Fall 2022

BIOL 2610

Erol Akcay

Brent Helliker

Monday/Wednesday 12:00 - 1:30 PM

The study of living organisms in their natural environment, spanning the ecological physiology of individuals, the structure of populations, and interactions among species, including the organization of communities and ecosystem function.

This course fulfills the EH Minor Requirement in Natural Science Approaches to Environmental Inquiry. See the full minor requirements list.

Fall 2022

GRMN 3212

Simon Richter

Tuesday/ Thursday 3:30-5:00pm

Many regard Germany as a leader in the transition to renewable energy. The Green Party has been a significant player in federal and local politics since 1981. The current Austrian chancellor is a member of the Green Party. Soon, Germany will shutter its last nuclear reactor. Work on the coal phase-out has already begun. Germans overwhelmingly support aggressive climate action by their government. How can we explain this? In this course, we will become familiar with current climate, environmental, and energy policy and practice in Germany and Austria, but we will also delve into the cultural history of German environmentalism. We'll learn about the origin of the German concept of sustainability in early 18th-century forestry; the role of the forest in Romanticism; the origin of the concepts of ecology and environment in the work of Ernst Haeckel and Jacob von Uexkull; the role of the mountains in Austrian environmental thinking; Nazi-era environmentalism; "Waldsterben," the anti-nuke movement and the rise of the Green Party; the "Energiewende"; and the impact of the uprising to protect the Hambacher Forest on the coal phase-out. We'll make use of readings from policy, history, and literature, and screen feature and documentary films. Pre-req: Taught in German, Prereq: GRMN 203

Fall 2022

EAS 4010/5010

Noam Lior

TR 5:15-6:45 PM

The objective is to introduce students to one of the most dominating and compelling areas of human existence and endeavor: energy, with its foundations in technology, from a quantitative sustainability viewpoint with its association to economics and impacts on environment and society. This introduction is intended both for general education and awareness and for preparation for careers related to this field, with emphasis on explaining the technological foundation. The course spans from basic principles to applications. A review of energy consumption, use, and resources; environmental impacts, sustainability and design of sustainable energy systems; introductory aspects of energy economics and carbon trading; methods of energy analysis; forecasting; energy storage; electricity generation and distribution systems (steam and gas turbine based power plans, fuel cells), fossil fuel energy (gas, oil, coal) including nonconventional types (shale gas and oil, oil sands, coalbed and tight-sand gas), nuclear energy wastes: brief introduction to renewable energy use: brief introduction to solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, biomass; energy for buildings, energy for transportation (cars, aircraft, and ships); prospects for future energy systems: fusion power, power generation in space. Students interested in specializing in one or two energy topics can do so by choosing them as their course project assignments. Prerequisite: Any University student interested in energy and its impacts, who is a Junior Senior. Students taking the course EAS 501 will be given assignments commensurate with graduate standing.

This course fulfills Natural Science Approaches to Environmental Inquiry requirement.

Fall 2022

ENVS 1650

Howard Neukrug

T 5:15-8:15pm

This course will provide an overview of the cross-disciplinary fields of civil engineering, environmental sciences, urban hydrology, landscape architecture, green building, public outreach and politics. Students will be expected to conduct field investigations, review scientific data and create indicator reports, working with stakeholders and presenting the results at an annual symposium. There is no metaphor like water itself to describe the cumulative effects of our practices, with every upstream action having an impact downstream. In our urban environment, too often we find degraded streams filled with trash, silt, weeds and dilapidated structures. The water may look clean, but is it? We blame others, but the condition of the creeks is directly related to how we manage our water resources and our land. In cities, these resources are often our homes, our streets and our communities. This course will define the current issues of the urban ecosystem and how we move toward managing this system in a sustainable manner. We will gain an understanding of the dynamic, reciprocal relationship between practices in an watershed and its waterfront. Topics discussed include: drinking water quality and protection, green infrastructure, urban impacts of climate change, watershed monitoring, public education, creating strategies and more.

This course fulfills Natural Science Approaches to Environmental Inquiry requirement.



Fall 2022

PHYS 0016

Douglas J. Durian

TR 10:15 AM- 11:45 AM

The developed world's dependence on fossil fuels for energy production has extremely undesirable economic, environmental, and political consequences, and is likely to be mankind's greatest challenge in the 21st century. We describe the physical principles of energy, its production and consumption, and environmental consequences, including the greenhouse effect. We will examine a number of alternative modes of energy generation - fossil fuels, biomass, wind, solar, hydro, and nuclear - and study the physical and technological aspects of each, and their societal, environmental and economic impacts over the construction and operational lifetimes. No previous study of physics is assumed. Prerequisites: Algebra and Trigonometry. Target audience: Non-science majors (although science/engineering students are welcome).

