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AD1010Ceramics IThis course is a mixture of design theory, critique, and actual production of pottery. Class time is divided between handbuilding, including pinch, coil, and slab techniques, and the fundamentals of wheel-thrown pottery. Assignments are occasionally supplemented by in-class discussion of the previous week's work. Six hand-built and twenty wheel-thrown works are required, with reviews taking place during week five and week ten.
Level: Introductory. Offered every year. Class limit: 16. Lab fee $95. Meets the following degree requirements: ADS
AD1011Introduction to Arts and DesignThis course is the fundamental course for students pursuing studies in Arts and Design, offering insights into the range of issues addressed in the arts and design curriculum while also helping students investigate their own creativity. This course has both studio and theoretical components. Major directions taken by artists, designers, architects, and planners are explored. Areas of investigation include gardens, shopping centers, town planning, perspective drawing, small structure design, color, and aesthetics. Studio work involves both individual and team efforts. Students are expected to observe, document, analyze, and make recommendations for the improvement of the designed world. Students are expected to submit examples of studio work and to participate in the class discussions. Evaluations are based upon the above.
Level: Introductory. Offered every fall. Class limit: 25. Lab fee $20. Meets the following degree requirements: ADS
AD1012Introduction to Keyboard/Piano
AD1013Jazz, Rock, and Blues: From Their Origins to the Present
AD1014Music Fundamentals: Intro to Reading/Hearing/Writing/PlayingThis hands-on course deals with the aural, mental, and physical elements of music and its production. It is divided into instructional segments including: Ear Training and Aural Perception, Music Theory, Basic Keyboard Skills, Arranging and Composition, and Basic Guitar Skills. [Detailed descriptions of segments available in Registrar's office.] This course is open to all students, regardless of musical experience. The sole prerequisite is a desire to make music or simply to enrich one's skills as a critical listener of music. Efforts are made to accommodate the special needs of the musical novice, as well as to challenge the experienced performer. Emphasis is on popular song styles, but analysis of Western Art Music forms are included for comparison purposes.
Level: Introductory. Lab fee $20. Meets the following degree requirements: ADS
AD1015Two-Dimensional Design I
AD1017The History of Rock
AD1018Introduction to GuitarThis course is a fundamental study in guitar chord construction, note reading, chord symbol identification, fingerboard facility, theory as related to guitar, chord inversions, and scale and mode work. Students are expected to attain introductory improvisational skills and basic facility in practical guitar performance.
Level: Introductory. Students must provide own instruments (acoustic or electric). Lab fee: $10. Meets the following degree requirements: ADS
AD1019Four-Dimensional StudioThis class gives students an opportunity to investigate time-based art. 4-D art draws on the vast and varied traditions of theatre, dance, media, and music, often crossing boundaries to create hybrid works. This course will focus on concepts and processes related to representing and experiencing events that take place in time. Strategies for planning, proposing, and producing work individually or collaboratively will be discussed and practiced. Some class periods will be workshop in style, and include physical and vocal exercises and improvisations. The course will include basic instruction and use of video cameras and sound recording devices. A majority of the learning in this studio course will happen as students make projects and reflect on their work and the work of others. Documentation and information about contemporary and historic time-based art will be presented. Students will be evaluated based on imaginative exploration of ideas and materials, extent and depth of work processes and research, completion of assigned projects, and participation in class discussions.
Level: Introductory. Lab Fee $30.00. Class limit: 12. Meets the following degree requirements: AD
AD1020History of Western MusicThis course covers the traditions of western "ART" music from the era of Renaissance (1450-1600) through Baroque (1600-1750), Classical (1750-1820), Romantic (1820-1900), Impressionism (early 1900s) and into the 20th century primarily in Europe. Through these five centuries of Eurocentric artistic development the areas of music, art, literature, philosophy, religion, and architecture continuously merge. Extensive study is devoted to how this "convergence of ideas' led to the advancement of the western society and its direct descendent, the Americas. Major composers covered include Gabrieli, Bach, Handel, Mozart, Schubert, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Wagner, Puccini, Chopin, Strauss, Liszt, Rimsky-Korsakoff, Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Debussy, Ravel, Ives, Copland. The course requires extensive reading, listening to recordings, and video observation.
Level: Introductory. Lab fee: $10 Meets the following degree requirements: HY AD
AD1021Photographic Syntax: Visual SeminarContemporarily, we know that photography functions to inform or misinform, persuade or propagandize but the power of the still image to hold our gaze does not, by itself, seem to be diminishing; we still expect and rely upon images to tell stories and document events, give voice to fine artists and simultaneously sell products, looks and lifestyles. This is a seminar course designed to elicit discussion and critique around an evolving personal project. Students will work to refine technical skills and work on a personal style to build a small but cohesive body of work. Emphasis will be on defining a project with a specific intent, audience and outcome and aligning it with the individual maker's personal history, interests and skill level. A combination of one-on-one instruction, seminar style discussion and group critique will be employed along with open lab time for technical problem solving. All methods and image making techniques are welcome. Some reading will be expected.
Level: Introductory. Class Limit:13. Lab fee: $110. Meets the following degree requirements: AD
AD1022Art Since 1900: Harmony and ConflictThe artworks of Pablo Picasso and Hannah Höch; both the well-known and lesser-known artist made paintings and sculptures that facilitate our understanding of how people experienced the twentieth century. Cubism, Surrealism, Expressionism, Minimalism, and more - these artist movements were initiated through group declarations of common aesthetic purpose. This art history survey looks at how their varied concerns with theories of the unconscious, radical political programs, social upheaval, and scientific discoveries were expressed through artistic production. Anxiety, joy, curiosity, and activist predilection combine to formulate a rich amalgam of fresh and challenging visions of the world.
Level: Introductory. Prerequisites: none. Lab fee: $65. Class Limit: 18 Meets the following degree requirements: AD HY
AD1023Elements of TheatreWhat is theatre, how does it work and why does it matter? This course explores these questions through practical hands-on experience in each of the major elements of theatrical production. It also introduces students to the range of disciplines covered in the Theatre curriculum and encourages students to investigate ways to effectively use theatre and theatre making skills to express themselves in other disciplines. The course provides a brief overview of the origins of theatre, some basic logistics and vocabulary and a practical understanding of the uniquely collaborative relationships involved in this process. Students actively investigate the most traditional elements of production: acting, playwriting, direction and design and are expected to research, observe, analyze, and produce their own creative work independently and collaboratively. Evaluations are based on participation in class discussion and activities, the effective completion of a series of small creative projects and a final project/paper based on their findings throughout the course.
Level: Introductory. Prerequisites: None. Class limit: 12. Lab fee: $20. Meets the following degree requirements: AD
AD1024Watching Globally: Intro to Contemporary Cinema of the WorldWhat happens to us when we walk into a movie theater? What are our expectations? To what degree are we prepared to be challenged or confronted by something new or different? Of approximately 5000 films produced yearly worldwide, fewer than 5% are given a general U.S. theatrical release. Of these 250, fewer than 30 come from outside the Hollywood system. There are wonderful, unique movies being made every day that most of us will never know exist. This is largely due to entrenched ideas of how to play it commercially "safe," but also has a great deal to do with a national isolationism which Hollywood films support and perpetuate. What are filmmakers in other countries focusing their attentions on? What stylistic choices are they making? How does one find out about these other films, let alone see them? In this class we will watch movies made within the last twelve years in Austria, Belgium, Burkina Faso, Canada, China, Greece, Hungary, Iran, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand and many other countries--films made by directors the rest of the world acknowledges as masters but who are virtually unknown in the U. S. Critical and theoretical essays from a variety of sources will offer detailed readings on the individual films as well as give a clear picture of how Hollywood functions to silence other voices and the ramifications of these practices on world finance and culture. Among topics covered will be: new media, the digital revolution, the changing face of copyright law, how movies can mask cultural assumptions and reinforce stereotypes or reveal new ways of seeing/perceiving. Evaluation will be based on class participation, weekly response papers, and a final paper/presentation.
Level: Introductory. Prerequisites: none. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: $45 Meets the following degree requirements: AD
AD1025Movement Training Basics
AD1026Introduction to Photography
AD1027History of Filmmaking (1895-1945)
AD2010Problems in Painting: Techniques, Skills and Vision
AD2011Graphic Design Studio I: Visual Communication
AD20123D Studio: Introduction to Three-Dimensional Art and Design
AD2013Constructing Visual Narrative
AD2014Curiosity and Wonder: Design & Interpretation in the MuseumFrom "cabinet of curiosity" to "exploratorium", this studio course surveys contemporary museum activities and methods of communication through visual display, space, and interaction. Students will engage in a project development process to refine "big ideas", determine educational goals, and learn techniques to design and build their projects. Class participants will gain an understanding of factors that influence learning, media and modes that may be utilized to communicate complex content, and how meaning is constructed by the selection, organization and layering of intellectual material through the use of object, text, image, and experiential devices.
Projects and hands-on workshops will provide an opportunity to gain skills and techniques in visualizing ideas by developing concepts in the form of plans, sketches, models, and narrative description. Students will have an opportunity to evaluate and create interpretive material for the George B. Dorr Natural History Museum at the College of the Atlantic. Students will be evaluated through participation in class discussion and critiques, attendance, and for completion and quality of assigned projects. This course is appropriate for all students interested in informal education in the museum environment, design, and visual communication.
Level: Introductory/intermediate. Prerequisite: One or more courses in Arts and Design OR Educational Studies. Class limit: 15. Lab Fee: $85 Meets the following degree requirements: AD
AD2015The Reality Effect: Art and Truth in the 19th CenturyThere are myriad realities described by artists and authors. This course concerns itself specifically with the development of visual Realism from 1800-1945 in Europe and America. We will examine the origin of artist methodologies of production as they relate to modernity. Our concerns will include the relation of art to significant political, sociological, and psychological programs of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The new realities created through revolutions in political and social structures, and in our understanding of the physical composition of the world itself are made evident in art that pictures social class, large historical moments, and a specific instant of time in a way that changes how we visualize reality and challenges our understanding of actuality. Students will be evaluated based on class participation, class discussion leadership, reading notes, and written paper.
Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Pre-requisites: none. Class limit: 16. Lab Fee: $30. Meets the following degree requirements: AD
AD2016Contemporary Artist as Researcher and ActivistThe student will be introduced to the post-modern stream of visual culture that places nature and our relationship to it within the context of pressing global issues. These artworks engage with nature by their placement in site-specific locations, through new modes of picturing, and/or through the appropriation of natural materials. Many of the artists we will examine make use of new tools designed for industrial purpose, medical, technological or scientific research. Other artists utilize organic materials to craft their designs. These artists appropriate the role of "researcher" in order to bring attention to ecologies that human beings have disrupted or will disrupt. How these artists bring us to a deeper understanding of our relationship with nature through new media is our concern. Evaluation is based on class participation, evidence of completion of weekly readings, and a final paper and a class presentation. The class will take at least one field trip.
Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Prerequisites: none. Lab fee: $50. Class limit: 15. Meets the following degree requirements: AD HY
AD2017Drawing Mineral and Botanical Matter in the Forest of MaineViewed as a regular practice, the descriptive power of drawing can intensify the experience of observational fieldwork, provide the draughtsperson with a richer understanding of the cycles within a landscape, and deepen our relationship with the natural world. The primary setting for this studio course is Mount Desert Island. The subject matter of our visual attention includes trees, rock features, and other indigenous plant life of the island. Students will learn a variety of drawing methods in order to document the natural history of a specific place. Coursework includes: maintaining a field sketchbook, graphically recording the development of a singular botanical life-form over the course of the term, and producing visual notations in the sketchbook during a bi-weekly slide lecture on the history of artistic representations of the natural world. Evaluation is based on class participation, evidence of completion of weekly assignments, and final project.
Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Prerequisites: permission of instructor. Lab fee: $65. Class limit: 12. Meets the following degree requirements: AD
AD2018Prints & Printmakers: A Natural and Cultural HistoryPrints and Printmakers introduces students to the history and culture of printed images. The course is organized chronologically and develops by way of geographic location. The advent of reproductive technology in the fifteenth century (printed books, woodcuts, and engravings) coincides with dramatic developments in the natural sciences, theology, and political institutions of the Western world - the images from this early modern era still hold an emblematic place in our imagination and remain concealed within current popular culture. The class will be concerned with unique images, multiples, and reproductions from the fifteenth through the eighteenth century that serve as substitutes for objects of art, topographical describers, as well as pictures that serve as paradigms of cultural ideas and illustrations for scientific discourse. We will explore the way in which nature and culture are envisioned before the popularization of photography and digital image revolution. Theoretical associations with these reproductive technologies will be brought forward to deepen our understanding of artistic practice. Anyone studying the development of human ideas over time would benefit from this course. Students will be evaluated based on class discussion, short writing assignments, and a final research paper.
Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Prerequisites none. Class Limit: 12. Lab fee: $65 Meets the following degree requirements: AD HY
AD2019Dramatic Mechanics: The Dynamics of Difference and PowerThe psychology of power dynamics is the fundamental core of dramatic literature. This course will focus on plays that deal with particular issues of class, gender, race etc. and how modern playwrights have used the medium to explore relationships inherently based in power struggle. It's also about understanding the unique architecture of texts written for performance and finding meaning within specific historical and societal contexts. Playwrights will include Howard Barker, Amiri Baraka, David Mamet, Sarah Kane and others. Students will develop ideas for staging possibilities, learn the basic language and concepts of dramaturgy and explore the unique ways theatre artists can investigate the nature of power dynamics. We will go on at least one field trip. Evaluation is based on participation in class activities and discussion, a series of short playwriting assignments and a final presentation and paper.
Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Prerequisites: none. Course limit: 12. Lab fee: $55 Meets the following degree requirements: ADS
AD2020History of Photography
AD2021The Science of ComedyThis course explores the nature and history of modern comedy and investigates the tools and techniques of great comic performers. We'll cover the evolution of comedy aesthetics from vaudeville and silent film to contemporary stand up and television and we'll explore what, if any sort of 'funny' is timeless. The course uses film, video, live performance and readings. Students gain practical experience through work on classic routines, physical comedy skills and sketch development as well as experimenting with the peculiar mathematics of comic timing. Together, we will try to pinpoint what actually makes something funny and as importantly, why people crave laughter so much in the first place. There will be at least one field trip. Evaluation is based on participation in activities and discussion as well as a portfolio of short topic responses and a final presentation/paper.
Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Prerequisites: none. Course limit: 12. Lab fee: $55. Meets the following degree requirements: AD
AD2022Film TheoryHow do motion pictures express ideas? Why do we respond to them in the ways we do? Film theorists have approached these questions from contexts as diverse as formal composition (sound, mise-en-scene, color, cinematography and editing), signs and symbols (semiotics), cultural and/or gender concerns, and psychoanalysis. In this class, we will practice using these and other theories to understand and analyze moving pictures. Each week we will screen one or two feature length movies as well as a number of short films. Screenings will be complemented by source texts from critics, theorists, artists/filmmakers and cinephiles. Students may choose to take this course as writing intensive; those who do will be required to write and revise three or four critical response essays based in analytical frameworks covered in the course. All students will be required to complete a final research paper and presentation. Students should expect to spend 7-9 hours a week in class meetings, labs and screenings (in addition to writing, research). Students will be evaluated on papers, final project and participation in discussions. Writing Focus option.
Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Prerequisites: Previous art class recommended. Class limit: 12. Lab fee: $35. Meets the following degree requirements: AD
AD2023Actor Training IThis course is geared toward students with or without performance experience. Together we will establish a common language to define the most important tools for an actor. Through a series of games and exercises, students develop new skills and practice making bolder, clearer choices within improvised, devised or established scenes. The goals are to create confidence in any sort of performance situation and to find ways of applying acting skills to other academic and outside experiences. Evaluation is based on participation in class activities and discussion, successful completion of all performance projects, including productive rehearsal time and an organized portfolio of written responses. There will be at least one field trip. Default grading option for this course is CR/NC.
Level: Introductory/intermediate. Prerequisite: none. Course limit: 12. Lab fee: $50. Meets the following degree requirements: ADS
AD2024Journeys in French Film & LiteratureThis course will use the theme of “journey”, both objectively and subjectively, to select French language films for study that span the history of filmmaking—from The Lumiere Brothers, Georges Meilies, Chris Marker, Agnes Varda, and Jaques Tati to films of the 21st century – and French literature (mostly in English translation) from the same period. We will use these films to study the ideas of crossing cultures and geographies (real or imagined). Students will choose a director/author or sub-theme that they wish to research and present on in the medium/style that they – in discussion with the instructor, deem most appropriate; they will also write on topics related to the films presented in the course and other films of their choosing. We will use the film study collections at College of the Atlantic and at CAVILAM as points of departure and discovery. Readings from a wide range of perspectives will accompany the films/texts that are presented. Students will be evaluated on their participation in discussions, on the expression of their research projects, and on several short response papers. The course is intended to complement a term of language and film study in France. It is one of a suite of courses: Journeys in French Film, Carnet de Voyage, and French Language Study. For the French language component, students will conduct language study at the Cavilam Language School in Vichy, France.
Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Prerequisites: Instructor permission. Class Limit: 8. Meets the following degree requirements: AD
AD3010Architectural Design Studio
AD3011Landscape Design StudioThis studio course introduces students to the profession of Landscape Architecture, the design process and skills. Aspects to be covered include site analysis, program development, design concept, final site design and graphic representation. Evaluations are based on understanding and interpretation of the site program, application of the design process and articulation of ideas and concepts through graphics and oral presentation.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisite: Introduction to Arts and Design, Two-Dimensional Design, and Woody Plants, or signature of instructor. Offered every other year. Lab fee $25. Class limit: 11. Meets the following degree requirements: ADS
AD3012Documentary Video Studio
AD3013AnimationThis course explores animation as a form of creative expression, experimentation and personal vision. Various techniques, such as drawing, cut-out, painting on film, and under-the-camera collage, will be introduced. Students will create flip-books, video pencil tests and 16mm animated films. Students will be given exercises and assignments that guide them through processes for making art. Various artists' animated films will be screened and discussed. History and concepts related to animation and film will be introduced through screenings, readings and discussions.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisite: Introduction to Art and Design, 2-D Design or Signature of Instructor. Lab fee: $50. Class Limit: 12. Meets the following degree requirements: ADS
AD3014SoundscapeSoundscape may be defined as an environment of sound (or sonic environment) with emphasis on the way it is perceived and understood by the individual, or by a society. It thus depends upon the relationship between the individual and any such environment. The term may refer to actual environments, or to abstract constructions such as musical compositions and tape montages, particularly when considered as an artificial environment. In this interdisciplinary course we investigate a broad range of acoustic concepts, ranging from a scientific treatment of the nature and behavior of sound both in air and underwater, the biology of hearing, the use of sound by animals in communication, and the cultural applications of sound and music in human society. Students will explore methods of composition using sounds as materials for assigned projects. Various approaches to understanding and experiencing sound will be examined, including spoken word, radio shows, music, and experimental forms. Labs will focus on understanding the nature of sound, and practical application of sound equipment, technique and theory. Students will learn about microphones, sound recording, amplification, and the physics of sound. The course will culminate in a performance to the community of student presentations that expresses the wide use of sound as part of our culture. Evaluation will be based on class participation and a set of assignments, including a final project. Emphasis will be placed on an artistic interpretation of soundscape, although students will be expected to have a basic understanding of the scientific basis of acoustic phenomena.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: One AD and one ES course. Class Limit: 12. Lab fee $60. Meets the following degree requirements: ADS
AD3015Art of the PuppetPuppetry is the art of designing, constructing, and operating puppets, usually for an audience. A puppet is an articulated figure controlled by external means. Puppets have been used for entertainment, education, therapy, spectacles and social/political demonstration. This course will explore both the construction and use of puppets, investigate the theory, history and practice of puppetry, and seek out the role and potential of puppets. Various types of puppets will be made, including hand puppets, rod puppets, shadow puppets, and large scale puppets. Students, individually and in collaboration, will create both original and adapted scripts and scenarios for their puppets, exploring relationships between text, story, character and movement of the puppet. In addition to live work, students may choose to develop puppets for use within film, video or multimedia projects. The course will include readings on puppetry, screenings, presentations, demonstrations, and group discussions. Students will be evaluated on 1) participation in class discussions and exercises, 2) quality and effort demonstrated through projects/presentations and, 3) understanding and study of readings and screenings as demonstrated in discussions and projects.
Level: Intermediate. Recommended pre-requisite: at least one of the following: Intro to Art and Design, 2-D Design Studio, 3-D Design, Performance Art or The Sculptural Object in Performance. Class limit: 12. Lab fee $30. Meets the following degree requirements: ADS
AD3016Land Use Planning IIn this course we will examine what key physical aspects make communities desirable places to live, work and visit and how principals of sustainability can be integrated into the planning process. New development often undermines a sense of place and poses threats to environmental resources such as water quality. Through analyzing a local town in terms of its natural resources, cultural history, scenic quality and the built environment, students determine how new development and conservation may be balanced. They learn how to use computerized geographic information systems (GIS) as a planning tool in developing their recommendations. Students present their final class project to local community decision-makers. Offered every other year.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: Previous coursework in GIS is not required. Class limit: 12. Lab Fee $50.00. Meets the following degree requirements: AD
AD3018History of Filmmaking 1946-PresentD. W. Griffith, pioneer of early cinema, prophesied in 1924 that by 2024 cinema would have been instrumental in "eliminating from the face of the civilized world all armed conflict". Where have things gone wrong? Cinema is a powerful medium that in many ways is still struggling to find its place among the other arts; there are many promising byways that have been overlooked or under-explored. This course explores the histories, production and meanings of motion pictures. Using various films as case studies, we will look at the development of film forms, techniques and genres from 1946 to the present - the second half of cinema history. Films studied will include examples of narrative, documentary, animation, and the avant-garde. Students will learn concepts of film analysis and criticism, and will have opportunities to practice critical skills in class discussions and in research and writing assignments. Evaluation will be based on attendance, participation in class discussion, written papers, and research presentations. Film gives us the opportunity to, in the words of David Lynch, "get lost in another world...to dream in the dark". Who decides which dreams we will see? Through an understanding of where cinema has been we can more effectively shape its, and our, future. Writing Focus option.
Level: Intermediate. Lab fee: $35. Meets the following degree requirements: AD HY WFO
AD3020American Dreaming: Theatre and Activism in the USThis course focuses on dramatic literature connected to particular political and social issues in the US. Students read plays and study a variety of theatre artists that have used theatre as a viable force for change over the last century. Together we will explore the mechanics and dynamics of particular performances as well as the context in which they were conceived. We will investigate significant periods in American history such as the New Deal, the House Un-American Activities Committee, the Civil Rights Movement, the AIDS crisis, 9/11 and beyond, exploring their impact on this form. Artists will include Hallie Flanagan and The Federal Theatre Project, Susan Glaspell, Clifford Odetts, Arthur Miller, Lorraine Hansberry, Lillian Hellman, The Living Theatre, The Open Theatre, The Wooster Group, Anna Deavere-Smith, Tony Kushner, Young Jean Lee, The TEAM, Radiohole and more. Students are required to attend a weekly series of scheduled screenings/performances outside of class time. There will be at least one field trip. Evaluation is based on full participation in class discussion, successful completion of all short projects and assignments and a major final project/paper.
Level: Intermediate. Pre-requisite: Successful completion of the writing requirement and at least one literature course. Course limit: 12. Lab fee: $50. Meets the following course requirements: AD
AD3021Cities: Past, Present and FutureThis intermediate course focuses on the architecture and physical form of cities through time. Rome has had a profound influence on the design of architecture and cities. In preparation for a 9-12 day field trip to this remarkable city, students will become familiar with its layers of history, the classic orders, the writings of Vitruvius, and the works of Michelangelo, among others. They will experience firsthand the city's famous monuments, ruins, buildings, piazzas, gardens, and neighborhoods, documenting their field observations in sketches, photographs and notes. Upon returning the focus will shift to an examination of the history of several major American and European cities, conditions, policies and technologies that shaped them, and various historic and current urban design movements. We will conclude with examples of recent and emerging international strategies to improve urban public space, transportation, provide local food, reduce emissions, and address impacts of climate change. Students will be evaluated on quality of their field notes and sketches, assignments, class discussions and presentations.
This course will be integrated with and requires co-enrollment in Advanced Food Policy. The third enrollment credit must be either Power and Governance or an Independent Study.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Class Size Limit: 12. Lab fee: $800.00. Meets the following degree requirements: AD
AD3022Play Production WorkshopThis course provides practical experience in the processes required to build a theatrical production. Students research, rehearse and produce a performance for the public in collaboration with a faculty director. The number of students enrolled in the course will vary depending upon the demands of the play. Students with any or no experience in theatre are welcome. In most cases, all assignments (cast and crew) will be made the previous term, through auditions and interviews. Those interested in non-actor aspects of production (set design, light and sound design, stage management etc.) are especially encouraged. The course meets 4 days a week and those enrolled must be available for a certain amount of additional collaborative work outside class time (additional rehearsals, construction and tech, and final performance dates). A production schedule will be available by week one. Evaluation is based on commitment to the particular demands of the project as well as a final reflective paper based on the experience. Default grading option is Credit/No Credit.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: Permission of Instructor. Course limit: 15. Lab fee: $50. Meets the following degree requirements: ADS
AD380Intermediate Graphic Design Studio II
This intermediate level course offers students an opportunity for in-depth study of contemporary issues, applications, and techniques in graphic design. Course content will vary. Topics include typography, digital imaging, analog imaging, conceptual problems in information design, environmental design, promotional, publication, and editorial design. Level: Intermediate. Prerequisite: Signature of instructor, Graphic Design Studio I. Class Limit: 12. Lab fee: $85. *AD*
AD384Plants in the Campus Landscape
This course adopts a workshop format, focusing on the management of living plant collections on the COA campus. Emphasis will be on planting and maintenance of woody plants, but some attention will be paid to perennial herbaceous ornamentals. Class activities will include hands-on projects, e.g. pruning campus trees, shrubs, and vines, planting new accessions for the campus-wide arboretum, identifying and labeling plants, developing a map and tour guide for campus plants, studying planting design principals and site requirements, and developing a plan for future additions to the campus-wide arboretum, strategies for dealing with invasive exotics, and replacement of specimen trees. This course may be especially appropriate for those interested in horticulture and landscape architecture. There are no course prerequisites, but some background in design or horticulture is helpful, such as a prior course in plant taxonomy, gardening, arts and design, or architecture. Students will be evaluated on class participation, completion of assignments and an individual project. Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Class limit: 16. Lab fee: $40.
AD4010Improvisation in Music
AD4011Life DrawingThis course attempts to create a reasonable fusion of technical accuracy and creative expression. Each student is encouraged to develop his or her own style and mode of expression through the use of varied media such as pencil, charcoal, collage, and paint in both color and black and white. Two class critiques are scheduled during the term. Evaluations are based on progress made and overall quality of each student's portfolio.
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisite: Previous studio art course or signature of instructor based on review of portfolio. Offered every year. Class Size: 16. Lab fee $75. Meets the following degree requirements: ADS
AD4012Intermediate Video: Studio and StrategiesThis course explores more sophisticated forms of image making, editing, and theory. Students screen and discuss documentary and video art works, and study writing/criticism in the field, focusing on moving image theories, concepts, strategies, and a wide range of aesthetic concerns. The class will engage in various aspects of production and approaches to cinematography, sound and editing/compositing. Participants work on a project-oriented basis that includes critiques and training in video production skills. Students should be both self-directed and interested in developing a support system for producing each other's work. Students will be evaluated based on video projects (fiction or non-fiction), critical writings, class participation and presentations.
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Pre-requisites: Documentary Video Studio, or Introduction to Video Production. Class limit: 12. Meets the following degree requirements: ADS
AD4013Activating Spaces: Installation Art"space in active dialogue with the things and people it contains..." -RoseLee Golberg, from Space as Praxis
Installation art is one of the most original, vigorous, and fertile forms of contemporary art.
It often involves working in specific non-art sites where the activation of the place, or context, of artistic intervention is concerned not only with art and its boundaries, but also with the fusion of art and life. Installation art extends the area of practice from the studio to public space. Architects, urban planners, and environmental designers consider similar formal and social aspects of space in the creation of city plans, buildings, and public spaces. Through hands-on projects and a survey of historic and contemporary art and design work, this intermediate level 3D studio course offers an opportunity to explore formal aspects and social contexts of space and time as a medium for making art.
Students will create interior and exterior installations that may incorporate sculptural elements, everyday objects, light, sound, or other devices. Course work will investigate the objective and subjective qualities of space, material, and form, and the meanings created through their juxtaposition. In addition to studio work, we will survey a variety of historic and contemporary contextual art works including: spaces laid out by architects and designers, installation itself as an art form, public art projects, sacred spaces, the work of visionary artists, historic sites, and monuments. Students will be evaluated on their participation in class activities and critiques, their timely completion of projects, and attendance.
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisites: 3D studio classes in art, architecture, environmental design, performance art or signature of instructor. Class limit: 10. Lab fee: $75. Meets the following degree requirements: ADS
AD4014Graphic Design Studio II / Digital ProjectsThis studio course offers students an opportunity for in-depth study of contemporary issues, applications and techniques in graphic design. Students will pursue conceptual problem solving through creative exercises and theoretical and applied studio projects. Particular emphasis will be placed on advancing skills in creative problem-solving, typography, layout, image generation and preparing art for print. Digital and hands-on methods (techniques such as block print) for image generation will be explored to create original illustrations. Projects will include typography and illustration exercises, identity design, environmental design and interpretive information design. Students will be encouraged to solicit a design project from the local community and produce it in the context of the class by engaging in the creative process from concept to production oversight during the course of the 10 week term. In addition to structured class assignments, students will have an opportunity to propose and pursue their own design projects.
This class will be conducted in seminar/studio format. Emphasis will be placed on the design process - from creation to production, the timely completion of project phases, creative solutions and advancing skill in typography, layout and image generation. The detailed schedule will depend largely on the course make-up and individual project proposals.
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisites: Signature of Instructor, Graphic Design Studio 1. Class limit: 12. Lab fee: $85. Meets the following degree requirements: AD
AD4015Film Sound and ImageThis hands-on course will explore sound composition, editing, and mixing to create soundtracks for video and/or film. Students who take this course must have a background in music composition and/or sound and video production in order to collaborate on creative video/sound projects. Sound recordings will include music and voice as well as everyday sounds and special sound effects. The class will incorporate a number of group projects as well as individual exercises to illustrate sound recording and mixing strategies. We will also study sound in relation to video/film through readings and screenings. In addition to class assignments, students will start developing sound tracks for their independent projects. Students will be evaluated on their success in creating compositions, recordings, and mixes for video/film projects; and their ability to bring together moving pictures with a soundtrack to create a whole that is more than the sum of its parts. Students will also be evaluated on their participation in class discussions and exercises.
Level: Intermediate/advanced. Prerequisites: Background in music composition and/or sound and video production. Class limit: 12. Lab fee: $40. Meets the following degree requirements: AD
AD4016The Wilderness in Landscape Art I: Proto-Ecological Visions
AD4017Art and Culture in Northern New MexicoThis course is part of a three-course sequence entitled "The Unexpected Journey: Art, Literature, and History on the Road in Nuevo Mexico." This course examines the art and architecture of Northern New Mexico including: painting, printmaking, photography, and other forms of cultural production (e.g. ceramics, textiles, ritual dance) from the 12th century to the present. We examine New Mexico as both a coalesced and contested historical and geographical site and as the subject of representational, non-representational, sociopolitical, and symbolic imagery. How have artists depicted its varied landscapes, both natural and cultural, as well as its complex history of indigenous dwelling, colonial occupation, environmental stewardship, natural resource exploitation, ethnic tension, and social discord? New Mexico's art is neither as singular nor unitary as the tourist industry would like us to think. Much of this course is field-based. We will be visiting numerous places from large urban cities (Albuquerque), to mid-sized cities (Santa Fe), to towns (Taos), villages (Trampas, San Jóse), and Native American homelands (Taos Pueblo). Sites of interest include the sacred (Santuario de Chimayó) and secular (Ghost Ranch), educational (Hispanic Cultural Center) and agrarian (Pecos River Valley). Students will learn to apply a range of methodological strategies utilized by art and cultural historians to examine, research, analyze, critique, and interpret cultural objects. Course readings will engage with key primary and secondary sources written by selected historians, cultural geographers, artists, and storytellers. Our work in this course will demonstrate how art practice along with disciplined scholarship can generate a critical awareness of an object's ideological context. Evaluation will be based on class participation, an oral presentation, and a research paper. Each student will produce a research paper relevant to his or her own critical and/or historical interests and concerns.
All three courses must be taken concurrently: Native American Literature: A Case Study of the Development of Literary Traditions with a New Mexico Focus (Waldron), Art and Culture in Northern New Mexico (Clinger), Processing the Unexpected Journey: Aesthetics, Experience, and the Creation of an Interdisciplinary Project (Clinger and Waldron).
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisites: Permission of Instructor. Class Limit: 8 Meets the following degree requirements: AD HY
AD4018Movement Training Basics IIBuilding on skills introduced in Movement Training Basics, students will continue investigating their physical potential and deepening their understanding of the movement theory and languages covered. Techniques will be derived from classical ballet, martial arts, acrobatics, improvisation, circus skills and more. The work will promote a greater sense of physical awareness and imaginative possibility. Advanced students will build strength, mental and physical stamina and flexibility. Students will translate the work into a variety of practical applications and performance pieces based on a series of exercises and prompts. Evaluation is based on class participation and engagement with introduced topics and concepts. Default grading option is Credit/No Credit.
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisites: Previous completion of the basics course and/or significant movement training or dance experience is required. Course limit: 15. Lab fee: $20 Meets the following degree requirements: ADS
AD4019Studio PrintmakingPrintmaking is the process of transferring an image from one surface to another. A print mirrors the surface whence it came and also performs as a reflection of the physical and/or immaterial realms of objects and ideas. Representing concepts clearly in any medium requires an artist to engage in thoughtful collaboration with materials in order to realize the potential of form as a means of expression. This studio course will explore ways to address this aesthetic challenge through printmaking. Students will acquire basic skills as printmakers with an emphasis on relief (woodcut and linocut) and intaglio (line etching, engraving and aquatint) techniques. They will also develop a broad understanding of the history of prints; how they have functioned to communicate, document, and transmit information through images on paper. Students will be evaluated on their projects, participation in critiques, level of engagement with materials, ability to work in a collaborative studio, and final project.
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor, Introduction to Arts and Design, and a drawing class. Class limit: 10. Lab fee: $100. Meets the following degree requirements: ADS
AD4020Object and Performance
AD4021Analog Photography: B&W
AD438History of Filmmaking (1946-Present)
D. W. Griffith, pioneer of early cinema, prophesied in 1924 that by 2024 cinema would have been instrumental in "eliminating from the face of the civilized world all armed conflict". Where have things gone wrong? Cinema is a powerful medium that in many ways is still struggling to find its place among the other arts; there are many promising byways that have been overlooked or under-explored. This course explores the histories, production and meanings of motion pictures. Using various films as case studies, we will look at the development of film forms, techniques and genres from 1946 to the present - the second half of cinema history. Films studied will include examples of narrative, documentary, animation, and the avant-garde. Students will learn concepts of film analysis and criticism, and will have opportunities to practice critical skills in class discussions and in research and writing assignments. Evaluation will be based on attendance, participation in class discussion, written papers, and research presentations. Film gives us the opportunity to, in the words of David Lynch, "get lost in another world...to dream in the dark". Who decides which dreams we will see? Through an understanding of where cinema has been we can more effectively shape its, and our, future. Writing Focus option. Level: Intermediate. Lab fee: $35. *AD* *HY* *WFO*
AD460Journeys in French Film
This course will use the theme of the journey to select French language films for study that span the history of filmmaking-from The Lumiere Brothers, Georges Meilies, Chris Marker, Agnes Varda, and Jacques Tati to films of the 21st century. We will use these films to study the ideas of crossing cultures and geographies (real or imagined). Students will choose a director or sub-theme that they wish to research and present-either as a presentation or a project; and students will write on topics related to the films presented in the course and other films of their choosing. We will use the film study collections at College of the Atlantic and at CAVILAM, as points of departure and discovery. Various readings will accompany the films that are presented. Students will be evaluated on their participation in discussions, on the expression of their research projects, and on several short response papers. Level: Intro/intermediate. Prerequisites: permission of instructor; this course is intended to complement a term of language and film study in Vichy, France. Class limit: 12
AD468Introduction to Violin
This course is a fundamental study of the violin. Topics covered will include bowing, fingerboard development/fluency, fingering/position work and facility, note reading, theory as related to violin, and scale and mode work. Students are expected to develop physical facility, mental facility, and aural facility through class instruction in twice-weekly one and a half hour classes, weekly one-on-one sessions with the instructors, and daily individual practice. Evaluation will be based on progress as demonstrated during class and individual sessions and an end of term project or performance. Level: Introductory. Prerequisites: Students must provide their own instruments, or may rent them for the 10 weeks of the term. Lab fee: $10. *AD*
AD484Movement Training Basics
AD5013Advanced Projects: Art Practice and ConceptsThis course is designed for students who have taken at least two previous arts and design related courses and are prepared to pursue an in-depth project. This seminar combines academic study and studio work, and explores theory and practice related to various visual arts disciplines. The course will provide individual guidance and group critiques for students from various disciplines to meet, present and discuss their work. Contemporary critical issues are addresses through readings, screenings/slides and discussions. We will explore how an artist builds a body of work, and discuss working processes and issues in art and society. The course will include field trips and visiting artists, when available and pertinent. Students will be evaluated on their progress towards their goals, and participation in discussions and critiques. Students may work in video, painting, photography, installation, sculpture, 2-D, or hybrid forms, but students should already have the basic skills required for their chosen project(s).
Level: Advanced. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Class limit: 12. Lab fee: $100. Meets the following degree requirements: ADS
AD5014Graphic Attack: Advanced Graphic Design StudioThe name of this course, "Graphic Attack", refers not only to the power of image and text within our visually saturated physical and virtual environments, but to the need to evaluate and respond critically to mass media. Students will explore and discuss the roles and responsibilities of designers as primary crafters of visual messages through promotion, advertising and identity design and investigate the work of artists and designers who appropriate tools of advertising to construct alternative messages outside of, and often in critique of, the commercial realm.
This advanced level studio art course combines critical examination of contemporary graphic design practice with studio projects in creative problem solving. Practice in design research, layout and composition, typography, digital imaging and text/image composition will be combined with hands-on studio projects in image generation such as block print, silkscreen, monoprint, instant photography, xerography and collage techniques.
Projects will range from investigations of personal identity and branding to advertising and package design in the retail and socio-political environments. Through studio visits, students will have an opportunity to meet professional artists and designers to discuss first hand process and ethical issues related to their work. Students will be evaluated on conceptual problem solving ability, effectiveness of design solutions, understanding and practice of the incremental process of design, timeliness and quality of work, and thoughtful participation in class discussion and critique.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisite: Signature of instructor, Graphic Design Studio I. Class limit: 12. Lab Fee: $85 Meets the following degree requirements: AD
AD5017Animation IIThe class further develops ideas, skills, and animation projects through a mix of: in-class projects/demos/skill based activities, readings, discussions, screenings, presentations, and individual meetings with the instructor. Students will write a production plan that will serve as an outline of each student’s project(s) for the term. The instructor will provide useful activities, information, resources, critiques and guidance. A schedule of presentations of student works-in-progress will be created. Readings will address ideas and theories related to animation studies and processes. Advanced animation techniques may include camera work and sound design. Work completed over the term may be a single longer animation or a series of animated shorts depending on the student’s preference and animation goals. However, all students will be expected to produce advanced level work and encouraged to experiment and push their work to the highest level. Students will be evaluated on their projects, participation in critiques and discussions and overall level of engagement with the course material and class.
Level: Advanced. Lab fee: $80. Pre-requisite: Animation, signature of instructor. Class size: 12 Meets the following degree requirements: AD
AD5018Carnet de Voyage: The Illustrated Travel JournalIn this advanced interdisciplinary arts course you will explore the form and nature of the illustrated travel journal or Carnet de Voyage and create a personal record of travel abroad. The nature of the Carnet de Voyage expresses a coherent narrative or aesthetic beyond the logging of dates and events as found in a field book or a ship's log. Because of the advanced nature of the course, you will be invited to draw on previous courses and experience in the arts to choose a media; drawing, sketching, painting, digital word and image, photography, video, or sound, to create a comprehensive visual response to, and documentation of, your travels that constitute an illustrated journal. You will be asked to focus your carnet on a particular aspect of culture. For example topics as broad as food, politics, industry, or as narrowly defined as body marking or human/animal interactions or the idea of waste.
Class presentations and discussion will surround the visual display of culture, and the history of the travel journal. We will survey the illustrated travel journal as an art, and as a record of cultural interaction through historic and contemporary examples shown in class, and through first hand observation in museums and other cultural institutions in France. Readings will include travel literature, Carnet de Voyages, and critical readings surrounding the representation of culture.
Class participants will be given technical guidance as needed on their projects and will share their work during in-progress and final critiques. Students will be required to create a copy of their work in final form for submission and evaluation. Evaluation will be based on participation in class discussions and activities; and in the thoroughness, level of thought, creativity, and artistry in visual research projects. This course is designed for students have demonstrated ability to complete independent work in the arts and are expected to have previously completed intermediate/advanced level courses in the arts.
Level: Advanced. Prerequisites: Introductory and intermediate level AD courses and permission of instructor; this course is intended to complement a term of language and film study in Vichy, France. Class Limit: 12. Meets the following degree requirements: ADS
AD5022Form of the CityFor the first time in history the majority of the Earth’s population lives in cities. Through books, films, lectures, and student presentations this advanced seminar will examine the evolution of several major cities and how key individuals from Louis-Napoleon to Jane Jacobs, Kevin Lynch, and contemporary critics continue to influence the design of urban centers. Students will undertake individual research projects on particular cities or aspects of planning and design such as public parks and open space, urban agriculture, or strategies to address climate change and issues arising from rapidly expanding informal urban settlements which they will document and present to the class. This course is open to students who have completed at least two courses in planning or design and are prepared to pursue in-depth research. Evaluations are based on documentation and presentation of individual research and participation in class discussions.
Level: Advanced. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Class limit: 10. Lab fee: $40. Meets the following degree requirements: AD
MD3010Biology Through the LensPhotography is one of the primary means through which scientific observation and research is conducted and presented to the public. The most provocative images of the natural world don't just happen; they are made by individuals skilled in both photography and the life sciences. In this course, students will develop technical, observational, and aesthetic skills to extract relevant information from the natural world and organisms collected from nature. Through acquired skills, students will be expected to conceive methods to document the biological world and communicate concepts using strong visual imagery. Photographic techniques and historical examples will be learned and applied. Students will be evaluated based on their successful completion of a series of project-based assignments, participation in discussions and critiques, and their ability to effectively convey biological principles through photography. Pre-requisite: at least one introductory-level biology course and one photography course or permission of instructor. Students will be expected to provide their own camera for the course; a digital camera with interchangeable lenses is recommended.
Level: Intermediate. Class limit: 12. Lab fee: $95.00.
HE1010Human Ecology Core CourseHuman Ecology is the interdisciplinary study of the relationships between humans and their natural and cultural environments. The purpose of this course is to build a community of learners that explores the question of human ecology from the perspectives of the arts, humanities and sciences, both in and outside the classroom. By the end of the course students should be familiar with how differently these three broad areas ask questions, pose solutions, and become inextricably intertwined when theoretical ideas are put into practice. In the end, we want students to be better prepared to create your own human ecology degree through a more in depth exploration of the courses offered at College of the Atlantic. We will approach this central goal through a series of directed readings and activities.
