Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 72.58
Liaison Tom Twist
Submission Date June 12, 2020
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STARS v2.1

Bates College
AC-2: Learning Outcomes

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.62 / 8.00 Tom Twist
Sustainability Manager
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Total number of graduates from degree programs (i.e. majors, minors, concentrations, certificates, and other academic designations):

Number of students that graduate from programs that have adopted at least one sustainability learning outcome:

Percentage of students who graduate from programs that have adopted at least one sustainability learning outcome:

Do the figures reported above cover one, two, or three academic years?:

Does the institution specify sustainability learning outcomes at the institution level (e.g. covering all students)?:

Does the institution specify sustainability learning outcomes at the division level (e.g. covering particular schools or colleges within the institution)?:

A list or brief description of the institution level or division level sustainability learning outcomes:

Does the institution specify sustainability learning outcomes at the program level (i.e. majors, minors, concentrations, degrees, diplomas, certificates, and other academic designations)?:

A list or brief description of the program level sustainability learning outcomes (or a list of sustainability-focused programs):

Data was obtained through Bates College Office of Institutional Research and Planning, as well as our faculty liaisons within the Committee for Environmental Responsibility. See "2019 GRADUATES: B.A./B.S. AND MAJORS AND MINORS" (page 10).

Program Learning Outcomes:

Environmental Studies (Interdisciplinary) - 33 student degrees awarded:

1. Students will understand the issues that arise from the interaction of humans with both the natural world and built environments, and how physical environments are inflected in complex ways by socio-cultural and political factors.
2. The coursework will provide a framework for students to examine how humans experience, investigate, and interact with the world around them.
3. Students will explore the social, aesthetic, ethical, scientific, and technical aspects of environmental questions.
4. Students will be equipped with a focused knowledge and methodological tools for assessing environmental impact.
5. Each student will gain hands-on, real-world experience via an internship with an environmentally focused organization or business.

Economics (Social Sciences) - 63 student degrees awarded
1. Students will demonstrate knowledge of the economic basis of environmental problems and examine alternative policies aimed at reducing environmental degradation.
2. Students will have a familiarity with the market system and existing property-rights system that contribute to environmental problems, cases where public intervention offers the potential for improvement, cases amenable to market-based approaches, and the public-policy tools available to promote environmental goals.

Geology, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Math, & Engineering (Natural Sciences) - 83 student degrees awarded
1. Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge that most environmental change, while manifested in biophysical realities, is linked to historical, economic, political and cultural drivers that shape power relations and unequal control over and access to resources.
2. Students will have an understanding of the interplay of physical, chemical, biological, social, and cultural processes that must be recognized to understand the movement and impact of both materials that support life (such as nutrients, food, and water) and pollutants.

Anthropology (Social Sciences) - 12 student degrees awarded:

1) The students will leave with an understanding of how anthropology contributes to our understanding of contemporary environmental issues such as rapid climate change, shrinking biodiversity, and sustainable use of resources.

Sociology (Social Sciences) - 21 student degrees awarded:

1) Students will address a wide range of social phenomena, from patterns of everyday interaction to social and political revolutions. 2) Students will demonstrate an understanding of inequalities of income, wealth, housing, education, and health as well as related social problems such as racism, substance abuse, crime, poverty, homelessness, and climate change - with a particular focus on how sociologists study the process through which social conditions become defined as problems, the way various stakeholders frame those problems, and their potential solutions, students explore sociology in general and the social construction of social problems in particular.

Do course level sustainability learning outcomes contribute to the figure reported above (i.e. in the absence of program, division, or institution level learning outcomes)?:

A list or brief description of the course level sustainability learning outcomes and the programs for which the courses are required:

Some examples of course-level sustainability learning outcomes:

ENVR 204: Environment and Society
Environmental problems are shot through with politics. This course familiarizes students with
some of the major social scientific contributions to understanding how and why environmental problems arise and how societies respond to them. Focusing on material, discursive and symbolic struggles over nature, the course first sets to the stage for the course by highlighting major trends in western and non-western environmentalism and by outlining the contemporary world system in which environmental debates take place. The course then identifies some drivers of environmental change before applying these ideas to a variety of ongoing environmental controversies within sustainable development, including climate change, urbanization and sprawl, pollution and environmental justice, agriculture, and biodiversity conservation.
Beyond the teaching of the content itself, the learning goals for this course are: (1) to foster greater awareness of the multi-scalar, complex politics inherent in many environmental issues and the ways social scientists approach those politics; (2) to convey basic analytical tools, concepts and arguments in the social sciences that help explain the emergence of and responses to environmental problems; (3) to develop evidence-based argumentation skills, both verbal and written; and (4) to teach students how to efficiently and effectively process and synthesize material from a variety of sources.

