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This interdisciplinary course is offered in a variety of formats all of which focus on environmental problems and their global and regional causes. The impacts of these problems on different people, cultures, and global society as a whole will be addressed from varying perspectives rooted in different values and worldviews. All course offerings provide a forum for discussion, debate, and critical evaluation. This course satisfies the Liberal Education requirement for an interdisciplinary environmental issues course (Area VII).
Six major themes will be explored in a multi-cultural context. We will return to these themes repeatedly throughout the course as a means of providing a more coherent analytic framework.
The major purpose of this course is to heighten awareness of current environmental challenges and of the complex interconnections between natural and human systems. Students will integrate various disciplinary perspectives on environmental problems and potential solutions and will employ critical thinking skills in reflecting on values-based and ethical dimensions of environmental decision-making. Students will gain an understanding of biogeochemical processes in the environment and of the social, cultural, and economic influences shaping human impacts on the environment. In light of these impacts, possible changes in these institutions will be considered.
- Interconnections of ecological and human systems
- Transgenerational impacts and issues
- Value-based foundations for actions and solutions
- Uncertainty and risk in environmental decision-making
- Constraints on solutions (perceived and/or real?)
- Topical focus on student identified concerns and potential solution: students will suggest topics in the first meeting by identifying environmental problems of interest. We will use these suggestions as a guide to selecting particular case studies for more in-depth analysis. Suggested topics would include but not be limited to such things as:
- population growth and food supply
- energy production, pollution, and resource depletion
- toxins in lakes
- alternative agriculture
- global warming
- environmental justice
The reading for the large-group meetings will be from the book "Sustaining the Earth: an integrated approach" by G. Tyler Miller. There is also an excellent Interactive Website supporting the text. We expect that students will have read the assigned Chapter prior to the large group meeting. Other reading materials will be assigned in small-group sections.
BEMIDJI STATE UNIVERSITY STATEMENT OF ACADEMIC INTEGRITY
Students are expected to practice the highest standards of ethics, honesty, and integrity in all of their academic work. Any form of academic dishonesty (e.g.,. plagiarism, cheating, misrepresentation) may result in
disciplinary action. Possible disciplinary actions include failure for part or all of the course, as well as suspension from the University.
AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (ADA) -- ALTERNATIVE FORMATS STATEMENT
Upon request this document can be made available in alternate formats. Please contact Dann Siems at 755-3984 or Kathi
Hagen in the Office for Students with Disabilities at 755-3883 for assistance.