Environmental Studies Courses, Spring 2012

ANTH 1400.01 Topics in Geography: Geographic Transitions (3 credits)
Instructor: Mikel Skele            
MWF 1:00-1:50

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. May be repeated for credit if content differs. [HST, CUL]

ANTH 3490.01 Environmental Anthropology
Instructor: Don Conway-Long
MW 1:00-2:20

Offered concurrently with SOCI 3575 Human Ecology. How has the environment shaped various human populations socially, culturally, and economically? What does the history of human/environmental interaction tell us about the choices we have to make in the twenty-first century? In this course, we will examine human ecology from a cross-cultural perspective, seeking to understand the different ways societies throughout human history have perceived and interacted with the natural world. Prerequisites: ANTH 1100 and 9 credit hours of anthropology; or permission of the instructor (dconlong@webster.edu). An International Studies course.

BIOL 1030 and 1031 Biology of Plants and Lab (4 credits)
Instructor: Jeff DePew
T 5:30-8:20 and T 8:30-9:30

Examines plant growth and development, from seed to flower. Plant diversity, ancient and modern uses will be studied, along with care of common garden and household plants. Note: BIOL 1030 and BIOL 1031 must be taken concurrently. Intended for non-majors. [SCI]

BIOL 1318.01 Issues in Biology: Global Climate Change (3 credits)
Instructor: Jeff DePew
MW 2:00-3:20

This course will be an in-depth investigation into the science of global climate change, including 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. It 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]

HIST 1010: Topics in History: North American Environmental History
Instructor: Kim Kleinman
TR 8:30-9:50

Environmental history examines how humans have interacted with our environment over time to extend our understanding of the past beyond wars, politics, laws, treaties, and government. This course will look at American history--including all the familiar episodes, such as the Pilgrim's first Thanksgiving, the slave trade, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and westward expansion--from the point of view of the land. Our questions will include: How did various people view the land? How were their experiences shaped by the land? How did their activity change the environment? Introductory courses of a survey nature covering various topics. Recent topics have included the American West, American history through folk song and story, historians and the American experience, and religion in America. May be repeated for credit if content differs. This course counts towards the Environmental Studies Minor. An American Studies Course. [HST]

JOUR 3750.01 Environmental Journalism and Communications
Instructor: Don Corrigan
MWF 11:00-11:50

In this course students learn how journalists, advocacy group spokespersons, and public relations officials communicate on environmental issues. The course provides future environmental reporters with a sensitivity to the language of hazard and risk, as well as technical and quantitative knowledge about environmental issues. For future public information professionals involved with environmental issues, the course will provide insight on how the media reports on the environment. This is a writing course, and students can be expected to research and write on an array of local and national environmental concerns. Prerequisites: JOUR 1030, sophomore standing, SCIN 1520, OR permission of instructor (please e-mail Professor Corrigan at corrigan@timesnewspapers.com). Professor Corrigan welcomes environmental studies students (and even just students interested in the environment) into the class, regardless of whether or not they have taken JOUR 1030, so please contact him if you are interested.

PHIL 2360.01 Environmental Ethics
Instructor: Kate Parsons
TR 1:30-2:50

The food we eat, the clothes we wear, and the modes of transportation we use affect our relationships with the environment in various ways. This course will examine human relationships with nature and animals while considering the philosophical concepts of rights, responsibilities, care, empathy, and freedom. We will explore topics such as population growth, corporate responsibility, food production and consumption, and environmental activism. Special attention will be paid to the ways in which gender, race, ethnicity, class, and nationality inform and shape our environmental choices. This course counts toward the programs in Practical and Interdisciplinary Ethics and International Human Rights as well as Environmental Studies.

POLT 2500.01 Interdisciplinary Approaches to Politics: Sex, Drugs, and Garbage
Instructor: Allan MacNeill
TR 12:00-1:20

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. Integrates the contributions of other disciplines--history, psychology, sociology, economics, literature, media, philosophy--into the study of politics and the role politics plays in the nongovernmental arena. May be repeated for credit if content differs. An American Studies Course. [VAL]

SCIN 1010.02 Topics in Physical Science: Enhancing Campus Sustainability
Instructor: David A. Wilson
M 5:30-8:30

Using the Webster Groves Campus of Webster University as their laboratory, students in this course will identify opportunities to improve environmental practices relating to energy, water, air, and materials use, and then select at least one project area in which they develop a recommendation for action that they will submit to the university. This is an interdisciplinary class that uses disciplines and skills of science, sociology, political science, among others. The class will work as a team in project development. Intended for all majors. [SCI]

SCIN 1010.06 Topics in Physical Science: Natural Disasters
Instructor: Mark Moats
Spring 2, M 5:30 - 9:30

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. [SCI]

SCIN 1010.07 Topics in Physical Science: Living off the Grid
Instructor: Julia Griffey
F 2:00-4:20 (3 meetings) and Spring Break trip

This course investigates on-grid vs. off-the-grid living toward complete sustainability. We will examine the science of how on-grid systems within traditional homes supply water, process waste, generate power and maintain thermal comfort and compare these to alternative sustainable systems (black water, grey water, solar power, thermal mass, catch water, etc...) in off-grid homes. Students will complete the majority of their course work in Taos, New Mexico over spring break where they will receive instruction, participate in discussions, execute hands-on experiments, and participate in alternative building methods in an off-the-grid home independent of public utilities. Throughout the week, students will travel to various sites around Taos, to see exemplifications of concepts discussed in class. This course will have three meetings on campus in St. Louis, two before and one after spring break. There is a lab fee of $675 which includes housing, transportation around Taos and some meals and activities. Students must supply their own transportation to Albuquerque, New Mexico.

SCIN 1520 and 1521: Environment and Environment Lab
Instructor: Jeff DePew
T 1:30 - 4:20 and R 1:30 - 4:20

Concerns problems of the world ecosystem. Includes the nature of ecosystems, pesticides, water pollution, air pollution, solid waste, nonrenewable natural resources, energy, nuclear power, radioactivity, agriculture, human food supply, and environmental health. Laboratory required. SCIN 1520 and SCIN 1521 must be taken concurrently. Intended for non-majors. [SCI]

SOCI 3575.01 Human Ecology
Instructor: Don Conway-Long
MW 1:00-2:20

Offered concurrently with ANTH 3490.01 Environmental Anthropology. Examines sociological perspectives on human ecology. A variety of topics illustrating the relationship between humans and the physical environment will be presented, such as consumption and sustainability, globalization, environmental politics and law, urban systems and development, residential patterns and housing, metropolitanization and suburbanization, the environmental impact of population structure, dynamics, and migration. Prerequisites: SOCI 1100, SOCI 2825, and 6 credit hours of sociology or permission of the instructor (dconlong@webster.edu). An International Studies course.