Living on the Edge
Physical edges have historically been used to define political and social boundaries, but with advances in technology and the rise of globalization, cultures’ physical and political borders have become less distinct and more porous. Today, in many parts of the world, we see rising conflicts between communities and the economic pressure coming from a global industrial sector that hopes to harvest the natural resources that surround them. This GPS seeks to explore the consequences of that edge of contact for both the natural populations of these regions (plant, animal, human) and the industries and resources that the world relies upon for advancement. Because this topic explores the intersection between community values and technological advancement, the course provides opportunities to explore both tangible “edges” (between geographic or physical boundaries, like coastlines, mountain ranges and/or tectonic plates) and conceptual “edges” (between negotiated or imposed categories of difference, like political boundaries, economic disparity and/or other social distinctions). The course focus thereby offers a base for a range of student projects related to conservation, climate change, energy use and natural resources, scientific discovery/exploration, poverty and welfare, health care and disease, and many more.
Students who complete this course will have learned about environmental science, human impacts on the earth, and how community growth and development managed those impacts; discovered ways in which communities identify their vulnerabilities and develop ways to become more resilient; analyzed real-world conflicts between human need and resource management, and understood and evaluated the primary positions of those debates; adopted a vocabulary of the key terms most used to negotiate these issues, and understood how those terms are contested and manipulated by various stakeholders in the public sphere; written—both to explore your relationship to class’s topics and to summarize, analyze, and evaluate specific course materials; learned to create and deliver effective presentations; and explored an “edge” of your choice and working in a team to learn more about that “edge” and how different cultures deal with it.
- Course takes place in C & D terms
- Professors: Suzanne LePage (Civil & Environmental Engineering) and Ryan Madan (Humanities & Arts)
- Class meeting three times each week : C term: Tuesday 2-4; Wednesday and Thursday 2-3.
D term: Tuesday 10-12; Wednesday and Thursday 10-11.
- Credits earned: This seminar sequence will count towards an Engineering Science (ES1000) and Humanities (HU1100) general elective credit.
Last modified: January 02, 2013 14:08:26