Curricular Connections

Lewis & Clark is committed to learning, innovation, and principled action on matters related to sustainability. Our research and actions extend beyond our campus into the wider world, we build on the best available scholarship and practice in our endeavors, and we recognize the importance and interrelatedness of ecology, economy, and equity.

→ Environmental Studies Major

The undergraduate environmental studies major and minor situates environmental problems and solutions in a scholarly context, working alongside other academic disciplines to build a more livable world. Sustainability is one of many important concepts the ENVS Program interrogates via its courses.

→ Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program

Frequently ranked best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, this law school program includes an extensive curriculum, outstanding faculty, and numerous practical skills opportunities.

→ Ecopsychology in Counseling Certificate

This graduate school program explores how counseling psychologists can contribute to sustainability, drawing on scientific research and applying it to mental health practice.

→ Spring 2021 CAS Sustainability-Related Courses 

ENVS-160 Intro to Env. Studies
Scholarly perspectives on environmental problems and solutions, integrating concepts and analytical skills drawn from the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Foundation for all subsequent courses in the environmental studies major. Lectures, faculty and guest presentations, regular online assignments, individual and group research projects. Emphasis on sustainability includes critique from ecological, political, and cultural dimensions, and exploration of alternative environmental norms including resilience, justice, and others.
Professor: Jim Proctor

ENVS-220 Environmental Analysis
Development of research and analytical skills in environmental studies as preparation for upper-division work by majors and minors. Emphasis on formulation, practice, and communication of research. Skills span full range of allied fields, including descriptive and inferential statistics, geographic information systems, survey and interview techniques, qualitative data analysis, and bibliographic research. Lectures, individual and small-group assignments, and course project. Accompanying lab provides opportunity for students to build analytical skills via real-world research. Emphasis on sustainability includes qualitative analysis of divergent sustainability meanings in environmental discourse.
Professor: Jim Proctor

ENVS-295 Environmental Engagement 

Faculty-directed student engagement, connecting environmental scholarship to people in a variety of settings. Identification and finalization of engagement opportunities; development of communication, cultural competency, and related skills; reflection on engagement experiences; and authoring and sharing of outcomes. Engagement projects build on partnerships with Portland-area organizations.

Professor: Jim Proctor 

BIO-201 Biological Core  Concepts: Systems 

An introduction to core principles that underlie all of biology, illustrated through evidence-driven examples centered on integrative organismal biology and organisms’ interactions with the biotic and physical environment. We will explore the evolution of life, flow of information within and among individuals, the influence of structure on function at scales from individuals to ecosystems, the transformations of energy and matter in space and time, and the dynamic systems that characterize Earth and its inhabitants. Topics will vary according to faculty expertise. 

Professor: Dr. Greta J. Binford

PHIL-215 Philosophy and the E nvironment 

Investigation of philosophical questions about our relationship to the environment. Topics include
the value of individual organisms, species, ecosystems; the concepts of wildness and wilderness; aesthetics of natural environments; and the relationship between ecological science and environmental policy.

Professor: Dr. Jay P. Odenbaugh

IA-257 Global Resource Dilemmas 

Exploration of the controversies surrounding global resource and environmental problems. Topics include the “limits to growth” and “lifeboat ethics” debates; global population, food, water, and energy problems; environment and development; and international resource conflict.

Professor: Bob Mandel

SOAN-305 Environmental Sociology 

Research traditions and debates in the field of environmental sociology. How contemporary patterns
of industrial production, urbanization, and consumption intensify ecological problems; why harmful effects of pollution disproportionately impact disadvantaged groups; what kinds of social movements have mobilized to protect ecosystems and human communities from environmental degradation. Introduction to basic concepts from urban sociology, theories of social inequality, environmental justice topics, social movements research.

Professor: Bruce Podobnik

→ Spring 2021 Law Sustainability Related Courses

LAW-236 Energy Resources: Law & Policy 

This course covers energy resource law and policy in the United States governing the production, transportation, consumption, and disposal of a broad variety of energy resources. The first half of this course will focus on a broad range of energy sources, their extraction, production, transportation, consumption, and disposal. The second half of this course will focus on hot topics in energy law and policy that highlight the complexity of energy transactions involved in the clean energy transition, such as smart grid technology, development and siting of clean energy, and the role of nuclear energy. While the course provides a basic introduction to the electricity grid and looks at smart grid technology, it focuses on a broad range of energy resources.

