Courses

Here are some Bennington College courses that will be useful for many students with environmentally focused Plans.  This list focuses on classes that will be particularly interesting for plans focusing on environmental questions.  Many other classes will be important for developing the disciplinary toolboxes appropriate to specific plans.  Students developing Plans with an environmental focus should review all offerings in disciplines most relevant to their plan questions.

Course titles for Fall 2013 offerings (in no particular order, except that ‘2000-level’ classes are listed first) are linked to the Bennington College curriculum page; go there for full course descriptions. Lists for previous terms (further down this page) will give you a sense of what’s likely to be available over the longer term; check with instructors to find out when a course might be offered next.

Fall 2013

Puppets and Animation I (MA2325.01), Sue Rees

Global Problems, Local Solutions (ENV2115.01), Valerie Imbruce

Fundamentals of Advancing Public Action (APA2101.01),  Elizabeth Coleman

Diversity of Coral Reef Animals (BIO2339.01), Elizabeth Sherman

Solving the Impossible: Intractable Conflicts (MED2106.01), Susan Sgorbati

Foundations of Physical Science (SCMA2104.01),  Janet Foley (This course is designed to provide essential grounding in physics and chemistry in a concise and accessible format for students whose studies involve application of these disciplines.)

Computing in the Developing World (CS2108.01), Andrew Cencini

Forests: An Introduction to Ecology and Evolution (BIO2109.01), Kerry Woods

The Anthropology of Science and Technology (ANT2119.01), David Bond

Landforms and Surface Processes (ES2106.01), David DeSimone

Persons, Groups, and Environments (PSY2141.01), Ronald Cohen

Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship: Idea to Launch (MOD2144.01), Alison Dennis

Business, Ethics, & Society (MOD2146.03), Alison Dennis

Introduction to Applied Mathematics (MAT2111.01), Kathryn Montovan

Local Land-use History and Landscape Ecology (BIO4113.01), Kerry Woods

Agroecology (BIO4101.01),  Valerie Imbruce

Political Economy of the Environment (PEC4215.01), Robin Kemkes

Communicating Science to the Public (SCMA4106.01), Hugh Crowl

Nature in the Americas (ANT4215.01), David Bond

Spring 2013

  • Architecture I – Elements (ARC2101), Donald Sherefkin. Appropriate for any students interested in sustainable design in applied context.
  •  Bennington Farm to Plate (new course), Valerie Imbruce.  A research and research methods class focusing on food and farm issues in Vermont and the Bennington region. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.
  • Bennington Biodiversity Project (BIO/ENV 4303), Kerry Woods.  Field-based practicum in understanding structure and patterns of biodiversity while documenting diversity of Bennington’s campus. 2 credits, 2nd 7 wks. Prerequisite, prior work in college biology.
  • Biogeography, Paleoecology, and Human Origins (BIO/ENV 4317), Kerry Woods. Advanced study of macroevolutionary process and pattern – mass extinctions, phylogeny, connections between climate change, geology, and biodiversity.  Big picture biology. Prerequisite: previous work in college-level bio with solid exposure to selective theory.
  • Environmental back-of-the-envelope calculations (new course), Tim Schroeder.  This 1-CREDIT MODULE focuses on how to consume quantitative factoids and claims thoughtfully and critically.
  • Environmental History of Food and Farming (BIO/ENV 2204), Kerry Woods. Applying the tools of ecological science and historical analysis to understanding the complex history human food production. Prerequisite: none
  • Environmental Hydrology (ES/ENV 4105), Tim Schroeder. The science of water, with address of applied questions. Prerequisite: previous work in earth sciences
  • Environmental Law and Policy (ENV2230), Beth Goodman. An intro to modern environmental law with a focus on U.S. policy and legal structure. Students will study “basic themes that occur in virtually all environmental conflicts and how laws are being reinvented …  how to analyze judicial decisions and statutes, perform legal research, and write about it. Prerequisite: none
  • Environmental Studies Colloquium,  Janet Foley and Valerie Imbruce. Regularly offered, intensive study of a particular issue. This term, the focus will be on environmental contaminants and public health. Colloquium can be taken multiple times for credit. Prerequisite: Appropriate prior college work or permission of instructor.
  • Culture, Environment, and Sustainable Living (ANT/ENV 2117), Mirka Prazak. Exploring environmental issues through the tools and approaches of anthropology; how do social and cultural adaptations affect environment and sustainability?
  • Discourse and Thinking (EDU2520), Peter Jones. Not specifically focused on environmental issues, but developing important tools for the public arena: “the social organization of thinking. Discussion, conversation, confrontation, evaluation…”
  • Documentary Video Production: The Environment (new course), Kate Purdie.    An opportunity to study documentary-making with a specific focus on environmental themes. Prerequisite: Intro to video or equivalent.
  • Environmental Law and Policy, Beth Goodman.  An introduction to the legal and policy treatment of environmental issues using case studies from American law and jurisprudence. Prerequisite: none
  • Ethnobotany (new course), Valerie Imbruce. A cross-cultural studie of the relationships between plants and people.  Prerequisite: none
  • Field Course in Coral Reef Biology (BIO4239), Betsy Sherman.  Field course taught during FWT, includes focus on threats to coral reefs and their conservation. Prerequisite: permission of instructor
  • Fundamentals of Advancing Public Action (APA2101), Eileen Scully. Several of the themes explored here involve environmental issues and sustainability, directly or indirectly.
  • How Do Animals Work?  (BIO/ENV 2102), Betsy Sherman. Introduction to organismic biology of animals; with ‘Forests’ (fall term), important introduction to aspects of biology essential to understanding environmental issues..
  • Persons, Groups, and Environments, (PSY 2141) Ron Cohen.  An examination of psychological and sociological perspectives on social interaction and how they’re affected by place/environment. Themes include, “obedience, disobedience, and authority; social perception and cognition; attributions of causality and responsibility; conformity and resistance; social and commons dilemmas…”
  • The Interstitial: Boundaries, Screens and Gaps,  (new course), Donald Sherefkin. Investigating the nature of that which divides two realms, looking at  multiple scales, physical dividers between inside and outside, political divisions that demarcate separate territories…. Prerequisite: Advanced work in 3D visual arts.

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