Rivers. Oceans. Forests. Mountains. Deserts. Earth existed for eons before Homo sapiens appeared on its surface, yet even though terrestrial landforms and water features gave rise to innumerable other life-forms, neither the planet's characteristic ecosystems nor the diverse species that evolved in them have ever remained stable. Rivers change course. Oceans rise and fall by hundreds of meters. Forests burn to the ground. Mountains erode into desert. Deserts uplift into the highest peaks. In short, our planet and all features of it have been, and continue to be, in continuous flux.
What, then, does time have to do with how we view our planet, its other species, and our very own? Join us as we use history, philosophy, geography, landscape and ecology studies to decipher human understandings of – and relationships with – this unique and infinitely changing planet. We shall seek answers to questions such as: Why is it important to understand how diverse ecosystems function? How did ecosystems change before humans appeared? How and in what ways have humans altered the "natural" development of ecosystems? How do ecosystems relate to the larger field of ecology? We will conduct several field studies to help us analyze firsthand the role of natural and human-induced events in various ecosystems, both in the Pacific Northwest and in the desert Southwest.
Agriculture. Cities. Hospitals. Dams. Strip malls. From the earliest days to the present, humans have always modified their immediate environment to better suit their needs. However, with increasing world population and an ever developing ability to dramatically alter our environment, contemporary human society is radically transforming the planet in non-historic ways. We will look at some of these transformations and explore possible paths towards a more sustainable future.
Weekly seminars, lectures, workshops, field lab studies, critical film viewing, and several overnight fieldtrips will help us to integrate our textual analyses with hands-on fieldwork. We will strive to understand more fully concepts of place, recreation, adventure, eco-tourism, and the natural world at large. Travel and fieldwork are integral and required aspects of this two-quarter program, thus students are expected to participate in all fieldtrips, including several overnight trips.
Depending on an individual student’s emphasis, credit may be awarded in the following disciplines: English (writing and composition), Environmental History, History of the Pacific Northwest, Basic Ecology, Field Methods, Environmental Studies, and Geography.
Time and Place:
The Evergreen Experience
A three minute slideshow photographed and produced by photography intern Paul Reynolds.
CAMPUS DISABILITY POLICY:
If you have a health condition or disability that may require accommodations in order to effectively participate in this class, please do one of the following:
- Contact the faculty after class
- Contact Access Services in Library 1407-D; 867-6348, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Information about a disability or health condition will be regarded as confidential.
CAMPUS SMOKING POLICY:
Evergreen is a smoke free campus, excluding the several designated smoking areas. If you do smoke, consider quitting. If you can’t or choose not to, please use the designated areas only. Students willfully disregarding this campus policy will be asked to leave the program.
FIELD TRIP SMOKING, DRUG, AND ALCOHOL POLICY:
All of our field trips are completely drug, alcohol, and smoke free. As many of our field trips will last for several days, be certain that you have the ability to refrain from all of these activities during the entire period. Students disregarding any aspect of this policy will no longer be considered participants of the field trip and will be required to fund their own return trip to Evergreen.
Print the Course Syllabus
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