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.
Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac, 1949
Garrett Hardin, Tragedy of the Commons, 1968
Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, 1962
Vandana Shiva, Staying Alive: Women, Ecology, and Survival, 1988
Van Jones, Green Collar Economy, 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 films and digital media, peer-reviewed journals, and occasional guest speakers or field trips.