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SPRING 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:

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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

Foundation Courses:

Cluster A Courses:

Cluster B1 Courses:

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SPECIAL TOPICS COURSE DESCRIPTIONS:

BI 152 Topics in Biology: Parasites, Epidemics and Public Health    Instructor: J. Ness

Parasites that seize control of a host’s behavior, waves of plague, defenses organized against an emerging threat of biological invasion – these seem like elements of science fiction or ancient history.  As luck would have it, it is science, and history, and our present, and our future.  This course explores the natural history of these phenomena and the risk factors associated with invasion susceptibility, introduces the quantitative reasoning and experimentation that underpins our understanding of epidemiology, and identifies intervention strategies to manage what could be described as “antagonistic social networks”.   Prerequisites: QR1.  
Notes: Three hours of lecture, three hours of lab per week. This is a QR2 course, and also fulfills the natural science requirement.

ES 252D Engineering and Ecology of Energy   Instructor: J. Adams    

Energy is at the center of our lives.  Although it is a necessity for many of our daily needs such as cooking, heating, and transportation, the excessive consumption of energy is unsustainable.  Environmental awareness requires considerations about energy, but it is challenging to understand and quantify the advantages and disadvantages of an energy option, solution or technology. Energy choices should be based on a balance between engineering challenges, cost constraints, and environmental impacts. Keeping this in mind, we'll explore the world of energy, from energy efficiency to sustainable energy sources.  This class will introduce students to 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.   This class will also provide students with the analytical tools to seek and find answers to a myriad of questions about energy, from the big-picture to specific details.  Course work includes a mid-term and final term examinations, individual and group case studies, a final written assignment as well as some workshops, labs, and field trips. The class shall be a dynamic interaction between the instructor and the students.  I expect students to come up with their own questions relevant to the subject and seek out the answers (case studies) under the instructor's guidance. Prerequisites: ES 100 and QR1.

ES 352C US Public Land and Oceans: Policy, Management, and Current Events     Instructor: AJ 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  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 Non-western requirement.

GE 251D Introduction to Remote Sensing of the Earth    Instructor: M. Estapa

An exploration of methods of remote sensing used in modern observations of Earth processes.  The physical principles of remote sensing will be introduced within the context of key global processes such as weather systems, annual ice and glacial cycles, the hydrological cycle, and the ocean carbon cycle.   Laboratory work and student projects will include manipulation and interpretation of remote imagery to infer spatial patterns, rates, and fluxes in global-scale, Earth system processes.  4 credits, 3 hours lecture/3 hours lab per week.  Prerequisite is one of the following:  GE-101, -102, -112, ID-210, or permission of the instructor.

GE 351 Advanced Oceanography   Instructor: M. Estapa

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. 3 credits.  3 hours lecture per week. Prerequisities: GE-101, -102, -112, or permission of the instructor

GE 352 Isotope Applications in Earth and Environmental Sciences    Instructors: A. Frappier & K. Nichols

Measurements of isotopes of light and heavy elements are used in the Earth and Environmental sciences as tracers, thermometers, clocks, and rate indicators.  This course provides a survey of the varied applications of stable, radioactive, and radiogenic isotopes.  We will investigate the patterns of isotope distributions in nature and the theory of isotope fractionation and mixing.  Students will also enroll in a 1-credit Honors add-on laboratory. Laboratory work and student projects will utilize analytical instrumentation using applications ranging from water and climate to ecology and metabolism to landscape changes and deep Earth history.

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. 

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