AM228: Nature and the Built Environment
Four credit hours. Lisle
Built environments order human experience and action, shaping people’s sense of themselves and the world. We examine how the built environment has influenced and expressed Americans’ relationships with nature. We track how ideas about the natural environment emerge in different historical and geographical settings and consider the material and environmental consequences of these beliefs. Topics include park design, suburban development, environmental justice campaigns, and green building. In this reading-intensive Human/Nature theme course, students develop abilities to interpret material, spatial, visual, and historical evidence.
AR454: American Art and Science
Four credit hours. Sheehan
This Human/Nature Humanities Lab explores interactions between science and visual culture in the United States from the 18th century to the present. In spring 2016 focuses on efforts to visualize the natural world. Major topics include the scientific basis of American landscape art, natural history displays, and the visual culture of environmentalism. Students are expected to complete writing assignments, deliver oral presentations, conduct original library research, and engage with visiting artists/scholars. They will study art at the L. C. Bates Museum, Colby College Museum of Art, and Colby Libraries Special Collections. Prerequisite: Any American Studies; Art; or Science, Technology, and Society course.
AY464: Anthropology of Food
Three credit hours. Mills
Food is essential to human life and well-being. Yet the significance of food for human being extends far beyond a baseline of calories and nutrition. What counts as food is deeply shaped by cultural meanings and lived experiences. Food can signify distinctive social identities; it can mark proud or shameful histories, tracking local and global interconnections. It can point to (or obscure) deeply embedded structures of power and their associated relations of inequality and privilege, within and across diverse societies. Food production links human societies to their surrounding environments even as global trade and commodification distance many consumers from the specific origins of what they eat. In these and many other ways, food offers rich fields for anthropological theorizing and a fruitful focus for the practice of critical research skills. Course work culminates in written and oral presentations of an independent original research project. Human/Nature theme course.
BI320 Evolutionary Analysis
Three credit hours. Stone
Evolutionary analysis focuses on the mechanisms that drive evolutionary change and on the long-term consequences of these mechanisms. In this Human/Nature theme course, we develop analytical techniques to infer the causes and consequences of genetic variation within species. These techniques can be applied to any species, including those of particular relevance to humans such as agricultural species, introduced invasive species, endangered species, and parasites or pathogens. In addition, we dedicate several class sessions to the evolution of modern humans and genetic variation within and among contemporary human populations.
EC231: Environmental and Natural Resource Economics
Four credit hours. Chan
The objective is to develop and apply economic tools to current environmental and resource-management issues. Causes of and remedies to environmental and resource-management problems are analyzed through economic modeling. These models in turn serve as the theoretical foundation for designing and evaluating policy instruments and practices. Students in this Human/Nature theme course will learn to analyze current environmental problems and assess the effectiveness of environmental and resource-management policies using economic tools.
EN398 Environmental Justice and World Literature
Four credit hours. Freitas
We will examine what contemporary world literature has to say about environmental racism, ecofeminism, and toxic colonialism, with attention to such issues as the social construction of nature, globalization, and urban ecology. What is the role of art in the struggle for social change? Readings includes authors from diverse racial and national locations: Botswana, Iraq, Zambia, South Africa, multicultural U.S., India, Jamaica, Nigeria, Canada, and Guatemala. Our study will focus on the intersection of environmental issues and various systems of social injustice, especially racism, sexism, and economic inequity. Human/Nature theme course.
ES118: Environment and Society
Four credit hours. McDowell, Nyhus, Reynolds.
An interdisciplinary study of human relationships with and impacts on the environment. Examination of important local, national, and global environmental issues by exploring causes and methods for investigating these pressing problems, as well as possible solutions, from scientific and public-policy perspectives. Students in this Human/Nature theme course explore important literature and ideas in the field to complement the lectures; conduct an original, semester-long, group research project; and complete a variety of writing assignments.
ES212: Introduction to GIS and Remote Sensing
Four credit hours. Nyhus
A comprehensive theoretical and practical introduction to the fundamental principles of geographic information systems and remote sensing digital image processing. Topics include data sources and models, map scales and projections, spatial analysis, elementary satellite image interpretation and manipulation, and global positioning systems. Current issues and applications of GIS, with emphasis on environmental topics. Students develop and carry out independent projects using GIS. Human/Nature theme course.
ES234: International Environmental Policy
Four credit hours. Reynolds
This Human/Nature theme course examines how communities, nations, and international organizations govern the use of natural resources including water, land, forests, fisheries, and the global climate. Through case studies and international environmental treaty analyses we will develop an understanding of global environmental issues; explore complementarities and tradeoffs among local, national, and global approaches to environmental governance; highlight the environmental justice implications of various resource management regimes; and assess the effectiveness of policies to address major environmental problems.
