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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Patrick John Christie
SIS 433
Seattle Campus

Environmental Degradation in the Tropics

Considers theories and controversies of environmental degradation in the tropics, ecological and social case studies of Central American rain forests and Southeast Asian coral reefs, and implications of environmental management techniques. Offered: jointly with ENVIR 433/SMA 433.

Class description

It is widely known that many complex, valuable tropical ecosystems are under enormous pressure, but the social and ecological conditions driving this degradation are poorly understood and widely debated. Is it primarily poverty or over consumption that is driving the process? The consequences for both the developing and developed world are becoming increasingly apparent. This course will be a multidisciplinary (social and natural science) exploration into the root causes and consequences of environmental degradation in the tropical world, including: 1) an introduction to the debate, 2) an exploration of rain forest and coral reef case studies, 3) an examination of controversial issues, and 4) a look at some environmental management techniques.

Meets I&S/NW and Writing credit requirements.

Student learning goals

Improved understanding of root causes for environmental degradation in the tropics

Improved understanding of controversies surrounding these root causes and management strategies

Improved understanding of relevant ecological and social conditions associated with tropical rain forests and coral reefs

Improved understanding of synthetic, multidisciplinary descriptions of environmental degradation

Improved understanding of our personal roles in environmental degradation

General method of instruction

Lectures, discussion, role play.

Recommended preparation

No required.

Class assignments and grading

Research project and term paper, quizzes.

Quality and timeliness of work, constructive participation in discussion.


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 M Jane Meyerding
Date: 01/30/2009