Spring 2010 Courses

100. Environmental Geology and Hydrology
Peter Lea M  8:30 - 9:25
W  8:30 - 9:25
F  8:30 - 9:25
An introduction to aspects of geology and hydrology that affect the environment and land use. Topics include watersheds and surface-water quality, groundwater contamination, coastal erosion, and landslides. Weekly labs and field trips examine local environmental problems affecting Maine rivers, lakes, and coast.
103. Marine Environmental Geology
Edward Laine M  11:30 - 12:55
W  11:30 - 12:55
An introduction to the aspects of marine geology and oceanography that affect the environment and marine resources. Topics include estuarine oceanography and sediments, eutrophication of coastal waters, primary productivity, waves and tides, sea-level history, glacial geology of coastal Maine, harmful algal bloom, and an introduction to plate tectonics. Weekly field trips and labs examine local environmental problems affecting Casco Bay and the Maine coast. A one-day weekend field excursion is required.
201. Perspectives in Environmental Science
John Lichter T  10:00 - 11:25
TH 10:00 - 11:25
Functioning of the earth system is defined by the complex and fascinating interaction of processes within and between four principal spheres: land, air, water, and life. Leverages key principles of environmental chemistry and ecology to unravel the intricate connectedness of natural phenomena and ecosystem function. Fundamental biological and chemical concepts are used to understand the science behind the environmental dilemmas facing societies as a consequence of human activities. Laboratory sessions consist of local field trips, laboratory experiments, group research, case study exercises, and discussions of current and classic scientific literature.
203. Environment and Culture in North American History
Matthew Klingle M  2:30 - 3:55
W  2:30 - 3:55
Explores relationships between ideas of nature, human transformations of the environment, and the effect of the physical environment upon humans through time in North America. Topics include the “Columbian exchange” and colonialism; links between ecological change and race, class, and gender relations; the role of science and technology; literary and artistic perspectives of “nature”; agriculture, industrialization, and urbanization; and the rise of modern environmentalism. Assignments include a research-based service learning term project.
207. Building Healthy Communities
DeWitt John T  8:30 - 9:55
TH 8:30 - 9:55
Examines efforts by communities and regions to build strong local economies, safeguard important environmental values, protect public health, and address issues of economic and social justice. In many communities, metropolitan areas, and rural regions, state and local government officials work with other leaders to set ambitious goals for economic and environmental sustainability and to develop specific plans for sustainable development. These efforts cross political, institutional, and sectoral barriers, thus challenging and sometimes reshaping state and local politics as well as American federalism. Examines how local leaders can work in complex settings to set goals and mobilize federal, private, and non-profit resources to achieve specific, cross-cutting objectives.
217. Writing about Place
Jane Brox TH 1:00 - 3:55 Mass-McKeen Study
An examination of sense of place through reading and creative writing. Students will read authors who write personally about place and also bring historical, scientific, or sociological perspectives to their work, such as Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, James Baldwin, Yi-Fu Tuan, and Elizabeth Bishop. Students will write both personal essays and essays centered on direct observation and reflection on the history and ecology of a particular place. Workshop discussion, critiques, and revision are an integral part.
227. City and Landscape in Modern Europe
Jill Pearlman T  10:00 - 11:25
TH 10:00 - 11:25
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.
232. History of the American West
Connie Chiang T  10:00 - 11:25
TH 10:00 - 11:25
Survey of what came to be called the Western United States from the nineteenth century to the present. Topics include Euro-American relations with Native Americans; the expansion and growth of the federal government into the West; the exploitation of natural resources; the creation of borders and national identities; race, class, and gender relations; the influence of immigration and emigration; violence and criminality; cities and suburbs; and the enduring persistence of the “frontier” myth in American culture. Students write several papers and engage in weekly discussion based upon primary and secondary documents, art, literature, and film.
245. The Nature of Frank Lloyd Wright
Jill Pearlman M  1:00 - 2:25
W  1:00 - 2:25
An in-depth investigation of the buildings of North America’s most celebrated architect, with emphasis on the major theme of his work—the complex relationship between architecture and nature. Examines Wright’s key projects for a diverse range of environments and regions while also placing the master builder and his works into a larger historical, cultural, and architectural context. Engages in a critical analysis of the rich historical literature that Wright has evoked in recent decades, along with the prolifi c writings of the architect himself.
264. Energy, Climate, and Air Quality
DeWitt John M  8:30 - 9:55
W  8:30 - 9:55
Examines how the federal government in the United States, as well as states, communities, businesses, and nonprofi ts, can address climate change and energy issues. Compares American policies and politics with efforts in other countries and examines the links between American policies and efforts in other nations.