ES242:Marine Conservation and Policy
Four credit hours. Neal
Human activities and effects–including overfishing, water pollution, climate change, and benthic habitat destruction–have all had major impacts on ocean ecosystems. In this Human/Nature theme course, through lectures and discussions, we will investigate global, regional, and local threats to marine biodiversity and ecosystem function. Potential conservation solutions will be considered. Independent and group research projects will investigate the science and policy of marine conservation issues and will evaluate and synthesize information from scientific literature, popular media, and online discussions.
ES244: Marine Communities
Four credit hours. Neal
Introduces students to a diversity of marine community types around the world, including kelp forests, coral reefs, salt marshes, and pelagic communities. Through lectures, readings, and class activities, students will learn about the physical, biological, and chemical structuring forces in the ocean, key ecological interactions, and human impacts across ecosystems. Key learning goals include improved scientific literacy in marine science, and enhanced public speaking and writing skills. Human/Nature theme course.
ES346: Global Food Policy
Reynolds. Four credit hours
This Human/Nature theme course, examines the emergence and development of global food systems and food policies starting with the earliest agricultural societies and continuing to the present day. We explore the economic, nutritional, and environmental justice implications of agricultural systems and critically analyze the intended and actual outcomes of food policies for nations and agricultural communities. Case studies, films, and independent research further highlight the role of food and food policy in degrading the environment, exacerbating ethnic tensions and social inequities, and even spurring conflict.
ES352: Advanced and Applied Ecology
Four credit hours. McDowell
An examination of theoretical and applied aspects of ecology at the organism, population, and community levels. Through lectures, discussions, and reading of primary literature, students will acquire a conceptual and theoretical understanding of environmental tolerance and adaptation of plant and animal species; population dynamics; competition, trophic relationships, and coevolutionary interactions; community structure and organization; succession; and biogeography. The relevance of theory and concepts to solving environmental problems will be explored. Laboratory exercises explore principles of experimental design and ecological sampling techniques. A research assignment helps to enhance writing and presentation skills. Lecture and laboratory. Human/Nature theme course.
ES366: The Environment and Human Health
Four credit hours. Carlson
How human health is affected by physical, chemical, biological, and social environments; how we use science to measure effects of these determinants at the level of cell, tissue, individual, and population; how we assess these determinants to make regulatory decisions. Topics include introductions to toxicology, epidemiology, and risk assessment; health effects of pollution, synthetic chemicals, consumer products, climate change, and the built environment; the etiology of health outcomes including cancer, obesity, endocrine disruption, and respiratory diseases. Students use primary scientific literature for independent research and, when appropriate, engage in environmental health policy debates in Congress and/or the Maine legislature. Human/Nature theme course.
HI246: Luddite Rantings: A Historical Critique of Big Technology
Four credit hours. Josephson
Adopting a technologically determinist argument, the instructor will subject to withering criticism the way in which Westerners, and in particular Americans, have embraced such technologies as automobiles, computers, reproductive devices, rockets, and reactors, with nary a thought about their ethical, moral, political, or environmental consequences. Students in this Human/Nature theme course will be encouraged to argue.
LT359: The Nature of Things: Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura
Four credit hours. Barret
What was natural about human life for an ancient Roman? What was human about the natural world? A contemporary of Cicero and Caesar in the 1st century BCE, Lucretius upended reigning answers to such questions in explaining the workings of the cosmos, the nature of love and death, and the rewards of thinking freely. For Lucretius, the workings of the universe can be explained by Epicurean atomic theory: the gods—themselves mere assemblages of atoms—become irrelevant, as a thoroughly natural cosmos invites and rewards rational investigation. A masterpiece of Latin poetry, De Rerum Natura is a scathing critique of religion, a scientific tour de force, and a monument in the intellectual history of Europe—as well as an elegant presentation of ancient atomic theory in its most robust form. Human/Nature theme course.
PL216: Philosophy of Nature
Four credit hours. Peterson
What is nature? What is characteristic of the scientific understanding of nature? How does it differ from more traditional ways of understanding nature? Could the environmental crisis be the result of defective ways of thinking about and relating to nature? How could modern ecology be related to the tradition of nature philosophy? How and by whom is knowledge of nature produced at all? In this Human/Nature theme course, we will study past and current responses to these questions, providing students opportunities to question fundamental beliefs about nature. Readings range from Aristotle to current philosophy, history, and social studies of ecology.