Professor: Lisa R. Benjamin

LAW-343 Environmental Justice

The Environmental Justice movement demands fair treatment in the context of environmental protection for all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religious affiliation, economic status, national origin and education level. It looks at environmental issues through the lens of discrimination and assesses how that discrimination shapes both vulnerability and resilience. This course examines the Environmental Justice movement and the disproportionate impacts borne by vulnerable constituents in the domestic and international context of government regulation, corporate activity, climate and energy concerns, and environmental degradation. Readings include select case law, law review articles, case studies, executive orders, legislation, UN declarations, and media. 

Professor: Catherine O’Neill

LAW-360 Forest Law and Policy 

Public and private forest lands have long been one of our most treasured natural resources. Forests provide clean water and air, habitat for a diverse array of flora and fauna, recreational opportunities, wood fiber, and other products for human and non-human use. Decisions on how to prioritize among these amenities involve hotly debated scientific principles and often provoke a debate that can cause deep divisions among people. These issues play out at local, state, and national levels among an array of public, private, and governmental interests and entities.
This class will provide an initial historical, legal, and policy framework for the debate surrounding our national forest heritage as well as state and private lands. Discussions with conservation groups, attorneys, community foresters, congressional staff, industry representatives, members of the media, agency personnel, and/or political appointees will help participants fully understand the many aspects of modern forest management.

Professor: Susan Jane M. Brown

LAW-408 Ocean and Coastal Law

The course provides an introduction to the laws regulating natural resources management and environmental protection of coastal and marine ecosystems. The course emphasizes conflicts between public and private uses of the coastal zone, state and federal conflicts, and natural resource issues. Specific topics covered in the course include coastal management, beach access and public trust, fisheries law and the law of the sea, protection of marine mammals, and ocean renewable energy development. Laws and treaties discussed include, among others, the Coastal Zone Management Act, Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the sea, and the Fishery Conservation and Management Act.

Professor: Chris Wold

LAW-414 Law of the Columbia Basin

This course explores the numerous environmental, legal, and institutional problems surrounding use and management of the Columbia Basin’s natural resources, including its valuable Pacific salmon runs. The course includes examination of a cross section of natural resource issues central to the identity and economy of the Northwest: Indian treaty fishing rights, dam building and operations, statutes such as the Northwest Power Act and Endangered Species Act, and regulations governing diverse issues ranging from protecting the Columbia Gorge’s magnificent scenery to conflicts between hydropower dams and renewable energy facilities. Classes will include guest lectures from experts and practitioners directly involved in Columbia Basin resource issues, and will include at least one major field trip up the Columbia River itself.

Professor: Dan Rohlf

LAW-434 Water Law

This course explores legal schemes for securing and using water rights in surface water and groundwater for private and public uses in the United States. We will examine the riparian and prior appropriation doctrines of water allocation, groundwater management regimes, the public rights to water, and federal and tribal water management and regulation of water resources. We will also consider the evolving role of science, economics, and policy in water allocation law. The paper requirement for this class qualifies as a substantial paper for purposes of the Certificate in Environmental, Natural Resources, and Energy Law but does not qualify for the WIE writing requirement.

Professor: Karen Russell

LAW-436 Wildlife Law

The class examines legal mandates for protection and management of biological diversity. Beginning with a brief overview of the scientific aspects of species, ecosystems, and genetic resources, the course includes consideration of interplay between science and law throughout its survey of laws related to wildlife. Substantively, the class analyzes the property and constitutional underpinnings of state and federal wildlife laws, looks at examples and structures of state regulation of wildlife, and examines the special case of American Indians’ rights to, and control over, wildlife resources. The course also focuses on several federal statutory schemes, including the Lacey Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and laws and policies aimed at controlling invasive species. The course considers federal management of wildlife habitat under statutes such as the National Forest Management Act and National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act, and briefly covers international efforts to protect biodiversity. Due to the statute’s broad influence on the field, the class devotes particular attention to the federal Endangered Species Act.

Professor: Dan Rohlf

LAW-451 Industrial Animal Agriculture 

This course examines the legal framework underlying the use of animals for food. The course will familiarize students with the conditions in which animals are raised, transported, and slaughtered, as well as address federal and state laws that currently affect matters such as animal welfare, environmental impacts, global food sustainability, cultural and religious values, free speech, health concerns, international trade, and economic considerations. The course will also discuss legal issues related to the production, distribution, and consumption of animal-derived foods, including legislation, litigation, regulation, ballot initiatives, and consumer campaigns. The course will incorporate discussion of current social and legal developments, and students will be asked to participate in discussions and debates about these issues.

Professor: Joyce Tischler