EHM: Environmental Humanities

EHM 118: Introduction to the Natural History of Long Island

This multidisciplinary course focuses on the natural history of Long Island and the ecological analysis of local forests, salt marshes, marine intertidal systems and bogs. Students will become familiar with observation techniques and conceptual approaches used to investigate ecological patterns and processes in the local environment.

DEC:     E
SBC:     SNW

3 credits

EHM 201: Eco-Aesthetics in Art

The biology, scale, texture, and color of the natural world and their relation to Art, Architecture and Design. Explores concepts of aesthetic-ecological harmony (developing symbiotic relationships between human-made artifacts and naturally occurring environments) as well as the history of Environmental Art, Architecture and Design. Slide lectures, readings, and the creation of site development proposals will introduce students to the basic principles of aesthetics, ecology, environmental inventory, and environmental art/design.

DEC:     D
SBC:     ARTS

3 credits

EHM 310: Beyond Eden: Contact Narratives, Origins and Sin

This course surveys Pueblo, African, Spanish, British, and Shinnecock contributions to American literature from the 1500s through the 1900s. Students will extend their understanding of these diverse traditions by analyzing contemporary literature that addresses the themes of nature, origins and sin, and by engaging in their own creative work. A final project will require students to examine one tradition in depth, to demonstrate understanding of theoretical approaches to literature, and to engage in historical research.

Prerequisite: WRT 102

DEC:     K
SBC:     HFA+

3 credits

EHM 314: Civilizations and Collapse

A comparative study of the development and collapse of civilizations. Changing case studies drawn from prehistoric and historic societies in the Americas provide students with an in-depth understanding of the ways in which two non-Western cultures were affected by and attempted to cope with environmental change. Students will learn to think critically about these processes and will complete the course with an increased awareness of the diversity of human responses to climactic change.

Prerequisite: U3 or U4 status

DEC:     J
SBC:     GLO

3 credits

EHM 315: Ethnographic Field Methods

Ethnographic Field Methods will explore and apply the methodological tools used by anthropologists to gather and interpret data. Using classic ethnographic texts, students will study a variety of anthropological methods. Both qualitative and quantitative methods will be examined. Students will apply the methods studied in class to an independent research project throughout the semester.

Prerequisite: U3/U4 standing

Advisory Prerequisite: ANT 102

3 credits

EHM 320: Artists and Designers of the Environment and Ecosystems

The location of Stony Brook provides students with a unique opportunity to study the fertile atmosphere New York has provided for artists, architects and other intellectuals whose work centers on environmental concerns. Commencing with the work of Landscape Architect Frederick Law Olmsted, students will trace this rich history to post war artists including Alan Sonfist. We will also study the work of contemporary artists and designers, such as Jackie Brookner, and built works such as the Highline. Assignments will be centered on primary research into the creative process and sources of inspiration through photo documentation and interviews.

Prerequisite: U3 or U4 standing; completion of EHM 201 or another D.E.C. D or ARTS course

DEC:     G
SBC:     HFA+

3 credits

EHM 330: The Household in Non-Western Society

This course offers a survey of vernacular architecture in Non-Western societies worldwide. Students examine the design and meaning of vernacular architecture in a variety of cultures, exploring the ways in which construction practices and architectural design are shaped by cultural requirements and social mores. Special attention will be given to the future of vernacular architecture, and the ways in which housing may be designed to be both sustainable and culturally appropriate.

Prerequisite: U3 or U4 standing

Advisory Prerequisite: ANT 102, ANT 104, or ARH 205

DEC:     J

3 credits

EHM 331: Precolumbian Urbanism

An examination of the development of Precolumbian cities throughout the Americas. Specific attention will be paid to the interaction of urban development and environment, as well as the ways in which culture and cosmology impact architectural design. In depth consideration will be given to urban architecture of specific cultural groups in North, Central, and South America.

Prerequisite: U3/U4 standing

DEC:     J
SBC:     GLO

3 credits

EHM 386: The Maya

For many, the word 'Maya' evokes images of a long dead culture and ruined pyramids. This course uses that familiarity as a starting point and follows the history of the Maya from ancient times to the present. We begin with an overview of what scholars know about the ancient Maya before tracing their experiences since the Spanish conquest, placing emphasis on Spanish colonization in the lowland areas of Mesoamerica, Mexico's War of the Castas, and the diverse experiences of the modern Maya including the Guatemalan Civil War and the Chiapas uprising, the impact of foreign tourism, and the experience of transnational migration. Special attention will be paid to the ways in which environmental and agrarian issues have impacted this diverse group of peoples.

Advisory prerequisite: HIS 212

DEC:     J
SBC:     SBS+

3 credits

EHM 390: Humanity's Quest for Food Security: The Last 10,000 Years in the Turkana Basin

Explores human innovation in maintaining food security by examining the record of the Turkana Basin through the last 10,000 years of environmental change. Students will evaluate the sustainability of fishing-gathering-hunting strategies and consider mechanisms for the spread of herding into the Turkana Basin 4000 years ago as climate conditions became more arid. They will examine the development of diverse, complementary economic systems within the Turkana Basin from 3000 years ago to the present, and consider environmental and social impediments to farming in this area.

Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor/Study Abroad office

DEC:     F
SBC:     SBS

3 credits

EHM 391: Nature & Nurture for Sustainable Health: Humans, Livestock & Vectors in the Turkana Basin

The Turkana Basin offers unique opportunities to explore questions related to health, environment, gender, changing livelihoods and vector biology. The added nexus of ongoing climate change, environmental degradation and shifting demographics have complex, intertwined influences on humans and livestock. Through hands-on activities, students will probe issues related to biology and public health. Students will learn basic biology, including life cycles and evolutionary history of disease vectors and their impact on humans and livestock. They will also gain experience in designing, conducting, presenting and evaluating studies concerning current applied questions in the Turkana region, eastern Africa and the broader developing world.

Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor/Study Abroad office

DEC:     E
SBC:     STEM+

3 credits

EHM 392: Water Security and Sustainable Development in the Turkana Basin

Lake Turkana, the world's largest desert lake, is now the focus of numerous development projects that have serious environmental, social, and political impacts. These include multiple dams and plantations in Ethiopia on the Omo River, which furnishes 90% of Lake Turkana's water; the discovery of oil and a nearby large aquifer; and various other development initiatives. This course uses TBI's unique geographic and strategic position to examine some of the contemporary and conceptual issues relating to disputes over trans-boundary water resources, such as hydropolitics, processes of securitization and de-securitization, hydro-hegemony and patterns of conflict and cooperation.

Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor/Study Abroad office

SBC:     SBS+

3 credits

EHM 487: Research in Environmental Humanities

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

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

1-6 credits, S/U grading

EHM 488: Internship in Environmental Humanities

Participation in local, state, and national public and private agencies and organizations. May be repeated to a limit of 12 credits.

Prerequisites: U3/U4 status and permission of the Undergraduate Program Director

SBC:     EXP+

0-12 credits, S/U grading