PS341: Seminar in Memory
Four credit hours. Coane
An examination of how exposure to and immersion in nature influences cognitive processes, especially attention and memory. Students in this Human/Nature theme course will acquire a basic understanding of how nature, technology, and urban environments can affect the mind. Evaluation of theories and interpretation of data will be achieved through reading and discussing original research articles. In-class discussion, as well as presentations and written assignments, will help students develop critical and analytical skills to understand and interpret data. Prerequisite: Psychology 215 and 232, a W1 course, and concurrent enrollment in Psychology 342.
PS342:Collaborative Research in Memory
One credit Hour. Coane
Collaborative empirical research projects on topics discussed in Psychology 341. Students will conduct original empirical work addressing cognitive effects of natural and manmade environments. Students’ competence in research and communication will be assessed, following the guidelines of the American Psychological Association, through written assignments and oral presentations, both collaborative and individual. Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in Psychology 341. Human/Nature theme course.
PS374: Seminar: Psychology and Neuroscience: Humans in the Natural World
Four credit hours. Glenn
Exploration of the vast intersection between the fields of psychology and neuroscience: how psychology has shaped and contributed to the field of neuroscience, and how findings from neuroscience aid psychological research and theories. Topics may include developmental and degenerative neuropathology and the impact of environment, genetics, psychological factors, and sociocultural contexts over them. Students will read, critically evaluate, and discuss empirical and theoretical papers as they gain depth of knowledge on different topics. Students will present their ideas in oral and written form and will work on a collaborative writing project. Human/Nature theme course.
AM322: Imagining Maine: 1820-1920
Four credit hours. Saltz
This interdisciplinary Human/Nature Humanities Lab examines Maine’s transformation in the American imagination from a barren wilderness to a “vacationland.” We will collect and analyze representations of Maine in painting, photography, literature, maps, advertising, travel guides, diaries, and historical documents. For our final project, we will work collaboratively to build a website that showcases this material. Research may include travel to exhibitions and archives around the state.
EN297: Poetry and Nature of Being
Four credit hours. Sagaser
Poets and biologists are closer kin than you might know. Many great poems through history are rooted in unflinching, patient, penetrating observation and fearless inquiry into the nature of things. Poets and natural scientists (called “natural philosophers” in earlier centuries) have also shared alertness to form, pattern, rhythm, complexity, and the constancy of change—“never-resting time” and “interchange of state” in Shakespeare’s terms. Reading poems by poet-naturalists from the Renaissance to the present, we’ll explore ways poetry and myriad biological sciences have inspired each other in the past and might inform each other in new ways in the future. L credit. Science majors welcome. Human/Nature theme course.
ES:143 Sustainable and Socially Responsible Business
Three credit hours. Penney.
Provides students with a broad overview of sustainable and socially-responsible business principles and the ways in which companies have incorporated them into their organizations. Through a series of readings, lectures, guest speakers, and real-world case studies, students will be exposed to the issues and opportunities facing “green businesses”. Includes small group and individual presentations. Human/Nature theme course.
ES265: Global Public Health
Three credit hour. Carlson
An introduction to the principles and measures of global health, disease burdens, and environmental determinants of health, including poverty, climate change, pollution, population, violence, and lack of safe food, clean water, and fuels. We will also study international health institutions, key actors, and environmental regimes for the regulation of environmental health hazards. Through small-group presentations and discussion we will explore global case studies that highlight the complex relationship between human health and the environment. Human/Nature theme course.
ES151: Landscapes and Meaning: An Exploration of Environmental Writing
Three credit hours. Mackenzie
An exploration of the works of selected 20th-century environmental writers and how their life experiences contribute to a sense of connection with and action on behalf of the Earth. Through readings, film, writing assignments, group discussion, and journaling, students in this Human/Nature theme course will develop critical thinking and communication skills while reflecting on their own personal relationship with nature. Previously offered as Environmental Studies 197C.
RE275: Contemporary Witchcraft: Formalists, Feminists, and Free Spirits
Three credit hours. Pukkila
History and practice of contemporary Witchcraft. Often erroneously confused with Satanism, Witchcraft (which includes Wicca) is an Earth-based religion centered on Goddess and God imagery which declares nature to be sacred and derives many of its rituals and practices from the seasons and cycles of the natural world. Readings, videos on theology, rituals, practices, and activism of Witches. Experiential components (discussions with Witches, ritual design, participation in an open circle, personal use of divination) and questions: How does feminine divine imagery affect the development, structures, practices? How has the focus on nature shaped contemporary Witchcraft? Why are many Witches activists? Why is there public resistance to, discrimination against Witches? Human/Nature theme course.
