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SPRING 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:

Methods:

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ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE TRACK

Foundation Course:

Disciplinary Foundation Courses:

Core Course:

Cluster A Courses:

Cluster B2 Courses:

Capstone:

Methods:

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COURSES FOR THE ES MINOR

Foundation Courses:

Cluster A Courses:

Cluster B1 Courses:

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Special Topics Course Descriptions

AN-252C 001 Native North America - Instructor: A. Foley
Health and Wellness A biocultural exploration of Native North American health, diversity, and lifeways. Using bioarchaeological, ethnographic, and archaeological evidence, we will examine the peopling of the Americas, changes in subsistence, environmental, and settlement patterns and their relationships to indigenous American health. We will also study the pathological environment, including both disease and injury, faced by Native North Americans prior to and immediately after European contact. Finally we will spend some time examining the ethnoarchaeological evidence concerning concepts of health and healing among indigenous Americans. Topics of study will include: paleopathology, diet, environment, gender, and pre-Columbian North American history. Prerequisite: AN-101 or AN-102.

ES 252D Political Ecology - Instructor: N. Atalan Helicke
How does political ecology differ from ecology? Who has power over the environment? How is nature constructed and destructed? How do existing policies and stakeholder interactions affect the use of environment by society? How do resource conflicts arise and become resolved? How is environmental knowledge used and abused? This course will introduce students to the array of broad political and socio-economic forces that shape the human relationships with the environment. These forces are multiple and interact in complex ways over a set of interlocking scales from local to global. We will address these issues by covering several case studies, both from the United States and the world. This course includes Service Learning component that requires a 15-hour commitment to an off campus community project.

The course work includes an exam, a research project on a community project (15 hours/semester commitment and possible travel to outside campus), reflection papers and a presentation. Prerequisite: Familiarity with social science research methods, permission from the instructor

ES 252D The Engineering and Ecology of Energy - Instructor: R. Wiltshire
Energy is a principle means for providing basic human needs, and it facilitates opportunities for achieving a decent quality of life. Access to and distribution of 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, technologies and efficiencies of more traditional and alternative energy production, and the comprehensive ecological impacts of various energy sources and systems such as Solar, Wind, Hydro, and Biomass. Prereqs. ES 100 and QR1.

ES 352C Environmental Learning - 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 Environmental Issues in Central America - Instructor: AJ Schneller
If you've ever traveled to Mexico or Central America then you already know that our neighbors to the south own an incredible stretch of real estate, rich in both cultural heritage and biological diversity. Are you starting to consider research and study abroad opportunities in Costa Rica, Panama, Honduras, or El Salvador, and interested in knowing more about these countries before you make a decision? Possibly this course will help you to make a more informed decision about the opportunities that exist and where your interests may lie. The Central American people, landscapes, ecosystems, and species are diverse and beautiful, yet face intense stressors and pressure due to unsustainable development, international trade, industrial resource exploitation, tourism, pollution, corruption, immigration, and civil and political unrest. This course will also explore the innovations and opportunities that exist for positively affecting society, culture, and the economy, as well as terrestrial and marine environments and species. We'll collectively investigate the various stakeholders: environmental policies, governmental agencies, domestic and international non-governmental organizations, environmental advocates, communities, and business interests that both positively and negatively influence the region. Special guest speakers will complement this course, in person, and also via Skype. Students will take one exam, various quizzes, and write a semester-long paper, as well as other shorter writing assignments. Projects will also require that students work in groups for this course.


ES 352 C Environment and Development in the Middle East - Instructor: N. Atalan Helicke
The Middle East immediately brings to mind religious and political complexities. However, Middle Eastern nations also face distinctive environmental and development challenges. In this class, students will study the natural and human environment in the Middle East, addressing major development and environmental topics such as the impacts of oil and other natural resource use; modernization and large dam projects; population growth and access to water, energy and food; and climate change and transboundary environmental issues. Students will explore the complex and interdisciplinary characteristics of Middle East environmental issues at both the regional and global scales through the examination of case studies from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Yemen and the United Arab Emirates.

The course work includes an exam, a research project, individual and group work on case studies. Prerequisite: Familiarity with international policy making and world geography; permission from the instructor. Fulfills the Nonwestern requirement.

ES352C Environmental Art - Instructor: A. Barnes
In this course we will work collaboratively to create visual projects on the Skidmore Campus. As we develop project proposals and then implement our projects, we will look for guidance and inspiration from contemporary works of art that explore environmental issues or encourage positive environmental change. We will also examine contemporary art made from natural materials. Much of this work emphasizes ephemerality and one’s personal connection with the natural world. This course is designed for students who want to make environmental issues more visible on the Skidmore campus. Project ideas are driven by student interest and experience. While experience with art is not required, students must be interested in exploring contemporary art and methods for communicating visually. Prerequisites: ES100 or permission of instructor. Lab fee: $25

MB 351 Business and the Natural Environment - Instructor: J. Kennelly
This case-based course aims to foster awareness, sensitivity and literacy concerning the major forces and challenges bearing upon the intersection of business organizations and the natural environment. It broadly examines and appraises the role of business enterprise in relation to the current (and future) state of the planet. The course begins by reviewing major ecological and socio-economic challenges facing the planet, including population growth, human poverty, climate change, toxic pollution, loss of biodiversity, etc, paying particular attention to the impacts of business enterprise upon each issue. The course then turns to an assessment of sustainable development and biophysically and socially sustainable business practices. The course concludes with a comprehensive assessment of various ways business may become a proactive force in an evolution to global sustainability. Prerequisites: MB 107, EC 103, 104, or permission of instructor.

SO 326 Social Theories of the Environment - Instructor: R. Scarce
How do we make sense of contemporary society’s relationship with nature? Scholars have produced a rich array of responses to this question that often conflict with one another. These theorists are also concerned with how social thought can be used to guide solutions to environmental problems. Reading original work, we will consider the applicability, insight, and relevancy of a host of perspectives, including ecological Marxism, ecological anarchism, social constructivisim, ecological realism, eco-modernization, and neo- Malthusianism. Prerequisites one gateway course (SO 101 or 201 or 202 or 203 or 204 or ES 100) and one additional sociology course.

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