused on some aspect of Environmental Studies or Environmental Science. A variety of experiences are possible here, so the student must work closely with a faculty advisor to identify specific requirements for completion of this effort. Prior to undertaking independent study, a proposal must be submitted for approval through an Environment program faculty member.


The Environment program is interdisciplinary. The following are courses within other departments which satisfy its requirements: 

BIOL A106 Cells and Heredity 3 crs.

This course emphasizes the principles and concepts of chemical, cellular, and genetic processes common to all life. Topics include the scientific method, basic chemical concepts, macromolecules, prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell structure, membrane structure, energy and metabolism, meiosis, mitosis, Mendelian inheritance, and the Central Dogma.

Prerequisite: Eligibility to enroll in MATH A257, evidenced by completion of MATH A118, or Prerequisite ACT/SAT test scores.
Co-requisite: BIOL A107

BIOL A107 Cells and Heredity Lab 1 cr.

Students investigate the scientific method, basic chemical concepts, prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell structure and function, Mendelian inheritance, and the structure, function, and technological uses of DNA. This laboratory course emphasizes student-designed experiments, data collection and analysis, oral and written presentation, and the use of the scientific literature. Lab fee $100.

Prerequisite: Eligibility to enroll in MATH A257, evidenced by completion of MATH A118, or Prerequisite ACT/SAT test scores.
Corequisite: BIOL A106

BIOL A108 Biology of Organisms 3 crs.

This course compares the biology of microbes, plants, and animals focusing on morphology, physiology, reproduction, and natural history.

Prerequisite: BIOL A106, BIOL A107
Co-requisite: BIOL A109

BIOL A109 Biology of Organisms Lab 1 cr.

This course examines the diversity of life through field trips, demonstrations, dissections, and experimental activities. Form and function of microbes, plants, and animals will be compared to demonstrate how organisms have adapted to their environments. Lab fee $100.

Prerequisite: BIOL A106.
Co-requisites: BIOL A108

BIOL A118 Tropical Ecology 3 crs.

Two weeks will be spent in the field in Belize, Guatemala, or Trinidad studying the plants and animals in several different ecological zones: coral reefs, pine savannah, rain forest, and mangrove swamps. A paper on the ecology of the area will be written after returning from the expedition.

BIOL A208 Ecology and Evolution 3 crs.

This course introduces current concepts and principles of ecology and evolution. Animal behavior, populations, communities, ecosystems, biogeography, natural selection, speciation, the history of life, human evolution, and other topics will be studied through lectures, readings, discussion, and a field trip.

Prerequisites: BIOL A106 — A109.

BIOL A324 Evolutionary Biology 3 crs.

This course addresses topics in Darwinian evolution, mechanisms of evolutionary change and speciation, life history characters, and others. Emphasis is placed on an understanding of how evidence from various disciplines such as morphology, genetics, ecology, development, and geology supports the evolutionary synthesis.

Prerequisite: completion of biology core courses.

BIOL A330 Ecology 3 crs.

Basic ecological principles and concepts are considered including the nature of the ecosystem, energy flow, biogeochemical cycles, and the ecology of populations and communities.

Prerequisite: completion of biology core courses.
Co-requisite: BIOL A331.

BIOL A331 Ecology Lab 1 cr.

Field and laboratory experience that meets four to five hours per week in conjunction with BIOL A330. Lab fee $100.

Prerequisite: completion of biology core courses.
Co-requisite: BIOL A330.

BIOL A334 Biology of Fishes 3 crs.

This course examines phylogenetic relationships, functional morphology, physiology, sensory biology, reproduction, behavior, ecology, biogeography, and conservation of fishes. Special emphasis will be placed on identification and natural history of Louisiana’s freshwater and marine fishes through field trips and laboratory exercises.

Prerequisite: completion of biology core courses.
Co-requisite: BIOL A335.

BIOL A335 Biology of Fishes Lab 1 cr.

Field and laboratory experience that meets three hours per week in conjunction with BIOL A334. Lab fee $100.

Prerequisite: completion of biology core courses.
Co-requisite: BIOL A334.

BIOL A338 Plant Ecology 3 crs

An introduction to the quantitative study of plants and their environment. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the functional ecology of individual plants and vegetation in terrestrial ecosystems.

Prerequisite: completion of biology core courses, co-requisite BIOL A339

BIOL A339 Plant Ecology Lab 1 cr

Laboratory course accompanying BIOL A338, will expose students to modern field and laboratory techniques in plant physiological ecology. Lab fee $100.

Prerequisite: completion of biology core courses, co-requisite BIOL A338

BIOL A346 Herpetology Lab 2 crs.

Field and laboratory experience that meets six hours per week in conjunction with BIOL A345.  Lab fee $100.

Prerequisite: completion of biology core courses.
Co-requisite: BIOL A345.

BIOL A355 Conservation Biology 3 crs.

The study of the conservation of biodiversity based in the principles of ecology, evolution, and genetics. The primary goal is to understand natural ecological systems in the context of a human dominated world to learn to best maintain biological diversity in concert with an exploding human population. This is accomplished through lecture, socratic discussion, and videos.

