Courses Required and/or Recommended of Environmental Studies Majors
Art History and Visual Culture StudiesAnthropology 101 Becoming Human: an introduction to Anthropology (4 credits)
An introduction to foundational approaches in anthropology with an emphasis on understanding the human condition in broad historical, material, and cross -cultural contexts. Drawing on key ideas such as cultural relativism, human diversity, evolution, language, and "Othering," case studies will explore the interplay between material and biological factors and particular social conditions for producing diverse ways of life. Open to first-year students and sophomores; juniors and seniors by consent only.
Anthropology 201 The Strange Familiar: Fundamentals of Cultural Anthropology (4 credits)
An introduction to the history, theory, and methods of cultural anthropology. Students will be evaluated through in-class exams, short essays, and ethnographic research and writing exercises. Open to sophomores and juniors; seniors by consent only.
Anthropology 257 Chinese Society and Culture (4 credits)
An introduction to modern Chinese society and culture, rural and urban, with an emphasis on enduring cultural practices and modern transformation. Using ethnographies and films, this course looks at changing ideas about cosmos, the individual, family, gender, social relations, ethnicity, politics, and the state from late imperial times to the present.
Anthropology 258 Peoples of the Tibeto-Burman Highlands (4 credits)
An introduction to the society and culture of the Tibetan, Yi, Naxi, Jingpo, and other peoples living in the region of southwest China, northern Mianmar (Burma), and Tibet. Studies in history, religion, politics, and social structure point out the differences as well as the similarities among these Tibeto-Burman peoples.
Anthropology 259 Culture, Environment and Development in the Andes (4 credits)
This course focuses on the intersection of two major concerns in global development-environmental sustainability and the self-determination of indigenous communities-as they play out in the Andes region of South America. Environmentally, this mountainous region is home to astounding biotic and geomorphological diversity and concentrations of major watersheds, glaciers, and complex forests. Culturally and politically, the Andes region also stands out as a locus of Latin America's indigenous rights movement. This course asks a series of questions centered on understanding environmental issues and movements from the perspective of indigenous peoples, including: How are pressing environmental changes altering indigenous livelihoods and how are indigenous groups responding to these challenges? How do indigenous movement politics rooted in struggles for sovereignty and legal recognition intersect with global environmental concerns and social movements to address climate change, water resources, and biodiversity? How do approaches to development that take seriously nature-culture connections address issues of indigenous livelihoods and sustainability and in what ways do they fail? Readings will draw from anthropology, geography, global health, political theory, journalism, and history. This course builds on Anthropology 201, but it is not required. May be elected as Environmental Studies 259, but must be elected as Environmental Studies 259 to satisfy the interdisciplinary course requirement in environmental studies.
Anthropology 300 Malignant Cultures: Anthropologies of Cancer (4 credits)
Cancer - the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body - is the cause of nearly 13 percent of all deaths annually. (Over 12 million cancers are diagnosed each year with a corresponding 8 million deaths.) Because of its often unknown direct causes, and its association with suffering and the disfigurement of the human body, cancer is frequently described as a "dreaded" disease, the name itself serving as a metaphor for unchecked disorder and chaos. This course, blending a reading seminar with community-based research, will explore a variety of sociocultural dimensions of cancer, from the epidemiology and demographics of the disease, with a particular focus on how cancer maps on to social inequalities including race and ethnicity, to its cultural history - its rich metaphors, symbols and social connotations. Readings will explore cancer in the US as well as its rising incidence in the developing world. Drawing from medical anthropology, course themes will explore both the possibilities and limitations of an ethnographic approach to mine cancer's meanings, with special attention placed on the perspective of sufferers and the sociocultural contexts in which the disease occurs. In the community-based research portion of the class, students will carry out their own ethnographic research and/or service-learning projects among different cancer communities in the Inland Northwest. Students will have the opportunity to explore issues such as survivorship, the intersection of cancer with poverty, race, ethnicity and gender/sexuality, cultural aspects of treatment, environmental justice, support groups and advocacy, and health activism. Assessment of student performance will be determined through short essays, class participation and leadership, and completion of a community ethnography project.
Anthropology 306 Culture, Politics, Ecology (4 credits)
This seminar examines a range of approaches to the analysis of ecological and social processes, drawing on interpretations of different socio-ecological studies in anthropology and geography. Covers cultural ecology and political ecology. Topics include human/environment relations through the lens of gender, race, class, livelihoods, the topic of nature and nature conservation, local knowledge, resistance and resilience, environmental discourses, social movements and the connections between production and consumption. Students will gain an understanding of how hierarchies, privilege, status and power shape patterns of natural resource use; who and what causes environmental problems; and what the solutions might be. May be elected as Environmental Studies 306, but must be elected as Environmental Studies 306 to satisfy the interdisciplinary course requirement in environmental studies.
Anthropology 313 Communism, Socialism, and the Environment (4 credits)
In an age where many associate climate change and environmental destruction with capitalism, what can we learn from the history, ideology and practice of socialism and communism? Was communism uniformly destructive to the environment, marked by catastrophes like the Chernobyl meltdown or the nightmarish geoengineering of Three Gorges Dam in China? What are the unexpected environmental surprises or sustainable aspects of the communist experiment, inadvertent as well as purposeful? This course provides both political theory and case studies to examine what was state socialism, the Communist Party, the experience of living in a Communist country. The course will draw on materials from environmental history, post-socialist anthropology and political ecology to explore the lived realities and utopian projects of communism and socialism. Course draws examples from around the world, including eastern Europe, China, Vietnam, Cuba, Brazil and Tanzania. May be elected as Environmental Studies 313, but must be elected as Environmental Studies 313 to satisfy the social sciences course requirement in environmental studies.
Anthropology 317 Language and Culture ( 4 credits)
Language is examined as a cultural system. The first half focuses on language structure and includes a discussion of signs, reference, meaning, and categories. The second half examines language use in socially situated contexts (pragmatics), and deals with problems of participant relations, poetic and discourse structure, and the analysis of myth and ritual as linguistic genres.
Anthropology 328 Medical Anthropology (4 credits)
Medical anthropology looks at the interface between culture and health in all its forms across the spectrum of societies and cultures. A starting point for this course will be distinguishing physical "disease" from cultural understandings of "illness." We will then explore the ways worldviews, beliefs, and practices shape both the incidence of disease and the experience of illness. Topics may include the relationship among biology, ecological processes and culture, ethnomedicine, trance and healing, political economic determinants of sickness, cultural assumptions of biomedicine, cross-cultural mental disorders, "culture bound illnesses," gender and health, and cultural conceptions of the body. Throughout the course, special attention is paid to the possibilities of ethnographic fieldwork for the critical study of health.
Anthropology 349 Urban Life: Readings in the Anthropology of Cities (4 credits)
An upper-level introduction to the subfield of urban anthropology using ethnographic examples that explore the form and quality of urban life in the United States, Europe, and selected non-Western cultures. Case studies will be read to assess the varying theories and methods applied in anthropological analyses of cities, their significance in the broader field of urban studies, and the provocative themes that emerge such as social networks, violence, health and disease, and homelessness. The course examines contemporary U.S. "inner city" problems, rapidly urbanizing cities in the developing world, and trends in today's emerging "global cities." May be elected for credit toward the Race and Ethnic Studies major.
Anthropology 358 Social Bodies, Diverse Identities: the Anthropology of Sex and Gender (4 credits)
Sex and gender have been framing, analytical categories throughout the history of anthropology. This course explores why sex and gender are invaluable to understanding the human condition. Yet, "sex" and "gender" are not stagnant categories. Instead, they vary across time, place and researcher. Thus, while considering cross-cultural expressions of sex and gender in the ethnographic record, this course is also designed to examine theoretical developments in the field. May be taken as Gender Studies 358. Recommended Prerequisites: Anthropology 201 or Gender Studies 100.
Anthropology 360 The Cultural Politics of Science (4 credits)
An upper-level introduction to the widening field known as science and technology studies (STS). Interdisciplinary in scope, this course primarily draws on ethnographic attempts to understand how science and technology shape human lives and livelihoods and how society and culture, in turn, shape the development of science and technology. Throughout the course, we will be particularly concerned with ways that scientific visions and projects, broad in scope, articulate, mirror, distort, and shape hierarchies based on such categories as gender, race, class, development, definitions of citizenship, understandings of nature, the production of knowledge, and global capitalism. Topics may include race-based pharmaceuticals, climate debates and "natural" disasters, genomics, politicized archaeology, science in postcolonial contexts, DNA fingerprinting, clinical trials, cyborgs, nuclear weapons production, and human/nonhuman relationships. May be elected as Environmental Studies 362, but must be elected as Environmental Studies 362 to satisfy the interdisciplinary course requirement in environmental studies.
Anthropology 490 Senior Seminar (4 credits)
The goal of this course is to help students further explore the role of social theory and its relevance to the development of anthropological research. In a seminar setting, students will read and critically discuss a number of contemporary anthropological monographs possessing exemplary theoretical, methodological, and empirical sophistication. Short written assignments will supplement in-class discussion. As a secondary goal, students will craft and workshop a proposal for their own capstone research project. Required of, and only open to, senior anthropology majors.
Anthropology 498 Honors Thesis/Project (2 credits)
Designed to further independent research leading to the preparation of an undergraduate honors thesis/project in anthropology. Required of and limited to senior honors candidates in anthropology. Prerequisite: admission to honors candidacy.
Art 130 Beginning Ceramics (3 credits)
This course is an introduction to contemporary ceramic studio art practices. The course will concentrate onhow to communicate concepts within widely varied ceramic processes. Emphasis will be on analysis and interpretation of these concepts within broad global, historical and current cultural contexts as well as a focus on creative problem solving skills, visual literacy, and abstract thinking abilities. We will explore a wide variety of approaches to complex spatial constructs with an emphasis on experimentation, cross-curricular and interdisciplinary thinking.Two two-hour sessions per week. Fee: $150.
Art 160 Beginning Sculpture (3 credits)
This course acquaints students with a set of materials, texts, and critical discourses that articulate the historical and contemporary concerns of sculpture. Guided by formal and conceptual considerations, students generate sculptural objects and installations in a variety of media. Lectures, readings, discussions and critiques surround and foster the hands-on making process.Fee:$150
Art 480 Senior Studio Seminar (3 credits)
Contemporary issues in visual art will be explored through readings, discussion, and critique of written and visual assignments. This course will emphasize preparation for the thesis exhibition and oral defense. It also will address strategies for furthering the creative process after the student leaves college.Two two-hour studio sessions per week.Prerequisites:Art History 229, and an advanced-level class in the area of concentration.Fee:$100.
Art 490 Thesis in Art Studio (3 credits)
Open only to senior studio art majors except those registered for Art 498. This course will meet twice a week during the spring semester (or final semester) of the senior year. Devoted to the preparation of a cohesive body of original work for the Senior Thesis Exhibition, a written artist statement, and an oral defense of the work will be required.Two two-hour studio sessions per week.Prerequisites:Art 115and 480, and an advanced-level course in the student's area of concentration. Fee:$100.
Art History and Visual Culture Studies 103 Intro to Art History and Visual Culture Studies (4 credits)
Using a variety of works in various media from antiquity to the present day, this course introduces the historical discipline of art history and the contemporary study of visual culture. Emphasis is placed on historical, social, and interpretive issues relevant to the critical analysis ofartistic production and meaning. Topics to be explored include the problem of the canon and the museum; patronage and power; and the visual construction of race, gender, and sexuality. Short papers and/or presentations and exams required. Required for theart history and visual culture studies and studio art major and minor. Closed to seniors. Open to juniors by consent only.
