B CUSP 116
Addresses an important social issue through an interdisciplinary perspective; builds creative and critical skills of writing, analysis, and quantitative reasoning; and explores, through scientific methods, one aspect of the natural world. Offered: W.
This course explores both the physical and social dimensions of the Earth's water resources, with a focus on the role of water in the development and growth of the western United States and the use and conservation of water in our own community. Ensuring safe and sustainable water resources requires not only a firm understanding of the physical-chemical characteristics of water, but also of its social and economic importance. The class will cover the intersections among our scientific understanding of water, our technological developments in controlling water, and our cultural attitudes and subsequent behavior toward this elemental resource.
Student learning goals
Students will be able to develop hypotheses and identify critical variables in scientific studies of water resources.
Students will be able to critically evaluate scientific, economic, and public opinion data to develop well-supported arguments for or against public policies around water resource use.
Students will gain skills in the collection, presentation, and interpretation of quantitative data.
Students will critically examine case studies of water resource conflicts, explaining and evaluating multiple perspectives and opinons.
General method of instruction
Lecture, group discussion, small group "mini-lab" activities
Class assignments and grading