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FALL 2016 COURSES

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

COURSES FOR THE ESS MAJOR

SOCIAL AND CULTURAL PERSPECTIVES TRACK

Foundation Courses:

Core Courses:

Cluster A Courses:

Cluster B1 Courses:

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 ESS MINOR

Foundation Courses:

Cluster A Courses:

Cluster B1 Courses:

Cluster B2 Courses:

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SPECIAL TOPICS COURSE DESCRIPTIONS:

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 education, 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 education in the US, as well as the various pedagogical tools, programs, and resources that are available for the global dissemination of environmental education. We’ll explore the innovations and philosophies behind experiential and authentic environmental learning; sustainability education; research on environmental education (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 original environmental education curriculum. Students will be required to take one mid term examination, take quizzes, as well as submit various written assignments. Students are required to undertake at least 30 hours of service learning in schools and nature centers in the region. Note: This is a four credit course with a mandatory Service Learning component.

ES 252C Energy Systems and Sustainable Solutions                Instructor: K. Kellogg

Energy is a principle means for providing basic human needs, and it facilitates various opportunities for the achievement of a decent quality of life. Access to affordable, adequate, and sustainable energy sources is a prerequisite for sustainable development, and understanding the design, efficiencies, and environmental impacts of different energy systems is critical to our transition to a cleaner, more equitable energy future. We will explore the fundamental physics of energy, the evolving designs and efficiencies of more traditional and alternative energy production, and the comprehensive environmental impacts of various energy sources and systems. Case studies in electricity generation, heating and cooling, and transportation will push our understanding of the multiple perspectives and the complex analysis of impacts that shape reasonable solutions to our growing energy demands. Prerequisite ES 100.

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 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.

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.

EN 229 Literature and the Environment                    Instructor: M. Marx

This fall’s offering of “Literature and the Environment” will examine nature and environmental writing through the lens of race and ethnicity, juxtaposing texts of traditional American nature writers, such as Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, and Terry Tempest Williams with literature from contemporary writers of color, such as Shelton Johnson, Helena Maria Viramontes, and Rudolfo Anaya. In his 1951 poem “A Theme for English B,” Langston Hughes writes, “I guess being colored doesn’t make me not like/ the same things other folks like who are other races./ So will my page be colored that I write?” While examining the relationship between humans and nature in literature, we will explore how race shapes our relationship to nature, how we inhabit our environment colors our experiences with nature, and how writers have captured this complex relationships in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Course work includes two formal papers, short writings for a class blog, examinations, and oral presentations.

GE 251D Data Analysis and Modeling in Geosciences                    Instructor: G. Gerbi

Quantitative analysis of earth processes is fundamental to understanding the past and predicting the future of all earth systems including tectonics, climate, weather, oceanography, geochemistry, and hydrology. Students will develop skills in quantifying past trends and events, and in making predictions about future earth system behavior.  These skills will include using publicly available data and techniques for estimating parameters, analyzing uncertainty, and developing predictive models using programs such as Excel and MATLAB. Topics may include, but are not limited to, sea level rise, ocean currents, plate motions, global temperatures, atmospheric chemistry, and rainfall patterns.

Four hours of combined lecture and lab per week.

GE 351D The Ocean and Global Change                          Instructor: Meg Estapa

Description: We are entering an era of accelerated change in Earth’s systems, and many profound effects are occurring or are predicted to occur in the oceans. In this course students will explore topics such as the impacts of ice melt and increasing temperatures on ocean circulation; the spread of low-oxygen conditions and ocean acidification; shifts in marine species distributions and the loss of biodiversity; the implications of ocean-related geoengineering; and the effects of human resource extraction from the sea. Discussion will center around readings taken from the primary oceanographic literature, and will emphasize the role of Earth system models in predictions of future change. Prereguisite GE 101 and 1 other GE class.

MB 351D Sustainable Planet                                Instructor: C. Hill

Our energy infrastructure is aging, the fuel mix for electrical generation is changing, the way we consume resources is becoming untenable, the way we feed our growing population is becoming unsustainable, and the climate is warming - with devastating effect. Foreign governments, politicians, environmentalists and even the Pope are calling for change. In this course we will discuss how to effect fundamental change to support an economy, environment and world that focuses on a sustainable planet.

Spatial Analysis and Modeling             Instructor: T. Hart

This course provides an in-depth experience in applied spatial analysis.  Topics will range from digital representations of  topographic features (e.g., natural and built ) and modeling thematic data (e.g., social, health and economic). Selected topics will allow students to become versed in advanced software applications including ArcMap extensions (e.g., spatial, 3D, geostatistical and network analysts) and specialized applications for watershed modeling and processing elevation data.  Both remotely-sensed and vector-based data will be used.  An additional focus on publishing methods and professional production will be included.  As an interdisciplinary course, topics will be adjusted to match student backgrounds, with the opportunity to individually explore topics specific to their interests. Prerequisite: ID210 or other introductory GIS class.

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