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FALL 2013 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:

Capstone:

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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:

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SPECIAL TOPICS COURSE DESCRIPTIONS:

AN 351C – Anthropology of Consumption - Instructor: Kenji Tierney

An engagement with the anthropology of consumption. Students will examine how commodities and consumption mediate the self, identities, bodies, and the environment. The course will move through the “lifecycle” of commodities – from gestation to birth to life and to death – throughout the world. Topics will include: factories, shipping, shopping, use, and garbage. Students will consider anthropological approaches to exchange theory, identity, commodity chains, world systems theory, and garbage/waste. Prerequisites for ES Students: Junior standing, AN-101, and one additional Anthropology course.

CH 351 Atmospheric Chemistry - Instructor: Juan Navea

This course introduces students to the physical and chemical processes that control the Earth’s atmosphere and climate. Topics will include the mechanisms that regulate the flow of energy in the atmosphere, the role of atmospheric aerosols and solar radiation in climate change, and Global Chemical Cycles. In addition, we will explore how anthropogenic activities influence the chemical balance of the atmosphere.
Prerequisite: CH 222

EN 363 Race, Place, and Environmental Writing - Instructor: Michael Steven Marx

In a 2011 interview, Mount Holyoke professor Lauret Savoy offers a sharp criticism of nature writing: “nature writing that most people associate with the genre is really a writing of privilege, a writing of opportunity and choice. And there is so much writing about our place in the world or an individual’s place in the world that’s based on the lack of choice or based on poverty and those stories are as important as moving into the wilderness, as exploring the natural world.” Carolyn Finney of the University of California, Berkeley supports Savoy’s contention, urging that “[People] must be willing to let go of the assumption that their view of the environment is a universal one, and be ready to collaborate with people to create new ways of framing and thinking about the environment.” In “Race, Place, and Environmental Writing,” students will take on Savoy’s challenge and read fiction and poetry by authors of color to explore how race, ethnicity, class, religion, and gender shape our relationship to and experience with the land, nature, and the environment, both built and natural. In addition to short nonfiction from Savoy’s The Colors of Nature, we will read works by African American, Latino, and Native American writers such as Toni Morrison, Frank X. Walker, Leslie Marmon Silko, Sandra Cisneros, and Helena Maria Viramontes. In addition to participating in lively class discussions, students will write weekly blog entries, several short papers, and a long research paper bringing an ecocritical perspective to a text. Students will also give class presentations to illuminate the culture contexts of our readings.

ES 352 C 002 Global Environmental Governance: Climate Change - Instructor: Nurcan Atalan Helicke

As the magnitudes of the Earth’s environmental problems have increased and globalization integrated human activities, many environmental issues have also become global issues. Responding to growing concerns about environmental degradation, livelihoods and economy, governments have signed over a thousand international treaties to protect and manage the environment. Similarly, elaborate tools and systems were developed for observing and modeling the behavior of the global environment and translating this knowledge into global policy advice. However, environmental governance involves much more than the work of governments. It is also about questions concerning how we make environmental decisions and who makes them. Heightened concern about environmental quality has increased demand for leaders and analysts who can navigate the political, economic, scientific and technological dimensions of these issues to inform critical policy decisions in a multinational context. This course explores the politics of addressing environmental problems from a global perspective, dealing with who is responsible, how they yield their power, and how they are held accountable. The course will examine the role of policymakers, scientists, non-state actors in the formation of environmental policy and the management of it, and focus on the challenges of addressing global environmental problems while accommodating cross-national differences in interpretations of scientific risk and uncertainty. The course's focus will be global climate change, yet it will also address other case studies including deforestation, biotechnology and hazardous waste. As an upper level seminar, participation in class discussions is crucial to the success in the course. The assignments include an exam, a video-conference with UN ambassadors, collaborative in-class exercises, primary document reviews and a research project. Prerequisites ES 100 or GO103 or IA101 or the permission of the instructor.

ES 352C 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 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.

GE 251C Advanced Oceanography - Instructor: Greg Gerbi

The examination of several systems in the ocean and the interactions of physics, chemistry, biology, and geology (where appropriate) in each of these systems. The class will focus on areas such as estuaries, the upper ocean (air-sea interaction and phytoplankton growth), eddies, and reefs. Primary attention will be given to science issues, with the consideration of human interactions and policy for some parts of the course. Prerequisities: GE112

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