Advanced Special Topics Courses (390’s and 490’s) – Spring 2019

Spring 2019 Offerings

Courses numbered in the 390’s and 490’s are offered only once or twice and focus on a specialized topic. These courses are rarely appropriate for first-year students.

Please consult WebAdvisor for the days, times, and locations of these sections.

Professor Miller
CliFi: Climate Fiction & Film
4 credits
A seminar that explores the difficulties of imagining and representing climate change. Students examine literature, film, and other media to understand how art and popular culture depict climate change, and how those depictions affect public perception of its social, political, and ethical significance. Prerequisite: One of ENGL 110, ENVSC 110, or ENGL 209.
Professor Pearce
Wildlife Ecology/Conservation
4 credits
A study of ecological and sociological problems and solutions in the conservation of wildlife with emphasis on principles of conservation, ecology, and management. Lectures identify historical and contemporary people and events that have shaped wildlife ecology and conservation. Students debate a range of positions related to the history, policies, laws, values, ethics, and philosophy of wildlife management, critically evaluate a variety of wildlife ecology and management principles, practices and issues, and develop critical thinking and communication skills relevant to the ecology and conservation of wildlife. Prerequisites: ENVSC 110.
Professor Bethurem
US Government & Environment
4 credits
A survey of environmental policy (e.g. Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act) in the US, and the role of different scales and branches of government in implementing and enforcing environmental regulations. Students examine both the mechanisms of specific environmental policies and the policy approaches that govern large sectors of environment, economy, and life in the US (e.g. Energy, Water, and Climate policy). Students explore the political, socio-economic, and historical aspects of environmental regulation, and the impacts of policies over time. Students learn how to use policy analysis to select one policy solution over another when dealing with tough environmental problems.
Professor Simon
Glacial Geology
2 credits
An investigation of glacial deposits in northwestern Pennsylvania. Field and laboratory skills are applied to the study of textural, mineralogic, and stratigraphic characteristics in these sediments. Students collect lithologic data and map the spatial distribution of lithofacies to identify regional depositional environments. May only be taken on a Credit/No Credit basis. Prerequisites: GEO 110.
Professor Runestad
Medical Anthro/Health in Asia
4 credits
An examination of ethnographic research of health and illness in Asia. Students consider non-western perspectives of the body, health, wellness, and illness through analyses of medical anthropology works on Japan and China. Topics may include infectious disease, addiction, and mental health.  Students learn to draw connections between the health of individuals, population health, and policies created by governing bodies while also developing a sense of how medical anthropology data are interpreted and written. Must be taken on the letter-grade basis. Pre-requisite: GHS 130 or INTST 110 recommended but not required. Note: The course will count as a GHS minor capstone and will count toward the “Cultures and Society” dimension in the GHS major and minor.
Professor Ozorak
Food Justice
4 credits
An exploration of “wicked problems” in food justice, food sovereignty, sustainability and waste, using psychological and systemic models of decision-making and activism. The course is discussion-oriented, with emphasis on primary sources, and includes a community-based learning component. Prerequisites: One core course in psychology from the Human Processes (160s) category and Psychology 206; or Psychology 480. Note: This course will count towards the the Structures of Power and Privilege (SPP) requirement for Psychology majors.
Professor Caldwell
Animal Behavior
4 credits
A study of animal behavior from a psychological perspective that investigates the mechanism, development, function, and evolution of various behaviors including reproduction, parenting, predator-prey interactions, communication, and learning. The control of these behaviors by the brain is discussed and multiple animal models are examined to compare the behaviors of different species. Current research practices in animal behavior are also explored and evaluated. Prerequisites: One of the Following: PSYCH 150, PSYCH 152, PSYCH 154, or NEURO 110. Note: This course also will count as an elective in the “Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience” category for Neuroscience majors.
Special Topics
4 credits
Professor Boynton
Enigma of Evil and Suffering
4 credits
An investigation of one of the oldest conundrums of human thought, unde malum or from where does evil come? Students engage the challenge of evil that tends to shape, like few other issues, the character of human experience. The course emphasizes our contemporary context that arguably contains suffering unsurpassed by that of previous historical epochs. Students read the writings of past and contemporary philosophers, theologians, and other thinkers who have struggled with the question of evil and suffering. The course is linked to an optional 2-credit Experiential Learning Seminar to Poland and Germany over Spring Break, March 15 through March 24, 2018.