Art History and Visual Culture Studies 228 Mayhem, Machines, Manifestos: Modernism in Art and Architecture (4 credits)
Modernism in the visual arts and the built environment is more than "my kid could paint that" and clean lines on HGTV. In this course, we will study key makers, movements, works, exhibitions and institutions in the canon of modern art and architecture before 1945, as well as scholarship that has called this canon into question. Emphasis will go toward the social, political and material conditions under which modernism emerged and flourished as an aesthetic category, and how modernism articulated differentsenses of an avant-garde marked by nation, class, gender, sexuality and race. Our ultimate goal is to learn how artistic and architectural modernism was invented, mobilized and modified in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. Students will sharpen their visual and spatial literacy skills and deepen their historical knowledge of art and architecture. Lecture-based with presentations, short papers and exams. Prerequisite:Art History 103 or consent of instructor.
Art History and Visual Culture Studies 229 Art Since 1945 (4 credits)This course examines some of the issues raised by artists and critics since the end of World War II, including the changing nature of the art object, how Modernism differs from Postmodernism, the influence of technological developments on aesthetic practices and the role of popular culture, mass media and new methods of scholarship in challenging the distinctions between high and low art, the universality of meaning, the genius European male artist, the precious museum work. While the majority of the material is devoted to movements and figures from the United States and Europe, the course also will investigate "the margins" -those artistic practices that may have been overlooked by the mainstream, but which nevertheless have a broad cultural base in their respective communities. Prerequisite:.Art History 103 or consent of instructor.
Art History and Visual Culture Studies 230 The Social Life of Photography (4 credits)
This course will explore the importance of photography to our collective history. Through careful analysis of specific images alongside an overview of the medium's aesthetic, technological and ideological turns, students will be introduced to a broad range of topics, including (but not limited to): the photograph's use as a means of documentary andartistic expression; significant photographic movements, markets and publics; theories and debates surrounding reproduction and truth claims; photography's affiliation with other modes of cultural production. Students will develop a critical toolkit for analyzing the modern world vis-à-vis this vital medium.
Art History and Visual Culture Studies 248 Ways of Seeing: Japanese Art and Aesthetics (4 credits)
This class on Japanese aesthetics will focus on the literary, visual, and performing arts of Japan. As we survey the traditional arts of Japan, we will ask questions about what it means to be a craftsman, an artist, a performer, an archer, a monk/poet, or any person who has developed the skill “to see.” More specifically, this class will address the relationship between two subjects — Japanese Buddhism and the arts of Japan, and in particular, the arts related to the serving and receiving of tea. We will pay special attention to the relationship between the artistic process and Buddhist spiritual disciplines. Classes will meet for slide lectures, discussions, and demonstrations of the Japanese tea ceremony in “Chikurakken,” the Whitman College tea room. Two examinations, oral presentations, and several short essays will be required. Two periods a week.
Art History and Visual Culture Studies 250 Architectural History of Walla Walla (4 credits)
This course will focus on the physical development and transformation of the city of Walla Walla, including the Whitman campus, since the 1850s. Students will conduct primary research on individual buildings and plans, and present their findings to the class throughout the semester. Two project reports and presentations.
Art History and Visual Culture Studies 352 Art/Environment (4 credits)
This This class will explore contemporary artistic responses to climate change. Whether we call this period "Anthropocene," "Capitalocene," "The Sixth Extinction," or "The Dithering" we are now forced to confront a new era of human-generated global warming and rapidly vanishing biodiversity. How are artists and other cultural producers helping us to rethink and reimagine our relationship to the planet? From the Land Art movement of the 1960s and 70s to more recent experiments in so-called "Third Nature" digital domains, this course will explore how creative individuals and collective actions are helping to envision human adaptability, cross-species justice, and new modes of collaboration to halt--or at least slow--ecological disaster. Likewise, the class will explore how art is often implicated in the same cycle of overconsumption that threatens our shared habitats. Lectures, in-class screenings, guest speakers and fieldtrips will be used to supplement course readings. This is a writing intensive course open to students from all disciplines but rooted in the capacity for the Arts and Humanities to generate creative responses to complex problems. Prerequisite: Art History 103 or Environmental Studies 120.
Chemistry 100 Introduction to Environmental Chemistry (3 credits)
The goal of this course is to prepare students to be environmentally responsible citizens and empower them with scientific knowledge to make the right decisions concerning the environment. Chemistry 100 is a one-semester introduction to important topics in chemistry, environmental chemistry, and environmental engineering. Connections will be made between environmental chemistry and most disciplines taught at Whitman College. Topics will include major U.S. environmental laws, basic chemistry, sources of pollution, water quality, water scarcity, water and wastewater treatment, pollutant fate and transport modeling, global environmental issues (acid rain, global warming, and stratospheric ozone depletion), and risk assessment. No chemistry background is presumed. Highly recommended for environmental studies students not majoring in a natural science. Students may not receive credit for Chemistry 100 if they have taken Chemistry 125 or a more advanced college chemistry course. Three lectures per week; no lab.
Chemistry 125 General Chemistry (3 credits)
The first semester of a yearlong course in introductory chemistry. Topics include atomic and molecular structure; periodic properties of the elements; chemical bonding; properties of gases, liquids, and solids; stoichiometry; aqueous solution reactions; and perhaps an introduction to organic chemistry and biochemistry. Problem-solving involves the use of algebra. Three lectures per week. Prerequisite: two years of high school mathematics or consent of instructor.
Chemistry 126 General Chemistry(3 credits)
The second semester of a yearlong course in introductory chemistry. Topics include properties of solutions, elementary thermodynamics, introduction to chemical equilibrium, kinetics, oxidation-reduction and electrochemistry, acids and bases, environmental issues, and nuclear chemistry. Problem-solving in this course involves the use of logarithms and algebra including the quadratic formula. Three lectures per week. Prerequisite: Chemistry 125.
Chemistry 135 General Chemistry Lab I (1 credit)
Laboratory exercises in physical and chemical properties of matter, with an introduction to both qualitative and quantitative methods of analysis. Topics include gravimetric and volumetric analysis, molecular structure, chemical synthesis, acid-base chemistry, properties and reactions of various groups of elements, and thermochemistry. One three-hour laboratory per week. Corequisite: Chemistry 125.
Chemistry 136 General Chemistry Lab II(1 credit)
A continuation of Chemistry 135 with emphasis on descriptive chemistry and discovery-based experiments. Topics include analysis, kinetics, synthesis, and an introduction to spectrophotometric methods of analysis. One three-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisite: Chemistry 135; Corequisite: Chemistry 126.
Chemistry 140 Advanced General Chemistry I (4 credits)
A one-semester accelerated course in introductory chemistry designed for students with a strong high school background in chemistry. Topics similar to those in Chemistry 125 and 126 will be covered at a faster rate and a deeper level. Laboratory exercises emphasize the concepts and methods developed in lecture and will involve experiments similar to, but not necessarily identical with, those covered in Chemistry 135 and 136. Problem-solving involves the use of algebra. Three lectures and one three- to four-hour laboratory per week. Enrollment is limited to 46 students. Chemistry 140 is equivalent to the sequence of Chemistry 125, 126, 135, and 136. Prerequisites: two years of high school mathematics, one year of high school chemistry (two recommended), and a passing score on a qualifying exam given on campus immediately prior to first semester registration.
Chemistry 245 Organic Chemistry I (3 credits)
The first semester of a yearlong course in organic chemistry. Topics include reaction mechanism, nomenclature, stereochemistry, spectroscopy, and the synthesis and reactions of alkyl halides, alkenes, alcohols, ethers, and alkynes. Three lectures per week. Prerequisite: Chemistry 126.
Chemistry 246 Organic Chemistry II (3 credits)
A continuation of Chemistry 245. Topics include spectroscopy, aromatic chemistry, carbonyl compounds, and biomolecules such as carbohydrates and amino acids. Three lectures per week. Prerequisite: Chemistry 245.
Chemistry 251 Organic Laboratory Techniques I (1 credit)
Introduction to fundamental organic laboratory techniques. Topics include recrystallization, distillation, melting point determination, chromatography, extraction, and one-step syntheses. One three-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisite: Chemistry 126 or Chemistry 140. Pre- or corequisite: Chemistry 245.
Chemistry 252 Organic Laboratory Techniques II (1 credit)
Continuation of organic laboratory techniques involving intermediate exercises. The course covers more challenging syntheses as compared to Chemistry 251, as well as multistep synthesis and spectroscopic analysis of products. One three-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisite: Chemistry 251. Pre- or corequisite: Chemistry 246.
Chemistry 310 Quantitative Analysis and Chemical Equilibrium (4credits)
The principles of chemical equilibrium and methods of quantitative analysis. Topics include statistical analysis of data, activities, and the systematic treatment of acid-base, precipitation, complexation, and oxidation-reduction equilibria. Laboratory exercises involve the exploration and elucidation of the concepts and methods developed in lecture, and include gravimetric, titrimetric, and colorimetric analyses, with an introduction to selected instrumental methods of analysis and instruction in and use of electronic spreadsheets for data analysis and graphing. Two 80 minute lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisites: Chemistry 126 and 136 or Chemistry 140. Lab fee: maximum $20
Chemistry 320 Instrumental Methods of Analysis (4 credits)
This course deals with sample preparation, data analysis, method development and the theory of operation of modern laboratory instrumentation. Instrumental techniques discussed in lecture and used in the laboratory will include flame atomic absorption spectroscopy, capillary electrophoresis, inductively coupled plasma spectrometry, basic mass spectrometry, scanning electron microscopy with elemental detection, and ion, high pressure, and gas chromatography. Laboratory exercises will concentrate on real world applications of chemical analysis. One Friday afternoon field trip may be required. Three lectures and one three- to four-hour laboratory per week are required. Prerequisites: Chemistry 240, 251 and 252. Pre- or corequisite: Chemistry 345.
Chemistry 346 Physical Chemistry II: Statistical Thermodynamics, Classical Thermodynamics and Kinetics (4 credits)
This course is the second of a two-semester sequence exploring the fundamental behavior of chemical systems in terms of the physical principles which govern this behavior. The specific focus is on the statistical description of matter and applications of this statistical analysis to classical thermodynamic principles. Furthermore, we will investigate the kinetic behavior of chemical reactions from a mechanistic and statistical perspective. In this course, we will review and learn applied mathematical techniques, perform mathematical modeling exercises and engage in literature review work which will provide concrete examples and applications of the material in the lecture portion of the class. Meets four hours per week.
Chemistry 388 Environmental Chemistry and Science (4 credits)
This course will examine (1) the basic chemistry associated with pollutant fate and transport modeling in environmental media, especially acid-base, oxidation/reduction, solubility, speciation, and sorption reactions, (2) basic physical concepts for modeling the fate and transport of pollutants in environmental media, and (3) pollutant risk assessment based on humans as receptors. Additional topics might include major U.S. environmental laws, global environmental issues (e.g., global warming and stratospheric ozone depletion), and selected scientific articles. The laboratory portion will concentrate on pollutant monitoring and chemical aspects of pollutants, measuring dispersion and pollutant transport in small-scale systems, and data analysis. Three lectures, one three- to four-hour laboratory per week, and one weekend field monitoring trip to Johnston Wilderness Campus. Prerequisites: A good working knowledge of basic algebra (rearrangement of complicated equations and use of exponential functions); Chemistry 126 or 140; Chemistry 251 and 252 or consent of instructor. Offered in alternate years. There is a mandatory overnight field trip at the end of the semester.
Chemistry 401/402 Chemistry Seminar (1 credit)
This course will consist primarily of research presentations by scientists from colleges, universities, government labs, and industry. Presentations will span a range of areas of chemistry (organic, inorganic, physical, analytical, biological) and related disciplines (such as structural biology, materials science, and environmental science). Students will learn to engage with scientific literature by reading primary literature articles authored by the presenters, writing response papers, participating in follow-up discussion with the presenters during the seminar. There will be periodic workshops on critical reading, critical writing and ethics in science. Evaluation is based on attendance, response papers, and participation in the question-and-answer portion of the seminars and in the workshops. Enrollment is limited to juniors and seniors. May be repeated for a maximum of four credits. Note: May not be applied to the Chemistry minor.
