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Skidmore College
First-Year Experience

Scribner Seminar Program
Course Description

Human - Nature

Instructor(s): Josh Ness, Biology

Naturalist John Muir asserts that "the clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness."  In this course, students explore how humans interrogate and interpret the natural world, and revise their understanding of their position in the world based on that effort.  These discoveries can elicit feelings of awe; a response we explore by examining cultures living in the presence of man-eating predators, the interpretations of the supernatural world invoked in the Christian Gospels and the scientific methodology – arguably the most effective tool for understanding the world.  Ultimately, we combine discussions of film and readings, hikes and scientific research in Skidmore's 300 acre North Woods to explore 1) our desire to understand our place in nature, 2) our construction of stories and logical arguments to explain nature, and 3) how these responses evolve over time.

Course Offered