CSP 1: California Environment Semester
The California Environmental Semester is a great way to begin your college career.
Join a group of first-year students and three faculty learning about natural science, economics, and the environment of California. The spectacular California landscape will be our laboratory as we investigate the geology, biology and economics of our environment through data collection, laboratory and computer analysis, critical thinking and writing, and classroom learning. Multi-day field trips during the school week introduce you to your fellow CES classmates while hiking and camping in State and National Parks throughout California. All of your coursework in Fall semester will be taken with your CES peers.
The California Environment Semester (CES) is an innovative team-taught program designed to engage students critically and actively in synthesizing knowledge and ideas about an important topic. Students taking CES will enroll in four connected classes (for a total of 16 units):
- CSP 1: "The Value of the Wilderness"
- BIO 110: "Organisms on Earth"
- ECON 101: "Principles of Economics I"
- GEO 105: "Earth: Our Environment"
In these classes you’ll work closely with faculty from more than one academic field, developing new, cross-disciplinary perspectives; you’ll engage in intensive reading, writing, and discussion; you’ll participate in field experiences beyond the classroom; you’ll learn to think and work collaboratively, as a member of a diverse intellectual community.
In addition to satisfying three Core requirements, CES classes may count toward seven different programs of study: Biology, Economics, Environmental Science, Geology, Politics, Diplomacy and World Affairs (DWA), and Urban and Environmental Policy (UEP). Beyond these programs, CES students excel in a wide variety of majors and college activities from the theater stage to the playing fields to student government.
Prof. Bevin Ashenmiller is an economist specializing in energy and the environment. Her research falls into three areas: recycling, citizen suits, and transportation. She is interested in understanding how individuals make decisions that impose negative externalities, and how that process affects the market as a whole.
Prof. Gretchen North teaches plant biology, ecology, and introductory biology. Her research focuses on plant physiological ecology, with an emphasis on the water relations of arid-land plants and plants in the rainforest canopy; she also investigates cellular and subcellular mechanisms of plant water uptake and transport.
Prof. Margaret Rusmore is a geologist whose research focuses on the formation and evolution of mountain belts from the perspective of structural geology and tectonics. Topics she has investigated range from the accretion of terranes to exhumation of heavily glaciated mountain ranges. Students are involved in many aspects of her research, traveling with Margi to British Columbia for field work, tackling projects in the lab, or investigating the geology of the nearby Mojave desert.
Students wishing to take CES during Fall 2014 should see the new student packet for further instructions and information. You may contact the Core Office at Occidental (firstname.lastname@example.org or 323-259-2783) for help or more information.
Johnson Hall-McKinnon Center
- Mailing Address:
Occidental College (F-6)
1600 Campus Road
Los Angeles, CA 90041-3314