Environmental Studies

306 – Ethics of Wilderness: Global Sustainability, Wilderness, and the Anthropocene (3 credit hours)

In this course students will broaden their understanding of sustainability and sustainability studies. By closely examining the history of human interactions with the natural world, and the various ways in which different cultures have related to it, students will devise several alternative models of living on individual, communal, national and international levels. A close study of past human societies that have perished will provide insight into the limits of the earth’s carrying capacities on regional and global scales. We will examine various engineering solutions that enable less energy-intensive urban infrastructures while carefully considering alternative modes of living that rely on greater interpersonal relationships, diminished material acquisition and stronger physical ties to the natural systems that support human life. In a world with rapidly diminishing natural resources and commensurate growth in human populations, how do we effect changes to the ways in which human societies organize and support themselves? The course involves a two-week experiential lab in the backcountry of Alaska where students will put into practice some of the ideas generated in class. The course is writing intensive and will qualify for both the Interdisciplinary Minor in Environmental Studies and the Interdisciplinary Writing Minor. Permission of instructor to add.

Second Session Course:

  • 51311 – 1:00PM-2:15PM – TBA, Stottlemyer

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