New or Changed Courses - Fall

(under construction, last updated 3/14/18)


ENVR, ERTH to ENVS transition

ENVS 120 Social Systems and the Environment (replaces ENVR 105)
This course is a multidisciplinary introduction to understanding the effects of human actions and social systems on the natural world. We will emphasize science and social-science based approaches to understanding environmental problems and evaluating possible solutions to them. We will begin by examining basic concepts regarding social and natural systems. These concepts will then be applied as we evaluate and understand issues of environmental quality and stresses on natural resources. Throughout the course we will pay close attention to how human social, political, economic, and ethical institutions influence our interactions with natural systems. This course is intended to introduce Environmental Science majors and prospective majors to the social science aspects of environmental science as well as educate students from other disciplines.    

ENVS 121 Earth Systems Science and the Environment (replaces ERTH 121)
This course provides an overview of the Earth and its history from a systems perspective, exploring the connections among and co-evolution of patterns and processes among the solid earth, atmosphere, oceans, and life. Students will practice observing and thinking like an Earth scientist in an integrated and immersive lecture/discussion/laboratory/field experience. Topics vary by instructor and may include: earth system history and geologic time, ocean processes, geomorphology and earth surface processes, surface and groundwater hydrology, earth's climate, biodiversity through space and time, tectonics, and earth materials. Required field trips outside of class may be scheduled.

ENVS 250 Geographic Information Systems (replaces ERTH 333)
A comprehensive approach to cartography and spatial analysis, including the use of the global positioning system, computer-aided mapping and geographic information systems. Lecture, field and laboratory experience with an emphasis on class and individual projects.

ENVS 304W Politics of Environmental Ethics (replaces POLI 304W)
Critical and in-depth analysis of the human/nature relationship, its impact upon political theory and ethics, as well as its larger ramifications for social and moral life generally. Prereq: Consent of Instructor

ENVS 327W Water Resources (replaces ENVR 327W)
This course takes a systems approach to examining the water resources of the US West.  Emphasis is placed on evaluating water resources from a variety of scales and perspectives, using the Colorado, Klamath, and Columbia River basins as case studies.  Through intensive reading and discussion students will explore how earth systems (water cycle, climate, etc.) and human systems and cultures (economics, law, policy, etc.) interact and influence water resources issues in the Western US.  Students will expand on these case studies by preparing a literature review or research paper on a topic of interest. Prereq: ENVS 120 and ENVS 121

ENVS 347 Earth's Climate: Past, Present, and Future (replaces ERTH 347)
This course focuses on the fundamentals of Earth's climate system and how it has varied through time. Students will learn how Earth historians use the rock record to determine past climate states as well as explore modern anthropogenic climate change. Topics will include: geologic time, carbon cycle, Milankovitch cycles, climate models and proxies, climate history. Prereq: ENVS 121

ENVS 380W Research in Forest Management and Policy (new)
Forest Management and Policy is a research intensive course examining contemporary issues in forest management and forest conservation, from inventorying for traditional silvicultural practices to variable retention techniques informed by contemporary forest ecology.   Adaptation to climate change, wildfire, pathogens, and other disturbances, as well as the economics and politics of third party certification are other topics rich for exploration. Taking advantage of the diversity of Oregon's forested landscapes and ownerships and close proximity to state government, the course incorporates field trips, data collection and data analysis to understand the challenges facing public and private foresters, citizens, and forest lands for which they care. Data will be derived from existing data sets, collected field data, surveys, interviews, transcripts, and documents.  Students will be expected to write and present reports to disseminate their findings. Prereqs: ENVS 120, ENVS 121

ENVS 381 Research in Spatial Science (replaces ENVR 374: Advanced Spatial Science)
Research in Spatial Science will enable students to expand their spatial science skills by applying them to real world problem solving in Environmental Science.  It will focus on quantitative assessment, spatial data interpolation, uncertainty tracking and analysis, spatial modeling, and ArcMap competency by building upon skills learned through ENVS 250.  Students will also gain compentancy in GIS programming, ArcModel Builder, advanced spatial data manipulation, and project management. Prereq: ENVS 250

