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Environmental Communication

The natural environment exists independently of how we think and talk about it, but we can only know it in human terms through our discourse about it. Our understanding of the environment is unavoidably constructed through the symbols we use to depict it in public discourse. Through scientific studies, media coverage, government hearings and other forums, we define the environment and our relation to nature through speech, writing, and images. And the ways in which we depict nature have profound consequences for what we do to it, through individual acts of consumption or conservation, and social acts of policy making, pollution, and protest. Given the power of our symbol making for the fate of life on the earth, students of the environment can benefit from understanding the tools and theories of public communication. Because all life, including ours, depends on the health of natural systems, students of communication must pay…

Community Based Environmental Management

Since the concept first came to be widely represented in the conservation community in the early 1990s, Community-Based Environmental Management (CBEM) has been incorporated in conservation and natural resource management initiatives around the world, from integrated conservation and development (ICDP) projects in the buffer zones of protected areas in Nepal to urban forestry initiatives in New York City. The goal of the course is to provide students with information and analysis that will allow them to identify some of the potential problems and pitfalls involved in CBEM along with the tools necessary to create and managed their own projects. To accomplish this, we will combine readings and discussion of academic literature with presentations of specific CBEM case studies by bi-weekly guest speakers. The students will also select a CBEM project close enough to them geographically for easy visits and will use this project as the focus of a series of…

Comparative Environmental Policy

Comparative Environmental Policy: This course emphasizes the comparative study of the domestic and international environmental policies of advanced industrial states with an emphasis on the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom. The key questions under study are: 1) How do differences across countries in political institutions, political culture, regulatory style, and economic structure influence domestic and foreign environmental policies? We will focus in particular on how environmentalism emerged across countries and how science is introduced and interpreted in the policy process. 2) What impact do these differences have on the ability of states to achieve cooperative solutions to common environmental problems? 3) What influence do international environmental interactions have on domestic environmental policy? Dr. Loren Cass College of the Holy Cross

Environmental Economies

This is an introductory-level course in environmental economics. It is primarily designed for sophomores and juniors who want to study environmental concerns with an interdisciplinary focus. More specifically, the course attempts to incorporate basic principles of both economics and ecology that are essential for a comprehensive understanding and critical assessment of the human’s historical struggles to “coexist” with the natural environment. These ecological and economic principles are also used to shed light on some key contemporary and controversial environmental policy issues. Dr. Ahmed M. Hussen Kalamazoo College Syllabus

Environmental Justice

In this seminar we will explore global—domestic and international— environmental issues from a perspective that foregrounds questions of social justice. The field of environmental justice asks for fair treatment of all people regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, economic capacity, national origin, and education level with respect to environmental politics and their implementations. In this and other aspects, the environmental justice perspective differs from traditional environmental philosophies in that it seeks to combine a concern for the natural world with a consciousness of ethnic, class, and gender discrimination. From this vantage point it is argued that throughout the world there are marked and increasing disparities between those who have access to clean and safe resources and those who do not. Often poor and minority communities bear a disproportionately large burden of toxic contamination and suffer the health problems that result from it, while the elite and powerful tend to control the…

Social Justice Learning Institute: Food Justice

Food Justice is communities exercising their right to grow, sell, and eat healthy food. Healthy food is fresh, nutritious, affordable, culturally-appropriate and grown locally with care for the well-being of the land, workers, and animals. People practicing food justice leads to a strong local food system, self-reliant communities and a healthy environment. This video by the Social Justice Learning Institute documents the food justice movement in the City of Inglewood. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4Ev9jneXfw

DAMOCRACY

This documentary debunks the myth of large-scale dams as clean energy and a solution to climate change. It records the priceless cultural and natural heritage the world would lose in the Amazon and Mesopotamia if two planned large-scale dams are built, Belo Monte dam in Brazil, and Ilisu dam in Turkey. DAMOCRACY is a story of resistance by the thousands of people who will be displaced, and a call to world to support their struggle. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnMD4e6nLms&feature=player_embedded

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