Please read carefully. Hopefully, this will answer all your
Department: Environmental Science, Policy, and
Management, University of California, Berkeley.
Department Office: 145 Mulford Hall; Student Services,
133 Mulford; Resource Center: 260 Mulford.
ESPM 160 Course Mailbox (GSIs): 140 Mulford (inner room).
Professor: Carolyn Merchant, 138 Giannini Hall, 642-0326;
Mailbox: 137 Mulford Hall. Office hours: Tu 4-5, W. 4-5 or by
Required Discussion Sections: To be in the class you must
attend and sign in for 1st 3 weeks. Discussion sections start in Week One
with Preface and Chapter 1 of course text, Major Problems in American Environmental History (2005), see below.
Three 1-hour lectures and one 1 and 1/2-hour discussion per
week. History of the American environment and the ways in which different
cultural groups have perceived, used, managed, and conserved it from
colonial times to the present. Cultures include American Indians and
European and African Americans. Natural resources development includes
gathering-hunting-fishing; farming, mining, ranching, forestry, and
urbanization. Changes in attitudes and behaviors toward nature and past and
present conservation and environmental movements are also examined.
Readings are from primary source documents supplemented by recent
Approved for the American Cultures requirement and for the
History major. Satisfies the Conservation and Resource Studies Social
Science or Humanities requirement and can be used in the CRS Area of
Interest. Fulfills breadth requirements for L&S and College of Engineering.
Text: Major Problems in American Environmental History, ed.
Carolyn Merchant. 3rd ed. Boston, MA: Wadsworth/Cengage, 2012. Available at the Cal Student Store, UC Berkeley campus. Copies on 2-hour reserve in the Bioscience
and Natural Resources Library, Valley Life Sciences Building.
ESPM 160 Study Guide
containing discussion questions can be accessed, downloaded, and printed from this web site.
to podcasts of all lectures.
Eight hours of work outside of class per week is expected (i.e.
2 hours per credit unit). There are fifteen chapters in the reader and
fifteen weeks in the course. We will read one chapter each week
(approximately 40 pages per week) in Major Problems in American
Environmental History. Each chapter is divided into primary source
documents and secondary source essays. You should read the documents in
preparation for the Monday lecture, the essays in preparation for the
Wednesday lecture, and be prepared to answer the questions in the Study
Guide during the discussion sections. Pop quizzes on the readings may be given in section. On Fridays required films and videos will be shown and one-page, single-spaced papers (5 total) on the contents are due every two to three weeks (see films and videos assignments and paper guidelines below).
Requirements and Grading
Your final grade will be composed of five parts:
- Participation in discussion sections is required.
(30% of the grade: 15% attendance/15%
participation and pop quizzes). The discussion sections are not simply reviews of the lectures. You should be prepared to discuss the assigned readings, be able to answer the weekly discussion questions in the Study Guide, and relate them to the lecture materials. Pop quizzes on the readings may be given in section. Attendance in sections will be recorded. Your Personal Environmental History, 1-2 pp. Due Wednesday of Week Two. See assignments on this web site.
- Midterm examination (20% of
grade). Monday of Week 8. The midterm will cover chapters 1-7 of
the text (Weeks 1-7) and will be based on the discussion questions in the
Study Guide and the films and videos. There will be a choice. The best way
to prepare is to attend the lectures and discussion sections each week and
prepare your answers to the discussion questions as you go along.
- Course project
(10% of grade). To be presented in
discussion sections starting week 4. Sign up in section for a chapter in
Major Problems during week 2 (2 persons only per week) and turn in a 1/2
page proposal for a creative project in discussion section Week 3. See assignments on this web site. Your creative projects must
have (a) historical authenticity and (b) environmental content, be relevant
to the chapter you have chosen, and include an index card detailing both
(a) and (b). Projects should be relevant to, but go beyond the chapter readings. Examples are: a short play; one or more poems, paintings, or
sculptures; a series of cartoons or jokes; a musical offering; an
environmental history of Berkeley, your home town, or region in words or
pictures; preparation or planting of historical or ethnically authentic
foods; a restored or reconstructed piece of technology; a journal of
personal responses to the readings; another project of your own
imagination. You get up to ten points if you do the project on time and
fulfill the above criteria; 0 points if you fail to do it or do it in a
sloppy or half-you know what-(hearted, of course) manner.
- Films and videos
(15% of grade). Five 1-page single-spaced critiques of the films. See assignments and paper guidelines on this web site.
- Final examination (25% of
grade). The examination questions will be based on the
readings, lectures, Study Guide questions, and the films and videos. It may include any or all of the following: essays (with choices), multiple-choice questions, IDs, and a map question.