Environmental Science


EVSC XXXX (pending): Marine Conservation: Science as a Way of Knowing [3]

G. Carleton Ray & Jerry McCormick-Ray, Instructors

This course takes a virtual voyage through the global ocean, intended to inform student of issues confronting marine conservation, mechanisms used to address them, and the science required to understand them. The outcome will be an appreciation of the social-ecological setting for biodiversity maintenance, ecosystem sustainability and resilience and policy development.

Marine conservation is a rapidly-expanding human endeavor. As humans have exploited the oceans, especially since World War II, resources have dramatically been diminished, pollution has raised concerns for human and ecological health, and intractable issues, such as climate change and acidification, have unpredictably emerged. Inevitably, human wellbeing is being affected.

Teaching methods are adapted to an intense, two-week schedule. The first half-week is dedicated to orientation, with emphasis on individual and group participation. Groups of 4-5 individuals will interact inter alia and among groups (e.g. speed-dating). Instructor- and guest-led discussions will introduce students to issue-specific case studies. At the end of each day, each student will submit a one-page summary. The final two days will consist of group and individual presentations.


EVSC 2070/STS 2140: Earth Systems Technology and Management [3]

Michael Gorman, Professor

Earth Systems Engineering Management (ESEM) is a comprehensive perspective that combines engineering, environmental science and psychology to explore how human beings can take care of the ecosystem. Students will listen to lectures and discuss background readings from a variety of perspectives related to ESEM. Then they will apply what they have read to a practical problem: identifying and managing national parks and other national entities like monuments, battlefields, etc. Why should these places be set aside? Are they, as Ken Burns suggest, "America's best idea?" What other countries have national park strategies?

Students will go on two field trips, one to the Shenandoah National Park to listen to park scientist Jim Schaberl and others discuss park management issues. Jim has been a regular speaker and facilitator in the class. The other will be to the section of the Chancellorsville battlefield that has been preserved by the Civil War Preservation Trust, because the Parks do not have funds to purchase or interpret battlefield sites. Mary Koik from the CWPT has taken us on two tours of the sections of the battlefield preservced by the SWPT. This year, we plan on making this an exploratory exercise instead of an outdoor lecture and walk. Students will also visit the McCormick observatory one clear night, to learn about light pollution and see its effects.

Departmental permission is required for enrollment, and an additional nonrefundable $150 fee required.