Chemistry 490 Research (1-3 credits)
Two consecutive semesters, or a summer and a subsequent semester, of work on projects of current interest to the staff. The research may involve laboratory work on original projects, reports based on library searches, development of instructional laboratory exercises, etc. The student must select a supervising faculty member and obtain approval for a project prior to registration for the first semester of the two-semester sequence, or prior to registration for the fall semester if the project will commence during the summer. A final written report, and a seminar on the project will be required. May be repeated for a maximum of six credits. Prerequisites: two years of college chemistry and consent of instructor.
Chemistry 498 Honors Thesis (3 credits)
Independent research or projects leading to the preparation of an undergraduate thesis. Credit cannot be earned simultaneously for Chemistry 498 and 490. Required of and limited to senior honors candidates in chemistry. An adviser for the thesis must be chosen by the end of the junior year. Prerequisite: admission to honors candidacy.
Economics 100 Principles of Microeconomics and the Environment (4 credits)
This course provides the same coverage of topics as Economics 101 Principles of Microeconomics, but special emphasis is placed on applying concepts to environmental and natural resource issues. Students pursuing an environmental studies combined major and others interested in the environment are encouraged to take this course. Students who receive credit for Economics 101, 107 or 109 cannot receive credit for this course.
Economics 102 Principles of Macroeconomics (4 credits)
This course deals with broad economic aggregates such as national income, the overall level of prices, employment, unemployment, interest rates, public debt, and international trade. It provides an overview of macroeconomic issues and introduces concepts concerning the overall performance of the U.S. economy in a global context. It covers business cycles, economic growth, unemployment, and inflation, and explores the role of government fiscal and monetary policy. Not open to those who have taken Economics 107 or 109.
Economics 227 Statistics for Economics (4 credits)
An introductory course which surveys everyday economic statistics, topics in descriptive and inferential statistics, and regression analysis. The concentration is on applications to problems in economics. Topics include: techniques for organizing and summarizing economic statistical data; random variables and probability distributions; sampling distributions; estimation and hypothesis testing, and simple and multiple regression theory. Computer lab assignments and applications will be part of the course. Prerequisites: Economics 101 or 177, Economics 102, college-level algebra.
Economics 307 Intermediate Microeconomics (4 credits)
A course in intermediate microeconomics (price theory) which includes the theory of consumer behavior, the theory of the firm (including production theory), the pricing and employment of resources, market supply and demand, general equilibrium, and welfare economics. All economics and economics-combined majors must pass this course with a minimum grade of C (2.0). Prerequisites: Economics 101 or 177; Mathematics 125.
Economics 308 Intermediate Macroeconomics (4 credits)
This course provides an extensive analysis of current macroeconomics issues and events from the perspective of mainstream schools of economic thought. It covers theories of economic growth, business cycles, labor markets, interest rates, inflation and exchange rates; causes and consequences of government deficits, effects of trade deficits; short- and long-term effects of monetary and fiscal policies. All economics and economics-combined majors must pass this course with a minimum grade of C (2.0). Prerequisites: Economics 102; Mathematics 125.
Economics 477 Environmental and Natural Resource Economics (4 credits)
The first portion of this seminar deals with environmental economics and establishes a framework with which to view environmental problems. Topics covered include the theory of externalities and the features of different remedies, the evaluation of environmental amenities, and a survey of current environmental policies. The second portion of the course deals with natural resource economics and considers the use of renewable and nonrenewable resources over time. Prerequisite: Economics 307.
English 348 The American Literary Emergence, 1620-1920 (4 credits)
Beginning with the pre-Revolutionary texts by those newly arrived to the Atlantic coast colonies, and including the writings of those already present on the continent, we will study how an “American” literature came into being. As the population boomed and expansion moved westward, the newly formed United States became a national entity and global presence. We will study the development of American individualism, the rise of genres such as the captivity narrative and the slave narrative, and major literary movements such as the shift to realism and naturalism. Authors may include Bradstreet, Emerson, Douglass, Hawthorne, Whitman, Twain, Wharton, James, Dunbar, and many, many more.
Environmental Studies 120 Introduction to Environmental Studies (4 credits)
An introduction to interdisciplinary themes in environmental studies, including perspectives from the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Emphasis is placed on understanding local and regional environmental problems as well as issues of global environmental concern. Students enrolling in this course also will be required to enroll in Environmental Studies 120 Environmental Studies Excursions. The weekly afternoon excursions cover the length of the Walla Walla drainage basin, from the Umatilla National Forest to the Columbia River. Excursions may include the watershed, the water and wastewater treatment plants, energy producing facilities, a farm, a paper mill, different ecosystems, and the Johnston Wilderness Campus. This course is required of all environmental studies majors. All environmental studies majors must pass this course with a minimum grade of C (2.0). First-year students and sophomores only or consent of instructor.
Environmental Studies 202 ST: Animals and Animality in Greek and Roman Culture (4 credits)
This course will survey the significance of the animal and animality in the ancient cultures of Greece and Rome. Exploring representations of animals in ancient art and literature, we will examine cultural conceptions of animals as the wild, the exotic, the monstrous, the domesticated, the pet, and the sacrificial offering. Through philosophic texts we will investigate how the human and non-human animal relationship has been defined and its ethics. We will also read ancient and modern literary treatments of metamorphosis and consider how these works illuminate our understanding of the human animal. May be elected as Classics 200. May be used to fulfill Foundation coursework requirements or Elective requirements for the Environmental Studies-Humanities major. May be used to fulfill humanities requirements for all other Environmental Studies students. Distribution: humanities.
Environmental Studies 205 Women and Nature in the Ancient World (4 credits)
As mothers, witches, nymphs, and virgin-huntresses of the wild, women in the ancient world were depicted in roles that denoted a special relationship with nature. Likewise, the natural world was articulated through gendered imagery. In this course we will explore the association of gender and nature in the ancient Greco-Roman world. We will give particular focus to the status of women as intermediaries to nature. We will examine a range of representations of the feminine in literature and art, as well as in ritual and social practice, studying the female role in negotiating society's interactions with nature. Works that we will read and discuss may include the Homeric Hymns, plays by Aeschylus and Euripides, and the novel, The Golden Ass, by Apuleius. May be elected as Classics 309. May be taken for credit toward the Gender Studies major.
Environmental Studies 207 Methods of Environmental Analysis (3 credits)
An introduction to analytic methods and tools utilized to address environmental issues and problems. Building on a basic understanding of elementary concepts in statistics (variables, descriptive and inferential statistics, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, effect sizes, etc.), students will learn to read, interpret and critically evaluate environmental data and literature. Additionally, students will become familiar with environmental analysis procedures and surveys such environmental assessment (Environmental Impact Statements); environmental risk assessment; land, soil, water, wildlife, agricultural, and mineral surveys. Lastly, given the inherent spatial nature of environmental data, students will utilize Geographic Information Systems software to assess spatial relationships between variables. Two hours of lecture per week plus one three-hour laboratory. Prerequisites: Environmental Studies120; declared environmental studies major, or consent of instructor.
Environmental Studies 217 Classical Foundations of the Nature Writing Tradition (4 credits)
The Western nature writing tradition is deeply rooted in models from classical antiquity. In order to appreciate more fully the tradition we will explore the relationship between ancient literature and the natural environment. In our literary analysis of ancient works, we will examine approaches to natural description in several literary genres, which may include the poetic genres of epic, lyric, pastoral, and elegiac, as well as the prose genres of ethnographic history, natural history, and travel-writing. Authors may include Homer, Herodotus, Theocritus, Vergil, Ovid, and Pliny. We will consider how these ancient approaches influenced the development of natural description in the modern period and may read works by later authors such as Shakespeare, Milton, and Thoreau. May be elected as Classics 217.
Environmental Studies 220 Internship Project (1-2 credits)
Engage in an internship with a college, local, regional, national, or international environmental organization. Prior to the beginning of the semester, students must present an internship proposal outlining specific goals, responsibilities and time commitment. From this proposal, the internship coordinator, along with input from the student’s internship supervisor, will determine the appropriate number of credit hours. In addition to the internship proposal, students are required to maintain an internship journal, submit a midterm and final internship report, and present their intern experience in a poster or oral presentation. May be repeated for a maximum of four credits. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.
Environmental Studies 226 Conceptions of Nature in Greek and Roman Thought (4 credits)
The Greek term “physis” and the Latin word “natura” refer to what has come to be, as well as to the process of coming into being. This course will consider a broad range of texts which develop important concepts of Nature. Philosophic texts may include the pre-Socratics, Aristotle, the Stoics, and Lucretius. Literary texts may include Theocritus, Virgil, and the early-modern European pastoral tradition. In addition, we will encounter other texts in various genres that contribute some of the ideas which inform the complex and changing concepts of Nature. This course may be used by environmental studies-humanities students toward their critical thinking requirements in the major. All other environmental studies students may use this course to fulfill humanities requirements for their combined majors. May be elected as Classics 226.
Environmental Studies 227 Concepts of Nature in Modern European Philosophy (4 credits)
This course explores a variety of philosophical conceptions of nature and the natural world in Modern European philosophy, from Francis Bacon to 20th century thinkers such as Heidegger. May be elected as Philosophy 227.
Environmental Studies 230 The Cultural and Literary Life of Rivers (4 credits)
Sources of life-giving water, protectors of borders, images of change and oneness, rivers hold deep symbolic and cultural significance. In this course we will explore the life of the river in the mythological, religious and literary traditions of several ancient and modern cultures. Using comparative approaches we will examine the meaning and value major rivers hold for the people that live around them and their role in shaping cultural identity and religious practice. We will also read several major literary works that make rivers a central aspect of their narrative and will consider how the author writes about the river and its landscape in order to explore wider issues of the human experience.
Environmental Studies 235 The Pastoral, the Wild, and the Commons (4 credits)
As Aldo Leopold plainly stated in A Sand County Almanac, Western societies, from antiquity to the present, have grappled with human-land relations. Recently, the American conservation and environmental movements have intensified these struggles in various efforts to designate public lands, conserve green space, protect family agriculture, and preserve wilderness, wildlife and scenic areas. In this course, we will examine various texts that bring life to life three concepts that lie at the foundations of most conservationist and preservationist action: the pastoral, the wild, and the commons. Theoretical texts by Leo Marx, Rousseau, Lewis Hyde, Roderick Nash, William Cronon and Kathryn Newfont will form cornerstones of the course. Literary readings may include works by Theocritus, Virgil, Gilbert White, Wordsworth, Frost, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Hurston, Marilynne Robinson, Fitzgerald, and Wendell Berry. T.
Environmental Studies 247 The Literature of Nature (4 credits)
Students will examine the tradition of nature-writing and literary natural history. Readings will be drawn from classics in the field (Gilbert White, Darwin, Emerson and Thoreau, Burroughs and Muir, Leopold, Rachel Carson, Loren Eiseley, Mary Hunter Austin), and from the best contemporary nature-writers (Terry Tempest Williams, Ed Abbey, Annie Dillard, Ellen Meloy, Wendell Berry, David Quammen). Lectures and discussions will trace how nature-writing has mirrored the evolution of social, cultural, political and scientific perspectives on nature.
