Introduction to Environmental Studies is an overview of, well, the environment. This class combines lectures, discussion, and interactive labs to explore the world in which we live. Instead of reading from textbooks, Donald assigns readings from journals, studies, news sources, and investigations. Labs generally consist of observation and interaction rather than experimentation, and debate is welcomed in the classroom.
I took this course because I needed to fulfill my lab science and I didn’t want to dedicate my days to a plot of land (no shade to the biologists, plots just aren’t my vibe). I think I can safely say that the majority of SR students care about the environment, which is why I believe this is such a wonderful class for those who are not particularly interested in the sciences. To begin, Donald is an absolute gem. His jokes left me in tears, and he never failed to facilitate interesting, controlled, and educational discussion. I never felt like I was learning old news, there were no readings from thick textbooks or dense lab reports, and the workload justified this class as an intro science yet never exceeded my capabilities (and I was taking 7 classes). Additionally, although I cannot speak from personal experience, the students I know that took this class for their major found it worth their time and couldn’t wait to work with Donald again.
To succeed in this class you must be patient and diligent. Because of Donald McClelland’s generally lax nature you may find yourself thinking, “I don’t have to do any work. He doesn’t care.” Donald does care. He will mark you off for absences and missing work, and he takes participation very seriously. That being said, if you try your best I’m sure there will be no problem.
Donald is, to say the least, disorganized. If you need a syllabus to follow or clear instructions ahead of time, this is not the professor for you.
Rating: 7/10. The only reason to dock any points from this class is Donald’s lack of administrative talent. There is no nicer way to say this: he’s really bad at responding to emails/posting revised syllabi/communicating assignment expectations and it can get stressful. All in-class functions, however, were as perfect as they could get.