J-Term 2013 Courses

Below is the listing of 2013 January Term courses available that count towards the Environmental Studies major/minor.

Study Away:
ES 239: Env Policy (@Holden Village)
Paid 450: Green Germany
BIO 245: Ecology of Ecuador
BIO 149/249: Winter Biology


Paideia II 450: Green Germany: Advanced Models of Sustainability (Germany/Norway)
INSTRUCTORS: Ruth Kath (German, Vocation Program); Craig Mosher (Social Work)
Course Description: German communities building massive wind farms along the seacoast once sustained by fishing and shipbuilding? Articulate Norwegian teenagers effectively confronting national politicians on Arctic oil drilling and nuclear power use? A Luther graduate working to save the world’s rainforests? Toddlers on skis out learning in the forest in all weather? (We’ll go with them!) We will visit Berlin, Hamburg, and Husum (Germany) and Oslo and Lillehammer (Norway). This course explores environmental sustainability in an area of Europe that is way ahead of the U.S. in renewable energy production, energy conservation, mandated recycling, and a commitment to lifelong environmental education. We will grapple with the long term ethics and practicality of alternative energy sources as we tour a nuclear power plant, climb a wind turbine, experience a homestay and learn in a green school, spend time in Berlin and Oslo, and ski at Lillehammer. We will discuss with Germany’s Green Party the ethics of Germany’s controversial decision to close its nuclear power plants, and explore with young Norwegians the impact of the recent terrorist tragedy there.

Biology 245: Ecology of Ecuador (Ecuador)
INSTRUCTORS: Kirk Larsen (Biology); Molly McNicoll (Biology)
Course Description: This course is an introduction to the ecology, evolution, and natural history of the Amazon rainforest, Andean cloud forest, and Galapagos Islands, and at the same time exposes students to some of the customs and diverse cultures of the Ecuadorian people. We will review basic principles of evolution, ecology, and natural history as they pertain to both the rainforest and cloud forest (e.g. productivity, nutrient cycling, succession, and coevolution) and Galapagos Islands (e.g. natural selection, speciation, colonization, and island biogeography).

Environmental Studies 239: Environmental Policy in the Pacific Northwest (Holden Village, Washington)
INSTRUCTOR: Jon Jensen (Environmental Studies)
Course Description: Spend J-Term 2013 in the Cascade Mountains! Study Environmental Policy at Holden Village, an ecumenical retreat center near Chelan, WA. With over 250 inches of snow each winter, Holden is a unique and splendid place to think about environmental issues. The history and current operations of the village play an important role in the course. Holden was the largest producing copper mine in the U.S. from the mid 1930s to the mid 1950s and now is starting on a $100 million clean-up of the mine site. This course will examine and evaluate current and proposed policies for addressing environmental issues in the Pacific Northwest. Issues to be examined include wilderness, endangered species, mining, hydroelectric dams, water rights, public lands management, logging, and outdoor recreation. These issues will be used as case studies to understand the nature of the political process in the United States as well as to gain insight on the particular challenges in human-nature relations within the intermountain west.

Biology 149/249: Introduction to Winter Biology (Northern Minnesota)
INSTRUCTORS: Beth Lynch (Biology); Mark Eichinger (Biology)
Course Description: We will study the natural history of the southern boreal forest ecosystem in northern Minnesota, including the physiological and behavioral adaptations of organisms to extreme cold. Course activities will include skiing and/or snowshoeing excursions to remote natural areas, assigned readings, observations of natural history, and participation in biology research projects. (Biology 249: Biology majors will be responsible for reading and presenting journal articles and conducting a scientific research project.) We will be based at Wilderness Canoe Base and Menogyn YMCA camps at the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. An eagerness to contribute to the larger group is essential, as participants will live in primitive cabins and will participate in daily chores of communal living.