Environmental Studies 259 Culture, Environment and Development in the Andes (4 credits)
This course focuses on the intersection of two major concerns in global development—environmental sustainability and the self-determination of indigenous communities—as they play out in the Andes region of South America. Environmentally, this mountainous region is home to astounding biotic and geomorphological diversity and concentrations of major watersheds, glaciers, and complex forests. Culturally and politically, the Andes region also stands out as a locus of Latin America’s indigenous rights movement. This course asks a series of questions centered on understanding environmental issues and movements from the perspective of indigenous peoples, including: How are pressing environmental changes altering indigenous livelihoods and how are indigenous groups responding to these challenges? How do indigenous movement politics rooted in struggles for sovereignty and legal recognition intersect with global environmental concerns and social movements to address climate change, water resources, and biodiversity? How do approaches to development that take seriously nature-culture connections address issues of indigenous livelihoods and sustainability and in what ways do they fail? Readings will draw from anthropology, geography, global health, political theory, journalism, and history. This course builds on Anthropology 102, but it is not required. May be elected as Anthropology 259, but must be elected as Environmental Studies 259 to satisfy the interdisciplinary course requirement in environmental studies.
Environmental Studies 260 Regional Studies (1-3 credits)
A study of a specific geographical region using a multidisciplinary approach. Regions covered may include Alaska, western Canada, the northwest or southwest U.S., Hawaii, or Latin America. Lectures, readings, and discussions in various disciplines, concentrating mainly in the natural and social sciences, will precede a one- to three-week field trip. One or more examinations or papers will be required. May be repeated for credit with focus on a different region. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. The current offering follows. Fee: maximum $75 per semester.
Environmental Studies 302 ST: Moles, Memoirs, and Metamorphosis: Animals and Text (4 credits)
How do we understand humanity in reference to and against animality? How do poetic texts throughout history challenge the boundaries between humans and animals? How do writers envision the links between poetry, language, and animals in their work? And how do they make sense of and cope with environmental crises that threaten animals and humans alike? This course explores how writers and artists of the German-speaking world from Romanticism to Postmodernism reflect on and challenge the boundaries between humans and animals and animals and language. Students will engage in close and critical reading of literary texts by German speaking author and study theoretical texts from the fields of cultural and literary studies, continental philosophy, environmental humanities, and critical animal studies. Course taught in English. For students electing German Studies 301 rather than Environmental Studies 302, some discussion, reading and writing assignments will be completed in German. May be elected as German Studies 301. Prerequisite: any 300-level German Studies course or consent of instructor.
Environmental Studies 303A ST: Environmentalism and Science in Film and Media (3 credits)
This course will focus on the portrayal and accuracy of the science in selected environmental films. One of the most important and prominent forces influencing public opinion on the natural environment and pollution is film media starting in childhood and continuing throughout adulthood. Selected films with start with children’s movies such as Horton Saves a Who, The Lorax, and Wall-e, then move to popular cultural films such as Cadillac Desert, Soylent Green, The Monkey Wrench Gang, The Day after Tomorrow, and Avatar, then to personal-first person international documentaries such as Char—The No-Mans’s Island, Carbon for Water, There Once Was An Island, and Snows of the Nile, and end with U.S. documentaries such as Erin Brockovich, Dead Ahead: The Exxon Valdez Disaster, The Deep Invisible, Battle for the Klamath, A Civil Action, and An Inconvenient Truth. The course will meet 80 minutes a week to discuss the public’s and scientists’ view of each selected work. We will also meet once a week (outside of the normal class time, two hours, normally at night) to screen a film. Lectures, discussions, papers, and required weekly screenings.
Environmental Studies 305 Water in the West (4 credits)
A central narrative to the history of western North America is the pursuit of water. The climate is dry and droughts are common, yet some of the most productive agricultural lands in world reside here. Many of the defining features of the West: snowy mountains, raging rivers, large multiuse reservoirs, livestock grazing, potatoes, avocadoes, fine wine, and growing metropolises depend upon a continual supply of fresh water and cheap power. Technological innovations in the 20th century have brought more and more water to the people, which have allowed large population increases and expansion into formerly inhospitable terrain. Recent extreme droughts, however, are forcing a reevaluation of the western growth model, which is rooted in the 19th century concept of Manifest Destiny. Furthermore, the prospect of perpetual drought, driven by global climatic change, further questions capability of the West to sustain permanent growth. This course will cover the West's tangled history with water, climate, landscapes, and people. We will use a diverse suite of case studies to highlight western water issues including water resource management, power generation, water law, and climate change. Ultimately, this course will foster the exploration of human-landscape interactions and contemplate strategies for a sustainable path forward. Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 207.
Environmental Studies 306 Culture, Politics, Ecology (4 credits)
This seminar examines a range of approaches to the analysis of ecological and social processes, drawing on interpretations of different socio-ecological studies in anthropology and geography. Covers cultural ecology and political ecology. Topics include human/environment relations through the lens of gender, race, class, livelihoods, the topic of nature and nature conservation, local knowledge, resistance and resilience, environmental discourses, social movements and the connections between production and consumption. Students will gain an understanding of how hierarchies, privilege, status and power shape patterns of natural resource use; who and what causes environmental problems; and what the solutions might be. May be elected as Anthropology 306 but must be elected as Environmental Studies 306 to satisfy the interdisciplinary course requirement in environmental studies.
Environmental Studies 307 Beastly Modernity: Animals in the 19th Century (4 credits)
Many people think that history has to be focused on humans. Furthermore, the modern era can seem like a period of minimal cohabitation with animals. But many of the dramatic changes in the nineteenth-century world in the transition to modernity were irrevocably linked to the ways that humans interacted with, used, and thought about other animals. By investigating human history around the globe with an eye to the nonhuman actors within it, you will learn more about the different ways that humans relate to other animals and the importance of other living beings in human lives in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa. This course considers the factors that shaped some of the most important trends in modern history, including: more extensive and faster transportation networks, modern urban design, scientific research, how nature is used as a resource, and the global increase in mass extinctions and invasive species. Class will be discussion-based, including in-class debates and a presentation of your final research paper. May be elected as History 307 but must be elected as Environmental Studies 307 to satisfy the interdisciplinary course requirement in environmental studies.
Environmental Studies 308 (Re)Thinking Environment (4 credits)
Pairing post-nature, abstract, and non-traditional theories of space and place with pieces of literature that push the boundaries of our understanding of environment, this advanced course encourages students to reconsider environment beyond the natural. The course will engage at a high level with post-natural, toxic, post-industrial and gendered environments alongside a variety of human habitats including the urban, domestic, and transient. Authors may include Sloterdijk, Augé, Buell, Tuan, Jackson, Boym, Sebald, Döblin, Goethe, Handke, and others. Regular readings in both theory and literature will be accompanied by substantial analytical writing assignments and in-class discussion. Prerequisite: any Environmental Humanities course or consent of instructor.
Environmental Studies 313 Communism, Socialism, and the Environment (4 credits)
In an age where many associate climate change and environmental destruction with capitalism, what can we learn from the history, ideology and practice of socialism and communism? Was communism uniformly destructive to the environment, marked by catastrophes like the Chernobyl meltdown or the nightmarish geoengineering of Three Gorges Dam in China? What are the unexpected environmental surprises or sustainable aspects of the communist experiment, inadvertent as well as purposeful? This course provides both political theory and case studies to examine what was state socialism, the Communist Party, the experience of living in a Communist country. The course will draw on materials from environmental history, post-socialist anthropology and political ecology to explore the lived realities and utopian projects of communism and socialism. Course draws examples from around the world, including eastern Europe, China, Vietnam, Cuba, Brazil and Tanzania. May be elected as Anthropology 313, but must be elected as Environmental Studies 313 to satisfy the interdisciplinary course requirement in environmental studies.
Environmental Studies 314 Art and the Anthropocene (4 credits)
This course takes as its subject the tangled web of relations--aesthetic, ecologic, and political--at the center of the concept of the Anthropocene. An idea first pronounced by geologists but now embraced more broadly, the Anthropocene articulates the ways in which human activity (economic, material and behavioral), has achieved planetary scale and effect, resulting in changes tothe earth and its climate. This course examines the methods, practices and discourses employed by artists to address this broad theme, and within it the following subjects: how climate change takes shape visually; how landscapes are culturally produced and ideologically situated; how representation of the natural world is situated vis-a-vis power relations. This is an advanced, studio art, practice-based seminar; all projects will be realized in various visual media, aligned with faculty areas of specialization and interest. This course is, at its heart, an interdisciplinary inquiry, using scientific understanding and cultural criticism to fuel artistic production.May be elected as Art 314, but must be elected as Environmental Studies 314 to satisfy the interdisciplinary course requirement in Environmental Studies. Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 120 and one 100 level Art course; or consent of instructor
Environmental Studies 319 Landscape and Cityscape in Ancient Rome (4 credits)
Despite Rome being one of the greatest cities in the ancient world, its identity was fundamentally rooted in its natural landscape. In this course we will explore how the realms of urban, rural, and wild were articulated in Roman culture, conceptually and materially. We will investigate both how the Romans conceived of the relationship between the built environment of urban space and the natural environment that supported and surrounded it and how they dealt with the real ecological problems of urban life. Central to our study will be an examination of the ways in which the rural and the wild were simultaneously the “other” and a fundamental aspect of Roman self-identity and memory. Ancient authors that we will read in this course may include Cicero, Vergil, Livy, Horace, Ovid, and Vitruvius. May be elected as Art History 226 or Classics 319.
Environmental Studies 322 The Anthropocene (4 credits)
This seminar is an interdisciplinary exploration of the causes, consequences, and political implications of anthropogenic climate change. We will begin with a review of how scientific climate models are constructed and how these models have been deployed by various non-governmental organizations and climate activists to articulate and advance a climate agenda across a broad spectrum of political activities, from international negotiations to grassroots climate and environmental justice movements. We will then explore the political dimensions of various climate mitigation and adaptation strategies, including low carbon social and economic systems, geo-engineering, carbon sequestration, and landscape-scale conservation efforts. Course readings will be diverse, drawing on scientific studies, governmental and non-governmental documents, works of fiction, and academic literature from politics, sociology, and the emerging field of critical climate studies. A field trip and longer research paper may be required. May be elected as Politics 400 but must be elected as Environmental Studies 303A to satisfy the interdisciplinary course requirement in environmental studies. Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 207 or consent of instructor. Distribution area: social science.
Environmental Studies 327 Biodiversity (4 credits)
This class will place the concept of biodiversity in historical, ethical, biological, and social context. Students will trace the history of the concept of biodiversity from before the coinage of the term through today. They will learn about different biological definitions of diversity, and the ecological and evolutionary factors responsible for controlling diversity. Students will then consider the scientific evidence for an anthropogenic biodiversity decline, and they will identify components of biodiversity most at risk. The class will evaluate, from ethical, social, and scientific perspectives, various arguments that have been advanced to justify the conservation of biodiversity. We will assess government and nongovernmental actions that serve or strive to protect biodiversity. Students also will come to understand social implications of biodiversity conservation, including both convergence and divergence between the perspectives of local people and those of conservationists and managers. Prerequisites: Environmental Studies 120 and 207.
Environmental Studies 329 Environmental Health (4 credits)
Environmental health issues are inherently interdisciplinary. This seminar-style course will examine how the natural, built, and social environments impact human and environmental health outcomes. The course will draw on research articles, theoretical discussions, and empirical examples from fields including toxicology, exposure science, environmental chemistry, epidemiology, sociology, history, policy studies, and fiction. Particular attention will be paid to the use of science to develop regulation, the role of social movements in identifying environmental health problems, and inequalities associated with environmental exposures. This course will be reading, discussion, and writing intensive. May be elected as Sociology 329, but must be elected as Environmental Studies 329 to satisfy the interdisciplinary course requirement in environmental studies. Prerequisites: Environmental Studies 120 and 207.
