Dec 09, 2023  
Catalogue 2019-2020 
Catalogue 2019-2020 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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ENST 260 - Issues in Environmental Studies

Semester Offered: Spring
1 unit(s)
The purpose of this course is to examine in depth an issue, problem, or set of issues and problems in environmental studies, to explore the various ways in which environmental issues are embedded in multiple contexts and may be understood from multiple perspectives. The course topic changes from year to year.

Topic for 2019/20b: Grasslands: Human History and Ecology of the American Plains. For thousands of years, humans have sought ways to survive and prosper in the semi-arid plains–an area popularly known in the 19th century as the “Great American Desert,” a place devoid of life. This class explores the roots of such misconceptions and their often catastrophic legacies, as well as other modes of life on the grasslands, including those of native peoples. Environmental and cultural histories of the Plains provide a framework for examining such complex issues as tallgrass prairie conservation and restoration; water management; climate change; and use of land for energy production and carbon farming. Visions of different futures for this critical place in the American heartland are placed in the context of major ecological and cultural transitions over the past 10,000 years. The course includes a one-week trip to the Plains over spring break, with visits to bison re-introduction sites, a restored Pawnee earth lodge, a perennial agriculture research facility, and a viewing site for hundreds of thousands of migrating sandhill cranes along the Platte River. Rebecca Edwards and Margaret Ronsheim.

Prerequisite(s): Permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

Course Format: CLS

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