EHI: Ecological Studies and Human Impact

EHI 310: Restoration Ecology

A study of the rationale, principles, practices, and legal, social, economic, and ethical issues associated with restoring the structure and function of degraded ecological systems. Restoration ecology draws heavily from ecological theory, and the process of restoring a site can in fact provide unique experimental opportunities to test how well ecological theories predict the responses of natural systems. Important ecological concepts applied in restoration include disturbances, succession, fragmentation, system function, as well as, emerging areas such as assembly theory and alternative stable states.

Prerequisite: MAT 125 or MAT 131; BIO 201

3 credits

EHI 311: Ecosystem Based Management

Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM) is an emerging management paradigm for balancing ecosystem health and human activities. EBM stresses that management must 1) integrate ecological, social, economic, and institutional views, 2) produce sustainable results, 3) consider uncertainty and risks in making management decisions, and 4) utilize adaptive management practices. This course will examine these principles and identify ways they may be put into practice.

Prerequisite: SBC 111 or ENS 101; BIO 201

3 credits

EHI 321: Human Reproductive Ecology

Course builds on behavioral ecology to focus on why humans make the reproductive choices they do and examines cross cultural and individual differences in fertility, mortality and population growth. Course is organized around current debates in physiological, behavioral, and social aspects of human reproduction. A background in reproductive ecology allows students to think empirically about the demographic component of human/environment interactions, and to better model sustainable futures.

Prerequisite: BIO 201; SBC 115 or SBC 204

3 credits

EHI 322: Human Ecology

Human ecology investigates how humans and human societies interact with nature and with their environment. Course first introduces the concepts and methods of human ecology. Following this foundation, the course will give special emphasis to empirical examples, case studies and lessons from history. The course will focus on individuals, communities and traditional societies. Human Ecology compliments Human Geography, which studies patterning at the larger scale.

Prerequisite: SBC 116 or ANT 102; BIO 201

3 credits

EHI 326 ​- E: Conservation Genetics

This course is an introduction to genetics taught in the context of conservation. The course will cover a basic introduction to Mendelian, molecular, population, evolutionary and meta-population genetics, and then examine specific applications of these concepts to topics in conservation biology.

Prerequisite: MAT 125 or MAT 131; BIO 201

3 credits

EHI 340 ​- H: Ecological and Social Dimensions of Disease

The ecology and evolutionary biology of disease will be examined to provide a more general context for human diseases. Pathogens may have large effects on many different types of organisms, from bacteria to plants to humans. We will build on this biological background to examine the social dimensions of disease in human populations and societies, including historical, political and economic aspects to issues of money, power, sexuality, international development and globalization. Specific case studies (the chestnut blight in North America, AIDS in Africa, etc.) will be used to examine concepts and principles in detail in a real-world context. This course will investigate basic fundamentals and recent research on these issues in a unified framework.

Prerequisite: BlO 201

3 credits

EHI 342 ​- H: Materials in the Natural and Human World

Course explores in depth the origin, composition, use, bioavailability, mobility, persistence, and fate of selected materials and chemical compounds. Compounds or materials, such as DDT, aldicarb, freon, plastics, organotin, nuclear fuel, antibiotics, and carbon nanotubes, are used to illustrate how man-made substances once released into the environment can lead to environmental degradation, ecological degradation, and/or public health issues.

Prerequisite: ENV 115 or CHE 131; BIO 201

3 credits

EHI 343 ​- H: Sustainable Natural Resources

This course explores in depth the economic viability, social acceptance, and potential of sustainable natural resources to replace non-renewable resources. Examples are drawn from water resource management, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and renewable energy resources (wind, solar, biofuel, etc..). There is particular emphasis on examples of integrated, participatory and sustainable natural resources management project in less developed countries.

Prerequisite: SBC 111 or ENS 101; ENV 115 or CHE 131; BIO 201

3 credits

EHI 487: Research in Ecosystems and Human Impact

Qualified advanced undergraduates may carry out individual research projects under the direct supervision of a faculty member. May be repeated.

1-6 credits, S/U grading