Environmental Studies 335 Romantic Nature (4 credits)
Why does nature inspire us? Where did our understanding of nature come from? We have inherited our interactions with nature from a variety of sources: The Enlightenment was marked by political, intellectual, and scientific revolution and attempted to explain the world through science. The Romantics, on the other hand, reacted by trying to restore some mystery to Nature and to acknowledge its sublime power. This Nature ideal spread throughout Europe and then on to America, where European Romanticism inspired writers like Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman, and their contemporaries’ nature writing, which continues to exert influence on the American understanding of the natural world. This course will look at where American Transcendentalists and Romantics found inspiration. Students will read key literary and philosophical texts of the Romantic period, focusing on Germany, England, and America and explore echoes of these movements in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries: How do the Romantics continue to influence the discourse of environmentalism in America and around the world? Is the Romantic impulse at work in the establishment of the national parks system? Can we see echoes of the Romantic Nature ideal in narratives of toxic, post-industrial landscapes? May be elected as German Studies 335.
Environmental Studies 339 Writing Environmental Disaster (4 credits)
From natural disasters (earthquakes, floods, storms) to man-made ecological catastrophe (nuclear accidents, oil spills, the thinning ozone layer), environmental disaster inspires fear, rage, and action. This course will focus on fiction and non-fiction that meditates on these events and our reactions to them. We will examine the ways in which literature and the other arts depict disaster, how natural disaster descriptions differ from those of man-made environmental crisis, whether humans can coexist peacefully with nature or are continually pitted against it, and how literature’s depiction of nature changes with the advent of the toxic, post-industrial environment. Authors discussed may include Kleist, Goethe, Atwood, Ozeki, Carson, Sebald, and others. May be elected as German Studies 339.
Environmental Studies 340 Environmental Radicals in Literature (4 credits)
Much contemporary environmental thought provides a radical critique of industrial and post-industrial society, but in earlier times the first true environmental thinkers challenged systems of agriculture, market economics, land ownership, and urbanism. What was once radical moved toward the center. In this course, students will examine the radical tradition of environmental thought as it has been expressed in literary and other texts. Bioregionalism, ecofeminism, agrarian communalism, Luddism, Deep Ecology, eco-centrism, and other radical environmental expressions will be examined critically. Works by Hawthorne, Thoreau, Ed Abbey, Kirk Sale, Gary Snyder, Susan Griffin, Barbara Kingsolver, Paul Shepard, David Abram and others may be included. Offered in alternate years.
Environmental Studies 347 The Nature Essay (4 credits)
The class will be conducted as a nonfiction prose writing workshop in which students read and comment on each others’ writing. After examining published works chosen as models, students will write essays in the nature-writing tradition, selecting approaches from a broad menu. Nature-writing includes literary natural history; “science translation writing”; essays on current environmental issues; personal essays based on engagement with land, water, wildlife, wilderness; travel or excursion writing with a focus on nature; “the ramble”; and other approaches. Students will learn how contemporary nature-writers combine elements of fiction, scientific descriptions, personal experience, reporting and exposition into satisfying compositions. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.
Environmental Studies 349 Regional Literatures of Place: The West and the South (4 credits)
The literatures of both the American West and the American South often reflect political struggles. Issues of federalism and states rights, economic dependency on the land, the rapid and radical transformation of an indigenous economy and ecology, and the stain of history stand in the foreground. This seminar will examine literary regionalism by focusing on southern and western writers whose works emanate from and reinforce the ethic and spirit of place. Several of the “Southern Agrarians” may be included along with William Faulkner, Eudora Welty and Flannery O’Connor. Western writers may include Bernard DeVoto, Wallace Stegner, Mary Clearman Blew, John Nichols, Larry Watson and William Kittredge. In addition, films will be used to illustrate the peculiar burden of the contemporary western writer. Offered in alternate years.
Environmental Studies 353 Environmental Justice (4 credits)
How are environmental problems experienced differently according to race, gender, class and nationality? What do we learn about the meaning of gender, race, class and nationality by studying the patterns of environmental exposure of different groups? Environmental justice is one of the most important and active sites of environmental scholarship and activism in our country today. This course integrates perspectives and questions from sciences, humanities and social sciences through the examination of a series of case studies of environmental injustice in the United States and worldwide. Biology and chemistry figure centrally in links between environmental contaminants and human health. Systematic inequalities in exposure and access to resources and decision making raise moral and ethical questions. Legal and policy lessons emerge as we examine the mechanisms social actors employ in contesting their circumstances. This course will be reading, discussion and research intensive. May be elected as Sociology 353, but must be elected as Environmental Studies 353 to satisfy the interdisciplinary course requirement in environmental studies. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.
Environmental Studies 358 Ecocriticism (4 credits)
This course explores the emergence of ecocriticism in the 1990s and its subsequent evolution as a recognizable school of literary and social criticism. Students will analyze foundational texts underpinning ecocritical theory, beginning with Joseph Meeker’s The Comedy of Survival, then move on to more recent texts that seek to expand ecocriticism beyond the boundaries of nature-writing. Students will discuss, present, and write ecocritical analyses of various literary works. Offered in alternate years.
Environmental Studies 360 Environmental Writing and the American West (4 credits)
This course explores how writers and others conceptualize and portray various aspects of the American West. Emphasis is placed on the analysis of a variety of genres, including nature writing, political journalism, creative writing, poetry, and writing for interdisciplinary journals in environmental studies. We will write daily, and we will often read aloud to one another from our work. Goals include developing a voice adaptable to multiple audiences and objectives, understanding modes of argument and effectiveness of style, learning to meet deadlines, sending dispatches, reading aloud, and moving writing from the classroom to public venues. The course will be sequentially team-taught in the eastern Sierra Nevada region of California and southeastern Utah. Required of, and open only to, students accepted to Semester in the West. This course can be used by environmental studies majors to satisfy environmental studies-humanities credits within the major. Prerequisites: acceptance into the Semester in the West Program.
Environmental Studies 362 The Cultural Politics of Science (4 credits)
An upper-level introduction to the widening field known as science and technology studies (STS). Interdisciplinary in scope, this course primarily draws on ethnographic attempts to understand how science and technology shape human lives and livelihoods and how society and culture, in turn, shape the development of science and technology. Throughout the course we will be particularly concerned with ways that scientific visions and projects, broad in scope, articulate, mirror, distort, and shape hierarchies based on such categories as gender, race, class, development, definitions of citizenship, understandings of nature, the production of knowledge, and global capitalism. Topics may include race-based pharmaceuticals, climate debates and "natural" disasters, genomics, politicized archaeology, science in postcolonial contexts, DNA fingerprinting, clinical trials, cyborgs, nuclear weapons production, and human/nonhuman relationships. May be elected as Anthropology 360, but must be elected as Environmental Studies 362 to satisfy the interdisciplinary course requirement in environmental studies. Prerequisites: Environmental Studies 120 and 207.
Environmental Studies 365 Other Earths: Environmental Change and Speculative Fiction (4 credits)
As scientists in the recently-christened Anthropocene contemplate solutions to the crises of climate change, growing energy needs, species extinction, and population growth, the language of science grows ever closer to that of science fiction. In literary and artistic representations of these crises, some find conventional, non-speculative fictions lacking, focusing primarily on the present and the past. Speculative fiction, however, provides us with a language to think about the future. This course will engage seriously with works of science fiction ranging from H. G. Wells and Kurt Vonnegut to Ursula K. Le Guin and Kim Stanley Robinson, exploring ways in which these works use the language of science and speculative futures to explore that which is most human. We will study literary representations of climate change and its possible solutions, non-humans and post-humans, future Earths and other worlds in order to understand how it is that we as humans interpret, react to, and struggle against the emergent conditions which challenge our very survival. Students will practice a variety of approaches to literary analysis. This course will also explore the role of artistic representations of the environment in shaping our understanding of the environment and of environmental crisis.
Environmental Studies 367, 368 Special Topics (1-4 credits)
An investigation of environmentally significant issues centered on a common theme. The course may include lectures by off-campus professionals, discussions, student presentations, and field trips.
Environmental Studies 387 Sustainability (4 credits)
In this discussion and research seminar we will explore both critical and practical approaches to the concept of sustainability. What is being sustained, why, and for whom? Students will engage in individual and collaborative research on topics associated with sustainability, including energy, climate, development, water, design, agriculture, and natural resources. Our objective will be to link our critical discussions with our empirical research, resulting in a more nuanced understanding of sustainability and the wide range of environmental claims made in its name. May be elected as Politics 387, but must be elected as Environmental Studies 387 to satisfy the interdisciplinary course requirement in environmental studies. Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 207.
Environmental Studies 390 Independent Study (1-4 credits)
A series of readings or a program of individual research of approved environmental topics. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.
Environmental Studies 408 SW Western Epiphanies: Integrated Project (4 credits)
In this course students will be responsible for developing a final project based on Semester in the West experiences with the objective of integrating knowledge from courses in politics, ecology, and writing. Each student will produce a final project that sheds light on a substantive issue addressed on Semester in the West. Students must also present their project in a public forum and publish it as an audiovisual podcast on the Semester in the West Web site. Required of, and open only to students accepted to Semester in the West. Prerequisites: acceptance into the Semester in the West Program.
Environmental Studies 459 Interdisciplinary Fieldwork (4 credits)
Students may earn credit for interdisciplinary fieldwork conducted on programs approved by the Environmental Studies Committee. Fieldwork must integrate knowledge from at least two areas of liberal learning, including the sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. This course may be used to satisfy the interdisciplinary coursework requirement for environmental studies majors. The current offerings follow. Prerequisite: admission to field program approved by the Environmental Studies Committee for interdisciplinary credit.
Environmental Studies 459 Interdisciplinary Fieldwork: A Wallowa County Almanac (4 credits) Summer Only
A month-long exploration of the diverse natural and human communities of Wallowa County, located in northeastern Oregon. Students will begin with an intensive course on community-based conservation, followed by a natural history field seminar, followed next by a writing workshop based on field journals. In the spirit of Aldo Leopold, students will combine field observations with ethical and policy analysis to create a natural history and environmental field journal. This course will integrate learning within living laboratories of community-based conservation (politics and economics), ecology (natural history field studies), and environmental writing. Prerequisite: admission to Whitman in the Wallowas Program.
Environmental Studies 479 Environmental Citizenship and Leadership (2 credits)
An intensive course in environmental problem-solving, with an emphasis on developing skills necessary for effective environmental citizenship and leadership. Students will first engage in readings and discussions to enhance their understanding of environmental decision-making processes and institutions. Then they will work individually and in teams to study active environmental disputes, with the ultimate aim of recommending formal solutions. This course is required of, and open only to, environmental studies majors in their senior year. Field trips and guest presentations may be included.
Environmental Studies 488 Senior Project (1-3 credits)
The student will investigate an environmental issue of his or her own choice and prepare a major paper. The topic shall be related to the student’s major field of study and must be approved by both major advisers.
Environmental Studies 498 Honors Project (1-3 credits)
An opportunity for qualified environmental studies senior majors to complete a senior project of honors quality. Requires the student to follow application procedures following the guidelines for honors in major study. Students enrolled in this course must also participate in and meet all requirements of the Environmental Studies 488 course.
Geology 110 The Physical Earth (3 credits)
Physical geology including earth materials, the processes responsible for uplift and erosion, landforms, plate tectonics and the earth’s interior. Three lectures per week. Open only to first-year students and sophomores; others by consent of instructor. Students who have received credit for Geology 120 or 125 may not receive credit for Geology 110. Corequisite: Geology 111.
