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FALL 2012 COURSES

Courses for the ES Major: Social and Cultural Perspectives Track
Courses for the ES Major: Environmental Science Track
Courses for the ES Minor
Special Topics Course Descriptions

COURSES FOR THE ES MAJOR

SOCIAL AND CULTURAL PERSPECTIVES TRACK

Foundation Courses:

Core Courses:

Cluster A Courses:

Cluster B1 Courses:

*Indicates Lab Course

Capstone:

Methods:

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ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE TRACK

Foundation Course:

Disciplinary Foundation Courses:

Core Courses:

Cluster A Courses:

Cluster B2 Courses:

Capstone:

Methods:

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COURSES FOR THE ES MINOR

SOCIAL AND CULTURAL PERSPECTIVE TRACK

Foundation Courses:

Cluster A Courses:

Cluster B1 Courses:

*Indicates Lab Course

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SPECIAL TOPICS COURSE DESCRIPTIONS:

ES 221 Sustainable Development - Instructor:  Andrew J. Schneller

The real time world statistics at www.worldometers.info tick off births, deaths, dollars spent on public education, bicycles produced, new books published, cellular phones sold, forest loss, CO2 emissions, water consumed in the year, and barrels of oil pumped in a day.  Is such a world sustainable?  Sustainable development examines the concepts and practices of sustainable development as a process for resolving the tensions between economic development, supporting the basic needs of humanity, and the necessity to protect the global environment. Through case study we will explore both US and international issues facing communities as they struggle to preserve their economic, social, environmental, and cultural heritage in an increasingly globalized world. Participation in the case study approach requires you to undertake leadership roles, take risks, and behave as practicing professionals in roles you will likely assume after leaving Skidmore. We’ll analyze both failed and progressive policies and practices that work toward achieving sustainability, across topic areas such as energy production, climate stabilization, alternative housing, food security, water, communications, transportation, tourism, ecosystem and species protection, and resource extraction.  Students will work in pairs on a semester-long investigation into sustainable development concepts and issues facing a chosen country, which culminates in a research paper and oral presentation. Students will also take a midterm examination. Prerequisite: ES 100.

ES 352 Global Environmental Governance - Instructor: Nurcan Atalan Helicke

The Earth’s environment has become a major focal point of international conflict and cooperation. Responding to growing threats of environmental degradation, countries have signed over a thousand international treaties and conventions designed to protect and manage the environment. Similarly, governments and other actors have developed elaborate tools and systems for observing and modeling the behavior of the global environment and translating this knowledge into global policy advice. This course will provide the student with a broad set of theoretical approaches to the study of international and global environmental politics. We will discuss the role of policymakers, scientists, non-state actors and nation-states in establishing and maintaining environmental protection efforts worldwide. This course explores the politics of international environmental problems from a global perspective, examining environmental issues--including but not limited to, climate change, desertification, deforestation, and hazardous waste--that affect us regardless of geographical location and need regulation under conditions of scientific uncertainty. This class will be conducted in a seminar format; participation in class discussions is, therefore, crucial to the success of the course. Assignments include an exam, in-class exercises, case study reviews and a research project.  Prerequisites ES 100 or the permission of the instructor.

ES 352C 001 Restoration Ecology - Instructor: Cathy Gibson

Ecological restoration is an intentional activity that initiates or accelerates the recovery of an ecosystem with respect to its health, integrity and sustainability.  This course explores the newly emerging science of restoration ecology through its theoretical foundations and applications.  We will review the conceptual bases of restoration ecology (succession, recruitment, landscape scale phenomena).  In addition, we will address complex problems in restoration (genetics, physical barriers, exotic species, hydrologic regimes).  Course work will focus on student centered presentations and analyses of case studies and recent literature.  This course will involve collaborative projects and include at least one field trip outside of class hours. Pre-requisites ES 205 and ES 206 or permission of instructor.

ES 352C 002 The Politics of Food, Agriculture and Social Justice - Instructor: Nurcan Atalan Helicke

Our world is in a food crisis. Rising prices, diminishing grain reserves, and global climate change—with implications for agriculture, crop yields, and water resources—raise fears of chronic hunger, vulnerability, and the erosion of our natural resources. Starting with food production and agriculture, this course critically examines the global agro-food system, including the processing, transport, and marketing of food, and concludes with the politics of food consumption. We will focus on the problems with dominant forms of producing and distributing food, including the many environmental and social inequalities they produce, and what people are doing about them. Although most would agree that the problems with the food system are systemic and global in scale, and come from the way food is produced, current solutions tend to focus on creating alternatives on the local scale, privileging the needs and desires of consumers. Through case studies, the course will provide you an opportunity to think deeply about strategies how agro-food systems can promote social justice and environmental sustainability and whether current alternative solutions to the problems in the global agro-food system are adequate.   Prerequisites: ES 100 or the permission of the instructor.   Requirements for this course include attendance and participation, food-related field trips/fieldwork, short writing assignments, and a research project.

ES 352C 004 US public land and oceans: policy, management, and current events - Instructor: Andrew J. Schneller

Public lands and oceans are our natural and national heritage. State and federal agencies manage, and at times mismanage, public lands and oceans for their diverse recreational, wilderness, resource, economic, ecosystem, watershed, range, and wildlife values.  Through case studies and issue investigation, this class will examine the policies, laws, philosophies; the social, cultural, religious, economic, political interests; and the science that influence the management of state and federally owned public resources.  We will explore active stakeholders in the public lands and oceans policy arena, which include a diversity of advocates, agencies, tribes, non-governmental organizations, researchers, and industries.  This class will include special guest speakers, films, and field trips.  Students will take a participatory role in current environmental policy and resource management decisions by offering written comments through the National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, and Letters to the Editor of newspapers. Students will also work in pairs on a semester-long Issue Investigation and Action Research Project that includes a research paper and oral presentation as well as take an in class midterm examination.  Prerequisites: ES 100 or the permission of the instructor.

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