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J-Term 2012 Courses

Below is the listing of 2012 January Term courses available that count towards the Environmental Studies major/minor.

On-campus January Term Courses

  • Plants Rule the World, ENVS 185, Molly McNicoll
  • Eco-Media, ENVS 185, Andy Hageman
  • Here on Earth, Paid2-450, Rebecca Sullivan, Janna Edrington

Study Away January Term Courses

  • Anthropology in East Africa, ANTH 221/Africana Studies 221, Lori Stanley
  • Ecology of the Southwest, BIO 139/239, Eric Baack
  • Biology of the Coral Reef, BIO 139/239, Kevin Kraus and Mark Eichinger
  • Ecology of Ecuador, BIO 245, Kirk Larsen
  • Environmental Ethics, REL 341, Jim Martin-Schramm

Look below for a description of each Travel January-Term Course. For more information on these courses or to apply, visit the Study Abroad Office website.

Anthropology 221/Africana Studies 221: Anthropology in East Africa: Culture Change Among the Maasai

INSTRUCTOR : Lori Stanley (Anthropology)

Course Description: The Maasai pastoralists of Tanzania and Kenya are experiencing rapid culture change in response to global, national, and local forces. In this course we will study the “traditional” culture and examine the ways in which the Maasai of northern Tanzania are adapting to changing social, political, economic, and environmental conditions. Topics to be explored include the shift from herding to agropastoralism; the tension between traditional and formal modes of education; the declining use of Maa, the mother tongue, in favor of Swahili and English; the adoption of Christianity in place of or alongside traditional religion; changes in coming-of-age rituals; cultural dimensions of health, healing, and the spread of HIV/AIDS; challenges to traditional gender ideology; the Maasai relationship to their environment; and the impacts of ecotourism, cultural tourism, and wildlife conservation programs on the pastoral way of life. From bases near the city of Arusha and the small town of Monduli, students will interact with Maasai people in urban and rural marketplaces; in schools, medical facilities, and places of worship; and at Maasai bomas (family compounds) in the bush. We will also visit the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation area in order to explore the tension between pastoralism, wildlife conservation programs, and tourism.

Biology 139/239: Ecology of the Southwest

INSTRUCTOR: Eric Baack (Biology)

Course Description: The course will introduce the ecology of the Southwest desert and the effects of human activity, especially the use of water.  Activities will include hikes in mountains, deserts, and riparian areas, including the Grand Canyon; readings on archaeology, ecology, and policy; meeting with biologists who manage desert lands; and studying the adaptations of plants and animals to the desert environment.  The last week will include projects carried out from the Santa Rita Experiment Station operated by the University of Arizona.  A commitment to the good of the group is essential, as we will be traveling in two vans, living in a bunkhouse, and cooking together.  Readings and project expectations will differ for participants enrolled in Biology 239.  Fulfills Paideia II requirement when followed by Environmental Politics (PSC 258) by students with junior or senior standing.

Biology 139/239: Biology of the Coral Reef

INSTRUCTORS:  Kevin Kraus (Biology); Mark Eichinger (Biology)

Course Description: This course takes place at the Gerace Research Centre on the island of San Salvador, the Bahamas.  It includes both classroom lectures and lab / field experiences.  Students will learn to identify and study the life cycle, anatomical adaptations and behavior of the various marine reef organisms (including fishes, invertebrates, plants).  Coral reefs are plentiful in the shallow ocean around San Salvador.  The biodiversity of the marine reef will be compared to other marine communities found on the island (lagoon, tidal creek, rocky shore).  Biology 139 is intended for non-biology majors and fulfills NWL.

Biology 245: Ecology of Ecuador

INSTRUCTORS: Kirk Larsen (Biology)

Course Description: This course is an introduction to the ecology, evolution, and natural history of the flora and fauna of the Amazon rainforest, Andean cloudforest,  Galapagos Islands, and the customs and culture of Ecuador.  The class will spend most of its time in the Amazon rainforest, the Andean cloudforest, and the Galapagos archipelago.

Religion 341: Environmental Ethics

Religion 341: Environmental Ethics
INSTRUCTORS: Jim Martin-Schramm (Religion) 

Course Description: Spend J-Term 2012 in the Cascade Mountains! Study Environmental Ethics (Rel.341) 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 ethics.  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.  The environmental legacy of the mine remains a problem, which is studied in the course along with the way Holden tries to model sustainability in its operations and business practices.  The course examines root causes of environmental problems, philosophical and theological assumptions about nature, and resources for response in Christian traditions.  Case studies ground moral reflection in concrete situations.  Topics explored include personal responsibility, preservation of old-growth forests, endangered species and habitat restoration, water rights disputes, nuclear waste disposal and environmental racism.