Level: Introductory. Lab fee: $25. Meets the following degree requirements: HE
MD1010Islands Through Time14,000 years of Human Ecology on the Coast of Maine
The coast of Maine is an ideal location for studies of the effects of changing ecologies, landscapes, and cultures on the human experience. 14000 years ago, the entire area was covered with a dense ice sheet, and at present we are facing the uncertain future of Global Warming. Between these points, the coast and islands have experienced flood, fire, earthquakes, and an enormous range of human and non-human occupants. This team-taught course will use the inter-disciplinary lens of Human Ecology to examine the consequences, implications, and potential meanings of our dwelling within both this particular landscape and other landscapes perhaps initially more familiar to students. A strong emphasis will be placed upon developing a "sense of place" through the examination of a novel, scientific writing, music, and experiential venturing upon the land and seas, learning about the history, culture, ecology, oceanography and geology of the Maine coastline, both in and by the ocean. Although a substantial element of each day's work will take the form of field trips, students will also be responsible for readings, attending a series of lectures by faculty and local experts, and working with multimedia forms. Interest in music, writing, and ecology are strongly encouraged. Students will be evaluated based on class participation, a daily log of their experiences plus several short "response pieces" to assigned readings, and a multi-media presentation capturing some aspect of their learning. Students will receive narrative evaluations and a grade of CREDIT or NO CREDIT.
Level: Introductory. Prerequisites: Signature of Instructor.
MD4011National Park Practicum: Designing the ANP Nature CenterThis trans-disciplinary, project-based course is for students interested in imagining creative and effective ways to convey science-based information to a diverse audience. Participants will engage in a collaboration between students, Acadia National Park staff, and COA faculty to create a conceptual plan for the redesign of the nature center in Acadia National Park. With over 50,000 visitors annually, The Sieur de Monts Nature Center has long served as an important space for natural history interpretation in the park. Students will work both on- and off-campus to examine current research in ecological change over time and concurrently explore innovative approaches in the design of educational environments. Students interested in the life sciences, arts and design, experiential and informal education, and science education/interpretation will work together to outline educational goals, generate ideas and potential plans for exhibits and activities that will shape how visitors perceive and interact with Acadia National Park.
Each student will build on their interests and background while participating in a creative team process that follows national park guidelines for the development of interpretative media. While engaging in this work, students will hone skills in translating research, writing and editing for exhibits, employing visual communication, and designing educational spaces. Evaluation will be based on level of collaboration and class participation; ability to effectively communicate in writing and/or visual terms; on quality of class projects and presentations.
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisites: permission of instructor and one or more of the following: Curiosity and Wonder; Experiential Education; Creating Effective Environments For Learning; Biology Through the Lens; Advanced Graphic Design; or at least one *ES* course. Class limit: 12. Lab fee: $45.00
This course reviews how simple and stereotyped actions may be built into complex behaviors and even into apparently sophisticated group interactions. Emphasis is placed on contemporary understanding of Darwinian selection, ethology, behavioral ecology and sociobiology. There are two classes a week. Extensive readings are chosen from a text and articles from scientific and popular periodicals. Evaluations are based on participation in discussions and several quizzes. Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Requires a previous intermediate-level course in species zoology, and signature of the instructor. Offered every other year. Class limit: 15. Lab fee $10. *ES*
ES1012Chemistry for ConsumersThis class is designed to introduce the perspective from which chemists view their world. It begins with examining how life reflects properties of bio-molecules, moves to discussions of the chemistry of nutrition, cooking, agriculture and medicines. The class then shifts gears and discusses how the properties of useful materials such as metals, ceramics, polymers reflect their microscopic structures. Evaluations are based on participation in classes and labs and a final project. Offered every other year.
Level: Introductory. Prerequisites: none. Lab fee $20. Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES1014Gardens and Greenhouses:Theory/Practice of Organic GardeningThis class offers a good foundation of knowledge for a gardener to begin the process of organic gardening, as well as an understanding of what defines organic gardening. The information presented focuses on soil fertility and stewardship, the ecology of garden plants, soil and insects, and practical management of the above. The garden is presented as a system of dynamic interactions. Emphasis is given to vegetable crops and soil fertility. Laboratories include soil analysis, tree pruning, seedling establishment, weed and insect identification, garden design, covercropping, composting, and reclamation of comfrey infested area. Evaluations are based on participation in class and lab, written class work, exam, and final individual garden design.
Level: Introductory. Pre-requisite: Signature of Instructor. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: $25. Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES1016OrnithologyThe study of ornithology is as old as human society itself. Birds are particularly conspicuous elements of our world, and figure prominently in our art, religious symbolism, mythology, scientific endeavors and even sport. Birds appear in European paleolithic cave paintings from 14,000 years ago, domesticated fowl are known from India circa 3000 BC, and ancient scholars such as Aristotle and Pliny the Elder devoted considerable time to ornithological observations. In this century great strides have been made in the study of population biology and ecology, navigation and migration, and human induced ecological change (sometimes called human ecology), all through the study of birds. This class introduces the student to the ornithological world by using both scientific literature and direct field observation. Systematics and physiology will be reviewed, but much of our effort will concentrate on reproductive ecology, behavior and the environment, and population dynamics. There will be a strong emphasis on field observation - learning how to look at birds and their behavior in order to perhaps make larger observations about their environment.
Level: Introductory. Lab fee: $75. Class limit: 24. Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES1018Physics I: Mechanics and Energy
ES1020Chemistry IThis is the first half of a two-term sequence designed to help students describe and understand properties of materials. The course first explores how our current pictures of atoms and molecules can explain physical properties of materials (state, color, density, specific heat). The course then uses such pictures to explain how materials behave when mixed together. What sorts of transformations occur? How fast do they occur? To what extent do they occur? Why do they occur? Course material is applied to better understand living systems, the natural environment, and industrial products. The course meets for three hours of lecture/discussion and for three hours of lab each week. Students are strongly urged to take both terms of this course. Those wishing a less rigorous chemistry course should take Chemistry for Consumers. Evaluations are based on class participation, lab reports, and quizzes. Offered every year.
Level: Introductory. Lab fee: $75. Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES1022Introduction to OceanographyPlanet Earth is misnamed. Seawater covers approximately 70% of the planet's surface, in one giant all-connected ocean. This ocean has a profound effect on the planet's climate, chemistry, ecosystem, and energy resources. Billions of years ago life began there, in what now we regard as the last unexplored frontier of this planet. In this course we examine the various disciplines within oceanography, including aspects of geology and sedimentology, chemical, dynamic and biological oceanography. The course concludes with an introduction to marine ecosystems examined at various trophic levels, including phyto/zooplankton, fish and other macrofauna. Fieldwork (weather dependent) includes trips on RV Indigo, trips to intertidal and estuarine ecosystems, and possible visits to the college's islands, Mount Desert Rock and Great Duck Island. Evaluation will be by lab, quizzes and a final paper.
Level: Introductory. Lab fee: $150. Class limit: 20. Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES1024Calculus IThe goal of this sequence of courses is to develop the essential ideas of single-variable calculus: the limit, the derivative, and the integral. Understanding concepts is emphasized over intricate mathematical maneuverings. The mathematics learned are applied to topics from the physical, natural, and social sciences. There is a weekly lab/discussion section. Evaluations are based on homework, participation in class and lab, and tests.
Level: Introductory. Prerequisites: Precalculus or the equivalent or signature of the instructor. Class limit: 20. Lab fee: none. Meets the following degree requirements: QR
ES1026Introduction to Chaos and FractalsThis course presents an elementary introduction to chaos and fractals. The main focus will be on using discrete dynamical systems to illustrate many of the key phenomena of chaotic dynamics: stable and unstable fixed and periodic points, deterministic chaos, bifurcations, and universality. A central result of this study will be the realization that very simple non-linear equations can exhibit extremely complex behavior. In particular, a simple deterministic system (i.e., physical system governed by simple, exact mathematical rules) can behave in a way that is unpredictable and random, (i.e., chaotic). This result suggests that there are potentially far-reaching limits on the ability of science to predict certain phenomena. Students in this class will also learn about fractals---self-similar geometric objects---including the Mandelbrot set and Julia sets. We will also read about and discuss the development of the field of chaos. In so doing, we will examine the nature of scientific communities, with a particular eye toward how changes in scientific outlooks occur. Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to explore the relations between chaos, fractals, and other areas of study such as literature, art, and cultural studies. Students who successfully complete this class should gain a quantitative and qualitative understanding of the basic ideas of chaos and fractals, a greater understanding of the cultural practice of science, and improved mathematical skills. Evaluation will be based on class and lab participation, weekly problem sets several short writing assignments and a final
Level: Introductory. Prerequisite: A high school algebra course or signature of instructor. Lab fee: $20. Class limit: 15. Meets the following degree requirements: ES QR
ES1028Marine BiologyThis is a broad course, covering the biology of organisms in various marine habitats (rocky intertidal, mud and sand, estuaries, open ocean, coral reefs, deep sea), and some policy and marine management and conservation issues. The largest part of this course is focused on learning to identify and understand the natural history and ecology of the marine flora and fauna of New England, with an emphasis on the rocky intertidal of Mount Desert Island. The course meets twice per week with one afternoon for laboratory work or field trips. Evaluations are based on the quality of participation in class, one in-class practical, several sets of essay questions, and a field notebook emphasizing natural history notes of local organisms. This class is intended for first year students, who will have priority during registration. Returning students may take this course only with permission of the instructor.
Level: Introductory. Prerequisites: Signature of instructor for returning students. Offered at least every other year. Class limit: 20. Lab fee: $60. Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES1032Chemistry of Foods and CookingThis course is designed to introduce students to the basic concepts of chemistry in the context of food. After a brief introduction to biochemistry (why we eat), the course will work through different foods, roughly in the order that humans are thought to have exploited them. Topics will include their history, cultural significance & how their molecular structure can explain how different methods of preparation affect their nutritional and aesthetic characteristics. Each class will be based around kitchen experiments that illustrate chemical concepts. Evaluation will be based on a midterm take-home problem set and each student’s compilation of a cook-book of recipes for 15 different food types, each of which includes a discussion of how the recipe reflects the chemical principles discussed in the class.
Level: Introductory. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: $50. Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES1034Physics and Mathematics of Sustainable EnergyThe aim of this course is to help students learn some basic physics and quantitative and analytical skills so that they can participate intelligently and responsibly in policy discussions, personal and community decisions, and ventures in the area of sustainable energy. We will begin with some basic physics, including: the definition of energy, the difference between energy and power, different forms of energy, and the first and second laws of thermodynamics. We will also provide students with a basic scientific and economic introduction tovarious alternative energy technologies. Along the way, students will gain mathematical skills in estimation and dimensional analysis, and will learn to use spreadsheets to assist in physical and financial calculations. There will also be a weekly lab to help students understand the physical principles behind different energy technologies and gain experience gathering and analyzing data.
Students who successfully complete this course will be able to apply what they have learned to basic issues in sustainable energy. For example, they will be able to evaluate and analyze a proposed technology improvement by considering its dollar cost, carbon reduction, return to investment, payback time, and how all this might depend on, say, interest rates or the cost of electricity or gasoline. Students will also be able to analyze the potential of a technology or energy source to scale up. E.g., they will be able to consider not only the benefits to a homeowner of a solar installation, but to also analyze the degree to which solar power may contribute to Maine's energy needs.
This will be a demanding, introductory, class. Evaluation will be based on weekly problem sets, participation in class and lab, and a final project. At least one college-level class in mathematics or physical science is strongly recommended.
Level: Introductory. Prerequisites: None. Class limit: 15. Lab fee $50.00 Meets the following degree requirements: QR ES
ES1036Biology II: Form and FunctionThis is the second half of a 20-week, two-term introductory course in biology, providing an overview of the discipline and prerequisite for many intermediate and advanced biology courses. The course further explores topics introduced in Biology I, with a particular emphasis on biological structures and their role in the survival and reproduction of organisms. We will explore principles of evolution, classification, anatomy and physiology, epidemiology, behavior, and basic ecology. The primary focus of the course is on vertebrate animals and vascular plants, but we will make forays into other phylogenetic lineages at intervals. Weekly field and laboratory studies introduce students to the local range of habitats and a broad array of protists, plants, and animals. Attendance at two lectures and one lab each week is required; course evaluation is based on class participation, exams, preparation of a lab notebook, and a mid-term presentation.
Level: Introductory. Prerequisites: Completion of Bio I with a grade of C or higher, or a score 4 or 5 on the AP Biology exam, or a score of 6 or 7 on the IB Biology HL exam, or permission of instructor. Offered every year. Lab fee $40. Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES1038Geology of Mt. Desert IslandThis course is designed to introduce students to geological concepts, tools of the trade, and to the geological history of Mount Desert Island. Throughout the course, students will learn skillsets (topographic and geologic map reading, orienteering, field observation, note taking, field measurements) and geologic principles (rock types, stratigraphy, plate tectonics, earth systems, geologic time, surface processes) both in the classroom and in the field. We will conduct multiple short field excursions on MDI and one extended weekend field trip to explore the regional geology. Students will submit a term project complete with their own field data, maps, photos, and analysis of the local and regional geology. Students will be evaluated on the term project, short quizzes, additional written assignments and lab reports. Offered every fall.
Level: Introductory. Prerequisites: none. Class limit: 15. Lab Fee: $100. Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES1040Natural ResourcesThis course will focus on various types of natural resources we have on Earth including water, soil, rock and mineral, and various energy resources (fossil fuels, alternatives). Students will learn fundamental geologic principles through a discussion of the processes forming and influencing these resources. We will explore how each type is extracted/refined/exploited/conserved for human use. We will also discuss the many environmental issues associated with each industry. Finally, we will look at the local industries built on the many natural resources available in our region of Maine. This course will appeal to students interested in geologic processes and how they relate to our resource needs. This course will also provide scientific grounding in the relevant geology for students whose primary interests are in the policy or politics of resources. Class time will be spent as lectures, discussions, labs or demonstration, and occasionally visiting a local field site. Students will be evaluated based on weekly labs and/or problem sets, a field trip report, and a final report.
Level: Introductory. Prerequisites: none. Class limit: 16. Lab fee: $40. Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES1042Geology and HumanityIn this course we will explore how geology has played a major role in human history and culture over multiple temporal and spatial scales. We will explore the underlying geological processes forming and influencing our environment and how this relates to human migration and settlement patterns, political boundaries, geohazards, resources, the modern landscape, and agriculture. This course will appeal to students interested in exploring connections between geology and other subject areas, or who are curious about humanity's place in geologic time. This course will implement readings from a range of sources: geologic textbooks, excerpts from short historical texts, and scientific journal articles. We will use class time in a variety of ways: lecture-based, seminar-style discussion, and laboratories spent visiting local field sites. Students will be evaluated based on their performance on weekly problem sets or writing assignments, a midterm quiz, as well as a term project with both oral and written presentation components.
Level: Introductory. Prerequisites: none. Class limit: 20. Lab fee: $15. Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES1044Physics IIThis course is one of a pair of courses covering a range of standard introductory physics topics. The main topics of this course are electricity and magnetism, light, and optics. As time permits, and depending on student interest, we may also cover basic astronomy and nuclear fission and fusion. Emphasis will be on how these topics relate to real world phenomena, with many hands-on lab opportunities exploring physical systems such as circuits, generators, telescopes and microscopes, as well as biological systems like the eye and the nervous system. This course makes extensive use of algebra to solve problems and mathematical formulas to explain physical phenomena. Evaluation will be based on weekly homework assignments, class participation, lab work, and two exams.
Level: Introductory. Prerequisites: Understanding functions, a strong high school algebra background, or consent of the instructor. Physics I is not a prerequisite. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: $45. Meets the following degree requirements: QR ES
ES1046Critical Zone IThis course will cover the foundational concepts in Geology and Earth System Science such as plate tectonics, rock and mineral classification, weathering and erosion, climate, and cycles: water, carbon, nitrogen. Further, students will learn to use many “tools of the trade” including using a Brunton compass, geologic mapping (field and GIS), describing and identifying rocks through outcrop, hand-sample, and thin-section analysis, and describing soils. The course will have lab and lecture components, but will also include field study at various sites within the Northeast Creek watershed including the Peggy Rockefeller Farm and The Protectorate. Students will be evaluated based on weekly or bi-weekly problem sets, quizzes, and a field project. The students will also prepare a field-based project proposal. They will work on this project proposal throughout the term with multiple opportunities for peer review and revision.
Level: Introductory. Prerequisites: none. Class limit: 16. Lab fee: $65. Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES1048Napoleon's Buttons: How Chemistry has Shaped HistoryThis course, based on the book "Napoleon’s Buttons: How 17 Molecules Changed History" by Penny Le Couter is designed to challenge students to think on a deep level about how an individual molecule can shape historical events and how these events can, in turn, have an impact on the field of chemistry. The unique focus is on the role of chemistry in history rather than on the history of chemistry. Through the term, we will learn chemical principles to help us understand how molecules such as vitamin C, sugar, and progesterone have shaped global conflicts, how we perceive ourselves, and how we change the world around us. Beyond the primary text, we will draw from current news reports, the text "Organic Chemistry Principles in Context: A Story-Telling Historical Approach", and other relevant articles. Evaluations are based on participation in classes, quizzes and labs, and a final project and presentation on a molecule of choice.
Level: Introductory. Prerequisites: none. Class limit: 12. Lab Fee: $20. Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES1050Morphology and Diversity of MDI PlantsThis course is a survey of the major groups of plants that grow on and around Mount Desert Island. The course is field-based, will also include discussion and laboratory work. We will cover structural organization and reproductive methods found in bryophytes, ferns, fern allies, gymnosperms, and angiosperms. Ecological relationships of diverse groups with their environment provide insights into their evolutionary success or failure. Evaluations are based on class participation, quizzes, lab exams, problem sets, and a final project.
Level: Introductory. Prerequisite: none. Class limit: 20. Lab fee $25.
ES114Organic Chemistry I
This course explores the physical, chemical, and environmental properties of carbon-containing materials such as plastics, solvents, dyes, as well as all living things, and once-living materials. The lab exposes students to the common techniques of studying and manipulating such materials. Evaluations are based on midterm and final exam. The equivalent of this course is a prerequisite for biochemistry. Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: A previous chemistry course. Offered every other year. Lab fee: $20. *ES*
The study of ornithology is as old as human society itself. Birds are particularly conspicuous elements of our world, and figure prominently in our art, religious symbolism, mythology, scientific endeavors and even sport. Birds appear in European paleolithic cave paintings from 14,000 years ago, domesticated fowl are known from India circa 3000 BC, and ancient scholars such as Aristotle and Pliny the Elder devoted considerable time to ornithological observations. In this century great strides have been made in the study of population biology and ecology, navigation and migration, and human induced ecological change (sometimes called human ecology), all through the study of birds. This class introduces the student to the ornithological world by using both scientific literature and direct field observation. Systematics and physiology will be reviewed, but much of our effort will concentrate on reproductive ecology, behavior and the environment, and population dynamics. There will be a strong emphasis on field observation - learning how to look at birds and their behavior in order to perhaps make larger observations about their environment. Level: Introductory. Lab fee: $75. Class limit: 24. *ES*
ES191Field Ecology and Data Analysis
This course teaches students how to collect data in the field (outside), how to descriptively and quantitatively analyze these data using spreadsheet and statistical programs, and how to present the information in the form of a report or scientific paper. Some of the projects are experimental, while some are observational. There are four field projects during the term, and the tentative project areas are one terrestrial plant, one terrestrial animal, one marine, and one independent project. The methods learned will most likely include measuring population and demographic parameters, quantifying behavior, and estimating community composition. In addition to taking data in the field, students spend a substantial amount of time learning and applying statistical techniques to describe and analyze data. Lecture material includes designing data collection procedures, statistical analysis, and problem solving. Evaluations are based on write-ups of field exercises, homework on statistical techniques, oral presentations of work, and class participation. Level: Advanced. Prerequisite: Signature of Instructor; intermediate level Ecology or similar courses are helpful. Offered approximately every other year. Class limit: 15. Lab fee $ 20. *ES* *QR*
ES2010Ecology: Natural HistoryThis course emphasizes field studies of the ecology of Mount Desert Island, incorporating labs and field trips. Each exercise focuses on a central ecological concept. Topics include intertidal biology and diversity, forest trees and site types, bedrock geology, soil biology, insect diversity, pollination ecology, freshwater biology, predation, herbivory, and the migration of birds. Discussions include the development of natural history as a science and the role of natural selection in the evolution of diversity. Students are expected to keep a field notebook or journal, to undertake a project, and to write a term paper. Class meets for two lecture sessions and one lab session or two field/lab sessions per week. The course is particularly appropriate for students concentrating in Environmental Education. This class is intended for first year students, who will have priority during registration. Returning students may take this course with permission of the instructor.
Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Prerequisites: None; field work involves strenuous hiking. Class Limit: 14. Lab fee: $75. Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES2012Introduction to Statistics and Research Design
ES2014Trees and Shrubs of Mount Desert IslandThis course introduces you to the native and ornamental shrubs and trees of Mount Desert Island. Lectures will cover basics of plant taxonomy and forest ecology focusing on the dominant woody plant species of the region. Laboratory and field sessions will involve the identification of woody plants and an introduction to the major woody plant habitats of the island. The course is designed to teach botany and plant taxonomy for students interested in natural history/ecology, forestry, and landscape design. Evaluations are based on class participation, weekly field/lab quizzes, a plant collection, and term project.
Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Recommended: some background in Botany, Ecology. Offered every year. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: $40. Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES2016Edible BotanyIs the tomato a fruit or a vegetable? Why are potatoes modified stems and sweet potatoes modified roots? Did you know that the true fruits of the strawberry are the achenes (seed-like structures) embedded in the flesh of the strawberry? Why is the fruit of the peanut a legume and not a nut? This introductory botany course of edible plants is aimed at enhancing your understanding of and appreciation for the plant world. We will cover general plant anatomy and morphology focusing on plant organs such as leaves, stems, fruits, seeds, and roots we use as food and discuss the botany of plant families dominating the world of agriculture. Evaluations are based on class participation, weekly laboratory/field quizzes, and term project.
Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Prerequisite: An appreciation for the plants we eat. Recommended: A course in Biology. Offered every year. Class limit: 20. Lab fee: $50. Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES2018Probability and StatisticsThis course provides an introduction to probability and statistics. Its goal is to give students a good understanding of what kinds of questions statistical analyses can answer and how to interpret statistical results in magazines, books, and articles from a wide range of disciplines. The course begins with understanding probability and how it can often lead to nonintuitive results. Types of statistical analyses discussed in the second part of the course include comparisons of averages, correlation and regression, and applying confidence limits to estimates of studies from both the social and biological sciences. Application of statistics to specific research problems is covered in greater depth in more advanced courses such as advanced statistics and field ecology and data analysis. Evaluation is based on class participation, problem sets, and quizzes, and an independent project.
Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Offered approximately every other year. Class limit: 15. Lab fee $10.00 Meets the following degree requirements: QR
ES2020Art and Science of Fermented FoodsThis course will take an in depth look at the art and science of fermented and cultured foods. The first half of the class will focus on the microbiology of fermentation with a specific focus on products derived from milk and soybeans. Each week there will be a laboratory portion in which students will explore how the basic fermentation processes and products change with different milk and soy qualities. These small-scale experiences and experiments will be complemented with field trips to commercial enterprises in Maine and Massachusetts. In the second half of the term students will explore the differences in flat, yeast, and sourdough breads. Final projects will focus on a food way of choice and will culminate in presentations that explore the historical and cultural context in which these different cultured foods were developed and how these microbial-mediated processes enhance preservation, nutritional and economic value, and taste. Evaluations will be based on class participation, short quizzes, a lab report, journal, and a final project.
Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Class limit: 12. Lab Fee: $75 (to cover use of the community kitchen, one two-day field trip to Massachusetts, to visit commercial soy product companies and supplies.) Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES2026Introduction to Quantum MechanicsWhat is quantum mechanics and why was it viewed as revolutionary when it was formulated in the early 1900s? How and why does quantum mechanics compel us to discard commonsense ideas about the nature of the physical world that are part of classical mechanics? Why is there not agreement on how to interpret quantum mechanics, and does quantum mechanics even need interpretation? This course is designed to introduce students to some of the central ideas of quantum mechanics so they can formulate scientifically grounded answers to the above questions. Our entry point will be to take a close look at a prototypical quantum system, spin-1/2 particles, and we will use this system to examine the experimental evidence for quantum behavior. We will then turn our attention to some of the well-known conundrums of quantum mechanics, such as wave/particle duality (via the two-slit experiment) and the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox. We will also look at the early development of quantum theory covering phenomena such as blackbody radiation, the photoelectric effect, and Bohr's model of the hydrogen atom. As part of this we will examine some of the early debates about quantum mechanics and learn about the scientists who played a key role in these debates. As time permits, we will look at recent developments in quantum mechanics, including Bell inequalities, delayed-choice experiments, and quantum cryptography. This course is designed to appeal to a wide range of students---both those whose interests lie outside of science as well as those who are concentrating in the sciences or mathematics. Students who successfully complete this course will have gained a solid understanding of the central ideas of quantum mechanics. This understanding should be mathematical and quantitative as well as conceptual. Students will also gain some experience with scientific reasoning and quantitative problem solving. Evaluation will be based on weekly problem sets, participation in a weekly discussion section, and a final presentation or paper.
Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Prerequisites: Comfort working with algebra and familiarity with high school chemistry or physics. Class limit: 26. Lab fee: $10. Meets the following degree requirements: QR ES
ES2028Landforms and VegetationThe course is directed at those interested in descriptive and applied research on taxonomic and ecological aspects of plants. Using field observations and experimental methods students will explore the influence of lithology (parent material), geomorphology (landforms, including topography), and land-use history on the composition and ecology of plant communities of Mount Desert Island and other settings in Maine. Lectures will cover a broad range of topics in geoecology, including plant-soil-microbe relations, plant ecology and evolution, plant ecophysiology, stressors influencing plant species and communities of the Northeast, and conservation and restoration. Students will learn the theory and practice of plant taxonomy and the nomenclature of over 150 species of vascular plants, including the morphological and ecological traits characterizing their families. As part of the evaluation, students are responsible for making a 25-specimen plant collection from one or more plant communities and providing a detailed description on the biotic and abiotic features characterizing the chosen plant-habitat association. Students will also be exposed to methods in plant ecology, including techniques in vegetation surveying and the collection of ecological data on below- and above-ground habitat features to better characterize plant-habitat associations. While students are encouraged to explore a range of habitats on and off the island, students working on plant-habitat associations in the Northeast Creek Watershed will be able to incorporate their plant-habitat data into the Watershed Database managed by COA’s GIS Laboratory. Evaluations are based on a 25 specimen plant collection and report (30%), weekly field quizzes on plant taxonomy and ecology (30%), final project presentation on a plant community ecology topic (30%), and class participation (10%).
Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Prerequisites: Biology 2 and Critical Zone I or II. Other recommended courses include Wild Life Ecology and Management and Chemistry of Waters. Class Size: 20. Lab Fee: $60. Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES2030Marine Mammal Biology IThis course provides an introduction to the biology and natural history of marine mammals, specializing in species resident within the North Atlantic. Topics covered include: phylogeny and taxonomy; anatomy and physiology; behavior; sensory ecology; and management/conservation issues. The course includes field trips to observe animals in their natural habitat, dissection of specimens, and exposure to the professional peer review field. Students are expected to complete two individual literature-based reviews, one species- and one system-based, to be presented in class. Assessment is based on class participation, presentations as well as written submissions. Lab fee covers costs of field trips, including potential boat and field station time, and optional travel to a regional conference during the term. Offered every other year.
Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Prerequisite: Biology I, II and a writing-focused class or permission of instructor. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: $200. Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES3012Calculus IIThis course is the continuation of Calculus I. It begins by considering further applications of the integral. We then move to approximations and series; we conclude the course with a brief treatment of differential equations. The mathematics learned are applied to topics from the physical, natural, and social sciences. There is a weekly lab/discussion section. Evaluations are based on homework, participation in class and lab, and tests.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: Calculus I or the equivalent. Class limit: 20. Lab fee $10. Meets the following degree requirements: QR ES
ES3016Functional Vertebrate AnatomyThis course provides an overview of morphological variation in the vertebrates. Emphasis is placed on modifications of the general vertebrate body plan in response to the requirements of survival in different habitats and different forms of locomotion. The class examines possible evolutionary pathways from a presumed aquatic "proto-vertebrate" through the development and radiation of fish and terrestrial animals and secondarily aquatic species such as the marine mammals. Students are evaluated on participation in lab and lecture, a number of quizzes, and one term project. Two lectures/discussion sessions and one lab period per week.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: Biology I and II or equivalent. Offered every other winter. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: $25. Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES3018HerpetologyThis course is a comprehensive introduction to the biology of amphibians and reptiles. We cover the systematics, physiology, behavior, and ecology of each group, with particular emphasis on the important contribution amphibian and reptilian studies have made to the fields of physiological, behavioral, and community ecology. Readings are chosen from a text and from primary literature. The course consists of two lecture/discussion sessions per week and one lab/field trip every week. Weather dictates the number and focus of field trips, but students should expect to participate in both day and night field trips throughout the term. Students are evaluated on class participation, exams, and a term-long field project.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: Biology I and II or equivalent, and one Vertebrate Biology course. Class limit: 12. Offered every other year. Lab fee: $75. Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES3020Invertebrate ZoologyThis course is a phylogenetic survey of the major groups of animals without backbones. These animals range in size from single cells to giant squids, and they include the vast majority of animals on earth. Using text readings, assigned articles, and one afternoon per week of field/lab work, students gain an understanding of the classification, ecology, evolutionary relationships, and economic significance of this remarkably diverse collection of organisms. Students are evaluated on participation, lab notebooks, and performance on weekly quizzes and two tests.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: Biology I and II or signature of instructor. Offered every other year. Class limit: 16. Lab fee $25. Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES3022Differential EquationsDifferential equations are an application of calculus used to model a wide variety of physical and natural phenomena. The rate at which a cup of coffee cools, populations of predators and prey in ecosystems, the spread of disease, and the behavior of electric circuits, are all examples of systems that have been described with differential equations. This course is an introduction to ordinary differential equations, intended for students who have completed a single-variable calculus course. The course covers a variety of techniques for solving and understanding differential equations, including numerical and qualitative solution methods. Students will learn to solve and analyze differential equations using the python programming language. Students will also gain experience formulating mathematical models using differential equations. To do so, we will discuss general modeling principles and also consider several case studies. In addition to learning the mathematics of differential equations, a central goal of this course is to gain skills necessary for research in the mathematical, natural, and social sciences. This includes conceptualizing and framing a research question, conducing a literature review, giving a research presentation, and writing up results in a style appropriate for publication.
Evaluation will be based on class participation, bi-weekly problem sets, and a term-long project culminating in a presentation and short research paper. Some computer work will be required, but no computer experience is necessary.
LEVEL: Intermediate. PREREQUISITES: Calculus II or the equivalent or permission of instructor. LAB FEE: none. MEETS THE FOLLOWING DEGREE REQUIREMENTS: ES, QR
ES3024EvolutionThis course provides students with the opportunity to put their knowledge of ecology and diversity into an evolutionary framework. The emphasis is on how populations of organisms are currently evolving, with a focus on the ecological context of natural selection. Topics in the course include the genetic basis of evolutionary change, selection and adaptation, reproductive effort, co-evolution, the ecology and evolution of sex, behavioral ecology, speciation, and applied evolutionary ecology. In addition to a textbook, students read several original research articles. The course has two lectures and one discussion section per week. Evaluations are based on exams and short essay sets.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisite: Biology I and II or equivalent. Offered every other year. Class limit: 20. Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES3026EthnobotanyFrom the dawn of human history, plants have played an integral role in human societies across the world. The course is aimed at generating an appreciation for the myriad uses of plants by human societies, both past and present. We will explore the use of plants as food and beverages, raw materials, fuel, medicine and psychoactive drugs, spices and perfumes, genetic resources, and for religious and spiritual needs. The future ecological, economic, and social implications of our dependency on plants will also be discussed in light of current threats to plants and their native habitats, including threats to plant-human relations in traditional societies. The important roles played by human societies in maintaining floristic and associated cultural diversity will be a primary focus of readings and discussions. Evaluations will be based on class participation, involvement in class discussion, and a term project involving a half-hour oral presentation.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: Signature of instructor or Edible Botany. Class limit: 16. Lab fee $40. Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES3028Calculus III: Multivariable CalculusThe functions studied in Calculus I and II are one-dimensional. But the universe of everyday experience is, at minimum, three-dimensional. In this course we explore how Calculus can be extended so as to apply to functions of more than one variable, and thus apply to the three-dimensional world. We will begin by reviewing vectors and functions of several variables. We will then learn about partial derivatives and gradients and how apply these tools to multivariable optimization. Turning our attention to integral calculus, we will next cover double and triple integrals and their applications. We will conclude with a treatment of line integrals, flux integrals, the divergence and curl of a vector field, and Green's, and Stokes's theorems. Evaluation will be based on class participation and lengthy weekly problem sets.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: Calculus II or the equivalent or signature of instructor. Lab fee: none. Meets the following degree requirements: QR
ES3030Environmental PhysiologyThe manner in which animals survive in extreme environments or function at levels that far exceed human capacities has always fascinated us. In this course, we examine how an animal's physiology fashions its functional capacities under various environmental conditions. We explore the interrelationships between physiology, behavior, and ecology using an integrated and evolutionary approach in order to understand regulatory responses in changing environments. Major areas to be covered include thermoregulation, behavioral energetics, and osmoregulation. Emphasis is placed on vertebrate systems to elucidate general patterns in physiological attributes. This course has two lecture/discussion sessions per week and students are evaluated on class participation, a series of take-home exams, and a class presentation.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: Biology I & II, or equivalent. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: $65.00 Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES3036The History of Natural History
ES3042Composting: Waste Management to Resource CreationComposting is an art at the heart of gardening and farming and can quickly produce humus that is of the highest quality. Anyone and everyone can produce great humus. In this course we will examine what is compost and why it is important, the basic biology of a compost pile and differences in biology based on different composting approaches, and the current challenges with contamination and scaling up from small to large projects. How compost is produced depends on human aims and to be successful needs to take into account social, economic and ecological concerns. The laboratory exercises and projects will take these perspectives into consideration as we compare and develop institutional approaches to composting, from small-scale vermicompost to more commercial level production. Readings will include a historical perspective on composting, basic microbiological processes, scientific literature, and papers on compost success stories. Students will be evaluated on participation, quizzes, field exercises, and a final project presentation to the COA community.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor and oOne of the following courses: biology, chemistry, theory and practice of organic gardening, soils. Class limit: 12. Lab fee: $50 Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES3044Climate and WeatherThis class will explore general weather and climate patterns on global, regional, and local scales. We will discuss the major forcings driving global climate fluctuations - on both long (millions of years) and short (days) timescales, including natural and anthropogenic processes. We will also learn about basic meteorology and the processes producing some common spectacular optical weather phenomena (rainbows, coronas, cloud-types, etc). Students will complete a term project comprising a photo-documentary journal of the different weather phenomena they observe during the 10-week term. The field component of this course will be self-guided through the observation and documentation of weather phenomena. Who should take this course: No prior geology/science experience is needed - but expect to do a bit of basic math in this course! The course level is intermediate because it will not cover foundational principles of geology (or other sciences) but instead the course will be integrative and require students to practice both their quantitative and qualitative skills. Take this course if you are passionate or curious about climate change, but do not know much about the science of climate and weather!
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: none. Class limit: 16 Lab fee: $10 Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES3048SoilsSoils are one of the most important natural resources that affect the sustainability of agricultural, recreational, forest, and disturbed soil (mining, urban) systems. This course seeks to introduce students to basics of soils science and contemporary issues in soils science and management. The primary themes running through this course are how soil properties influence and are influenced by human activities. Classes will cover the basic physical, chemical and biological properties of soils and the processes which create, maintain and transform them. Evaluation of students will be based on quizzes, problem sets and a final presentation.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: At least one college level chemistry and one college level biology class. Class limit: 12. Lab fee: $50 Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES305Tropical Marine Ecology
This course in tropical marine ecology explores topics including organismal diversity, natural history of fish, invertebrates, algae, habitat diversity (coral reefs, mangroves, etc.), fisheries, and conservation. Students meet as a class weekly, alternating between a single three-hour evening seminar session and individual meetings with the instructors to discuss primary readings and research projects. In addition, this course includes a required 18-day field trip to the Yucatan over winter break. Field work is based out of Akumal on the Yucatan peninsula. Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisites: a strong performance in previous classes (especially biology), the ability to work well as a member of a group, and enthusiasm; permission of instructors required. Class limit: 8-14 students. Lab fee: estimated at $1200. *ES*
ES3050Organic Chemistry IThis course explores the physical, chemical, and environmental properties of carbon-containing materials such as plastics, solvents, dyes, as well as all living things, and once-living materials. The emphasis is on learning fundamental principles that allow one to understand and to predict the behavior of various types of organic substances. There is an optional Lab section. Evaluations are based on midterm and final exam. The equivalent of this course is a prerequisite for biochemistry.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: A previous chemistry course. Offered every other year. Class limit: 20. Lab fee: none. Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES3052ThermodynamicsThermodynamics is the area of physics concerned with the behavior of very large collections of particles. Examples include the water molecules in glass of water, the electrons in a wire, or the photons given off by a light bulb. Thermodynamics studies properties of collections of particles that are largely independent of the particles' detail, for example, the tendency for heat to flow from a hot object to a cold one.
This course will begin with a treatment of the first law of thermodynamics and basic thermal physics. Topics to be covered include the conservation of energy, heat and work, the ideal gas, the equipartition of energy, heat capacities, and latent heat. We will then move to the second law of thermodynamics, beginning with a statistical definition of entropy. This will require learning some combinatorics (a mathematical technique for counting) and approximation methods for working with very large numbers. This statistical approach will enable us to understand the origin of the second law of thermodynamics, and will lead naturally to statistical definitions of temperature, pressure, and chemical potential. We will then turn our attention to two broad areas of application. The first of these is heat engines and refrigerators, including heat pumps. The second set of applications involve free energy and chemical equilibrium. Depending on student interest, we will cover batteries and fuel cells, phase transitions, adiabatic lapse rates in meteorology, and nitrogen fixation. Thermodynamics is a broadly applicable field of physics, and so this course should be of relevance to students whose interests are in almost any area of science or engineering, as well as those who wish to gain a general introduction to a field that is one of the pillars of modern physical science. Evaluation will be based on weekly problem sets and a final research paper, presentation, or lab project.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: Calculus II and either a college-level physics or chemistry class. Course Limit: 20. Lab Fee: None. Meets the following degree requirements: QR ES
ES3054Linear AlgebraLinear algebra is a foundational area of applied mathematics, finding widespread application in physics, engineering, economics, and across the sciences. The starting point for this course is to consider basic properties of matrices and techniques for solving systems of linear equations. Abstracting and formalizing the process of solving linear equations leads us to the notion of a vector space and related ideas, such as linear independence, dimension, and basis. The course then turns to further properties of matrices and vector spaces, including determinants, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, and linear transformations. As time permits, we will study various applications of linear algebra, such as Markov models, Fourier series, principal component analysis, and Leontief input-output models. Students who successfully complete this course will gain a solid introduction to the calculational techniques and key constructions and ideas of linear algebra. Additionally, this course serves as an introduction to formal mathematics. Students will learn to work at a level of generality and abstraction above that encountered in a typical introductory calculus sequence. Students will also be introduced to methods of mathematical proof and argument.
This course will be taught in a "flipped" format. Students will be required to watch video lectures outside of class. Class sessions will be devoted exclusively to discussion and problem solving. Evaluation will be based on class participation and weekly problem sets.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: Calculus II or the equivalent, and permission of instructor. Class Limit: 15. Lab Fee: none. Meets the following degree requirements: QR
ES3056Practicum in Renewable EnergyThis is a hands-on, project-based class in which students will collaboratively plan for and oversee all aspects of projects in renewable energy. The projects will occur mainly at College of the Atlantic's small organic farms. Examples of projects include installation of solar photovoltaic array, design and possible installation of a water catchment system, and planning and installing a greenhouse heating system such as a wood-pellet furnace. Students will learn how to take a project from design through fruition while navigating the various phases of the project lifecycle including operation and maintenance. The course will begin with an overview of existing technology and an analysis of the current energy generation and consumption data for the project site(s). This data will inform decisions about renewable energy projects that the class undertakes. The class will then plan the project and present this plan to the community. As part of this planning process, students will learn about the economics of renewable energy systems, including return on investment (ROI), internal rate of return (IRR), and related quantities. Students who successfully complete this class will gain the skills necessary to conceptualize, plan for, finance, and implement renewable energy projects. Evaluation will be based on several presentations and short written assignments and active and effective participation in all aspects of the project.
Level: Intermediate. Pre-requisites: a willingness to work hard as part of a collaborative team. A college-level math, chemistry, physics, or business class is recommended but not required. Not open to first-year students. Permission of instructor only. Class size: 10. Lab Fee: $50
ES3058Critical Zone IIThis class will build upon the foundational concepts in Geology and Earth System Science covered in Critical Zone I: plate tectonics, rock and mineral classification, weathering and erosion, climate, and cycles (water, carbon, nitrogen). Students will use the field tools and methods learned in Critical Zone I, including geologic mapping (field and GIS), navigation, and rock/soil identification to complete a term-long field study of the Northeast Creek Watershed. The course will be mainly field-based with weekly field trips, but will also have supplemental lab and lecture components. Students will work in pairs to complete a term-long study of a specific site within the watershed as proposed during Critical Zone I. Students will be evaluated based on weekly assignments, quizzes, presentations, and a term-long field project. The field project will culminate in a written report. They will work on their project report throughout the term with opportunities for peer review and revision.
Class level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: Critical Zone I or equivalent coursework that is approved by instructor prior to preregistration. Class limit: 16. Lab fee: $70. Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES3060Marine Mammal Biology I: Field StudiesThis Fall course provides an introduction to the biology and natural history of marine mammals, specializing in species resident within the North Atlantic, in a field setting. Students spend the last two weeks in August of the preceding summer at the College's Mt. Desert Rock Marine Research Station. In addition to introductory topics in marine mammal biology that include phylogeny and taxonomy; anatomy and physiology; behavior; sensory ecology; and management/conservation issues, students also integrate themselves into the resident research team and work on team projects that will include observation of animals in their natural habitat. In the Fall, students meet 3-4 further times for dissection of specimens, team project presentations, and optional attendance at a regional conference. Assessment is based on two individual literature-based reviews, one species- and one system-based, to be presented in class, participation in research projects, and written submissions of their research. Lab fee covers costs of field trips, including boat and field station time, and conference costs. A $200 nonrefundable deposit is required by June 1. Offered every other year.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisite: Biology I, II and a writing-focused class or permission of instructor. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: $500. Meets the following degree requirements: ES
This class will examine the anatomy, physiology, ecology, and evolutionary history of class Mammalia. Beginning with the evolutionary origin of the first mammals in the Triassic we will follow the adaptive radiation within the group, and the development of increasingly specialized organisms in response to changing climactic and biological conditions. During the final portion of the course, we will examine current theories of hominid evolution and the effects of human dispersal patterns on mammalian biodiversity. Lab work will focus on the identification of North American mammals, but we will also take advantage of other specimens, as they become available. Evaluation based on a series of quizzes, a lab practical, and a term project focusing on one family of mammals. Three hours of lecture/discussion per week plus one three hour lab. Intermediate/Advanced. Biology I & II required, additional courses in ecology and evolution strongly encouraged. PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR. Lab Fee $25.00. Offered based on demand. *ES*
ES361Environmental Chemistry: Water
Billions of years ago, ancient water molecules traversed a Goldilocks-like walk through our slowly condensing solar system, looking for a home. Mercury and Venus were much too hot. Mars and the outer planets were much too cold. Earth seemed 'just right.' With conditions capable of sustaining all of water's phases, Earth became the 'water planet.' The solid surface of the earth became sculpted by water. The composition and temperature of the earth's atmosphere became largely determined by its water. All life (that we know) came to be based upon water. It is within the water of its cells that the machinery of life grinds away and it is into water that life disposes of what it finds un-useful. Many life-forms live their entire existence bathed in water as we are bathed in air, and even we who live surrounded by air require more water every day than any other foodstuff. As such, it is appropriate to look at how our water is doing these days. Students will be evaluated on their participation in class discussion of the readings, problem sets, and participation in field studies of focused on monitoring and modeling the conditions of local waters. Level: Intermediate. Lab fee: $50. *ES*
ES373Marine Mammals and Sound
This advanced seminar class examines the role of sound in the biology of marine mammals. We start with an examination of the behavior of sound underwater, covering concepts that include sound production, propagation and reception, SONAR equations, and noise. We continue with a review of how marine mammals, with a specific focus on cetaceans, use sound to communicate, sense and orient within their environment. We conclude with a bioacoustic examination of specific management problems in marine mammal science. Topics covered in this final part will include, but will not be limited to: marine mammal fishery interactions, shipstrikes, effects of industrial noise, whale song and dialects, baleen whale orientation, and marine mammal strandings. Classes will be run in seminar style, reading intensive, with students responsible for leading discussions and topics. Evaluation is by class participation, two term papers and (possibly) a class project. Although no lab period is set for this class, students are expected to invest some time outside of class for the purpose of possible class projects. Level: Advanced. Class limit: 5-10 students. Lab fee $100. *ES*
ES381Chaos and Complex Systems
This course is a survey of a variety of modern topics in nonlinear dynamics: differential equations, finite difference equations, chaos, fractals, multifractals, boolean networks, and cellular automata. The survey will be conducted at a fairly advanced mathematical level, but the material will be covered with an applied emphasis. Numerical results and applications will be stressed rather than proofs. Evaluation will be based on class participation, weekly problem sets and a final project. Some computer work will be required, but no computer experience is necessary. The final project will provide students an opportunity to examine a particular topic or area of application in considerable depth.
