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Relevant Courses

Topic relativity suggests how a course relates to climate change. High relativity course uses climate change as a central focus for its course framework; medium relativity course has some in-depth discussion about climate change; low relativity course touches on general information about climate change.

Fall 2019

AFS 113: Themes in African Studies
Instructor: Jeffrey Ahlman
Topic Relativity: Medium
This one-credit, eight-week course will ask the question of what it means to study Africa. In Fall 2019, this course will do so through the theme of climate change.

ANT/ENV 224: Anthropos in the Anthropocene: Human-Environment Relation in a Time of Ecological Crisis
Instructor: Colin Hoag
Topic Relativity: High
This course examines the changing ways that “Anthropos” is being understood in an era of rapid global climate change and our planet’s sixth mass extinction event, both driven by human activities.

ANT 229: Africa and the Environment
Instructor: Colin Hoag
Topic Relativity: Medium
In Western discourses, African environments are defined by violence, famine and degradation—symptoms of African cultures that resist Western values such as private property, democracy and environmentalism. This course encourages students to think critically about such portrayals by learning about specific environments in Africa and how humans have interacted with them across time.

ART 163 Section 2: Drawing I
Instructor: Alexis A. Callender
Topic Relativity: Medium
The class methods will be developed around the idea of Networked Narratives, building a narrative through a series of drawings that consider cycles of consumption, production, where our things are made and how they are consumed.

ART 380 Section 1: Architectural Design Studio: Transient Spaces - Terrestrial Bodies
Instructor: Elisa Kim
Topic Relativity: Medium
This studio probes the spatial qualities of the moving body—as a site of both deep interiority and hyper-connectivity. In a return to the territory of the ground (see ARS 280), and within the larger context of ecologically and geopolitically induced migration and displacement, this studio investigates themes related to mobility and transience and the ways in which the body traverses territories of ground.

BIO 131 Section 1 and 2: Biodiversity, Ecology and Conservation Laboratory
Instructor: Marney C. Pratt
Topic Relativity: Medium
This course will monitor macroinvertebrates in Mill River and use data from 2015 on. This course will talk about how changes in climate affect the river ecosystem.

BIO 268: Marine Ecology
Instructor: Paulette Peckol
Topic Relativity: Medium
The oceans cover three-quarters of Earth's surface. They serve as an enormous carbon sink. Ocean acidification, rising sea level and warming water temperatures all have major impacts on marine life. This course considers these issues in presentations, DVDs, student projects and field work.

CHM 111 Section 1: Chemistry I: General Chemistry
Instructor: Katherine Lynn Queeney
Topic Relativity: Low
This is a general chemistry course focused on molecular structure. This course always include a class on how CO2, as well as gases like methane and water, are greenhouse gases.

EAL 352 Section 1: Food for Thought: Chinese Language, Culture, Environment and Health
Instructor: Sujane Wu
Topic Relativity: Medium
This course is an advanced-high Chinese language course that contextualizes learning through textual-visual analysis of food-related topics.

EGR 315: Ecohydrology
Instructor: Andrew Guswa
Topic Relativity: Medium
The modeling project that investigates vegetation health response to changing precipitation patterns related to climate change.

EGR 390: Environmental Engineering Systems and Processes
Instructor: Niveen Ismail
Topic Relativity: High
The class will use data sets from federally funded projects, government agencies and peer reviewed literature to understand and address "grand challenges" facing environmental engineers. Units will examine energy and water fluxes tied to climate change, how food production and land use impact biogeochemical processes and water supply which can also be linked to climate change. Students will develop an NSF-style grant proposal related to addressing one of the environmental engineering grand challenges.

ENG 112 Section 1: Reading Contemporary Poetry
Instructor: Matt Donovan
Topic Relativity: Low
An additional workshop by Camile Dungy will afford an opportunity for the students to explore the efficacies and vicissitudes of political poetry as well as collaborative and alternative methods of employing poetic form and voice beyond written text.

ENG 118 Section 6: Colloquia in Writing Water: Science and Politics
Instructor: Naila F. Moreira
Topic Relativity: Medium
This course primarily provides systematic instruction and practice in reading and writing academic prose, with emphasis on argumentation.

ENG 135: Introduction to Writing Creative Nonfiction: Chinese-English Literary and Cultural Translation
Instructor: Sabina Knight
Topic Relativity:Low
This course investigates the art of translation and the issues it raises in a variety of public-facing genres (memoir, narrative nonfiction, journalism, social media and multimedia projects). Discussion in Chinese and English. Chinese fluency required. 