TD361:Advanced Topics in Performance: Human/Nature
One credit hour. Kloppenberg
Continuing research conducted in TD197 in the fall, students collaborate on a faculty-directed original dance/theater performance piece that will be performed on tour at a professional venue in New York City. Working with advanced compositional, performance, improvisational, and other embodied practices, students in this Human/Nature Humanities Lab continue to explore concepts developed in the fall while cultivating an understanding of creative research as a rigorous, complex undertaking and developing personal performance aesthetics that incorporate individual choice and risk, both creatively and in performance. Interested students should contact Professor Kloppenberg.
AM 120: Living the Good Life, 1965-2015
Four credit hours. McFadden
What constitutes the good life? How does one live ethically in a complex, often unjust world? We explore how a diverse group of Americans theorized alternatives to conventional values and ways of living, from Afro-Futurism to Buddhist economics. Then we investigate people who came “back to the land” in Maine to put their theories about how to live into practice. Critical reading and discussion, archival and oral history research, and analytical writing will be emphasized, and students will use new digital humanities tools to present their research online in innovative ways. This Human/Nature theme course is part of the three-course Integrated Studies cluster “Made in Maine: The Digital Maine Project.” Pre-requisite: concurrent enrollment in American Studies 159A and Cinema Studies 159. Satisfies the Historical Studies (H) and first-year writing (W1) requirements.
AM297: Made in Maine
Four credit hours. Lisle
We examine the “design” of Maine, exploring how Mainers have made meaning through things and space at different scales, from handheld tools to the shape of cities, owner-built houses to craft beers. As participants in a Human/Nature Humanities Lab, we will cultivate a “classroom without walls,” combining reading, writing, and discussion with fieldwork, archival research, community engagement, archive building, and digital publishing. Part of the three-course Integrated Studies cluster “Made in Maine: The Digital Maine Project.” Pre-requisite: Concurrent enrollment in American Studies 159B and Cinema Studies 159. Satisfies the Social Science requirement.
AR282 Photography II: Picturing the Built Environment
Four credit hours. Green
This Human/Nature Humanities Lab will provide further exploration of the materials, techniques, and ideas covered in Photography I, while introducing more advanced methods, materials, and equipment. In addition, the course will be thematically based on our relationship to the built environment, those places that most reflect the intersection of humans and nature. Written and visual assignments will be based on the work of photographers who have previously taken on this topic and the critics and scholars who have discussed it.
AR365 Sculpture III
Four credit hours. Borthwick
Builds upon concepts and methodologies initiated by previous sculpture courses. A range of material practices support research on the history of ideas explored by 15th- through 21st-century sculptors. Materials include stone and wood sheet products. Students learn advanced tooling, tool maintenance, and techniques appropriate to stone carving, in addition to milling and fabricating plywood, chipboard, and MDF board. This semester students will engage with the Tiny Giants exhibition as part of the Human/Nature theme. Provides students time to explore the deep concepts and skill sets specific to these media. Prerequisite: Art 162 or 266.
AY256 Land, Food, Culture and Power: Human / Nature
Four credit hours. Mills
How does the cross-cultural and interpretive perspective of anthropology illuminate contemporary human/nature intersections and environmental engagements? Course materials examine the complex and dynamic relationships of human societies in their environments, with a focus on diverse resource-based livelihoods and related pursuits of well-being. Employing concepts and analytical techniques rooted in political ecology, case studies explore the power of diverse environmental imaginaries as these shape and reflect different forms livelihood and resource use and their consequences. Attending to both culturally-framed ideologies and their associated practices, we investigate ongoing struggles for resource access, sustainability, and social and environmental justice both globally and in the United States. Human/Nature theme course.
BI237 Woody Plants
Four credit hours. Stone
Forest structure and species composition depend upon the way in which the physiology and life history of individual tree species respond to climate, soil, and land use history by humans. In lecture, students in this Human/Nature theme course will learn about characteristics of tree species and how they respond to different environmental factors, including those imposed by human activities. In field-based laboratories, students will learn how to interpret forests and describe how human actions interact with other factors to shape our forested environment.