ENVS 382 Research in Dendrochronology (replaces ENVR 374: Dendrochronology)
Dendrochronology, or the science of tree rings, is a fascinating and easily accessible form of proxy data used to interpret physical, biological and cultural events in the past. By dating tree rings to their exact year of formation you can discern temporal and spatial patterns of a variety of processes impacting trees including, vegetation dynamics, climate, air pollution, landslides, glacial advance, lake level change, fire, and insect outbreaks. In this course you will get an introduction to dendrochronology, including the breadth of the field and the mechanics of the data collection and analysis of tree rings.  Through lecture, discussion, lab and field exercises, and collaborative research students will learn the principles of dendrochronology and how they can be applied to understand the environmental information a tree records in its annual growth rings. Students will employ their dendroecological knowledge and skills to complete a research project. Prereqs: ENVS 121

ENVS 495W Senior Capstone Course in Environmental Science (replaces ENVR 495W/496W Senior Seminar in Environmental Science)
The capstone course provides Environmental Science majors with the opportunity to cultivate professional work habits necessary for success by applying and integrating skills and knowledge developed in the Environmental Science curriculum via a semester-long investigation of a major topic in the discpline. Students will focus on writing a literature review on the capstone topic, and then conceptualize, research, and present an independent focus paper based on the literature review. Prereq: Senior majoring in Environmental Science.

New Courses

POLI 299: Topics in Politics: Ethics and Politics (1)

This course is an introduction to questions of ethics and politics. Topics to be discussed may include justice, the nature of the good, different conceptions of happiness, virtue, ethical theory, moral relativism, feminist ethics, liberty, equality, and the foundations of rights, as well as particular applied topics in moral and political philosophy (such as economic justice and the ethics of war.) Will be offered in future semesters under a new course number.

Course Changes

"One Time Only" Courses

"One Time Only" Courses with MOI Designation

JAPN 399: Topics in Japanese Studies

01: Visual Narratives: From Emakito Manga (IT)

In the past few decades, the visual culture of Japan has become one of the most recognizable forms of media in the world. Visual narratives are exported from Japan to every corner of the globe, in the form of comic books (manga), cartoons (anime), and video games—all forms of media that tell stories through a combination of text and image. In recent years, cultural historians have taken to emphasizing Japan’s deep history of visually-oriented storytelling, from the aristocratic picture-scrolls (emaki) of the 10th century to the mass-produced manga of today. The connection between these forms, however, is far from clear, if any substantial connection exists at all. In this class, students will explore how words and pictures have been employed to create narratives across literary and visual forms, with results that range from the synchronous to the contradictory. The focus will be on Japanese visual narratives, including picture-scrolls, picture-books (kusazōshi), and manga, with all readings provided in English. This class will combine literary and art historical methods of analysis as a means of approaching a variety of visual and literary materials.

"One Time Only" Courses with Writing-Centered Designation

Special Topics Courses

ARTS 342: Topics in Sculpture

01: Multimedia Sculpture

ARTS 342 will cover and build upon techniques explored in Intro to Sculpture (including steel construction, wood construction, and mold-making) and will use these skills to explore multi-media sculpture (including interactivity, sound, movement and duration, among others).

ENGL 319: Literary Genre/Interpretation

01: 19th Century Literature, "Our Monsters, Ourselves"

