Social processes by which environmental conditions are transformed into environmental problems; scientific claims, popularization of science, issue-framing, problem-amplification, economic opportunism, and institutional sponsorship. Examination of social constructs such as ecosystem, community, and free-market economy. Use of human ecology to assess whether the current framing of environmental problems promotes ecological adaptability. Offered: jointly with F M 271/ENVIR 271; W.
The key aspect of this course surrounds investigation of the social processes by which environmental conditions are transformed into environmental problems. Case studies will be employed to illustrate the roles played by scientific claims, the popularization of science, issue framing, problem amplification, economic opportunism and institutional sponsorship. Case studies will provide the foundation for class-based discussions focused on the processes through which environmental problems are legitimated and regulated by social constructs such as ecosystem, community, and the free market economy. Using examples from issues related to forests and associated natural resources, students will study and discuss human ecology as a means of assessing whether current institutional framing of environmental problems promotes ecological adaptability.
Class Assignments and Grading