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LSA Course Guide Search Results: UG, GR, Fall 2007, Dept = RCNSCI
 
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Title
Section
Instructor
Term
Credits
Requirements
RCNSCI 232 — History of Life
Section 001, LEC

Instructor: Badgley,Catherine E; homepage

FA 2007
Credits: 4
Reqs: BS, NS

This course surveys the history of life over earth history and introduces biological diversity from the perspectives of evolutionary biology and ecology. Factually, the course focuses on the historical development of life and environments on earth, as known from the fossil record and the diversity, ecology, and adaptations of living organisms. Principles and concepts of historical geology, evolutionary biology, and ecology form the conceptual core of the course. Subjects include geologic time, history of the earth, the origin of life, origins of species and major groups, design in organisms, biological diversity, extinction and the current loss of biodiversity, and human evolution. We also study the development of Darwin's ideas about evolution and their implications for our relationship to nature, as well as other social and environmental issues. Excursions to the Exhibit Museum (and other campus locations) demonstrate the fossil record of organisms and habitats. Assignments include biweekly written exercises, a research paper, and an essay exam. Readings are drawn from two textbooks (Richard Cowen, History of Life and David Quammen's The Reluctant Mister Darwin) and an electronic coursepack.
The goals of the course are (1) to introduce the current understanding of the history of life on earth, as known from the fossil record of organisms and environments, (2) to introduce concepts of historical geology, evolution, and ecology that form the theoretical basis for understanding how organisms arise, evolve, and disappear over earth history, (3) to evaluate processes of discovery and analysis in science, with a focus on Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution, and (4) to evaluate the impact of scientific theories and knowledge on society and the impact of society on science.

RCNSCI 250 — Ecology, Development, and Conservation in Latin America
Section 001, LEC

Instructor: Granzow-de La Cerda,Iñigo; homepage

FA 2007
Credits: 4
Reqs: BS, NS

The course explores the interactions between ecological conservation and development, their constraints, history, and the effects of the South-North unbalance on the environment in Third World Latin American countries in a globalized international arena. Basic concepts in ecological theory, ecosystem dynamics, biogeography, tropical ecology, biodiversity, and conservation biology constitute a significant component of the course, as a basis for further understanding of conservation and environmental issues in this tropical region. We take a close look at the links between environmental problems and the underlying socio-economic issues, cutting across topics on health, economics, social justice, agricultural practices, and conservation of ecosystems. We analyze the role of the different environmental and socio-political actors in conservation and development, mainly regarding agricultural practices and policies and their role in biodiversity conservation, as well as that of international trade. We particularly focus on the ecological consequences of agricultural biotechnology and global change. Additionally, visits to Matthaei Botanical Garden and the Nichols Arboretum (required) will be scheduled during one or more weekends.
The class is entirely taught in Spanish, including all lectures, discussions, student essays, final research papers, and most of the required readings, which will be provided as a coursepack and in CTools.

Advisory Prerequisite: Reading and listening proficiency in Spanish; high school biology or environmental science.

RCNSCI 419 — Sustainable Energy Systems
Section 001, LEC

Instructor: Keoleian,Gregory A

FA 2007
Credits: 3

Assessment of the current energy system that encompasses resource extraction, conversion processes and end-uses. Responses to current challenges such as declining fossil fuels and climate change are explored: unconventional fossil fuels, carbon sequestration, emerging technologies (e.g., renewable sources: biomass, wind, and photovoltaics; fuel cells) and end-use efficiency and conservation. Sustainability is examined by studying global and regional environmental impacts, economics, energy efficiency, consumption patterns and energy policy.

Text requirement: Course Pack.

Advisory Prerequisite: RC,Senior standing; college-level course in Math or Economics or physical science.

 
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