Location: Bowdoin / Environmental Studies / Courses / Fall 2010

Environmental Studies

Fall 2010

012. Campus: Landscape, Architecture and the Educational Ideal
Jill Pearlman M  2:30 - 3:55
W  2:30 - 3:55
Explores the changing environment of the American college and university campus from its beginnings in colonial times to today. At once a history of the built environment--architecture, planning and design-- and of the ideals of higher education embodied in that environment, examines a range of academic landscapes, from liberal arts colleges, to research universities and urban campuses. Focuses on developing skills in visual and textual analysis, historical research, and on understanding the Bowdoin campus.

016. Sustaining Maine's Northern Forest: Economy, Ecology, and Community
David Vail T  8:30 - 9:55
TH 8:30 - 9:55
A multi-disciplinary study of Maine's vast Northern Forest - the largest unbroken woodlands east of the Mississippi. Begins with a historical look at evolving forest ecosystems, economies and cultures. Topics include Native American settlement, H.D. Thoreau's Maine Miane Woods and outdoor recreation tradition, the nineteenth century "lumber barons", and Maine's twentieth century "Paper Plantation." We then investigate six 21st century challenges: transformation of forest ownership and property rights,sustainable forest management, renewable energy from the forest, creating a "world class" tourist destination, sustaining forest communities, and responding to global warming.

101. Introduction to Environmental Studies
Lawrence Simon T  10:00 - 11:25
TH 10:00 - 11:25
An interdisciplinary introduction from the perspectives of the natural sciences, the social sciences, and moral philosophy to the variety of environmental problems confronting us today. Provides an overview of the state of scientific knowledge about major environmental problems, both global and regional, an analysis of the ethical problems they pose, potential responses of governments and individuals, and an exploration of both the successes and the inadequacies of environmental policy. Topics include air pollution, fisheries, and chemicals in the environment as well as global population, climate change, energy, and sustainability.

200. Biogeochemistry: An Analysis of Global Change
Philip Camill T  11:30 - 12:55
TH 11:30 - 12:55
Understanding global change requires knowing how the biosphere, geosphere, oceans, ice, and atmosphere interact. An introduction to Earth system science, emphasizing the critical interplay between the physical and living worlds. Key processes include energy flow and material cycles, soil development, primary production and decomposition, microbial ecology and nutrient transformations, and the evolution of life on geochemical cycles in deep time. Terrestrial, wetland, lake, river, estuary, and marine systems are analyzed comparatively. Applied issues are emphasized as case studies, including energy efficiency of food production, acid rain impacts on forests and aquatic systems, forest clearcutting, wetland delineation, eutrophication of coastal estuaries, ocean fertilization, and global carbon sinks.

210. Plant Physiology
Barry Logan M  11:30 - 12:25
W  11:30 - 12:25
F  11:30 - 12:25
An introduction to the physiological processes that enable plants to grow under the varied conditions found in nature. General topics discussed include the acquisition, transport, and use of water and mineral nutrients, photosynthetic carbon assimilation, and the influence of environmental and hormonal signals on development and morphology. Adaptation and acclimation to extreme environments and other ecophysiological subjects are also discussed. Weekly laboratories reinforce principles discussed in lecture and expose students to modern research techniques.

215. Behavioral Ecology and Population Biology
Nathaniel Wheelwright T  10:00 - 11:25
TH 10:00 - 11:25
Study of the behavior of animals and plants, and the interactions between organisms and their environment. Topics include population growth and structure, and the influence of competition, predation, and other factors on the behavior, abundance, and distribution of plants and animals. Laboratory sessions, field trips, and research projects emphasize concepts in ecology, evolution and behavior, research techniques, and the natural history of local plants and animals. Optional field trip to the Bowdoin Scientific Station on Kent Island.

216. Telling Environmental Stories
Anthony Walton M  11:30 - 12:55
W  11:30 - 12:55
Intended for students with a demonstrated interest in environmental studies, as an introduction to several modes of storytelling, which communicate ideas, historical narratives, personal experiences, and scientific and social issues in this increasingly important area of study and concern. Explores various techniques, challenges, and pleasures of storytelling, and examines some of the demands and responsibilities involved in the conveyance of different types of information with clarity and accuracy in nonfiction narrative. Engages student writing through the workshop method, and includes study of several texts, including The Control of Nature, Cadillac Desert, Living Downstream, and Field Notes from a Catastrophe.

219. Biology of Marine Organisms
Amy Johnson T  8:30 - 9:55
TH 8:30 - 9:55
The study of the biology and ecology of marine mammals, seabirds, fish, intertidal and subtidal invertebrates, algae, and plankton. Also considers the biogeographic consequences of global and local ocean currents on the evolution and ecology of marine organisms. Laboratories, field trips, and research projects emphasize natural history, functional morphology, and ecology. Lectures and three hours of laboratory or field trip per week. One weekend field trip included.