267. Coastal Oceanography
Edward Laine T  11:30 - 12:55
TH 11:30 - 12:55
Principles and problems in coastal oceanography, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary inquiry. Topics include circulation and sediment transport within estuaries and on the continental shelf, impact of human systems on the marine environment, and issues and controversies of eutrophication and hypoxia in the coastal environment.
302. Earth Climate History and Its Impacts on Ecosystems and Human Civilizations
Philip Camill T  8:30 - 9:55
TH 8:30 - 9:55
The modern world is experiencing rapid climate warming and some parts extreme drought, which will have dramatic impacts on ecosystems and human societies. How do contemporary warming and aridity compare to past changes in climate? Are modern changes human-caused or part of the natural variability in the climate system? What effects did past changes have on global ecosystems and human societies? Uses the past as context for evaluating changes in the modern world. Students use sediment and growth records (ocean, glacier, lake, coral, tree ring, and rodent middens) to assemble proxies for past changes in climate, atmospheric CO2, and disturbance to examine several issues: how tectonics and orogeny affect long-term carbon cycling and climate, the rise of C4 photosynthesis and the evolution of grazing mammals, orbital forcing and glacial cycle theory/evidence, glacial refugia and post-glacial species migrations, climate change and the rise of human civilizations, climate/overkill hypothesis of Pleistocene megafauna, patterns and mechanisms of climate variability, drought cycles, how climate change affects disturbances like fire, climate-related collapses of human civilizations, and how models can be used to weigh the relative effects of natural variability and human-caused climate change. Prior enrollment in a 200- or 300-level environmental studies or geology course is recommended.
318. Environmental and Resource Economics
Guillermo Herrera T  1:00 - 2:25
TH 1:00 - 2:25
The Hazelton Room (Kanbar 109)
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. Not open to students who have credit for Economics 218 (Same as Environmental Studies 218) or 228 (Same as Environmental Studies 228).
335. Living in the Ruins
David Collings M  2:30 - 3:55
W  2:30 - 3:55
Mass-McKeen Study
Examines literature, primarily written after 1945, that depicts life in a world that is enduring, or has endured, a military, cultural, moral, or environmental disaster (such as global climate change). Discusses what transpires when time continues to pass but the future does not arrive, when the world renews itself only in marginal or unsuspected ways. Considers themes such as generalized and muted trauma; the possibilities of accepting or resisting global disarray; the estrangement of home or familiar histories; the radical disorientation of the self; and the adequacy of established literary genres to capture key themes. Discsses literary texts by such authors as Beckett, Levi, Abe, Dick, Ballard, Robinson, Coetzee, Sebald, Butler, and Boyle; movies such as "Children of Men"; and theoretical and critical writings on course themes.
349. The Americas as Crossroads: Transnational Histories
Allen Wells W  9:30 - 12:25 Edward Pols House-Conf Room
An examination of the transnational history of North and South America over the past five hundred years. Students explore this through readings on specific themes including exploration and imperial conquest, trade, migration, labor, warfare, and biological exchange, culminating in an original research paper, based on primary and secondary source research, to meet the requirements of their major.
350. Atmospheric Chemistry
Laura Voss T  2:30 - 3:55
TH 2:30 - 3:55
An in-depth study in the chemistry that affects atmospheric composition and global climate change. Topics include ozone depletion, tropospheric pollution, understanding past climates, and modern research techniques.
357. The Physics of Climate
Mark Battle M  11:30 - 12:25
W  11:30 - 12:25
F  11:30 - 12:25
A rigorous treatment of the earth’s climate, based on physical principles. Topics include climate feedbacks, sensitivity to perturbations, and the connections between climate and radiative transfer, atmospheric composition, and large-scale circulation of the oceans and atmospheres. Anthropogenic climate change will also be studied.
363. Advanced Seminar in International Relations: Law, Politics, and the Search for Justice
Allen Springer T  11:30 - 12:55
TH 11:30 - 12:55
Examines the complex relationship between law and policy in international relations by focusing on two important and rapidly developing areas of international concern: environmental protection and humanitarian rights. Fulfi lls the environmental studies senior seminar requirement.
392. Advanced Topics in Environmental Philosophy
Lawrence Simon T  11:30 - 12:55
TH 11:30 - 12:55
Edward Pols House-Conf Room
Examines philosophical, moral, political, and policy questions regarding various environmental issues. Possible topics include the ethics of climate change policy, our obligations to future generations, benefi t-cost analysis vs. the precautionary principle as a decision-making instrument, and the relationship between justice and sustainability.