ENG 290 Section 1: Crafting Creative Nonfiction The Art of Writing about Science
Instructor: Russell G. Rymer
Topic Relativity: Medium
A writer’s workshop designed to explore the complexities and delights of creative nonfiction.

ENV 101: Sustainability and Social-Ecological Systems
Instructor: Alex Barron
Topic Relativity: High
This course explores and asks how we can remodel our social-ecological systems to build a more sustainable and resilient future. All over the globe, humans have transformed the environment and have sometimes created catastrophic dynamics within social-ecological systems. Scientists have studied these phenomena for decades, alerting both the general public and policy-makers of the consequences of our actions. However, despite convincing evidence of environmental degradation, humans continue to radically transform their environment.

ENV 311: Interpreting and Communicating Environmental Information
Instructors: Susan Stratton Sayre and Naila Moreira
Topic Relativity: High
This course focuses on the interpretation and communication of environmental issues and solutions from multi- and interdisciplinary perspectives. Using contemporary environmental topics as a foundation, this course emphasizes careful assessment of both message and audience to design effective communication strategies for complex topics. Students develop the ability to read, interpret, and critique environmental research from a variety of disciplines; to consider the needs and motivation of their audience; to develop evidence-based arguments tailored to a particular audience; and to articulate those arguments clearly and concisely. 

ESS 550: Nutrition and Health
Instructor: Barbara Brehm-Curtis
Topic Relativity: Medium
This basic nutrition course offers occasional opportunities to discuss the impact of agricultural practices and diet on greenhouse gas production and environmental sustainability.

FRN 220 Section 3: High Intermediate French
Instructor: Christiane Métral
Topic Relativity: Low
Review of communication skills through writing and class discussion. Materials include a movie, a comic book, a play and a novel.

FRN 120 Section 2: Intermediate French
Instructor: Martine Gantrel-Ford
Topic Relativity: Low
An intermediate language course designed for students with two or three years of high school French.

FYS 117: The Bible and the American Public Square
Instructor: Joel S. Kaminsky
Topic Relativity: Medium
This course will spend five to six class meetings exploring the Bible and environmental/ecological concerns.

FYS 1XX: Language of Love: Courtship Communication Across the Animal Kingdom
Instructor: Daniel Vahaba 
Topic Relativity: Low
This biological sciences course will include readings about how climate change is impairing reproduction in songbirds and fishes (and perhaps other relevant species/behavior).

FYS 151: Our Mill River
Instructor: Reid-Bertone-Johnson
Topic Relativity: Medium
This course will be discussing climate change impacts on the Mill River system. Topics of interest include erosion along river, sediment load, and land use that borders the Mill River.

GEO 101: Introduction to Earth Processes and History
Instructor: Sarah Mazza
Topic Relativity: High
This course will provide a foundation for understanding the processes that formed the Earth and that have continue to change the planet during it's 4.57 billion year history. From volcanoes to glaciers, we will learn how to "read" the Earth. With the Year on Climate Change initiative, this course will discuss ice ages and Milankovitch cycles and why the climate historically changes. It will discuss the evidence regarding anthropogenic climate change, including climate models and predicting climate. The final section will discuss what we can do to mitigate climate change

ITL 205 Section 1: Savoring Italy: Recipes and Thoughts on Italian Cuisine and Culture
Instructor: Giovanna Bellesia
Topic Relativity: Low
This course examines Italy’s varied geography, history and artistic tradition to further appreciate Italy’s rich, delicious, yet simple cuisine.

LSS 260: Visual Storytelling
Instructor: Reid Bertone-Johnson
Topic Relativity: High
This course will be using graphics to tell compelling stories about alternative transportation and issues of access to public transportation. These issues will be placed in the context of oil dependence and our need to become less automobile dependent in general.

LSS 389 Section 1: Broad-Scale Design and Planning Studio
Instructor: Reid W. Bertone-Johnson
Topic Relativity: High
In a design studio format, the students analyze and propose interventions for the built environment on a broad scale, considering multiple factors (including ecological, economic, political, sociological and historical) in their engagement of the site.

PHY 118: Physics
Instructor: Nathanael Fortune
Topic Relativity: Medium
An investigation of the links between fluids, waves, electricity, and magnetism, culminating in an investigation of how imbalances in the absorption and emission of electromagnetic radiation—in particular, visible and infrared light—due to rising CO2 levels lead to rising planetary temperatures.

