The quest for harmony between humans and the natural world requires understanding of nature, society, and our individual selves. The program in Environmental Studies encourages students to supplement their training in particular academic disciplines by exploring aspects of natural science, social science, and the humanities. The Program is not a concentration program, although a student may emphasize environmental studies in the LS&A Individual Concentration Program (ICP).
Environmental Studies 123 and 320 both offer broad overviews of the field and serve as introductions to more advanced work. Environmental Studies 420 and 421 offer opportunities for independent study. In these courses the student is responsible for defining a plan of study, enlisting others with similar interests if appropriate, and locating a faculty member willing to supervise the work. Environmental Studies 450 is a Capstone Seminar providing the opportunity for seniors, particularly those pursuing ICPs, to work together to compare diverse perspectives on human values and the environment.
Courses on environmental issues are offered by many different departments and programs in LS&A as well as in other colleges of the university. Students interested in the environment should explore each issue of the Time Schedule thoroughly, because many appropriate courses are offered at irregular intervals under unpredictable headings. Of particular interest are some of the Gateway Seminars listed as University Courses.
123/AOSS 123/Geol. 123. Life and the Global Environment. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 361. (2). (NS). (BS).
How human beings interact with the natural environment, including the physical and chemical environment and living creatures. Topics include: the cowboy mentality and the need for environmental ethics; the ozone emergency and its lessons; energy policy and climate change; nature's approach to population control compared with other possibilities; how politics and poverty interact to cause pollution; agriculture, the green revolution, and the disruption of ecosystems; the environmental impact of economic analysis; religion, ethics, and environmental responsibility. Instruction is by lectures, films, assigned reading, and computer exercises. Grades are based on multiple choice examinations and frequent short quizzes. The text is World Resources 1994-5, published by Oxford University Press. Cost:1 WL:1 (Walker)
320. Introduction to Environmental Studies. (4). (Excl).
This overview of environmental issues emphasizes their human dimension. Its primary objective is to help students become more ecologically literate, able to think critically about environmental issues, to know how to find and evaluate information on them, and to understand their historical, social, and political dimensions. While the class addresses some scientific aspects of the environment, it focuses on how history, literature, and the social sciences contribute to our understanding of environmental concerns. Different speakers in the class discuss environmental topics from different perspectives, so students see how assumptions shape interpretation of the "facts." Students are encouraged to challenge and question the lecturers. Weekly discussion sections permit exploration of environmental issues, attitudes, and possible solutions. Students complete several assignments and a group project. The written work includes critical analyses of lectures and related articles. The course requires a high level of student participation and initiative. Cost:2 WL:4 (Bardwell)
353/Physics 250. Energy, Entropy, and Environment. Two and one-half years of high school mathematics, or any college course in mathematics or natural science. (3). (NS). (BS).
For Winter Term, 1995, this course is offered jointly with RC Nat Sci 263. (Ross)
361/Geology 277. Humans and the Natural World. Those with credit for 123 may only elect 361 for 1 credit. (3). (NS). (BS).
How humans affect and are affected by the natural environment, including other living creatures, the chemistry of air and water, and the physical environment. Problems of pollution, changes in land use including destruction of natural habitats, population pressure, and climate change. There are two hours of lecture each week in conjunction with Environmental Studies 123, Life and the Global Environment. The third hour is a seminar and discussion, concentrating on human population issues and using as text Beyond the Numbers, edited by Laurie Ann Mazur and published by Island Press. There will be weekly written assignments and a term paper. Instruction is by lectures, films, assigned readings, class discussions, and computer exercises. (Walker)
412. Alternative Patterns of Resource Utilization: The Amish in Twentieth Century America. Environ. Studies. 320 or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).
The Amish, a cohesive rural subculture, are used as a case study to examine in detail alternative land and resource utilization that has proved viable in contemporary North America. Value systems, social structures, technology and scale as they influence individual, family and community interaction with the natural environment will be examined. Amish life-style offers an implicit critique of consumption patterns and agricultural methods characteristic of the 1990's. Questions are raised about the function of cultural diversity as it pertains to human survival and problems both of maintaining cultural cohesiveness and transferring specific behavior patterns across cultural boundaries. Biweekly classes will consist primarily of lecture and discussion with several guest speakers and films. Students will be evaluated on the basis of class participation, performance on several small papers and a final exam or term paper. Enrollment is limited. Cost:1 WL:1 (Huntington)
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