Faculty  Majors  Minors  Courses  Honors
Environmental Studies and Sciences
 

banner

FALL 2015 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:

Methods:

BACK TO TOP

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE TRACK

Foundation Course:

Disciplinary Foundation Courses:

Core Courses:

Cluster A Courses:

Cluster B2 Courses:

Capstone:

Methods:

BACK TO TOP

COURSES FOR THE ES MINOR

Foundation Courses:

Cluster A Courses:

Cluster B1 Courses:

BACK TO TOP

SPECIAL TOPICS COURSE DESCRIPTIONS:

EN 229 02 Literature and the Environment         Instructor: M. Marx

“Let us inquire,” directs Ralph Waldo Emerson in his 1836 essay Nature, “to what end is nature?” From the creation myths of Genesis to contemporary environmental journalism, writers have grappled with Emerson’s question. “Literature and the Environment” examines how we know nature and the environment through literary works and how texts reveal environmental and personal values about the natural world in which we live. We will consider shifting images of nature, from the spiritual and sacred, to projections of the human psyche, and to a powerful force worthy of our wonder, worry, and awe. Readings for the course concentrate on nonfiction and fiction but also include selections from myth and poetry.  We will read primarily nineteenth- and twentieth-century American authors such as Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, Edward Abbey, Terry Tempest Williams, and Barbara Kingsolver. Course requirements include active discussion, three papers, a class blog, a final examination, and independent readings.

COUNTS AS A “LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE IN CONTEXT” COURSE.
COUNTS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES CREDIT.

ES 352D Environmental Education                      Instructor:  AJ. Schneller

Do you have a deep appreciation for environmental protection and a genuine concern about environmental problems that will affect the Earth and future generations for years to come? Maybe you also feel the need to share this positive passion for the environment with children, your friends, and interested members of the community? Then it's very possible that YOU should explore the field of environmental learning, and how to become an effective environmental educator! This course will especially be of interest to future teachers, non-formal environmental educators and advocates, and students interested in outreach, education, and communications for the non-profit and government sector. Students will learn about the history and current state of environmental learning in the US, as well as the various pedagogical tools, programs, and resources that are available for the global dissemination of environmental learning. We’ll explore the innovations and philosophies behind experiential and authentic environmental learning; sustainability education; research on environmental learning (knowledge, perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors); environmental service learning; earth education; emancipatory education; critical pedagogy; and issues investigation and action training (IIAT), etc. Students will research and critique existing environmental education programs as well as undertake a partnership with a local school, outdoor education center, National, State, or City Park, youth organization, hospital, non-profit organization, etc. in order to design and implement an age appropriate, innovative, and inspirational environmental learning unit. Students will be required to take one mid-term examination, take quizzes, as well as submit various written assignments.

ES 352C Global Environmental Governance                Instructor: N. Atalan Helicke

How does what we know about climate change affect what we do? Do states engage in regulatory collective action when they have incomplete information about ecological problems? Why does lack of conclusive evidence of an ecological problem (as in the case of ozone depletion) lead to a global agreement (the Montreal Protocol)? But why do states not cooperate on a globally binding forest or fisheries regimes?  Today, many of the environmental problems we face have repercussions at the global scale. Yet, we do not have global regulations for many environmental problems.

In this course we examine the role of various agents—governments, scientific bodies, and non-governmental organizations—in environmental decision-making and how these agents use science, law, economics, and ethics as political tools to create powerful representations of environmental problems or decisions over others. These representations affect not only what we know about global environmental problems but the way different actors (such as states, international organizations, NGOs, and civil society) seek to address these problems. Thus, the following questions emerge: Who is producing knowledge about the world? How do they represent that knowledge? What does that knowledge mean in terms of intervention? Other issues we will address include the relationship between knowledge production (scientific/institutionalized and local), global politics (North/South), knowledge as a form of power, and power and the politics of intervention.

ES 303 The Politics of Food, Agriculture and Social Justice -         Instructor: N. 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 352D Soil Science, Ecology, and Geography: The world beneath your feet         Instructor: K. Smemo

Soils are the zone of biological, chemical, and physical processes that regulate terrestrial energy transformation, element cycling, and atmospheric exchange. Soil properties and processes are essentially the “foundation” of terrestrial (and aquatic) ecosystem functioning and provide numerous ecosystem goods and services in which humans and all other life on earth depends. A basic of understanding of the genesis, morphology, and physical/chemical properties of soils is therefore fundamental to any training in the ecological and environmental sciences. The overarching goal of this course is to provide students with an introduction to the soil resource and its ecology, geography, and management. We will pay specific attention to the topics of nutrient availability in time and space, organic matter turnover, and the role of soil in the climate system; much of this discussion will be drawn from the primary scientific literature. Laboratory activities will be field and laboratory-based and will focus on forest, wetland, and agricultural soils of the upstate NY region.
Prerequisites: ES 205, ES 206, and students should have completed or currently be enrolled in BI 241, or permission of instructor.

BACK TO TOP

 

A A A