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RE: Course files

Sounds like a good course.  Your background information and outline were   
extremely informative.  Good luck.

From:  Engel-Cox, Jill A[SMTP:ja.engelcox@pnl.gov]
Sent:  Monday, January 05, 1998 12:10 PM
To:  p2tech@great-lakes.net
Subject:  FW: Course files


A while back I sent a request out to all you P2 Tech'ers about what
environmental books that all environmental scientists and professionals
should have read.  I was designing a graduate level course for the
environmental science department at Washington State University,
Tri-Cities.  Your response was fantastic and I followed up on almost all
of the books suggested.

Since then, I have received multiple requests for my final list.  Below
is my course summary and reading list, for those interested.  Thank you,
everyone, for your help and sharing your knowledge.  Class starts next
week, so we'll see how it goes!

  Pollution Prevention Coordinator
  Battelle, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Popular Literature and the Environment
2 Credits, ES/RP 590

Ms. Jill A. Engel-Cox
Washington State University

Literature:  Writings in which ideas of permanent or universal interest
are expressed...  (Random House Word Menu, 1992)

To help the students become aware of how popular science and literature
influences environmental science, public opinion, regulations, and our
worldview on the environment.


Participation 25%
Essays (10)  50%
Final Paper  25%

Academic Integrity
As stated in the WSU Tri-Cities Student Handbook, "to maintain the
academic integrity of the [university] community, the university cannot
tolerate acts of academic dishonesty...  Washington State University
reserves the right and the power to discipline or to exclude students
who engage in academic dishonesty."  The Handbook defines academic
dishonesty to include "cheating, falsification, fabrication, multiple
submission, plagiarism, abuse of academic material, complicity, or
misconduct in research..."  Note that "multiple submission includes, but
is not limited to, submitting the same paper or oral report for credit
in two courses without the responsible instructors permission; making
minor revisions in a paper or report for which credit has already been
received and submitting it again as a new piece of work."  Furthermore,
"any  member of the University community who witnesses an apparent act
of academic dishonesty shall report the act either to the instructor
responsible for the course or activity or to the Office of Student
Affairs."  Any infractions will be addressed as per procedures specified
in the Handbook.

Reading List
A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There, Aldo Leopold, 1949
Silent Spring, Rachel Carson, 1962
Limits to Growth, Donella Meadows et al., 1972
Gaia, A New Look at Life on Earth, James Lovelock, 1979
Trashing the Planet, Dixie Lee Ray, 1990
Earth in the Balance, Al Gore, 1992
Our Stolen Future, Theo Colborn et al., 1996

Also, a set of essays and excerpts will be provided through the copy
center, and will include:
* "On the Checks to Population," William Forster Lloyd (1833)
* excerpts from Man and Nature , George Perkins Marsh (1864)
* excerpts from Tragedy of Waste ,  Stuart Chase (1928)
* excerpts from One Hundred Million Guinea Pigs , Arthur Kallet &
F.J. Schlink (1933)
* "Tragedy of the Commons," Garrett Hardin (1968)

Environmental science books written for the general literate public
synthesize medical, scientific, and technical research publications, in
order to focus this information on a single topic, usually to make a
statement or to expand awareness.  Unlike purely scientific
publications, these kinds of books present a big picture and include
opinion, politics, propaganda, warnings, and hope.  If the book or essay
captures the public interest, the public then influences and pressures
governments and private industry to respond with regulations, cleaner
operations, corporate accountability, and expanded research.  While most
people in the western world do not read or have access to large amounts
of technical work, these kinds of popular science books make the best
seller lists and can have a strong influence on how industry and
governments operate, as well as how we impact the environment.

Even given this influence, many environmental science and environmental
engineering students are not aware of the literature or of the quantity
of basic research and the social and political history behind our
current system of industry, regulations, and political and social
environmental movements.  An understanding of this history and knowledge
would give students a context in which to put their technical study,
work and profession.

The main structure of the course will be reading and discussion of a
selection of popular environmental science books.  Short lectures will
be given by the professor to discuss events happening before and after
the publication of the books, including environmental incidents,
political movements, enactment of legislation, and technology
development.  The bulk of class time will be for discussion by the

Reading will be intensive, with 7 books and a packet of essays covered
over a 16 week semester.  Preferably the class will meet once a week for
2 hours, which will allow for more in-depth discussion and conversation.
Students will be asked to prepare very short essays on each book, but
grading will primarily be on participation (both in reading and
discussion).  The class is meant to be a change for the students from
the technical homework-exam focused classes, since it will be structured
more like a liberal arts-style reading and discussion group.

The books and essays will be read chronologically to present a
historical view.  However, the discussion will focus on connecting the
books together in terms of concepts and contexts, as well as linking
them to events in history.    Some examples, but certainly not all,
 * Conservation writers in 1800s leading to development of
the national park system
 * Silent Spring, industry's attempt to discredit Rachel
Carson's work, and the enactment of regulations on pesticides and other
 * Limits to Growth and the oil shortage leading to energy
 * Writings on atmospheric concerns, including Earth in the
Balance, and the banning of CFCs
 * Our Stolen Future and the influence of reproductive
inhibitors, and potential future regulation
 * Comparison of Silent Spring to Our Stolen Future and
regulation of hazardous chemicals based on human and animal health
 * Comparison of Earth in the Balance and Trashing the
Planet, including the effect of the environment on elections and
 * The backlash against the environmental movement
(Trashing the Planet) and the debates on scientific studies for such
issues as the ozone hole
 * Modeling of systems, such as Limits to Growth and
"Tragedy of the Commons," and when and why they did or did not come to

Pre-World War II (1800s-1940)
 Effects of industrial revolution
 Conservation movement
 Early consumer products and their impact

Post WWII (1945-1962)
 Expansion of chemical industry and consumer products
 Increased environmental impact

Post-Rachel Carson (1962-1980)
 Realization of impact of chemicals on the environment and humans
 Awareness of limited resources
 Major environmental regulations (Clean Air and Water Acts, RCRA,
 Atmospheric impact  and long term global climate change
 Recycling and other grassroots movements

Current (1980-Present)
 Backlash to environmental movement
 Impacts of long-term on reproduction and intelligence (not just
 Systemic solutions such as industrial ecology, reduced
consumption, etc.
 Global environmental issues

The class should result in the students having a greater awareness of
the history and controversy of environmental science.  They should
become more comfortable thinking critically and discussing these issues
with others.