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Approved Courses

For more details on the program's coursework requirements, please see the handbook.

Spring Semester 2019

Category I: Social Sciences/Humanities/Arts

ANTH 253 Environmental Anthropology: Cultures and Climate
A study of the relationships between humans and their environment, with special emphasis on how human lifestyles may be understood as responses to environmental challenges.

ANTH 256 Anthropology of Food (by petition)
This course explores aspects of the cultural uses and symbolic meanings we attach to food and eating. Students explore such questions as: How do we use food? What is changing in our food consumption patterns? What is the relationship between food consumption and the environment? What are some of the politics and the ethics involved in food consumption? What is the significance of eating out, of "ethnic" restaurants? And how do we analyze the smell and taste of food cross-culturally?

CLST 281 Airs, Waters, Places: Classics and the Environment
This course repurposes the title of "Airs, Waters, Places," a Hippocratic treatise on the influence of place upon human health. In line with the Hippocratic investigation into the relationship between environment and human health, this course explores how ancient Greek and Roman thinkers and artists conceive of the environment and its role in shaping human culture and how the environment, in turn, informs the ideas and art of ancient Greek and Roman writers. Topics may include ancient conceptions and representations of the cosmos (ecology), wilderness, farming, and pastoral poetry.

ENG 266 Native American Literature (by petition)
This course surveys a range of American Indian oral and written literatures within the context of Euro-American colonization, conflict, and assimilation. We will assess the problems facing early native writers working within an alien culture and examine the ways the more recent writers of the Native American Renaissance have redefined Indian identity as a compromise between traditional Native culture and contemporary American society. Reading may include creation myths and trickster stories, Native autobiographical writing, fiction, and poetry.

POLS 450 Senior Seminar: The Political Economy of Energy, Resources, and the Environment
This course, offered in multiple and independent sections, focuses on theory and analysis in the various fields of the discipline and in the discipline as a whole.

REL 290 Topics: Religion and Ecology
What is the relevance of religion to the perception and resolution of environmental problems? Answering this question requires some wrestling with the terms that constitute the course’s title— religion and ecology—given their diverse and contested meanings. This course will provide habitat for all reasoned scholarly debate surrounding these terms and the relationships between them. It will examine the development of the field of “religion and ecology” and the so‐called religious‐environmental movement, assess various religious communities’ responses to today’s environmental issues, and consider historical, cultural, ecological, and scriptural/theological bases for beliefs and practices related to the environment across various traditions. We will entertain interesting hypotheses about people and their environments rather than resolve disagreements about the precise meaning, analytical value, or boundaries of phenomena that would be understood as ‘religion’ or ‘religious’ by some, but not all, observers. We will critically examine all the major religious traditions, plus such contemporary movements as ecofeminism and deep ecology, to aid you in developing a critical understanding of the power of religion to foster and impede ecologically responsible lifestyles. Guest speakers from different traditions and student research workshops will form a significant part of the class.

SOC 301 Topics: Environmental Sociology
This course is designed to introduce students to the exciting field of environmental sociology. We will discuss some of the major topics in this cutting-edge subfield, including the global-historical context of environmental issues; consumption and disposal; agribusinesses and the American food system; animals and society; environmental justice and social movements; American attitudes toward climate change and other issues; and environmental issues in global perspective.

Category II: Natural Sciences

BIO 102 Evolution, Organisms, and Ecology
Includes laboratory. An introduction to the principles and practice of evolutionary biology, population genetics, and ecology. Students will examine topics in natural selection, the modern synthesis, speciation, phylogeny, primary productivity and ecological efficiency.

BIO 345 Conservation Biology
Includes laboratory. This course will address the impacts of humans on Earth's biodiversity, and strategies taken to conserve and protect global natural resources. Topics covered may include global patterns of biodiversity, ecological community structure, habitat exploitation and restoration by humans, genetics of small populations, design of nature reserves, problems associated with invasive species. Prerequisites: BIO 101 and BIO 102, or permission of instructor.

GEOS 110 Earth and the Environment
Includes laboratory. An introduction to the materials that make up the earth and the interplay between constructive and destructive processes that shape the earth, including plate tectonics. Laboratories include mineral and rock identification, field trips, and topographic map interpretation.

GEOS 117 Weather, Climate, and Change
An introduction to the Earth's atmosphere through the study of weather, climate and climate change. Topics covered include atmospheric composition,structure and function, weather phenomena and climate, and natural and human-induced climate change. Global societal responses to rapid climate change are also discussed.

GEOS 370 Applied Hydrogeology
Includes laboratory.  An investigation of the occurrence and movement of water within the hydrologic cycle. Special attention is given to water quality and water supply concerns. Lab and field work develop skills to apply course concepts to real world problems.

Seminars

HONR 122 Rethinking the Environment
What constitutes an 'environmental' problem? Which environmental problems are most urgent? Urgent for whom, and who decides? Environmental issues, it turns out, are always about more than the natural world. In order to understand environmental problems, we also need to understand human societies and the diverse ways that people cause, are affected by, and seek to solve these problems. Using case studies, students will learn to recognize the complex ways that environmental issues such as pollution, climate change, and biodiversity loss intersect with social justice issues such as poverty, racism, and gender inequality. This course aims to develop students' cultural competence, information literacy, and critical thinking skills in preparation for more advanced environmental coursework across a range of academic disciplines. Open only to students in the Environmental Fellows Program or by instructor permission. May not be taken pass/fail.

HONR 422 Environmental Fellows Senior Seminar
An interdisciplinary capstone course for Environmental Fellows. Students draw on field experience, leadership projects, and coursework in the program, across the curriculum and in their majors, as they analyze environmental issues from multiple disciplinary perspectives. Students are expected to demonstrate their understanding of environmental complexity by discussion of, for example, ethics, science, art, culture, economics, and policy.