Geology 111 The Physical Earth Lab (1 credit)
Laboratory exercises to accompany classroom instruction in The Physical Earth. Must be taken concurrently with Geology 110. Topics may include the identification of rocks and minerals, interpretation of topographic and geologic maps, and fluvial processes. One three-hour laboratory per week; field trips. Students who have received credit for Geology 121 or 126 may not receive credit for Geology 111. Corequisite: Geology 110. Lab fee: maximum $20
Geology 120 Geologic History of the Pacific Northwest (3 credits)
An examination of the geologic history of the Pacific Northwest, including Washington, Idaho, Oregon, northern California, and southern British Columbia. Fundamental geologic processes that have shaped the Pacific Northwest will be examined through detailed study of different locales in the region. Lab will emphasize rocks and minerals, and topographic and geologic maps representing the areas examined in lecture. Three lectures and one three-hour lab per week, optional and required field trips. Prerequisites: none. Open to first- and second-year students, others by consent of instructor. Students who have taken Geology 110 or 210 for credit may not receive credit for Geology 120.
Geology 121 Geologic History of the Pacific Northwest Lab (1 credit)
Laboratory exercises to accompany classroom instruction in Geologic History of the Pacific Northwest. Must be taken concurrently with Geology 120. Topics may include general geologic skills such as the identification of rocks and minerals, interpretation of topographic and geologic maps, and fluvial processes, with a particular focus on the topics examined in lecture. One three-hour laboratory per week; field trips. Students who have received credit for Geology 111 or 126 may not receive credit for Geology 121. Corequisite: Geology 120. Lab fee: maximum $20.
Geology 125 Environmental Geology (3 credits)
Natural geologic processes including Holocene deglaciation, landslides, flooding, volcanism, and earthquakes pose risks both to human wellbeing and societal infrastructure. Human decisions for how we choose to interact with the physical environment and its resources (atmosphere, soils, energy sources, minerals) may further imperil societies or may inform global and regional mitigation of Anthropocene climate change, water quality and quantity problems, resource use, and land erosion and mass movement. This introductory course provides exploration and discussion of geologic processes within the paradigm of plate tectonics. Three lecture/discussion periods per week. Students who have received credit for Geology 110, 120, or 210 may not receive credit for Geology 125. Open to first- and second-year students; others by consent of instructor. Corequisite: Geology 126.
Geology 126 Environmental Geology Lab (1 credit)
Laboratory exercises to accompany classroom instruction in Environmental Geology. Must be taken concurrently with Geology 125. Topics may include general geologic skills such as the identification of rocks and minerals, interpretation of topographic and geologic maps, and fluvial processes, with a particular focus on natural hazards such as floods and mass movement. One three-hour laboratory per week; field trips. Students who have received credit for Geology 111 or 121 may not receive credit for Geology 126. Corequisite: Geology 125. Lab fee: maximum $20
Geology 227 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy (4 credits)
Fundamental principles of analysis pertaining to sedimentary rocks and rock sequences. Fluid flow, weathering, sediment transport, sedimentary structures, depositional systems. Geologic time and chronostratigraphy. Principles of Lithostratigraphy. Three one-hour lectures and one three-hour lab/week. Field trips. Textbook, professional articles, in-class presentations, research paper. Prerequisite: Geology 110, 120, or 210.
Geology 229 Geology and Ecology of Soils (4 credits)
Soils provide nutrients, water and support for growing plants, host an amazing variety of organisms, and even influence global climate. This class will focus on the dynamic systems in soil and on the interactions between soils and larger ecosystem properties. Course topics will include pedogenic processes, agricultural ecosystems, the interpretation of paleosols, and the role of soils in the global biogeochemical cycling of organic carbon and nutrients. Three lectures per week, field trip(s).
Geology 250 Late Cenozoic Geology and Climate Change (4 credits)
The geology of the last few million years of Earth history, including glaciology, Pleistocene stratigraphy, glacial and periglacial geomorphology, and changes in flora and fauna. What are the causes of ice ages and the alternating glaciations and interglaciations within them? What are the roles of nature and humans in the current global climate change? Research paper and field trip. Prerequisites: Geology 110, 120 or 210, or Environmental Studies 120; consent of instructor. Offered in alternate years.
Geology 270 Minerals, Society, and the Environment (4 credits)
This intermediate-level course examines the role of minerals in human societies and Earth systems with particular emphasis on internal structure of minerals, the carbon cycle and carbon sequestration, the nuclear fuel cycle, and the growing concern regarding mining and resource scarcity. Skills include hand sample identification of minerals, analysis of crystal structure by X-Ray Diffraction, analysis of mineral composition by X-Ray Fluorescence or electron microscopy, primary literature searches and science writing. Lectures, discussions, and laboratory exercises. Prerequisites: Chemistry 125, 135, and Geology 110, 120 or 125. Open to Seniors by consent of instructor only.Lab fee :maximum $20
Geology 301 Hydrology (4 credits)
A class devoted to understanding water resources, including both surface water and groundwater. We will study the hydrologic cycle and the properties of water, the shape and behavior of streams, the recharge and movement of groundwater, and environmental management of water including wells, dams, irrigation, and water contaminants. Lab topics will include stream gauging and the construction of hydrographs and hyetographs, determining peak discharge, water sampling, flow nets, well tests, and computer modeling of groundwater and contaminant flow. Three lectures and one three-hour lab per week. Prerequisite: Geology 110, 120, or 125. Recommended prerequisites: Chemistry 125 and Mathematics 126.
Geology 338 Pages of Stone: The Literature of Geology (4 credits)
Critical reading of the work of writers on Earth science. Examination of works demonstrating different styles, from scientific to poetry to descriptive prose, and how those writers incorporate Earth into their work. Two lectures per week, papers, in-class presentations, field trip. Prerequisites: Geology 110, 120, or 210, with consent of instructor. Offered in odd-numbered years.
Geology 350 Geomorphology (4 credits)
Description, origin, development, and classification of landforms. Relationships of soils, surficial materials, and landforms to rocks, structures, climate, processes, and time. Maps and aerial photographs of landscapes produced in tectonic, volcanic, fluvial, glacial, periglacial, coastal, karst, and eolian environments. Exercises on photo-geology. Lectures, discussions, laboratories, and field trips. Prerequisite: Geology 110, 120, or 210; open only to geology majors except by consent of instructor.
Geology 358 Field Geology of the Northwest (1 credit)
The geology of part of the Pacific Northwest, with emphasis on geologic history including petrology, stratigraphy, tectonics, and mineralogy. Geologic mapping, paleontology, and mineralogy may also be involved. Most field trips will take place on long weekends. Each student will be required to write a report. May be repeated for credit for different areas. Required of all geology and geology combined minors. Prerequisite: Geology 110, 120, or 210 and consent of instructor.
Geology 405 Volcanoes and the Solid Earth (4 credits)
The geologic history of the Pacific Northwest provides excellent examples of an active tectonic margin including accretion of oceanic crust and arc terranes and current arc volcanism. We examine magma generation and differentiation, volcano morphology, and physio-chemical processes of volcanoes from Earth's mantle to the surface through interpretation of rock suites from the Stillwater Complex, the Cascade and Alaska-Aleutian arcs, and the Columbia River basalt group. Lab activities include reading the primary literature, hand sample identification, use of petrographic microscopes, interpretation of thermodynamic phase diagrams, an introduction to computer modeling of magmas (e.g., MELTS), and field trips including one overnight field trip. Prerequisites: Chemistry 125, 135, and Geology 270 (formerly 343). Lab fee: maximum $30
Geology 420 Structural Geology (4 credits)
The description and analysis of intermediate- to large-scale rock structures. Topics include the analysis and graphical representation of stress and strain in rocks, deformation mechanisms and fabric development, the geometry and mechanics of folding and faulting, and structures related to intrusive bodies. Geologic map interpretation and cross-section construction are used to analyze the structural geology of selected regions. Three lectures and one three-hour lab per week; field trip(s). Prerequisite: Geology 227 or 350.
Geology 470 Senior Seminar (1 credit)
Seminar on various topics in the Earth sciences. Topics to be chosen by the instructors, but are likely to include discussions of the history of geology, controversial principles of geology (such as uniformitarianism), and the ethics of the profession of geology. Students are expected to complete assigned readings and make an oral presentation. Required of all senior geology majors and combined majors.
Geology 480 Field Mapping (1 - 4 credits)
An advanced course in geological field methods. In a typical course students make maps in stratified and crystalline terranes, with rocks in varying degrees of deformation. Maximum of nine credits. Prerequisites: Geology 227, 343, 346, 420, and consent of department. Note: Geology 480 is not regularly offered by Whitman College. Students wishing to complete major requirements with a field experience should plan to complete an approved summer field course offered by another collegiate institution.
History 155 Animal, Vegetable, and Mineral: Natural Resources in Global Environmental History (4 credits)
This course will focus on the ways in which the search for and use of natural resources has profoundly affected human history. We will examine the work of environmental historians along with primary sources relating to the history of conflicts over access to resources, resource extraction and transportation, and the resulting pollution (organic, chemical, and radioactive). Using these sources, we will discuss how historians ask and answer questions about the ways that resource availability has shaped human societies and cultures worldwide, as well as how particular societies have had dramatic impacts on the distributions of water, forests and other ecosystems, minerals, and plant and animal populations. While there will be some brief lectures, this course is primarily focused on
reading, writing, and discussion. Assignments include analysis of primary sources, short papers, and a final paper project with presentation to the class.
History 205 East Asian Environmental History (4 credits)
This course will examine human-environment interaction within the large, diverse area known as East Asia (approximately covering modern China, Korea and Japan). We will begin with pre-agricultural history and then focus on environmental topics within three broad time periods. The first period will cover from approximately 1000 BCE to 1300 CE, the period in which intensive rice cultivation spread through East Asia; the second period covers the early modern era, broadly defined as ~1300 CE to the mid-1800s, a period of imperial expansion outside and within East Asia; the final period covers the modern industrial era and its particular impacts on the environment. This course assumes no familiarity with East Asian history. If you are familiar with some East Asian history, the focus on the environment should provide you with a new perspective on what you know. Class will be conducted in a combined lecture/discussion format.
History 206 European Environmental History to 1800 (4 credits)
This course explores how Europeans interacted with and thought about the natural world between the end of the Roman Empire and the beginning of the Industrial Age. We will trace this interaction from the early medieval migration period through the changing demographic patterns of the central and later Middle Ages, and conclude with the industrialization of the late eighteenth century. Archaeological evidence, along with primary and secondary sources will allow us to discuss climactic shifts, the active changes humans made to the landscape (such as reclamation and deforestation), and changing cultural attitudes toward nature. We will continually consider how this history can inform contemporary debates about the environment and its degradation. May be taken for credit toward
the social sciences foundation of the Environmental Studies major.
History 231 Oceans Past and Future: Introduction to Marine Environmental History (4 credits)
Even though oceans cover approximately 70% of the earth's surface, environmental historians have focused most strongly on the terrestrial environment. The maritime environment influences human life in many ways, from regulating the global climate to changing or eroding the land we live on; from offering connections between far-flung areas to providing a source of food and entertainment. By examining the history of the marine environment, and the political, economic, and cultural influence of the sea, we can better understand environmental problems covering the entire globe. The course is a mixture of discussion and lecture.
History 232 Changing Landscapes: Introduction to Terrestrial Environmental History (4 credits)
Environmental history asks four main questions: what was the environment like in the past, how did it affect people, how did people affect it, and what did people think about it? This course will consider the answers to these questions by introducing major themes in environmental history. We will be looking at the ways that various landscapes around the world have shaped human history, and also how people have shaped these landscapes to better suit their needs and desires. Topics include the history and impact of agriculture, fire regimes, water use, urbanization, population growth, pollution, and energy regimes. We will also discuss the importance of changing perspectives of the terrestrial environment and the rise of environmentalism. Class will be conducted in a combined lecture/discussion format.
