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February 8, 2013

Spring Quarter Environmental Studies Courses

Check out our Spring 2013 courses!

ENST 24102: Environmental Politics
Instructor: Ray Lodato
Tuesday/Thursday 4:30-5:50

This course examines the different theoretical underpinnings of environmental activism and elucidates the manner in which they lead to different ends. We explore several contrasting views of environmentalism, including the land ethic, social ecology, and deep ecology. Discussions are based on questions posed about the readings and the implications they suggest. Class participation is required.

ENST 26201 (ANTH 28220/38220):  Naturalizing Disaster:
Nature, Vulnerability, and Social History

Instructors: Mark Lycett and Phillip Drake
Tuesday/Thursday 10:30-11:50

The United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction defines disaster in three crucial terms: hazards, vulnerability, and capacity.  While only the first of these can be ‘natural’ in the way that that term is commonly understood,  catastrophic events and processes are frequently represented as exogenous, autonomous, and unpredictable elements of a bio-physical world.  Beginning from the theorization of disaster as a property of nature, this seminar examines the political ecology of drought, flood, earthquake, and famine in their historical, economic, and cultural contexts, focusing on community vulnerability and capacity as outcomes of socio-natural histories and relations. Drawing on historical and contemporary case studies we will consider a number of dimensions of the dynamic between nature, dislocation, and communities in an increasingly vulnerable world. 

ENST 26701 (BIOS 23257): Tropical Ecology
Instructor: Tara Massad
Tuesday/Thursday 1:30-2:50

This course will provide an introduction to tropical ecology.  We will cover topics ranging from the biogeochemical properties that create tropical ecosystems to the structure of tropical forests to the factors that contribute to the high biodiversity characteristic of tropical zones.  We will also look at interspecific interactions important in tropical systems including trophic dynamics, chemically mediated plant-insect relationships, pollination, and decomposition.  We will also discuss issues of conservation concern in tropical forests.  The course will draw from a comprehensive textbook as well as a selection of primary literature.

ENST 27420: Urban Gardens: Therapeutic, Educational and Community Building Practicum
Instructor: Margaret Mass
Wednesday/Friday 1:30-2:50, Friday 12:00-1:20

This teaching practicum will consider emerging research on urban gardens for individual, community and environmental wellness, and will prepare students to design teachable lessons for school-based programs and community building.  Course material is drawn from current literature, curricula and case studies that demonstrate the impacts and methods of garden education, place-based development, and horticultural therapy. We will discuss the perceived individual, societal and global problems that urban gardens are thought to address and the reported benefits they deliver. Students will evaluate the goals, organization, methodology, values-bias and efficacy of existing curricula and design a series of educational workshops that can be adapted to multiple age groups and learning environments.  The course will include one or more field trips and students will be required to volunteer/teach at an area school or community garden program.