In his essay “Monster Culture (Seven Theses),” Jeffrey Jerome Cohen argues that one cultural role of the monster is to “police the borders of the possible,” and that the exclusion of the monstrous “enables the formation of all kinds of identities—personal, national, cultural, economic, sexual, universal, particular….” In this class, we will interrogate some of the many ways in which European and American writers of the 19th century imagined encounters with extreme otherness: from ghosts and demons to murderers and lunatics; from the wilderness to the city; from the far corners of the earth to the dark corners of the psyche. We will seek to re-conceptualize “the monstrous” not as something fixed and forbidden, but as something dynamic and relational—alluring as well as frightening—which plays a critical role in creating and sustaining the very in-group from which it is excluded. Put another way: “the border of the possible” is always a contested territory. Wherever we encounter such a border, we will breach it, ask why it was drawn up in the first place, and try to imagine a new map in which it is redrawn—or even erased.
The class will focus on short fiction, with some forays into nonfiction and poetry. We will read writers such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, Charles Baudelaire, Emily Dickinson, Kate Chopin, Nikolai Gogol, George Eliot, Harriet Jacobs, and Oscar Wilde. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein will not be assigned, but is understood to be an ur-text for this whole field of inquiry, and therefore recommended as pre-requisite reading

FREN 438: Topics in French Cinema

01: African Film 

This course focuses on pressing political, socio-cultural, economic and historical issues raised by African  filmmakers from before colonization to the present. It aims to offer students a cogent analytical approach to  a wide-variety of films by filmmakers from all over the continent and the diaspora. It examines the relationship  between cinema and other forms of creative practice in Africa, in particular, art, history, literature and oral traditions.  The course also explores the significance and use of cinema in juxtaposition with cultural and social development.    Taught in English

 HIST 131C: Historical Inquiry (1, Thinking Historically)

01 and 02: The Pacific War, 1931-1945

World War II in the Pacific was engaged most directly in 1937 and 1941, when China and then the United States declared war against Japan. However, for many people in East Asia, the conflict began as early as 1931, when Japan occupied and colonized NE China (Manchuria). The war came to a dramatic close in 1945 with the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. This course engages the Pacific War from the Asian viewpoint, focusing in particular on the experiences of the people involved, soldiers and civilians alike. It will also consider how memories of the war, differently constructed on different sides, have shaped contemporary histories of Pacific Rim nations.

MATH 376: Topics in Mathematics: Probability and Computing (1)

This course will provide an introduction to probabilistic techniques with a focus on random algorithms and probabilistic analysis.  We assume only an elementary background in discrete mathematics (e.g. covered in M251W Fundamentals of Advanced Mathematics) and will give a rigorous mathematical treatment of the required probability theory with numerous examples and applications.  The view is that, in order to best apply and understand the random algorithms, a firm grasp of the underlying probability theory and rigorous techniques are necessary.  Most of the exercises in the course will be theoretical but will also include some programming (probably in R) exercises.

SOC 358: Special Topics in Sociology

02: Black Lives Matter

This course explores one of today’s most significant movements for racial equity: Black Lives Matter.  What began as a hashtag has become a movement to oppose white supremacy in all of its forms of state violence and work for the liberation of Black people in the United States and beyond.  We will utilize Critical Race Theory and a sociological imagination to understand this social movement, including its origins, historical tradition, tactics, consequences and outcomes.  Through examining social resistance, students will consider how movements for racial justice—historical and contemporary—contribute to identity construction, the re-writing of a “people’s history”, social justice, and the reclamation of democracy.  This course counts toward elective credit in Sociology and American Ethnic Studies.

THTR 318W: Theatre and Culture: Epic Theatre Influences -- Feminist, Queer, and Latinx Performance (1, Writing Centered)

This course will explore the ways in which Feminist, LGBTQ, and Latinx playwrights, performers, and ensembles have further developed the concepts of Epic Theatre in order to render visible normative constructs of race, class, gender, sexuality, and ability; and how Epic Theatre has been used to celebrate and advocate through performance. Artists and theorists will include Bertolt Brecht, Walter Banjamin, Herbert Blau, Patrice Pavis, Elinor Fuchs, Kaja Silverman, Carol Churchill, Adrienne Kennedy, Cherrie Moraga, Maria Irene Fornes, Luis Valdez, Nuyorican Theatre, Split Britches, Alina Toyano (aka Carmelita Tropicana), Susan Lori Parks, Sue Ellen Case, Kate Davy, and Pamela Robertson.