2011-12 Catalog

Decorative graphic

Offering Description

Political Ecology and Environmental Decision-Making


Summer 2012 quarter

Martha Henderson geography, political ecology, science, nature and religion, eastern Mediterranean region
Fields of Study
environmental studies and geography

Environmental decision-making plays a significant role in American society. The current ‘environment’ is the sum total of ecological and social relationships, cultural values, and political decision-making at all levels of society. The class will include an overview of American environmental history, ecological transformation, and decision-making processes. We will investigate the origins of American environmentalism and the institutionalization of environmental decision-making to the present. Historical events, cultural values, and political and economic conditions have transformed the ecology of North America. The current landscape is a social and political process often entwined with efforts to promote sustainability and embedded in the American corporate/military complex. Students will read texts, discuss ideas, seminar and engage in primary research. Effective leadership methods will be explored. Students will also be asked to observe and participate in a decision-making process around an environmental issue. 

Student projects during the quarter will include a mid-term project as an analysis of an environmental leader and their decision-making process and a final project reviewing the environmental history and political process in a specific environmental issue such as an analysis of leadership roles to protect habitat for a threatened and endangered species, transportation policy, community based agriculture or energy and climate security.

Class work will include discussion, speakers, seminar and presentation of research. Students will be asked to participate in leadership of the class.

Required Books :

Braun, Bruce and Noel Castree, eds. Remaking Reality: Nature at the Millennium .New York: Routledge Press, 1998.  ISBN: 0-415-14494-9

Gordon and Berry . Environmental Leadership Equals Essential Leadership: Redefining Who Leads and How .New Haven: Yale Publishing, 2006. ISBN: 978-3000108910 (available in paperback)

Robbins, Paul. Political Ecology .Malden: Blackwell Publishing, 2004. ISBN: 978-1-4051-0266-7 (available in paperback)

Advertised Schedule
6-10p Tue/Thu, First Session (June 25 - July 27)
Online Learning
Enhanced Online Learning
Greener Store
Offered During

Program Revisions

Date Revision
June 20th, 2012 This offering has been cancelled. Interested graduate students are encouraged to contact the instructor to explore individual study options.