POR 110: Beginning Portuguese
Instructor: Marguerite I. Harrison
Topic Relativity: Low
Although this is an introductory language course, this course will include some basic materials that introduce students to vocabulary and key concepts related to the theme of climate change.

PSY 240 Section 1: Health Promotion
Instructor: Benita Jackson
Topic Relativity: High
This course will incorporate the UN's Fall 2018 report on climate change as a backdrop for helping students think about and act upon health promotion locally, and connect environmental health studies with the empirical literature on psychological factors like identity, emotion, motivation on message framing and behavior change.

PSY 340: Psychosocial Determinants of Health
Instructor: Benita Jackson
Topic Relativity: Medium
Students will write an NIH-style research grant proposal. Climate change is a huge psychosocially-mediated determinant of health; this course will have students write their proposals on links between the climate crisis and human health.

REL 107: Spiritual But Not Religious
Instructors: David J. Howlett, Andy Rotman
Topic Relativity: Medium
The course looks at those who self-identify as Spiritual But Not Religious (SBNR), and in one section this course considers the ways that some SBNRs consider the task of combating climate change as a spiritual practice.

SDS 192: Introduction to Data Science
Instructor: Ben Baumer
Topic Relativity: Low
This course will be using climate data from the MacLeish Field Station.

SWG 230: Gender, Land, and Food Movements
Instructor: Elisabeth Brownell Armstrong
Topic Relativity: High
This course looks at gender-based movements for sustainable land use and environmental social justice.


Interterm 2020

IDP 116: Design Thinking
Instructor: Emily Norton
Topic Relativity: Medium
Students will develop a critical lens on design and an understanding of the implications of design in responsibly shaping the world around us. Students will explore what it means to re-frame challenges as opportunities, ask essential questions and communicate ideas through new means of storytelling. 

LSS 110: Getting to Know and Learning to Interpret Your New England Landscape
Instructors: Carol Berner, Reid Bertone-Johnson
Topic Relativity: Medium
This MacLeish Field Station class includes exploration of ways in which climate change impacts the local environment; as well as sustainability approaches embodied in the Bechtel Environmental Classroom. 


Spring 2020

BIO 131: Biodiversity, Ecology and Conservation Laboratory
Instructor: Marney C. Pratt
Topic Relativity: High
In the spring, this course focuses on monitoring invasive insects on hemlock trees and follows the timing of spring leaf out (leaf phenology) of invasive versus native shrubs.

CHM 224: Chemistry IV: Introduction to Inorganic and Physical Chemistry
Instructor: Katherine Lynn Queeney
Topic Relativity: Medium
This is the second semester of general chemistry, and one of the main topics is thermodynamics. This course always spends some time looking at energy production via fossil fuel combustion and comparing that to e.g. fuel cell chemistry, including analysis of various fuels for their energy content per amount of CO2 produced.

ENG Seminar: Nature’s Nation: American Literature of the Environment
Instructor: Rick Millington
Topic Relativity: High
How have American writers characterized this relationship over time? In this lecture-series course, members of the English department will use the work of American writers to think through these questions in light of climate change.

EGR 100: Engineering for Everyone: Sustainable Water Resources
Instructor: Andrew Guswa
Topic Relativity: High
Students will read case studies and create engineering designs related to water resources. Through these efforts, they will have conversations about resiliency, climate change, and designing for an uncertain future.

ENV 323: Climate and Energy Policy
Instructor: Alex Barron
Topic Relativity: High
This course examines climate change and energy policy from several perspectives including scientific, economic, equity, political and practical considerations. Students work in small groups on projects in an active policy area and prepare a briefing and paper that is often shared with actual policymakers. Topics may include: carbon pricing, climate regulations and/or the Green New Deal.

IDP 316: Critical Design Thinking
Instructor: Emily Norton
Topic Relativity: Medium
This 4-credit interdisciplinary project-based course emphasizes the human-centered design process as well as critical social theory on the relationships between people and their contexts.

LAS 301 Section 1: Seminar: Topics in Latin American and Latino/a Studies Contesting Space: Art, Ecology and Activism
Instructor: Dana Leibsohn
Topic Relativity: Medium
This course centers upon writing for readers outside academia (its own kind of activism), and the intersections-both successful and failed-of art, ecology, and activism.

