Environmental Issues (H)
Elective, Prerequisites: none (can be taken for Social Science or Science credit)
This course examines environmental issues by building an understanding of the ecological, economic, and cultural forces that emerge at the intersection of human and natural systems. The course begins with an exploration of the evolution of the modern environmental movement in the United States and extends to study two or three current environmental issues including Climate Change, along with other units that vary based on relevance and interest.
Environmental Issues is taught in a seminar-style, integrating information from variable sources through in-depth analytical discussion. Students are assessed based on their ability to contribute to discussions, formal writings, and presentations. The course emphasizes the importance of determining our own biases and values, forming coherent arguments, listening to other points of view, and learning to articulately and respectfully express our opinions.
Texts used include selected readings from:
- A Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold (1949)
- Tragedy of the Commons, Garrett Hardin (1968)
- Silent Spring, Rachel Carson (1962)
- Staying Alive: Women, Ecology, and Survival, Vandana Shiva (1988)
- Green Collar Economy, Van Jones (2008)
Additional readings include selections from Paul Hawken, Majora Carter, Terry Tempest Williams, Elizabeth Kolbert, and others. We also gather information from the current news cycle, various film and digital media, peer-reviewed journals, and occasional guest speakers or field trips.