Environmental Studies Courses
BIOL 1318.01 Topics in Biology: Environmental Sustainability Field Class (3 credits)
This class is a hands on field course designed to plan, prepare, design and construct Sustainability Projects on Webster University’s campus. Students will work closely with the University Facilities, grounds/landscape crew, Administration, Sustainability Coalition, as well as local groups and businesses to complete projects on campus. This is a hands-on, working course that will give students a chance to roll up their sleeves and physically work on Webster University’s campus and projects to increase visible sustainability. Inherent in the class are the basics of Ecology and Ecological principles, as they pertain to the individual project. (SCI)
ANTH 1400.01 Introduction to Geography: World and Regional (3 credits)
Acquaints the student with contemporary and classic issues in geography. Offerings range from the study of demography to the evolution of humanity and culture. Intended for majors and non-majors, including students in teacher education programs. [HST, CUL]
ANTH 2690.01: Food & Culture (3 credits)
Prerequisite: ANTH 1100 or permission of instructor
ANTH 2760.01/SOCI 2575 Urban Anthropology/Cities and Suburbs (3 credits)
Is space merely a container of social action? Is the “city” merely the background, the context, of urban research? In this course, we will examine space as an object of social inquiry, paying attention to the cultural, political, and economic processes that transform space into place. Building upon this theoretical foundation, we will explore some central themes and concerns in the study of urban spaces, in particular, the “city” as cultural construct and the “city” as the site and object of local and global social struggles. The course will examine how the “city” has informed particular imaginations of the social, inequality, justice, and the “good life.” For example, the “city” had nurtured modernist dreams of the perfectible society, and conversely, fed rabid fears of social disorder and violent contagion. The “city” is an object of contention, complexly entwined with notions of class, gender, race, ethnicity, and the “market.” We will explore in this course, among other topics, formations of ethnic and racialized “ghettos”, suburbanization, policing of space, and urban community politics. [VAL]
ANTH 3360 01 Indigenous Peoples, Culture and Globalization (3 credits)
BIOL 1020.01 and BIOL 1021.01: Biology of Animals and Lab (4 credits total)
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)
BIOL 3200.01 and BIOL 3201.01: Ecology and Lab (4 credits total)
Defines ecosystems, examines how they function, and how human intervention changes that function. Emphasizes world ecosystems. Laboratory required. BIOL 3200 and BIOL 3201 must be taken concurrently. Prerequisites: BIOL 1550 and BIOL 1560, or permission of the instructor. (SCI)
EDUC 4250.01 Economics and Geography for Global Sustainability (4 credits)
This course is designed to provide elementary, middle and secondary educators the information they need to understand and be able to teach the fundamentals of economics, geography and global sustainability. Economic content includes: economic systems, concepts, and institutions; economic change over time; modern global economics; and the relationship between producers, consumers, and the government. Geography content includes: Physical geography skills (apply and use geographic representations, tools, and resources such as maps, atlases, aerial photographs, globes, etc.). and concepts; locales, regions, nations, and the world relative to location, size, climate, and geology; and how individuals and groups are affected by events on an international and global scale. Sustainability concepts and skills will be integrated throughout the course with emphasis on current environmental and social equity issues as well as systems thinking. Students will explore the interconnectedness of people, profit and planet.
SUST 1000 Introduction to Sustainability Studies (3 credits)
Learning more about the social and environmental challenges facing us in the 21st century can seem overwhelming and depressing. However, there's another way to look at it: college students today have an unprecedented opportunity to help us make the transition to a more sustainable, healthier, and happier way of life by taking creative, socially just approaches to problems like global climate change, reliance on fossil fuels, and human population growth.
This course will introduce you to the interdisciplinary field of sustainability studies, which focuses on how to transform human societies so that we may equitably meet current human needs (such as health, energy, food, shelter, and transportation) while preserving the natural systems upon which all species (including our own) rely. Topics include the definition of sustainability; basic ecological concepts; worldviews, ethics, and environmental identity; economics and consumerism; food systems (including genetic modification of food); climate change; environmental justice; and issues affecting freshwater and ocean systems, such as watershed health, the privatization of water and overfishing.
Activities will include 1) frequent writing assignments to allow you to express your understanding of the complex systems that provide the foundation for environmental and human health and well-being and 2) experiential elements (field trips and a campus sustainability project) that will allow you to apply and test classroom theories and information. Guest speakers will represent different disciplines that contribute to sustainability studies.
This course fulfills the Global Citizenship requirements for the Physical and Natural World Knowledge Area and Critical Thinking Skills Area.
Note: For students who are pursuing the environmental studies minor, this course will count as Introduction to Environmental Studies, which it has replaced in the catalogue.
RELG 2430.01 Environment and Religion: The Sacred Mystery & Landscape (3 credits)
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 … [VAL]
SCIN 1010.02 Topics in Physical Science: When Rivers Run Wild (3 credits)
Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Mississippi River floods, or flash floods on local streams—are they natural disasters or the result of human actions? What is pollution and what can society do about it? Students will use a variety of disciplines to inform the way they think about water, storms, rivers, floods and our social values. [SCI]
SCIN 1010.06 Topics in Physical Science: Natural Disasters (3 credits)
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)
SCIN 1100 .01 and SCIN 1101.01: Earth Science and Lab (4 credits total)
An introduction to planet Earth in space, the study of the structure of the Earth, the geological processes that control the development of the Earth's surface, and weather and climate. The student will be exposed to the following scientific disciplines: geology, oceanography, meteorology, climatology, and astronomy. The course will be presented in both lectures and laboratory. It is expected that the student will become familiar with the scientific basis for many day-to-day physical phenomena. Open to non-majors. Laboratory required. SCIN 1100 and SCIN 1101 must be taken concurrently. (SCI)