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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Kristy A. Leissle
BIS 490
Bothell Campus

Senior Seminar

Study of special topics in interdisciplinary arts and sciences. Prerequisite: BIS 300.

Class description

This senior seminar introduces the importance of the Arctic and Antarctic regions to global economic, political, and environmental processes, both historically and today. We will explore the major issues that have defined human interaction with the poles: geography and wildlife, indigenous peoples (Arctic only), the age of exploration, contemporary cultures (especially food), sovereignty, resource exploitation/economic development, climate change, and contemporary tourism. The course is book-ended by sessions devoted to representations of the poles in texts (fiction and explorer accounts) and films; this analytical thread runs through the rest of the quarter's work as we continually interrogate media depictions of the poles. Our readings, films, projects, and discussions will emphasize the fragility and importance of the polar regions to global environmental health, resource flows, and historical knowledge of our planet.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

While it is not required, I strongly recommend BIS 282, Globalization as preparation for this course.

Class assignments and grading

Please note that this course has a heavy reading load compared to my other classes; several book chapters or articles per session.

Participation (including weekly questions for readings that will form our basis for discussion) and a substantive research paper on a topic of your choice, including in-class presentation at the end of the quarter.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Kristy A. Leissle
Date: 02/01/2013