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    Vassar College
   
 
  Nov 24, 2017
 
 
    
Catalogue 2017-2018

Earth Science and Society Major


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The challenges presented by climate change, resource conflicts, and natural disasters point to the importance of studying the intersection of earth processes and human societies. The interdisciplinary Earth Science and Society major draws on the two allied disciplines housed in the department of Earth Science and Geography. From Earth Science, students gain an understanding of natural processes that impact the distribution and use of resources such as water, fossil fuels, and soil, as well as natural hazards such as climate change, tsunamis and earthquakes. From Geography, students learn about the spatial distribution of physical and human phenomena and how human societies have been shaped by and also have changed the natural world.

Students follow a focused series of Earth Science and Geography courses, normally within one of two general themes (below); students may propose course substitutions in consultation with their adviser or the chairs of the department.

Requirements for Concentration:


12 units to include the following: (1) Three departmental survey courses that provide a firm grasp of the earth system, its people, and history (GEOG 102 - Global Geography: People, Places, and Regions  or ESSC 100 - Earth Resource Challenges ; ESCI 151 - Earth, Environment, and Humanity ; ESCI 203 - Earth History ; (2) a methods course selected from among GEOG 220 - Cartography: Making Maps with GIS ; GEOG 224 - GIS: Spatial Analysis ; GEOG 230 - Geographic Research Methods ; (3) a sequence of three courses in Earth Science including at least one at the 300-level; (4) a sequence of three courses in Geography including at least one at the 300-level; (5) GEOG 304 , or another senior seminar, or an optional interdisciplinary senior thesis (ESSC 300 -ESSC 301 ); (6) and another 200- or 300-level course in Geography or Earth Science. Specific courses will be chosen in consultation with the student’s adviser and/or the chairs of the department.

Senior-Year Requirements:


GEOG 304 , or another senior seminar, or an optional interdisciplinary senior thesis (ESSC 300 -ESSC 301 ). Majors must write a senior thesis to be considered for departmental honors.

Field Work:


The department sponsors field work in geography and earth science which can count towards the major at the 200-level. Summer geology field camp, an internship, independent study, or selected coursework taken during junior year study away from Vassar may be credited as field work.

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