Fall 2012 Courses

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101. Introduction to Environmental Studies
Lawrence Simon T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55 Searles-315
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 ecosystems as well as global population, climate change, energy, and sustainability.
105. Oceanography of the Gulf of Maine
Nicholas Record M 8:30 - 9:25, W 8:30 - 9:25, F 8:30 - 9:25 Druckenmiller-024
The Gulf of Maine is in many ways a microcosm of the North Atlantic. It lies at the intersection of subpolar and subtropical seas, has a wide variety of coastal habitats, ecosystems, and morphologies, and historically has supported productive fisheries. Introduction to the fundamentals of geological, physical, chemical, and biological oceanography, using the Gulf of Maine as a natural laboratory. Weekly labs apply the principles in the coastal Gulf of Maine.
154. Ecology of the Gulf of Maine and Bay of Fundy
Damon Gannon W 8:00 - 9:25, F 8:00 - 9:25 Druckenmiller-110
The Gulf of Maine/Bay of Fundy system is a semi-enclosed sea bordered by three U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. It supports some of the world’s most productive fisheries and played a key role in European colonization of North America. Investigates how the species found in this body of water interact with each other and with the abiotic components of their environment. Topics include natural history; geological and physical oceanography; characteristics of major habitats; biology of macroinvertebrates, fishes, seabirds, and marine mammals; biogeography; food webs; and fisheries biology. Examines how human activities such as fishing, aquaculture, shipping, and coastal development affect the ecology of the region. Includes lectures, discussions of the primary literature, and field excursions.
200. Biogeochemistry: An Analysis of Global Change
Michele LaVigne T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25 Kanbar Hall-107
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. Lectures and three hours of laboratory or fieldwork per week.
204. Introduction to Geographic Informatiion Systems
Eileen Johnson T 8:30 - 9:55, TH 8:30 - 9:55 Kanbar Hall-101 Computer Lab
Geographical information systems (GIS) organize and store spatial information for geographical presentation and analysis. They allow rapid development of high quality maps, and enable powerful and sophisticated investigation of spatial patterns and interrelationships. Introduces concepts of cartography, database management, remote sensing, and spatial analysis. The productive use of GIS technology in the physical and social sciences, environmental management, and regional planning is investigated through a variety of applied exercises and problems culminating in a semester project that addresses a specific environmental application.
209. Food and Power in American History
Tom Okie M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25 Mass Hall-McKeen Study
Seminar. The social, cultural, and environmental history of food production and consumption in America since the colonial era, with a focus on the rise of the “industrial” food system in the twentieth century. Topics include class/gender/race in rural landscapes, hunters and poachers, freshness, institutional and convenience foods, the Green Revolution, and the organic and local food movements.
210. Plant Physiology
Samuel Taylor M 10:30 - 11:25, W 10:30 - 11:25, F 10:30 - 11:25 Sills-117
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 Druckenmiller-020
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 Hatch Library-012
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
Michael Nishizaki T 8:30 - 9:55, TH 8:30 - 9:55 Druckenmiller-004
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 four hours of laboratory or field trip per week. One weekend field trip included.
221. Environmental Sociology
Shaun Golding T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55 Adams-406
Applies sociological insights to investigating the ways that humans shape and are shaped by their ecological surroundings. Introduces theories and concepts for exploring how western society and more specifically contemporary American society interact with nature. Reviews central academic questions, including social constructions of nature and perceptions of ecological risks, and drawing from complementary readings and student-led dialogue, examines in greater depth ongoing struggles over conservation, sustainability, development, and social justice.
227. City and Landscape in Modern Europe
Jill Pearlman M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55 Buck Center-211
Explores the evolution of the built environment in London, Paris, Vienna, and Berlin from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. Focusing on significant moments in the history of these cities, considers a variety of factors as determinants of urban form, including technological developments, industrialization, politics, economics, culture and design. Topics include the creation of capital cities, natural and public spaces, streets, housing, suburbanization, environmental problems, and current schemes for a sustainable urbanism.
236. Comparative Environmental Politics
Laura Henry M 8:30 - 9:55, W 8:30 - 9:55 Adams-406
Examines environmental politics from a comparative perspective, drawing on case material from the United States, Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Asks why, despite the fact that many contemporary environmental problems are shared globally, states develop different environmental policies. Readings cover issues ranging from forest conservation to climate policy and consider explanatory factors such as type of political regime, level of economic development, activism by citizens, and culture and values.
