NST 2020 Ecological Management : The goal of environmental sustainability is to provide for the needs of humans while maintaining and improving the natural systems upon which we depend. In order to do this, we must fully appreciate and understand ecological management strategies for our vital natural resources, such as minerals, water, air, land, food, soil, and biodiversity. In this course we will focus on understanding the ecological principles of natural resource management while exploring new strategies for conservation. Topics that will be discussed in this course include: conflict minerals, carbon sequestration, sustainable food systems, cradle-to-cradle design, ecological restoration and the value of biodiversity. This course will emphasize the methodology of science, critical thinking and problem solving. Ethical issues and business applications associated with environmental conservation are discussed to enhance social responsibility and integrative thinking. The course is an applied ecology course, uniquely designed specifically for business students. We will first determine guiding principles for how healthy ecosystems function and sustain themselves. We will then explore how natural resources and services are altered by the human economy in extracting raw materials and generating waste. At each step we will investigate sustainability-based solutions. Finally we will synthesize the information to discuss our future potentials for ecological conservation.
SCN3630 Economic Botany: This course investigates the relationship between plants and society. Without plants and plant products humans would be hungry, naked, and lacking oxygen to breath. We will begin by exploring how plants grow and reproduce and the basics of different plant parts. We will then examine plants as sources of food, materials, perfumes, drugs, and medicines. Throughout the course we will discuss the role plants have played in influencing economics, language, arts, and religion. Current topics of particular interest for this course include the debate over genetically engineered crops, the development of new pharmaceutical medicines, the importance of our natural resources, the changes in human diet, and the use of plant products in new technologies. This course will emphasize the development of skills in critical thinking, synthesis of information, science literacy, hand-on exercises, and current topical issues in plant biology.
ENV4610 Art and Ecology: This trans-disciplinary course is co-taught by an artist and an ecologist and will focus on integrating visual art practices and scientific methodologies as a means of observing, understanding, interpreting, and creatively responding to human driven disturbances and the restoration of nature. We will use art and science and the intersections between these disciplines to investigate the environment through: water, soils and clay, the movement of plants, and landscape ecology. Students will learn a range of contemporary artists whose work is dependent on and responsive to the natural environment. Students will also explore scientific processes for healthy ecological function and human-driven disturbance. Students will be challenged to visualize their scientific observations and creative responses through drawing, graphing, 2 D mixed media, mapping/modeling, and sculpture. It is understood that students will likely be entering the studio art practice at a beginning level, therefore prior art experience is not required.