228. Natural Resource Economics and Policy
Guillermo Herrera T  1:00 - 2:25
TH 1:00 - 2:25
A study of the economic issues surrounding the existence and use of renewable natural resources (e.g., forestry/land use, fisheries, water, ecosystems, and the effectiveness of antibiotics) and exhaustible resources (such as minerals, fossil fuels, and old growth forest). A basic framework is first developed for determining economically efficient use of resources over time, then extended to consider objectives other than efficiency, as well as the distinguishing biological, ecological, physical, political, and social attributes of each resource. Uncertainty, common property, and various regulatory instruments are discussed, as well as alternatives to government intervention and/or privatization.

235. Borderlands and Empires in Early North America
Matthew Klingle T  10:00 - 11:25
TH 10:00 - 11:25
Survey of the making of North America from initial contact between Europeans and Africans and Native Americans to the creation of the continent's three largest nations by the mid-nineteenth century: Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Topics include the history of Native populations before and after contact; geopolitical and imperial rivalries that propelled European conquests of the Americas; evolution of free and coerced labor systems; environmental transformations of the continent's diverse landscapes and peoples; formation of colonial settler societies; and the emergence of distinct national identities and cultures in former European colonies. Students write several papers and engage in weekly discussion based upon primary and secondary documents, art, literature, and material culture.

243. Modern Architecture: 1750 to 2000
Jill Pearlman M  11:30 - 12:55
W  11:30 - 12:55
Examines major buildings, architects, architectural theories, and debates during the modern period, with a strong emphasis on Europe through 1900, and both the United States and Europe in the twentieth century. Central issues of concern include architecture as an important carrier of historical, social, and political meaning; changing ideas of history and progress in built form; and the varied architectural responses to industrialization. Attempts to develop students’ visual acuity and ability to interpret architectural form while exploring these and other issues.

271. Biology of Marine Mammals
Damon Gannon W  9:00 - 10:25
F  9:00 - 10:25
Examines the biology of cetaceans, pinnipeds, sirenians, and sea otters. Topics covered include diversity, evolution, morphology, physiology, ecology, behavior, and conservation. Detailed consideration is given to the adaptations that allow these mammals to live in the sea. The course will consist of lecture, discussion of primary literature, lab, field trips, and student-selected case studies. Laboratory and field exercises consider anatomy, biogeography, social organization, foraging ecology, population dynamics, bioacoustics, and management of the marine mammal species found in the Gulf of Maine.

272. The Right to be Cold: Contemporary Arctic Environmental and Cultural Issues
Susan Kaplan M  6:30 - 9:25
Throughout the Arctic, northern peoples face major environmental changes and cultural and economic challenges. Landscapes, icescapes, and seascapes on which communities rely are being transformed, and arctic plants and animals are being affected. Many indigenous groups see these dramatic changes as endangering their health and cultural way of life. Others see a warming Arctic as an opportunity for industrial development. Addressing contemporary issues that concern northern peoples in general and Inuit in particular involves understanding connections between leadership, global environmental change, human rights, indigenous cultures, and foreign policies, and being able to work on both a global and local level.

282. Oceans and Climate
Collin Roesler T  10:00 - 11:25
TH 10:00 - 11:25
Oceans cover more than 70 percent of the earth’s surface. Through the transfer of heat and matter, the oceans drive earth’s climate and ultimately life on earth. Students will learn how records of paleoclimates are preserved in deep-sea sediments and glacial ice cores and how natural climate variations can be distinguished from human induced changes. The role of the ocean in buffering increasing heat and carbon in the atmosphere and ocean ecosystem responses to climate perturbations will be explored. Weekly laboratory sessions will be devoted to field trips, laboratory experiments, and computer-based data analysis and modeling to provide hands-on experiences for understanding the time and spaces scales of processes governing oceans, climate, and ecosystems. Earth and Oceanographic Science 200 and Mathematics 161 are recommended.

283. Environmental Education
Kara Wooldrik T  6:30 - 8:25
Examines the role of environmental education within environmental studies while providing students with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience within a local elementary school. Students read, research, analyze, discuss, and write about theoretical essays, articles, and books from the field of environmental education, in addition to theoretical material on pedagogy and lesson plans. Topics discussed include ecological literacy, the historical roots of environmental education, globalization, sustainable education, and policy implications of environmental education. In addition, students teach at least one hour weekly. Students develop lesson plans and reflect on their experience of teaching environmental education lessons.

395. Advanced Seminar in Environmental Policy and Politics
DeWitt John W  10:00 - 11:25
F  10:00 - 11:25
Examines a complex current environmental issue in depth. Explores the underlying social, economic, scientific, and cultural dimensions of the issue; reviews how this and related issues have been addressed so far by state and local governments as well as by the federal government; analyzes current policy-making efforts; and suggests lessons from this policy area about the capacity of public institutions to deal effectively with complex issues. Equal attention given to the substance of public policy, the political process, and implementation of past and proposed policies. Focuses primarily on the United States but will consider experiences in other nations as points of comparison and also any relevant international dimensions of the issue.