238. Natural Supernaturalism
David Collings M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55 Sills-109
Examines the Romantic attempt to blend aspects of the transcendental—such as the sublime, immortality, and divinity—with ordinary life, the forms of nature, and the resources of human consciousness. Discusses theories of the sublime, poetry of the English landscape, mountaintop experiences, tales of transfiguration, lyrics of loss, and encounters with otherworldly figures. Explores the difficulties of representing the transcendental in secular poetry and the consequences of natural supernaturalism for our own understanding of nature. Focuses on the poetry of Wordsworth and Coleridge, alongside writing by Burke, Kant, and Shelley.
281. Forest Ecology and Conservation
Vladimir Douhovnikoff T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55 Druckenmiller-110
An examination of how forest ecology and the principles of silviculture inform forest ecosystem restoration and conservation. Explores ecological dynamics of forest ecosystems, the science of managing forests for tree growth and other goals, natural history and historic use of forest resources, the state of forests today, as well as challenges and opportunities in forest restoration and conservation. Consists of lecture, discussions, field trips, and guest seminars by professionals working in the field.
282. Ocean and Climate
Collin Roesler M 10:30 - 11:25, W 10:30 - 11:25, F 10:30 - 11:25 Druckenmiller-024
The ocean covers more than 70 percent of Earth’s surface. It has a vast capacity to modulate variations in global heat and carbon dioxide, thereby regulating climate and ultimately life on Earth. Beginning with an investigation of paleo-climate records preserved in deep-sea sediment cores and in Antarctic and Greenland glacial ice cores, the patterns of natural climate variations will be explored with the goal of understanding historic climate change observations. Predictions of polar glacial and sea ice, sea level, ocean temperatures, and ocean acidity investigated through readings and discussions of scientific literature. Weekly laboratory sessions devoted to field trips, laboratory experiments, and computer-based data analysis and modeling to provide hands-on experiences for understanding the time and space scales of processes governing oceans, climate, and ecosystems. Laboratory exercises form the basis for student research projects. Mathematics 171 is recommended.
283. Environmental Education
Kara Wooldrik M 6:30 - 9:25 Adams-103
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 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.
306. Advanced Environmental Organic Chemistry
Dharanija Vasudevan T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55 Druckenmiller-024
Human activities result in the intentional or inadvertent release of organic chemicals into the natural environment. Interconnected physical, chemical, and biological processes influence the environmental fate of chemicals and the extent human and ecosystem exposure. Focuses on the thermodynamics and kinetics of chemical transformations in the natural environment via nucleophilic, redox, photolytic, and biological (microbial) reactions.
318. Environmental and Natural Resource Economics
Guillermo Herrera M 10:00 - 11:25, W 10:00 - 11:25 HL-311 (third floor)
Seminar. Analysis of externalities and market failure; models of optimum control of pollution and efficient management of renewable and nonrenewable natural resources such as fisheries, forests, and minerals; governmental vs. other forms of control of common-pool resources; and benefit-cost analysis of policies, including market-based and non-market valuation. Permission of instructor required for students who have credit for Economics 218 (same as Environmental Studies 218) or 228 (same as Environmental Studies 228).
320. Animal Planet: Humans and Other Animals
Susan Kaplan T 6:30 - 9:25 Adams-208
Cultures around the world maintain different stances about non-human animals. People eat meat or avoid doing so. Religions advocate veneration, fear, or loathing of certain animals. Domesticated animals provide us company, labor, and food. Wild animals are protected, studied, photographed, captured, and hunted. Animals inhabit novels, are featured in art, and adorn merchandise. Students read ethnographies, articles, animal rights literature, and children’s books; study museum collections; and examine animal themes in films and on the Web. Employing anthropological perspectives, students consider what distinguishes humans from other animals, how cultures are defined by peoples’ attitudes about animals, and what might be our moral and ethical responsibilities to other creatures.
337. Nature and Health in America
Matthew Klingle M 9:30 - 12:25 Searles-115
Explores relationships between humans, environment, and health in North American history from the sixteenth century to the present day. Topics may include the evolution of public health, biomedical research, and clinical practice; folk remedies and popular understandings of health; infectious and chronic diseases; links between landscape, health, and inequality; gender and reproductive health; occupational health and safety; the effects of agriculture, industrialization, and urbanization on human and ecological health; state and federal policies; and the colonial and global dimensions of public health and medicine. Students write a major research paper based on primary sources. Environmental Studies 101, 203, and at least one 200-level history course recommended.