Four credit hours. Bevier
In Biodiversity, students examine the variety and variability of life on Earth, the origins of this variety, the natural complex of relationships, and the ways in which human activity endanger biodiversity. A growing body of evidence confirms a current crisis in biodiversity and an era marking the sixth mass extinction in Earth’s history, with humans as the root cause. Topics covered in this Human/Nature theme course include evolution and speciation, ecosystem function and diversity, taxonomic diversity, and conservation science. Laboratory sessions focus on exploring biological diversity in different local ecosystems, using taxonomic keys, and applying the scientific method. Students with prior credit for Biology 164 may not receive credit for Biology 131. Lab section B is reserved for Integrated Studies 126, “The Green Cluster.”
BI263 Principles of Ecology
Four credit hours. Stone
Ecology is the study of interactions between organisms and their environment. Because humans continue to alter their environments in ways that impact the distribution and abundance of organisms, we cannot study ecology without taking into account human actions. Topics in this Human/Nature theme course include population dynamics, species interactions, the structure and diversity of ecological communities, and biogeography. What factors regulate population size and make populations grow exponentially or shrink toward extinction? When urban development divides undisturbed habitats into small fragments, what effect does this have on biodiversity? When humans hunt top predators to extinction, what effect does this have on other organisms in the food web? Students will explore these and other questions while learning techniques for designing and conducting ecological studies in the field. Prerequisite: Biology 164.
BI332 Developmental Biology
Four credit hours. Angelini
How does the human body come to be? Before and after birth, individuals are influenced by their genes, the genes of their parents, and by their environment. Cells communicate with one another to organize tissues, organs and the body as a whole. Developmental biology is the study of these complex processes, which unfold in space and over time on the scale of a life cycle. This Human/Nature theme course examines the mechanisms of development in humans and other organisms as they relate to the structure, function, genetics, and evolution of the body. Student will conduct self-designed experiments, read the scientific literature, and practice writing in this format. Developmental biology has its origins among the nineteenth century German naturalists, who emphasized documentation through carefully drawings or lithographs representing animals, plants, and their embryos. Modern methods of microscopy continue to provide lucid visual insights into development. As a way to communicate this subject, students in BI332 are asked to present a developmental process in some dynamic way, making use of sculpture, drawing, music, or other artistic forms to elucidate the natural processes of formation.
Four credit hours. Wilson
A broad survey of the biology of birds including their evolutionary history, morphology, physiology, flight adaptations, behavior, vocalizations, nesting, life history, conservation, and phylogeny. We will also explore the art and science of the first great ornithologists in North America, including Mark Catesby, John James Audubon, Alexander Wilson and Edward Fuentes. We will take frequent field trips to find birds and to visit New England repositories of early American bird art. We will explore the evolution of artistic bird representations using copper plates by early ornithologists to the accurate but less transcendent bird illustrations in modern field guides. Human/Nature theme course.
BI373: Animal Behavior
Three credit hours. Bevier
The study of animal behavior is an interdisciplinary field in biology. Humans throughout history have been fascinated by different aspects of animal behavior. From descriptive observations to practical applications of training, we continue to learn about behavioral strategies shaped by natural selection and proximate motivations of animals in their environments. Students in this Human/Nature theme course become familiar with current concepts of and methods applied to study animal behavior, practice reading and critically evaluating primary literature by scientists who study behavior, and develop testable hypotheses and well-designed experiments to address their own questions about animal behavior. We draw on examples from across animal taxa to illustrate the complex mechanisms underlying adaptations, and complement these with natural history videos and case studies that highlight key concepts. Prerequisite: Biology 164 and junior standing.
CI248: Digital Publishing: Telling Stories Online
Four credit hours. Murphy
Explores the many methods and tools available for creating digital stories. Students will learn the basic skills of multimedia production and develop strategies for conceiving original and creative projects related to the Human/Nature Theme. They will explore the potential uses of digital storytelling, including promoting non-profits, marketing a new business, and developing social justice campaigns. Projects will include the creation of animated .gifs, photo manipulations, audio soundscapes, digital video mash-ups, and promotional web videos. Students in this Human/Nature Humanities Lab will also become fluent in a variety of programs, including Photoshop, Audacity, and Final Cut X, and engage with a variety of publishing platforms including Vine, Flickr, WordPress, Vimeo, and Tumblr.
Four credit hours. Wurtzler
This Human/Nature theme course explores the relationship between cinema and the landscape, understood as both the natural and the built environment. We often experience landscapes and nature through the mediation of cinema, but rarely consider how such mediation also shapes our encounters with nature itself. Our work is structured around a series of related units that will examine:
– the American West as an imaginary landscape onto which have been written both utopian and dystopian perspectives on American empire; - cinema’s New York City as a set of patterns for inhabiting the city itself; - cinematic encounters with Maine especially in light of students’ own experience of local landscapes;
– the crucial role tourism has played in depictions of various lands and the people that inhabit them, and - Los Angeles as an imagined set of relations most widely known and experienced through the cinema.