LAS 201: Climate and Conflict
Instructor: Javier Puente
Topic Relativity: High
This class examines the intersections of climate trends and conflict dynamics in Latin America and the world. Recent climate change and global warming developments have triggered a multidisciplinary reflection on the remaking of twenty-first century geographies of social conflict.

LSS 100: Landscape, Environment and Design
Instructor: Reid Bertone-Johnson
Topic Relativity: Medium
Invited speakers for this lecture series have been encouraged to consider climate change as they develop their talks. The series will include several prominent designers, artists and scientists, who all must consider the ways in which climate change impacts or directs their work.

LSS 200: Landscape, Environment and Design (colloquium)
Instructor: Reid Bertone-Johnson
Topic Relativity: Medium
This new colloquium tied to the LSS 100 lecture series will allow for a smaller group of interested students to engage directly with the material from the LSS 100 lectures on a deeper level and will provide the time to identify commonalities and contradictions between the material presented in the lecture series.

LSS 255: Art and Ecology
Instructor: Reid Bertone-Johnson
Topic Relativity: High
This introductory landscape studies design studio will design green infrastructural improvements to problems with ecological solutions within the context of Smith's campus and the city of Northampton. Increased large precipitation events and increased periods of drought are expected due to climate change. Green infrastructure is a critical component to whole system solutions.

PHY 118: Physics
Instructor: Nathanael Fortune
Topic Relativity: Medium
An investigation of the links between fluids, waves, electricity, and magnetism, culminating in an investigation of how imbalances in the absorption and emission of electromagnetic radiation—in particular, visible and infrared light—due to rising CO2 levels lead to rising planetary temperatures.

PSY 140: Health Psychology
Instructor: Benita Jackson
Topic Relativity: Medium
This course will have a unit on environmental health and psychological aspects, reading chapters from Sandra Steingraber’s Living Downstream, Cancer and the Environment.

PSY 202: Research Methods
Instructor: Benita Jackson
Topic Relativity: Low
This course will have each student do an informal oral report on a pop press article related research methods & psychology. This year, students will focus on research methods, psychology and climate change.

PSY 268 Section 1: Human Side of Climate Change
Instructor: Michele Turin Wick
Topic Relativity: High
This course explores the human side of climate change.

POR 111: Beginning Portuguese
Instructor: Marguerite Harrison
Topic Relativity: Low
Although this is an introductory language course, this course will include some basic materials that introduce students to vocabulary and key concepts related to the theme of climate change.

POR 228: Indigenous Brazil: Past, Present, and Future
Instructor: Malcolm K. McNee
Topic Relativity: Medium
This interdisciplinary course will consider the diverse histories, cultures, and experiences of Indigenous individuals and peoples in Brazil, from the precolonial period to the present and including future oriented forms of Native activism and imagination.

POR 381: Place, Space and Identity in the Portuguese-Speaking World
Instructor: Marguerite Harrison
Topic Relativity: Medium
This course will be adding a unit that addresses issues of climate change in the Portuguese-speaking world. Materials will include texts, artwork and film and students will have some assignments related to this topic.

REL 235: The Catholic Philosophical Tradition
Instructor: Carol Zaleski
Topic Relativity: Medium
In REL 235 (The Catholic Philosophical Tradition) students will read the environmental encyclical by Pope Francis, Laudato Si' (On Care for Our Common Home). This is the key Catholic statement on global environmental justice. This course plans to invite Craig Nicolson, who directs the sustainability science program at UMass Amherst, to speak to the class on this encyclical and its bearing on response to climate change.

SDS 236: Data Journalism
Instructor: Ben Baumer
Topic Relativity: Medium
This course is exploring ideas for connecting student writing to issues of climate change.

SPN 230: Climate Voices
Instructor: Molly Falsetti-Yu
Topic Relativity: High
Climate change is a planetary crisis, yet its impacts and the response to it vary both geographically and culturally. This course examines climate change and cultural-ecological narratives produced in Spanish-speaking regions of the world, with particular interest in alternative, non-mainstream media.

SWG 150 Section 2: Study of Women and Gender
Instructor: Elisabeth Brownell Armstrong
Topic Relativity: High
Coordinate a climate change component in SWG150 to address feminism and environmentalism specifically in the context of local organizing. Faculty will link SWG150 sections with SWG230, Gender, Land and Food Movements, which addresses feminist environmentalism.

SOC 233 Section 1: Sociology of Climate Change
Instructor: Venessa Mohr Adel
Topic Relativity: High
This course will study the effects of climate change that put great strain on societies, testing the very structures that organize people’s lives and livelihoods.