LOVE 201: Understanding Environmental Issues
An inderdisciplinary perspective

LOVE 201 Course Description

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The Course Name

LoveBake is a two-course sequence of college courses (LOVE 201/BAKE 202) sponsored jointly by Lovett College and Baker College - hence, the name LoveBake.

Why This Course?

Environmental issues are inherently interdisciplinary because they involve humans personally and human institutions on all social scales. In LoveBake we are attempting to bring these diverse perspectives together through interaction between faculty and student participants from all academic divisions at Rice University. We think that the level of faculty involvement from all parts of the campus is remarkable, and we hope to learn as much from the course as the students. The fall course is more of a survey of environmental issues; it is our opportunity to learn how the different disciplines think about the issues and the language they use. The spring course will take a more detailed look at a few selected topics. To learn about how and why these courses were developed check out our related web page.

The Basics

Prerequisites & Logistics

Key to readings



The course will be structured into eleven one-week modules, each of which is devoted to a major environmental issue (see course schedule). Most modules will follow the format of a Monday lecture/information exchange period with some sort of homework assignment; the following Friday session will be focused on discussion of the issues and the results of the assignments.

Additional sessions will be devoted to presentation and discussion of student projects (see below), planning the sequel course (BAKE 202), etc.

We want to emphasize the importance of discussion and dialog to the success of this course. We are studying these issues from many perspectives - sociological, economic, scientific, etc. - so it is very important that we all learn from each other.

Field Trip

There will be a one-day field trip (a Saturday to be selected later) to visit the South Texas Nuclear Power Plant and a coal-fired power plant.


There will be three components to the course grade:
  1. Each module will have a short homework assignment; some will require presentations.
  2. There will be a term project (probably a group activity) with oral presentation.
  3. In lieu of a final exam, each student will submit a comprehensive notebook that documents all of the work done in the course. The notebook should contain all of the work produced in the course and will be graded on completeness, organization, value added, and synthesis. See further comments in our background web page.

-----LAST MODIFIED: 2/22/01
-----BY: Bill Leeman