DESCRIPTION of the MINOR
As a community concerned with the pursuit of truth and justice, Marquette University should offer students the intellectual resources for understanding and reflecting on the ethical implications of their own and their communities' thinking and practice regarding environmental matters (Proposal to the College of Arts and Sciences, August 2000).
Marquette University's new Interdisciplinary Minor in Environmental Ethics (INEE) provides undergraduate students with the intellectual resources needed to reflect on the ethical dimensions of environmental issues. Five core courses develop student knowledge and skills in the natural sciences and the theological and philosophical traditions that are relevant to the minor. It culminates in a capstone seminar during which students will identify the ethical questions pertaining to a particular environmental problem and develop approaches to its resolution. When appropriate and feasible, students serve in private and public organizations, government agencies and businesses that are addressing the problem. Students are encouraged to take courses in their primary fields of study that complement INEE and to draw upon them during their capstone experiences.
- To enhance student understanding of the complexities of environmental issues by approaching them through multiple disciplines; and
- To prepare students to consider more thoughtfully and address more effectively the serious ethical questions pertaining to the physical environment today.
- To demonstrate basic scientific knowledge needed for a sound understanding of current and projected environmental problems;
- To demonstrate awareness of the economic and political contexts out of which environmental problems have arisen and the kinds of analyses and strategies that the social sciences offer for addressing problems effectively;
- To demonstrate familiarity with theological and philosophical foundations from which to reflect on the ethical implications of the current condition of the environment and possible ramifications for the future;
- To demonstrate ability to discern how literature and the humanities help people understand their relationship to the environment and the responsibilities that spring from that relationship; and
- To demonstrate understanding of ways in which the various disciplines that address environmental issues complement one another to enable a more comprehensive approach to environmental problem solving.
Required Courses (18 credit hours to be chosen from at least ONE course in each category):
Natural Sciences--Biology 2401 Ecology OR Physics 1009 Earth and Environmental Physics OR, for Civil and Environmental Engineering majors, CEEN 3510
Philosophy/Ethics--Philosophy 3350 Philosophy of the Environment Or Theology 4440 Foundations for Ecological Ethics (both require entry level courses and third-year standing)
Applied Disciplines--Economics 4016 Environmental and Natural Resource Economics (requires microeconomics and instructor's consent), English 4931 Nature Writing, OR Journalism 4430 Health, Science and Environmental Communication
Capstone--INEE 4997 Capstone Seminar (requires three courses required for the minor and consent of director/instructor)
Complementary Courses Recommended
Anthropology 2203 Human Geography
Theology 4430 Theology and the Natural Sciences
Focus on Students
Students pursuing the minor gather at least once a semester to discuss the program or a pertinent topic. Upon completion of the minor, students are presented with a certificate on which are listed the required and complementary courses they have taken.
Faculty work together to schedule required courses so students can complete the minor in two years. Early in the semester, faculty identify INEE students in their courses, guide their learning toward the minor's goals, and help students understand the contributions their courses make to the minor.
Direction of the Minor
The Theology and Philosophy departments alternate directing INEE and leading the capstone seminar. The Department of Theology has this responsibility during the 2005-9 academic years. To learn more about the interdisciplinary minor or to complete the form on which to declare it as your minor contact:
Dr. Jame Schaefer
Department of Theology
115 Coughlin Hall
Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881