Environmental Studies Courses
Summer and Fall 2008

Summer 2008

SCIN 1010.05 Topics in Physical Science: Natural Disasters (3 credits)
Instructor: Moats, Mark            
M 5:30-9:30 pm (Downtown)

This is a survey of the various natural disasters and their causes. We will explore their relationship to Earth processes and the long term risks to human populations. We will also examine how scientists determine the causes, effects, and prediction of catastrophes. May be repeated if content differs. (SCI)

HRTS 2086.08 Topics in Human Rights: Human Rights & Natural Disasters (3 credits)
Instructor: Annie Stevens
W 5:30-9:30 (Westport)

Where were you when the "big one" hit?   In the wake of hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, and floods around the world, questions emerge concerning the responsibility of governments and citizens for safeguarding the natural as well as the human environments. Lessons from earlier environmental disasters, including those linked to human causes, can provide essential keys to understanding the ethical, social, and scientific controversies.

Fall 2008

ANSO 1090.01 Topics in Geography: Geographic Transitions (3 credits)
Instructor: Mikels Skele
MWF 11-11:50 am

This is a teacher certification course. It will be an exploration of most areas of geography: land-human relationships, regions, spacial interaction, population, resources and socioeconomic development. Students will look at geography in a changing world, doing so from the perspective of future teachers in elementary and secondary classrooms. International Studies [CUL, HST]

ANSO 3000.03 Topics in Anthropology/Sociology: Food, Environment, and Culture (3 credits)
Instructor: Gerry Tierney
Fall II, W 5:30-9:30 pm

In this class we will try to discover the connections between what different environments offer in the way of edible items, the ways in which humans exploit the environment, and the ways our culture determines what are appropriate food sources.   We will discuss the ways in which plants and animals (including humans) are linked to the sun's energy and the earth's fertility.   We will explore the ways in which humans have subsisted in a variety of environments going back thousands of years to hunting and gathering subsistence strategies.   We will pay special attention to the current harmful industrial exploitation of our natural resources.   We will also uncover the ways in which contemporary foods are processed.   We will discuss the inhumane and harmful ways in which our food has become an industrial by product, harmful for both the natural environment and the plants and animals which are a part of it.  

BIOL 1318.01 Issues in Biology: Global Climate Change (3 credits)
Instructor: Jeff DePew
TR 1:30-3:00 pm

This course will be an in depth investigation into the science of Global Climate Change; its symptoms as determined by scientific observations and data throughout the world, and what the proposed solutions are. The course is not meant to follow a politically charged agenda or ideology, the course will use the internet, published data, films, media, guest speakers, field trips and inquiry to investigate the science, measured examples, effects, outcomes and proposals that define Global Climate Change. (SCI)

BIOL 1020.01 and BIOL 1021.01: Biology of Animals (4 credits total)
Instructor: Stephanie Schroeder
R 5:30-8:20 (BIOL 1020) and R 8:30-9:20 pm (1021)

Introduces the fascinating world of animals, from the tiny water flea to the elephant. Examines the challenges in their lives and the ways they meet them, including the search for food sources and shelter, reproduction, and internal stability. Laboratory (1021) required. BIOL 1020 and BIOL 1021 must be taken concurrently. Intended for non-majors. (SCI)

GNST 1308.01 Technology, Science, and Society: When Rivers Run Wild (3 credits)
Instructor: David Wilson
Fall I W 5:30-9:30 pm

We all live in a watershed. Human actions in watersheds can cause - or prevent - flooding and protect - or damage - water quality. Students will use a variety of disciplines to transform the way they think about water, rainstorms, rivers, and flood events. At least four class periods will include field trips to local rivers, streams and parks. [SCI]

POLT 2500.01 Interdisciplinary Approach to Politics: Political Economy of Sex, Drugs & Garbage (3 credits)
Instructor: Allan MacNeill
MWF 2:00-2:50

Are government regulations, prohibitions and mandates the best policies for dealing with prostitution, illegal drugs and garbage? Should policy-makers consider the cost effectiveness of their actions, or should moral concerns outweigh economic considerations? What role, if any, should market forces play in addressing these issues? What is the relationship between individual freedom and social welfare? This course will explore diverse viewpoints on these questions from within the field of political economy. Different theoretical approaches will be applied to three case studies: the economics of the sex industry, the legalization of drugs, and public recycling programs. The course format will include lecture, videos, discussion and debates. Students will be evaluated based on short written assignments, class participation and a final exam. An American Studies Course.[VAL]

RELG 2430.01 Environment and Religion: Landscape, the Sacred and Nature (3 credits)
Instructor: Chris Parr
TR 1:30 pm -2:50 pm

Mt Fuji in Japan is revered as a deity; rivers in New Zealand may be home to a taniwha , a water-dragon spirit; and the Navajo, Hopi and Pueblo peoples all regard Mt Taylor in New Mexico as the sacred access point to the spirit worlds beneath the earth's surface. This course, which contributes also to the Environmental Studies program and minor, explores a variety of ways in which landscapes, landforms and special places have been regarded as Sacred.   We will consider what this interestingly-loaded concept means, why it applies (or doesn't), and what effects it has. We will look at some key examples from different religious cultures, primarily from North America, and also examples known to those in the class. Our primary texts will be Belden Lane's study of North American sacred places, Leslie Marmon Silko's novel Ceremony set in New Mexico, the Japanese poet Basho's travel journals, and some of contemporary poet and ecologist Gary Snyder's writings. As we contemplate how the designation of the 'sacred' affects the treatment of the environments involved, we will ask whether being 'sacred' protects the environment, and who decides ...