LOVE 201: Understanding Environmental Issues
An inderdisciplinary perspective

Class Schedule & Syllabus

Meets 3 pm - Monday @ Sewell 309 & Friday @ Baker College Library

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Key to readings

Note: this page will be updated weekly throughout the semester

Date Module Topic Instructors Assignments/Related readings
Week 1
Fri, 5-Sep Organizational meeting - purpose of the course

Sewell 309, 3 PM

All Handout: "The Texas Survey"

BK relevant chapters: 1

Week 2
Mon, 8-Sep Societal aspects of environmental issues - a look into the 21st century Klineberg BK relevant chapters: 1, 2, 30

Handout: Results of the Texas Survey

Fri, 12-Sep Followup discussion of assignment and previous presentation All BK relevant chapters: 3

Assignment: brief analysis of Texas Survey results; prioritization of environmental issues from US and global perspective; notebook entries

Week 3
Mon, 15-Sep Biodiversity - evolutionary processes and diversity of species, ethical issues Harcombe, Thornhill, McKenny

Ehrenfeld (1976), "The conservation of non-resources", Amer. Sci. 64: 648-656

Other readings on WWW

BK relevant chapters: 6, 7, 8, 9

Fri, 19-Sep Followup discussion All
Week 4
Mon, 22-Sep Population dynamics, carrying capacities, resources, food, etc. Thornhill, Few, Soligo US population

Urban sprawl

World demographics

BK relevant chapters: 5, 8, 10, 11

"The Boiling Frog", from D. Quinn (1996) The Story of B, pp. 258-275.

Fri, 26-Sep Followup discussion All Further reading: Lutz, W. (1996) The Future Population of the World. What Can We Assume Today?, Earthscan, London.
Week 5
Mon, 29-Sep Global warming, historical perspectives, and models

Summary of the IPCC report and effects of climate change

Few, Blackburn BK relevant chapters: 2, 3, 4, 15, 16
Fri, 3-Oct Followup discussion All "If climate changes, who is vulnerable?"

Countdown to Kyoto Conference

Global Warming: Facts vs. Myths

United Nations - climate change (see Info Kit)

BK relevant chapters: 17, 21, 24

Week 6
Mon, 6-Oct Earth resources, economic geology, environmental impacts, etc. Leeman, Sisson Outline of economic geology concepts

BK relevant chapters: 10, 13, 15, 16

Fri, 10-Oct Followup discussion All World Resources Institute - oil as a finite resource?

World Energy Outlook - US Dept. of Energy forecasts for oil, gas, coal, nuclear & other sources

Global statistics on non-fuel mineral production

Uranium Institute

CO2 emissions calculator

BK relevant chapters: 17, 18, 19, 20

Week 7
Mon, 13-Oct Urban environment - metabolism, pollution, risk assessment Wiesner BK relevant chapters: 15, 16, 18, 19

"Home From Nowhere"

Discussion will continue on Wed, 22-Oct, Baker @ College library

Fri, 17-Oct Defining Student Class Projects All
Week 8
Wed, 22-Oct Followup discussion to Urban Environment

Make-up meeting for Monday classes (Fall Break)

All BK relevant chapters: 20, 22, 23, 26, 27, 29
Fri, 24-Oct Planning the course sequel - Bake 202 All
Week 9
Mon, 27-Oct Environmental literature, nature, man, culture, sense of "place" Isle BK relevant chapters: 12, 13, 30

Association for the Study of Literature & the Environment

Fri, 31-Oct Followup discussion All
Week 10
Mon, 3-Nov Environmental ethics, implications for issues, non-Western views McKinney BK relevant chapters: 10, 11, 14, 19
Fri, 7-Nov Followup discussion All BK relevant chapters:p 20, 22, 30
Week 11
Mon, 10-Nov Historical perspectives, geographical and environmental determinism AveLallemant BK relevant chapters: 10, 12, 13

American Society for Environmental History

Lynn White Jr. (1967), "The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis", Science 155: 1203-1207.

Fri, 14-Nov Followup discussion All
Week 12
Mon, 17-Nov Environmental economics, market forces, cost-benefit analysis, policy decisions Soligo BK relevant chapters: 10, 11, 14, 15
Fri, 21-Nov Politics of implementing change, individual rights vs. the common good Ostdiek BK relevant chapters: 25, 29, 30
Week 13
Mon, 24-Nov Discussion of political/economic issues All How to contact your legislators

BK relevant chapters: 14, 15, 20, 24, 29

Fri, 28-Nov Thanksgiving Holiday NO CLASS!
Week 14
Mon, 1-Dec Wrap-up discussions All Late-breaking news on Global Warming, and
NY Times on Kyoto Conference,
Nature on Kyoto Conference

and Indonesian fires

Fri, 5-Dec Student Projects: Presentations All
Week 15
Mon, 8-Dec Meeting with William Harris,
Director of Biosphere 2
All Discussions of sequal course, and
Environmental Systems Design


Introduction to Course

Introduce team of instructors
Overview of the course structure
Books and WWW resources
Discussion of course objectives (why are we here?)

Outlook for the future

Environmental awareness - where are we now?
Discussion of "The Texas Survey"
What do the survey results signify?


Evolutionary processes
Species diversity - what is it, why is it important?
Ethical issues

The human "time-bomb"

Population dynamics - what are the facts, assumptions, uncertainties?
Carrying capacities
Natural resource demands
What about food - what will they eat?

Global warming and related issues

Historical perspectives
What is the current situation? IPCC Report
Climate models and predicting future scenarios

Earth resources

What are the basic commodities and how much do we have and how are they distributed?
How long will they last?
What will it cost to produce/provide them?
Alternative resources
EIA Energy Quiz
Energy related information on the WWW

Urban environment

What are the mass balances involved in sustaining an urban lifestyle?
Metabolism - what happens to the inputs and outputs?
Pollution effects
Risks - present and future

Mid-term assessment (note modified schedule)

Planning BAKE 202 (2nd semester continuation of this course)
Definition and discussion of student projects

Environmental literature

What is the meaning and importance of "nature"?
Relations between man, nature, and culture
A sense of "place"

Environmental ethics

Western and non-Western views
Relation between ethics and environmental policy issues

Historical perspectives

What can we learn from the past?
Geographic and environmental determinism
Case studies

Environmental economics

"Empty-world" vs. "Full-world" views
Market forces
Cost-benefit analysis
Sustainable development

Politics of implementing change

Determinitive political factors
How is change implemented?
Individual rights vs. the common good

Wrap-up discussions & student projects

What have we accomplished?
Discussion and integration

Future Plans

Discussion of sequal course, BAKE 302/304
Environmental Systems Design
Presentation by Bill Harris, Director of Biosphere 2

-----LAST MODIFIED: 10/14/97
-----BY: Bill Leeman