Prerequisite: completion of biology core courses.

BIOL A356 Aquatic Microbiology 3 crs.

An introduction to the study of prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbes as well as viruses in the aquatic environment. The course emphasizes the functional role of microbes in aquatic habitats, the relationship of microbial biodiversity to environmental gradients and the interaction of aquatic microbes with human affairs.

Prerequisite: completion of biology core courses.
Co-requisite: BIOL A357.

BIOL A357 Aquatic Microbiology Lab 1 cr.

Field and laboratory experience that meets three hours per week in conjunction with BIOL A356. Students are exposed to modern field and laboratory techniques used with prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbes from aquatic habitats. Field trips will emphasize local freshwater and estuarine environments.  Lab fee $100.

Prerequisite: completion of biology core courses.
Co-requisite: BIOL A356.

BIOL Z230 Human Ecology 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Natural Sciences Modern

This course is a consideration of the basic concepts of ecology, including the nature of ecosystems, energy flow, biogeochemical cycles, and characteristics of populations and communities of organisms. The role of humans in the ecosphere will be emphasized, with particular attention to human population problems, food production, and pollution problems.

Pre-Requisites and Co-Requisites: Sophomore standing or completion of an Introductory Common Curriculum course in the Natural Sciences is required.

BIOL Z236 Evolution 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Natural Sciences Modern

This course examines the issues relating to the changes in life forms during the history of life on earth. Concepts are illustrated using examples from living systems and the fossil record. Human evolution also is considered. Designed for non-biology students.

Pre-Requisites and Co-Requisites: Sophomore standing or completion of an Introductory Common Curriculum course in the Natural Sciences is required.

BIOL Z237 Marine Biology & Conservation 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Natural Sciences Modern

This course examines diversity, physiology, ecology, and conservation of microbes, plants, and animals that live in the marine environment. Emphasis is placed on how marine organisms have adapted to living in their environment and how humans depend upon and affect marine ecosystems. Participation in a weekend fieldtrip is required.

Pre-Requisites and Co-Requisites: Sophomore standing or completion of an Introductory Common Curriculum course in the Natural Sciences is required.

BIOL Z244 Mississippi River Delta Ecology 3 crs.

This course is a basic study of the ecology of the Mississippi River deltaic plain. Emphasis is on the importance of coastal erosion, accompanied by study of the physical and biological aspects of the Mississippi River, its delta, estuaries, and their habitats, flora and fauna, and relevant environmental issues. The course is designed to enhance the student’s understanding of the relevance of the ecology of the Mississippi River Delta to the activities of humans.

Pre-Requisites and Co-Requisites: Sophomore standing or completion of an Introductory Common Curriculum course in the Natural Sciences is required.

BIOL Z264 Global Ecology 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Natural Sciences Modern

This course is a consideration of the basic concepts of ecology, including the nature of ecosystems, energy flow, biogeochemical cycles, and characteristics of populations and communities of organisms. The role of humans in the ecosphere will be emphasized, with particular attention to human population problems, food production, and pollution problems.

Pre-Requisites and Co-Requisites: Sophomore standing or completion of an Introductory Common Curriculum course in the Natural Sciences is required.

CHEM A105 General Chemistry I Lecture 3 crs.

This course is a basic one-year course in the fundamental principles of general chemistry. This is the first chemistry course for all science majors and includes the development of modern atomic theory, chemical bonding and structure, and the nature of matter and physical states. Included is an introduction to thermodynamics and kinetics with a more thorough development of equilibria concepts. Descriptive chemistry is liberally sprinkled throughout the course.

Prerequisite: eligibility to take MATH A257.

Co-requisite: CHEM A107.

CHEM A106 General Chemistry II Lecture 3 crs.

Same description as CHEM A105.

Prerequisite: CHEM A105, CHEM A107.

Co-requisite: CHEM A108.

CHEM A107 General Chemistry I Laboratory 1 cr.

This lab involves experiments to accompany General Chemistry Lecture. One three-hour laboratory period per week. Lab fee $100.

Prerequisite: CHEM A105 or co-registration in CHEM A105.

CHEM A108 General Chemistry II Laboratory 1 cr.

Same description as CHEM A107. Also includes qualitative analysis. Lab fee $100.

Prerequisite: CHEM A106, CHEM A107, or co-registration in CHEM A106.

CHEM A300 Organic Chemistry I Lecture 3 crs.

This is an intensive course in organic chemistry covering structural theory, organic reaction mechanisms, stereochemistry, and reactions of organic compounds.

Prerequisite: CHEM A105 — A108 or permission of department chair.

CHEM A302 Organic Chemistry I Laboratory 2 crs.

This is a laboratory course to accompany CHEM A300 — A301. Introduction to laboratory techniques of organic chemistry: preparations, separations, and identification of organic compounds. Two three-hour laboratory periods per week. Lab fee $100.

Prerequisite: CHEM A300 or co-registration in CHEM A300.