This course fulfills Natural Science Approaches to Environmental Inquiry requirement.

Fall 2022

STSC 1880

M/W, 12:00-1:00pm + Friday recitation

This course is an introduction to the historical and social study of the human environment. One of its main objectives to develop a critical vocabulary for describing and analyzing the complex environmental challenges we face today. We will explore the historical roots of concepts such as “nature,” “environment,” “ecology,” and “the Anthropocene,” seeking to situate them in their social and cultural contexts and to excavate the assumptions that lie buried within them. We will also discuss major changes in human environments over the past several centuries, including imperialism, capitalism, industrialization, urbanization, and globalization, as well as the rise of the environmental movement. Finally, through class discussions, assignments, and exams, you will have the opportunity to develop your skills in critically reading a diverse range of textual and non-textual sources and in using them to craft well-organized and well-evidenced arguments.

This course fulfills Social Science Approaches to Environmental Inquiry requirement.


Fall 2022

GEOL 2300

Irina Marinov

Tuesday / Thursday 1:45-3:15pm

Public perceptions and attitudes concerning the causes and importance of globalwarming have changed. Global Climate Change provides a sound theoretical understanding of global warming through an appreciation of the Earth's climate system and how and why this has changed through time. We will describe progress in understanding of the human and natural drivers of climate change, climate pr0cesses and attribution, and estimates of projected future climate change. We will assess scientific, tehnical, and socio-economic information relevant for the understanding of climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation.

Fall 2022

ANTH 541

Kristina Lyons

Tuesday 1:45-4:45 pm


This course places science studies in conversation with ethnographic methodologies, decolonial, anti-colonial, and feminist approaches, data and environmental justice, citizen science and disability studies, among other topics. We will be looking at the ways that the natural, social sciences, and community-oriented research agendas come together, and what tensions and possibilities these emergent alliances, intersectional modes of thinking, and practical collaborations may produce. This class offers a unique opportunity for graduate students from engineering, medical fields, the natural and social sciences, law, humanities, and the school of design to learn how to converse and collaborate around pressing socio-environmental and public health issues. Aspirations for justice and the possibilities for evidence making require translation across different practices, temporalities and scales; negotiations with the forces of economic structures; and endurance within colonial legacies, as well as situations of everyday militarization and social conflict. Throughout the course, the idea is not for us to necessarily give up our disciplinary orientations, but rather to learn how to approach shared matters of concern without canceling out our differences and the generative agonisms that result from collaborative experimentation and practice-oriented approaches.     


Anth 541 Flyer with a comic description of a group of people in nature performing science observations, experiments, and signs of activism

Fall 2022

GRMN 1160

Bethany Wiggin

TR 1:45-3:14 PM

This seminar explores how the humanities can contribute to discussions of sustainability. We begin by investigating the contested term itself, paying close attention to critics and activists who deplore the very idea that we should try to sustain our, in their eyes, dystopian present, one marked by environmental catastrophe as well as by an assault on the educational ideals long embodied in the humanities. We then turn to classic humanist texts on utopia, beginning with More's fictive island of 1517. The "origins of environmentalism" lie in such depictions of island edens (Richard Grove), and our course proceeds to analyze classic utopian tests from American, English, and German literatures. Readings extend to utopian visions from Europe and America of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as well as literary and visual texts that deal with contemporary nuclear and flood catastrophes. Authors include: Bill McKibben, Jill Kerr Conway, Christopher Newfield, Thomas More, Francis Bacon, Karl Marx, Henry David Thoreau, Robert Owens, William Morris, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Ayn Rand, Christa Wolf, and others.

Cross-listed: STSC 1160, ENVS 1050, ENGL 1579, COML 1160

Fall 2022

FNAR 2160 / FNAR 5032

Brent Wahl

Friday, 10:15AM-1:15PM

Starting with the representation of landscape in painting in the early 1800s, the course will then move through Pictorialism and the Modernist movement in photography. Revisiting the later half of the 20th century, we will begin to consider the shifting practices of landscape and the ways it has been photographically depicted up to the present. Collaborating with the Brandywine River Museum of Art in Chadds Ford, students will begin their photographic exploration with the work of Andrea Wyeth and the landscape of the Brandywine Valley. As we consider Wyeth, the images of James Welling will also be introduced. Credited for pioneering new forms of representation in photography in the 1970s, Welling also revisited the work of Wyeth from 2010-2015, and committed to a fresh (and challenging) look at tradition.

Fall 2022