INTRO TO ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE WITH LAB
FOUNDATIONS OF ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to environmental studies. It presents students with an overview of the intersections between ecology, the social sciences, and the humanities that inform our vision of the rigor and power of interdisciplinary environmental studies. It draws upon the natural sciences, communication, geography, religion, history, literature, art and design, and public policy to stress the interrelationships between human society and the natural world. Students will study the effects of the human use of the natural world and the interactions of culture, society, resources, and the environment. We will examine the social, political, and economic institutions that impact the environment. Particular attention will be paid to how the role of power and inequality contribute to environmental problems and how those problems in turn, impact certain groups more than others (e.g. citizens of undeveloped nations, people of color in urban areas) .
IDEAS OF NATURE
This course is an introductory history of the ideas of nature that emerged over the last two and a half centuries in Europe and the United States. We examine how the conceptions, meanings, and values of nature today have been influenced by the Scientific and Industrial Revolutions, Romanticism, and evolutionary theory; notions of the sublime, the frontier, and wilderness; and the practices of conservation, preservation, and restoration. Also discussed are the ideological commitments of current environmentalisms, in particular sustainability.
The environmental issues that confront us are both global and local; they involve political, economic and ethical decision-making by governments, corporations and citizens. Students will explore and evaluate diverse approaches to a range of such issues, as well as the ways different thinkers and different cultures have envisioned the relationship between human beings and the natural world-all with a view to understanding their own relationships to the natural world, their own environmental ethics.
PHILOSOPHY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
A philosophical study of our environment, the nature of nature, the ecosystem, and the planet.
PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES (Formerly CMNS 325 - ENVIRONMENTAL COMMUNICATION WORKSHOP)
Provides a foundation in the communication skills necessary for achieving conservation goals. Introduces communication approaches such as social marketing, citizen participation, public campaigns, and environmental interpretation that have proven effective in the work of conservation professionals. (Formerly CMNS 325 - ENVIRONMENTAL COMMUNICATION WORKSHOP)
ENVIRONMENTAL POLITICS AND RHETORIC (Formerly CMNS 326)
Rhetorical perspective on environmental public discourse. Course also explores the relationship between rhetorically constituted ideas about nature and the development of political and social ideas, institutions, and practices that inform our understanding of the human place in the environment. (Formerly CMNS 326)
ECOLOGICAL AND SOCIAL ECONOMICS
In this course, students examine the role of the environment and natural resources in neoclassical, environmental and ecological economics. First, students study mechanisms for efficiently allocating scarce resources among specific alternative ends and take a brief foray into environmental economics and learn methods of resource/environmental valuation. We also discuss aspects of macroeconomics as it pertains to ecological economics. Students come away able to critically assess the benefits and drawbacks of these three ways that the economy incorporates the environment. It also encourages ethical reasoning as we discuss distribution of environmental benefits over generations and globally.
LSP 120 or MAT 130
ISSUES IN ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN
Issues in Environmental Design is an introductory course that will examine concepts, theories and practices across multiple scales of design, including architecture, landscape architecture and urban design. Students will discuss and evaluate the design decisions that compose our built environment with a focus on contemporary ideas of ecological sustainability. Examples of excellence will be explored through the examination of case studies. The underlying theme is the connection between culture and nature, and how we may reduce our negative impact on systems that support all life while building positive systems that support all life.
LANDSCAPE AND MEANING
In this course students will engage issues central to the design of landscapes, examining the complex exchange between social perception, ecological function and physical form in landscape architecture. Students will evaluate the formal character of particular landscapes and how this expression contributes to the overall experience of a place. The literary perspective of the course will focus on the rich tradition of associations between landscape design and social ideologies. Students will be asked to apply concepts from the literature to landscapes from their own personal experience to understand how meaning is both deeply personal and culturally derived. Students will extend this interpretation to creating their own landscape design for transforming an existing site in Chicago.
CITIES AND THE ENVIRONMENT
This course focuses on the interactions between urban areas and the environment. It is a discussion of the physical setting of cities; the water, energy, air and waste disposal needs of urban areas; and the effects of urban areas on the air, water and land environment.
ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
This course is designed to provide students with the scientific tools necessary to understand and critically evaluate both personal and policy decisions regarding the variety of options (e.g. fossil fuel, solar, wind, etc.) for energy generation and use. The course also focuses on the environmental impacts of all forms of energy, from the extraction of fossil fuels and mineral resources from the earth, to the generation, distribution and consumption of energy, and ultimately emission of fossil fuel combustion products, notably carbon dioxide and other heat trapping gasses, to the atmosphere. Course fee applies.
LSP 120 is a prerequisite for this class.
GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE
This course introduces the student to the general principles of climate change and how it affects weather, agriculture, ocean levels, etc. In recent years, the problem of global climate change became one of the most important issues in science and politics. This course will cover topics like natural and human made climate changes, the handling of proxy data and data methods, and social behavior.
An in-depth overview of plant families and species in the Chicagoland area. Lectures will focus on morphology of plants, evolutionary relationships among plant families, and terminology of plant structures. Students will use botanical keys and manuals for the area to identify plants and will learn collection techniques. Plant species will be collected in their natural habitats during field trips. Lab fee applies.
ENVIRONMENTAL SOIL SCIENCE
An examination of the physical, chemical, biological and engineering properties of soils, their genesis and classification, how they function as sites of waste disposal, and their role in global agricultural production. The course includes a three-hour lab and a mandatory Saturday field trip. Lab fee applies.
This course focuses on how plants are affected by abiotic factors in the environment and interactions with other organisms. Goals are to improve students' abilities to understand research papers, present overviews of current research, design experiments, and analyze data. The course includes weekly labs with greenhouse experiments or field trips followed by data analysis. Topics include germination ecology, pollination biology, competition between plants, and effects of herbivory. Lab fee applies.
ENV 250 or BIO 215 or permission of instructor is a prerequisite for this class.
CHEMISTRY OF EARTH SYSTEMS
This class focuses on the impact of pollution on the Earth?s ability to provide clean air, water and food for human consumption. The industrialization of the economy during the last 150 years has greatly increased the amount of waste that is sent into the four Earth spheres: the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere and biosphere. These emissions directly harm organisms and also cycle back to pollute essential ecosystem services provided by the Earth. This class will consider the source, transport, transformation and ultimate fate of pollution emitted into the air, water and solid Earth. Examples will include relatively simple cases (agricultural pesticides harming birds) and range to more complex interactions (depletion of stratospheric ozone by CFCs and the increase in harmful ultraviolet radiation). The laboratory component will be project based and some work can be completed outside of the assigned lab time. Lab fee applies
ENV 216 and CHE 132 are a prerequisite for this class.
Conservation biology is an interdisciplinary endeavor concerned with the protection and management of biodiversity. It employs insights from the biological sciences, from the theory and practice of natural resource management, as well as from the social sciences and humanities. The reach of the discipline is vast ? ranging across all organismal groups and the landscapes and processes that sustain them ? we will therefore restrict ourselves to a general overview and draw upon a series of case studies in Chicago area. Lab fee applies.
BIO 215 is a prerequisite for this class.
This course will introduce students to the conceptual and methodological tools of ecosystem ecology. The course will focus on understanding the fundamental structure and function of ecosystems but will also address very recent debates on the economic value of ecosystem services, the role of biological diversity in maintaining ecosystem processes, and the consequences of stressed and degraded ecosystems for human welfare. Finally, we assess the role of ecosystem ecology in designing sustainable restoration projects. The course includes a weekly lab.
In this course we examine the way ecological ideas can increase our understanding of cities in ways that assist us in making cities more habitable ? cleaner, healthier and more biodiverse. We will pay considerable attention to the ways in which ecology can be broadened by its encounter with disciplines that have historically paid more attention to the city ? urban sociology, anthropology, economics, demography, architecture and planning.This course has a required lab; some Saturday field trips.
BIO 215 or ENV 250 is a prerequisite for this class.
INTRODUCTION TO ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Study of the environment factors that influence health. Topics include air and water pollution, global population and local community dynamics, toxicology, infectious and chemical agents, radiation, and management.
SPECIAL TOPICS IN ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE
Junior standing or above and an Environmental Science or Environmental Studies major are a prerequisite for this class.
ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE AND ADVOCACY
This course explores the roles of individuals and organizations in advocacy through the lens of environmental justice, particularly as power arrangements facilitate or impede consensus building. The course examines how legislation is written and how this process has impacted communities of color. Special attention is paid to advocacy techniques such as lobbying, movement-building, public education and litigation.