Delineation and analysis of a specific problem or related problems in anthropology. Offered occasionally by visitors or resident faculty.
This is a field-, reading-, and writing- intensive course on how humans modify and manipulate ecosystems to produce useful resources. Throughout, we emphasize a systems perspective, closely examining the ecological, economic, and political effects of the elements of each system on one another. We also pay attention to analysis of systems at different scales of space, time, and complexity. Our specific subject matter encompasses ecosystems in Washington State that are modified to produce and extract three kinds of resources: biofuels, shellfish, and milk products. Each three-week unit, including an all-day Saturday field trip, focuses on one of these three resource types. For each unit, students are required to read a series of articles, comment formally in class on some of them, go on the field trip, keep and turn in a field journal, and write a topical essay on an assignment dealing with problems of that type of resource system.
NOTE: THE URL below is currently for the 2013 version of the course. I am working on the 2014 version, and should have it posted by Wednesday, March 26.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Discussions of readings, excercises, student reports on readings, guest lectures, and most importantly, field trips.
Be willing to think systemically and critically, be willing to think outside your own discipline and engage scholars, students, and materials from other fields.
Class assignments and grading
The only graded assignments are the written essays for each unit. But students must complete ALL assignments in order to receive a passing grade.