ENVR 337: Social Movements, NGOs & the Environment
Two increasingly visible forces on the world stage are social movements and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). As non-state, transnational actors, they challenge state-centered paradigms regarding the environment, international development, and other public issues. This course considers why social movements arise in specific places and times; how NGOs and social movements seek to address environmental issues; how NGOs and social movements relate to one another; what kinds of strategies they employ; and what solutions to the environmental crisis they propose. The course first situates environmental NGOs and social movements within neoliberal globalization and the resource conflicts that emerge from its processes. We then move through a variety of topics and case studies across Global North and South, using them as lenses through which to understand the local-to-global complexities of socio-environmental change.
At the end of the course, students should: (a) understand some of the ways in which environmental issues overlap with or define NGOs and social movements; (b) have a better grasp of the structural determinants for NGOs and social movements; (c) have gained a sense of the local-to-global connections in which NGOs and social movements are embedded and which they facilitate for better and worse; and (d) be able to think critically about the dynamics of change, representation, and political voice.
This W2 course also targets student writing. With view towards the senior thesis, students will write a substantial social science research paper. In the process students learn to: (a) pose an appropriate research question and guiding thesis; (b) develop a theoretically-informed, academic argument; and (c) integrate existing scholarship with their own ideas.

ENVR 306: Disturbance Ecology
Many ecosystems have a long evolutionary history of being adapted to natural disturbances
such as wildfire, insect outbreaks, and drought. These disturbance processes are required for
such systems to persist. Anthropogenic disturbances, on the other hand—nuclear disasters,
invasive species, oil spills—can have profound effects on systems that are not evolutionarily
prepared for them. This course looks at the effects of natural and anthropogenic disturbances
on ecological systems, and discusses whether climate change is increasing disturbance severity.
Students are introduced to concepts of disturbance probability and risk, and the complexities of
conveying this information to the general public.
This is a 300-level seminar, aimed at honing your skills in reading the scientific literature. It is
also a W2 course, designed to improve your skills in science writing (in the strict disciplinary
sense), as well as in “writing about science” for non-academic audiences.
We will also pause at various moments throughout the course to consider and integrate other
forms of knowledge about disturbances, including indigenous knowledges (in this field, these
are sometimes referred to as TEK, “traditional ecological knowledge”), and knowledge from the
humanities. There will be at least one joint activity with the ENVR humanities course,
“Catastrophes and Hope.”
Upon the successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
 Understand and apply principles from ecology and evolutionary biology as they relate to
natural and anthropogenic disturbance events.
 Think both qualitatively and quantitatively about event risk and probability, and assess
communication about these risks.
 Read the scientific literature efficiently, including the ability to broadly synthesize varied
findings across a general topic.
 Write clearly in an evidence-based style, use these skills to address a wide range of
audiences, and interact with their peers to improve their writing.
 Critically assess information about climate change and its relation to disturbance events.

ENVR 417: Community-Engaged Research in Environmental Studies
This seminar is one of two capstone experiences within the Environmental Studies (ES) major. One
capstone experience is your senior thesis or ENVR 450 project, either of which involves a project that relates directly to your concentration. ENVR 417 brings juniors and seniors from various concentrations together to work on community-based projects. While these projects may or may not directly relate to your concentration, they will require you to draw on multiple bodies of knowledge and skills you have developed through the ES core, your concentration, and your internship. Environmental challenges and opportunities arise within a variety of communities, and effectiveness within environmental areas involves learning how to communicate broadly. Through this course, you should:
● develop skills for navigating interpersonal dynamics and effectively collaborating in groups;
● utilize research skills to integrate and apply multiple forms of knowledge to an issue of
interest to a community partner;
● communicate effectively both orally and in writing with audiences beyond Bates; and
● increase and complicate your knowledge of the Lewiston/Auburn community in the context of
environmental studies.

This course will cover the economics of negative externalities (air and water pollution and climate change) and the basic principles for the management of renewable and non-renewable resources (water, fisheries, endangered species for example). The major focus of the course is to learn the basic techniques of policy analysis for the management of natural resources and the protection of the environment for ecological and human health. We will consider the methods available for the reduction of externalities, the costs and benefits of such intervention and the likelihood that such intervention will be successful. We will also think about the level of risk and the “value” of a human life when making environmental policy decisions. We will learn the basic tools of environmental and natural resource economics including valuation, cost-benefit analysis and pollution allowance trading. We will then apply such tools to current topics and policy analysis. Central to our discussions will be topics such as the management issues in sustainable activities such as water resources, economic incentives for pollution control including toxics and the valuation of nonmarket goods and services such as recreation and wildlife. The purpose of this course is to teach you how to apply economics to real-world environmental problems by integrating economic theory and empirical evidence.
By the end of this course, you should be able to:
1. Demonstrate the ability to evaluate and explain environmental issues in the press and popular media through an economics lens
2. Understand decision-making tools such as Benefit-Cost Analysis including the measurement of the net present value of a project
3. Evaluate quantitative data using graphical and mathematical techniques
4. Understand market-based incentives for pollution control such as cap-and-trade and taxation and both mitigation and adaptation policies for climate change
5. Recognize and distinguish solid economic argument from misleading or unsophisticated argument
6. Understand the limitations of economic analysis

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Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.