ENVIRON 139 - First-Year Seminar in the Environment
Section: 003 Taming Nature: Domestication and Conservation
Term: FA 2018
Subject: Program in the Environment (ENVIRON)
Department: SNE Program in the Environment
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
Enrollment restricted to first-year students, including those with sophomore standing.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

People have long exploited natural resources for food, medicines, shelter, symbols of status, and a variety of other reasons to enrich their lifestyles. This course explores what we put on our plates, from plants to animals, to the variety of goods we use to season up these necessities of life. Topics include the origin and domestication of main staples in our diets, how food choices have altered our bodies, our lifestyles, and the planet as a whole; including major shifts in conservation and agriculture that are necessary to maintain a healthy planet and a sustainable future.


  • Michael Pollen. 2007. The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. Penguin Books. ISBN: 978-0-14-303858-0
  • Gary Paul Nabhan. 2009. Where our food comes from: retracing Nikolay Vavilov’s quest to end famine. Shearwater Books. ISBN: 978-1-59726-399-3 (E-book free via UM Library).

Course Requirements:

  • Active participation and attendance.
  • Lead discussions on various topics related to food.
  • Learn to critically analyze scientific and popular culture writings and videos.
  • Write reports on literature discussed in class and investigated individually

ENVIRON 139 - First-Year Seminar in the Environment
Schedule Listing
003 (SEM)
6Enrollment Management
MW 10:00AM - 11:30AM
005 (SEM)
4Enrollment Management
TuTh 4:00PM - 5:30PM
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