BIG QUESTIONS FOR A SMALL PLANET:
Introduction to Environmental Studies
Environmental Studies 240 and Psychology 502
Catherine Badgley, Director, Environmental Studies Program; Lecturer, Residential College
118 Tyler, East Quad, 763-6448, firstname.lastname@example.org
Barbara Smuts, Professor, Department of Psychology
4014 East Hall, 647-3931, email@example.com
Lectures: Tu, Th, 1-2:30
Discussion section: one two-hour meeting per week
Office Hours: To be announced
Course expenses (text books): $50-100
Ethics Essay: a personal perspective
Excerpts from student journals
This course is an introduction to the environmental crises and challenges of our time, from the perspectives of the natural and social sciences. The natural-science perspective will be presented through a survey of geological, ecological, and evolutionary processes which support the earths natural resources. The social-science perspective will be presented through an evolutionary and behavioral approach to the customs, attitudes, and behaviors toward nature, resources, and the quality of life in contemporary western and non-western cultures. These perspectives will be integrated to demonstrate that we have substantially different choices about how to live, with different consequences in terms of ecological and social impact as well as personal satisfaction. Linking these viewpoints is the outlook for a sustainable future, in terms of the quality of life for the global human population, the status of other species, and the integrity of physical systems.
Sections involve discussions, field trips to local natural areas and businesses, and exercises in systems thinking. Students keep a journal, write several essays, prepare several quantitative reports, and conduct a group project.