A Curriculum with an Interdisciplinary Approach...
The 2013-2014 academic year is designed to offer students multiple options to examine water-related issues through coursework in various fields of study. Many first-year students will be challenged by this coursework through their Cultural Studies Program (CSP).
CSP 15: Environment and Power in California History
Alexandra Puerto, History
This interdisciplinary seminar examines the intellectual, social, and political history of the California environment with a particular focus on the ways in which different cultural and ethnic groups have perceived, used, managed, and conserved it over the past 250 years. The course will introduce students to essential concepts, concerns, and methods in environmental history, at large, while engaging topics specific to California history including the Spanish frontier, the Gold Rush, forestry, the hydraulic empire, wilderness parks, industrialization, urbanization, and environmental justice. Los Angeles as a field of study will occupy a significant place in our exploration.
DWA 410: Water and World Affairs Task Force
The course strives to strengthen a students ability to research, write, and present an extended policy/practice oriented project for a real-world client on a contemporary and exciting topic in world affairs, and engage in being part of a high-functioning team. This fall, 15 students will work on a project with an external partner/client on a water challenge using the new Global Digital Crossroads platform and Varelas Innovation Lab in the McKinnon Center for Global Affairs.
CSP 1: California Environmental Semester
Aa group of first-year students and three faculty learning about natural science, economics, and the environment of California. The spectacular California landscape will be our laboratory as we investigate the geology, biology and economics of our environment through data collection, laboratory and computer analysis, critical thinking and writing, and classroom learning. Multi-day field trips during the school week introduce you to your fellow CES classmates while hiking and camping in State and National Parks throughout California.
CSP 12: Desert or Garden
John Swift, English and Comparative Literary Studies
Does our world appear to us like an abundant garden--or is it a stony, unforgiving desert? This seminar will explore the opposed images of desert and garden, of barrenness and fruitfulness that pervade Western history. Beginning with a close reading of Genesis and the story of human expulsion from the Garden of Eden, we will first examine these images in a number of literary and artistic appearances (including T. S. Eliot’s famous diagnosis of the “modern” condition as an unredeemed “waste land”). In the second phase of the course we will consider their specific effects, for better and for worse, on the development of an iconic U.S. institution: the city of Los Angeles.
CSP 59: Energy, Sustainability, and the Planet
Chris Craney, Chemistry
This broad-ranging course will explore the science impacting the use of energy in our society as well as the sustainability of this practice on the planet. Case studies from both the developing and developed world will be the focus. This discussion-focused, writing-intensive course employs a scientific framework in considering four themes (1) fossil fuel energy sources and their use, (2) renewable sources, (3) consequences of energy consumption in our global society and (4) implications for sustainable development on the planet. In addition to a final paper, each student will also develop a 15-minute oral presentation on a scientific question related to one of the four key themes noted above. Students enrolling in this course should have completed at least one course at the high school level in biology, chemistry, and physics."
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