While film is our primary focus, we will engage with screens of varying types and modes of representation that both preceded cinema and intersected with it’s later development (including painting, the panorama, photography, illustrated lectures, post cards, tourist photography and home movies).
EC472: The Third Wave of Environmental Management
Four credit hours. Chan
Voluntary and information-based approaches (VIBAs) to environmental management are becoming increasingly prevalent. These approaches comprise the “third wave” of environmental policy, following the first and second waves of command-and-control regulations and market-based instruments. This Human/Nature theme course will investigate the interface between behavioral economics and environmental management. In particular, it will examine how VIBAs arise and how they affect behavior and environmental outcomes, both in theory and in practice. Topics will include public disclosure strategies for pollution control, behavioral responses to environmental information, conservation behavior, green markets, product labeling programs, and corporate social responsibility.
EN314 17th c. Literature and the Natural World
Four credit hours. Sagaser
A study of English literature in the century of Galileo and Newton, from Shakespeare’s King Lear through Milton’s Paradise Lost, with emphasis on representations of the natural world and the moral, political, and gendered uses of the concepts of “nature” and “natural.” We explore how essays, plays, pastoral poetry, erotic lyrics, political prose, and epics engage in pressing anxieties and questions of late Renaissance culture, such as the following: Does God control nature, and if so, how? How similar might human and non-human animals be? How should art respond to nature? Could “the law of nature” be “the beginning and end of all government,” as Milton writes? Human/Nature theme course.
EN317 Literatures of Reform: Censorship, Science, and Satire from 1660-1740
Four credit hours. Hanlon
Our literary categories don’t always obey the rules we’d like them to, so the “long 18th century” includes the 1660-1700 era of the monarchy’s Restoration and the 18th century proper. This Human/Nature theme course covers roughly 1660-1740, a period during which the tumultuous politics of overthrowing and reinstating kings, the Scientific Revolution, identity conflicts between urban and rural lifestyles, and brash “paper wars” between authors competing in a rich literary marketplace combine in a raucous literary scene. We’ll illuminate this scene; but we’ll also reflect on what the writings of Aphra Behn, Jonathan Swift, Alexander Pope, and others tell us about our contemporary approaches to class, gender, religion, national identity, foreign policy, and science.
ES120 Community Responses to Environmental Hazards
Four credit hours. Carlson
An introduction to community-level environmental problems related to hazardous waste and the impacts on and responses of affected communities. Explores the concept of environmental justice and how the risk of hazardous exposures is related to race, ethnicity, class, and gender. We discuss U.S. policy debates on hazardous waste regulation and environmental injustice claims, and we consider the evidence for the inequitable distribution of environmental quality and adverse health impacts, the mechanisms for environmental and public health decision making, and community access to informational resources and empowerment. Human/Nature theme course
ES126 Environmental Activism
Four credit hours. Carlson
An introduction to the history, theory, and practice of environmental activism, incorporating both global and local perspectives. Students in this Human/Nature theme course explore the social phenomena that underlay human action in the environmental arena, taking an interdisciplinary approach that encompasses history, social movement and political theory, media studies, gender studies, psychology, and first-person narratives. Goals include 1) developing effective skills in critical reading, analysis, and communication; 2) developing an appreciation for the vastness and diversity of human responses to environmental challenges; and 3) providing the opportunity for students to apply their emerging leadership and organizing skills to the design of a student environmental group. Part of the three-course Integrated Studies 126, “The Green Cluster.” Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in Biology 131 (lab section B) and Philosophy 126. (Elect IS126.)
ES214 Introduction to GIS and Spatial Analysis
Four credit hours. Gimond
An introduction to geographic information systems’ (GIS) data management and visualization capabilities as well as the theory and application of spatial analysis techniques. Topics covered include spatial data representation in a GIS, effective map making, coordinate systems and projections, exploratory spatial data analysis (ESDA), and spatial statistical analysis. Prerequisite: Sophomore or higher standing. Not open to students who have completed Environmental Studies 212. Human/Nature theme course.
ES233 Environmental Policy
Four credit hours. Reynolds
A comprehensive and interdisciplinary introduction to the process and challenges of developing, implementing, and evaluating environmental policy. The roles of costs and benefits, uncertainty and risks, science and technology, and attitudes and ethics are explored. Historic and contemporary case studies are used to examine major institutions and actors, laws and regulations, incentives and enforcement approaches, and their role in addressing our nation’s most pressing environmental problems. Students complete a semester-long research assignment. Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 118. Human/Nature theme course.