Level: Advanced. Prerequisite: Calculus II or the equivalent. Lab fee $10. *ES* *QR*
ES383Fisheries and Their Management
Humans have exploited the biotic resources of the ocean for thousands of years. Although early harvesting probably had minimal ecological and population impact, increased exploitation due to increasing market demand and technological advances have placed significant stress on many of the world's "fisheries". Those exploited species that have thus far avoided becoming commercially or biologically extinct, are, in many cases, threatened by collapse due to over-fishing. This course examines the exploitation of biotic resources in the oceans, including invertebrates, fish, and marine mammal populations. Importantly, it also examines the fishing techniques, fisheries technology and management of fisheries, and critiques and reviews the development of the mathematical modeling on which management is based. The class will be offered in seminar style, with students involved in the discussion and critique of readings, and researching and presenting various case histories. Students will be evaluated on the basis of participation and quality of presentations and term projects. Level: Intermediate. Class limit: 12. Prerequisite: Signature of the instructor, by demonstration of competence in QR and ES disciplines. Course fee: $60. *ES*
ES395Physics III: Introduction to Quantum Mechanics
This course is designed to introduce students to the two central ideas of quantum mechanics. First, the outcomes of experiments cannot be predicted exactly; one can only predict the probability of various outcomes. And second, these probabilities do not behave like normal probabilities; the probabilities interfere with each other in a manner that has no counterpart in our everyday experience with probabilities. We will develop these ideas by taking a close look at a prototypical quantum system: "spin-1/2" particles. We will carefully discuss the experimental evidence for quantum mechanics, and we will also look at some of the well-known conundrums of quantum mechanics, such as the two-slit experiment and the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox. Along the way, students will also be introduced to basic probability theory. We will conclude by looking at some of the applications and implications of quantum mechanics, such as: the Bohr atom, quantum computation, quantum cryptography, and the photoelectric effect. Quantum mechanics is an exciting, challenging topic which has made an impact in many different fields. As such, this course is designed to appeal to a wide range of students --- both those whose interests lie outside of science as well as those who are concentrating in the sciences or mathematics. Students who successfully complete this course will have gained a solid understanding of the central ideas of quantum mechanics. This understanding should be mathematical and quantitative as well as conceptual. Students will also gain some experience with scientific reasoning and quantitative problem solving. Evaluation will be based on class participation, weekly problem sets, and a final presentation or paper. Some computer work may be required, but no computer experience is necessary. Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Prerequisites: Familiarity with algebra and trigonometry and high school chemistry or physics. Physics I and II are not prer
ES4010BiomechanicsWhy do we get shorter and wrinklier with age? Were dinosaurs warm-blooded? How do grasshoppers hop? These diverse questions are all within the realm of biomechanics. A knowledge of biomechanics, or the ways in which plants and animals cope with the laws of physics, can promote an understanding of organisms at all levels of organization, from molecules to ecosystems. In this course we explore several areas of physical science, including mechanical engineering, materials science, and fluid dynamics, as a means of gaining insight into the biological world. Students attend two lecture sessions per week and one three-hour lab session for discussions of current research in biomechanics, review of homework assignments, and laboratory observations or demonstrations. Evaluations are based on participation in discussions, weekly problem sets, two term papers, and a final exam.
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisites: One college-level course in Biology and one college-level course in Math or Physics or signature of instructor.
Class limit: 16. Offered every other year. Lab fee: $15. Meets the following degree requirements: QR ES
ES4014Advanced Analysis in BiologyThis course builds on Basic Research Design and Analysis in Biology, introducing more advanced statistical techniques within the field of parametric statistics, in particular multiple regression and advanced forms of analysis of variance used in biologically oriented studies. Labs will focus on computer assisted statistical analysis, and reporting style. Evaluation is based on two quizzes, several choices of take-home problems, and a team project. Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisite: Basic Research Design and Analysis in Biology, or permission of instructor. Lab fee $40 Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES4016Island LifeIslands have played a major role in the development of ecological and evolutionary theory. Most recently, islands have served as an important metaphor in the development of conservation biology. Maine is blessed with a plethora of islands -between 4500 and 6000 at the last count- and the history and pre-history of these islands is intimately entwined with that of the continent itself. This course examines historical and current interpretations of island biogeography and the interplay between natural and human history and human ecology. The class will be taught as a combination of term-time seminar and in the field, based on the College's field station on Great Duck Island and the R/V Indigo. During the Spring term we will be meeting regularly to examine the theoretical basis of Island Biogeography and islands as the subject of scientific and literary discussion since Aristotle. Readings will include Darwin, Alfred Russell Wallace, and contemporary authors. In late August we will re-convene for the field component of the class. During the first half of this component, we will be focusing primarily on Great Duck Island and its immediate surroundings, learning and applying theoretical approaches to islands' landscapes, with extensive reading from the primary literature. During the second half of the class, we will move further afield, exploring a variety of islands in eastern Maine, and relating our observations to theoretical predictions. Ultimately we hope to travel to Grand Manan Island in the Bay of Fundy to observe a large island community, see the traditional weir fishery, and observe firsthand migrating Right and Hump-backed whales, and northern seabirds. Evaluation based on participation, quizzes and a term project. Intermediate/Advanced. Class size limited to 8. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Workshop in boat-handling and/or significant experience on the water is a good idea. INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED Lab fee: $150, which helps to cover food and travel for the field component of the course. Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES4018Human Anatomy and Physiology IThis is the first course in a two term sequence designed for students interested in pursuing medicine or biomedical research examines aspects of human anatomy and physiology, with particular emphasis on the digestive system, reproductive physiology, the circulatory system, immune response, and elements of nutrition and neurophysiology. This course will emphasize the relationships between anatomy and physiology and will focus on basic principles of biochemistry, the Musculoskeletal system, digestion, nutrition, osmoregulation, and circulation. Readings include a standard pre-medical text and some primary literature. Evaluation is based on a number of in-class quizzes a term paper, participation in discussion and a final exam.
Level:Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisite: Biology course work, some background in chemistry and permission of Instructor. Students are strongly encouraged to take both terms. Class size: 15. Lab fee: $30. Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES4020Human Anatomy and Physiology IIThis two term sequence designed for students interested in pursuing medicine or biomedical research examines aspects of human anatomy and physiology, with particular emphasis on the digestive system, reproductive physiology, the circulatory system, immune response, and elements of nutrition and neurophysiology. Readings include a standard pre-medical text and some primary literature. Evaluation is based on a number of in-class quizzes a term paper, participation in discussion and a final exam.
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisite: Biology course work, some background in chemistry and permission of instructor. Students are strongly encouraged to take both terms. Class size: 15. Lab fee $10. Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES4024Molecular Evolutionary GeneticsThis is a hands-on laboratory course in molecular genetics, focusing on genomic DNA isolation, genomic library construction and amplification of molecular markers by polymerase chain reaction. The course will be taught over the two-week spring break period (8 hour days, Monday through Friday), with additional meetings during spring term to discuss results, work on papers or posters and continue with some advanced reading. Participants in the course will be introduced to a variety of molecular techniques that can be used to investigate population genetics of animal species. In particular, we plan to have students apply newly learned techniques to marine species, with an emphasis on shark and skate species. The curriculum will mix hands on laboratory work with lectures and potential seminars by leading molecular ecologists. The course will meet at Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory during spring break and at COA during the spring term and will culminate in research presentations to the MDIBL and COA community. Student evaluation will be based on required attendance over the entire short course, knowledge and practical use of the molecular techniques, and participation in the laboratory and the class presentation.
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Lab fee: Paid through INBRE grant. Prerequisites: Signature of Instructor. Class limit: 12. Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES4028Plants with MettleThe course deals with the biology and applied ecological aspects of a unique flora, the metallophytes. Metallophytes are plants that are tolerant of and restricted to areas that are high in heavy metals, either naturally or due to anthropogenic activities. We will discuss a wide range of topics relating to metallophytes including natural history, phytogeography, systematics, physiology, evolution, ecology, and how these plants may help us clean vast and growing areas of heavy metal contaminated sites found all over the world. You will become involved in research at two heavy metal-rich sites in Hancock County - nickel and chromium-rich on Deer Isle and the copper, zinc-rich Callahan Mine in Harborside, ME. Both sites offer excellent opportunities to examine the role extreme soil conditions play in generating and maintaining plant diversity as well as examine the potential for phytoremediation. The course is directed at students with interests in plants, their environment and green technologies. Evaluations are based on a mid-term exam, a group project, and a final class presentation.
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisites: an intermediate or advanced course in botany or the consent of the instructor. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: $60. Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES4030Costa Rican Natural History and ConservationThis team-taught, intensive, field-based course examines the ecology and biotic diversity found at several sites within Costa Rica and the implications of this diversity on concepts of conservation biology. Whereas primary emphasis will be placed on Central American herpetofauna and avifauna, we will also discuss and examine issues of botanical, mammalian, etc. diversity and abundance, and the significance of the full array of species in more general studies of land-use and protective strategies. Students will meet during the winter term to discuss a range of articles and book-chapters dealing with aspects of conservation biology and Costa Rican natural history and culture during the winter term but the major emphasis of the course will be a two-week immersion in key habitats within Costa Rica itself during the March break. Non-travel days will consist of early to late-morning fieldwork, afternoon lectures/presentations followed by early evening to late night fieldwork. The course is based out of three field sites: lowland Caribbean slope rainforest at Tirimbina ecological reserve in north central Costa Rica, montane forest of the Arenal and Tenorio volcanic region, and Pacific slope dry forest of the Nicoya Peninsula. Evaluation will be based on detailed field journals, course participation, and a series of examinations testing student’s knowledge of species and concepts.
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Course fee $1000.00 (covers food, transport and lodging in Costa Rica, students provide airfare to Costa Rica). Class limit: 15. Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES4032Marine EcologyThis course is intended for students who have some familiarity with the natural history and ecology of local marine organisms and are eager to take their understanding to the next level in the context of an intensive summer course. The class will meet all day, every day for 15 days, and will comprise several parts, including lecture and discussion of papers from the primary literature, field trips to explore diversity of local habitats, and several research projects. We will work together on two class projects. One will involve the reproductive biology of mummichogs, a small, estuarine fish that is locally abundant. Although not on the scale of wild salmon runs, mummichog spawning is a frenzied spectacle of nature involving dozens of fish simultaneously releasing gametes in the shallows at high tide. Students will collect data on spawning behavior and patterns of survivorship among eggs laid at intertidal sites. The other class project will involve population biology of three species of intertidal snails and how parameters such as species abundance and diversity, size-frequency distribution, and population density vary among populations on various small coastal islands. We will access these islands for censusing via sea kayak, and students interested in learning more about safety and navigation in sea kayaks will have that opportunity. We may include an overnight trip if weather and timing permit. Finally, students will also design their own independent projects, and they will meet individually with instructors to discuss hypothesis generation, experimental design, data collection and analysis, and final communication of results. The final day of class will involve a presentation of individual projects. Students will be evaluated on participation on the class projects and other activities, short written assignments, and the quality of the final project.
Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisites: Marine Biology, Invertebrate Zoology or an intermediate-level course in ecology or behavior and permission of instructor. Class limit: 16. Lab fee: $80 Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES4034Topics in Biomedical ResearchThis course covers a broad range of topics in genetics, cellular and molecular biology, and human and public health. Research scientists from the Jackson Laboratory, Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory, as well as clinical researchers will each run a week of the course. The format will include two meetings per week; each visiting instructor will give a general seminar on their area of expertise and then lead a discussion on their specific research topic and recent papers from the primary literature. Assessment will be based on a series of short summaries of papers during the term and a term paper on an area of interest to the student. The seminar will be supervised on campus by Helen Hess.
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequistes: Genetics, Molecular Evolution Genetics, or Cellular and Molecular Biology or the permission of the instructor. Lab fees: none. Course limit: 10. Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES4036Wildlife EcologyThis course is intended to complement the overall sequence of classes developed with a focus on the landscape and ecology of the Northeast Creek Watershed and is intended to provide students with practical skills in observation, data collection, analysis and presentation. It is particularly suitable for students wishing to pursue careers in field biology with federal or state agencies or land conservation NGOs. We will examine measures of distribution and abundance in animals and relate these to quantitative and qualitative measures of habitat complexity. Much of this class will be field based. Students will work in teams collecting data on vegetation structure and topography, trapping small mammals and estimating abundance through mark/re-capture techniques, radio telemetry and game cameras. Data will be analyzed using simple statistics including ANOVA, regression analysis, and means-separation tests. Spatial components will be included in an on-going GIS for the watershed region. Readings will come from a text and primary sources. Students should expect to spend significant amounts of time outside of formal class meetings in data collection, analysis and write-up. Assessment will be based on participation, a number of quizzes, and an end-of term team report/presentation.
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisites: Biology and Ecology and permission of the instructor. Critical Zone 1, GIS, Statistics strongly encouraged. Class limit: 10. Lab fee: $50. Meets the following degree requirements: QR ES
ES4038Ecology and Natural History of the American WestThe American West has played a key role in the development of modern ecology and in our overall understanding of the Natural History of North America. Researchers such as Joseph Grinnell, Starker Leopold, Ned Johnson, Phillip Munz and Jim Patton contributed enormously to our understanding of the interactions, distribution and abundance of the enormous range of plants and animals occupying the western states, while the incredible variety of topography found between the Pacific slope and Great Basin Desert, containing both the highest and lowest points in the Lower 48, has provided an ideal setting for both observation and experimentation. This intensive field-based course will provide students with the opportunity to examine first-hand some key habitats within Nevada, California, and New Mexico, and to conduct a series of short projects on the fauna and flora in select sites. Areas to be examined will include terminal saline lakes, open deserts , montane meadows, pine forest, riparian hardwoods, wetlands, and agricultural landscapes. Readings will include primary sources and more popular accounts of both locations and the peoples who have lived in these lands over the past several thousand years. Evaluation will be based on class participation, a series of individual research projects and presentations, a detailed field journal, a mid-term and a final exam. This course will be integrated with and requires co-enrollment in Reading the West and Wilderness in the West.
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Class limit: 9. Lab fee: none. Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES412Ecology of the Winter Coastline
This is a course studying marine botany, marine algae and monitoring the "spring" time blooms of phytoplankton in Frenchman Bay. The class will cover topics such as the biology, taxonomy and ecology of marine algae. A major component of this course will be focusing on the primary productivity of marine ecosystems. Students will experience these exquisite and ephemeral phenomena through extensive lab work identifying and monitoring individual species of marine algae and phytoplankton. We will explore the flora and fauna of the islands, bays and coastal waters surrounding Mount Desert Island by looking at those organisms which make up wintertime communities. Peripheral topics will include the seasonal movement of different species of seabirds and marine mammals; discussing those species that are conspicuous by their absence, those which have stoically remained behind and those species that are entirely winter visitors. Many consider January and February as deep winter, yet this is the time when the first signs of spring appear. Students are expected to keep a field/lab notebook and to write several term papers. Students should anticipate several field trips which might test their winter hardiness. Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: Intermediate biology/ecology course or signature of instructor. Class limit: 14. Lab fee: $85. *ES*
ES472Physics II: Introduction to Circuits
This course will provide students with a broad introduction to circuits. Students with little or no previous knowledge in electronics will learn the fundamentals of circuits in both the analog and digital realm. The course will cover topics such as current, voltage, power, resistors, capacitors and digital logic circuits, This is a hands-on course focusing more on the "how to" than the "why". By the end of the course students should be able to independently develop, implement, test and document basic circuits. Evaluation will be based on problem sets, participation in lab and class, and a final project or exam. This course makes extensive use of algebra. A college level math, physics, or chemistry class is recommended but not required. Level: Introductory. Prerequisite: High School Algebra. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: $50. *ES* *QR*
ES478Evolutionary Processes in Plants
What is a species? What is the process by which species originate? Does the evolutionary process in plants differ from that of animals? What are the evolutionary consequences of being a plant? The course will address aspects of plant evolution including variation, natural selection, breeding systems, species and speciation, adaptive radiation, co-evolution, and systematics. Classic case studies of plant evolution will be used to examine the nature of the evolutionary process and introduce current hypotheses of plant evolution. The course is directed at students interested in evolutionary biology, plant ecology, and systematics. Evaluations are based on class participation, two oral presentations and term paper. Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Lab fee: $25. Prerequisites: Advanced course in Biology, Signature of the instructor. Class Limit: 8. *ES*
ES480Introduction to Collections Care: Saving all the Parts
Natural history museums are major players in the great human enterprise that was started by Linnaeus over 250 years ago: to catalog all of Earth's species and understand the inherent order of these organisms. While the Earth's biotic inventory is far from complete, natural history collections presently held by reputable institutions represent extremely valuable and, in some cases, irreplaceable sources of knowledge regarding life on our planet. This course introduces students to current principles and practices of caring for and organizing collections through hands-on work with the holdings of the Dorr Museum. This course will focus on the proper storage, handling, and exhibition of collections, and cataloguing collections in accordance with currently accepted evolutionary relationships among represented taxa. Through individual and group projects, students will research and pilot practices that address short- and long-term needs of collection material. Students will be evaluated on level of class participation and successful completion of class projects, including a final project that will form the basis of a strategic plan for collections care at the Dorr Museum. This course is suitable for students interested in the study of natural history, vertebrate biology, educational studies, and exhibition in museums and galleries. Level: Introductory. Class limit: 14. Lab fee: $30.00.
ES496Theory and Applications of Complex Networks
Network structures are ubiquitous in the world around us: communication networks, transportation networks, networks of friends and acquaintances, and biological networks, to name just a few. In this class, students will learn about the mathematical similarities and abstractions that under-lie these examples. Additional examples will be drawn from molecular biology (gene regulation and protein interaction networks), economics (trading networks, relations among firms, and strategic interactions on networks), computer science (computer networks and the world wide web), and ecology (food webs). The last decade has seen an explosion of work in the theory and applications of networks to an enormously wide range of problems.
Students who successfully complete this course will: gain a broad introduction to recent work in this field; understand the strengths and weaknesses of network modeling; and be able to apply networks and network analysis in a variety of settings. Evaluation will be based on several problem sets, three short literature reviews to be posted on the course blog, and a final project on a topic of the student's choosing.
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Pre-requisites: One college-level mathematics course, Signature of instructor. Lab fee: $10. *ES**QR*
ES5010Biochemistry IThis course's goal is to develop the student's ability to understand the biochemical literature and to relate the structures of biological chemicals to their properties and by surveying the aims and designs of the most important, basic metabolic processes. Emphasis is on features common to all pathways (enzyme catalysis and regulation) and purposes unique to each (energy extraction, generation of biosynthesis precursors, etc.) Most of the course looks at processes that most organisms have in common; some attention is paid to how these processes have been adapted to meet the demands of unique environments. This course should be especially useful to students with interests in medicine, nutrition, physiology, agriculture, or toxicology. The class meets for three hours of lecture/discussion each week. Evaluations are based on a midterm exam and a final paper. Offered every other year.
Level: Advanced. Prerequisites: At least one term of organic chemistry. Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES5012Conservation BiologyThis course examines the causes, extent, and ecological significance of the endangered species "crisis." We examine the role of extinctions in evolutionary history and compare "natural" extinctions to current events in the Neotropics, Orient, and Oceania. We also discuss the significance of successful introductions of exotic species into different regions and their effects on native forms. Changes in land use patterns and the science of Landscape Ecology are investigated. Finally, we examine current conservation techniques in an effort to establish a workable synthesis for specific case histories. There are two lectures/discussions per week, occasional evening lectures.
Level: Advanced. Pre-requisites: One intermediate Ecology course and/or signature of instructor. Class limit: 15. Lab fee $10. Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES5014Organic Chemistry IIThis class will continue to discuss the occurrence and behavior of additional functional groups not covered in Organic Chemistry I. Meeting twice a week, we will work our way through the remainder of the fall text and then apply the material by reading articles from the current literature of environmental organic chemistry. Assessment will be based on keeping up with the reading, class participation, and three take-home problem sets.
Level: Advanced. Prerequisite: Organic Chemistry I. Offered every other year. Lab fee: $50. Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES5016Plant SystematicsThis course is aimed at those interested in exploring the taxonomy of non-woody plants of New England and learning the science of plant systematics. Lectures will cover aspects of taxonomy and topics of systematics, including botanical nomenclature, methods and principles of plant systematics, classification systems of flowering plants, advances in molecular systematics, plant evolutionary process, phylogenetic relationships of flowering plants, and specimen preparation and identification. Laboratories will introduce students to plant families of the region including species-rich families such as Asteraceae, Poaceae, and Cyperaceae. Evaluations are based on the identification and preparation of 50 plant specimens belonging to 25 plant families, 5 quizzes, and a 20-minute presentation of a final project.
Level: Advanced. Pre-requisites: ES 421 - Trees and Shrubs of Mount Desert Island or an intermediate/advanced course in Botany, Signature of Instructor. Class limit: 12. Lab fee: $40. Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES5024South American Earth SystemsThis course will explore a number of Earth Systems shaping a portion of the longest mountain belt on the planet. We will discuss processes forming the Andes Mountains on timescales spanning millions of years to tens of years! Some of these processes include plate tectonics, erosion (glacial, wind, river), active faulting, regional climate patterns (ENSO, glacial cycles), land use (agriculture, water and mining), and geohazards (earthquakes, volcanoes, and landslides!) This course will involve multiple case studies focused in the Cordillera Blanca region of northern Peru. Students will read primary scientific literature and become "experts" in some area that fascinates them. The course capstone (although not required to take the course) will be a ~14 day field trip to the Cordillera Blanca of Peru where the students will have a chance to see and explore the environments they studied so intensely during the term. The program fee of $1340 for students wishing to participate in the trip covers all in-country costs (plane ticket not included). Who should take this course: You must have taken at least one of the other geology courses (or equivalent) to take this course. In this course we will attempt to synthesize various Earth System datasets focused on a specific location. The field component of this course is an opportunity to 1) practice basic geology field tools, 2) experience world-class geological and ecological field sites, and 3) enjoy a cultural experience (practice your Spanish!). The field trip will not be a vacation - it will be physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding!
Level: Advanced. Prerequisites: at least one of the other geology courses (or equivalent). Class limit: 10. Lab fee: $1340 for students wishing to participate in the trip to Peru. Meets the following degree requirements: ES
ES5030Energy and TechnologyThis is an advanced energy course that expands on basic energy principles to take a more in-depth look at several sustainable energy technologies. This will be a project-centered course with a focus on renewable energy and conservation efforts on campus and within the community. Students will examine energy issues from several perspectives, determine possible solutions and formulate a plan to collect needed data, secure funds and work with stakeholders. Over the course of the term students will learn about technologies such as heat pumps and energy storage devices as well as conservation methods and the power grid. The overarching goal of this course is to develop the skills needed to orchestrate a successful renewable energy endeavor, taking into account time, cost, social, logistical and technological constraints.
Students will be graded on homework assignments, class participation, presentations and a final report. This course will be integrated with and requires co-enrollment in Impact Investing and Islands: Energy, Economy and Community.
COURSE LEVEL: Advanced. PREREQUISITES: Instructor Permission and at least one of the following: Math and Physics of Sustainable Energy (preferred), Energy Practicum, Financials, Business Nonprofit Basics, Sustainable Strategies or Launching a New Venture. CLASS LIMIT: 10 COA students and 5 Islanders. LAB FEE: none. MEETS THE FOLLOWING DEGREE REQUIREMENTS: ES
ES515Our Daily Bread: Following Grains Through The Food System
The aim of the course is to use wheat, oats and rye as a lens to explore how a wide range of factors including history, changing land use patterns, crop development, human nutrition, food processing, sensory evaluation, and socio-economic factors shape how grains are grown, harvested and ultimately transformed into our daily bread. This field-based course seeks to provide students with deep insights into the past and current production of grains in the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States. Extensive readings will complement the summer fieldwork at farms, mills, bakeries and research sites in Europe, and will provide students with the agronomic background necessary for a historical view of grain production and the possibility of localized grain within the current global economy. Students will lead discussions, interview farmers, write short synthetic essays, and undertake a research project designed together with the class. By the end of the course students should be able to: Evaluate the importance of wheat and other temperate grains to the feeding of human populations in past, present and future contexts; Review current and traditional methods of evaluation of food quality and grain processing (bread production in particular) and relate these to modern nutritional problems; Describe the growth cycle of wheat in general terms and relate the production cycle to current issues of sustainability including greenhouse gas emissions, carbon sequestration, energy requirements, and soil conservation; and Compare and contrast the socio-economic importance of wheat to Maine, Germany and the UK. Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: Formal application, Signature of the instructor, Introductory German highly desirable, any of the following courses: Theory and Practice of Organic Gardening, Chemistry of Cooking, The Contemporary Culture of Maine Organic Farmers, Agroecology. *ES*
ES517Tutorial: Science and Ethics
Scientific research has been at the center of many recent debates over issues of ethics, both in terms of the actual practice of science and also in the implications of the outcome of certain types of research. Many of these debates have proved to be highly polarized, with one side arguing that unfettered research is an important ingredient of progress, while other participants call for ever greater "societal" supervision and decision-making over both what is to be studied and how the results of studies are to be interpreted and applied. This tutorial will examine the role of ethics in scientific discourse, both in terms of how scientists see their own practice and how that practice is perceived and examined by other disciplines and society at large. The tutorial is discussion-based with students meeting with the instructor on a weekly basis to discuss extensive readings.
ES519Tutorial: Advanced Evolutionary Ecology Seminar
This advanced seminar takes a topic within evolutionary ecology and examines it using a wide range of sources staring with classic evolutionary texts and moving forward to current primary literature. Students need to be capable of reading and critiquing primary literature, understanding statistical tests of hypotheses, and be ready to move among diverse taxonomic groups and theoretical work. Readings include papers in evolutionary biology, behavioral ecology, and life-history theory. The seminar will meet twice weekly. Assessment will be based on student participation in the seminar and multiple short writing assignments. Level: Advanced, Permission of Instructor required, Class Limit: 5
ES522Tutorial: Advanced Marine Resource Policy Seminar
This advanced tutorial brings together professors, students, and individuals from outside the college to discuss current issues in marine resource policy. Working with individuals from the Penobscot Bay Resource Center as well as others with knowledge of marine resource policy, the goal of this seminar is to examine one specific topic each year of the seminar and produce a policy white paper summarizing the findings and conclusions of the group that will be made publicly available. The initial goal is to have 2-4 professors, 1-5 students, and 2-4 individuals from outside the institution research current information on a topic, potentially conduct their own research, and apply meta-analyses or other appropriate analytical tools to the collected data and write a summary document that can help inform the management of marine resources. The group will typically meet twice per week, with additional meetings of subgroups throughout the term. Because the topic of the seminar changes between years, students may take this seminar for multiple years for credit. Pre-requisites: Background in environmental policy and biology. Permission required. Class limit: 5
ES525Applied Amphibian Biology
Most amphibians are small vertebrates that require moist microhabitats and/or unrestricted access to fresh water to sustain their populations. Despite their diminutive size, need for moisture, and cryptic habits, the 6000+ species of extant amphibians are found on all continents except Antarctica and are extremely diverse in their morphology, ecology, and behavior. Amphibian diversity peaks in tropical regions but salamanders are thought to be the numerically dominant vertebrate species in mature forest habitats of the eastern US. Because their combined numbers represent a significant amount of living biomass, amphibians are increasingly being used as bio-indicators to assess the ecological health of natural communities. Worldwide declines in anuran populations are well documented but the underlying cause(s) of these declines are still not fully known nor is the impact of these losses on the short- and long-term stability of the environments in which they live. In this course, students will examine amphibians native to Maine and to Costa Rica in order to compare and contrast the life history, ecology, and conservation of temperate and tropical species. Coursework during the regular term will focus on current field methods and data analysis used to assess species abundance and distribution through readings and field work, with the first half of the term devoted to Maine species and the latter half examining neotropical species. This will be followed by a mandatory 10-day field trip to Tirimbina Rainforest reserve in Costa Rica, where students will conduct their own field study on a topic relevant to the course. Level: Advanced. Permission of Instructor. Lab Fee $775 (Note: students who enroll in both Applied Amphibian Biology and Neotropical Conservation Ecology pay a single lab fee). *ES*
ES526Neotropical Conservation Ecology
The neotropics have been at the center of conservation research and policy for more than half a century. In spite of an enormous amount of effort however many issues remain unresolved and debate continues on appropriate strategies for protecting both the vast array of plants and animals present in the region and the livelihood of the peoples dependent on a broad range of agriculture and industry. This class will examine a range of issues dealing with the botany and zoology of Central America with a primary focus on issues affecting conservation strategies and sustainable utilization of the rainforest. Work during the regular term will consist of extensive readings and discussions of the primary literature, with particular attention to the research efforts of pioneers such as Daniel Janzen, Alexander Skutch, etc. This will be followed by a mandatory ten day field trip to the Tirimbina Rainforest reserve in Costa Rica, where students will have the opportunity to conduct their own research on issues of biodiversity, behavior, and ecology. Level: Advanced. Permission of Instructor. Lab fee: $775. *ES* Note: Students who enroll in both Neotropical Conservation Ecology and Applied Amphibian Biology pay a single lab fee.
ES529Environmental Chemistry: Air
Living things are exposed to air more than any other material, and yet many people seldom give a second thought to whats in air, why its there, how it behaves or what it may do them and to other living things. This class will examine such questions. Well start by looking at how the molecular structures of materials determine how much they vaporize and what consumes them when vaporized - and how their atmospheric levels reflect those competing processes. Well then apply such knowledge to understanding phenomena such as the pressure and temperature structures of the atmosphere, global weather patterns, the earths ozone layer, urban smog, acid deposition, the earths greenhouse effect and indoor air pollution. For each topic, we will discuss: Why is it important? Why is there as much of it as there is? What can increase it or decrease its amount? How have people tried to control it? What do we still not understand about it? Readings will be from both a text and from papers from the scientific literature. Evaluations will be based on problem sets for each topic and on the design (but not actual construction) of a museum exhibit addressing some air quality issue. Some background in basic chemistry is desirable but not essential. Level: Intermediate. *ES*
ES532Introduction to Linear Algebra
Through the study of linear algebra in this course, students will acquire powerful analytic techniques that are essential tools in almost any field of applied mathematics, including: physics, engineering, computer science, economics. Linear algebra is also commonly used in chemistry and mathematical biology. Our study of linear algebra will begin by abstracting and formalizing the idea behind solving familiar systems of linear equations. This will lead us to the study of matrices and determinants. We will study these mathematical objects both algebraically and geometrically, leading up to a general treatment of linear vector spaces. Additional topics covered will include: linear transformations; inner products and orthogonality; eigenvectors, eigenvalues, and their application. Where possible, applications to students' fields of interest will be emphasized. Students will leave this course with a solid foundation in the key ideas and techniques of linear algebra. Evaluation will be based on class participation and weekly problem sets. Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: Signature of Instructor. *QR*
ES539Introduction to Computer Science
This course is an intensive introduction to computer science for students with little or no programming experience. The primary goal for this course is to provide students with a solid foundation in Python, a modern, high-level, object-oriented programming language. A secondary goal is for students to gain an initial introduction to algorithmic approaches to interdisciplinary problem-solving. Constructing effective software involves considerable creativity and judgment, and there are general theoretical principles and practical considerations that inform and guide this construction. Students will gain an introduction to these general principles and will also gain experience applying these principles to practical problems. Students who successfully complete this class will: gain a solid, practical understanding of the core python language, including control statements, functions, simple data structures, and input/output; learn how to extend their knowledge of python or other languages; develop good programming techniques; and be able apply algorithmic thinking and programming skills to areas of their interest. This course is designed for students interested in using programming in a wide range of areas, including as a tool for research in biology, economics, statistics, and other mathematical sciences. Additionally, this class will help prepare students to write web applications or applications for mobile devices. This course is also well suited for students who do not have a particular area of programming application in mind, but who simply wish to experience the challenge and excitement of designing and implementing algorithms. Evaluation will be based on weekly programming exercises and a final programming project. Level: Introductory. Prerequisites: none. Lab Fee: none. Class size: 12. *QR* *ES*.
ES540Plant Communities of the Americas
Plant communities consist of distinct assemblages of plant species which interact with each other as well as with other biotic and abiotic elements of their environment. Plant communities vary both spatially and temporally and are generally distinguishable by their overall appearance based on species present, as well as their size, abundance, distribution relative to one another, and species-interactions. The study of plant communities has contributed much to ecological and evolutionary theory and provided insight for conservation in light of climate change and other stressors impacting native plants and their communities in every region of the Americas. The course introduces you to the stunning geographic patterns of plant diversity across the Americas with respect to climatic, topographic, and edaphic gradients. We will explore major plant communities of the temperate, Mediterranean and tropical regions of the Americas, including grasslands, rock outcrops, deserts, chaparral, wetlands, boreal forests, and rainforests, focusing on key species which characterize these communities, their functional traits, and other aspects of their ecology. Readings will include topics on plant morphology and diversity, ecophysiology, population biology, community ecology, evolutionary ecology, and conservation. Evaluations are based on class participation, weekly readings and their presentation, and a final paper and its presentation. Offered every other year. Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Pre-requisite: Trees and Shrubs of MDI, Plant Morphology and Diversity, Plant Physiological Ecology, History of Life, Biogeography, or Ecology (at least one). Class limit: 20. Lab fee: $25. *ES*
ES543The Nature and Language of Mathematics
The Nature and Language of Mathematics is an introductory course designed to help students discover the connections between mathematics and other areas of human understanding. It is intended primarily for students with limited prior math experience. By exploring diverse mathematics topics, students will see the varied roles that mathematics play in our world. Topics covered will depend on student interest, and may include the following: graph theory, probability, estimation, logic, and linear equations. The majority of in-class work will take place in small groups, allowing students to be active, engaged learners. In addition, students will read several articles, and possibly a popular book or historical or sociological treatment of mathematics or mathematicians. Through this course, the student will be encouraged to understand the patterns, language, and logic that underlies what we call mathematics. Evaluation will be based on class participation and group work, weekly projects and assignments, and a final paper or project. Students may also be asked to present their research topic orally. Level: Introductory. Prerequisites: Permission of Instructor. *QR*
ES545Electric Vehicles: A Hands-on Introduction
There is a growing agreement that electrifying the transport sector is an essential part of any set of actions sufficient to avoid catastrophic climate change. In this course, students will gain a hands-on introduction to electric vehicles. This class will center around building a small electric car using the SUNN Electric Vehicle kit. The resulting car, which is legal for use on roads with a speed limit of 35 mph or less, will be used jointly by College of the Atlantic and the Seal Cove Auto Museum. The project will involve every aspect of assembling, testing, and painting a small electric car. Throughout the term students will learn about electric vehicle history, technology, current events and different electric vehicle initiatives. Most of the class time will be hands-on activities necessary to complete the project. However, there will also be assigned readings followed by group discussions and some reflective and analytic writing assignments. Students in the class will give an end-of-term presentation about their project. Depending on student interest, this presentation may be geared toward high school and middle school students, or policy makers and planners. Students who successfully complete this class will: gain an increased understanding of how electric vehicles work and some of the technical, social, and economic challenges that hinder their widespread adoption; basic mechanical skills and an understanding of electronics; and experience working collaboratively on a time-intensive project. Evaluation will primarily be based on active and full participation in all aspects of the project; students will also be evaluated on several short writing assignments. There are no pre-requisites for the course; students of all backgrounds and interests are welcome. Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Class limit: 6. Lab fee: $50.
Hydrology is the science that studies the movement, distribution and quality of water resources throughout the Earth. Water is an essential component to life on Earth. Changes to our Earth System affect the distribution and quality of water resources and can have profound effects on adjacent and embedded systems. In this class we will look at how freshwater systems function and how perturbations result in changes. Field studies and laboratory analyses will help students develop a complete understanding of the physical and chemical processes that influence freshwater resources, with a particular emphasis on activities on and near Mount Desert Island. Field trips will include monitoring and measuring water quantity and quality at several locations around MDI in conjunction with United States Geological Survey: Water Division data. In addition we will visit public utilities such as water treatment and wastewater treatment facilities on the island. These field studies and field trips will help link natural processes and human activities that place demands on water resources. This course combines hands-on experiential learning and group participation with independent work in the primary literature. Students will have opportunities to develop and design term projects to investigate specific areas of interest. Students will be evaluated on their participation in class discussion of the readings, problem sets, field studies and projects. Level: Intermediate. Prerequisite: A college-level course in chemistry or geology is helpful but not required. Lab Fee $50. *ES*
This course is aimed at those interested in exploring the taxonomy of non-woody plants of New England and learning the science of plant systematics. Lectures will cover aspects of taxonomy and topics of systematics, including botanical nomenclature, methods and principles of plant systematics, classification systems of flowering plants, recent advances in molecular systematics, plant mating systems, plant evolutionary processes, phylogenetic relationships of flowering plants, and herbarium specimen preparation and database management. Laboratories will introduce students to approximately 30 plant families of the region including species-rich families such as Asteraceae, Poaceae, and Cyperaceae. Students participate in this course for one academic year and receive one credit. This course will meet once a week, 3 hrs, in both Fall and Spring terms for lectures and labs. Students will be expected to commit to a week of collecting and preserving plant specimens with the instructor in the late Spring OR Summer prior to Fall, as well as independent work in Winter. Evaluations are based on the identification and preparation of 50 plant specimens belonging to at least 25 plant families and a 30-minute oral presentation of a final project. Level: Advanced. Pre-requisites: Trees and Shrubs of MDI and Plant Taxonomy OR Plant Communities of the Americas. Instructor permission required. Class limit: 10. Lab fee: $30.*ES*
ES559Tutorial: Theory and Applications of Complex Networks
Network structures are ubiquitous in the world around us: communication networks, transportation networks, networks of friends and acquaintances, and biological networks, to name just a few. In this tutorial students will learn about the mathematical similarities and abstractions that under-lie these examples. Additional examples may be drawn from molecular biology (gene regulation and protein interaction networks), economics (trading networks, relations among firms, and strategic interactions on networks), computer science (computer networks and the world wide web), and ecology (food webs), depending on students' interests. The last decade has seen an explosion of work in the theory and applications of networks to an enormously wide range of problems. Students who successfully complete this tutorial will: gain a broad introduction to recent work in this field; understand the strengths and weaknesses of network approaches; and be able to apply networks and network analysis in a variety of settings. In addition to learning about networks, a central goal of this tutorial is for students to gain skills necessary for research in the mathematical, natural, and social sciences. This includes conceptualizing and framing a research question, conducing a literature review, presenting results in a professional-style research talk, and writing up results in a style appropriate for publication. In the first part of the course we will focus on empirical descriptions of network structure, including algorithms for discovering communities or clusters. We will then turn our attention to dynamics of networks: how do networks form and grow, and how are these growth rules related to global structure? Finally, as time permits we will consider dynamics of processes that occur on networks. Evaluation will be based on participation in seminar-style class meetings, several short problem sets, and a project on a topic of the student's choosing. Level: Advanced. Pre-requisite
Do you want to understand how social networks can grow from almost nothing to over 100 million users seemingly overnight or are you concerned with how long nuclear waste must be stored before it is safe? Are you interested in understanding enzyme kinetics or how heat and air diffuse through your home? In this course, we will address these phenomena from a mathematical standpoint. Specifically we will develop mathematical models to predict and understand the behavior of physical and biological systems in our world. An emphasis will be placed on writing equations that govern the behavior of a given system and subsequently solving for and interpreting their solutions. Students will learn to solve differential equation by hand through a variety of analytical techniques and numerically with the computer algebra and graphics program, Maple. Evaluations will be based on weekly problems sets and two modeling projects during the term. Level: Intermediate, Prerequisites: Calculus I & II or equivalent; students are also strongly encouraged to have taken either an entry-level course in Physics, Chemistry, or Biology prior to enrollment. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: none. *ES* *QR*
ES561Sustainable Material Design
This course will look at designing safe, environmentally friendly materials from renewable resources. With a focus on polymers, we will delve into how one would begin the practice of developing a new product from initial raw material selection through processing/fabrication and into its afterlife as new material. Students will learn in-depth aspects of the chemical structure-property relationship of renewably sourced polymers (plastics), like natural rubber, starch/cellulose, poly(lactic acid), and poly(hydroxyalkonates). We will also examine the recent expansion of biorefineries and microbial fermentation as a means for the production of biobased commodity chemicals. By the end of the course, students should be able to evaluate target applications for renewably sourced materials and understand their potential human health and socioeconomic impacts. Chemical structures will be presented; therefore students will be expected to learn small portions of organic chemistry throughout the course. Evaluations will be based on class participation, a mid-term examination, and a final report and poster presentation. Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: Chemistry I; a general course in economics concurrently or prior to enrollment will also be helpful. Class Limit: 20 Lab fee: $20. *ES*
ES574Tutorial: Applied Atmospheric Science
This tutorial is designed to give participants a general overview of atmospheric science and to allow each student to focus on a topic of interests such as climate, meteorology or agriculture. The first half of the term will be spent reading through the 1st 8 chapters of Lutgen & Tarbuck’s The Atmosphere to gain general background knowledge. The students will meet as a group once a week and with the instructor once a week to discuss the reading of the text and to work though the end-of-chapter questions. For the 2nd half of the term, students will find and read additional material pertinent to their individual interests and the group will meet with the instructor once a week to share what the students are learning. Each student will do and present a final project in their area of focus. The students will be evaluated on their preparation for and participation in the weekly meetings and on the depth, originality and level of understanding of their final projects.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: permission of instructor. Class limit: 5. Lab fee: none.
Industrial ecology examines the relationships between the production of material goods and the effect this process has on humans and the environment. We will systematically examine the process of material production from extraction, processing, production, distribution, and consumer use by quantifying material and energy flows through every step of the cradle to grave process. Students will examine their own carbon footprint as a small-scale model for understanding the complex balance between satisfying human needs and wants. We will also cover a variety of topics that in addition to life cycle assessment will help supplement our definition of a sustainable relationship between industry and the environment. These topics may include a survey of environmental concerns, aspects of risk assessment, survey of relevant policies and practices, and examination of industrial symbiosis. The course can be taken as a standalone introduction to the engineering and process of the materials pipeline or as a two term planning and practice course when coupled with Sustainable Material Design (ES561). Evaluations will be based on student participation, homework, and two projects.
Level: Introductory. Prerequisites: None. Class Limit: 15. Lab Fee: $15. *ES*
ES576Tutorial: Dynamical Systems
This course is a survey of dynamical systems, the field of applied mathematics that studies systems that change over time. The modern study of dynamical systems includes examining particular systems or areas of application, as well as looking at systems more broadly and abstractly to develop generally applicable tools for studying dynamical systems or to classify different sorts of behavior.
