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Visualizing Ecology

Visualizing Ecology

Fall, Winter and Spring quarters

Major areas of study include:
statistics, terrestrial ecology, conservation biology, soil biology, drawing, art history, botany, history of science, environmental ethics and writing.
Class Standing:
This Core program is designed for freshmen.

Ecology offers guidance on core questions about humans and nature. How can we understand the web of complex interactions in nature? Where do we fit in this web? And where do we envision our future place in this web? This program addresses such questions through the disciplines of art, history, philosophy and terrestrial ecology.

In the fall and winter quarters, we will study techniques used to understand the natural world: drawing from observation, field surveys, statistical analysis and theoretical models. We will use these tools to compare a cross-section of ecosystems, such as temperate rain forests, sagebrush steppes, conventional and organic farms and suburban neighborhoods. We will examine formative controversies in the development of modern ecological science. We will explore how artists in various cultures have interpreted the natural world and understood their relationship to nature. Finally, we will develop creative artistic responses to the various ecosystems we visit.

In the spring quarter, we will consider case studies in which people envisioned solutions to environmental problems and worked to implement them. These case studies will examine the avenues people have used to change the environmental status quo and protect or restore habitats, such as organizing advocacy groups, creating educational campaigns, consumer boycotts, direct action and lobbying for legislation. Drawing upon these examples, students will do individual or group projects that integrate the artistic and scientific components of this program.

16 credits each quarter.
Class Schedule
Special Expenses:
$300 for two overnight field trips; $200 for art supplies.
Program is preparatory for:
careers and future studies in art, education, science and natural resource management.
Academic program Web page:
Visualizing Ecology

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Last Updated: August 25, 2017

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