Courses Offered by SNES

SNES 1101: Introduction to the Science and Management of Environmental and Natural Resources

Fall. 3 credits. Prerequisite: first-year students in Natural Resources, Science of Natural and Environment Systems, or other "environmental cluster" areas in CALS. T. Fahey and E. Madsen.

This course provides an overview of the science and management of natural and environmental resources. Material highlights facts and principles from the physical, biological, social, and economic sciences. The focus is on identifying knowledge required to enhance intelligent and sustainable management of the Earth's ecological and environmental systems. Case studies, guided readings, multi-media presentations, discussions, and field and laboratory exercises are used to introduce students to the interdisciplinary basis for understanding the complexities of such systems within the text of modern society. Active student participation in all phases of the course is expected.

SNES 2000 Environmental Sciences Colloquium

Fall. 1 credit. S/U. S. Riha and J. Lehmann.

Contemporary environmental issues pose complex challenges to societies that require multidisciplinary views and interdisciplinary approaches to their solution. This colloquium is designed to facilitate an in-depth, multi-faceted understanding of a current environmental issue. In addition, it will give students the opportunity to meet and interact with other students, faculty and guest speakers with a strong interest in the environment.

Typically, the colloquium is taken for credit in both Sophomore and Senior years. The Environmental Sciences Colloquium will be open to the entire Cornell community and the public. You need not sign up for credit to attend these seminars. Students of all levels and majors are encouraged to participate as well as faculty, staff, and members of the community. It is a forum and focal point of the Environmental Sciences community at Cornell and provides visibility to one of the four academic priorities of CALS.

2011 Environmental Sciences Colloquium: Water Resource Management

2010 Environmental Sciences Colloquium: Sustainable Food Systems

2009 Environmental Sciences Colloquium: Green Development: Road to a Sustainable Future

2008 Environmental Sciences Colloquium: Climate Change and Our Energy Options

2007 Environmental Sciences Colloquium: Climate Change: Mitigation and Adaptation

2006 Environmental Sciences Colloquium: Invasive Species

ALS 4770: Environmental Stewardship in the Cornell Community

Spring. Joe Regenstein.

Each student or team of students undertakes an original project to improve the environment at Cornell or in Tompkins County. Often the projects will involve working with the Cornell infrastructure (generally campus life and/or facilities). Through class discussions, students learn how to be more effective at developing environmental programs in the future, both during and after college. Students present a final oral report at a public forum to which senior Cornell administrators are invited. The final written report will be made public.

SNES 4960: Internships in Environmental Science

Fall, Spring, Summer, 1credit; may be repeated once for a total of 2 credits

Student internships involving on- or off-campus supervised, structured work experience. Member of SNES faculty must serve as a mentor and complete the term grade report.
CALS Internship Guidelines:

SNES 4970: Individual Studies in Environmental Sciences

Fall, spring, summer. Variable: 1-6 credits. S-U or Letter grades.

Individual studies are arranged under the supervision of one or several SNES faculty members. They provide opportunity to design a course that fills the need of an individual student and addresses pertinent issues in the environmental sciences. Students must register using independent study form (available in 140 Roberts Hall).

SNES Research Honors Program

Independent research carried out with a Cornell faculty member as a research mentor. Research is normally done during the student's junior and senior year, although earlier participation is accepted. Upon completion of research the student will graduate with Distinction in Research. SNES majors can do honors research, but honors will be awarded through the department of their faculty mentor. Requirements vary depending on the research mentors field of research. Contact: Joseph Yavitt, Department of Natural Resources,, for details.


Other Related Courses and Opportunites

Courses on sustainability

Information about courses across campus that relate to Sustainability can be found here:

This list can be downloaded and sorted by level, department, etc. The creators of this list have somewhat arbitrarily labeled courses as introductory (Intro), fundamental (Fund) or specialized (Spec). However, students should look at prerequisites, etc. to see whether a courses content meets their needs and interests. The list contains course number level, term offered, credit, type, prerequisites listed in the catalog, faculty and website if known, and some additional information.

If you are interested in an area related to Sustainability beyond the broad introductory level, please recognize that you probably will need to take courses in college level math, and physics, chemistry and biology as these disciplines underline every aspect of sustainability.

Other Courses



SNES Program
Director of Undergraduate Studies: Dr. Tim Fahey
Program Contact: Suzanne Wapner