This course is intended for motivated students with strong math backgrounds who wish to gain an overview of dynamical systems and to discuss and debate the insights the study of dynamical systems holds for the physical, natural, and social sciences. Using both differential equations and difference equations as our main items of study, we will cover standard topics in dynamical systems, including phase space, bifurcation diagrams, chaotic behavior, sensitive dependence on initial conditions, strange attractors, embedding and attractor reconstruction, and Lyapunov exponents. A central theme that emerges from the study of dynamical systems is that there is a subtle relationship between order and disorder. Unpredictable behavior can arise from deterministic dynamical systems, and complex behavior can have simple origins. We shall see that predictability and unpredictability, simplicity and complexity, and order and disorder are not opposites, but often exist simultaneously in the same dynamical system. Evaluation will be based on participation in seminar-style class sessions, problems sets, and a final project and presentation.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: Calculus II and permission of instructor. Experience writing simple computer programs (in any language) will be helpful, but not required. Class size: 5. Lab fee: none
ES597Tutorial: Mineralogy and Petrology
MD5011Islands: Energy, Economy and CommunityThis course is focused on developing initiatives in the renewable energy and finance sectors on MDI and Maine Islands and is being offered in conjunction with the Island Institute and the Samsø Energy Academy in Denmark. This will be a comprehensive, intensive, interdisciplinary course. Students and community members from Maine’s Islands will learn from the Samsø Island experience of transforming to a carbon negative island through a community driven, grass-roots approach to create investment opportunities for both individuals and businesses in enterprises that developed and scaled, efficiency upgrades, wind, and solar power production and biofuel distributed heating and other elements of a renewable energy portfolio.
Three weeks of the term will be spent at Samsø’s Energy Academy learning the community process, investment and engineering strategies that the small rural farming and tourist community used to transform themselves into an independent energy community and rejuvenate their local economy. The course will push students to identify opportunities within their communities and develop significant energy related ventures accordingly. COA students and island resident participants will use this knowledge to develop plans for adapting and creating appropriate technology, investment platforms or services to reduce energy consumption and to boost renewable energy production here in Maine.
Students will be evaluated based on class participation, written assignments and verbal presentations. This course will be integrated with and requires co-enrollment in Impact Investing and Energy and Technology.
COURSE LEVEL: Advanced. PREREQUISITES: Instructor Permission and at least one of the following: Math and Physics of Sustainable Energy (preferred), Energy Practicum, Financials, Business Nonprofit Basics, Sustainable Strategies or Launching a New Venture. CLASS LIMIT: 10 COA students and 5 Islanders. LAB FEE: $500.
HS4042Reading the WestThe spectacular range of habitats between the Pacific Ocean and the Great Basin and Sonoran Deserts has generated some of the most significant “place based” writing within American literature. In this intensive field-based course students will be required to read a range of materials dealing with key places, people, and events in the western landscape during the summer prior to the formal start of the course. The class will then convene in California and begin a trek eastwards into the Great Basin Desert, south to the Carson/Iceberg Wilderness, Yosemite, the Hetch Hetchy Valley and Mono Lake, and then finally southeastward across the Sonoran desert to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where students and faculty will participate in a conference celebrating the first 50 years of the Wilderness Act. Readings will include work by Muir, Didion, Steinbeck, and Fremont. Evaluation will consist of class participation, a series of essays and journal essays, and a final term paper that will be completed following the end of the field portion of the course. This course will be integrated with and requires co-enrollment in Ecology and Natural History of the American West, and Wilderness in the West.
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor; camping/backpacking ability. Class limit: 9. Lab fee: $1500. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
MD042Humans in Place: Natural/Cultural History of Maine's Islands
This intensive field-based course is an interdisciplinary examination of the changing relationship between humans and landscape in a region where people have lived continuously for several thousand years: the eastern Gulf of Maine and the Bay of Fundy. The Gulf of Maine?s vast archipelago of islands is the setting for a wide range of both human and non-human communities. This is one of the richest areas of biological productivity in eastern North America and its fisheries have supported human cultures since pre-Columbian times. Sitting on the intersection between cold northern currents and the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, the region provides feeding and breeding grounds for a broad range of species from both arctic and tropical regions. For example, the Gulf provides breeding habitat for more than half of all seabirds nesting in eastern North America, and is also a critical feeding area for the endangered Right Whale and many other marine mammals. In this course we will study historical and current relationships among human cultures, fisheries, seabirds, and marine mammals, focusing on the feedbacks that change or preserve human cultures and economies. These case studies will serve as a model for understanding other land/seascapes, including the home regions of participants. The class will be team-taught by faculty from three colleges within the EcoLeague, and supported by several guest speakers. Two students from each EcoLeague institution will be selected to participate. The bulk of the course will be based on three sites: the College of the Atlantic?s two field stations on Great Duck Island and Mt. Desert Rock, and Grand Manan Island in the Bay of Fundy, Canada. Course begins August 18th, ends on September 8th in Bar Harbor, ME. Level: Advanced. Prerequisites: Ecology and/or Natural History, and at least one other course in interdisciplinary environmental studies/human ecology, and permission of EcoLeague faculty panel through written application p
MD043Penguins to Polar Bears: Journeys Across the Ice
This course is a general introduction to the Arctic and Antarctica. We will begin by examining the unique ecologies of the polar regions by reviewing the life histories of some iconic polar creatures - Polar bear, Arctic tern, Emperor penguin and others. This ecological framework will provide a backdrop for our review of the history of exploration in these harsh regions. The search for the Northwest Passage and the quest for the Poles captured western attention for hundreds of years, and the stories of hardship, heroism, absurdity, and sheer luck are compelling. The course concludes with an examination of the human ecology of both poles - politics, resource exploitation, tourism and the rapid climate changes affecting both regions. Assessment will be based on classroom participation, several short papers, and an independent research project. Level: Introductory. Class limit: 15
MD1011Rivers: A Wilderness OdysseyRivers: A Wilderness Odyssey begins and ends on the COA campus. Through reading and discussion, students will gain an introduction to the natural history, conservation, literature, and emotional and psychological aspects of wilderness and river systems. While on Mount Desert Island, students will explore Acadia National Park, which provides a connection to the outdoors for millions of visitors each summer. These experiences and observations will be contrasted with the experience of a downriver canoe-camping expedition on the much more remote Allagash Wilderness Waterway in northern Maine. Writings by Thoreau as well as contemporary authors will provide context for the canoe expedition. The expedition will serve as our laboratory to experience and explore group dynamics in a wilderness setting and to examine conceptions of leadership, authority, and community as well as the transformative power of shared adventure. Upon returning to campus, students will compile samples of their writing and photographs to be shared in a final group presentation for assessment of their learning.
Level: Introductory. Signature of Instructor.
MD5010Humans in Place: Natural and Cultural History InterpretationLake Superior’s Apostle Islands are home to diverse and unique biotic communities, including a number of Wisconsin endangered species and one of the greatest concentrations of black bears in North America. The islands also have a long and storied history of human occupation and are an exceptional laboratory for understanding various perspectives on the natural environment. Team-taught by faculty from two Eco League colleges, the course will travel by kayak and canoe from a base at Northland College so students learn to tell the stories of this intriguing area.
Level: Advanced. Prerequisites: Ecology and/or Natural History, and at least one other course in interdisciplinary environmental studies/human ecology, or instructor consent. Class limit: 10. Course Fee: $675 include food, equipment and boat use.
ED1010Experimental EducationEven before John Dewey published Experience and Education in 1938, experiential education had been practiced in various forms around the world. This course explores the philosophy of experiential education and its diverse practices in the realms of adventure education, service learning, workplace learning, environmental education, museum education, and school reform. Group activities and fieldtrips will provide opportunities to participate as both learner and teacher in a variety of teacher-led and student-designed experiences. The final project involves researching an existing experiential education program, its philosophy, and its practices. Evaluation is based on class and fieldtrip participation (including one multi-day fieldtrip), reflective logs, curriculum design, service-learning journal, an oral presentation of the service-learning, and a final essay that articulates a philosophy of experience in education.
Level: Introductory. Offered every other year. Lab fee: $100. Class limit: 15. Meets the following degree requirements: HS ED
ED1011Children's LiteratureThis course is a broad overview of children's literature and its place in the elementary school classroom. It examines the range and trends in literature for children that includes all genres, prominent authors, illustrators, and awards, critical evaluation, and integration into instruction across the curriculum. Students participate in and design lessons which incorporate or extend children's response to literature. They survey poetry and media appropriate for elementary students. Students read an extensive amount of children's literature, keep a response journal, develop an author study, and create a teaching unit using children's literature.
Level: Introductory. Class limit: 15. Meets the following degree requirements: ED
ED1012Child Education and DevelopmentHow does a child think? What causes him/her to learn? What teaching approaches work best with young children? These questions and more will be explored through readings, lectures, field observations, and planned class activities. This course will provide an introduction to early childhood education (preschool to middle school). Theorists such as Piaget, Vygosky, Montessori, Gardener, Freud, Erikson, Gilligan and Kohlberg will be used to examine the physical, mental, emotional, moral, and social aspects of childhood growth and development. The intent is to examine how questioning, peer influences, parenting approaches, the media and society play into childhood learning. The primary modes of instruction for this class will be lectures, classroom discussions, field observations/reflections, and cooperative learning activities. Sort reflective papers, an observational journal, and a class project will be used to assess learning.
Level: Introductory. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: $30. Meets the following degree requirements: HS ED
ED1013Changing Schools, Changing SocietyHow have schools changed and how should schools change to ensure "the good life"? This interdisciplinary, team-taught course examines the potential and limits of a human ecological education as an instrument of enlightened progress and lasting positive social, cultural, and environmental change. It explores three essential questions about education and its relationship to human development and social progress. Looking at the role of formal educational institutions and their relationship to government and other social institutions: What is the role of schools in development and social change? Considering the role of teachers as agents of change: What is the role of the teacher in school/organizational change and community development? And finally, reflecting on our subjective motives for working in the field of education: Why do you want to become an educator? Through course activities such as service-learning in schools and group project work on a contemporary educational phenomenon (e.g., school choice, new technologies for learning, single-sex education), students will learn how educational policy at the federal, state, and local levels impacts teaching and learning, investigate the moral dimensions of the teacher-student relationship, and reflect on the construct of teacher-learners. Students will be introduced to a variety of educational research methods (i.e, ethnography, case study, quasi-experimental, correlational) that will allow for critical analysis of the knowledge base that strives to impact educational policy and practice. Evaluation will be based on participation, reflective writing, service learning, and group projects and presentations.
Level: Introductory. Class limit: 15. Offered every other year. Lab fee: $20. Meets the following degree requirements: HS, ED
ED1014Child DevelopmentHow does a child think? What causes him/her to learn? What teaching approaches work best with young children? These questions and more will be explored through readings, lectures, field observations, and planned class activities. This course will provide an introduction to early childhood education (preschool to eighth grade). Theorists such as Piaget, Vygotsky, Montessori, Gardner, Erikson, Maslow, Kohlberg, and Gilligan will be used to examine the physical, mental, emotional, moral, and social aspects of childhood growth and development. Students will explore a range of curriculum models, approaches, and strategies as they learn to apply developmental theory to best practices. These best practices will include the role of teachers in creating meaningful learning experiences and classroom environments (curriculum), documenting learning, assessment, inclusion, and family involvement. The primary modes of instruction for this class will be lectures, classroom discussions, field observations/reflections, and cooperative hands-on learning activities. Short reflective papers, an observational journal, and class projects will be used to assess learning.
Level: Introductory. Class limit: 15. Meets the following degree requirements: ED
ED1015Educational InnovationGiven the rapid pace of change in communications, career opportunities, learning options, and the global economy, U.S. schools are struggling to adapt. As technology, culture, politics, and media facilitate new and more diverse means of learning, how are educators adjusting to "new" learners from toddlers through senior adults? Driving questions include: Who is leading innovation and where? What are some of the ways educators are experimenting with teaching? How are innovators changing the purposes of schools? Who is currently starting schools and why? How is brain research impacting innovation within and outside of public schools? How are digital natives, eco-warriors, and the call for global literacy accommodated in mainstream schools? If public schools, as some charge, have outlived their usefulness: what next for education?
With the objective of exploring and understanding innovative ideas for classrooms, school design, and district structures, as well as alternative places and means of learning, we will work toward a more comprehensive understanding of what is new, and potentially revolutionary, in schools and in education beyond schooling. Evaluation will be based on class participation (including leading a discussion around a particular area of individual interest), a series of four reaction papers, and both live and virtual "field" explorations of innovative practices and organizations. The final project will be based on the design and proposal of an innovative educational option.
Level: Introductory. Prerequisites: none. Class Limit: 15. Lab Fee: $10
ED3010Understanding & Managing Group DynamicsThis course will examine essential questions about how groups function, whether the group is a committee involved in institutional governance, a class of adolescents, or a cohort of business colleagues. Readings, activities, and assignments will weigh traditional and alternative conceptions of leadership, power, authority, community, diversity, membership, and exclusion. Students will engage in case discussions, writing (including autobiography and creative writing), and research activities. A major component of the course will be the observation and analysis of a group (e.g., in a community organization, business, or school). The final paper will be the creation and analysis of a case. Evaluation will be based on class participation, responses to readings, facilitation of a case discussion, an autobiographical essay, a short story, reports of observations, and the final paper. P/F grading only. Students will be expected to take the course Pass/Fail, with special arrangement to made for those needing to take it for a grade.
Level: Intermediate. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: $50. Meets the following degree requirements: HS ED
ED3011Femininity and Masculinity go to School: Gender, Power & EdThis course pivots around two central questions: How does gender influence students learning and experiences of school, curriculum and instruction, teacher-student relationships, school culture and administration? And how do schools perpetuate, resist, and construct gendered identities and gender roles? In this course we will investigate research on gender differences and school achievement, the feminization of the teaching profession, and the effects of gender on school culture, considering evidence from and questions posed by biologists, psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, historians, and educators. The major objective of the course is to examine how notions of femininity, masculinity, and androgyny have influenced and are influenced by schooling historically and globally. Activities include a historical case study, media critique, fieldwork in an educational setting, a literature review, and curriculum development. Students will conduct research on self-chosen topics such as gender identity development, gender differences in learning styles, sexual harassment in schools, or school sports programs, among others. Evaluation will be based on class participation, historical case, media analysis, oral presentation of fieldwork, written synthesis of literature, and two lesson plans.
Level: Intermediate. Writing Focus option. Offered every other year. Class limit: 15. Meets the following degree requirements: HS ED
ED3012Supporting Students with Disabilities in the Reg. Classroom
ED3013Intercultural EducationEducators in and outside of the U.S. teach in increasingly culturally heterogeneous classrooms, schools, and communities. This course explores some challenges and possibilities in education as a result of historical inequities in the distribution of power, knowledge, and resources, and the increasing mobility of peoples in a global economy. We will consider questions such as: What is multicultural, intercultural, and global education? How do culturally different teaching and learning styles impact notions of academic achievement, school success, and teacher quality? How can student assessments and performance standards respond effectively to cultural differences? How can educators effectively communicate and partner with parents and community members across cultural differences? What are the legal and moral obligations of teachers in providing equal educational opportunity according to federal and state laws? We will read theory and research on educating across and about cultural difference, reflect on our own cultural affiliations, and actively explore the dynamics of identity, culture, and power in the teaching-learning relationship and in educational institutions through case discussions and other group activities. Investigations of the education of self and other will take place through class activities, readings, autobiographical and fiction writing, reflective logs, media analysis, and a field research or curriculum project.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisite: An introductory sociology, anthropology, cultural psychology, or education course. Offered every other year. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: $20. Meets the following degree requirements: ED HS
ED3014Negotiating Educational PolicyPublic schools are everyone's concern. Shared ownership by diverse stakeholders often brings strong interest in school policies. This course will explore issues under debate by state and local policy-makers through readings, full class and small group discussions, guest speakers, and an extended simulation. We will also examine Maine's Civil Rights Act and its implementation in various school districts. Our driving questions include: what are the ways parents, teachers, business people and interested community members might influence school policies given the common constraints of limited time and energy? How do policy-makers sort through various opinions and facts to create legislation? How do those who implement policy integrate context and experience with the spirit of an official state statute? With the objective of understanding and negotiating critical school policy issues that impact the nation and beyond, evaluation will be based on class participation (including one of two field trips), reflection journal entries, a group interview and presentation, and a final personal analysis paper based on one of the bills under deliberation by Maine legislators this session.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: Changing Schools, Changing Society and/or a prior policy course or strong interest in policy recommended. Class Limit: 15. Lab Fee: $10
ED4010Adolescent PsychologyThis course focuses on the segment of the human life span from puberty to early adulthood. In this class we will examine the physical, cognitive, social, and moral aspects of adolescent growth and development. Issues to be considered include adolescent relationships (peers, family, romantic), adolescent issues (identity formation, at risk behavior, schooling, and stereotypes), and critical reflection on one's own adolescent experience. The main objectives of this course are to: 1) provide students with a working knowledge of the theories of psychology which pertain to early adolescent development; 2) help students develop the ability to critically analyze information and common assumptions about the development of adolescents; 3) consider contemporary issues and concerns of the field; and 4) to afford students the opportunity to explore their own adolescent development. Course work entails lecture, discussion, extensive case analysis, and a field component.
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisite: Educational Psychology, Personality, or other introductory level psychology. Class limit: 16. Meets the following degree requirements: HS ED
ED4011Tutorial: Research and Program Development for Ecological EdHow do we determine what is the most effective program model for developing essential skills, concepts, or dispositions for a particular organization, community, or place? This tutorial is designed to develop students’ research, facilitation, and program development skills for those interested in ecological education. The tutorial will guide students through a focused literature review, identify two or three model sites to visit, assess potential program goals in light of existing organizational or community resources, needs, and limitations, and plan, implement, and evaluate an educational program that is site-specific. Students will be evaluated on an annotated bibliography, site studies, curriculum development, reflection on teaching practice, and program evaluation.
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisites: Introduction to Sustainability, COA's Foodprint, Fixing Food Systems, Experiential Education, Adolescent Development, or Curriculum Design and Assessment. Class limit: 6. Lab fee: $100.
ED5010Curriculum Design and AssessmentHuman ecologists who educate, embrace not only the interdisciplinarity of knowledge, but also the complexity of individual student development in political school environments. This course focuses on two essential nuts and bolts of teaching: curriculum design and assessment. How can a teacher learn what students know, how they think, and what they have learned? How can a teacher use this knowledge of students and subject matter to plan learning experiences that will engage diverse interests, adapt to a wide range of learning styles and preferences, accommodate exceptional needs, and meet state-mandated curriculum standards? This course is a required course for prospective secondary school teachers that provides an introduction to the backward design process and diverse assessment strategies. Students will engage in examining theory and practice designing and implementing curricula and assessments. A service-learning component will provide students with the opportunity to observe and participate in a variety of assessment methods in the subject they aim to teach. The final project will be a collaboratively designed, integrated curriculum unit, including lesson plans and assessments. Evaluation will be based on participation, reflective writing, individually designed lesson plans and assessments, and the final project.
Level: Advanced. Prerequisite: Supporting Students with Disabilities in the Regular Classroom. Class Limit: 12. Meets the following degree requirements: HS ED
ED5011Integrated Methods II: Science, Math, and Social StudiesHow can an integrated curriculum for elementary school students help to deepen the relationships children and young adolescents construct with the natural and social worlds in a way that promotes their capacity to know themselves and the communities in which they act? For those preparing to be elementary school educators (grades K-8), this three-credit residency provides an intensive guided apprenticeship that prepares the student-teacher with the necessary knowledge, skills, and experience to design an integrated math, science, and social studies curriculum, create and maintain a constructive learning environment, teach diverse learners using appropriate learning technologies and a variety of strategies, and assess student learning. Learning objectives include all ten of the Maine Initial Teacher Certification Standards as well as familiarity with the Maine Learning Results for Math, Science, and Social Studies. Students will participate in a ten-week service-learning practicum observing and participating in elementary classrooms as well as planning and teaching in vacation school during the local school union's spring break. Readings and discussions in a daily seminar will complement the service-learning component. Evaluation will be based on reflection on service-learning, participation in seminar discussions of readings and service-learning, curriculum and assessment design and implementation, and professional performance in vacation school and at the practicum site. Partial credit may be awarded based on completed work and demonstrated learning.
Level: Advanced, 3-credit Residency. Prerequisites: Learning Theory, Exceptionalities, and Integrated Elementary Methods: Reading and Writing and permission of instructor. Class limit: 12. Meets the following degree requirements: ED HS
ED5012Secondary Methods: Life Science, Social Studies and EnglishThis course is designed to prepare secondary teacher candidates to meet the learning needs of diverse populations of students. Students spend one day a week in a local high school working with faculty in the subject area in which they are being certified. These school-based experiences are integrated into class discussions where students analyze the elements needed for successful teaching, learning, and assessing in their own content area and across disciplines. The purposes, problems, issues, strategies, and materials involved in teaching high school students will be examined critically through class discussions, individual and group work, reflections on field experiences and peer teaching. Students will incorporate the content, inquiry tools and structures of the discipline they will teach into a 4-week unit that may be used in their student teaching. Evaluation will be based on weekly reflective response journals, completion of the service learning component (one day a week in classroom), completion of readings and entry slips, and the 4-week unit of study.
Level: Advanced. Class limit: 12. Meets the following degree requirements: ED
ED5013Student TeachingThe student teaching internship represents the student teaching requirement for COA's teacher certification candidates. Success in this experience is a pivotal criterion in the student's certification candidacy. The student is placed in a school, usually in the immediate region, with a cooperating teacher who teaches subjects and grade levels that match the certification goals of the student. The roles of student teacher, cooperating teacher, school principal, and COA supervisor are discussed and agreed upon in advance. Incrementally, the student teacher becomes familiar with class routines and gradually takes responsibility for teaching. Within the 15-week experience, the student teacher must take on a full load (all classes and all duties) for the number of weeks agreed upon by all parties. This period of time varies with subjects, grade level and specific student goals. The COA supervisor visits the schools in a liaison capacity, and also evaluates the student teacher's performance a minimum of eight times in the term. Student teachers meet together regularly to discuss such issues as curriculum planning, instruction, best teaching practices, classroom learning environment and broader educational issues. Students may use student teaching to fulfill the COA internship requirement if it is completed prior to graduation.
Level: Advanced. Prerequisites: Permission of Ed Studies Program Director. Meets the following degree requirements: ED
ED5014Integrated Methods I: Gr. K-4 Reading and Writing
ED5015Integrated Methods I: Gr. 5-8 Reading and Writing
HS024Contemporary Culture and the Self
This course introduces concepts in anthropology, explores the relationship of the collective aspects of culture to the individual, and examines behavior as a consequence of biology or culture. Half the classes focus on a text (An Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, 5th ed. by Marvin Harris) which compares aspects of human culture at different times and in different parts of the world. The other classes focus on three novels: The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende, The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx, and The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston. These novels are read as sources of cultural information about individuals from different societies. Two autobiographical papers examine students' own enculturation. Evaluation is based on participation in class, the two papers, a mid-term and a final exam. Offered every fall. Level: Introductory. Class limit: 20. *HS*
HS033Cultural Ecology of Population Control Practices
This is a research course focusing on methods of (and attitudes toward) controlling population growth rates in different cultures. Participants are expected to examine a set of hypotheses which relate several variables in the biological and cultural ecosystem, including population growth rates, environmental depletion, technological change and intraspecies violence. Each student then researches the literature on a different society and presents the findings to the group. Evaluation is based on class participation and a paper summarizing the project. Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: Contemporary Culture and the Self or signature of instructor. Offered every other year. *HS*
HS1011Environmental HistoryHow has human history shaped and been shaped by "the environment"? Environmental history is one of the most exciting new fields in history. In this course we examine world history from Mesopotamia to the present to see the role such things as resource scarcity, mythology, philosophy, imperialism, land policy, theology, plagues, scientific revolutions, the discovery of the new world, the industrial revolution, etc. on the natural, social, and built environments.
Level: Introductory. Prerequisites: None. Class limit: 20. Lab fee: none. Meets the following degree requirements: HS HY
HS1012Introduction to the Legal ProcessThe "law" affects every aspect of human activity. As human ecologists we must garner some basic understanding of how law is used (or misused) to shape society and human behavior. This course examines two aspects of the American legal system: 1) the judicial process or how we resolve disputes; and 2) the legislative process or how we enact policy. Course readings cover everything from classic jurisprudence essays to the daily newspaper. We use current environmental and social issues to illustrate specific applications of the legal process. Legal brief preparation, mock courtroom presentations, lobbying visits to the Maine legislature, and guest lectures are used to give a practical dimension to course subjects. Students analyze Federal Election Commission documents to understand the impact of campaign financing on public policy and look closely at other current issues facing the legislative and judicial systems. Evaluation is based upon two papers and several other exercises.
Level: Introductory. Offered every other year. Class limit: 30. Lab fee $20. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS1013From Native Empires to Nation StatesThis course is a history of Latin America from Native American contact cultures through the contemporary period covering socio-political processes. An emphasis is placed on the fusion of pre-contact societies into a new socio-cultural formation in the colonial period, and then the shared yet divergent history of the region after the collapse of colonial rule. In the second half the class emphasizes the rise of the nation state in Latin America with particular emphasis on dictatorship and rebellions. The course uses traditional texts, novels, and film to explore this huge geographical and chronological expanse.
Level: Introductory. Prerequisites: none. Class limit: 20. Lab fee: none. Meets the following degree requirements: HY HS
HS1014Writing Seminar I: ExpositionThis expository writing course, which is limited to second and third-year students, focuses on writing as a process, audience awareness, syntax and analysis. Through class discussion of readings, students gain an understanding of how others use the various principles of exposition to explain, clarify, and analyze. By writing several drafts of papers, topics may be chosen by students, students develop prewriting and revision skills. Through peer review sessions, students apply what they have learned in analyzing the writings of others to the writing of their peers. The portfolio students turn in at the end of the term should contain several drafts and the final version of two shorter papers, drafts and final copy of a library-based research paper, and an annotated bibliography. This course meets the first year writing requirement.
Level: Introductory. Class limit: 12. Meets the following requirements: W
HS1015Introduction to Global PoliticsThis is an introductory level course that will expose students to basic concepts and controversies in international politics and serve as background for more advanced work in the area of international studies. Through historical readings and current events discussions we will answer questions fundamental to understanding global politics today, such as: What are the different roles that nation-states and non-governmental organizations play in international politics? How important are various international institutions (the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund ) in shaping the global political landscape? What exactly is civil society? Inequity defines many political relationships between actors in the global system: between developed and developing countries; between the rich and poor within those countries; between autonomous political groups and the nation-states in which they reside. To more deeply understand these relationships, we will examine some of the processes that have led to inequities in the current world political economy, touching on such topics as: colonialism and national liberation movements of the 20th century, the debt crisis, and the formalization of the international trading system. We will consider the topics from a variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives, including political ecology, international political economy, and economic geography. Evaluation will be based on participation in class discussions, several short and long papers written over the course of the term, and a final project and its presentation to the class.
Level: Introductory. Lab fee: $20. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS1016Practical ActivismIn this course, students will gain practical experience and skills to prepare them to work in advocacy positions for environmental and/or social justice organizations. Through project-based work, we will pay attention to developing such skills as: interacting with the media; interpreting technical information and report writing; lobbying and other political work; grant-writing and other types of fundraising; and non-profit administration and management, including strategic planning, program development, board management, and non-profit legal issues. Student interest will determine the exact topics covered over the term. To begin, we will survey models of organizational structure, from small grassroots, single-issue groups, to large, international, multi-issue organizations. We will also survey various modes of operation, critically analyzing different strategies, tactics, and types of activist/advocacy campaigns, including: non-violent direct action, student organizing campaigns, consumer boycotts, legislative campaigns, and voter initiatives. Local professionals will join us throughout the course to provide expert input on various topics, and to inform students about the types of jobs available in environmental advocacy and the range of skills needed for each. There will be a large emphasis placed on hands-on work on student-defined projects. Students will be evaluated based on class participation as well as completion of course projects.
Level: Introductory. Lab fee: $30. Class limit 15. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS1017Creative Destruction: Understanding 21st Century EconomiesJoseph Schumpeter in 1942 used the phrase "creative destruction" to describe the process by which capitalism creates vibrant economic growth and new technologies and modes of production, but in doing so destroys organizations and relationships linked to older technologies and modes of production, often with adverse effects on individuals and communities. Many observers feel that Schumpeter's description is even more appropriate today, as information technologies and the long arm of multinational capitalism create vast new potential for economic growth and improvement in living standards, while rapidly altering social and environmental relationships, marginalizing those communities unable or unwilling to adapt, and exacerbating existing inequalities. This course gives the student currency in the dynamic issues surrounding 21st Century capitalist economies (including "advanced," developing, and robber/crony capitalisms) using an institutionalist approach; as such, the course focuses more on using a variety of approaches to understanding economic phenomena, and less on imparting the standard body of neoclassical theory (although the latter will be used where appropriate). Fundamental capitalistic structures and processes are examined and contrasted with traditional and command economies. Major attention is given to the role of multinational corporations in the global economy. Other topics include technology, stock markets and investing, money and central banks such as the U.S. Federal Reserve, business cycles, unemployment and inflation, trade and currency issues, consumerism and the nature of work, and whatever other topics students collectively wish to explore. Student evaluation is via multiple diagnostic tools, possibly including quizzes, reading questions, a current event portfolio, written book reviews or issue analysis, and oral exams.
Level: Introductory. Prerequisites: none. Class limit: 20. Lab fee:$20. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS1019Beginning Spanish IThis course is for students who have had no contact with Latin American culture, do not possess basic Spanish language structures and expressions, and have no Spanish vocabulary. The emphasis is on development of the basic skills required in any language - listening, speaking, writing, and reading comprehension. Objective: Students will be able to express themselves orally and through writing, using vocabulary and simple construction of Spanish in the indicative tense. This includes present tense study, vocabulary, numbers, proper nouns, salutations and presentations, present perfect tense, action verbs, the usage of "to be" and "is", future tense, vocabulary, and some usage of "for". Evaluation Criteria: two Compositions, two auditory tests, two writing tests covering grammar, two oral tests, assignments/ homework, class participation.
Level: Introductory. Offered every fall. Class limit: 10. Lab fee: $20.
HS1020Beginning Spanish IIThis course is intended for students with a basic knowledge of grammar, using common vocabulary that is needed for every day situations. Objective: The students will be able to express themselves orally and through writing using subject-verb agreement, basic form in the indicative tense, and an introduction to the imperative moods. It includes a review of the present and future tenses, study of the imperfect tense, action verbs, direct object, proper nouns, the indicative tense, the use of the "to be" and "is" verbs, and an introduction to prepositions. Evaluation Criteria: two Compositions, two auditory tests, two writing tests covering grammar, two oral tests, assignments/ homework, class participation.
Level: Introductory. Offered every fall. Class limit: 10. Lab fee: $20.
HS1021History of the American Conservation Movement
HS1022Human Relations: Principles and PracticeAntoine de Saint-Exupery - World War II French pilot and author of The Little Prince - once noted: "There is but one problem - the problem of human relations....There is no hope or joy except in human relations." Beneath this sanguine notion, however, dwells a complex web of ideas and questions. The purpose of this team-taught course is to explore these underlying issues from two different, but overlapping, perspectives. On the one hand, we will review foundational theories and research from intra-psychic, social and organizational psychology - emphasizing topic areas such as attitude theory and change, social influence, group dynamics, conflict resolution and leadership. On the other hand, we will simultaneously draw on real-world case studies from business and organizational management. The emphasis here will be on issues of personnel assessment and management, market performance, negotiation, crisis management and the role self-knowledge in the "inside game" of commercial enterprise. Connections between these two realms will be drawn via class discussions, presentations from the instructors, and selected visitors with significant backgrounds from a range of organizational, business and government settings. Lessons derived from failure events and the 'cost of not knowing' will be investigated, as well as examples from models of successful human relations experiences. The overall aim of the class will be guided by the ideals and practices of: the psychologist Abraham Maslow, who advised "The best way to see everything is to consider the whole darn thing" and Steve Jobs - founder and CEO of Apple - who expressed his success succinctly as "It was small teams of great people doing wonderful things". Student evaluations will be based on multiple criteria, including class participation, several individual papers and research reports and contribution to team projects.
Level: Introductory. Lab Fee: $40. Class limit: 15. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS1024Debate WorkshopThis class will be conducted as a workshop with an emphasis on providing students with an opportunity to engage in various forms of public debate and argumentation. The majority of work related to the class will be spent participating in “hands on” debate and argument practice. Students will get the chance to take part in wide array of debate formats covering a broad spectrum of topics and themes. In many instances decisions about topics will be student driven and guided by events external to the class. Along with the instructor, students will work together to refine argument structure, strategic argument selection, research practices, presentation skills, and audience analysis. In addition, students will also examine various historical accounts of academic debate practices and the theoretical/social context that gave rise to them. Previous debate and/or public speaking experience is not required. Students of all academic interests and backgrounds are encouraged to participate. Students will be evaluated on their participation in class, completion of process-based assignments, collaboration on team projects, and several individual reports that require outside research. At no point will the final evaluation of students be tied to any standard of what constitutes a "good" debater in a competitive sense. Students who feel that they are less proficient in the areas of argument and public communication should not be worried that this would somehow disadvantage them in terms of grading. While there is no set "lab", this class will require a good deal of time commitment outside of the traditional "classroom" environment. This includes research on the debate topics as well as actual performance time.
Level: Introductory. Class limit: 10. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS1025Business and Non-Profit BasicsAnyone who is involved with for profit or non-profit enterprises needs to understand a wide variety of interdisciplinary skills. This introductory course will introduce students to marketing, finance, leadership, strategy and other essential areas of knowledge needed to run or participate in any venture. This course is meant to build basic skills and expose students to a variety of business disciplines and is REQUIRED for all future business courses.
Level: Introductory. Class limit: 18. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS1026The Renaissance & the Reformation
HS1028Introductory French I
HS1030Ethnographic FieldworkEthnographic research, which uses methods involving conversation with and participation among other people, has very particular dilemmas. How can we, as both researchers and fellow human travelers, navigate the ethical and emotional complexities of doing research with and about people? How can we navigate the problems of power and trust that arise? And what kinds of usable knowledge can we acquire through the fluidity of our own experiences and encounters "in the field"? This course will provide students with a theoretical and practical toolbox for designing, conducting, and writing up ethnographic research projects. Students will design research questions centered on a particular local site, which they will examine outside of class through a variety of ethnographic techniques. We will give particular attention to questions of ethical practice, note taking and documentation, and finally, data analysis. Readings will supplement theoretical and ethical discussions and will illustrate the possibilities and limits of various methods. Evaluation will be based on class participation, a range of assignments throughout the term, and a final paper and presentation reflecting cumulatively on the project and students' own experiences as ethnographers. Class-time will consist of instruction, discussion, and "labs," in which we will workshop individual projects.
Level: Introductory. Prerequisites: none. Class limit: 12. Lab fee: none. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS1031Blood: Substance and SymbolBlood is a substance with profound imaginative and social power. It ties people together, even when it is spilled. And just as blood produces social bonds, it also divides people and groups according to notions of family, race, and nationhood. Blood both sacralizes and pollutes, entices and disgusts. Blood infects; it also makes people swoon. It also - these days - guarantees instant bestsellers. How can this fluid (mostly water, as we know) do such important social and symbolic work? This course takes blood as a thematic through which students can begin to explore topics that have long been (and continue to be) at the center of cultural and social theory: kinship and blood ties, race, nationhood, pollution, infection and contamination, and rituals of incorporation and transformation (including, perhaps, the current fascination with vampires). Due to the course's theoretical focus, class will be structured around close readings of major contributions to these topics, as well as films. Readings will represent a range of disciplinary approaches, including anthropology, political philosophy, cultural studies, and even classics. Students will be asked to engage carefully with the material both through participation in class and through outside written assignments. Evaluation will be based on class participation (which includes attendance), a presentation, and on assignments conducted outside of class. The course is open to all students, but participants should be prepared to read complex material with care and attention, and should be comfortable in constructing written analyses based on multiple readings.
Level: Introductory. Prerequisites: none. Class limit: 20. Lab fee: none. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS1032Acadia: Exploring the National Park IdeaUsing Acadia National Park as a case study, this course will explore the various facets of "the national park idea" and what it means for Americans in terms of history and identity. Through direct experiences in one of the "crown jewels" of the park system, the class will examine the historical, ecological, cultural, social, legal, economic, and spiritual context in which national parks are formed and continue to exist in the 21st century. We will work with National Park Service professionals to look at various aspects of park management and day-to-day challenges of implementing the "national park idea." Through weekly field trips, journaling, service learning opportunities, and projects, we will be immersed in the management and experience of Acadia. We will explore, through reading and writing, the broader themes of wilderness preservation, attitudes toward nature, the history of conservation, and the commodification of nature. This experiential class is specifically geared toward first Year students and they will be given preference for enrollment. Assignments will include journal writing, short exercises, a group project/service learning opportunity, short presentations, and papers.
Level: Introductory. Prerequisites: none. Class limit: 24. Lab fee: $40. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS1033Political Persuasion and Messaging FundamentalsThis class will provide a broad introductory overview of the history, practice, and core concepts that encompass political messaging and persuasion through an empirical examination of grounded applications of such strategies. In order to capitalize on the saliency of the Fall election cycle, the course materials will be based on a series of historical case studies directly tied to American presidential campaigns. Instead of studying various theories of political persuasion in the abstract, we will extract principles that commonly appear in political messaging from these case examples. In addition, students will participate in two collaborative projects. The first will involve tracking political persuasion techniques in campaigns that are occurring in real time during the term. The second will involve students working in teams to produce their own political messaging materials for a hypothetical campaign. The overall goals of the course are three-fold. First, to provide a broad survey of the history of political campaign communication and advertising as it has developed in the United States. Second, to confront some of the pragmatic issues that go into producing messaging strategies for electoral candidates. Third, to help students cultivate a more critical approach to analyzing the political messages that they confront in their daily lives. The class will be highly interactive with discussion being the primary mode of instruction. However, there will also lecture components that provide the historical basis for the case studies we are examining. Final evaluation will based on a combination of class participation, several take home essay assignments, the contemporary tracking assignment, and a final creative project in which student produce their own campaign materials. The class is open to all students, regardless of their experience in politics or their knowledge of American history. It is well suited for introductory students who are interested in politics, human persuasion, and mass communication. However, it is also equally valuable for advanced students seeking to deepen their understanding of political persuasion.
Level: Introductory. Prerequisites: None. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: $25. Meets the following degree requirements: HS HY
HS1034Media and Society: Readings in Mass CommunicationThis course is a broadly defined survey of various areas of study that encompass the field of mass communication and media studies. The primary goal of the course is to expose students to the widest array of traditional and cutting edge theories and theorists that inform the way we think about and explain the role media plays in our society. This includes traditional modes of mass communication such as print journalism, radio, and television as well as more recent forms of mass communication made possible by advances in technology such as Facebook, Twitter, streaming media, etc. Looking to the future, we will explore the possibility that new media technology is moving us towards the seemingly paradoxical emergence of a micro targeted, mass communicated society. Given the broad range of material to be covered, there will be an emphasis on covering a breadth of topics as opposed to spending a great deal of time exploring a few particular areas in depth. As such, students should consider this course a starting point to help them kick start their future interests in these areas. Throughout the term we will explore a wide range of subjects relating to traditional and new media content, form, structures, effects, and processes. In doing so, we will cover various attempts to get at these issues from both qualitative and quantitative methodological standpoints. While there will be readings from traditional scholars in the communication discipline, we will also incorporate a broader interdisciplinary range of texts that connect the study of human communication to various other fields including, but certainly not limited to, political science, sociology, semiotics, rhetoric, anthropology, cultural studies, and psychology. The class will be primarily discussion driven with an emphasis on selected readings that represent key areas of study in the field. Students will be evaluated based on a combination of class participation, periodic short form essays, individual presentations, and group research projects.
Level: Introductory. Prerequisites: None. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: none. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS1035Puzzles, Paradoxes and Weird ThingsThis course is an introduction to philosophy and critical thinking by considering traditional conceptual and philosophical problems such as free will, problems of perception, determinism and Zeno's paradoxes. After an examination of the cannons of scientific proof and techniques of critical analysis various beliefs in ghosts, alien abduction, telepathy, crop-circles, special creation, astrology, 'psychic science' and other popular beliefs are examined in detail. One or more take-home tests are required and a final project of the student's choosing consisting of an investigation of a disputed belief or practice is also expected.
Level: Introductory. Prerequisites: none. Class limit: 20. Lab Fee: none. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS1036COA's Foodprint: Our Local Food SystemThe food supply for most cities and small towns in the U.S. depends on food grown as efficiently as possible-that is, producing high yields at low costs; manufactured into forms that are less perishable; and shipped long distances from centralized warehouses. This food system is responsible at least in part for some of the nation's most troubling environmental and health challenges, from water pollution to obesity to climate change. Students in this class will learn about food systems and why many people consider the U.S. food system to be "broken". College of the Atlantic is trying to create a food system that avoids many of the shortcomings of the broken U.S. system. But how well are we doing, and how do we know?
Students taking this class will acquire an understanding of food systems by examining the "backstory" and impacts of COA's food system. They will learn the source of COA's foods and where food waste goes; who makes decisions about food purchasing and why; and impacts of the purchasing and consumption decisions on our college community, region and beyond. They will examine how impacts differ when foods are sourced locally, within a state or region, or internationally. Other topics and issues include methods of analysis to compare environmental and social impacts of different production and consumption options, basic nutrition principles and proposals for more sustainable diets, motivations for food choices and how people acquire them, social marketing for healthy eating, and supply and demand for foods grown with environmentally - or socially - responsible methods.
This course is an introduction to the Farms & Food Projects class, in which students design projects or farm enterprises to try to improve COA's food system or extend work that has been started already, and the Fixing Food Systems class, in which students comprehensively analyze innovations in food systems from inputs through consumption. Students will be evaluated on participation in classes and field trips, biweekly reflective journal entries and individual or small-group assignments.
Level: Introductory. Prerequisites: none. Lab Fee: $25. Class limit: 18. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS1037The Middle Ages: Power, Religiosity and Everyday LifeThe Middle Ages, affectionately known as the "Dark Ages" by people who did not live in them, was a crucial period in the social, political, and cultural development of what we now call Europe. The course will provide an overview of the major trends in the Mediterranean World and Northern Europe from the fall of Rome to the fifteenth century. We will focus on religiosity and the changes in popular forms of religious belief as well as the everyday workings of the political, economic and social order. The course will be a survey class that includes project-based learning that seeks to cover the period in a synthetic way. A major theme will be the way that in the Middle Ages religion was the arbiter of truth in ways almost incomprehensible in the modern secular world. The main thematic thrust of the course is to explore the fragments of classical philosophical problems and new streams of religious orthodoxy as they collide in a series of intellectual and pragmatic struggles in the period. By using heretics and saints as emblems of the contours of the debate about truth and knowledge, this class explores the early tremors of the clash between faith and reason that would rock the western world, and shape it, between roughly 1000 AD and the beginnings of the Renaissance in the fourteenth century. Students will read primary and secondary literature covering various aspects of the period. There will be a mid-term take home exam and a final project paper dealing with an institution, a person, a religious or philosophical school or movement or an idea.
Level: Introductory. Prerequisites: none. Class limit: 25. Lab fee: none. Meets the following degree requirements: HS HY
HS1038Introduction to EconomicsThis course gives students currency in the leading economic theories (models, concepts, vocabulary, etc.) used in the analysis and policy formation regarding economic activity, domestic economies, and international economic relations. Topics will include an introduction to competing economic perspectives, alternative normative criteria (e.g. efficiency, distribution, sustainability), markets, supply and demand analysis, risk and uncertainty, asymmetric information, unemployment and inflation, aggregate supply and demand, monetary and fiscal policies, financial bubbles, and international trade and finance. The course includes a lab session that will emphasize problem-solving methods and use of models, while much of classroom time will be dedicated to the application of models to real world situations and current events. This course should be of particular interest to students interested in business, international environmental issues, globalization, inequality and economic justice, and a host of other topics. Evaluation will be based on weekly homework assignments emphasizing technical proficiency in basic mathematical modeling, along with four quizzes and classroom participation.
