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The Sustainability LLC

Preceptorials Linked to the Sustainability LLC 2012-2013

Philosophy and the Natural Environment (Phil 110) Natural Disasters (Envi 104)
Global History of Food (Hist 120) Introduction to Evolution (Biol 190)
American Politics and the Environment (Pols 125) Introduction to Engineering (Engr 101)
THRS 203:  Religion and Ecology, East and West  

PHIL 110:  Philosophy and Natural Environment

Preceptor:  Dr. Mark Woods
Credit:  Philosophy Core / 3 units

This introductory course examines the natural environment through a philosophical lens.  What is nature?  What does it mean to call something “natural”?  Is there really a balance of nature?  How meaningful are sciences such as ecology and conservation biology in giving us concepts such as genetic diversity, species populations, ecosystems, and patch-landscapes?  What are instincts?  Is Homo sapiens a natural species, or are we distinct and unique among all other species?  How do natural environments really differ from human-modified or human-created artificial environments?  Given our current environmental crisis, are we at the end of nature?

ENVI 104:  Natural Disasters

Preceptor:  Dr. Sarah Gray
Credit:  Physical Science Core / 4 units

This course will give students an introduction to the earth and the dynamic natural processes that impact humanity and life in general.  Man and nature are becoming increasingly intertwined as the human race continues to proliferate.  This course will emphasize the fundamental scientific principles and processes related to natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, severe weather, hurricanes, meteorite impacts, and climate change.  Historic catastrophes will be emphasized.  This course satisfies the core curriculum requirement for a physical science with a laboratory.

HIST 120:  Global History of Food

Preceptor:  Dr. Colin Fisher
Credit:  Humanities Core / 3 units

This course is a survey of food in world history.  Themes include:  hunter-gatherer societies; plant and animal domestication and the origins of farming; food and early empires; food and long-distance trade; the Columbian Exchange; sugar and slavery; population, ecological limits, and England’s Industrial Revolution; colonialism and nineteenth-century Irish, Indian, and Chinese famines; migration and transplanted culinary cultures; the rise of American agribusiness; Communist agriculture/famine under Stalin and Mao; chemical fertilizer and the Green Revolution; McDonalds, Coca Cola, and global food commodities; rising food prices and seven billion people.

BIOL 190: Introduction to Evolution

Preceptor: Dr. Ronald Kaufmann
Credit:  Life Science Core / 3 units

This one-semester foundation course for Biology majors provides an introduction to the mechanisms of inheritance, evolution, and ecology. Three hours of lecture weekly.  No prerequisite.

ENGR 101: Introduction to Engineering

Preceptor: Dr. Truc Ngo
Credit:  Elective credit / 3 units

Introduction to the field of engineering.  Exploration of problem solving in lecture and laboratory projects in different engineering disciplines.  Introduction to engineering software tools.  Intended for majors in engineering or those exploring careers in engineering.  Four hours lecture-recitation-laboratory weekly.  Concurrent enrollment in Mathematics 115 or 150 required.

POLS 125:  American Politics and the Environment

Preceptor:  Dr. Noelle Norton
Credit:  Social Science Core / 3 units

This class is an introduction to American Politics, and fulfills the American Politics lower division requirements for the Political Science and International Relations majors.  It also satisfies one part of the Core Social Science requirement and the Core diversity requirement.  The goal of the class is to help students understand the logic of the political process and the functions of government. Toward that end, this class places a strong emphasis on understanding what rules structure the political system, because those rules influence how the political game is played, and therefore the political and policy outcomes that we observe.  As a preceptorial, the course will include a requirement to attend political events on campus as well as include fun political movie nights with the professor.

THRS 203:  Religion and Ecology, East and West

Preceptor:  Dr. Lance Nelson
Credit:  Theology and Reiigious Studies Core / 3 units

This course will explore the worldviews and , to a lesser extent, the religious practice of the Native American, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, and Muslim traditions in light of contemporary concern for our fragile and endangered environment.  A key question will be, to what extent can religion—or particular religious beliefs, values, or practices—become part of the solution, and to what extent are aspects of religious faith and practice part of the problem?  Relevant mythic, theological, ethical, and ritual aspects of each tradition will be examined.  The common presupposition that so-called “Eastern religions” are eco-friendly, while “Western religions,” and especially Christianity, bear responsibility for the industrial world’s abuse of nature, will be critically examined.