CHEM T122 Introduction to Chemistry 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Introductory

This course is an introduction to chemistry for non-scientists that they may be concerned, clear thinking citizens. In a complex scientific and technological society, an average person must be able to understand chemistry-related problems, e.g., food, energy, pollution, ozone depletion, global warming, space exploration, drugs, medicinals, genetic engineering, and even life itself.

CMMN A475 Environmental Communications 3 crs.

Presents an overview of how environmental information is expressed in mass communications and associated theory of the field. Important environmental theory and issues will be discussed. Students will use and sharpen their writing skills, learn how to evaluate scientific information, and study issues with conflicting data.

Prerequisites: Sophomore standing.

ENGL A394 Literature and Environment

This course explores the intersections of culture, ecology, and literary discourse. In an effort to determine how particular narratives reflect, influence, and often define senses of place, space and region, this course considers representations of "environment" both in and as literary texts. Works may include those from St. Augustine, Thomas Hariot, Charlotte Smith, Rachel Carson, Don Delillo, Edward Abbey, Anne Proulx, Ursula LeGuin, and Mike Tidwell.

Prerequisites: ENGL T122 or A205.

ENGL A487 Contemporary Critical Issues 3 crs.

Under this heading, various courses will be offered that focus on different contemporary issues in literary criticism and theory.

Prerequisites: ENGL T122 or A205; junior standing.

ENGL V281 The Literature of Nature 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Modern

Humans' encounter with nature has produced some of the most lasting literature in the world. This course examines texts from early to contemporary nature writers, such as John James Audubon to John McPhee and Terry Tempest Williams. Students will also study and practice the craft of Nature writing.

Prerequisite: ENGL T122.

MATH A260 Statistical Inference for Scientists 3 crs.

This is a first course in statistical methods for science students. Emphasis centers on the practical application of statistical inference and estimation in the quest for scientific knowledge. Topics include exploratory data analysis, techniques for data collection, summarization, and presentation, graphical techniques and numerical measures, the role of the Normal distribution, regression and correlation analysis, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, the analysis of variance, and distribution-free methods.

Prerequisites: MATH A257 or equivalent.

MATH Z132 Problem Solving in Ecology 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Natural Sciences Modern

This course in environmental problem solving teaches students how to use relatively simple mathematical methods (often of the "back-of-the-envelope" type) to understand how planet Earth and its inhabitants interact. The problems will deal with issues such as pollution, the exhausting of fossil fuel resources, resources, and over-population.

PHIL V243 Environmental Philosophy 3 crs.

Common Curriculum; Humanities/Arts Modern

This course offers an overview of the environmental crisis and evaluates the leading contemporary philosophical accounts of both the origins of the crisis and the ethical orientations needed for its resolution.

PHIL V245 Environmental Ethics 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Modern

The course will address the question: “What are our moral responsibilities in relation to the earth, ecosystems and eco-communities, other species and life forms, and future generations?” It discusses major theories in environmental ethics, consider the many dimensions of global ecological crisis, and examine carefully a number of important contemporary issues in environmental ethics.

PHIL V267 Technology and Human Values 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Modern

A study of the relationships among technology, social change, and human values, this course includes analyses of several visions of the promises and threats of technology and a survey of the history of technology. Other topics include human nature, freedom, the impact of technology upon nature, and alternative technologies.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122

RELS A368 Christianity and the Environment 3 crs.

This course will involve participants in an investigation of the developing understanding of the universe and Earth as divine manifestation and salvation history. We will focus particularly on the Creation-affirming tradition within the Christian tradition and discern its capacity to inform contemporary scientific perspectives and interpretations with an appreciation and articulation of their sacred dimension.

RELS A470 The Spirituality of the Nature Writers 3 crs

We are increasingly aware of nature's impression upon us - of its profound meaning and influence on our physical, psychic and spiritual well-being. Here is our first experience of delight and ecstacy, awe and wonder, of the sacred, of our spirituality, of the Creator. Thus, anyone who would seek self-understanding, creativity, wisdom, fulfillment, spirituality, not to mention a relationship with God, has direct, unmediated access through the experience of the natural world.

SOCI A285 Sociology of Disaster 3 crs.

“Disasters” are traumatic events that interrupt the everyday functioning of communities in a wide variety of ways. This course explores a broad scope of different kinds of disasters, with a focus on the anthropogenic aspects of their causes and effects. We will, of course, be discussing New Orleans’ ongoing recovery (or lack thereof) from Hurricane Katrina throughout the semester, drawing from our readings about other disasters to help us understand what has happened to New Orleans and why.

SOCI X235 Environment and Society 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Behavioral/Social Sciences Modern

This course explores the relationship of humans and their societies to the natural environment. Integrating both scientific and philosophical viewpoints, this course focuses on introducing students to the basic concepts, ecological philosophies, political strategies, and social history of the U.S. environmental movement.

SOCI X236 Global Environmental Crisis 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Behavioral/Social Sciences Modern

This course is a general exploration of the major ecological problems facing the planet today and their relationship to globalization trends and patterns of social inequality. Topics such as global warming, ozone destruction, acid rain, declining energy resources, overpopulation, hunger, soil erosion, deforestation, species extinction, solid and hazardous wastes, and general pollution issues are critically examined.