Level: Introductory; Prerequisites: none; Class limit: 15; Lab fee: none. Meets the following degree requirements: HS QR
HS1039Political Persuasion and Messaging FundamentalsThis class will provide a broad introductory overview of the history, practice, and core concepts that encompass political messaging and persuasion through an empirical examination of grounded applications of such strategies. In order to capitalize on the saliency of the Fall election cycle, the course materials will be based on a series of historical case studies directly tied to American presidential campaigns. Instead of studying various theories of political persuasion in the abstract, we will extract principles that commonly appear in political messaging from these case examples. In addition, students will participate in two collaborative projects. The first will involve tracking political persuasion techniques in campaigns that are occurring in real time during the term. The second will involve students working in teams to produce their own political messaging materials for a hypothetical campaign. The overall goals of the course are three-fold. First, to provide a broad survey of the history of political campaign communication and advertising as it has developed in the United States. Second, to confront some of the pragmatic issues that go into producing messaging strategies for electoral candidates. Third, to help students cultivate a more critical approach to analyzing the political messages that they confront in their daily lives. The class will be highly interactive with discussion being the primary mode of instruction. However, there will also lecture components that provide the historical basis for the case studies we are examining. Final evaluation will based on a combination of class participation, several take home essay assignments, the contemporary tracking assignment, and a final creative project in which student produce their own campaign materials. The class is open to all students, regardless of their experience in politics or their knowledge of American history. It is well suited for introductory students who are interested in politics, human persuasion, and mass communication. However, it is also equally valuable for advanced students seeking to deepen their understanding of political persuasion.
Level: Introductory. Prerequisites: None. Class limit: 20. Lab fee: $25. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS1040Public Speaking WorkshopThis class will be conducted as a workshop with an emphasis on students producing increasingly advanced speeches for public performance and/or consumption. We will cover a wide variety of areas including those related to constructing the speech in advance (invention and arrangement), as well as those related to the actual performance of the text (style, memory, and execution). While the primary goal of the class is to create an environment in which students can improve these vital public communication skills, another important goal is to cultivate critical and respectful listening skills (which are themselves vital public communication skills). A wide variety of speaking genres will be covered during the term, though there will be a strong emphasis on public advocacy and persuasion.
This class is designed for students with varying levels of public speaking backgrounds. A diverse array of experiences, skills, and strengths helps foster a collaborative and supportive speaking environment. Throughout the term students will work on individual projects, in pairs, and in larger collaborative groups. There will be a minimal focus on theoretical questions in favor of a "hands on" approach to constructing speeches. Students will be evaluated on a number of "process" oriented assignments. Final evaluation will be relative to individual participation in the process and not to an objective scale of public speaking talent. As such, students who feel that they are less proficient in the area of public communication should not be worried that this would somehow disadvantage them in terms of grading.
Level: Introductory. Class limit: 10. Lab fee: none. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS1043Writing Seminar I: Exposition
HS1045Politics of Israel
HS1046Inroduction to Economics & the Economy
HS148Philosophy of Science
This course examines both the nature of science and its role in molding the modern world. The historic origins of science are explored from the late middle ages through the 18th century, in order to present clearly the development of key concepts and to contrast science with other views of the world it displaced. Particular attention is paid to the work of Galileo and Newton. General issues covered include theory formation, laws, confirmation and evidence, reductionism, determinism and teleology. Philosophical problems raised by such areas as evolution theory, quantum mechanics, feminist theory, and modern cosmology provide additional topics as interest dictates and time permits. Level: Intermediate. Offered occasionally. Class limit: 20. *HS*
HS160Reason and Ethics
In this course we consider problems concerning the nature of ethics and the explanation of behavior as they arose in Greek philosophy and culture and as they are considered in contemporary discussions of ethics. The main text is M. Nussbaum's The Fragility of Goodness, and the writings of Plato, Aristotle, and the Greek dramatists are also explored. Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisites: Two philosophy courses or permission of the instructor. Class limit: 15. *HS*
HS171Spanish Conversation and Applications
This course develops intermediate and advanced skills in verb use, idiom, and vocabulary. It emphasizes development of those language competencies that are most relevant to Mexican cultural settings that are commonly encountered, distinctive, and/or important. It also focuses on developing language competencies directly relevant to projects people are interested in pursuing in Spanish speaking environments, e.g. research on wall murals, coral reefs, or indigenous land rights. It is especially appropriate for students planning to participate in the Winter term courses in the Yucatan. This course presupposes competence in the simple tenses and a basic vocabulary. Class meets for two one-and- one-half hour sessions per week plus Wednesday conversation at dinner at the college. Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Class limit: 15.
HS2010Literature, Science, and SpiritualityA survey of Anglo-American literature from the Scientific Revolution to the present. Focuses on the ongoing debate about the role of science in Western culture, the potential benefits and dangers of scientific experimentation, the spiritual, religious, social and political issues that come about with the Ages of Discovery and Reason, and their treatment in literature. Specific debates include concerns over what is "natural," whether knowledge is dangerous, the perils of objectivity, and the mind/body dichotomy; works include Shelley's Frankenstein, Ibsen's An Enemy of the People, Brecht's Galileo, Lightman's Einstein's Dreams and Naylor's Mama Day as well as short stories and poems. Writing-focus ed option.
Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Prerequisite: Writing Seminar I. Offered every two or three years. Lab fee: $10. Class limit: 15. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS2011Nineteenth Century American Women
HS2012Personality and Social Development
HS2013Philosophy of NatureBecause of the number of serious environmental problems that face the modern world, the theories and images that guide our interaction with nature have become problematic. This course examines various attempts to arrive at a new understanding of our role in the natural world and compares them with the philosophies of nature that have guided other peoples in other times and other places. Topics range from taoism and native american philosophies to deep ecology and scientific ecological models. Readings include such books as Uncommon Ground, Walden, and Practice of the Wild.
Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Offered occasionally. Class limit 20. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS2014Philosophy of ReligionThis course examines the nature and justification of religious beliefs concerning the existence of god, the soul, and the afterlife. A wide range of views from both eastern and western traditions are explored and the writings of several philosophers such as William James and Martin Buber are examined in detail. Particular attention is paid to the nature of mysticism and problems concerning the use and limits of reason. Introductory/Intermediate. Offered occasionally. Class size limited to 20. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS2015The Age of Reason and the EnlightenmentThis course represents a contextual approach to the study of the history of philosophy and combines the critical evaluation of philosophical theories with an examination of the cultural conditions which either influence or are conditioned by them. The course examines the crucial role played by the philosophies and institutions of 17th and 18th century Europe in forming the nature of the modern world and focuses in particular on those aspects of the culture that are of special concern to contemporary critics of modern culture. The work of Bacon, Hobbes, Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant are examined in the context of the development of the scientific, industrial, and democratic revolutions.
Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Class limit: 20. Meets the following degree requirements: HS HY
HS2016Chinese PhilosophyThis is a course in the study of Chinese philosophy and culture. The philosophies of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism are examined in detail and their influence on the arts and culture of China is explored. Eastern and western views on nature, human nature, and society are compared and contrasted.
Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Prerequisites: none. Class limit: 20. Offered every other year. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS2017City/Country: Literary Landscapes 1860-1920This class focuses on American fiction from the realist/naturalist period (roughly 1860-1920), a time when enormous changes were occurring in and on the American landscape. Increasing urbanization, immigration, and industrialization corresponded both with a desire for 'realistic' fiction of social problems, and nostalgic stories of a more 'realistic' rural life. For the first time there was a national literature, resulting from the capabilities of large publishing houses, urban centers and mass production - but this national literature was acutely self-conscious of regional differences, and especially of the tension between city and country. As writers tried to paint the American landscape in literature, their works subsumed major social issues to place and formal arguments about the true nature of realistic description. Examining works that portray factory towns, urban tenements, midwestern prairies, New England villages, and the broad spectrum of American landscapes, we look at how a complex, turbulent, multi-ethnic, and simultaneously urban and rural American culture defined itself, its realism, and thus its gender, class, race, and social relations and sense of values, against these landscapes. There are two extra, evening classes during week 7 (Short Fiction Week), and a modest lab fee. Evaluation is based on weekly response papers, two short papers, and a short fiction project, as well as class participation.
Introductory/Intermediate. Prerequisite: Writing Seminar I (or the equivalent). Class limit: 15. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS2018Left, Right and Future: Alternative Political PhilosophiesThis course looks at some of the key philosophies behind alternative political systems people around the world use to govern themselves or propose to use in the future. The aims of the course are: 1.) to increase specific knowledge about some important examples of alternative political philosophies and systems that embody them and 2) to develop analytic skills for understanding key systematic features of these alternatives, for evaluating their key merits and flaws, andn for advocating alternatives. Readings will include Plato's Republic, The Communist Manifesto, selections from fascist, liberal, and anarchist writers as well as some case study readings in comparative politics. There will be a strong emphasis on discussion skills and writing. Evaluation will be based on class participation and a series of short papers. Especially recommended for people interested in community organizing, public policy work and education.
Level: Introductory/intermediate. Prerequisites: None. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS2019Community Planning and Decision MakingAlbert Einstein once observed that "no problem can be solved from the same consciousness that created it. We must learn to see the world anew". If Einstein's idea is accurate about how humans understand the universe, it is likewise true of how we plan and manage our relationships with the environment. One of the primary aims of human ecology is to explore new ways to envision human environment relations. Within its integrative perspective, scientific knowledge and human aesthetics can be combined in ways that enrich human communities as well as value and protect the rest of the living world. The purpose of this course is to provide students with a foundation of theory and practical skills in ecological policy and community planning. A broad range of ideas and methodologies will be explored. Using real examples of current issues - such as sprawl, smart growth, gateway communities, watershed based regional planning, land trusts, and alternative transportation systems. We will be joined by the actual leaders of these changes locally and state wide in Maine. We will also examine emerging methodologies that emphasize participatory planning, community capacity-building, and empowering marginalized groups. These models and ideas will be further compared with prominent approaches and case studies from elsewhere around the country. As a part of current ideas about community planning and policy, the course also introduces small group collaboration techniques, and the use of computers to enhance complex decision processes. A field component will take advantage of varied external opportunities - including town meetings, conferences, and public events. Evaluations will be based on class participation, several short research papers, and end of term small group projects.
Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Class limit: 20. Lab Fee: $40. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS2020Geographic Information Systems I: Foundations & ApplicationsEver-rising numbers of people and their impact on the Earth's finite resources could lead to disaster, not only for wildlife and ecosystems but also for human populations. As researchers gather and publish more data, GIS becomes vital to graphically revealing the inter-relationships between human actions and environmental degradation. Much of what threatens the earth and its inhabitants is placed-based. Solutions require tools to help visualize these places and prescribe solutions. This is what GIS is about. Built on digital mapping, geography, databases, spatial analysis, and cartography, GIS works as a system to enable people to better work together using the best information possible. For these reasons, some level of competency is often expected for entry into many graduate programs and jobs, particularly in natural resources, planning and policy, and human studies. The flow of this course has two tracts, technical and applied. The course begins with training in the basics of the technology. Then, skills are applied to projects that address real-world issues. Project work composes the majority of course work and each student has the opportunity to develop their own project. Because GIS provides tools to help address many kinds of issues, GIS lends itself well to the theory of thinking globally and acting locally. Projects often utilize the extensive data library for the Acadia region developed by students since the lab was founded in 1988. The GIS Lab acts as a service provider to outside organizations and students can tap into the resources of a broad network of groups and individuals working towards a more sustainable future. Course evaluations are partially based on the on-time completion of exercises and problem sets. Most of the evaluation is based on critique of student independent final project work and related documentation.
Level: Introductory/Intermediate, Pre-requisites: Basic computer literacy. Class Limit: 8. Lab Fee: $75.
HS2021Immersion Practica in Spanish and Yucatecan CultureThis course is intended to provide students with an immersion experience in the language and culture of Spanish speakers in the Yucatan Peninsula. The objectives are to increase their abilities to navigate the linguistic and cultural terrain of another society in sensitive, ethical, and effective ways. Class sessions, visiting lecturers, field trips, and readings will provide background on the history and anthropology of Yucatecan culture. Immersion experiences, living with a family, will provide one important source of experiential learning. A second will be provided by an independent project or activity developed for each student based on the student's interests. This independent project will include a practicum experience in some institutional setting that might be a class room (e. g. an art class at the local university), a bakery, an internet café, a church group, or some other place for social service or other work relevant to a student's interests. This practicum experience will involve weekly activities during the term and more intensive work during the last three weeks. Evaluation will be based on participation in weekly class discussions and on weekly reflective papers written in Spanish.
Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Class limit: 10. Lab fee: TBA
HS2023Philosophy at the MoviesThe enormous success of movies has proven their entertainment value, but movies have also been used to explore concepts and situations that are on the frontiers of imagination and serve as a unique medium for articulating the limits of human possibility. Films can not only be taken as illustrations of various philosophical issues but can also be seen as a unique way of working through philosophical issues that can hardly be stated in other media. This class will examine a series of films that raise issues dealing with the nature and limits of the human and natural worlds. Besides the usual discussion classes, there will be evening "lab" classes each week devoted to screening films of conceptual interest. A series of short analytical papers will be required. May be taken as a Writing Focus course.
Level: Introductory/intermediate. Class limit: 20.
Meets the following degree requirements: WFO
HS2024Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind
HS2025A Woman's Place: In the Poem, at Home, on the RoadThe place "no map could show . . " So Adrienne Rich describes the moment igniting one poem of a traveler in this genre on the page. Just where is a woman’s place? Where does she come from? What does she leave or return to? How does she remember, observe, and name the worlds she is and the worlds she discovers in the shape and making of a poem? These questions will accompany us both as points of departure and anchors for discussion in reading poems from women inviting us to track the seasons on a Cumbrian sheep farm, taste raspberries in the snow in Moscow, muse on home by a waterfall in Brazil, enter a Polish café with a terrorist, and turn circles barefoot on a Vermont hillside. For every poem we share, seeing and articulating the architecture will be primary. Please come prepared to read closely and aloud, to name what strikes you as a reader developing a vocabulary of critical precision and the moment’s truths, and to gather a portfolio of original poems tracing your journey to this place with no map but the words you find.
Level: Introductory/intermediate. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: $20.
HS2026Practical Skills in Community Development
HS2029Great LettersGreetings and salutations! This course is designed for those who still believe in writing letters or perhaps are curious because they've abandoned (or never even tried?) the act-and art-this genre offers us to connect with a writer's audience, material, and voices living on the page. "How we communicate is the nature of who we are," Sven Birkerts wrote in his 1994 book The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age. Almost two decades later, when e-mail, text-messaging, and blogging punctuate the day and put not a handwritten page, but the world, at our fingertips, is letter-writing really dead? The mail we'll open in collections we'll read includes letters from a writer born on Gott's Island (Ruth Moore), writers finding themselves between roots in New England and travels to New York City and Brazil (E.B. White and Elizabeth Bishop), writers witnessing in war zones (Virginia Woolf and George Orwell), and a painter, poet, and social activist articulating some of the passions and questions of their vocations (van Gogh, Rilke, and Jessica Mitford). In addition to reading these letters, out loud and on the page, we'll learn some epistolary vocabulary and practice the art of all it can express as we gather our own collections of letters describing our origins, locating ourselves between travels, claiming our politics and our hearts' convictions, doing our business, and revealing the times we live in at perhaps another pace and value of resonance. Reading responses, mid-term conference, and final portfolio required.
Level: Introductory/intermediate. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Class limit: 12. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS2031Classic Shorts: Saving Places"What place has place in fiction?" Writer Eudora Welty offers us this question in an essay she wrote in 1954, then goes on to contemplate: "Location is the crossroads of circumstances . . . the heart's field . . . identity. . . . Place, to the writer at work, is seen in a frame. . . . a brimming one." What brims in this frame, Welty says, is not only a place of "original awareness"-our roots and where they can lead us-but also how "one place comprehended can make us understand other places better." How many ways to measure the distance "between the localized raw material of life and its outcome as art"? What places might a story help us save? Where and how do we recognize the places that save us? What is-and isn't-present? In this section of Classic Shorts, we'll navigate these questions through the genre, as the writers and stories we'll encounter take us from a camping trip by a river to follow the currents of memory to the terrace of a Roman restaurant where two old friends unexpectedly disclose their pasts. A blind date at a carnival in Ireland, a safe house in South Africa turned perilous, a dance floor with a drunken cowboy in Montana-these are among the places we'll visit, saved by a writer on the page. We'll also consider how some literal means of transport-a rental car, a train compartment, a piece of furniture deliberately left behind-can preserve atmospheres and become the architecture for what William Trevor calls "the art of the glimpse" in describing the short story ("an explosion of truth . . . concerned with the total exclusion of meaninglessness") and which Margaret Atwood references as "a score for voice . . . keeping faith . . . with the language . . . told with as much intentness as if the teller's life depended on it." Is it possible for a life to depend on a place? A sip from a cup of pure spring water. A friend or stranger in need of comfort. How one generation holds its origins, landmarks, and destinations to deliver to another in the brimming frame of a story.
Seeing and articulating what we believe about how each story is made to save what it contains-its characters and landscapes, gestures and metaphors, the instincts and technical decisions behind every page-will be part of our daily navigation, including a weekly out-loud story lab. Students will be expected to gather initial responses and develop critical inquiries story by story, with a midterm conference and final paper (original short-story option encouraged) required. Evaluations will be based on the attention to language as precision and possibility in this deliberately contained form-what level of risk, what quality of articulation and follow-through to see, shape, and save a story? Please come prepared to read closely, discuss openly, and experiment in the art of the glimpse.
Level: Introductory/intermediate. Prerequisites: none. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: $25. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS2032Introduction to SustainabilityIntroduction to Sustainability is a gateway into current thinking and practice on sustainability in multiple fields. It will use examples of people and organizations trying to move toward more sustainable practices in city planning, transportation, food systems, energy, business operations, housing design, consumption, waste disposal and other areas. Guest speakers who are working to implement more sustainable practices in their businesses and society will help introduce students to the most current thinking and practice in their fields. Although most of the class will be grounded in specific examples, we will begin with controversies over the meaning of sustainability and address how it can be measured and evaluated. The last part of the class will deal with socio-cultural changes needed to move individuals and societies toward more sustainable practices and how these can become part of the warp and woof of the way we live. Students will be evaluated based on participation in class discussion, regular journal entries, completion of individual and group assignments, and independent projects and presentations that explore and share practices in a specific field of particular interest to each student.
Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Prerequisites: none. Class limit: 18. Lab fee: $25. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS2033Call of the Land: Agrarian Arts & WordsIn a recent video produced for Maine Farmland Trust, a young farmer comments: "Deep down, everybody wants to be a farmer." Many COA students would agree... but why is it that farming is so appealing to us? What does is mean to have a connection with land? What has US society lost, as people have lost their agricultural roots and connections with how and where food is produced? Call of the Land: Agrarian Arts & Words is about the influences that agrarian thinking and arts have had on US society and our current views of farming and land. We will trace the rise of agrarianism from the Tao and Virgil's Georgics through modern agrarians, such as Wendell Berry, Norman Wirzba, Barbara Kingsolver and Vandana Shiva. We will be looking closely at the intersection between the agrarian ideal and sustainability, and how agrarian ideals have fed political protest movements such as the Grange Movement and Farmers Alliances since the late 1800s. Although the main focus of the course will be on agrarian essays and other prose, we will incorporate ways that visual arts, fiction and music have both reflected and shaped the ways that perceptions of land and agriculture have developed. Guest lectures by several COA faculty members and people outside COA will complement class discussion and activities. The class may take a weekend field trip to visit art museums in New England with good collections of farm landscape paintings (such as the Farnsworth in Rockland, Maine; the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston; and the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford). Students will be evaluated based on participation in class discussion and activities, required essays spaced through the term, and regular journal entries. Each student will select a medium and theme to explore in more depth for a final presentation to the rest of class.
Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Prerequisites: None. Class limit: 16. Lab Fee: $35. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS2034Ethics: The History of a Problematic
HS2035Classic Shorts: Changing WeatherWeather as fact. Weather as atmosphere. Weather as metaphor. The seasons of change on our planet, in a lifetime, evolving. Heat, dust, natural disasters, questions of fertility, water, human intervention. Who survives what, what grows or doesn't, where and how. The short story offers a lens on all of these, and the elements we'll encounter in this section of Classic Shorts will lead us into discussions meteorological, contemplative, and literary. What happens if the sky starts raining yellow dust-fallout or pollen? Who is or isn't on the Moscow train the summer a family lives in a village house fifty feet from the railway station and why does this summer, this setting, matter? Bonfire conversations on a beach following an earthquake in Japan, lies that lead to truths and layers of memory in the chill of an Etruscan museum, dark storms and unexpected harvests in a Pakistani servant girl's life, an Irish spring and the healing destinations of a priest on someone else's wedding day-these are among the stories we'll discover and explore as architecture in this genre William Trevor calls "the art of the glimpse... an explosion of truth... concerned with the total exclusion of meaninglessness" and which Margaret Atwood describes as "a score for voice... keeping faith... with the language... told with as much intentness as if the teller's life depended on it." Seeing and articulating what we believe about how each story is made-its characters and landscapes, gestures and metaphors, the instincts and technical decisions behind every page-will be part of our daily weather. Students will be expected to gather and develop critical inquiries story by story, with a midterm conference and final paper (original short-story option encouraged) required. Evaluations will be based on the attention to language as precision and possibility in this deliberately contained form-what level of risk, what quality of articulation and follow-through to see and shape a story? Please come prepared to read closely, discuss openly, and experiment in the art of the glimpse.
Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Prerequisites: none. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: $25. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS2037Classic Shorts: What’s in Our HandsThe question of what’s in our hands is, of course, tangible and practical, metaphorical and ecological. What we hold in our hands is one way to show what we value, what we (or someone) believe(s) we need, what connects us. Keys and spoons, tickets and toys, tools and weapons, instruments and electronic devices, what grows and what we plant, gifts. A story is also something we can hold in our hands, and in this section of Classic Shorts, stories will invite our attention to this genre one writer (William Trevor) has called “the art of the glimpse” and another (Margaret Atwood) describes as “a score for voice . . . keeping faith . . . with the language . . . told with as much intentness as if the teller’s life depended on it.” These stories in our hands include unexpected treasures found by kids digging in a hole on family ground, the glitter of opals and other beliefs hidden on Aboriginal land, a ship’s cargo of specimens from the Amazon, the healing root of an African plant, a notebook of musical instruments, the jacket of a friend departed, and an offering of lemon poppyseed cake. [How] does what’s in our hands keep and sustain us?
Seeing and articulating what we believe about how each story is made—its characters and landscape, gestures and metaphors, the instincts and technical decisions behind every page—will be central to our work, including a weekly out-loud story lab. Students will be expected to gather initial responses and develop critical inquiries story by story, with a midterm/story conference required and a final portfolio of original fiction. Evaluations will be based on attention to language as precision and possibility in this form deliberately made to contain “an explosion of truth . . . concerned with the total exclusion of meaninglessness” (Trevor again). What level of risk, what quality of articulation and follow-through to see, shape, and hold a story? Please come prepared to read closely, discuss openly, and experiment in the art of the glimpse.
Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Prerequisites: none. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: $25. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS2038Gender, Politics, and Science in Fairy Tales of the WorldWhy do fairy tales capture the attention of adults and children all over the world and endure in popular literary and cinematic forms? What do they reveal to psychologists, biologists, historians, linguists, artists, anthropologists, and educators? Do they politicize or de-politicize? socialize or subvert? What is the postfeminist, postmodern response to the Brothers Grimm? What do fairy tales convey about animal behavior, entomology, and cosmology? How might the tales shape human limitations, moral values, and aspirations? This course will explore the story-telling and re-telling of literary, cultural, and scientific stories from a comparative perspective, imagining their interpretations and how they may be re-told with an eye toward new understandings of human interrelationships, of a given sociohistorical moment, the culture of COA, and the larger culture. Students will read fairy tales, view three films--"The Little Mermaid" (USA), "Chunhyang" (Korea), and "Pan's Labyrinth" (Spain)--and discuss academic pieces by writers such as Cristina Bacchilega, Bruno Bettelheim, Ruth Bottigheimer, Michel Butor, Italo Calvino, Claude Lévi-Strauss, and Jack Zipes. Reflections may include distinctions between fairy tale and myth; recurrent motifs and patterns; the history and variations of individual tales and motifs; social, sexual, moral, scientific and political content, with emphasis on race, gender, and class structure; and contemporary works inspired by traditional tales. Students will be evaluated on two short papers; one creative project that may be expressed in writing, visual art, music, or dance; and a final assignment that will take the form of a class project.
Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Class limit: 15. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS2039Writing Seminar II: Argumentation
HS2040Plato and "the Footnotes" through FoucaultAlfred North Whitehead once commented that the "The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato." This course will explore Plato's original body of ideas and the methods he used to develop them through careful reading of a large number of dialogues and selections from key philosophers' responses to them. Key themes will include the relationships between ethics, metaphysics and epistemology, the theory of Ideas, the nature of political life, the roles of friendship and Eros in life, "philo-sophia" as a way of life, and the figure of Socrates and Socratic method.
Readings will include Plato's LYSIS, MENO, LACHES, EUTHYPHRO, APOLOGY, CRITO, SYMPOSIUM, PHAEDRUS, GORGIAS and selections from others such as THE REPUBLIC, TIMAEUS, and PARMENIDES. In parallel with these texts we will also read very short selections from thinkers such as the Pre-Socratics, Aristotle, Descartes, Kant, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Dewey, de Beauvoir, Foucault, and Alyson Jaggar. For historical context we will also read selections from Pierre Hadot and others and study selections from the art and other key cultural documents including texts by Aristophanes, Xenophon and Thucydides.
By the end of the course students should understand and be able to articulate key ideas and problematics in Plato and place them in their cultural context. They should also be able to critically analyze texts and ideas in oral discussion and in short written pieces by examining them for internal consistency and the adequacy with which they respond to the challenges presented by the problematics of their own cultural setting as well as the light cast on them by critiques of subsequent philosophers. Students will be evaluated on class participation, a series of short papers providing careful textual analysis, an in-class presentation on one of the dialogues and/or a subsequent philosopher’s response to it, and participation in a performance of some portion of one of the dialogues.
Level: Introductory/intermediate. Prerequisites: none. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: $25. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS2041Journalism and the New Media
HS2042Italian History, Language and CultureThis course will introduce students to the historical frameworks and cultural forms that characterize contemporary Italy and will provide a foundation in conversational Italian. While "Italy" as a place and even a brand (as in "made in Italy") has enormous imaginative and romantic allure around the globe, the complexity and diversity that characterize this country are not always acknowledged. Drawing on historical, literary, and anthropological sources, as well as media, art, and popular culture, students will develop knowledge and tools through which to approach their immersion experience in the spring with care and subtlety. Additionally, through weekly class meetings, outside work, and workshops on evenings and weekends, students will acquire a foundation in grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation from which to begin their immersion language studies in Italy. Throughout, students will be asked to reflect on and develop the experiential field-based learning projects that they will be undertaking in the spring and will craft a proposal and set of questions to guide their work. We will also discuss ethics and methods that inform experiential research. Evaluation will be based on participation and engagement, commitment to a project of common learning, and written and oral assessments.
Level: Introductory/ Intermediate. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Class limit: 12. Lab fee: none. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS2043Conflict Resolution Across CulturesHow does conflict arise and how can we best deal with it? This course combines a study of some major theoretical perspectives with lab work practicing skills and disciplines associated with different traditions of conflict resolution, conflict transformation and peacemaking. We will look at case studies at the intrapersonal and interpersonal through global levels and in a variety of cross-cultural settings. The goals of the course are to help each student: 1. develop the skills to better observe, analyse, participate in and reform practices and institutions that people use to deal with differences. 2. collaborate in teams in doing the research and planning needed to undertake such work effectively, and 3. collaborate in teams to train others in such skills. The formats of the class will alternate between lectures, discussions, films, role plays, group exercises, interviews with guest visitors, and other activities to practice skills and reflect on experiences. Readings for the course will include Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Bruce M. Patton, William L. Ury, Roger Fisher; Preparing for Peace: Conflict Transformation Across Cultures by John Paul Lederach and a selection of other short texts. In “methods groups”, students will form teams that will study a method of dealing with differences [e. g. mediation, facilitation, non-violent direct action, meditation, nonverbal communication, gaming strategies, etc.] and offer the rest of the class a training session on this. Students will be evaluated on: 1. ways in which class their participation, homework, methods group trainings, personal training manual, and final reflective essay demonstrate progress on the three course goals, 2. the ways they make appropriate use of the theories and methods studied in the course, and 3. the clarity and effectiveness of their oral and written presentations.
Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Prerequisites: none. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: $25. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS2045Contemporary Social Movements: BoliviaSocial struggles for human rights, indigenous community autonomy, ecological sustainability, equality, sovereignty and other concerns invoke values, draw on methods and appeal to allies from the larger international context and yet play out with their own very distinctive dynamics at community, regional and national levels. When social movements achieve political power that enables them to use the state in advancing their goals, these dynamics become even more complex. An especially rich and important case study of these complex dynamics is provided by the struggles leading up to the election of Bolivia’s first indigenous president, Evo Morales, and the subsequent efforts to establish a pluri-national state in which rights of Nature ("Pacha Mama") and of indigenous communities are embedded in a vision of sustainability as "Vivir Bien" (living well as opposed to living "ever better" with more GDP).
The goals of this course are to introduce students to the history and current dynamics of Bolivia with the aim to: a.) develop understanding of development issues as applied to Bolivia’s current context; b.) develop abilities to use theories of social change to interpret and critically analyze cases like Bolivia, and c.) develop their skills in research to generate useful knowledge for activists and change agents. The class format will include readings, discussion, visiting lectures from other COA faculty, short analytical papers, and term long projects in which students will define and pursue research on a specific topic such as the struggles over issues related to water, food, climate change, coca production or indigenous culture. Students will also organize poster presentations as part of the October session of the Society for Human Ecology in which a session on the concept of Vivir Bien in Andean countries is being organized. Evaluation will be based on the extent to which student work in discussion and in these papers, presentations, and other activities provide evidence of achieving the three goals for the course. Readings will include shorter excerpts from texts in general theories of social change by Charles Tilly, Bill Moyer, Paulo Freire and others and extensive readings related to Bolivia’s geography, culture, history, economy and politics. Some summer reading will be assigned as preparation for the course.
Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Class limit: 18. Lab fee: $35. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS2048Food, Power and Justice
HS2049Marvelous Terrible Place: Human Ecology of NewfoundlandWhere is the largest population of humpback whales in the world, the largest caribou herd in North America, the only confirmed Viking settlement in North America, and Paleozoic water bottled for consumption? The remote Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador presents a stunning landscape, an astoundingly rich ecological setting, and a tragic history of poverty amidst an incredible natural resource, the northern cod fishery, that was ultimately destroyed. The province has been alternately invaded or occupied by different groups of Native Americans along with Norseman, Basques, French, British, and the U.S. military, because of its strategic location and rich fishing and hunting grounds. One of the first and one of the last British colonies, this richest of fisheries produced a very class based society, composed of a wealthy few urban merchants and an highly exploited population of fishing families often living on the edge of survival. But within the past 50 years, Newfoundland society has been forced to evolve. The provincial government looks towards oil and mineral exploitation to turn around the economy, while ex-fishermen consider eco- and cultural tourism with growing ambivalence. This then is our setting, and background, for an intense examination of the human ecology of this province; the relationship between humans and their environment, sometimes successful, sometimes otherwise, the struggle between the tenuous grasp of civilization and this marvelous, terrible place. To do this we will discuss various readings, examine case studies and review the natural and human history of this unique province. Our learning will culminate with a two-week trip to Newfoundland to examine its issues firsthand. Evaluation will be based on class and field trip participation, responses to reading questions, a field journal, and a final project.
Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Prerequisites: Signature of Instructor. Lab fee: $850. Class limit 15 Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS2051Agriculture and Biotechnology
HS2052Popular PsychologyHumans have an inherent need to make sense of their lives. Their search may be simply to improve everyday experience or it may involve a life-long quest for meaning and wisdom. Nonetheless, in every age, they have found written advice to address these perennial needs: ranging from the Bhagavad-Gita and the Bible, through Marcus Aurelieus' Meditations and Ralph Waldo Emerson's Self-Reliance AF to the ever-popular, self-help book. In the past half-century of the New York Times' Best Sellers List, there has usually been one or more popular psychology books on the list. Hundreds of millions have been sold and read. Some focus on how to improve relationships, raise children, or build wealth; others promise ways to discover happiness, expand memory, or find a deeper self. Their authors may be serious scholars, well-known psychologists, insightful leaders, or shallow self promoters. The purpose of this course is to critically examine the literature of popular psychology: to explore why people are or are not so drawn to this literary genre and to analyze its deeper psychological significance. A further goal is to evaluate how and when they do work or why they don't. These questions will be guided by an in depth evaluation of the implicit structure of each book, as well as a comparative mapping of it within the theories and methods of professional psychology. In order to investigate a broad cross-section of styles and themes, we begin with several 'classic' popular books as a common foundation. Thereafter, we move on to more varied approaches within small groups and individually. Evaluations will be based on participation in class discussions, several short papers, shared book reviews, and final paper comparing popular and academic psychology.
Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Class Limit: 15. Lab fee: $25 Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS2060Philosophies of Liberation
HS2061Indigenous AmericaThis course will provide an introduction to the history of indigenous peoples in the Americas. Using a seminar style the class will combine some overview lectures, student-led discussion of books, and project-based learning to provide an initial introduction to the diverse histories of native peoples from Canada to the Andes. The course will focus on both pre-contact societies as well as the processes of interaction between Europeans and indigenous peoples in the Americas. Using a selection of case studies the course will highlight building an understanding of indigenous worldviews as well as socio-political organization and the ways both were transformed by colonialism. A range of books will introduce students to the ethnohistorical literature on native communities from Mesoamerica, North America, and the Andes. A simultaneous component of the course will be student’s research projects on a topic of their choosing that explores a dimension of native people’s histories. Students will be evaluated on attendance, course participation, short analytical essays, and their final project.
Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Prerequisites: none, however, student without any background in history should expect to invest extra time with the readings and writing assignments. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: none. Meets the following degree requirements: HS, HY
This course focuses on real and symbolic journeys in literature, considering travel as both a physical and psychological phenomenon and the journal as a primary human archetype. Our readings begin with Joseph Campbell's Hero with a Thousand Faces then pass to a number of fictional journeys, including Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Dante's Inferno, Melville's Moby Dick, Charles Johnson's The Middle Passage, Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse, Kerouac's On the Road, and William T. Vollmann's The Butterfly Stories. Two papers, a midterm and term paper, are required; all students also prepare a voluntary oral report. Level: Intermediate. Class limit: 20 *HS*
HS3011Bread, Love, and DreamsThis course is an introduction to the unconscious. It begins with the problem of knowing something which by definition is unknown. It then proceeds to examine two classic approaches to the unconscious: dreams and love. Students are expected to keep dream notebooks and to recognize their own unconscious life in the light of readings. Readings start with the unconscious in its classical formulation according to Freud and Jung. We read The Interpretation of Dreams and Two Essays in Analytical Psychology. We consider these themes in fiction using Henry James' The Beast in the Jungle. We then move to more contemporary writers, particularly James Hillman's The Dream and the Underworld, Michel Foucault's History of Sexuality, and finally consider some of the negative implications of the material in Elaine Scarry's The Body in Pain. The writing part of this course is done in pairs, with groups of two students cross-examining each other's dream notebooks and self-analysis.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisite: A course in literature or psychology. Offered every other year. Class limit: 20. Lab fee: $20. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS3012Poetry and the American EnvironmentSince Anne Bradstreet in the seventeenth century, American poets have responded to the natural environment and its human transformation. Poets have learned to see by their exposure to nature, then in turn have used their techniques of vision, music and metaphor to teach us how to see who and where we are. This class considers poets of the Romantic and Transcendental movements, spends some time with Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson, then focuses on the twentieth century, especially T.S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, Robert Frost, Robinson Jeffers, and Elizabeth Bishop. We end with some contemporaries: Robert Hass, Charles Simic, Gary Snyder, and Mary Oliver. Students may write either an analytical paper or a collection of their own poetry. Class meetings are supplemented by additional workshop sessions for student poets.
Level: Intermediate. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS3013The Aesthetics of ViolenceThis course examines the origin and aesthetics of violence in western culture. We begin with the question: what are the long-term human effects of a civilization dominated by the image of a murdered god? We develop the focus on representations of violence in classical and contemporary literature and film. For theory we read Aristotle's Poetics, Nietzsche's Birth of Tragedy, Ren, Girard's Violence and the Sacred. We study classical tragedy (Oedipus Rex, The Bacchae, Medea) along with Shakespeare's Macbeth, Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment and Brett Easton Ellis' American Psycho. Discussions are supplemented by a film series clarifying the debate over contemporary film violence by placing it in mythic context. Natural Born Killers, Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Ride the High Country, and Clockwork Orange are among works studied. Student reports bring us up-to-date on current issues and cases of domestic and serial violence, as well as the politics of censorship, the representation of violence in visual art, the issue of pornography and the myth of the victim hero. To clarify the issue of real versus represented violence we make a class field trip to the Bangor Auditorium for a professional wrestling match.
Level: Intermediate. Class limit: 24. Lab Fee: $15. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS3014World Ethnography in FilmThis course is intended to give a view of how different peoples of the world live and what their homes, dress, customs, and work are like, the kinds of technologies employed in various environments and the population levels they support. The text is Ethnographic Film by Heider. The class views a sampling of anthropological films made over the last fifty years. Students are expected to view twenty films and write critiques of fifteen. Evaluation is based on participation and the fifteen reviews.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisite: Contemporary Culture and the Self or equivalent. Offered every year. Class limit: 20. Lab fee $20. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS3015African American LiteratureThis survey of African American literature from its origins in the slave narrative to the present vivid prose of some of America's best writers considers the impact of slavery and race consciousness on literary form and power. Readings include letters, essays, poems, short stories, and novels of some of the following authors: Phillis Wheatley, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, Pauline Hopkins, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, Zora Neale Hurston, Gwendolyn Brooks, Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisite: A previous literature course or signature of the instructor. Class limit: 15. Offered every other year. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS3016Global Environmental Politics: Theory and PracticeThis course will cover the politics and policy of regional and global environmental issues, including many of the major environmental treaties that have been negotiated to date (Montreal Protocol, Framework Convention on Climate Change, Convention on Biological Diversity). Students will gain both practical and theoretical understandings of how treaties are negotiated and implemented, through case studies of the climate change convention and the Cartagena protocol on biosafety. We will draw on both mainstream and critical theories of international relations when analyzing these negotiations. Students will become familiar with the range of political stances on different treaties of various nations and blocs, and the political, economic, cultural, and scientific reasons for diverging and converging views. We will pay special attention to the growing role played by non-governmental organizations in global environmental politics. We will conclude the course with discussions of some current controversial areas in international environmental politics.
Level: Intermediate. Class limit: 15. Lab Fee $10.00 Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS3017The Contemporary Culture of Maine Organic FarmersHow does organic farming fit into American culture? Who are the people who do it? How did they learn what they need to know? Are they different in any significant way from other Americans? If so, on what is that difference based? What role does culture play in the ecosystems of organic farms? In this course we explore the relationship between culture and ecosystem through field experience. Though the culture of the USA has many shared elements, it also contains distinctive elements, some of which are based on the subsistence activities of sub-cultural groups. We hypothesize that particular subsistence activities and the other ecosystem elements in which those activities take place may make specific demands on the sub-culture in the realm of values, ideology, social organization, kinship and marriage, language, technology, and so on. While most Americans don*t earn their livings from natural resources, there is a growing concern with health of natural systems. And those who do make their livings from natural resouces may possess knowledge and perspectives about nature which are neither understood nor appreciated by the general populace. The assumption is made that many students have not been exposed to the sub-culture of organic farmers, and so these must be contacted in person, a relationship established, questions asked, answers recorded. This entails preparation for field-work - understanding of the basic concepts of culture, enculturation, ethnocentrism, cultural relativism, and some elements of interviewing. Further, many of the ideas, both philosophical and practical, which may seem commonplace to many organic growers will be new to us, and so will be explored in the reading and class discussions. Field trips are organized to meet people with whom the instructor has already established a rapport. Each interview entails a full class session of preparation which is followed on alternate class days by a field trip. Participants will use background reading and discussion to focus their own questions. (Students need to arrange their schedules to allow a half-day minimum for the field trips which will take place in the afternoons). We will attempt to get a complex and holistic view of what it is like to farm organically and to build a lifestyle with it as the basis. Students will be evaluated on class participation and on a journal which will include transcriptions and interpretations of notes from the field trips and readings.
Level: Intermediate. Class limit: 12. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS3019Mountain Poets of China and JapanThere was a long standing tradition in both China and Japan of wandering poets and mountain hermits who expressed their experiences in nature in poetic terms. In this class we take an overview of the major styles of poetry in both of these countries and sample some of the work of their major poets. After a brief introduction to the use of dictionaries and various language tools available in books and on the internet, students will be invited to try their hand at translating some of the Chinese poems and rendering them into good poems in english.
Level: Intermediate. Students will be expected to take the course on a Pass/Fail basis, with special arrangement made for those needing to take it for a grade. Class limit: 12. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS3020Contemporary Social Movement StrategiesWhen groups organize others to promote social change, what alternative strategies do they employ and how effective are they in varying circumstances? Can any general principles or methods for social change be gleaned from the successes and difficulties encountered in various social movements around the world? We will use Bill Moyer's DOING DEMOCRACY and a series of other theoretical readings to look at general models and strategies. And we will use a series of case studies including, for instance, the Zapatistas, Moveon.org, the liberation of Eastern Europe, the U. S. Civil Rights Movement, the anti-Globalizaton movement, the Breast Cancer Social Movement and the Gay and Lesbian movement. Students will write a series of short analyses of cases considered in class and do extended case studies on their own. Evaluation will be based on the qulaity of class participation, research and writing.
Level: Intermediate. Class limit: 15. Lab fee $25. Meets the following degree requirements: HY HS
HS3021Intermediate Spanish IThis course is for students who are competent in the use of basic Spanish structures, of the simple and compound of the indicative tenses, and some forms of the imperative tense. Objective: The students will be able to express themselves orally and through writing using a variety of vocabulary, the indicative and imperative moods, and some applications of the subjunctive mood. This includes a review of the present, preterite, future imperfect, preterite imperfect tenses, pronouns of object direct and indirect, imperative mood, expanded use of the "to be" and "is" verbs, the prepositions and simple conditional, the study and practice of the compound tenses of the indicative mood, present perfect, plus perfect, and future perfect. They will also study the subjunctive mood and verbs that express emotion. Evaluation Criteria: two compositions, two auditory tests, two writing tests covering grammar, two oral tests, assignments/ homework, class participation.
Level: Intermediate. Offered every fall. Class limit: 10. Lab fee: $20
HS3022Intermediate Spanish IIThis course is for students who use the simple and compound structures of the indicative mood. Objective: The students will express themselves orally and through writing using the appropriate vocabulary and complex sentence structure in the indicative, subjunctive, and imperative moods, adverb clauses and more sophisticated idioms. Evaluation Criteria: two compositions, two auditory tests, two writing test covering grammar, two oral tests, assignments/ homework, class participation.
Level: Intermediate. Class limit: 10.
HS3023International Wildlife Policy and Protected Areas"Save the whales"; "save the tiger"; "save the rainforest" - - increasingly wildlife and their habitats are the subject of international debate with many seeing wildlife as part of the common heritage of humankind. Wildlife does not recognize the political boundaries of national states and as a result purely national efforts to protect wildlife often fail when wildlife migrates beyond the jurisdiction of protection. This course focuses on two principle aspects of international wildlife conservation: 1) the framework of treaties and other international mechanisms set up to protect species; and 2) the system of protected areas established around the world to protect habitat. We begin with an examination of several seminal wildlife treaties such as the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, CITES, migratory bird treaties, and protocols to the Antarctica Treaty. Using case studies on some of the more notable wildlife campaigns, such as those involving whales and elephants, we seek to understand the tensions between national sovereignty and international conservation efforts. The Convention on Biological Diversity and its broad prescriptions for wildlife protection provide a central focus for our examination of future efforts. Following on one of the key provisions in the Convention on Biological Diversity, the second half of the course focuses on international and national efforts to create parks and other protected areas. In particular we evaluate efforts to create protected areas that serve the interests of wildlife and resident peoples. Students gain familiarity with UNESCO's Biosphere Reserve model and the IUCN's protected area classifications. We also examine in some depth the role that NGO's play in international conservation efforts. The relationship between conservation and sustainable development is a fundamental question throughout the course.
Level: Intermediate. Recommended courses: Use and Abuse of Public Lands, Global Politics and Sustainability, Global Environmental Politics.
Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS3026Whitewater/Whitepaper: River Conservation and RecreationLoren Eisely once remarked, "If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water." Eisely's observation is an underlying premise of this course - that there is something very special about moving water. This course is taught in a seminar format in which students will read and discuss ecological, historical, sociological, political and legal aspects of river conservation and watershed protection. Special emphasis is placed on understanding the policy issues surrounding dams, river protection, and watershed planning. In conjunction with readings and class discussions, students will use a term-long study of a local stream to learn about the threats facing rivers in the United States and the legal and policy mechanisms for addressing these threats. In addition, the class will take an extended field trip to western Massachusetts to gain first-hand knowledge of the tremendous impact river manipulation can have on a social and ecological landscape. We will spend time looking at historically industrialized and now nationally protected rivers in the region. Through weekly excursions on Maine rivers, students will also develop skills to enable them to paddle a tandem canoe in intermediate whitewater. Evaluation will be based on problem sets, role-playing exercises, contribution to the class, short essays, and paddling skills. Weekly excursions to area rivers entail special scheduling constraints as we will be in the field all day on Fridays.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisite: Signature of instructor. Class limit: 11. Lab fee: $100.
HS3027Microeconomics for Business and PolicyWhat is the best way to insure that communities can provide dependable, well-paying jobs to their citizens? Why does Coca Cola spend millions of dollars to advertise a product with which most people are already very familiar? What can the game of blackjack tell us about how industries are structured? How can we get coal-burning power utilities to reduce their carbon emissions while they save millions of dollars in the process? How can we provide much better health care to all Americans, at much less cost, while making it easier for small businesses to grow? All of these questions, and many more like them, are answered by microeconomic theory. This intermediate-level course exposes students to basic microeconomic theories, models, and concepts that shed insight on the economic behavior of businesses, individuals, governments and politicians, and international organizations. We will emphasize approaches that have numerous overlapping applications to both business and policy evaluation: markets, pricing, firm structure and decision-making, strategic behavior (using game theory), consumer behavior, externalities (such as greenhouse gas emissions) and the provision of public goods (such as military, education, and environmental conservation). We will pay special attention to the economics of asymmetrical information (adverse selection, moral hazard, and principal-agent situations) that have a wide range of applications, including issues such as the ineffectiveness of the American health care system, the structuring of business finance, and the hiring and paying of employees. This will be a non-calculus course, but will give students exposure to technical economic modeling, with heavy emphasis on graphical modeling of complex social phenomena. We will use a lab period to conduct extensive experiments and games that illustrate or test economic concepts and hypotheses.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisite: Signature of instructor or 1 course in economics or business. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: $30. Meets the following degree requirements: HS, QR
HS3028The MysticsMysticism is an important current in almost all religions and marks an attempt on the part of the mystic to experience a union with the deepest nature of reality. This course offers an examination of the nature and types of mystical experience with a particular emphasis on the paradoxical language that many mystics use. Language is thought to be inadequate to describe the nature of the real and yet language is the only tool to communicate with others. Contradictory and paradoxical expressions and descriptions are used in an attempt to point beyond language directly at reality. While drawing primarily on Western religions of the Greek, Christian, Islamic and Jewish traditions, questions are raised concerning the degree to which Eastern traditions, such as Buddhism, can be meaningfully regarded as mystical. Some of the mystics examined in detail include Plotinus, Ibn Arabi, Meister Eckhart, Marguerite Porete, St John and St. Teresa. Students will be evaluated on their participation in discussions and the ability to convey their understanding of mysticism in both mid-term and final take-home exams.
Level: Intermediate. Class limit: 20.
Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS3029Shakespeare: Character, Conflict, and Cinematography
HS3031Our Public Lands: Past, Present, and FutureBy definition "public lands" belong to all of us, yet public lands in this country have a history of use (and abuse) by special interests and a shocking absence of any coherent management strategy for long-term sustainability. This course is taught in seminar format in which students read and discuss several environmental policy and history texts that concern the history and future of our federal lands. We also use primary historic documents and texts to understand the origins of public ownership and management. We examine the legal, philosophical, ecological, and political problems that have faced our National Parks, wildlife refuges, national forests, and other public lands. An effort is made to sort out the tangle of laws and conflicting policies that govern these public resources. Special attention is given to the historic roots of current policy debates. Evaluation is based upon response papers, a class presentation, participation in class discussions, and a group project looking closely at the historical context and policy implications of a management issue facing a nearby public land unit.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisite: Introductory history or policy class recommended. Class limit: 20. Lab fee $15. Meets the following degree requirements: HS HY
HS3032The Cold War: Early YearsThis course provides a broad historical overview of the early years of the “Cold War” period that shaped global politics generally and American foreign policy specifically. Beginning in the 1940’s and leading up to Richard Nixon's election in 1968 we will examine the diplomatic relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union and how this relationship has impacted state actors, economic policies, cultural production, and conceptions of identity. While there will be a heavy focus on traditional state-level diplomatic history, students will also explore a broad array of methodological approaches. Class sessions will include a mix of traditional lecture formats, class discussion, and outside presentations. An evening lab is scheduled in order to screen a variety of cultural artifacts from the various periods we will cover. The primary goal is to give students an intensive 10-week crash course into key events, concepts, figures, etc.. that defined the early decades of Cold War diplomacy. At the same time there is also time allocated for students to explore their own independent research interests. Given the far-reaching force of Cold War politics into everyday life, individuals with widely varying academic interests will find the course informative and productive. Evaluation will be based on a mix of class participation, individual research assignments, and exams. All students, regardless of their backgrounds, previous coursework, or interests are welcome.
Level: Intermediate. Class limit: 20. Lab fee: $20. Meets the following degree requirements: HY HS
HS3033Satanic VersesThis course is a study of the figure of Satan in classic and contemporary literature and visual art including painting and film. We will view the Satanic image in the light of Jung's shadow archetype, an unconscious compensatory figure in the evolution of morality. It will also be related to ideas of nature and civilization, to major religious structures and to the political techniques of demonization and projection. A centerpiece of the course will be a close reading of Salman Rushdie's "Satanic Verses" and its relation to contemporary Islam. Other readings will be drawn from a list including the books of Genesis and Job from the Old Testament, Jung's "Answer to Job", Sura 46 of the Koran, selections from Dante's "Inferno" and Milton's "Paradise Lost", Goethe's "Faust", William Blake's "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell", Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter," the Grand Inquisitor chapter from Dostoevsky's "Brothers Karamazov", Nietzsche's "The Antichrist", Elaine Pagel's "The Origin of Satan", and the Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil". We will also take time to study visual imagery from Bosch, Goya, and the Dore illustrations to Dante. Halfway steering clear of Hollywood, films may include "The Passion of the Christ", Pasolini's "Gospel According to St. Matthew", "Rosemary's Baby", Godard's "Sympathy for the Devil" and Herzog's "Nosferatu the Vampyr." Students will learn to analyze and understand complex literary works in historical and cultural context. Evaluations to be based on two papers (8 & 12 pages) plus one class presentation. The student presentations will be expected to expand the course into areas of popular culture, music, iconography and social behavior.
Level: Intermediate; Class limit: 18; Lab fee $10
HS3034Conspiracy Theory and Political DiscourseThe fear of the "hidden" enemy that lurks behind the shadows is a narrative theme that appears periodically in the political discourse of all democratic societies. Yet, this narrative of fear (often labeled as conspiracy theory) is regularly criticized as somehow being inherently antidemocratic, irrational, or dangerous. At the same time, this form of argument can also be "mainstreamed" and defended as a legitimate response to the events of the moment. How do we make sense of this tension? If conspiracy theory as a mode of explanation is inherently "irrational," what does this mean for its enduring presence in our political discourse? Is the only difference between a reasonable claim rooted in fear and the conspiracy theories of "kooks" and "nutjobs" simply a matter of which one is "correct?" This class will address the role fear and anxiety plays in our social and political lives. We will explore a variety of topics related directly to how threats, conspiracies, agents of "evil," and "otherness" become manifest in public discourse. Specific topics include: the possible tension between "rational" deliberative decision making and the cultivating of anxiety in public governance; why we dismiss some claims as mere conspiracy theory and yet have no problem accepting other similarly formed arguments; what role the "outsider" plays in cementing cohesion within an "in" group; and the disturbing possibility that fear is actually a healthy component of democratic debate. The class will look at both contemporary and historical examples from the United States and around the world. There are three primary goals of the class: first, to expose students to the analysis of primary texts rooted in public fear and anxiety; second, to provoke discussion about the role of conspiracy and threats in democracies; and third, to provide students with a survey of secondary work that seeks to situate and make sense of these topics. Readings will be a combination of primary artifacts for interpretation (such a speeches, manifestos, pamphlets, and movies) as well as secondary analytical readings. In addition to the regular class meeting time, students will be expected to attend a weekly evening lab session devoted to the screening of visual works and/or presentations by speakers. Evaluation will be based on readings driven discussion as well as individual student writing assignments. Students will produce several short length essay assignments during the term as well as a longer research paper at the end of the term. This class is open to students of all interests regardless of their experience with politics, government, or social theory.
Level: Intermediate; Class limit: 12; Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS3035Sustainable StrategiesBusiness has tremendous societal ramifications. Inventions and industries from the automobile to the internet impact everything from air quality to economic and political freedom. Entrepreneurs, who are often at the forefront of business and thus societal innovation, are changing the way business is conducted by creating businesses that are beneficial to the bottom line, society and the environment. Through cases, projects and present day examples, the course will challenge students to understand the impact of business on society and the challenges and pitfalls of creating a socially responsible venture. In addition, it will offer new frameworks for creating entrepreneurial ventures that capitalize on social responsibility to gain competitive advantage, increase valuation while benefiting society and the environment. The final deliverable for the course is an in-class presentation in which student teams will either: (1) recommend ways to improve the social and environmental impacts of a company, while increasing competitive advantage and bottom line; or (2) benchmark two industry competitors, a socially responsible company versus a traditional company.
Level: Intermediate. Class limit: 15.
HS3036Oceans & Fishes: Readings in Environmental HistoryThis course will explore the rapidly expanding field of marine environmental history and historical studies that focus on fish and fisheries. Recent methodological and conceptual work as well as growing interest in the history of these topics driven by conservation and policy issues has made this an important and innovative field. Using the work of a variety of scholars from different fields the class will explore how historical accounts can be constructed with an emphasis on the types of available sources, the use of evidence, and how each author builds their argument. We will explicitly compare the methods, use of evidence and other aspects of different disciplinary approaches to the topic to highlight the strengths and limitations of each approach. This dimension of the class is particularly interesting because of the dynamic and interdisciplinary nature of scholarship right now that brings a wide range of research into dialogue. Students will learn about the history of oceans and fishes by looking at how historians and other scholars frame their works and make their arguments. Students will be evaluated on their preparation for discussion, mastery of the material, short written assignments, and a final project made up of a presentation and essay. This course is appropriate for students with interest in history, community-based research, marine studies, and environmental policy. Students who are just curious and interested in lots of things are also most welcome.
Level: Intermediate. Class limit: 15 Lab Fee $75.00 Meets the following degree requirements: HS HY
HS3037Doing Human Ecology in Cross-cultural Contexts: FranceThis course is part of a program in French Language and Culture in Vichy, France. It will provide credit for the winter orientation process preparatory for the program, learning from homestay in Vichy, the other cultural experiences that are a part of the program and for the final two week project. This final project will be in the local community working with a bakery, a farm, an NGO, a government agency, a business or some other organization that fits with their interests and provides them with an opportunity for practical learning of French language and culture in an immersion context. The course is designed to employ group exercises and individual reflections on experiences to develop the student’s insight into French culture specifically and, just as importantly, into the process of learning a second language and entering into cross-cultural exchange and collaboration. Skills and insights from anthropology, history and conflict resolution will be cultivated. Evaluation will be based on the student’s ability to demonstrate skills and insights into cross-cultural collaboration and learning through short papers based on journal writing, the final project report, and the successful completion of homestay, community collaboration and other immersion activities. Prerequisite: at least one course in French language. Requirements: Co-enrollment in HS775 "Immersion Program in French Language and Culture" and permission of instructor.
Level: Intermediate. Class limit: 12. Program fee: TBD
HS3038The Cold War: The Later YearsThis course provides a broad historical overview of the early years of the “Cold War” period that shaped global politics generally and American foreign policy specifically. Beginning with the election of Richard Nixon's in 1968 and following up to today, we will focus on the diplomatic relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union/Russia and how this relationship has impacted state actors, economic policies, cultural production, and conceptions of identity. While there will be a heavy focus on traditional state-level diplomatic history, students will also explore a broad array of methodological approaches. Class sessions will include a mix of traditional lecture formats, class discussion, and outside presentations. An evening lab is scheduled in order to screen a variety of cultural artifacts from the various periods we will cover. The primary goal is to give students an intensive 10-week crash course into key events, concepts, figures, etc.. that defined the later decades of Cold War diplomacy. At the same time there is also time allocated for students to explore their own independent research interests. Given the far-reaching force of Cold War politics into everyday life, individuals with widely varying academic interests will find the course informative and productive. Evaluation will be based on a mix of class participation, individual research assignments, and exams.While this class is designed to compliment the topics covered in The Cold War: Early Years, students are not required to have had this earlier class. Both courses are designed as "stand alone." All students, regardless of their backgrounds, previous coursework, or interests are welcome.
Level: Intermediate. Class limit: 20. Lab fee: none. Meets the following degree requirements: HS HY
HS3039Communicating ScienceThis course is designed for science students developing their research skills working on research projects for a principal investigator; specifically this course will improve the students' writing ability and introduce them to writing for the scientific community. The course involves not only learning to write an abstract and literature review but also understanding the protocols for writing a scientific paper based on lab or field data. In addition, students will prepare a power point presentation on their research to present at a meeting or conference such as the Maine Biological Science Symposium or the annual INBRE meeting. In addition to working with the instructor, students will work on the content of their writing with the principal investigator. Offered every other year.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisite: Signature of instructor. Class limit: 12. Lab fee: $20. Meets the following degree requirements: W
HS3040History of Agriculture: ApplesThis course will explore the history of agriculture from the vantage point of Downeast Maine with a focus on apples. The premise of the course is that by exploring this fascinating crop in detail from the local vantage point of Downeast Maine students will be able to grasp the many historical processes at work from the introduction of the fruit in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries to the age of agricultural improvement in the eighteenth on to the rise and fall of commercial orcharding as a major component of Maine’s farm economy in the early twentieth century. Using sources ranging from secondary sources, historical Atlases, Aerial Surveys, and diaries, we will explore how the culture of apple agriculture in Maine develops over time as part of an interconnected Atlantic World where crops flow back and forth between Britain and the colonies/U.S. over hundreds of years. Course activities will include fruit exploration fieldtrips to track down and identify antique varieties as well as visits to the local farms where a new generation of apple culture is taking shape. The course will also engage students with the process of cider-making, both sweet and hard, as well as exercises in the preparation, storage, and processing of apples. Students will be evaluated on their participation in discussion, how they collaborate with others in class projects, and a final individual or collaborative project. This course is designed for students interested in history, farming and food systems, community-based research, and policy/planning issues. It is also very appropriate for students who like apples and just want to know (a lot) more.
Level: Intermediate. Limit: 18. Lab Fee: $125.00. Meets the following degree requirements: HS HY
HS3041Intermediate Atelier in French Language and Conversation
HS3042Advanced Atelier in French Language and Conversation
HS3043Democracy: Models, Theories, QuestionsDemocracy is a word you hear constantly in contemporary political discourse. Most people seem to think it's a good thing, but they might not always agree on what the "it" is. Perhaps we should take a moment to unpack the idea of democratic governance in our world. What do we mean when we call something a democracy? Why do we naturally assume that democracy is a good thing? Is it? Should we promote it? How is democratic governance conceptualized across various societies and publics, today and in the past? How are these various models of democracy encoded with certain assumptions about the relationship of the individual subject to the world around them? What does the discourse of the democratic mean in contemporary society? This seminar will cover all of these questions and more. We start with some basic definitional questions and from there springboard into a host of challenging topics pertaining to how governance is conceptualized. We will cover theoretical conceptions of governance and power, empirical observations of the functioning of democratic forms, and grounded questions of practice when applied to contemporary problems. Along the way we will draw on concrete examples from the international, national, local, and (not surprisingly) the COA level. Evaluation will be based on engagement with class discussion, short form response papers, literature reviews, and various student led presentations. Students with a wide variety of interests in governance, politics, policy, economy, theory, and other forms of social analysis are encouraged to enroll.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: none. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: none. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS3044Rights: Who or What Should Have Them and WhyHow can and should talk about rights be used to influence and inform the ways we treat people, nature and corporations? Central questions of justice are often framed in terms of rights of access to things like food and free speech or to protection from things like torture and extinction. They are also framed in terms of arguments about who or what has these various rights – e. g. women, gays, children, corporations, trees, Nature, or even artificial intelligences. This course will use a seminar format to explore and critique key contemporary philosophical approaches to articulating and justifying answers to these sorts of questions. The goals of the course are to develop students’ understanding of these philosophical approaches and to engage these approaches and their applications through critical philosophical analysis. Texts will include John Rawls JUSTICE AS FAIRNESS, Amartya Sen’s THE IDEA OF JUSTICE , and Christopher Stone’s SHOULD TREES HAVE STANDING, and readings from Marjorie Kelley’s THE DIVINE RIGHT OF CAPITAL, Ann Elizabeth Mayer’s ISLAM AND HUMAN RIGHTS, and works by Giorgio Agamben, Robert Nozick, Alberto Acosta and others. Students will take turns leading seminar discussions of the texts. Each will also do a term project developing a critical analysis of a philosophical point of view or a specific topic in rights theory. Evaluation will be based on seminar participation, short papers and the final project demonstrating philosophical understanding and critical skills.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: None, but previous work in philosophy and/or applied topics on rights recommended. Class limit: 12 Lab fee: none. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS3045The Ethnography of Work in ItalyThis course will include in depth preparation for conducting experiential, ethnographically informed explorations of cultures of work in the Veneto. Students will be instructed in key ethnographic methods within the context of fieldwork in Northern Italy: interviewing, participant observation, self-reflection and reflexivity, and methods of journaling and writing fieldnotes. These skills will be communicated via seminars and lectures in the field, as students prepare for individual immersion experiences in particular work contexts. During their immersion field experience, the instructors will meet with students at particular intervals to process the challenges and points of interest that have emerged, thus making the learning process an ongoing experience. Throughout, we will ask what an ethnographically informed perspective offers for the understanding of cross-cultural encounters, travel, and the notion of immersion. Students will be evaluated on class participation, the ongoing production of fieldnotes and journal material, and a final reflection on their fieldwork experiences.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: Italian Language, History, and Culture and permission of the Instructors. Requires the simultaneous enrollment in A Human Ecology of the Veneto and The Poetics and Politics of Cross-Cultural Encounters. Class Limit: 12. Lab fee: $1580. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS3047The Poetics and Politics of Cross-Cultural EncountersThis course will consist of an intensive two-week seminar through which students will collaboratively compile and analyze the material gleaned from their encounters in the Veneto. We will engage deeply with the question of how to present these experiences to the very communities that made them possible. Students will consider aspects of form, representation, ethics, politics, and responsibility, as they prepare a series of exhibitions, performances, and presentations to take place in Italy before their departure. A collaborative presentation to the COA community will also be prepared. We will address, in active conversation and hands on work as a group, themes such as: the relationship between individual and community, the encounter between self and other, comparison, and the very meaning of what a “cross-cultural” encounter entails. Students will be evaluated on class participation and their production of a final project in the context of group work.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: Italian Language, History, and Culture and permission of the Instructors. Requires the simultaneous enrollment in A Human Ecology of the Veneto and The Ethnography of Work in Italy. Class Limit: 12. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS3051Belonging, Mobility and DisplacementWhat does it mean to belong, or not to belong? What does it mean to be mobile? What is a home, a homeland, home country, or nation? How do experiences of migration, exile, and displacement shift one's understanding of home? New strategies of warfare, statecraft, and political violence, and recent environmental and social disasters, are giving rise to forms of belonging, mobility, and displacement that do not fit within traditional categories. War and political violence destabilize national borders while reinforcing structures of power that bolster or mimic nation-state forms. Environmental disaster and poverty cause displacements that cannot be classified in terms of either "economic" or "forced" migration, but produce composite categories which, as of yet, have no legal foothold, such as "economic" or "environmental" refugees. While popular culture heralds the rise of multiculturalism in a "globalized" world, there are also alarming signals (surveillance, strategies of "profiling," increasing militarization of borders, and race-related violence) that suggest that blood, territory, and race continue as powerful delineators of inclusion and exclusion. This course asks how belonging, mobility, and displacement take shape amid political violence; global migrations of people, capital, and ideas; social inequalities; new forms of political organization and governance (international, grass-roots, supranational); and the continued dominance of nation-states. The course will incorporate theoretical, literary, and ethnographic sources. Students should be willing to challenge themselves in a reading intensive course with a seminar format. Evaluation will be based on the quality of participation in class discussions and on written assignments.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: Writing requirement must be fulfilled, as well as a reading intensive class in History, Art, or Human Studies. If you feel you can take the class but the above criteria are not fulfilled, speak to the instructor. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: none. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS3052Numbers, Names, and Narratives: Doing H.E. in H.S.This is a course for students who want to use history, anthropology and social science research in their work on community organizing, social change efforts or public policy advocacy. Human ecological approaches to such problems and studies require using interdisciplinary methods to integrate different points of view and different theories in a more comprehensive understanding of a person, text, situation or problem. But how can we do that? What sorts of things are “methods”, “theories” and “disciplines” and how can they be integrated? How is theoretical research related to practical action? How should we deal with the ethical issues that come up in research? How do modern vs. post-modern or neo-liberal vs. neo-Marxist or hermeneutic vs. quantitative views of these things differ?
The aim of this course is to develop students’ abilities to articulate different ways of framing these questions and answering and to develop their abilities to apply those questions and answers in projects in human ecology – including in internships, residencies and senior projects. The class will examine a series of texts that provide case studies that address these problems at a practical as well as philosophical and methodological level. Work for the class will include a series of short papers and exercises that provide descriptions and critical analyses of texts read in class and provide applications of theories and methods to a project.
Texts used may include, for instance: ALBION’S SEED by David Hackett Fischer, THE EVALUATION OF CULTURAL ACTION by Howard Richards, THE ETHNOGRAPHIC METHOD by James Spradley, THE SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW by Wade Davis, THE TWO MILPAS OF CHAN KOM by Alicia Re Cruz, INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH: PROCESS AND THEORY by Allen F. Repko, and a series of other short articles and chapters.
NOTE: This course is especially recommended for sophomores and juniors interested in pursuing advance work in Human Studies. A more advanced tutorial is available which is designed for students who are currently doing an internship, residency or senior project – including those who are off campus and would like to take part through distance learning. (See “Tutorial in Numbers, Names and Narratives: Challenges Mixing Methods, Theories, Planning Processes and Ethics in Human Ecology Projects”)
Final evaluations will be based on class participation, (20%), short papers and homework exercises through the term (40%), and work on a final project (40%).
Level: Intermediate. Lab fee $25. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS3053VoyagesFrom prehistoric times the journey into the unknown has been both a reality and a metaphor of human experience. This course will follow the archetype of the voyage through major literary narratives and road movies. Its written and class assignments will draw from students' own experience as travelers. Using Joseph Campbell's Hero with a Thousand Faces as a theoretical framework, we'll move on to Homer's Odyssey (selections), Melville's Moby Dick, Conrad's Heart of Darkness, Woolf's To the Lighthouse, Peter Mattheissen's Far Tortuga and the new "scroll" version of Jack Kerouac's On the Road. We'll watch Apocalypse Now, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Stranger than Paradise, Powwow Highway, Wild at Heart, The African Queen. Assignments will include in-class reports on students' own journeys and a nonfiction creative writing section on travel narrative.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: none. Class limit: 16 Lab fee: none. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS3054Existentialism and Post-Modernism from Nietzsche to IrigaryThis is a study of key texts in the tradition of Existentialism and Post-modernism. As a point of entry into the full range of themes, questions and ideas in that tradition, it focuses on the ways in which authors frame and interpret the experiences of freedom and of love. Are these the most profound and important aspects of human being-in-the-world or illusions used to manipulate the masses? How is individual freedom related to communal liberation? What role does love play in struggles for individual redemption or national liberation? How are experiences of freedom and love gendered? How are they related to instinctual drives for power or sex? What is the nature of the self and how is it realized or transformed by acts of freedom or love, or by events and institutional trends in history? Texts may include: Nietzsche’s GENEALOGY OF MORALS, Kierkegaard’s FEAR AND TREMBLING, selected readings from Michel Foucault, Luce Irigary’s THE WAY OF LOVE, Paulo Freire’s THE PEDAGOGY OF THE OPPRESSED, Sartre’s “Existentialism is a Humanism”, and selections from Simone de Beauvoir’s THE SECOND SEX and Martin Buber’s I AND THOU. Two films will also be used as texts. Students with relevant skills will be encouraged to work with texts in the original languages. Evaluation will be based on the level of understanding of - and engagement with - texts studied and the development of skills in textual analysis and writing as demonstrated in class participation, a series of short papers, and a final project.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: none. Class limit: 20. Lab fee: $25. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS3055The Mayas of Yesterday and TodayThis is a course in the history and culture of the Yucatec Maya offered as part of the College's Yucatan Program in Mexico. It will cover key features of the Pre-Hispanic, Colonial and Modern eras. Readings will include classic texts by and about them as well as contemporary studies in archaeology and anthropology. Themes will include social structure, religion, politics, agricultural practices, language and family life. Homework will include various short writing assignments and oral project reports. Field trips in and around Merida will be included both to visit archaeological sites of special interest and also to visit contemporary communities of Maya. Each student will do a major final project which will include research in texts and fieldwork which culminate in an extended study on site in a Maya village. This course will be taught entirely in Spanish.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisite: signature of Yucatan program director and co-enrollment in HS6010 Spanish Language and HS2021 Immersion Practica. Lab fee: TBA. Class limit: 12
HS3059Native American LiteratureThis course is a challenging introduction to several centuries of Native American literature, the relevance of historical and cultural facts to its literary forms, and the challenges of bridging oral and written traditions. Authors include such writers as Silko, Erdrich, Harjo, Vizenor, and McNickle as well as earlier speeches and short stories. We also consider non-native readings and appropriation of Native American styles, material and world views.
Level: Intermediate. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: none. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS320The Human Ecology of Wilderness
Wilderness has been the clarion call for generations of environmentalists. Henry David Thoreau once said, "In wildness is the preservation of the world." That single sentence and the controversy surrounding that idea provides the central focus of our explorations over the term. This course examines the question of wilderness from multiple perspectives in the hopes of providing an understanding of the concept and real spaces that constitute wilderness. Starting with a week-long canoe trip down Maine's Allagash Wilderness Waterway, we look at historical and contemporary accounts of the value of wilderness, biological, and cultural arguments for wilderness, and the legal and policy difficulties of "protecting" wilderness. Considerable time is spent evaluating current criticisms of the wilderness idea and practice. Students are involved in a term-long project involving potential wilderness protection in Maine. This involves some weekend travel and work in the Maine Woods. Classwork emphasizes hands-on projects as well as theoretical discussions. Level: Intermediate. Prerequisite: Introduction to the Legal Process, Signature of instructor. Class limit: 14. Lab fee: $200. *HS*
HS322Culture of Maine Woodworkers
This course presents an integrated view of the environment, both cultural and natural, in which Maine men and women working in the timber industry operate and adapt. Topics covered include: the physical environment as a limiting factor, the resources (their nature and abundance), and the cultural mechanisms which mediate the workers' access to and use of the resources (technology, economy, social organization, belief systems). The course makes use of numerous field trips and visitors. Each student is asked to keep detailed notes in a journal of all classes, field trips, and interviews. There is also a mid-term exam. (Note: this course parallels Cultural Ecology of Maine Fishing in method and theoretical outline, but is not redundant.) The objective is to know what people in the industry think, why they think it, and where the industry is going. Level: Intermediate. Offered every other year. Lab fee: $20. *HS*
This Faulkner tutorial is an advanced course in which students will practice the human ecology of literary analysis by studying a single authors works and created world in depth. The course surveys a chronological and artistic range of Faulkners work, focusing in particular on the development and elaboration of style, tone, themes, and environment. Faulkner will also be studied as a modernist U.S. Southern writer; students will read an additional modernist or contemporary text by another author and/or an additional work by Faulkner in order to create comparisons of what Faulkners world and work achieve. Students will work intensively with their reading and analytic skills by focusing on the stylistics and development of one author over time. Works definitely to be covered include: Collected Stories of William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying, The Sound and the Fury, Light in August, Absalom, Absalom!, Intruder in the Dust, and The Reivers. Evaluation will be based on class participation, frequent short response and passage analysis papers, the presentation of the outside novel, a final evaluation exercise, and an approximately 7-10 page Faulkner paper. Level: Advanced. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor required. Class limit: 6.
HS4010Seminar in Human EcologyThis seminar traces the historical development of human ecology. We begin by reviewing the seminal works in human ecology, the contributions from biology, and the development of human ecology as a multidisciplinary concept. Along these lines we compare the various brands of human ecology that have developed through sociology (the Chicago school), anthropology and cultural ecology, ecological psychology, and economics, as well as human ecological themes in the humanities, architecture, design, and planning. This background is then used to compare the COA brand of Human Ecology with other programs in this country and elsewhere around the world. Our final purpose is to look at new ideas coming from philosophy, the humanities, biological ecology, and other areas for future possibilities for human ecology. Evaluations are based on presentations and papers. Advanced. Open only to third and fourth level students. Offered every other year. Class size limited to 15. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS4011Theories of Human NatureBy using the theme of the understanding of human nature this course explores the central aspects of several major philosophical systems. A theory of human nature involves a vision of the individual self, its relation to the social community, and its relation to the natural world. This tripartite theme is traced through a range of philosophies ancient and modern, eastern and western, religious and scientific in order to remind ourselves of the range of human possibilities and to clarify the presumptions of our present image of ourselves. The results of this investigation are used to approach the problem of formulating a philosophy of human ecology. Particular readings used change each time the course is given.
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Class limit: 20. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS4012Contemporary Women's NovelsThis course selects from among the most interesting, diverse and well-written of contemporary women's fiction to focus on questions of women's writing (and how/whether it can be treated as a literary and formal category), gender identity and women's issues, and the tension between sameness and difference among women's experiences, and narrations of women's experience, around the world. The course begins by examining two relatively unknown yet rather extraordinary novels from earlier in the twentieth century: Alexandra Kollantai's Love of Worker Bees (1927) and Sawako Ariyoshi's The Doctor's Wife (1967). After these, we read from truly contemporary authors and quite varied authors published within the last twenty years, like Buchi Emecheta, Gloria Naylor, Ursula Hegi, Nawal El Saadawi, Sue Grafton, Graciela Limon, Tsitsi Dargarembga, Barara Yoshimoto, Dorothy Allison, Rose Tremain, Julia Alvarez, Leslie Feinberg, April Sinclair, and Achy Obejas. Students each choose an additional author to study and read a novel outside of class. An extensive list of authors is included in the syllabus. Evaluation be based on class participation, either two short papers or one long paper on works discussed in class, a presentation to the class of the outside novel, and a final evaluation essay.
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisite: a previous literature course and signature of the instructor. Offered every other year. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS4013Starting Your NovelThis is an intermediate to advanced creative writing class for those interested in an intensive approach to writing longer fiction. It would also be useful to the novel reader as a insider's approach to the structure and purpose of fiction, the relation of author to character, and issues of intentionality. We will be reading first chapters from current novels and studying their opening strategies, then each student will develop plot, character, style and setting ideas for a first novel, followed by writing and revising fifty or sixty pages of their projected work. Other concerns will be narrative viewpoint, handling of time, levels of realism, dialogue techniques, writing habits, motivation & self-discipline, and the relation of fiction to personal experience. Background in creative writing or narrative theory would be helpful but not essential. Evaluation will be based on class participation, strength of the concept, and the quality of the student's writtern work.
Level: Intermediate/Advanced Meets the following degree requirements: HS Limit 10.
HS4014Contemporary Psychology: Body, Mind and Soul
HS4015Creative WritingThis class concentrates on the theory and practice of poetry and short fiction, though there will also be a place for "Starting Your Novel" students to finish up. Our goal is to develop the skills of verbal craftsmanship and self-criticism. Class meetings combine the analysis and critque of individual students writing with the discussions of published works by other writers. We also frequently discuss matters of standards, the creative process, and the situation of the writer in the contemporary world. Students are expected to submit one piece each week, to participate in class response to fellow writers, to make revisions on all work, and to contribute their best pieces to the printed class anthoogy at the end of the term.
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Class limit: 12. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS4016Ecology and ExperienceEcology is sometimes considered a "subversive" subject: the more humans learn about the living world, the more we are challenged to re-examine many of our fundamental beliefs. According to this perspective, ecology provides a complex mirror for humans. In its reflection we glimpse a different understanding of our place in the world. Age-old concerns return to consciousness: questions about insight and responsibility, the relation of spirit and matter, issues of meaning, purpose, and identity. In short, the science of ecology has given birth to an entirely new approach to psychology. The purpose of this course is to examine a cross-section of new ideas along this interface. Some ideas will draw on clues from deep in our evolutionary past. Other questions will explore what we know from ecology about living more fully in the present - or ways that ecology can enrich our imagination of the future. Readings for this class will be drawn from primary sources in a variety of fields with a pivotal focus on the relationships of mind and nature. The course will be taught in an interactive, seminar style with participants sharing summaries of the readings - individually and in teams. Two short papers and one end-of-term longer paper are required. Preference will be given to students with background or strong interests in psychology and/or ecology.
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: $25. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS4018Histories of Power: States & Subalterns in Latin AmericaThis colloquium-style course will provide an intensive examination of the modern political history of Latin America with a particular emphasis on the specific mechanisms of power used by state actors, local communities, and individuals. The course seeks to provide students with appropriate theoretical tools as well as concrete historical cases from which to examine power dynamics in contemporary Mexico, Central America, and the Andes. The course also highlights a concrete set of cases through which students can examine the history of political upheaval, revolution, and contestation that has defined the region since independence. The chronological scope of the class will be from the early nineteenth century up to the late twentieth century. Students will be asked to take theoretical works about state formation, nationalism and power and examine how such questions could be turned into research projects. Students will write a series of analytical essays on the course readings to problematize each author's treatment of power and the state. A final project on one author's theoretical and empirical contribution to the field will serve as a capstone. The course will focus on discussion of the texts, and students will be evaluated on their discussion skills, reading notes, and written work. This course is intended for students with prior coursework on Latin American history (e.g. From Native Empires to Nation States, Articulated Identities, and Seminar in Guatemalan History and Culture), and courses in social theory would also be helpful.
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Class limit: 15. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS4019Technical WritingThis intermediate-to-advanced level course, which is interdisciplinary, teaches students not only to write clear, precise, and unambiguous memos, reports, executive sumaries, and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documents, but also to write collaboratively for an actual client. The practice-oriented approach gives students the opportunity to acquire skills they will need as professionals and to learn to communicate data effectively and concisely to specific audiences. Offered every other year.
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisits: An introductory writing course, Signature of instructor. Class limit: 15. Meets the following degree requirements: W
HS4020Environmentality: Power, Knowledge, and EcologyBringing critical theory directly to the gates of human ecology, this class will approach the central issue of how discourses of government, biopower, and geopower have intertwined and infused themselves within the representations of "environments" in popular debate. With a specific nod to Foucault, Marx, Baudrillard, Luke, and other critical social theorists, we will tackle the various complexities that arise when "ecology" become a site for political and economic expertization.
Topics to be covered include the formation of knowledge/power/discourse, systems of environmentality, the rise of hyperecology, the valorization of ecodisciplinarians, and, as Timothy Luke puts it: "how discourses of nature, ecology or the environment, as disciplinary articulations of ecoknowledge, can be mobilized by professional-technical experts in contemporary polyarchies to generate geopower over nature for the megatechnical governance of modern economies and societies." The class will also address the question of "moving forward", and how these critiques can open productive spaces for new ways of representing modernity and ecology. The class will be highly interactive; discussion will be the primary mode instruction, and students will have considerable influence on the exact topics covered. Final evaluation will based on a combination of class participation, a series of analytical response papers, and two long form essays. While the class is open to all students, those with some background in critical theory, philosophy, or economic theory are encouraged to attend.
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Class limit: 10. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS4021Collaborative LeadershipLeadership skills that help people come together to solve problems and take advantage of opportunities are essential in a complex world. This course will provide a context for collaborative (or facilitative) leadership, drawing examples from community settings, non-profit organizations and for-profit businesses. Collaborative leadership leads to productive and supportive relationships, jointly developed goals and structure and shared responsibility for achievement. We will study useful strategies and techniques for involving stakeholders, building consensus, laying out a problem-solving process, facilitation of that process and drawing in the full experience, knowledge and wisdom of participants. Students will write a final paper (or participate in a group project) to integrate results from interviews and opportunities to shadow local leaders, class discussions with guests and the instructor, and material from assigned readings. This course is designed to include both COA students and community members.
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Lab fee: $20.
HS4022Launching a New VentureThis course will cover the process of new venture creation for students interested in creating businesses or non-profits with substantial social and environmental benefit. It is designed for student teams who have an idea and want to go through the formal process of examining and launching the enterprise. Topics covered in this course will include: opportunity recognition, market research, creating a business plan, producing financial projections and venture financing. As part of the course, all students will submit their ideas to the Social Innovation Competition. In addition, students will make a formal business plan presentation.
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Class limit: 15
HS4023Economic Development: Theory and Case StudiesEconomic growth in the developing world has lifted millions out of poverty at the same time that misguided attempts at widespread application of generic economic development theories has impoverished millions. As a result of this tragedy, new approaches and methodologies to economic development are emerging, and represent some of the most important, dynamic, and controversial theories in all of economics. This course examines these new perspectives on economic development. We will briefly contextualize the new by reviewing â€œoldâ€ economic development, then move on to theories that emphasize very place-based, country-specific approaches to how economies develop; this will involve examining the specific roles of capital accumulation, capital flows (including foreign exchange, portfolio capital, foreign direct investment, and microfinance), human capital, governance, institutions (especially property rights, legal systems, and corruption), geography and natural resource endowments, industrial policy (e.g. free trade versus dirigiste policies), and spillovers, clustering, and entrepreneurship. The course will involve a rigorous mix of economic modeling, careful application of empirical data (including both historical analysis and cross-sectional studies; students with no exposure to econometrics will receive a brief introduction) and country studies. Evaluation will be based on classroom participation, responses to reading questions, short essays, and a final project consisting of an economic development country study of the studentâ€™s choice that demonstrates application of theoretical concepts to the real world.
Level: Intermediate/ Advanced; Prerequisites: One economics course. Class limit: 15. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS4024Contemporary Continental ThoughtThis course examines pivotal works and ideas of late 20th and early 21st century Continental thinkers. It will take a collaborative, seminar approach to key works including Derrida on "Differance", Cixous and Derrida's "Veils", Deleuze and Guatarri's "Anti-Oedipus", Lyotard's "The Post-Modern Condition", and Zizek's "The Sublime Object of Ideology" as well as shorter essays by other writers such as Foucault, Badiou, Baudrillard, Habermas and Harraway. Students and the instructor will take turns leading analyses of texts, their contexts, and their significance. Students will also be required to do short weekly writings with a major term paper on an author and topic of their choice. Evaluations will be based on the quality of class participation as well as the creativity, insight and clarity of analysis in work leading class sessions, short essays and the final paper. The course presupposes some familiarity with the philosophical tradition to which these writers respond and an ability to engage in careful analysis of very challenging texts. If necessary the class the will be subdivided into sections to insure that students have a small seminar experience that is appropriately challenging for their level of skill and background. Writing-focus option.
Level: Intermediate/Advanced; Permission of instructor required; Class limit: 20; Lab fee $20. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS4025Resilience in Social and Ecological SystemsResilience, or the ability to regain critical structure and functions after disturbance, has become widely recognized as an important attribute of sustainable social and ecological systems. This course will examine the concept of resilience from system dynamics and the related concepts of vulnerability, thresholds, adaptive capacity, and societal learning. Students will learn the consequences of lack of resilience and explore how to enhance resilience in food systems, global environmental change, and social experiments such as transition towns. Evaluation will be based on class participation and self-selected projects.
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisites: at least one QR course; additional courses in agriculture or food systems would be useful. Lab fee: None. Class limit: 16. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS4026Environmental Law and Policy
HS4027Seminar in Guatemalan History and CultureGuatemala is known as a country of dramatic contrasts and this course, which will serve as a pre-requisite for the winter term Guatemala program, seeks to familiarize students with the contextual knowledge they will need to work in this complex society. The course is designed around the question of what you need to know before undertaking research or advocacy in an international setting such as Guatemala. Readings, exercises, and discussion will provide a rigorous interdisciplinary introduction to the historical and ethnographic scholarship on Guatemala with a particular emphasis on training students to recognize and master relevant contextual knowledge and specific fieldwork techniques. Students will learn about the history of Guatemala from the conquest to the present as well as learning to examine the dominant historiographies which have shaped scholars' accounts of that history. Similarly, the class will provide an in-depth insight into Guatemalan society through a series of classic ethnographic works even as we critically examine ethnographic presumptions and practices. All students will learn how to evaluate and use maps, field notes, archival resources, and other sources in their own research. Students will be expected to read scholarly work in Spanish where possible. A final research proposal will be a primary product of the course, and it will be the basis of eight-week independent student work in Guatemala. Participation by multiple faculty in helping students develop the project proposals will be a key pedagogical component. All faculty involved will help evaluate the proposals. Evaluation will also be based on discussion, collaborative work on exercises, and a presentation of the final research proposal.
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Pre-requisites: intended for participants in the College's Guatemala Program. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: none. Meets the following degree requirements: HS HY
HS4028Cross-Cultural American Women's NovelsThis is an intermediate/advanced course in which students will explore in depth the connections between and among modern and cross-cultural women's novels, primarily those written in the now very multi-cultural United States. We will strive to make connections between texts so as to better understand the nature of and any patterns or themes that shape women's and cross-cultural fictional narration. Historical perspective, cultural differences, and gender roles will all be taken into consideration as we analyze relatively recent women's fiction by such authors such as Toni Morrison, Maxine Hong Kingston, Gloria Naylor, Linda Hogan, Julie Shikeguni, Jamaica Kincaid, Nora Okja Keller, Cristina Garcia, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Sigrid Nunez. Participants will read carefully, prepare and ask questions of each other, write frequent response papers, and carry out a sustained independent project to be presented to the group. The outside project will focus on one or more additional texts that may be fictional, theoretical, cultural, or historic. The group presentation will put outside texts into broad cultural and historical perspectives and/or discuss them in terms of trends in women's literature, immigrant literature, women's literature of the United States, multicultural narratives, or some other course theme. Selection of the outside text will give participants the opportunity to fill in perceived gaps in their reading or explore a particular narrative or cultural form in depth. The reading load for this course is relatively heavy. Evaluation will focus on preparation, participation, insight, critical thinking, response papers, and the outside project - both its oral presentation and development in an appropriate form (visual, narrative, analytic, curricular, etc.).
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisites: a previous literature course and permission of the instructor; Contemporary Women's Novels experience recommended. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: none. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS4029Water Worlds: Culture and FluidityThis advanced/ intermediate socio-cultural theory course examines human ecological relationships in a variety of watery spaces. In the humanities and social sciences, oceans, seas, rivers, and watersheds have recently emerged as particularly productive units of socio-cultural analysis. In contrast to the boundedness that can pervade area studies, these "water worlds" convey both the fluidity of cultural connections and the richness and detail of deep historical and ethnographic research. Moreover, water worlds help us consider people in their engagements with ecosystems and geographies. This course centers on a variety of watery regions, including the Mediterranean, the Pacific, river life in the Amazon, The Caribbean, the Black Sea, the Atlantic, the Indian Ocean, and human/ microbial relationships under the ocean. Topics addressed will include: the constructing of regions, critical approaches to geography, alternatives to globalization theories, and postcolonial theory. Intended for students who want to hone their chops in social-cultural analysis and/or those interested in the topic itself. All enrolled students MUST be prepared to read and discuss dense, complex material in cultural studies and social theory and should have background in learning to think and write analytically. Students will be evaluated on participation in class discussion and on outside written assignments.