ES271 Introduction to Ecology
Four credit hours. Mcdowell
An examination of ecological concepts applied to individuals, populations, and communities of plants and animals in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine environments. Concepts and theories related to adaptations of organisms to their physical environment, patterns of plant and animal diversity, population dynamics and interactions, and the structure and diversity of ecological communities are explored and applied to current environmental problems. Ecological sampling techniques are practiced during field trips taken to local terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems. Identification of common plant and animal species, and investigation of ecological relationships are emphasized. A research assignment helps enhance writing skills. Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 118 or Biology 131 or 164. Not open to students who have completed Biology 263. Human/Nature theme course.
ES319 Conservation Biology
Four credit hours. Nyhus
Concepts of conservation biology are examined in detail. Topics include patterns of diversity and rarity, sensitive habitats, extinction, captive propagation, preserve design, and reclamation of degraded or destroyed ecosystems. Interdisciplinary solutions to the challenges of protecting, maintaining, and restoring biological diversity are discussed. Offered in alternate years. Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 118 or 271, and sophomore or higher standing. Human/Nature theme course.
ES343 Environmental Change
Four credit hours. McClenachan
Investigation of the relationship between past environmental history and current ecosystem condition. Landscape change and ecological restoration across a range of Maine ecosystems including forests, wetlands, rivers, and marine environments, with an emphasis on ecological theory. The impacts of past and present human activities including forestry, fishing, and industrial and residential development. Students in this Human/Nature theme course will read scientific literature, practice ecological field and laboratory methods, enhance data analysis and writing skills, and complete a research project designed to evaluate environmental change and recovery potential in a local landscape, riverscape, or seascape. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 271 and sophomore or higher standing.
ES344 Marine Fisheries Management
Four credit hours. McClenachan
Managing marine fisheries represents one of the most significant challenges in the conservation of global resources. We explore political, cultural, and ecological factors essential for successful management. Through lectures, discussions, and readings, students become familiar with global fisheries issues, including high seas management, initiatives to protect the food security and biodiversity of tropical island nations, and management of marine and anadromous fish in the United States. Through a field-based, group research project, students in this Human/Nature theme course will investigate challenges involved with managing marine fish populations in Maine. Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 118 or 271, and sophomore or higher standing.
ES356 Aquatic Ecology
Four credit hours. Bruesewitz
Concern over the impact of human activities on aquatic communities and ecosystems has brought aquatic ecology to the forefront of public attention. Through lecture, discussion, writing assignments, and laboratory work, students in this Human/Nature theme course will explore the major ecological principles that influence the physical, chemical, and biological organization of aquatic ecosystems. Experimental approaches and sampling techniques used by limnologists will be employed in local lakes, streams, and rivers, as well as in the laboratory to investigate topics of concern in freshwater ecosystems, including eutrophication, pollution, land use change, invasive species, and the impact of climate change. Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 271, a W1 course, and sophomore or higher standing.
ES493 Environmental Policy Practicum
Four credit hours. Nyhus and Reynolds
An in-depth analysis of current issues and policies affecting the environment. Students work individually and collaboratively on a project with a common theme and are assigned unique roles as researchers, editors, and technical coordinators. Reading and discussion of primary literature is augmented with invited speakers, field trips, and student presentations. Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 233 (for domestic emphasis) or 234 (for international emphasis), and senior standing as an environmental studies policy major. Human/Nature theme course.
ES 494 Problems in Environmental Science
Five credit hours. Bruesewitz
Causes of and solutions to selected environmental problems are investigated through lectures, laboratory and fieldwork, discussions, and guest presentations. Focuses on completion of a group research project with methods used by private consulting firms and governmental agencies to investigate aquatic environmental problems such as eutrophication or the spread of invasive species. Research results are presented in a public forum at the end of the semester. Civic engagement component provides useful information to the community and the state and gives students experience interacting with interested stakeholders. Skill development includes research, communication (both oral and written), and collaborative work skills. Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 271 and senior standing as an environmental science major. Human/Nature theme course.
IS126 The Green Cluster
Three courses for twelve credit hours.
Students discover key issues in biodiversity; explore central questions in environmental philosophy, ethics, and politics; and learn the history, theory, and practice of environmental activism as they pursue their own activist projects. See Biology 131 (lab B is designated for this cluster), Environmental Studies 126, and Philosophy 126 for course descriptions. Satisfies Natural Science with Lab (N,Lb), and Social Science (S) requirements. Human/Nature theme course.
