Dec 03, 2020  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog
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ANTH 3316 - History of Human Environmental Impacts


Humans exist as active members of an ecosystem. There is increasing awareness that human actions have changed the environment and continue to do so. While ecologists, climatologists, and engineers work to address current and future environmental problems, the discipline of archaeology can provide a time depth and crosscultural breadth of perspective on how such issues have impacted human societies. This course will investigate and critically assess the claim that environmental and ecological factors have played a key role in the dissolution of once thriving civilizations. Examples will be drawn from across time and space, specifically emphasizing the archaeological record and the perspective it provides on a problem that is of critical relevance today. In this course students will: 1) Learn how humans have engaged with theirenvironments over the course of our species’ evolutionary history; 2) Critically assess contemporary discussions of collapse and ecocide by contextualizing humanenvironment interactions within the frameworks of resilience, niche construction, and ecosystem engineering; 3) Use ‘lessons from the past’ to inform contemporary ecological debates; 4) Objectively evaluate the factual basis of various claims made about how humans affect, have affected, and likely will affect their environments; 5) Actively engage with the community to build sustainable gardens. Max hours: 3 Credits. Semester Hours: 3 to 3



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