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisites: Permission of Instructor. Lab fee: none. Class limit: 15 Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS4030Practicum in Environmental DiplomacyIn this course, students will learn about four different international environmental regimes -- the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, the Committee on World Food Security, and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change -- through comparative classroom study and attendance at formal negotiating sessions. Each student will choose to focus their work during the term on one of the four bodies. They will be responsible for teaching their classmates about the types of problems addressed by the body and the politics surrounding those problems as well as the basic governance structures that shape the regime. Through comparative analysis of the four regimes, students will also examine common issues in global environmental governance, such as implementation and compliance, finance, capacity building, technology transfer, and mechanisms for civil society engagement. Work in the class will include a general presentation to the class on the basic elements of the regime and another presentation on the politics of a specific issue to be addressed by the body during its meeting. Each student will attend a negotiating session of their chosen regime and will write daily analytical blog postings while at the meeting. Students will be evaluated based on their two presentations, blog posts and contribution to the collective learning of the class through the term-long comparative analysis of the four regimes.
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisites: Prior coursework in global politics, permission of instructor. Lab fee: none. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS4031Power and GovernanceThis seminar will explore formations and effects of governance and institutionalized power in the Modern and contemporary worlds. We will consider some of the explicit ways in which power over self and other is enacted (through states, institutions, bureaucracies, law, policing and regulatory practices, and transnational governance bodies). Yet we will also ask how power itself is instituted implicitly in everyday routines and practices, in the way we carry our bodies, live our lives, and undertake our work. We will begin our inquiry with the assumption that power and governance are crucial elements of human social life, productive of social and cultural forms, and that examining how they operate is an important task for human ecologists. What is the relationship between power, social structures, and individual personhood? When and how might one stand outside or contest existing formations of power (if at all)? When does power become violent, or is it inherently so? Who has access to the tools of governance, and for what purposes? This advanced-intermediate class in socio-cultural and political theory will grant students a basic fluency in an array of concepts that are crucial in contemporary social scientific scholarship. Students will also read ethnographic texts to consider how theory is both applied and built in reference to particular case studies. Finally, students will learn to enlist theory to conduct their own analysis of contemporary situations. Students will be expected to take on an active role in defining questions for conversation and in facilitating discussion among their peers. Evaluation will be based on the quality of participation in discussion (50 percent) and on written assignments (50 percent).
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisites: Writing requirement must be fulfilled, as well as a reading intensive class in History, Art, or Human Studies. If you feel you can take the class but the above are not fulfilled, speak to the instructor. Permission of the instructor required. Class limit: 12. Lab fee: none. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS4032The Arab Awakening and Emerging Issues in the Middle EastThis is a reading course tied to participation in the annual foreign affairs conference in Camden (Feb 22-24). Over the past several years, College of the Atlantic has developed a relationship with the conference that enables our students to engage the various events over the full three days. Every year highlights a particular theme, with a new set of focused panel discussions, national and international speakers, and readings. The 2013 Camden Conference will focus on the current status and future prospects of the Arab Awakening across the Middle East and its likely impacts upon U.S. policies and U.S. roles in the region. Topics will include: Political Developments and Public Order in Arab nations directly affected by the current ferment, Rise of Islamic Factions in Governing Roles as a result of recent elections, Effects among Palestinians and Impacts upon the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Regional Leverages and Rivalries, Prospects for Political Change in Iran and the state of U.S.-Iranian Relations especially in relation to tensions arising from the Iranian Nuclear Program, and Policies the United States should adopt in response to the Arab Awakening. The course will be a reading intensive and discussion based seminar that will include works from both the conference reading list as well as supplemental works that focus especially on Egypt, Syria and Iran. The goals of the class are: 1.) to prepare students to attend and play an active role in the kinds of policy analysis, discussions and debates typified by this conference (attendance is a requirement of the class) and 2.) to develop skills for doing individual and group research projects in comparative government and international relations. Evaluation will be based on class and conference participation, short written assignments, and written and oral presentations of group research on one of the three countries of focus. Students interested in the Middle East, international relations, global politics, diplomacy, US foreign policy, nonviolent social change movements, civil war and military strategy are especially encouraged to enroll. Students who have previously taken a Camden Conference course can also receive credit for this course and are encouraged to consider enrolling.
Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: none. Lab fee: $100 (includes conference registration and lodging). Class limit: 12. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS4034World LiteratureUsing seminal works by Machado de Assis, Luís de Azevedo, and Rabindranath Tagore as a starting point, this course will present non-English twentieth- and twenty-first-century world literature in the context of its relation to cultural, political, and personal identity. One of the main objectives of the course is to provide students with the critical tools necessary for an informed reading and analysis of texts, especially in light of questions of identity formation, an imagined or remembered sense of home and displacement or exile, and cultural conflict in today’s world. Acknowledging and becoming familiar with elements such as genre, period, style, and theme are also goals of the course.
Fiction and nonfiction in translation, with some attention to bilingual and parallel texts, will include short and full-length prose works by writers such as Lu Xun, Naguib Mahfouz, Tadeusz Borowski, Mahasweta Devi, Lydia Chukovskaya, Ingeborg Bachmann, Emile Habibi, Reza Baraheni, Gabriel García Márquez, Nawal el Saadawi, Aimé Césaire, Carlos Fuentes, Christa Wolf, Jaime Manrique, René Alomá, Carme Riera, Alifa Rifaat, Octavio Paz, Abé Kobo, Jack Agüeros, Empar Moliner, Ben-Zion Tomer, Francisco Goldman, Arundhati Roy, Shulamith Hareven, Haruki Murakami, Roya Hakakian, Edwidge Danticat, Pola Oloixarac, Abelardo “Lalo” Delgado, and Susana Chávez-Silverman. Evaluations will be based on discussion, three short papers, and one interpretive essay.
This course may be taken as a writing-focused class. Students who elect this option will have that noted in the first line of the evaluation, and the evaluation will include comments about their writing. The writing-focus option entails one weekly lab, a revision of one of the first two short papers, the choice of either a revision of the third short paper or a new short paper on a different topic, and a preliminary draft of the final essay, along with a conference before or after each revision and the preliminary work for the final essay. Some labs and conferences may be combined.
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisites: none. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: none. Meets the following degree requirements: WFO
HS4035Hunger, Food Security & Food SovereigntyMeeting future food needs has risen to the top of the global agenda since 2008, when sudden surges in the cost of staple foods led to protests in many countries and an increase in the number of people worldwide who could not access enough food for a healthy diet. This course will examine food crises in history and today: what caused historical famines, and what is causing more recent price volatility? What is different about today's food crises? What measures have been proposed to reduce the number of hungry and food insecure people, and how effective are they? How do we know? How many hungry people are there, and how are they being monitored? (This is a surprisingly contentious issue, as you will discover.) How is the governance of food systems being changed, to address food insecurity? This is a service learning class, in which each student will choose an organization that is trying to tackle hunger and food insecurity with which to work. Students can select international or domestic food security as their emphasis; students in the international 'track' will have the option to attend the Committee on World Food Security in Rome, October 7-10, if they can secure funding. Students on the domestic 'track' will have a variety of host organizations with which they can work for useful and meaningful learning experiences. Evaluation will be based on class participation, service learning project or CFS participation, and regular reflection papers.
Level: Intermediate-Advanced. Prerequisites: at least two previous courses dealing with food systems or agriculture; signature of instructor NOT required for registration, but please speak with the instructor if you aren't sure whether you are eligible to register or have questions. Class size limit: 15. Lab fee: $40. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS4036Native American Literature with a Focus on New MexicoThis course is part of a three-course sequence entitled "The Unexpected Journey: Art, Literature, and History on the Road in Nuevo Mexico." Several Native American tribes reside in the area of New Mexico we will be visiting for two weeks; many Native writers have written about this landscape; and as the written literature has emerged in a hostile environment, it will be fruitful for students to have a living example of this environment and to experience the land and multiple cultures of this region firsthand. To that end, we will also read literary representations of Native American lives and culture written by non-Native Americans. The course has been designed so as to prepare us to enter the landscape, reflect on it, and read and discuss short works - while placing them in a larger history of the continent and its peoples - while we are away. Each student will write six response papers, keep a journal, research and present an historical issue or event to the class, and write a proposal with bibliography for their final course project. Evaluation will be based on all these components of the course plus class participation as another form of evidence of close and careful reading and engagement in learning to navigate different worldviews and literary conventions.
All three courses must be taken concurrently: Native American Literature: A Case Study of the Development of Literary Traditions with a New Mexico Focus (Waldron), Art and Culture in Northern New Mexico (Clinger), Processing the Unexpected Journey: Aesthetics, Experience, and the Creation of an Interdisciplinary Project (Clinger and Waldron).
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisites: Permission of Instructor. Class Limit: 8 Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS4037Processing the Unexpected JourneyThe third course in a three-course sequence entitled "The Unexpected Journey: Art, Literature, and History on the Road in Nuevo Mexico" will provide students concentrated time and attention on classic, contemporary, and innovative texts of aesthetic and place philosophy as well as sustained time devoted to artistic, literary, and/or historical production. This course will include program and project orientation (Spring and early Fall 2013, as well as some summer reading), field trip debriefings while we are on the road in New Mexico, and a sustained period of study (in the literature of aesthetics), planning, and production of a substantial project centering on the literary and/or visual narrative or series of narratives they have chosen. Components of the course include: providing of faculty-assisted time to prepare for, reflect on, and process what students have seen and experienced; the reading of a variety of texts on both the aesthetics and philosophies of place; workshop time to conceptualize and develop a design for the final project; frequent consultations with the teaching faculty on the project's development; supported studio and/or research time to bring the project to completion; and checkpoints for collaboration and critique. To the extent possible, students will share their projects with the COA community at the completion of the term. Evaluation will be based on all these components of the course including class participation and the final project.
All three courses must be taken concurrently: Native American Literature: A Case Study of the Development of Literary Traditions with a New Mexico Focus (Waldron), Art and Culture in Northern New Mexico (Clinger), Processing the Unexpected Journey: Aesthetics, Experience, and the Creation of an Interdisciplinary Project (Clinger and Waldron).
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisites: Permission of Instructor. Class Limit: 8. Lab Fee: $1000 Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS4038Current Topics in Climate Politics: Warsaw COP19The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is the principal intergovernmental treaty under which multilateral action on climate change is governed. The main goal of the course is to provide an opportunity for students at all levels to deepen their knowledge of the highly complex UNFCCC regime and climate politics at the global level. The course will provide an introduction to a range of current topics under negotiation in the UNFCCC process, such as market mechanisms or loss and damage, through lectures and readings of primary negotiating texts. Exact topics covered will vary from term to term, based on the current issues under negotiation. Students will also work to develop in-depth historical and content knowledge on one or more issues addressed under the regime that are of personal interest. Evaluation is based on active participation in class discussions and two presentations (mid-term and final) on a topic of the student's choosing.
The course is specifically designed to prepare students to participate on the COA delegation to the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP), held at the end of the term. However, participation at the COP is not required to enroll in the course. The course may be taken multiple times for credit.
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisites: none. Class limit:?? Lab fee: none. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS4040Farm and Food Project PlanningHow does a farmer decide what to grow or raise? How will COA use the Peggy Rockefeller Farms (PRFs) and integrate it with Beech Hill Farm? How can students help to improve COA's food system? In this class, students will study the information available about our farms and food system from maps, historical data and previous student work. We will learn from specialists around the state who work with farmers to plan new enterprises and investigate potential markets, from COA faculty who have expertise in business planning, and from our farm managers. We will work through data on one farm enterprise together to understand what is needed to plan, implement and evaluate a food enterprise. In the second half of class, students will design independent or team projects for production enterprises, changes in food consumption practices or research related to production practices and our entire food system. Students will be evaluated based on their participation in class activities, the quality of their final projects, and the level of effort they put into developing their final projects. Projects that prove to be feasible and cost-effective using student labor and staff oversight will be continued, allowing COA to build up a portfolio of farm enterprises and ongoing research projects that are thoroughly vetted and documented and have student and staff or faculty support. This course is designed to follow the introductory course, COA's Foodprint: Our Local Food System. Students who have studied food systems through other means are also welcome.
Course level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisites: Basic knowledge of the components of food systems and the economic, social and environmental impacts of industrialized food systems. Relevant farming or processing experience if the student wants to design and implement a farm production or value-adding enterprise. For research projects, the student will be expected to have already acquired many of the necessary research skills. Instructor permission required. Class limit: 12. Lab fee: none. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS4041Global Politics of FoodThis reading intensive course is tied to participation in the 2014 Camden Conference on "The Global Politics of Food and Water," 21-23 February 2014. This course will serve as a preparation for participation at the conference and will finish with a reflection on topics of the students' choosing. Prior to delving into the suggested Camden reading list, we will explore the historical framing of the idea of development in terms of food and population, and conceptions of the development needs for the African continent. The importance of agroecology will also be used in the critical analysis of proposed problems and solutions. The goals of the class are: 1) to prepare students to attend and play an active role in the kinds of policy analysis, discussions and debates typified by this conference and 2) to develop skills for doing individual and group research projects in one of the topics being presented in the conference. Attendance at the Conference is a requirement of the class.
Evaluation will be based on class discussion, leadership in discussions on one or two books from the Camden Conference reading list, the development and running of an evening discussion in collaboration with students from UMO and Unity College, and a final synthetic paper on a topic of interest.
Level: intermediate-advanced. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Class limit: 12. Lab fee: $100. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS4043Wilderness in the West: Promise and ProblemsWilderness has been the clarion call for generations of environmentalists. In a letter in support of the Wilderness Act, writer Wallace Stegner characterized the importance of wilderness as an essential “part of the geography of hope.” That single phrase and the current controversy surrounding the concept of wilderness provide the central focus of our explorations of wilderness in western lands. This course examines the question of wilderness from multiple perspectives in the hopes of providing an understanding of both the concept and real spaces that constitute wilderness. Through conversations with wilderness managers, field work, and experience in federally designated wilderness areas in National Parks, National Forests, Wildlife Refuges and on BLM lands, the course will also examine what “wilderness management” means on the ground in the varied landscapes of the western United States. In this context, we look at historical and contemporary acco unts of the value of wilderness, ecological and cultural arguments for wilderness, and the legal and policy difficulties of "protecting" wilderness. Considerable time is spent evaluating current criticisms of the wilderness idea and practice. The class will culminate at a week-long national conference celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. The 50th Anniversary National Wilderness Conference provides an incomparable opportunity for students to hear from and interact with federal management agencies, academics, recreation experts, and environmental advocacy organizations. Presenting their final course work at this conference will also give students an opportunity to share their ideas and to receive valuable feedback from this sophisticated and well-informed audience of wilderness experts. Classwork emphasizes hands-on service-learning projects as well as reading, writing, and theoretical discussions. Students will be evaluated on journal entries, contributions to the class discussions, response papers, engagement in field activities, questions in the field, and contributions to group work. This course will be integrated with and requires co-enrollment in Reading the West and Ecology and Natural History of the West.
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisites: Ecology, Our Public Lands, and permission of instructor and concurrent enrollment. Class limit: 9. Lab fee: none. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS4044Fixing Food SystemsThis course will examine food systems and efforts to make them more sustainable by increasing their health, environmental and social impacts. Students will be introduced to different approaches to food system reform including voluntary corporate social responsibility; rights-based approaches; boycotts and other resistance strategies; and building alternatives such as food coops, farmers? markets and community-supported agriculture (CSAs). They will also study several different methodologies for understanding the full impacts of food systems (life-cycle analysis, ecological and social footprinting, contextual analysis, social return on investment, indicator reports). Students will work in teams to investigate a reform strategy that especially interests them, applying an analytical frame and critiquing its usefulness. The course will include at least one Saturday field trip to visit sites that are implementing food system reforms.
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Class limit 15. Lab fee none. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS4046Lincoln Before the PresidencyPerhaps one of the most widely evoked figures in modern history, Abraham Lincoln is frequently written about, quoted, and held up as an iconic example in contemporary public debate. Yet most people know little about Lincoln beyond a summary biographical sketch and a short speech or two. This is especially true as it relates to Lincoln's political life before the presidency despite the fact that these early years that offer us a wealth of moments which speak not only to the issues of the period, but also to broader questions of political action, compromise, and idealism.
This class is an intensive exploration into Lincoln's political career prior to his election to the presidency in 1860. Students will explore Lincoln's activities as they relate to the debate over slavery, the death of the Whig party, and the ascendancy of the newly formed Republican Party. Class reading and discussion will be driven by a threefold examination of broad historical contexts, biographical materials, and public speech texts. Students will spend an extended period of time on the analysis of the 1858 Senate debates between Lincoln and Stephen Douglas. While the class will focus intensely on the political events of the 1850's, the class will simultaneously track broader questions of political action in the context of a democratic society. As a result, students will have the opportunity both to acquire a richer understanding the historical moment that led to Lincoln's rise to power, as well as an opportunity to reflect on the larger issue of putting "truth" into political practice.
This course is intended for students with an interest in American history, political action, and public debate. Familiarity with these issues is not a pre-requisite for the class. The class will be held in a seminar style environment and will be driven primarily by in-class discussion. There will be an intensive reading load as well as an intensive writing component to the class. Final evaluation will be based on a number of writing assignments, participation in class discussion, and an individual class presentation.
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Meets the following degree requirements: HS HY
HS433Conflict and Peace
How does conflict arise and how is it best dealt with? What is peace and how is it best arrived at or practiced? This course combines a study of major theoretical perspectives with lab work practicing skills and disciplines associated with different traditions of conflict resolution, conflict transformation and peacemaking. Readings will include Roger Fisher, William Ury, Gandhi, Thich Nhat Hanh, Walter Wink, Gene Sharp, Dorothy Day, Elise Boulding, Gray Cox and others. Lab work will involve role plays, case studies, workshops with visitors, and field work. The course will also involve one, mandatory, weekend long workshop. Level: Intermediate. Offered every other year. *HS*
HS5012Wildlife Law SeminarIn his seminal essay on the "Land Ethic," Aldo Leopold explores the incongruity between man's legal structures and the natural world around him. This incongruity is particularly acute in the area of wildlife conservation. This course examines the legal, philosophical, scientific, economic, and political problems surrounding man's relationship with other species on this planet. The far reaching goals and impacts of the Endangered Species Act are a central focus of the course. Significant time is also dedicated to legal issues concerning marine mammals, Native American's wildlife concerns, migratory birds, animal rights, and agencies entrusted to manage wildlife. The growing role of international agreements to protect migratory and commercially valuable species is also covered. Special attention is given to debates currently underway over reauthorizing the Endangered Species Act and pending biological diversity legislation. Students are engaged in a term-long project that attempts to apply the principles of the course to a pressing wildlife issue in Maine. Evaluation is based on class participation and contribution to the group project.
Level: Advanced. Prerequisite: Environmental Law and Policy or permission of the instructor. Offered every third year. Class limit: 10. Lab fee: $15. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS5013Methods of Teaching Writing Across the CurriculumThis course not only gives students knowledge and understanding of rhetorical theory and practice so they can work effectively with developing writers, but also provides them with a review of grammar, methods of evaluating writing, and strategies for teaching exposition, argument, and persuasion. Students put this knowledge to practical use by working as peer tutors in the Writing Center. Students participate in this course for one academic year and receive one credit. In addition to Williams' Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace and Irmscher's Teaching Expository Writing, students read numerous articles from College Composition and Communication, College English, The Writing Instructor, Language Arts, and English Journal, and Research in the Teaching of English as well as a text dealing with teaching writing in their specialty, e.g. Writing Themes about Literature or a Short Guide to Writing about Biology.
Level: Advanced. Prerequisites: Working knowledge of grammar and usage, excellent writing skills, ability to work closely with people, and signature of faculty member in writing or education. Class limit: 15. Meets the following degree requirements: ED W
HS5014Austen, Bronte, Eliot
HS5015Hydro Politics in a Thirsty WorldThis course will look at the complex issues surrounding the development, distribution, use and control of fresh water around the world. Focusing primarily on developing countries, we will examine three aspects of water use and control. First we will look at the scope and impact of water development projects; second we will examine the conflicts and solutions related to transboundary river basins; and third we will consider the implication of privatization of water resources. By way of background, we will review the variety of demands placed on fresh water and the political institutions related to water development. Students will gain a solid background in international environmental law as it relates to multilateral and bilateral treaties, customary law, multilateral institutions, and the guidance of international "soft law". They will also understand the allocation and equity issues surrounding the privatization of water and the political dimensions of this shift. Ultimately, these issues will give a concrete understanding of some aspects of the concept of sustainable development. Evaluation will be based on class participation, short analytical papers, and a substantial term long assignment.
Level: Advanced. Prerequisites: Solid background in international politics, economics, human rights, or development policy through coursework or personal experience. Class limit: 20. Lab fee: $15. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS5016Corn and CoffeeThis course explores the rich history of Guatemala through the lens of two vital products, corn and coffee. The crops provide insight into the global and local dimensions of both historical and contemporary reality there. The course will cover the history of Guatemala from pre-contact native society through the myriad changes wrought by colonialism, decolonization, the rise of the modern nation state, and the transformations associated with the rise of coffee as a major export crop. Corn and coffee provide a convenient vantage point from which to examine the social, economic, and cultural dynamics of native society on the one hand and the globally- connected production of coffee on the other. The course moves from a broad macro perspective on each crop to an intensive exploration of how both are produced in Guatemala. In this way, class participants will be able to look at how global historical trends in consumption have played themselves out in local communities. The class will simultaneously be able to look at the processes at work in pueblos throughout Guatemala that root the corn economy into rich cultural and social dynamics that are at the core of communal life. Using these two crops as a starting point, the class will allow students to develop a holistic and synthetic understanding how Guatemalans live their everyday lives embedded in intensely local realities even as they experience much larger national and international processes. The course emphasizes attention to the broad global dimensions of corn and coffee's production as well as the fine-grained study of Guatemala's socio-cultural life in historical and anthropological perspective. Through discussions of the books, this seminar-style course seeks to provide students with deep insights into the history of Guatemala while maintaining a sense of the global and regional context. Intensive readings will provide students with a snapshot of trends in both history and ethnography while broader synthetic analyses of both corn and coffee will embody more popular approaches to the topic. Students will lead discussions of the readings, write short synthetic essays, and undertake a research project for the class.
Level: Advanced. Prerequisites: Signature of the instructor, any of the following courses: Native Empires to Nation States; Articulated Identities; American Worlds. Class Limit: 12. Lab fee: $50. Meets the following degree requirements: HS HY
HS5017Advanced Spanish ITBA
HS5018The Nature of NarrativeThis is an advanced writing focused course in which students practice the human ecology of literary analysis. We explore the 'mind' or consciousness of fictional writing (specifically, novels) by looking at how narratives make meaning, and at how we make meaning from narratives. The course surveys some of the best modern fiction, with a particular focus on works that highlight narrative technique, stretch the boundaries of the imagination, have a rich and deep texture, and push against the inherent limitations of textuality. Students also hone their reading and analytic skills as they work closely with twentieth century texts that broke new literary ground. Some of the authors we may read include: Joseph Conrad, Virginia Woolf, William Faulkner, Monique Wittig, John Dos Passos, Toni Morrison, N. Scott Momaday, Bessie Head, Manuel Puig, and Margaret Atwood. We also study some narrative (and possibly film) theory. Evaluation is based on class participation, frequent short response and passage analysis papers, and an independent project.
Level: Advanced. Prerequisite: Signature of Instructor. Offered every other year. Class limit: 15. Meets the following degree requirements: HS, WF
HS5019Contextualizing GodardJean-Luc Godard is a crucial figure in the history and aesthetic development of cinema. His generation was the first to clearly and systematically situate the art of filmmaking as a cultural tradition and to try to assimilate the full history of this form into their own work. From his beginnings as a critic for the influential "Cahiers du cinéma," Godard has always maintained that true criticism is as valid a form of filmmaking as the creation of an original work in the medium of film (or, more recently, video). This seminar will look at the ongoing role his films and writings play in cinematic discourse – we will examine the work of his fellow filmmaker/critics of the nouvelle vague, the theories and work of those who have influenced him, and the multiple threads of influence he has had on disparate styles and cultures of artistic creation and political engagement. Works viewed for this class will be, in part, chosen by the group to accommodate the directions we choose to explore together, but will likely include works by Rivette, Varda, Duras, Marker, Akerman, Kiarostami, Farocki, Aoyama and Wong. The primary visual text will be Godard’s late-period, self-reflexive masterpiece "Histoire(s) du cinéma." Some prior familiarity with Godard’s work is expected. For course assignments, students will have the choice between writing critical essays, creating original video work, or combining the two.
Level: Advanced. Prerequisites: Film History, coursework in critical theory. Signature of instructor. Class limit: 10. Lab fee: $50. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS5020Advanced International Environmental Law SeminarThis course is designed to provide an overview of the use of international law in solving transnational environmental problems and shaping international behavior. We examine, as background, the nature and limitations of international law as a force for change. The course will then explore customary law, the relationship between soft and hard law, enforcement of international law, implementation mechanisms, and the effectiveness of multilateral environmental agreements. Special attention is given to existing international environmental law frameworks addressing climate change, Arctic and Antarctic development, ozone depletion, biological diversity, forest loss, export of toxic chemicals, and the host of issues raised by the 1992 United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development and subsequent environmental fora. Students will also consider the interface between international environmental law and other important international forces such as the Bretton Woods institutions, human rights frameworks, and international development entities. Students will be evaluated on the quality of their classroom comments and several analytical problem sets given during the term. Students will also be asked to complete a major research project examining the effectiveness of a treaty or a proposed international environmental legal arrangement.
Level: Advanced. Prerequisites: Environmental Law and Policy, Global Environmental Politics, or Signature of Instructor. Class limit: 10. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS5021Proust, Joyce, and Beckett: The Limits of LanguageSamuel Beckett's early studies of the masterworks of Marcel Proust ("À la recherche du temps perdu," translated into English as "In Search of Lost Time") and James Joyce ("Finnegans Wake") are a useful starting point for examining the work of these three individuals as a particularly tightly-knit cluster of sensibilities working on the cusp of Modernism's slide into Postmodernism. All three writers were attempting to describe the totality of human existence, as particularly lived and reflected at the times they lived in. For Proust and Joyce this endeavor entailed a precise, expansive, and exhaustive technique, whereas Beckett responded with a contracted use of language reflecting a dwindling human capacity to comprehend our circumstance. All three authors challenged readers' perceptions of form and pushed language to the limits of its potential. In this course we will read extensively from "In Search of Lost Time," "Ulysses" and "Finnegans Wake" finishing with Beckett's trilogy of "Molloy," "Malone Dies," and "The Unnameable." Several of Beckett's short plays and late prose pieces will also be studied. These readings will be supplemented with critical, cultural, and historical studies by Badiou, Cioran, Campbell, Pinter, Kristeva, Lukács, Zizek, and others.
Level: Advanced. Prerequisites: The Nature of Narrative or signature of instructor. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: $60. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS5023HatcheryThe Hatchery is applied Human Ecology in action; it offers students a bridge from coursework to actively creating their vision of the future. The Hatchery gives students from across the campus the opportunity to move from ideas to action. Hatchery students work either individually or in teams on a wide array of enterprises. Past projects have included: urban farming; international development; policy and planning; photography and film; alternative transportation; biofuel production; renewable energy; food systems; the arts; furniture production; technology development; social enterprise. Ventures have been for-profit and non-profit, encompassing the range from local businesses to scalable start-ups. Students selected for the Hatchery are required to devote an entire term to launching their venture. Each Hatchery enterprise, whether a team or an individual, must take the course for a minimum of three credits. Along with weekly instructional meetings, students receive office space, supplies, professional services, mentors and potential access to seed capital to develop their ventures. After the initial ten weeks of class, if students decide to continue their enterprises, they have access to the Hatchery space and resources for an additional nine months.
The Hatchery takes place in three phases:
--Application: Students apply for a position in the Hatchery over winter term.
--Rapid Prototype: The ten weeks of the Hatchery course. Students create a rapid prototype to test their ventures in the marketplace. These prototypes vary widely depending on the type of ventures.
--Creating an Enterprise Structure: During the ten weeks of the course, students will have weekly assignments that introduce key elements in an organizational structure and highlight operational considerations that are universal amongst enterprises.
--Development: The following 9-months. Students have access to the Hatchery space and resources to continue developing their enterprises.
Level: Advanced. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor.
HS5024Topics in Philosophical PsychologyPhilosophical psychology involves the conceptual investigation of the nature of the human mind and behavior. Many challenging issues arise in the attempt to give causal and "naturalistic" accounts of such things as perception, intention, thinking, meaning, emotion and sensation. Various problems arise concerning the nature of the mind-body interaction, mental causation, the nature of self-knowledge, justification of our knowledge of others, self-identity, free will and the very possibility of psychology as a science. This seminar will examine several of these issues by reading some of the contemporary literature in philosophical psychology. The class will be run seminar style with individual student reports on the readings and a final project paper.
Level: Advanced. Class limit: 12. Lab fee: none. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS5026Advanced Seminar in Ecological EconomicsThis seminar explores selected themes in ecological economics, which is both the economics of sustainability as well as a paradigmatic approach distinct from the mainstream neoclassical approach to the study of economic activity. We will use the first several weeks of the term to define and outline ecological economics. We will use the remainder of the term to explore topics of student interest, focusing on three to five major themes; possible themes include methodological issues (post-normal science, transdisciplinarity), biophysical constraints to economic growth (entropy, technological pessimism, capital substitution, critical natural capital, resource peaks), sociocultural impacts of economic growth (consumption, happiness studies), energy and resource flow analysis (entropy), system dynamics (steady state economy, resiliency, degrowth), measurement issues (growth versus development, ecological footprint, Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare), institutional arrangements (adaptations of ideas from Douglass North), trade and development (embodied trade, pollution havens), community sustainability, philosophical issues (Buddhist economics, homo economicus), historical issues of sustainability (Malthusian perspectives, Jevon's Paradox). Evaluation will be via an exam at the end of the introductory phase, article précis, and a final poster presentation.
Level: Advanced. Prerequisites: two terms of intermediate neoclassical economics or permission of instructor. Class limit: 12. Lab fee: none. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS503Survey of British Literature
Poetry, plays, essays, and fiction by British writers from the medieval period to the early twentieth century will be explored in the context of social, historical, and cultural currents and cross-currents. In addition to examining the lives and works of men and women writers from Chaucer to T.S. Eliot, students will be encouraged to question and analyze writings in relation to nature, science, and philosophy; poetry and painting; exploration, travel, trade, and colonialism; gender, class, and family; slavery and plurality; monarchy and revolution; classic, romantic, and modern theories and forms; and industrialism and alienation. Three papers will be written during the semester, each paper to be followed by a tutorial conference. Writing Focus option. Level: Intermediate. Class limit 15
HS5032Advanced Food PolicyThis course will encompass contemporary and historical strategies for addressing hunger, food insecurity and control over food system decision-making at an advanced level. It will help to prepare students to participate in the 2014 Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in Rome by exploring in depth the topics and issues that will be on the agenda this year: food waste and the role of fisheries and aquaculture in food security. Students also will be expected to track communications, monitoring, multi-year program of work, principles for responsible agricultural investment or another of the CFS process workstreams, and to attend related sessions and side-events at the CFS.
The CFS is the premier place where various actors from civil society, business, and governmental and intergovernmental agencies come together to discuss practices and policies that affect access to food and water, diets and livelihoods of millions of people. Students will gain a deeper understanding of this contested space and its context within historical and contemporary disputes over food system decision-making. While the course will be oriented to this year's CFS, students may enroll even if they do not plan to attend the CFS in Rome to learn more about food policy and decision-making.
Students will be evaluated based on regular essays through the term, contributions to class discussion and exercises, and participation either in the CFS OR close reading and reporting on related ethnographies or supplemental reading. This course will be integrated with and requires co-enrollment in Cities: Past, Present & Future for students who plan to travel to Rome. Enrollment in Power & Governance is STRONGLY ADVISED for students who plan to attend the CFS; students not planning to travel to Rome should enroll in an Independent Study as their third credit.
Level: Advanced. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing or higher at pre-registration AND at least one course dealing with food policy (e.g., Food Power & Justice; Hunger, Food Security & Food Sovereignty; Fixing Food Systems; Global Politics of Food - Camden Conference Course) OR previous attendance at the CFS. Permission of instructor. Class limit: 12. Lab fee: $500 if attending the CFS. Meets the following degree requirements: HS
HS5033Fieldworking in Guatemala: Seminar in Community-Based ResearchThis twelve-week course will focus on the research phase of student projects in the communities of Tecpan, Patzicia, and Comalapa in the Guatemalan department of Chimaltenango. Particular emphasis will be placed on helping students to work through the concrete process of research in complex communities. Drawing on years of research experience in Guatemala the faculty will support students through all phases of research from conceptual issues to the detailed pragmatics of everyday research tasks. Building on previous background students will undertake intensive ethnographic research, oral history work, and interviewing. The course will emphasize the most effective fieldwork techniques for individual projects, but it will also help them learn to recognize the limitations of such techniques. The course will include a language intensive component in Spanish or Kaqchikel Maya as preparation for the fieldwork phase.
The course will support independent student projects in Maya communities. Students will be in these communities for two months undertaking research projects they will have developed over the previous months in their pre-requisite course. This course will highlight the contextual knowledge and skills needed for students to situate the information they will amass through their community-based research. Skills emphasized will be archival research, collection of appropriate primary resources, and the ability to identify necessary contextual resources. Building on community-based research models the faculty and students will work directly with an advisory board from the four communities made up of local academic experts. These advisors will serve a primary audience for student research. At appropriate intervals students will come together to do collective problem-solving and share insights. Students well be evaluated and will evaluate themselves on both the process of their research and their final research presentation. Students will present their research in Spanish in the communities where they have worked as well as to an academic audience. As a final product students will compile a portfolio which includes their field notes, documents they have collected, and a photographic archive associated with their research.
Level: Advanced. Prerequisite: Successful completion of Seminar in Guatemalan History & Culture, permission of instructor. Limited to students participating in the College's Guatemala Program. Class limit: 12. Program Fee $1,500. Meets the following degree requirements: HY HS
HS5034Impact InvestingImpact Investing focuses on the emerging field of impact investing, which seeks to generate returns for society, the environment and financial investors. Impact investing seeks to create avenues for private investment to work alongside existing efforts of NGOs and others to help solve global and local problems. Impact investing can be used to fund solutions in areas as diverse as food systems, climate change, poverty, affordable housing and clean technology among other issues.
This course will examine the strategy of various impact investing mechanisms from crowdfunding to “localvesting.” In addition, students will examine case studies to understand the benefits and pitfalls of different strategies and their potential to create social and environmental change. During the course students will learn how to create financial projections and evaluate the financial returns of enterprises. For their final project, students will have to structure an investment platform that generates returns financially, socially and/or environmentally.
Students will be evaluated based on class participation, written assignments and verbal presentations. This course will be integrated with and requires co-enrollment in Energy and Technology and Islands: Energy, Economy and Community.
COURSE LEVEL: Advanced. PREREQUISITES: Instructor Permission and at least one of the following: Math and Physics of Sustainable Energy (preferred), Energy Practicum, Financials, Business Nonprofit Basics, Sustainable Strategies or Launching a New Venture. CLASS LIMIT: 10 COA students and 5 Islanders. LAB FEE: none. MEETS THE FOLLOWING DEGREE REQUIREMENTS: HS
HS5036Russia and International Security
HS532Tutorial: Writing Projects
This tutorial enables upper-division students to improve their writing styles using papers they are working on in other courses or writing they are doing as part of their senior project. The tutorial focuses on acquiring a better understanding not only of writing as process but also of syntax. Through exercises, peer review, and conferences, students will learn strategies for making their writing more cohesive and focused. In particular, they will look at the role pace, emphasis, and flow play in enabling them to draft pieces that are both readable and engage the intended audience. Level: Intermediate. Prerequisite: Signature of the Writing Program Director. Class limit: 5. *W*
HS580The Pueblos of Guatemala: Interdisciplinary Research Project
This course will focus on the research phase of student projects in the communities of Tecpan, Patzun, Patzicia, and Comalapa in the Guatemalan department of Chimaltenango. Particular emphasis will be placed on helping students to work through the concrete process of research in complex communities. Drawing on years of research experience in Guatemala the lead faculty member in collaboration with other faculty will support students through all phases of research from conceptual issues to the detailed pragmatics of everyday research tasks. Building on previous background students will undertake intensive ethnographic research, oral history work, and interviewing. The course will emphasize the most effective fieldwork techniques for individual projects, but it will also help them learn to recognize the limitations of such techniques.
Level: Advanced. Limited to students participating in the College's Guatemala Program.
HS588Writing It Up: From Fieldwork to Final Draft
This course will take students through the process of transforming fieldwork and qualitative research into a completed final product. With a particular emphasis on allowing students who have undertaken extensive research in international and intercultural settings to follow through in a guided writing process, the course seeks to support the last phase of research by highlighting synthetic and analytical approaches to writing. The course will pay particular attention to the process of synthesizing research materials into a compelling and carefully-polished written format. Students will have the opportunity to draft, redraft, and revise multiple versions of their work. The course will provide the context for workshopping drafts, discussing research problems, and processing the complex task of synthetic writing. The course is designed to ensure students who have undertaken extensive research have the opportunity to engage a community of peers facing similar intellectual issues and dedicate themselves to finishing their projects. Students will be evaluated on the progress they make towards a powerful written version of their work and the evidence of improvement in the successive drafts they craft. A goal is for each student to develop a clear sense of the writing strategies that work for them as well as how to seek constructive external feedback on their writing. Peer evaluation and self evaluation will be important tools. The course will be limited to students who have completed substantial international or intercultural research in the previous term and who are ready to write. Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Signature of instructor required.
HS601Gender in Global Perspective
This course will explore the construction and reproduction of gender inequality in a global perspective. We will study the social position and relations of women and men (political, economic, cultural and familial) in comparative and cross-cultural perspective. Using the United States and various non-western case studies, the course will seek to explore the topic broadly. In so doing, students will learn about the diversity of women's and men's experiences across class, racial-ethnic groups, sexualities, cultures, and regions. This class will also provide students with an overview of the different theoretical perspectives that are sometimes used to explain and understand women's and men's experiences. This class will be taught via a combination of lecture and discussion. Students will be evaluated on class participation, several short papers, and a final project. Level: Intermediate. Lab Fee: $10. Class limit 15.
HS6012Learning a Language on Your OwnThe goal of this course to help each student design and implement an effective learning program for the study of a language of her choice at whatever level of learning she is currently at. A very wide variety of general strategies, resources and practical advice for independent language learning are reviewed in weekly class sessions along with progress and reflection reports from each student that can help guide and motivate independent work. The core common text for this work will be Betty Lou Leaver, Madeline Ehrman and Boris Shekhtman’s "Achieving Success in Second Language Acquisition". The primary focus of the class is on the development and implementation of each student’s individually designed plan for learning a language of their choice. Materials for this will be identified by each student as part of their work on their chosen language. Progress in these plans are discussed in one on one weekly meetings with the teacher. Plans may include the use of software, peer tutors, Skype, videos, standard texts, flash cards, specialized technical material, music, visual art, field trips, and a wide variety of other materials as appropriate. Evaluation will be based on the clarity, coherence and effectiveness of the student’s developed plan and the discipline with which they actually pursue it and revise it appropriately as the term progresses. Students will be asked to meet with the instructor prior to the start of the term to discuss their motivation, aims, possible resources and possible plans for language learning after the course is over.
Level: Variable. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Class limit: 10. Lab fee: $35.
HS607Political Campaign Communication: Messaging and Advertising
This class will provide a broad introductory overview of the history, practice, and theories that encompass political campaign communication. The overall goals of the course are three-fold. First, to provide a broad survey of the history of political campaign communication and advertising as it has developed in the United States. Secondly, to confront some of the pragmatic issues that go into producing political communication strategies for electoral candidates. Thirdly, to empower the student to read and critically analyze political campaign communication materials they confront in their daily lives. This class will include a specific emphasis on radio, television, and "new media" vehicles as sources of messaging. While we will focus heavily on the last 60 years of presidential elections, students will also apply their work to local, state, and national campaigns currently underway. The class will be highly interactive with discussion being the primary mode of instruction. Final evaluation will based on a combination of class participation, a series of analytical response papers, an in-class presentation, and a final comprehensive project dealing with a contemporary political campaign. This class will include a weekly 3 hour lab that will involve the screening of multimedia campaign texts, some practical work in designing messaging strategies, and the occasional outsider speaker. The class is open to all students, regardless of their experience in politics or their knowledge of American history. It is well suited for introductory students in their first years of study, but would also be equally valuable to advanced students interested in the topic. Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Class limit: 18. Lab fee: $25. *HS* *HY*
HS633Political Action and Greek Philosophy
The class will attempt to tackle the issue of ethical political action in a democratic society from the level of individual practice. Utilizing a series of dialogues between philosophers and "sophists" from the Classical Greek period as a springboard, students will explore a wide variety of topics related to civic engagement and public debate. Though the readings for class will be thousands of years old, students who successfully complete the course will be able to make linkages to problems contemporary to their own daily lives including: does truth speak for itself, what is the role of the speaker in society, where is the line between "spin" and effective persuasion, and are all politicians nothing more than "con artists?" Included in the readings will be works by Gorgias, Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates. Students will also go outside of the assigned readings to apply these ancient debates to modern social/political questions. This is an introductory-intermediate level course for students with an interest in philosophy, political action, governance, and public persuasion. Familiarity with these issues is not a pre-requisite for the class. In class activities will be driven primarily by student discussion centered on flashpoints within the readings. There will be an intensive reading load as well as an intensive writing component to the class. Students will also be occasionally asked to "perform" sections of dialogue in class. Final evaluation will be based on a number of varied writing assignments, participation in class discussion, and several independent reports on contemporary social questions Level: Introductory. *HS*
HS652Beyond Relativism: Negotiating Ethics in the 21st Century
How can - and should - questions of ethics get resolved in the contexts of interdisciplinary and multiperspectival dialogue, conflict and decision making - as when two communities need to resolve disputes and each have different paradigms of thought and action? These questions may come up in dealing with human ecological problems when people from different professions, religions, or other cultural and social settings need to deal with each other to address common problems and opportunities. They also arise in business, government and NGO work when people pursue socially responsible projects and policies of a variety of sorts. This course will look at the common strategies in normative ethics for dealing with these problems as well as explore ways in which methods of negotiation and conflict transformation can also be helpful. Readings will include classic texts from Aristotle, the Bible, Mill, Kant, Nietzsche, and Buber as well as contemporary readings in professional ethics, in conflict transformation, and philosophical ethics (such as Alasdair MacIntyre's After Virtue). Students will write a series of short papers on texts and case studies and develop a final project in which they work to identify and resolve an ethical problem. Evaluation will be based on class participation, papers, and the final project Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Lab fee: $20. *HS*
How do motion pictures express ideas? Why do we respond to them in the ways we do? Film theorists have approached these questions from contexts as diverse as formal composition (sound, mise-en-scene, color, cinematography and editing), signs and symbols (semiotics), cultural and/or gender concerns, and psychoanalysis. In this class, we will practice using these and other theories to understand and analyze moving pictures. Each week we will screen one or two feature length movies as well as a number of short films. Screenings will be complemented by source texts from critics, theorists, artists/filmmakers and cinephiles. Students may choose to take this course as writing intensive; those who do will be required to write and revise three or four critical response essays based in analytical frameworks covered in the course. All students will be required to complete a final research paper and presentation. Students should expect to spend 7-9 hours a week in class meetings, labs and screenings (in addition to writing, research). Students will be evaluated on papers, final project and participation in discussions. Writing Focus option. Level: Introductory/intermediate. Previous art class recommended. Class limit: 12. Lab fee: $30 *WFO*
HS696Troubadours, Nuns, Witches, and Concubines 500 - 1450
This course traces variations in the social, legal, and economic status of women in Asia and Europe from about 500 to 1450. Students will be examining letters, diaries, songs, court documents, poems, essays, and fiction with an eye toward textual analysis and original discourse. Students will also consider such questions as: Why and to what extent did women in some parts of the medieval world-in China until 960; in southern India; in Catalonia, Spain-experience relative freedom? What were women's attitudes toward men, children, religion, love, work, sexuality, religion, magic, and education? How was gender negotiated, with female identity in girlhood, adolescence and adulthood established or modified, within the various sociocultural contexts? What were the achievements and accomplishments of women during the "Middle Ages" whether they managed households; wandered the land as minstrels; or worked at court, in the religious life, in the visual and performing arts, or in medicine? Students will be evaluated on the basis of class participation, two short papers, and one substantial essay. Level: Intermediate/Advanced
HS714Modernization, Cultural Change, and Democracy
This course will focus on the cases of Iran, Nigeria, China and India and explore the common and divergent factors that shape political and social change in these countries. The ultimate question - to be tackled if not answered - is whether there is a common path that all nations pursue as their economy grows and society modernizes or whether, in fact, cultural, contextual and circumstantial differences lead to many possible outcomes, some of which will not at all resemble the Western model of a democratic state. In pursuing these questions, students will consider the persistent effects of colonialism and neocolonialism, the importance of culture and religion, the results of mass education and the spread of advanced technology. Students will also consider the ways in which popular demands are expressed -and heard - in the four very different political systems and the extent to which women and minorities are able to fully participate in the political process. This class will be taught via a combination of lecture and discussions. Students will be evaluated on the basis of participation in discussion, two short papers, and a final exam. Students will read two texts and a range of articles updating the political events in the four countries. They will also read commentaries challenging the perspective presented in the texts chosen. Level: Intermediate. Class limit: 15.
