University of Mississippi

Course Descriptions


Contact the Director, Ann Fisher-Wirth, for information.

DESCRIPTION: A minor in environmental studies is designed to introduce students to an interdisciplinary approach to environmental concerns, including: 1) a study of human/environmental interactions from the viewpoint of the social sciences; 2) a reflection on environmental themes in the arts and humanities; 3) the scientific foundations of environmental thought.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS: The environmental studies minor consists of Envs 101 (download syllabus), either Bisc 104 or Bisc 162, and 12 hours of approved electives. The approved electives must include a minimum of 3 hours in at least two of the three discipline categories: humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences.  Students who complete relevant internships, study abroad courses, and special topics courses will consult with the Environmental Studies Director to apply those credits to the appropriate category depending on the internship experience or the course topic.


ENVS 101,  Classics of Modern Environmental Thought                             Ann Fisher-Wirth
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ENVS 101 is the Humanities gateway course for the Environmental Studies minor. It is required, but need not be taken before other courses are taken for the minor.

English 362, American Literature and the Natural Environment, 1850 to the Present                        Peter Wirth

This is a course in literature, but with considerable attention to history and to the relations in America between human beings and the environment.  We begin with writers of the American Renaissance (for example, Thoreau, Melville, Whitman) and move on to more recent poets (Frost, Kenneth Rexroth, Gary Snyder), writers of nonfiction (Rachel Carson, Wendell Berry, Wes Jackson), and writers of fiction (Faulkner, Marilynne Robinson).  The reading varies from one term to the next.

Engl 447 Animals in Literature

English 448 Nature Writing                Ann Fisher-Wirth
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This is a hybrid course in environmental life writing, which combines aspects of a literature course with aspects of a creative writing workshop. In it, we read various works of autobiographical, environmentally-oriented creative nonfiction and discuss them. At two points during the semester, students will turn in their own creative nonfiction pieces, each of which will be critiqued extensively by the members of the class. From time to time during the semester, we will also engage in different sorts of writing activities. At the end of the semester, there will be a final exam on the literature; also, each student will submit a revised creative portfolio.

English 461 Studies in Native American Fiction                Dr.  Annette Trefzer 
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This course focuses on the Native American South in the myths, stories, novels, and poems by writers whose tribal affiliations make them “Native” but also “Southern.” In our readings we will explore both modernist and postmodernist literary modes, challenge notions of identity and authenticity, nation and region, and raise questions about history and the environment.  Many of the texts we will study call upon the reader to develop a new historical consciousness and a deeper cultural and ecological awareness. Readings will include texts by Linda Hogan (Chickasaw), LeAnne Howe (Choctaw),  Diane Glancy (Cherokee), Blake Hausman, and other major writers.  In addition to fiction, students will read essays on Native American literary history, critical theory, environmental criticism and ecology.

English 475 Southern Environmental Writing                   Jay Watson
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A reading and discussion course for English and Southern Studies majors and Environmental Studies minors.  We will focus on fiction, travel writing, memoir, nature writing, and poetry from a more than 200-year-old tradition of writing about the nonhuman and human environments of the U.S. South.  Along the way we will tackle such issues as the aesthetic and political challenges of environmental representation, human and nonhuman histories of the land, environmental justice and racial justice, the tangled relationship between ecological and economic consciousness, connections between landscape, spirituality, and healing, and models of environmental understanding or involvement (conquest, stewardship, activism) and their consequences.

Engl 483 Renaissance Literature and the Environment

G St 391 Women, Gender, and the Environment

Phil 345 Environmental Ethics


Bisc 525 Conservation and Restoration Ecology

Bisc 413 Conservation Biology

Bisc 320 Introductory Marine Biology

Bisc 345 Symbiosis

Bisc 318 Botany

Bisc 342 Plant Diversity

Bisc 329 Biology of Fishes

Bisc 334 Ornithology

Bisc 337 Introductory Entomology

Bisc 350 Mammology

Bisc 321 Introduction to Aquatic Biology

Chem 104 Chemistry for Nonmajors or Chem 105 Chemistry for Majors

Geol 104 Environmental Geology – Hazards

Geol 105 Environmental Geology – Resources

Phcl 347/547 Introduction to Environmental Toxicology

Phcl 381/581 Introduction to Toxicology


Anth 330 Environmental Anthropology
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Anth 331 American Indians and the Natural World
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Anth 319 Environmental History of the South
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PPL 381 Global Environmental Issues
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Soc 411 Environment, Technology, and Society


ENVS 399. SPECIAL TOPICS IN ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES.  Content varies. Can be taken for ENVS credit with the instructor’s permission. May be repeated once for credit. (3).
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ENVS 397. TOPICS IN ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES ABROAD.  Students complete approved course work on an environmental studies topic at a foreign university.  May be repeated once with consent of director. (3).

ENVS  385. INTERNSHIP.  Students complete an internship off-campus during the summer. Requires the consent of director.  Get forms from the director. (3).