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Spring 2011 COURSES

ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES SPRING 2011 COURSES

Courses for the new ES major (for Class of 2012 and beyond)
Courses for the old ES major (for Class of 2011)
Courses for the new ES minor (for Class of 2012 and beyond)
Courses for the old ES minor (for Class of 2011)
Special Topics Course Descriptions

SOCIAL AND CULTURAL PERSPECTIVES TRACK(for Class of 2012 and beyond)

Foundation Courses:

Core Courses:

Cluster A Courses:

Cluster B1 Courses:

Capstone:

Methods:

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE TRACK(for Class of 2012 and beyond)

Foundation Courses:

Disciplinary Foundation Courses:

Core Courses:

Cluster A Courses:

Cluster B2 Courses:

Capstone:

Methods:

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OLD MAJOR
SOCIAL AND CULTURAL PERSPECTIVES TRACK(for Class of 2011)

Foundation Courses:

Cluster A Courses:

Cluster B1 Courses:

Cluster C Courses:

Capstone:

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE TRACK (for Class of 2011)

Foundation Courses:

Core Coures:

Cluster A Courses:

Cluster B2 Courses:

Cluster C Courses:

Capstone:

Methods:

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COURSES FOR THE NEW ES MINOR(for Class of 2012 and beyond)
Social and Cultural Perspective Track

Foundation Courses:

Cluster A Courses:

Cluster B1 Courses:

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COURSES FOR THE OLD ES MINOR(for Class of 2011)

Foundation Courses:

Cluster A Courses:

Cluster B1 Courses:

Cluster C Courses:

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Special Topic Course Descriptions:

AN 352D: Landscapes of the Ancient World – Instructor: A. Runggaldier
This course is an exploration of the concept of landscape and environment from the perspective of archaeology. Students will gather information on the cultural aspects of environments from short ethnographic fieldwork assignments, and in-depth reading of case studies. Readings will be drawn from environmental psychology, the anthropology of space, and landscape archaeology to examine a variety of topics including natural and constructed landscapes, private and public space, the built environment, memory and commemoration of events through space, practice and symbolism of food production, environments in cosmology, and archaeological reconstructions of ancient landscapes. Case studies from around the world will highlight the social and cultural aspects of the study of ancient landscapes and provide students with a long-term horizon of the ways in which humans affect their environments, and how, in turn, environments shape cultural responses. 4 credits. Prerequisites: AN-101 or AN-102. 

N.B.: If you have not taken the prerequisites for this course but would like to enroll, please contact Professor Rik Scarce, rscarce@skidmore.edu for “permission of the instructor.”

BI 351 Microbial Physiology (No Lab)
An advanced exploration of the seemingly unlimited variety of microbial metabolic activity and its possible applications. Students will study the metabolic processes in bacteria and how our understanding of these processes can be applied in microbial biotechnology. Linking physiology to basic genetics and microbial diversity, we will discuss the use of microbes in areas like bioremediation, bio-fuel production, plant biotechnology, as well as vaccine and antibiotic synthesis development.


BI 351 Ecology and Evolution of Parasitic Disease
A study of select topics regarding parasitic life-cycles. Emphasis will be on eukaryotic parasites focusing mainly on protozoans. The course will focus on specific infectious agents and on the relationship between ecology and evolution on virulence and life-cycles. This course will study the ecological and evolutionary histories of these pathologies and how these can be applied to emerging infectious agents.

EN 280 01 Writing About Global Warming - Instructor: J. Goodell
Dealing with global warming may or may not turn out to be the biggest challenge human civilization has ever faced—but it is certainly a tricky task for a writer. Few other issues of our time carry science, politics, emotion, and morality to such a high pitch. For a writer, it’s treacherous ground: How do you craft an argument about the end of the world as we know it without being dismissed as a tree-hugger? Or, if you’re a skeptic, how do you argue that global warming is really not such a big deal without being written off as a flat-earther? More generally, how do you write a personal essay about a slow-motion, global catastrophe? Do novels trump journalism as a medium to communicate big ideas? At what point does argument become indistinguishable from political activism? In this class, we will explore many forms of writing about global warming: polemics, essays, blogs, magazine feature stories, non-fiction books and novels. We'll look at various rhetorical strategies, explore how facts can cloud or clarify the truth, and talk about the role of the writer’s voice in argument and narrative. Students should expect weekly writing assignments in a variety of short and long forms, and well as substantial reading in current global warming literature. A background in science is not necessary (although it certainly won’t hurt). Prerequisites: EN 219 or permission of instructor. (4 credits)
N.B.: For Permission of Instructor please contact Professor Michael Marx, 320 PMH, mmarx@skidmore.edu, x5173.

ES 251 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 351 Special Topics in Environmental Studies: Environmental Art - Instructor: A. Barnes
From its roots in land art of the 1960's to more recent ecological interventions, environmental art encompasses a range of approaches to connecting art with the environment. In this course, we will examine these approaches and question how they serve environmental concerns and current issues in art. Critical texts, such as Sue Spaid's Ecovention: Current Issues to Transform Ecologies and Brian Wallis and Jeffery Kastner's Land and Environmental Art, will guide our study as we explore environmental art through both theory and practice. Analytical writing assignments and a collaborative environmental art project will be required. Artists discussed will include Robert Smithson, Richard Long, Andy Goldsworthy, Agnes Denes, Mel Chin, and Lynne Hull. Prerequisites: ES100, AR131 or AR132 or permission of instructor. Lab fee: $25

EX 131: Introduction to Public Health - Instructor: J.Burden
Introduction to the principles and practices of public health, emphasizing the prevention of disease and promotion of health and well being. Using a case-study framework, students will explore both the historical and current roles of public health, and will investigate basic, epidemiological concepts including study design, rates, causation, and surveillance. Environmental, behavioral, biological, and socio-economic determinants of health will be explored and students will study both health issues that impact larger society and those that threaten vulnerable populations.

EX 361: Physical Activity: A Public Health Perspective
Instructor - S. D'Isabel
his course will investigate physical activity issues through the lens of public health. A brief grounding in public health will provide the launching point for a thorough exploration of one of the major issues that has stumped public health professionals: a sedentary society. In the latter part of the course, students will put their knowledge to use by collaboratively conducting a Walkability Audit of the area surrounding Skidmore, assimilating and present in the data, and developing plans of action to address the main barriers to activity for the Skidmore community, as determined by the audit.

HI 217: American Environmental History – Instructor: E. Morser
This course explores American environmental history from pre-colonial times through the modern era. We will investigate a number of themes including how the different landscapes and ecologies of North America shaped the continent's history, the links between industrialization and the environment, economic and political struggles for control of natural resources, and changing American perceptions of nature. Ultimately, by examining these themes we can understand how the nation's rich environmental history has crafted the world that we inhabit today.

MB 351B 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.

If you have any questions about these courses, please feel free to Michael Marx (mmarx@skidmore.edu) or other members of the Environmental Studies faculty.

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