HS725Advanced Tutorial in Interdisciplinary Research Methods
This is an advanced tutorial for students who want to use history, anthropology and social science research in their work on community organizing, social change efforts or public policy advocacy. Human ecological approaches to such problems and studies require using interdisciplinary methods to integrate different points of view and different theories in a more comprehensive understanding of a person, text, situation or problem. But how can we do that? What sorts of things are ?methods?, ?theories? and ?disciplines? and how can they be integrated? How is theoretical research related to practical action? How should we deal with the ethical issues that come up in research? How do modern vs. post-modern or neo-liberal vs. neo-Marxist or hermeneutic vs. quantitative views of these things differ? The aim of this tutorial is to cultivate students? abilities to deal with these questions in sophisticated and effective ways in the context of on going research and action projects in human ecology. It deals with challenges in choosing and using methods of research, the construction and application of theories in interdisciplinary contexts, and the negotiation of issues arising in planning and pursing a research process or action project and dealing with ethical issues that arise in it. It is specifically designed to support student work in internships, residencies, senior projects and master?s theses. It presupposes familiarity with the practice of at least two disciplines in the humanities and public policy areas (e. g. history and political science, literature and economics or ethnography and agro-ecology). Students will meet once a week as a learning group and also once a week, independently, with the professor. Tutorial sessions will focus on two kinds of readings: 1.) a selection of articles and chapters dealing with methodological, theoretical, ethical and other aspects of research processes and action projects and 2.) case study materials focused on the pr
HS726Continental Philosophy: Self & Other from Kant to Foucault
This course will introduce students to – and give them practice working with – some of the central concerns, concepts, and philosophical methods associated with the continental European traditions that grow out of and respond to the transcendental idealism initiated by Kant. Ways in which understandings of objects, the Self, freedom and relations with others vary will be used as central themes to explore connections and contrasts between these philosophers. The central texts focused on will include include material from Kant’s FIRST CRITIQUE and his moral philosophy, Hegel’s PHENOMENOLOGY, Kierkegaard’s FEAR AND TREMBLING, Martin Buber’s I AND THOU and Foucault’s THE HISTORY OF SEXUALITY, PART I. Other texts that may be read in excerpts include, 20th century writings on phenomenology and existentialism Tillich, Freire, Sartre, de Beauvoir. Class format will alternate between lecture, discussion and seminar style textual exegesis. Evaluations will be based on a series of short papers and a final paper on an independent reading agreed upon. Class discussions will include occasional examination of passages in the original language of the primary texts. Students with fluency in German, French, Spanish or Danish will be encouraged to practice exegesis in the original language. The level will be introductory to intermediate but students wishing to take the course at a more advanced level with more extended work in exegesis of difficult texts may arrange to do so.
Level: Introductory. Lab fee $20. Class limit: 20. *HS*
HS743Classic Shorts: Money, Honey
A young woman who needs a job. A boy who steals. The ethics of a corporate franchise across cultures; an elder who will give away a cure for snakebite-but not sell it. The cost of electricity in Islamabad. A clash of values between brothers. A gamble. A bet. These are some of the characters and incidents we?ll encounter in this section of Classic Shorts, as well as the questions they lead us to weigh and contemplate. What would-or wouldn't-you do for money? Have you ever cheated anyone? What do you consider priceless in the green, green worlds of this fragile planet we share? How do you define "rich," "poor," "enough"? Our focus on this genre-the one William Trevor calls "the art of the glimpse"-may not take us all the way to Moneta, that temple of Juno in Rome where money was coined, but it will invite us into the literary territory of how writers develop a scene, secure a metaphor, and offer us as readers the tremendous wealth of discovering and naming some of fiction?s truths. Please come prepared to read closely, discuss openly, and experiment in the art of the glimpse. Critical inquiries, midterm conference, and final paper (original short-story option encouraged) required. Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Class limited: 15.
HS748The Road To Copenhagen
In December 2009, representatives of the world?s governments, as well as business, labor, religious, environmental, and youth leaders will convene in Copenhagen, Denmark, for the 15th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The event is significant, as government negotiators will likely be hammering out the final wording of an agreement on national and international actions to address the most serious environmental threat of our time: climate change. In this seminar-style course, students will prepare themselves to be part of this historic gathering. Using the actual negotiating texts, students will become familiar with the most important issues under negotiation. Each student, alone or in pairs, will also be responsible for becoming the class expert(s) on at least one of the issues ? understanding the negotiating history, the range of political positions being expressed in the negotiations, and the technical specifics of the various proposals being considered. Students will share their expertise throughout the term with the entire class through one or more formal presentations. Some attention will also be given throughout the term to the contributions of various non-governmental constituencies ? in particular, business, environmental NGOs, and youth ? to the global politics of climate change, examining how, and how effectively, they engage in the process to enable a meaningful outcome to the governmental negotiations that will culminate at the summit in Copenhagen. Students will be evaluated based on participation in class discussions, their formal in-class presentations, as well as contributions to a collective public blog that will document their experiences at the meeting in Copenhagen. Course level: Intermediate/Advanced. Pre-requisites: Signature of instructor. Lab fee: $10.
HS749Tutorial: Witches and Witchcraft
Surveying the role and historical development of beliefs, practices, and persecution of witches and witchcraft in Europe, the United Kingdom, and the Unites States from medieval to modern eras, this tutorial is an advanced study that will involve extensive reading across cultures and genres. The impact of influences on the West from Africa and the Caribbean will be explored, as will depictions of witches in religious and legal documents, mass media, visual art, popular tales, fiction, and drama. Central questions are: How have attitudes toward and images of witches and magic reflected commonly shared fears, biases, beliefs, and hopes of various cultures? Why did witch hunts and interrogations utilizing torture intensify during various periods? Why were those exhibiting special powers or knowledge--such as healers or "entrancers"-greeted with rage, fear, and severity through the ages? Did different social classes harbor similar or disparate views of witches? In what ways did the public equate "bewitching" with control or usurpation of personal identity and responsibility? This course will meet regularly; students may select two topics for short papers and a third for more intensive treatment as a final project which may be in mixed media. Level: Advanced
HS750Seminar in Yucatec History and Culture
Yucatan is the region of Mexico with a large Yucatec Maya population and a complex history shaped by conquest, colonialism, separatism, and revolutionary upheaval. This course, which will serve as a pre-requisite for the winter term Yucatan program, seeks to familiarize students with the contextual knowledge they will need to work in rural communities of the Peninsula?s Zona Maya, or Maya zone. The course is designed around the question of what you need to know before undertaking research or advocacy in an international setting such as Yucatan as well as preparing students to work in other people?s communities. Readings, exercises, and discussion will provide a rigorous interdisciplinary introduction to the historical and ethnographic scholarship on Yucatan with a particular emphasis on helping students to recognize and master relevant contextual knowledge and specific fieldwork techniques. Students will learn about the history of the region from the conquest to the present as well as learning to examine the dominant historiographies which have shaped scholars? accounts of that history. Similarly, the class will provide an in-depth insight into Yucatec society through a series of classic ethnographic works even as we critically examine ethnographic presumptions and practices. A final research proposal will be a primary product of the course, and it will be the basis of eight-week independent student work in Yucatan. Students will also be evaluated on participation in discussion, discussion leadership, and short essays. Course is limited to students accepted to the Yucatan program. Level: Intermediate/Advanced. *HS* *HY*
HS754Tutorial: Readings in European History, 1350-1650
This tutorial will focus on the history of Europe in the early modern era through a series key readings. The tutorial will explore the intellectual, religious and political processes of change that characterized the period from rough 1350 to 1650. We will touch on themes such as renaissance humanism, the protestant challenge to church orthodoxy, the rise of the absolutist state, and the emergence of new political forms. The tutorial will use secondary and primary texts as examples from different parts of Europe, and it involves a weekly seminar focused on readings selected by the professor and students. Students will also undertake a term-long exploration of a historical theme of their own which they will present at the end of term. Students will be evaluated on a series of short essays, the quality of their contribution to weekly discussions, and their final project. This class is appropriate for students with some background in the history of Europe or other relevant academic background. Permission of instructor required. Intermediate.
HS755Tutorial: Fiction in Progress
This advanced tutorial continues work done in "Starting Your Novel" and/or previous fiction tutorials: intensive in-class attention to narrative issues of detail, viewpoint, time & tense, continuity, language, plot and character development, endings and overall design related to reader response. All work is thoroughly discussed in the context of narrative aesthetics in extended weekly small-group sessions; students are expected to write 8-15 pages a week of new material and to provide a revised and edited copy for evaluation at the end. Previous intermediate or advanced fiction courses and instructor permission required. Level: Advanced Limit: 5
HS756Post Colonial African Cinema
Africa was the last continent to develop a culture of filmmaking controlled by its indigenous peoples; 1966 saw the first African film to be produced independent of Colonial control (although still largely in an oppressor's language, in this case French). The fact that African film was nascent at a time of worldwide revolution, at a time in which most other filmmaking regions were entering second or third waves of creative renewal, combined with a historical lack of financial support for the filmmaking enterprise - a symptom of ubiquitous financial and political instability - has resulted in some of the most unique, diverse cinema of the past fifty years. Ranging from the established, artistic, state-regulated cinema of Burkina Faso to the populist, truly independent movies coming out of Nigeria (home of the second-largest film-producing industry in the world), the African continent has given birth to new voices and new models of production and distribution that challenge established norms. These models may offer a new paradigm for a worldwide industry which is struggling in the face of fragmented audiences and new, potentially more egalitarian, technologies. Although African films have been receiving worldwide acclaim for decades, it is only recently that many of these ground-breaking films have received attention or been available for viewing in the United States. Course texts, screenings and discussions will be supplemented by individual research projects. Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Recommended prerequisite: a course in film studies or anthropology. Class limit: 20. Lab fee: $40. *HS* *WF* optional
HS765Money, Politics and Law
This seminar will provide an intensive examination of the role money plays in influencing politics and government as well as the myriad of laws, policies, and regulations that have been crafted in an attempt to limit this influence. The primary focus of the course will be contemporary campaign finance reform initiatives within the United States at both the federal and state levels. This includes a comprehensive examination of current laws and regulations, the historical setting that gave rise to these policies, possible upcoming challenges to the existing structure, and the viability of proposed alternative modes of electoral financing. In addition to the topical emphasis on law and policy, we will also step back and tackle the broader philosophical issues that arise whenever societies attempt to determine what is, and is not, legitimate "participation" in the democratic process. While the bulks of our case studies will come from within the United States, we will also examine various models of campaign financing from countries around the globe. This will be a reading intensive course driven by in-class discussion and deliberation. In addition to the common focus of the group, students will be encouraged to pursue their own individual research interests related to the topic of money and government. Evaluation will be based on a combination of class participation, periodic short form writing assignments, and a final research project. Interested students should have previous experience with coursework in politics, governance, the legal process, or policymaking. Level: Intermediate; Permission of the instructor is required; *HS*
HS766Afghanistan, Pakistan and India: Crossroads of Conflict
This is a reading course that will culminate with a trip to the annual foreign affairs conference in Camden, ME. The conference features experts from all over the world talking on a range of topics connected with US relations with Afghanistan. It is based on the assumption that no assessment or understanding of the situation in Afghanistan can be separated from attention to critical factors and developments in neighboring Pakistan which in turn leads to a focus upon the complex and volatile relations between Pakistan and India. Topics include: India?s internal coherence and stability after another year of global recession; who are the Afghans in cultural, political and religious terms?; political and military stability in Pakistan and its attempts to curb radical elements. Basic background reading on India, Afghanistan and India will expand to the more specific questions on inter-country relationships and US Foreign policy. Evaluation: Students will be asked to participate and lead discussions based on specific questions that will be given to them for each class (the material will come from the extensive readings they are required to do). In addition, students will be asked to write a paper on one of the themes in the conference (to be submitted at the end of the course). They will also be asked to write an evaluation of the Camden Conference: in specific how and why how it expanded (or did not expand) their understanding of the subject. Level: Advanced; Class limit: 10; Lab fee: $100
HS767Journalism in the New Media Age
Understanding how journalism functions is key to developing the ability to communicate ideas and issues to the broadest possible audience. This course covers writing news stories and analysis, photojournalism, and creating and maintaining a blog on a subject of the student?s choosing on Hancock County?s largest community information website - Fenceviewer.com. Other topics include writing for the Internet, investigative reporting, the business side of journalism, and avoiding libel. Guest speakers from a network news outlet and Maine Public Radio will introduce students to the production and writing requirements of electronic media such as television and radio. Students may also have stories published in the Mount Desert Islander. Evaluation will be based on the quality of the student?s writing in their portfolio, the effectiveness of their presentation, and participation in class discussion and peer review. This course would be appropriate for students who can write at the introductory or intermediate level. Level: Introduction/Intermediate. Prerequisites: none. Class limit: 15. *W*
HS775Immersion Program in French Language and Culture
This double credit course is offered through collaboration with CAVILAM university as part of the COA program in Vichy, France. For eight weeks, students take 20 hours a week of language classes and workshops taught by immersion methods and advanced audio-visual techniques. Students also live with host families in homestays and take part in a variety of cultural activities. They are carefully tested and placed at levels appropriate to their ability and are expected to advance in all four language skills - reading, writing, speaking and listening - as gauged by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages scale of learning levels. Level: Beginning to advanced (depending on prior language level). Requirements: co-enrollment in HS776 "Doing Human Ecology in Cross-cultural Contexts: France" and permission of instructor. Class limit: 12
HS778Introduction to Screenwriting
This class explores the craft of writing for the screen. We will read a wide range of screenplays and teleplays, examining approaches for projects varying in length and dramatic scope. A study of basic Hollywood three-act structure will be balanced against a range of alternative strategies. Plot, character, dialogue and format will all be covered. Students will write throughout the term, and will have the option of focusing on several short (5-15 minute) scripts, one mid-length (30-45 minute) script, or the first half of a feature-length (90 minute) script. All writing will be reviewed in group critiques, allowing students to benefit from multiple perspectives and to hear their dialogue in the mouths of others. Students will be expected to revise each piece through several drafts. Workshop sessions will be augmented by weekly screenings. Some background in creative writing or narrative theory is helpful but not essential. Evaluation will be based on class participation, overall conceptual coherence, and quality of written work. Level: Introductory/Intermediate *HS* Limit 12. Lab fee: $30
HS779Fixing Food Systems: Sustainable Production & Consumption
This course will examine food systems and efforts to make them more sustainable by increasing their health, environmental and social impacts. Students will be introduced to different approaches to food system reform including voluntary corporate social responsibility; rights-based approaches; boycotts and other resistance strategies; and building alternatives such as food coops, farmers? markets and community-supported agriculture (CSAs). They will also study several different methodologies for understanding the full impacts of food systems (life-cycle analysis, ecological and social footprinting, contextual analysis, social return on investment, indicator reports). Students will work in teams to investigate a reform strategy that especially interests them, applying an analytical frame and critiquing its usefulness. The course will include at least one Saturday field trip to visit sites that are implementing food system reforms. Level: Intermediate. Class limit 20. Lab fee $20. *HS*
HS781Tutorial: Reading and Writing Chinese Characters
This tutorial is a basic introduction to reading and writing Chinese characters and using Chinese dictionaries. Students will have weekly writing assignments in order to become familiar with several hundred characters. By the end of the term students should be able to use dictionaries to compose rough translations of some classic texts and poetry. Though the tutorial can be taken for its own sake, it provides good preparation for the tutorial "Classical Chinese through Poetry".
HS782Tutorial: Advanced Seminar in Human Ecology
The purpose of this tutorial is to review the many uses of the term ?human ecology?. It begins with an historical review of the academic and intellectual origins of human ecology. From these foundations, we proceed through the development of more interdisciplinary approaches to human ecology --- working with primary source materials (e.g., books, articles, position papers, academic program descriptions and related documents). We will further explore the activities of various regional, national and international associations and the aims of leading educational institutions. Assignments and discussions will revolve around several current problems that face human ecology. In particular, we will focus on: various theoretical controversies within and between biological and human ecology; issues and proposed methods of inter-disciplinary problem-solving, planning and application; and the growth of professional opportunities in human ecology worldwide. Evaluations will be based on careful reading and review of assigned materials, participation in discussions, individual papers and a collaborative group project. Level: Advanced; Permission of instructor required; Class limit: 3 Permission of instructor required.
HS783Tutorial: Evolving Narrative
This advanced tutorial continues work done in "Starting Your Novel" and/or previous fiction tutorials: intensive in-class attention to narrative issues of detail, viewpoint, time & tense, continuity, language, plot and character development, endings and overall design related to reader response. All work is thoroughly discussed in the context of narrative aesthetics in extended weekly small-group sessions; students are expected to write 8-15 pages a week of new material and to provide a revised and edited copy for evaluation at the end. Level: Advanced. Prerequisite: Starting Your Novel. Instructor permission required. Level: Advanced Limit: 5
Climate change is one of the largest and most difficult challenges faced by contemporary societies. The challenge has multiple facets: environmental, social, political, economic - each with its own complexities. This course focuses primarily on the social, political and economic components of the climate problem, framed by the concept of climate justice. In the introductory section of the course students are introduced to basic conceptions of justice, the latest findings of climate science and possible impacts on regional scales, as well as the ongoing intergovernmental climate negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The main body of the course is dedicated to understanding the concept and implementation of climate justice: how the costs of climate change impacts and efforts to address climate change could or should be distributed between rich and poor, global north and global south, and what are the possible means whereby those costs might be collectively addressed through an intergovernmental agreement. Students will be evaluated based on regular quizzes, several short papers, class participation, and a final synthetic paper or project. Level: Introductory. Lab fee: $10. *HS*
Are we approaching a point of radical change in human history in which exponential technological change will result in a "singularity", a transformation so rapid and fundamental that we will not be able to comprehend it? What will be the principal features of life on Earth in the mid-future - 20 to 40 years from now - and how should we best plan to deal with them? To what extent will they be the result of unavoidable historical trends, human planning and invention, or random contingencies? What skills and methods can we learn to imagine the future, invent it, predict it, plan for it and/or cope with it? This is an advanced course in human ecology that will adopt a very interdisciplinary approach. It will include readings in public policy by social scientists and futurists like Ray Kurzweil, Alvin Toffler, Otto Scharmer and James Martin as well as works in fiction and film. Classes will combine a seminar format for critical discussions of readings with exercises in using different methods for dealing with the future. These will include a weekend workshop in futures invention using methods developed by Warren Ziegler and Elise Boulding. This workshop will be open to public participation. Members of the COA community interested in renewing the College curriculum are especially encouraged to participate. Students will be expected to take part in leading seminar sessions, develop reports on alternative approaches to dealing with the future and visions of it, and do a major final project. The final project should a vision/description of some key features of a desired, possible future and strategies for promoting it. It may use interdisciplinary theories, predictive models, narrative, visual art or other creative approaches to developing it. Standards of evaluation will presume intermediate to advanced levels of competency in the disciplines used in the final project. There will be a weekly lab session. Level: Advanced. Pre-requisites: Signature of instr
Business, like all disciplines, has its own language. Being able to speak the language of business is critical for activists, social entrepreneurs and business owners alike. Financial statements are a key component of this language. These statements measure the fiscal health of both non-profit and for-profit organizations. They provide insight into all areas of the company. They are a powerful tool for determining investments, competitive positioning and have extraordinary impacts on all of an organization's stakeholders. Unfortunately, most people, including many who run a wide variety of organizations, fail to grasp this language. In doing so, they undermine their organization's opportunity for success, as well as create obstacles to using business as a means of social change. Without guidance, looking at these financial statements is similar to examining hieroglyphics for the first time. Starting from a basic level and layering in complexity, the course will seek to demystify these statements in a way that is informative and unintimidating. In addition, time will be spent advancing students' understanding and familiarity with spreadsheets. Topics of the course will include: Creating and analyzing cash flow statements, profit and loss statements, balance sheets, as well as common sized income statements; Differentiating between each type of financial statement; Relating these statements to each other, tying them together and varying statements depending on business models; Comparing non-profit and for-profit financial statements and approaches; Examining key financial ratios and how they are different for different businesses; and Spreadsheet management and design. By the end of the class students will create their own financial statements and analyze a business through various financial statements. This class is positioned within the business program to provide the students' skills for business plan projections, exploring investing, general management, lead
HS791Classic Shorts: What's on our Plates
Questions of appetite. Questions of sustenance. Questions of nurturing. What's on our plates is"inevitably" filled with such questions, with food as primary source and sensual delight, with food as geography and climate, culture and economy, fact and metaphor. The short-story writer who includes anything about what's on our plates also invites us to consider food memories and associations of every kind: where our food comes from, who prepares it and how, who we do or don't share it with, what grows where in a season of bounty, what?s absent in a time and place of deprivation, drought, violence. The stories we'll read include a devastating announcement at a family luncheon in Brazil, the diets of a fat girl who hungers for love, what?s on the menu at a backyard restaurant in a mid-level Haitian slum, a journey to a shrimp shack south (south!) of New Orleans, a roof-top job for a California grocery store, an anorexic's visit to a hammam in Paris, the slaughtering of a pig post-Chernobyl, and a monkey in an Argentinean kitchen. Our focus on this genre -- the one William Trevor calls "the art of the glimpse" -- will also provide many different tastes of how writers develop a scene, simmer a metaphor, and serve us as readers discovering and naming some of fiction's truths. Please come prepared to read closely, discuss openly, and experiment in the art of the glimpse. Critical inquiries, midterm conference, and final paper (original short-story option encouraged) required. Level: Introductory/intermediate. Class size: 15.
HS795Advanced Seminar in Economics: Globalization
This seminar will use the topic of economic globalization as a context in which to learn, tinker with, and critique a wide range of microeconomic, macroeconomic, and economic development theories, models, and empirical evidence. There is no general economic theory of globalization, so our coverage will necessarily be eclectic, selective, and largely based on student interests. As a departure point for using economics to explore the contours of globalization, we will employ a rubric encompassing five themes: 1) fundamental processes (such as economic growth and population dynamics) that lead to economic globalization; 2) studies of the flows of economic inputs and products (addressing capital flows and controls, migration and remittances, international commodity markets, and trade and trade imbalances); 3) the institutions and governance that influence economic globalization (such as pre- and post-colonial institutions, corporate structure and governance, and the roles of the IMF and WTO); 4) inequality (addressing global class structure, foreign aid and sovereign debt, and gender issues); and 5) crises (currency crises and contagion, the recent financial crisis). Evaluation will be based on participation in extensive discussions in and out of the classroom, submission of pr?s and problem sets, and a synthetic capstone essay. Level: Advanced. Prerequisites: courses in intermediate economics and international issues or equivalent, and permission of instructor. *HS*
HS799Tutorial: Classical Chinese through Poetry
The learning of classical Chinese is the key to thousands of years of Chinese literature. One of the richest and most enjoyable approaches to the classical language - which is very different from the Chinese spoken language - is through China?s long poetical tradition. This tutorial serves as a basic introduction to the reading and writing of characters and the language patterns and structures most commonly used. Pass/fail grade option required. Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisite: Reading and Writing Chinese Characters. Class limit: 5
HS802Themes in East-West Philosophy
The philosophies of Eastern and Western cultures have many themes in common though their methods of approach and conceptual terminology are often far apart. This seminar explores some elements in the works of Meister Eckhart, Heidegger, Wittgenstein and Derrida that seem to overlap with various themes in Hinduism and Buddhism such as the nature and existence of the Self and the limits of language. Evaluation based on a final paper and seminar participation. Level: Advanced. Prerequisites: two philosophy courses or permission of instructor. Class limit: 15. *HS*
HS804Challenges from Asia: China, India and Japan
This is a reading course that will culminate with a trip to the annual foreign affairs conference in Camden (Feb 18-20.). The conference features experts from all over the world talking on a range of topics connected with US relations with China, India and Japan. The course is based on the assumption that no understanding of the foreign relations among these countries and the US, the rest of Asia and elsewhere in the world can be achieved without a serious consideration of the changing social, political and economic situations within the three countries. Students will come to this class with different levels of knowledge and experience of these subjects, some with very little information on these countries. Basic background reading on China, Japan and India will expand to more specific questions on inter-country relationships and US Foreign policy. Evaluation: Students will be asked to participate and lead discussions based on specific questions that will be given to them for each class (the material will come from the extensive readings they are required to do). In addition, students will be asked to write a paper on one of the themes in the conference (to be submitted at the end of the course). They will also be asked to write an evaluation of the Camden Conference: in specific how and why how it expanded (or did not expand) their understanding of the subject. Level: Advanced. Class limit: 10. Lab fee: $100
HS810Nature of Narrative II
This is an advanced course in which students practice the human ecology of literary analysis. We explore the "mind" or consciousness of twentieth and twenty-first-century fictional writing (specifically, novels) by looking at how narratives make meaning, and at how we make meaning from narratives. The course accomplishes this by surveying some of the best and most challenging works of modern fiction, with a particular focus on those novels that highlight narrative technique, stretch the boundaries of the imagination, have a rich and deep texture, and push against the limitations of prose fictional textuality. Students will hone their reading and analytic skills by working closely with texts that broke new literary ground. Authors will include several of the following: Virginia Woolf, William Faulkner, Djuna Barnes, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Toni Morrison, Manuel Puig, Italo Calvino, Clarice Lispector, Ishmael Reed, H?ne Cixous, Gerald Vizenor, Jeanette Winterson, Julio Cortazar, as well as others. We will also study some narrative and novel theory. Evaluation will be based on class participation, frequent short response and passage analysis papers, and an independent theory-based research and novel project. Level: Advanced. Permission of instructor required. Class limit: 12 *HS* *WF*
HS811Hunger, Food Security and Food Sovereignty
Meeting future food needs has risen to the top of the global agenda since 2008, when sudden surges in the cost of staple foods led to riots in many countries and an increase to over one billion people worldwide who could not access enough food for a healthy diet. This course will examine food crises and famines in history and today: what caused historical famines, and what is causing more recent price volatility? What is different about today's food crises? What measures have been proposed to reduce the number of hungry and feed insecure people, and how effective are they? How do we know? This will be a service learning class, in which each student will choose an organization that is trying to tackle hunger and food insecurity with which to serve. We will be working carefully with host organizations to ensure that students are able to contribute meaningfully and learn from their contributions. Evaluation will be based on class participation, a service-learning project, and regular reflection papers. Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: None. Lab fee: $50. Class limit: 16. *HS*
HS815Tutorial: Classical Chinese through Poetry II
The learning of classical Chinese is the key to thousands of years of Chinese literature. One of the richest and most enjoyable approaches to the classical language - which is very different from the Chinese spoken language - is through China's long poetical tradition. This tutorial serves as a basic introduction to the reading and writing of characters and the language patterns and structures most commonly used. This is a continuation of Classical Chinese through Poetry and students must have taken the first section in order to register for this tutorial. Level: Advanced. Prerequisite: Classical Chinese through Poetry. Class limit: 5
HS816Feminism and Fundamentalism
Feminism and Fundamentalism is a seminar in which principal issues surrounding the impacts of extreme religious conservatism on the power and status of women, and the reactions against this of women seeking to establish their own rights in society, are considered. The topic is relevant to all religions and all countries. Assigned reading includes much material on Islam and Hinduism. However, students will read about Christianity and Judaism as well and may choose to do their papers on any country and any religion. Level: Intermediate. Class limit: 15. *HS*
HS821International Financial Institutions
International financial institutions (IFI) such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the regional development banks mobilize significant resources for both public and private sector investment in developing countries. Beyond this central role in lending and grant making to developing countries, the Global Environment Facility of the World Bank serves as the financial mechanism for major environmental treaties, including the Convention on Biological Diversity and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. What exactly are these institutions - how do they operate and who controls them? Why were they created and how have they come to be so powerful? The course will examine the history of the institutions, their governance structures, and their mechanisms of operation. Special attention will be paid to their role in the debt crisis and the subsequent era of structural adjustment lending, civil society critiques of the environmental and social impacts of bank lending, and the role and operation of the Global Environment Facility as financial mechanism for the environmental conventions. Readings will include primary documents of the IFIs themselves as well as decisions of the governing bodies of the UN conventions. We will also read both academic and civil society analyses and critiques of IFI lending. Evaluation will be based on class discussion as well as several problem sets assigned throughout the term and a final analytical paper. Level: Intermediate/advanced. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Students should have course background in international politics and/or economics. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: $10. *HS*
HS823Tutorial: Selected Themes in Ecological Economics
This advanced tutorial explores selected themes in ecological economics, which is both the economics of sustainability as well as a paradigmatic approach distinct from the mainstream neoclassical approach to the study of economic activity. We will use the first several weeks of the term to define and outline ecological economics. We will use the remainder of the term to explore topics of student interest, focusing on three to five major themes; possible themes include methodological issues (post-normal science, transdisciplinarity), biophysical constraints to economic growth (entropy, technological pessimism, capital substitution, critical natural capital), sociocultural impacts of economic growth (consumption, happiness studies), energy and resource flow analysis (entropy), measurement issues (growth versus development, ecological footprint, Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare), institutional arrangements (biodiversity protection, climate change economics), trade and development (embodied trade, pollution havens), community sustainability (philosophical issues (Buddhist economics, homo economicus), and historical issues of sustainability (Malthusian perspectives, Jevon's Paradox). Evaluation will be via a "gateway" exam at the end of the introductory phase, article pr's, and a final poster presentation. Level: Advanced. Prerequisites: one term intermediate economics and instructor permission; students will be expected to come to the tutorial with a firm grasp of neoclassical methods and assumptions. Class limit: 5. Lab fee: none.
HS834Egypt: Political History and Modernization
This course will focus on the political history of modern Egypt primarily in the period of 1952 to the present. Students will study how the political culture and major political power structure changed as Egyptian society and polity modernized. The recent revolution and its aftermath will be analyzed in the context of the Inglehart modernization theory that all nations move towards demanding individual rights and autonomy as their economy grows and society modernizes. In pursuing this question, students will consider the persistent effects of colonialism and neocolonialism, the importance of culture and religion, the results of mass education, the spread of advanced technology and the impact of globalization. Students will also consider the ways in which popular demands are expressed -and heard - in Egypt and the extent to which women and minorities are able to fully participate in the political process. Each class will include a short lecture and student-led discussion. Evaluation will be based on two short papers, a take-home final, and discussion leadership, participation, and presentation of individual research. Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: none. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: none. *HS*
HS836Tutorial: Contemporary Poetry
HS840Tutorial: Narrative Fiction and Non-fiction
HS841Tutorial: Possible Future Paradigms
This tutorial explore the possibilities for very deep change in humanity?s framework for understanding and existing in the world. What are alternatives to the dominant paradigms of today and how can we best understand these alternatives? What might life on earth might be like in the near future? How will people live? How will people think? How will people organize themselves? Who will have power? What will we value? How and what will people eat and consume? How do paradigms shift? Will there even be a new dominant paradigm? How will we get there - by force or by choice? As the tutorial proceeds we will progressively focus the alternatives considered, the questions focused on and the ways in which they are dealt with based on student interest, findings in research and analysis we develop as a group. Members of the tutorial will meet weekly with the professor to discuss readings and short response papers. Mid-way through the term they will conduct interviews with an array of faculty and students. They will also aim to have a weekly open forum for discussion with members of the COA community at large, to provide wider perspective and more ideas. The final project will be for students to craft a large scale concept/idea map of the material encountered in the term which will include their own vision of a future world. Students will be evaluated on the extent to which their comments in discussion and in the weekly open forums, their response papers and their final projects demonstrate: a thorough and critical reading of texts; a progressively deeper grasp of the contents of the texts; the ability to articulate and analyze systems of ideas cogently; the ability to think creatively and concretely about alternative futures paradigms; the ability to write clear, effective, analytic texts; and an ability to design and pursue independent lines of inquiry and self-directed learning on their own.
HS845Redefining Food Systems Efficiency
"Efficiency" has been the driver and justification for agricultural innovation in industrialized societies, including the United States, over the past 60 years. Efficiency has meant in practice the replacement of human labor with synthetic chemicals, petroleum and mechanization. The results have been dramatic increases in production and productivity, but also massive displacement of the rural population to cities, the death of rural communities, environmental degradation, scale changes in agriculture, and growing contributions from agriculture to global environmental change. Thinking about "efficiency" in the long term, rather than with its common short-term meaning, would incorporate the full costs of agricultural practices, such as their impacts on the environment, animal welfare, rural communities, and the possibility of making a decent living as a farmer or wage worker in agriculture. This course will examine the most innovative practices in the Northeast that point toward long-term food system efficiency and sustainability. Participating students in Maine will examine the Northeastern food system and its current issues in depth through films, research and interviews with practicioners. Students will document what they learn and combine their interviews and documentation into the story of food system innovation in the Northeast. Course lectures will be videotaped for students in England and Germany who take the course through distance learning. COA students will interact with British and Germany students to allow comparisons of how young people in different industrialized countries think about sustainability and long-term efficiency in the food system, as well as comparisons of the actual practices and the level of innovation across countries and across food system sectors. Evaluation will be based on class participation, essays and assignments, and participation with students in England and Germany. Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisites: some expe
HS851Tutorial: Advanced Climate Policy
HS854Farms, Orchards and Cider: Agricultural History in England
This course will be an intensive field-based exploration in England of the history of English agriculture through the lens of the production, consumption and marketing of apples. Students will travel to England during winter break to learn about the changes in social, cultural and economic aspects of farming in England from Roman times to the present with an emphasis on the evolution of rural farms and landscapes. We will discuss land tenure, land use, labor practices, farming practices, and much more at sites throughout England as we think through what historical insights can tell us about the past, present and future of farming and the rural economy. Students will do exercises on landscape history, visit museums, farms, cider producers and research stations as well as meeting leading experts. The course will continue with a seminar during the winter term on campus in which students will pursue projects inspired by their experiences and learning in England. Student evaluation will be based on the participation in the field-based components of the class in England and the project-based learning back on campus. The course will include an English language immersion component. Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Program Fee: $1,200. Class limit: 12. *HS* *HY*
HS856Arguing over Slavery: Lincoln, Douglas & the Debates of 1858
Perhaps one of the most widely invoked figures in modern history, Abraham Lincoln is frequently written about, quoted, and held up as an iconic example in contemporary political discourse. His debates with Stephen Douglas over territorial policy and the extension of slavery have come to define a particular moment in American political and rhetorical history. Though many people have heard of the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858, very few people have read them, and even fewer still have a clear sense of what the debates were about in the first place. This is particularly unfortunate as a close reading of these texts reveals a much richer picture of the political climate leading up to the Civil War. This class is an intensive exploration into Lincoln?s political career in those years leading up to his presidency, the debates he engaged in with Douglas, the major issues involved, and the way we make sense of those events today. Students will explore Lincoln's activities as they relate to the issue of slavery, the death of the Whig party, and the ascendancy of the newly formed Republican Party. The first several weeks of the course will be dedicated to providing historical context to political climate of the antebellum period. We will then spend an extended period of time engaging in close argument and textual readings of each of the 1858 Senate debates between Lincoln and Douglas. Students will track the arguments as they evolve and devolve throughout the campaign. We will wrap up the term by analyzing what role these debates played in shaping Lincoln?s future political career. While the class will focus intensely on the political events of the 1850's, we will simultaneously track broader questions of political action in the context of a democratic society. When does the need to be a moral actor come into conflict with being a political actor? This course is intended for students with an interest in American political history, Constitutional law, rhetorical analysis,
HS857The United States in the 21st Century World: End of Empire?
This is a reading intensive course that is tied to the annual "Camden Conference" held in Camden, Maine. This three day conference brings in experts from all over the world to discuss a range of topics related to foreign policy, international relations, and diplomacy. Over the past several years, College of the Atlantic has developed a relationship with the conference that enables our students to engage the various events over the full three days. Every year highlights a particular theme, with a new set of focused panel discussions, speakers, and readings. The topic of this year's conference is "The U.S. in a 21st Century World: Do We Have What it Takes?" Some of the anticipated discussion sessions will involve the following questions: What will it take to be an economic superpower in the Twenty-First Century? What are the likely threats the U. S. will face in the Twenty-First Century? Does American society have what it takes to be a Twenty-First Century "world citizen?" Is the US still the "indispensible nation" to help resolve seemingly intractable problems? What skills will Americans need to remain competitive in the Twenty-First Century? How secure is the energy future of the U.S.? How does gridlock in Washington affect US foreign policy? What is the role of media in influencing foreign policy? This class is built to parallel the thematic cornerstones of this year's Camden topic. We will cover some of these topics in depth, leave off others, and add a few of our own. It is modeled as a reading intensive and discussion based seminar that will include works from both the conference reading list as well as supplemental works that I have added. The goals of the class are twofold. First, to prepare students to attend and play an active role in the conference (attendance is a requirement of the class) by providing them a background immersion in the topics that are at the center of this year's conference. Secondly, to assist students returning from the conferen
HS858Global Politics of Sustainable Development: 20 yrs after Rio
The Earth Summit that took place in Rio in 1992 defined the following two decades of global cooperation on environment and development issues. This course serves to review the history of those two decades and prepare students to be active participants in the UN review conference to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 2012. Students will read primary documents from the original conference and the 10-year review conference (the World Summit on Sustainable Development), and preparatory documents for the upcoming summit. They will examine positions of the main country blocs and the contributions of major UN specialized agencies (UN Food and Agriculture Organization, UN Development Program and UN Environment Program). A central axis for study and analysis of documents and positions will be the political economy of sustainable development. Evaluation will be based on class discussions, weekly written summaries of information contained in readings, and a final presentation or analytical paper on a topic of their choosing. Course level: Introductory/Intermediate. Prerequisites: none. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: none. *HS*
HS860Tutorial: Social Power and Identity Politics
This advanced tutorial explores the dynamics of power in relation to issues of age, class, gender, race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, language, disability, sexuality, and other social identities. In this reading and discussion-based seminar, we will consider these interactions in personal, institutional, and international spheres by looking at theoretical and empirical studies. For example, do men really have a greater desire for power? Is it possible to share power within a group? How do colonial legacies impact social relations in post-colonial states? Students will read historical, psychological, and sociological theory on patriarchy, identity politics, and neo-colonialism, and apply their understanding to current problems of social justice. Weekly seminars will provide opportunities for students to critically examine key texts and collectively construct understandings about the nature of power, identity development, and "culture wars." Evaluation will be based on class discussions, written responses to readings, case study research, and an independent or collaborative project of the student's choice. This tutorial will be of particular interest to students of social and political theory as well as those seeking to examine their personal relationship to power. Level: Advanced. Prerequisites: Prior coursework or independent reading in psychological/social/political theory recommended; permission of instructor. Class limit: 6. Lab fee: $30.
HS864Ethnography, Advocacy, and Ethics
This course considers how ethnographic research and writing can inform and, in turn, be informed by the work of advocacy. Starting from the premise that advocacy is something that we all do, in different ways and at different levels, we will consider what the tools of ethnography can provide us for both furthering, and also critically unpacking, our roles as advocates. We will also consider how we are often called upon to act as advocates through ethnographic fieldwork: to support one cause over another or take a position - even when it might be easier to look away. At the center of our inquiry will be questions of ethics. What does it mean to advocate responsibly and in an ethical manner? How can advocacy help us develop an informed, responsible ethnographic practice? How can ethnography help us understand the effects and (often unintended) consequences of advocacy projects? In addition to articles and primary sources, we will read full-length ethnographies that examine in detail different advocacy projects. Topics may include: health; human rights advocacy around minorities, culture, gender, and food; environmental advocacy; humanitarian and non-governmental interventions; political asylum; local advocacy projects in Maine and on MDI. This intermediate course is intended for students interested in critically examining the work of advocacy and ethnography and who are ready to read and engage intensively both in class and in their writing. Students will be evaluated on class participation and written assignments; there may also be a field component (to be determined in discussion with students). Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: none. Lab fee: none. Class limit: 15 *HS*
HS889Tutorial: Revisiting The Lakes and Ponds of Mt. Desert
"The Downeast Guide to the Lakes and Ponds of Mt. Desert" was published in 1989. Since that time, the use, physical aspects, and management of the water bodies have changed. In this tutorial, students will work with "Lakes and Ponds" author Bill Newlin and faculty member Ken Cline to update, revise, and see through to publication, a second edition of this definitive guide to the fresh water on Mt. Desert Island. Initial tasks will involve a careful review of the existing text to determine aspects that require updating. Students will then research specific lakes and ponds for new material or other information that reflects the changes that have occurred in the past 23 years. Students will document these changes in text, photography, cartography, or other artistic means depending on interest and ability. A significant amount of time will be devoted to coordination with the cartographer, the book designer, and others involved in the production and publication of the book. This tutorial will allow students both to learn about Mt. Desert Island and some of its most precious resources while refining research and writing skills as well as learn the organizational, planning, and collaborative skills necessary to publish a book. Students will be evaluated on contributions to the final volume, quality of research, timeliness of product, and collaborative effort.
Level: Advanced. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Class limit: 5. Lab fee: none.
HS897Tutorial: Economics of Cooperation, Networks & Trust
HS912Tutorial: FAO Committee on World Food Security
MD1012Farm to ForkFood is fundamental. Eating is a shared human experience, and carries meaning beyond mere survival. Our bodies, our communities, and our culture are formed as we eat. In addition, these relationships highlight systemic inequities and injustices. With this in mind, this course explored how we're fed. Engaging with various food production practices through site visits and daily farm chores provided a foundation from which to inform an examination of contemporary food systems, including their sociocultural, political, economic, and ecological assumptions and impact. In addition to critically analyzing current structures, envisioning and enacting more sustainable alternatives was also emphasized. Interactions with people at the forefront of efforts for change were central to elucidating these issues. Site visits included numerous small diversified farms, community gardens, educational farms, farmers markets, land-based aquaculture, and the largest blueberry production site in the U.S. In addition, course participants interacted with a number of speakers who shared their work related to food systems, including with migrant farm laborers, coordinating
gleanings networks, school gardens, food policy, community meals, and food sovereignty.
This intensive course included a diversity of educational modalities designed to encourage participants' holistic engagement with content, including connections to their everyday lives and possibilities for responsive action. Despite being based on a campus, the course was grounded in expeditionary learning principles. Active participation with learning activities and as members of the group-a collaborative learning community-was an essential component of this course. Course participants completed pre-course assignments that included a number of readings within food and agriculture studies, a film viewing, and two writing assignments (1. outlined their interest in the course and prior engagement with course themes and topics 2. research on their family's history with agriculture and their family's food culture). During the course, participants completed additional readings, wrote daily Synthesis Reflections, posited Daily Questions, completed mid-term and final evaluations of their participation and the course, worked together on a summative group project using food to communicate complex course themes, and put together a final presentation for the campus community and their families.
Level: Introductory. Prerequisites: none.
MD1013Introduction to Farm Animal Management
Level: Intermediate. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: $50. Meets the following degree requirements: HS ED
This Year's Courses
What's the schedule for this term? What's going to be offered next term? Find out more about this year's courses on the Registration page.