Biosphere, Atmosphere and Human Fears

In this course we will explore the complex ecological challenges faced in today’s world. We will examine causes, trends, impacts, and solutions to land use changes, climate variability, loss of habitat and biodiversity, and other similar ecological problems from scientific, social, ethical, philosophical, and technological perspectives so as to gain a more complete picture of such challenges and possible ways of addressing them.

Students in this course have...

  • Designed awareness campaigned for artificial light’s impact on sea turtles
  • Researched plans to minimize climate change effects on the cranberry industry
  • Worked with Heifer International to fight childhood malnutrition in Sierra Leone
  • Identified sustainable improvements for WPI such as electric vehicles and composting


  • Course takes place in A & B terms
  • Professors: Geoffrey Pfeifer (Humanities & Arts) and Marja Bakermans (Biology)
  • Class meeting: A Term Tuesday and Friday 11:00-12:50, B Term Monday and Thursday 9:00-10:50 
  • This seminar sequence will count towards a Biology (BB 1000) and Humanities (HU 1100) general elective course.
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