History 262 People, Nature, Technology: Built and Natural Environments in US History (4 credits)
This course will focus on the ways people in North America — primarily in the area eventually claimed by the United States — have interacted with and sought to control their environments from the colonial era through the 20th century. As we explore these centuries, we will focus on a set of interrelated questions in a range of historical contexts: How have physical environments influenced human choices? How have human choices, assumptions, and cultural practices shaped physical environments? How have people at different places and times understood “nature” and their relationship to it? When do they see “nature” and when “natural resources” and when “technology,” what kinds of control have they found acceptable or problematic, and why? How and why have different Americans understood the role of government and the individual in relation to concepts of “property” or “natural resources” or the protection of “nature”? This course will make use of primary and secondary sources, and will emphasize reading, writing, and discussion as well as lecture.
History 263 From Farm to Fork: Slow Food, Fast Food, and European Foodways (4 credits)
Over the last two centuries food production moved from peasant subsistence level to our contemporary factory farms and mass production of food. How and why did this happen? What role did urbanization, expanding markets, and globalization play? How important was the US in shaping European agriculture norms? This course explores the shift from an agricultural to an industrial economy and its impact on food, farms, and national food cultures. Concentrating on France and Great Britain, we'll look at the relationship between factory farms and artisanal production. We'll parse the powers of technology, the state, producers, and consumers. From agricultural science to back to the land movements to European Union regulations and how these shape farmers' choices, we'll explore
how modern developments changed farming, eating, and the land. Based in the reading and discussion of primary and secondary sources, this seminar requires class presentations, short papers, and a final short research project. May be taken for credit toward the social sciences foundation of the Environmental Studies major or the core requirement for the History-Environmental Studies major.
History 355 Pacific Whaling History (4 credits)
From aboriginal shore-based hunts to modern factory ship whaling, the pursuit of whales has drawn people together and set them at odds with each other, particularly since the rise of the environmental movement. This seminar will look at the history of whaling throughout the Pacific Basin, from the west coast of the Americas to Japan and Australia, and all the waters in between. Using a mixture of primary and secondary sources, we will consider in particular the environmental impact of whaling in different areas of the Pacific, as well as the role of environmentalism in changing attitudes towards whaling in the twentieth century. This course is discussion-based, with paper and presentation assignments.
Mathematics 125 Calculus I (3 credits)
A brief review of some precalculus topics followed by limits, continuity, a discussion of derivatives, and applications of the derivative. Prerequisites: two years of high school algebra; one year of plane geometry; and knowledge of trigonometry and conic sections or consent of instructor.
Mathematics 128 Elementary Statistics (3 credits)
Probability and statistics including methods for exploring data and relationships in data, methods for producing data, an introduction to probability and distributions, confidence intervals, and hypothesis testing. Prerequisite: two years of high school mathematics.
Mathematics 225 Calculus III (4credits)
Topics include partial derivatives, gradients, extreme value theory for functions of more than one variable, multiple integration, line integrals and various topics in vector analysis.
Mathematics 235 Calculus Laboratory (1 credit)
A laboratory to investigate ways in which the computer can help in understanding the calculus and in dealing with problems whose solutions involve calculus. No programming required; a variety of existing programs will be used. Pre- or corequisite: Mathematics 225.
Mathematics 244 Differential Equations (3 credits)
This course includes first and second order linear differential equations and applications. Other topics may include systems of differential equations and series solutions of differential equations. Prerequisite: Mathematics 225.
Philosophy 107 Critical Reasoning (4 credits)
Focuses on principles and standards applicable to thinking critically on any topic. Arguments and their analyses, the nature and use of evidence, fallacies both formal and informal, are included in the matters addressed in the course. Intended for first-year students and sophomores; open to juniors and seniors by consent only.
Philosophy 117 Problems in Philosophy (4 credits)
An introductory study of some of the major problems of philosophy. Among those general problems considered will be the nature of philosophy; problems of knowledge; metaphysical questions concerning materialism, idealism, and naturalism; and questions of ethics. Other problems may be considered as time permits. This course is intended for first-year students and sophomores; open to juniors and seniors by consent only.
Philosophy 120 Environmental Ethics (4 credits)
Does the nonhuman world have any intrinsic value or is it valuable only because of its relation to human interests? That is, does anything besides humanity have “moral standing”? If so, what is its basis? Should we, for instance accord rights to all those creatures that are sentient? If we do, will we have gone far enough, morally speaking? What about those creatures that lack sentience? What about the environment in which all creatures, human and nonhuman, live? Does it have moral standing? In answering these questions, we will consider the works of Aldo Leopold, Peter Singer, Karen Warren, Arne Naess, and Julian Simon, among others. This course is intended for first-year students and sophomores; open to juniors and seniors by consent only.
Philosophy 127 Ethics (4 credits)
Consists of the careful reading and discussion of several classical texts of moral philosophy. This course is intended for first-year students and sophomores; juniors by consent only; not open to seniors.
Philosophy 208 Ethics and Food: What’s for Dinner? (4 credits)
The primary way most of us interact with both the animal world and the environment is through our choices in regards to what we will eat. How, though, should we make these choices? Is it wrong to eat meat? What is sustainable agriculture? How should we value the pleasures of food?
Philosophy 262 Animals and Philosophy (4 credits)
Many people’s lives are intertwined with animals. But while animals are clearly very important, few wonder about what kinds of creatures they are. Are they merely organic machines or are they conscious in some way? Do they think? Do they feel pain? Can they have beliefs? Moreover, do animals have rights that oblige us to protect them from harm? These are the questions we will address in this class. Prerequisite: at least one other course in a related field.
Physics 105 Energy and the Environment (3 credits)
This course examines the physical principles that govern energy transformations. It will focus on the use of energy in the world, specifically its production, transportation, consumption and the implications this use has for the environment. Topics addressed will range from the mechanical to electricity and magnetism and from thermodynamics to atomic/nuclear physics. Energy resources both new and traditional (fuel cells vs. oil) will be addressed as well as environmental issues ranging from global warming to the disposal of radioactive waste. This course assumes a basic familiarity with algebra.
Physics 145 General Physics I with Applications to Life and Earth Sciences (4 credits)
This course focuses on classical mechanics: kinematics, Newton's Laws, energy and momentum conservation, torques, fluids, and waves. Examples and problems will focus on applications of physical principles to life and earth science fields to a greater extent than in Physics 155. Students enrolling in this course also will be required to enroll in an associated laboratory course (Physics 175). Three 50-minute or two 80-minute class meetings and two 90-minute laboratory meetings per week. Evaluation based on homework, laboratory reports, and examinations. Pre- or corequisite: Mathematics 125.
Physics 146 General Physics II with Applications to Life and Earth Sciences (4 credits)
This course is a continuation of the course Physics 145. Topics studied include electricity and magnetism, circuits, optics, nuclear and atomic physics. Examples and problems will focus on applications of physical principles to life and earth science fields to a greater extent than in Physics 156. Not intended for students planning to take upper level physics or biophysics. Students enrolling in Physics 146 also will be required to enroll in an associated laboratory course (Physics 146L). Three 50-minute or two 80-minute class meetings and two 90-minute laboratory meetings per week. Evaluation based on homework, laboratory reports, and examinations. Prerequisites: Physics 145, 155 or 165; Mathematics 125.
Physics 155 General Physics I (4 credits)
This course focuses on classical mechanics: kinematics, Newtonian mechanics, energy and momentum conservation, and waves. Students enrolling in this course also will be required to enroll in an associated laboratory course (Physics 155L). Three 50-minute class meetings and two 90-minute laboratory meetings per week. Evaluation based on homework, laboratory reports, and examinations. Pre- or corequisite: Mathematics 125.
Physics 156 General Physics II (4 credits)
This course is a continuation of the course Physics 155. Topics studied include electricity and magnetism, circuits, optics, plus brief introductions to more contemporary topics such as special relativity or quantum physics. Students enrolling in Physics 156 also will be required to enroll in an associated laboratory course (Physics 156L). Three 50-minute class meetings and two 90-minute laboratory meetings per week. Evaluation based on homework, laboratory reports, and examinations. Prerequisite: Physics 155 or 165. Pre- or corequisite: Mathematics 126.
Physics 245 Twentieth Century Physics I (3 credits)
Topics include thermodynamics, special relativity, nuclear decay and radiation, wave nature of particles, introduction to the Schrodinger Equation: infinite well. Mathematical methods relevant to these areas of inquiry will be discussed: probability theory, differential equations. Prerequisites: Physics 156 or 166; Mathematics 126. Corequisite: Mathematics 225.
Physics 255 Twentieth Century Physics Laboratory (1 credit)
Experimental investigations of a variety of phenomena relating to the Physics 245 course. Experimental topics studied include: thermodynamics, nuclear decay and radiation, photoelectric effect and standing waves. Emphasis on experimental technique, problem-solving, data analysis, and scientific writing. No examinations. One three-hour laboratory per week.
Physics 267 Analog & Digital Electronics and Instrumentation (3 credits)
This is a semester long course/laboratory combination that serves as an in-depth introduction to the theory and practice of analog/digital electronics and instrumentation. The course content may include: combinational logic, Boolean algebra, Karnaugh maps, sequential logic, digital circuit design, AC signals, equivalent circuits, filter theory and implementation, transistor theory and implementation, and operational amplifier circuits.Meets for one 80 minute class and one 3-hour lab per week (two sections of lab offered). Prerequisite: Physics 245.
Physics 325 Electricity and Magnetism (3 credits)
Electrostatics, electric and magnetic properties of materials, electromagnetic theory. Maxwell's equations, electromagnetic waves, boundary value problems. Includes mathematical methods of wide use in physics. Lectures and problems. Prerequisites:Physics 245and Mathematics 244.
Physics 339 Advanced Laboratory (3 credits)
Experimental investigations of sophisticated analog and digital circuitry and the fundamental physics underpinning their operation. Students will employ programming tools to automate and enhance aspects of experimental techniques and subsequent analysis of data. Students will design and implement extensions to experiments in classical and modern physics with an emphasis on laboratory technique, technical and scientific writing, and analysis. The course will be a combination of lecture and laboratory activities meeting two days a week. Prerequisite: Physics 267.
Physics 347 Classical Mechanics (3 credits)
Non-inertial coordinate systems, systems of particles, rigid body motion. Lagrangian mechanics, normal modes of vibration, and Hamiltonian mechanics. Includes mathematical methods of wide use in physics. Lectures and problems. Three lectures per week. Prerequisite:Physics 245.
Physics 357 Thermal Physics (3 credits)
Thermodynamics, entropy, thermodynamic potentials, phase changes, chemical reactions, kinetic theory, distributions, phase space, transport phenomena, fluctuations; classical and quantum statistical mechanics, application to solids, radiation, superfluids, lasers, and astrophysics. Lectures, discussion, and problems. Prerequisite:Mathematics 244.Corequisite: Physics 245.
Politics 119 Whitman in the Global Food System (4 credits)
This course uses food as a window through which to examine the study of politics and its connections to our everyday lives. Topics range from the geopolitics of food aid and trade to the gendered politics of export agriculture in the Third World, from the political ecology of obesity in the United States to the causes of famine in Africa. The course is designed to get students out of the classroom and into the larger community. To this end, along with standard seminar readings, discussions, and occasional lecture, the course includes short field trips and small group projects in which students trace connections between food on campus and larger global processes.
Politics 124 Introduction to Politics and the Environment (4 credits)
An introduction to key concepts in the study of politics using environmental issues as illustrations. Designed for first- and second-year students, this course encourages critical thinking and writing about such political concepts as equality, justice, freedom, liberalism, power, dissent, individualism, and community. Strong emphasis is placed on developing critical writing skills and persuasive oral arguments. A field trip may be required.
Politics 147 International Politics (4 credits)
This course is designed as an introduction to the study of contemporary international politics. The course will explore contending approaches to the study of international politics, including political realism, political idealism and liberalism, feminism, political economy, and constructivism. We will discuss how these different approaches can help us understand major current issues, including war and peace, weapons proliferation, the environment, globalization, and human rights.
