Courses & Resources

Selected Courses:

Environmental Politics Introduction to Environmental Politics*

This course introduces major concepts within environmental studies in order to provide a general understanding of environmental politics and policy in present-day American society. We focus first on the emergence of environmental thought in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, then examine major milestones such as the founding of the National Park Service, the Civilian Conservation Corps, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Then, after reviewing significant policy debates of the 1980’s, and 1990’s, we survey interdisciplinary approaches to climate change.  Throughout the course, we pay particular attention to the socio-economic forces and factors involved in the making of environmental problems and solutions, exploring how prevailing assumptions about government and markets shape environmental crises, policy responses, and the prospects for genuine progress.

* Offered each fall as foundational course for Environment & Society Minor

Thoreau in Our TimeThoreau in Our Time, 46.357

This course traces Henry David Thoreau's influence on major social and political transformations in American history from the abolitionist movement to the present.  We focus first on Thoreau's writings on slavery, commercial development, environmental history, and individual liberty.  Then we study his formative role in the civil rights and environmental movements of the twentieth century.  During the final weeks of the term, through a mix of outside speakers and student presentations, we explore how his writings continue to shape ongoing struggles to deal with climate change, advance social justice, and promote a greater sense of fairness in American life.  The course involves at least one trip to Walden Pond and a tour of Thoreau's birthplace in Concord, Massachusetts.

Selected Projects & Publications:


Mapping Thoreau CountryMapping Thoreau Country: Tracking Henry David Thoreau's Travels in Massachusetts
, a digital platform that uses historical maps and documents to organize, illustrate, and interpret Thoreau's extensive exploration of his home state.

Thoreau Fishing, NC Wyeth detail"Emancipation from the Invisible Hand: Thoreau's Economy of Living," Thoreau at Two Hundred, ed. Kristen Case and Kevin VanAnglen (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming), a reinterpretation of the role of classical political economy in the evolution of Thoreau's political thought.

 

Links:

UMass Lowell Course Pages

Higher Education’s Role in Adapting to a Changing Climate

National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE)

Climate Change (MA government)

Climate.gov (federal government)

Climate Literacy (NOAA)