LT271 Nature in Horace’s Epodes
Four credit hours. O’Neill
Horace is one of Rome’s most influential poets but some of his greatest poems are rarely taught for fear of offending anyone. In The Epodes, vitriolic abuse is interspersed with beautiful celebrations of nature (real and idealized), and fearful accounts of the power of witchcraft to control the natural world. In this Human/Nature theme course, we will study the power nature exercised over the Romans, and their fear of any human who had power over nature.
PL113 On Being Human
Four credit hours. Moland
Humans are part of nature yet distinct from it in complex ways. Our natural instincts do not completely define us; we are also cultural beings with traditions, identities, and technologies that distinguish us from nature. We seem also to be the only beings with both a sense of morality and a sense of humor. In this course, we will examine these claims by asking questions such as: to what extent are humans a product of nature and to what extent are we formed by culture? How does our answer to this question affect our perception of ourselves, others, and the world around us? What rights and responsibilities does being human entail, and why? How might our understanding of being human change with new technologies and a new understanding of genetics? Human/Nature theme course.
PL126 Philosophy and Environment
Four credit Hours. Peterson
An introduction to philosophy approached through prominent questions and themes in environmental philosophy. Topics include the historical context and causes of environmental crisis, anthropocentrism, animal rights, intrinsic value, biocentrism, ecocentrism, and radical social theories, incorporating core philosophical issues in ethics, philosophical anthropology, and nature philosophy. These provide resources for clear and creative reasoning on the philosophical aspects of creating sustainable communities, for reflection on value priorities, and for exploration of relationships between academic work and social responsibility. Human/Nature theme course.
PL328 Radical Ecologies
Four credit hours. Peterson
Radical ecologies interrogate our everyday, scientific, and metaphysical conceptions of nature, they emphasize that environmental problems in human-to-nature relations originate in human-to-human relations (e.g., gender, class, and race relations), and they call for comprehensive social and cultural changes through their critiques of existing social forms. They critically explore the historical, cultural, ethical, political, economic, and technological aspects of the place of the human in nature. Readings from anarchist social ecology, deep ecology, ecofeminism, ecosocialism, and science studies. Prerequisite: One philosophy course (other than PL151). Human/Nature theme course.
PS120 Our Lives As Animals
Four credit hours. Glenn
The focus of this course will be on the biological basis of behavior. Drawing mainly on research from the fields of neuroscience and psychology, we will explore how our behavior in the world, like that of other animals, is a product of our biology. We will also explore the ways in which our interactions with the world around us influence and shape the structure and functioning of our brains. Students will learn about writing from the perspective of the reader and the effective use of revision. Students are not required to have any formal background in neuroscience or psychology and will learn about selected topics through a series of structured writing and speaking assignments in which they can target different audiences and experiment with different styles. Human/Nature theme course.
ST197 Human/Nature Arts and Humanities Lab
One credit hour.
Focuses on the interface that connects the two terms and the space in which they interact. How do “human” and “nature” come in contact? How has this border evolved throughout history? Who is ultimately in charge? We like to think of this relationship as a peaceful one, as one of balance and mutually beneficial coexistence, but the word “slash” can help us remember that more often than not violence is the mode of interaction for these two terms. Involves public lectures by visiting scholars and Colby faculty, focused discussion, and weekly required reflection papers. Nongraded. Human/Nature Humanities Lab.
ST297 Human / Nature in the 21st Century
Three credit hours. Fleming
A seminar and Human/Nature Humanities Lab. with a coordinated evening lecture series open to students and the general public, offered with the support of the Center for the Arts and Humanities and the Colby Museum of Art. What does it mean to be human in an era of nearly incomprehensible technological complexity and change? Are there universal laws of nature and human nature, or is everything up for grabs? Is technoculture making things different in degree or in kind? Examines contemporary human-nature interactions and historical pathways leading to the current situation. Provides critical links and synergies between and among disciplines. Prerequisite: Concurrent registration in Science, Technology, and Society 197.
TD164 Performance Lab Series: Human \ Nature
One credit hour.
Students will work with faculty to conduct creative research to generate performance material in response to scheduled events surrounding the 2015-16 Humanities Theme: Human/Nature. This research will then serve as the basis for Theater and Dance 361 in Jan Plan in which students will work with faculty to create an original dance/theater hybrid piece. Outcomes include understanding creative research as a rigorous, complex undertaking and cultivating a personal performance aesthetic incorporating individual choices and risks, both creatively and in performance. Note: 164 is a prerequisite to 361. Nongraded. Human/Nature Humanities Lab. Prerequisite: Audition.