Politics 228 Political Ecology (4 credits)
This course introduces students to the interdisciplinary field of “political ecology,” a framework for thinking about environmental politics that combines insights from geography, anthropology, history, political economy, and ecology. Through the lens of case studies from around the world, the course critically examines the origins and key contributions of political ecology, with a focus on three themes: 1) Nature-society relations, or the challenges of weaving history, economy, and power into the study of the environment (and vice versa); 2) The politics of resource access and control in diverse settings from Amazonian forests to biotech laboratories; 3) The (dis)connections between environmental movements and social justice struggles.
Politics 232 The Politics of Globalization (4 credits)
This course introduces students to some of the major scholarly works and central debates about globalization. The course will critically examine some of the competing perspectives on the historical origins of globalization, the shape and intensity of its many dynamics (economic, political and cultural), its inevitability and desirability, and its impacts on different communities around the world. Some of the central themes covered will include the future of the nation-state, the salience of various transnational actors, changing patterns of capital and labor mobility, rising levels of environmental degradation and new kinds of cultural configurations.
Politics 287 Natural Resource Policy and Management (4 credits)
This course introduces the student to basic problems in natural resource policymaking in the American West. We will focus on the legal, administrative, and political dimensions of various natural resource management problems, including forests, public rangelands, national parks, biodiversity, energy, water, and recreation. We also will explore the role of environmental ideas and nongovernmental organizations, and we will review a variety of conservation strategies, including land trusts, various incentive-based approaches, and collaborative conservation. A field trip may be required.
Politics 309 Environment and Politics in the American West (4 credits)
This course explores the political landscape of the American West, focusing on natural resource policy and management on public lands. Topics include forest, mineral, range, grassland, water, and energy policy with an emphasis on the local impacts of climate change. Required of, and open only to, students accepted to Semester in the West.
Politics 331 The Politics of International Hierarchy (4 credits)
This course examines the ways in which the international social-political system is hierarchical. The course looks at how such relations of hierarchy have been historically produced and continue to be sustained through a variety of mechanisms. The first part of the course focuses on the period of classical colonialism, examining the racial and gendered constructions of imperial power. The second part of the course turns to more contemporary North-South relations, studying the discourses and practices of development and human rights and critically examining the resuscitation of the project of empire in recent U.S. foreign policy practices.
Politics 338 North-South Relations (4 credits)
With a focus on political economy, this course examines the construction and maintenance of
inequality in the international system, and a consideration of the consequences of inequality for the possibility of state action in the “global south.” The first part of the course examines the construction of Northern domination, the expansion of the European state system and the global political economy (theories of imperialism, colonization, world systems, and international society). The second part will examine the maintenance of Northern power over the South, the effects of incorporating the South on political and economic structures, and the mechanisms reproducing global hierarchies (dependency, development, military intervention, global culture). The final part of the course will examine strategies employed by the South to oppose or to accommodate a globally disadvantageous position in the international system.
Politics 339 Nature, Culture, Politics (4 credits)
In this seminar we explore changing understandings of nature in American culture, the role of social power in constructing these understandings, and the implications these understandings have for the environmental movement. Topics discussed will include wilderness and wilderness politics, management of national parks, ecosystem management, biodiversity, place, and the political uses of nature in contemporary environmental literature. The seminar will occasionally meet at the Johnston Wilderness Campus (transportation will be provided).
Politics 363 Genealogies of Political Economy (4 credits)
What is capitalism? Where did it come from? How does it work, and what are the politics of its epochal expansion? This course explores the origins, dynamics, and politics of capitalism as they have been theorized over the past 200 years. It begins with classical political economy, closely reading the works of Ricardo, Smith, and Marx. It then traces the lineages of classical political economy through the works of theorists such as Weber, Lenin, Schumpeter, Gramsci, Keynes, and Polanyi. The course ends with an examination of theorists who critique Eurocentric political economy by approaching the dynamics and experiences of capitalism from Europe’s former colonies. Topics addressed in the course include debates about imperialism, the state, class struggle, development, and globalization.
Politics 378 Transnationalism (4 credits)
This seminar examines the increasingly important political arena outside the exclusive control of the international system of states. Topics include transnational ideas and norms (neoliberalism, human rights), economic globalization, human migration, communications (global media and the Internet) and security issues (criminal networks and arms proliferation). The focus will be on how transnational processes work and how they affect both the structure of the international system and internal politics.
Politics 490 Senior Seminar (4 credits)
This team-taught seminar will meet one evening a week throughout the semester. Its purpose is to engage senior majors in sustained discussion of contemporary political issues. Requirements include attendance at all seminar meetings; extensive participation in discussion; and the completion of several papers, one being a proposal for a senior thesis or honor thesis. Required of, and open only to, senior politics majors. (Fall degree candidates should plan to take this seminar at the latest possible
Politics 497 Senior Thesis (3-4 credits)
During their final semester at Whitman, majors will satisfactorily complete the senior thesis launched the previous semester. Over the course of the semester, students submit sections of their thesis for discussion and review with their readers on a regular basis and defend the final thesis orally before two faculty members. Detailed information on this process is provided to students well in advance. No thesis will be deemed acceptable unless it receives a grade of C- or better. Politics majors register for four credits of Politics 497. Politics/environmental studies majors should register for three credits of Politics 497 and one credit of Environmental Studies 488, for a total of four credits. Prerequisites: Required of, and open only to, senior majors not taking Politics 498.
Politics 498 Honors Thesis (3-4 credits)
During their final semester at Whitman, senior honors candidates will satisfactorily complete the senior honors thesis launched the prior semester. Over the course of the semester, students submit sections of their thesis for discussion and review with their readers on a regular basis, and defend the final thesis orally before two faculty members. Required of and limited to senior honors candidates in politics. Politics majors register for four credits of Politics 498. Politics/Environmental Studies majors should register for three credits of Politics 498 and one credit of Environmental Studies 488, for a total of four credits. Prerequisites: admission to honors candidacy and consent of the department chair.
Sociology 117 Principles of Sociology (4 credits)
A comprehensive introduction to the discipline of sociology. The course covers basic theoretical and methodological perspectives. Specific topics include culture, social interaction, deviance, socialization, organizations, the global economy, political sociology, race relations, gender relations, sexuality, social movements and the mass media. Emphasis is placed on integrating conceptual understanding with observation and analysis of familiar social settings. Three periods per week. This course is open to all students, but is primarily intended for students who have decided upon or who are seriously considering sociology as a major field of study. Required of all majors; should be taken as early in the student’s program as possible.
Sociology 207 Social Research Methods(4 credits)
A course designed to introduce the student to the procedures by which sociologists gather, analyze, and interpret factual information about the social world. Topics to be covered in this course include the part which social research plays in the larger discipline of sociology, the relationships between sociological theory and social research, research design, measurement and the operationalization of concepts, probabilistic sampling, observational data-gathering procedures, survey research, the use of secondary source materials, and experimentation. Required of sociology majors; open to students in other social science disciplines with consent of instructor.
Sociology 229 Environmental Sociology (4 credits)
What social structural conditions produce ecological decline? What agricultural, extractive, and industrial technologies have driven global ecological problems? How are societies around the world impacted? This course will review sociological theory on the causes and consequences of ecological degradation and resource scarcity. Topics will include: specific local and global ecological problems, theories an political economy of the environment, the treadmill of production, environment and risk, the sociology of environmental science, globalization and environmental movements. The course will consist of lecture, discussion, papers and an out-of-class project. We also will view and discuss films. This course is open to all students but previous course work in sociology would be very helpful.
Sociology 329 Environmental Health (4 credits)
Environmental health issues are inherently interdisciplinary. This seminar-style course will examine how the natural, built, and social environments impact human and environmental health outcomes. The course will draw on research articles, theoretical discussions, and empirical examples from fields including toxicology, exposure science, environmental chemistry, epidemiology, sociology, history, policy studies, and fiction. Particular attention will be paid to the use of science to develop regulation, the role of social movements in identifying environmental health problems, and inequalities associated with environmental exposures. This course will be reading, discussion, and writing intensive. May be elected as Environmental Studies 329, but must be elected as Environmental Studies 329 to satisfy the interdisciplinary course requirement in environmental studies. Prerequisites: Environmental Studies 120 and 207.
Sociology 353 Environmental Justice (4 credits)
How are environmental problems experienced differently according to race, gender, class and nationality? What do we learn about the meaning of gender, race, class and nationality by studying the patterns of environmental exposure of different groups? Environmental justice is one of the most important and active sites of environmental scholarship and activism in our country today. This course integrates perspectives and questions from sciences, humanities and social sciences through the examination of a series of case studies of environmental injustice in the United States and worldwide. Biology and chemistry figure centrally in links between environmental contaminants and human health. Systematic inequalities in exposure and access to resources and decision making raise moral and ethical questions. Legal and policy lessons emerge as we examine the mechanisms social actors employ in contesting their circumstances. This course will be reading, discussion and research intensive. May be elected as Environmental Studies 353. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.
Sociology 367 History of Sociological Theory (4 credits)
A critical examination, beginning with the Enlightenment and extending to the late 20th century, of important Western ideas concerning the nature of society and social interaction. Questions addressed include: How is social order possible? How and why do societies change? What is the role of science in sociology? Students will read a variety of primary and secondary sources, as well as works of literature illustrating theoretical concepts. Evaluation is based on the completion of three papers or projects and one group presentation. Two periods per week. Designed for junior and senior students in the social sciences or humanities; required of sociology majors.
Sociology 490 Current Issues in Sociology (2 credits)
Limited to, and required of senior sociology majors. Students will meet with the entire staff each week for discussions of and presentations on current sociological ideas and controversies. Must be taken the last fall semester in which the student is in residence. One period per week. Prerequisite: Sociology 117. Pre- or corequisites: Sociology 207 and Sociology 367.
Sociology 492 Thesis (2-4 credits)
A course in which the student conceptualizes, designs, and carries out a senior thesis. The major emphasis in this course will be upon the student’s own individual thesis project, which may be completed under the supervision of any full-time member of the department. In addition, however, students also will be expected to participate in evaluations and critiques of the theses being written by the other senior majors in the course. Required of all senior sociology majors, with the exception of those completing an honors thesis. Must be taken the last spring semester in which the student is in residence. Sociology majors must sign up for four credits. Sociology-environmental studies majors should sign up for two credits in Sociology 492 and two credits in Environmental Studies 488, for a total of four credits. Prerequisites: Sociology 117, 207 and 367.
Sociology 498 Honors Thesis (2-4 credits)
Designed to allow those students who qualify the opportunity to complete a senior thesis of honors-level quality. Requires application according to guidelines for honors in major study. Students enrolled in this course must also participate in and meet all requirements of the Sociology 492 seminar. Required of and limited to senior honors candidates in sociology. Must be taken the last spring semester in which the student is in residence. Sociology majors must sign up for four credits. Sociology-environmental studies majors who are eligible for honors should sign up for two credits in Sociology 498 and two credits in Environmental Studies 498, for a total of four credits. Prerequisites: Sociology 117, 207, 367, and admission to honors candidacy.
Global Literature 328 Haiku and Nature in Japan (4 credits)
This course will enter the haiku / haikai world by reading poems and essays by two haiku poets, Basho (1644-1694) and Issa (1763-1827), and stories by Japan’s first Nobel Prize winning novelist, Kawabata Yasunari (1899-1972). The course will explore the nexus between Haiku and Mahayana Buddhist thought and trace how writers and poets and monks shared a literary and religio-aesthetic vocabulary to express an insight into the human condition, the nature of reality, time and eternity, world and nature. Environmental studies students may use this course to satisfy humanities distribution requirements in the major. Environmental humanities students may use this course as one of the three elective courses required for their major.