HIST  124  - Environmental History
Spring 2010

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Catalog Description: 
An introduction to environmental history, in the United States and globally, with an emphasis on changing attitudes toward the environment and the interaction between science and public policy.

Professor:  Dr.  Pamela Mack

Office: Hardin B-06, phone 656-5356, e-mail:
Office Hours: MWF 10-11, 12:15-12:30 and by appointment
class meetings: MWF
11:15-12:05, Hardin 100
Graduate Assistants:
Laptop Help:

Objectives:   Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:  

two in-class exams                       30%
quizzes                                         10%
discussion board                           10%
participation credits                       10%
argument paper                             25%
final exam                                      25%  
This adds up to 110 points.  I will automatically drop the quizzes, the discussion board, or the participation credits, whichever is lowest.  You must take the quizzes (though you can then drop your results if you wish), but you may if you wish simply skip either the discussion board or the participation credits.  However, your grade will benefit if you do all the types of assignments and drop the group you did worst on.  If you do all the assignments another alternative is that you  may, by request, count all three 10 point assignments and reduce the value of some other assignment by 10 points, for example, your argument paper could count 15% instead of 25%.

Attendance policy
:  5 absences allowed without penalty, 3 points off the final grade for the course for each additional absence.  Excuses will be accepted only for major problems; students are expected to use their allowed absences wisely to cover special activities, minor illnesses, and car problems. When an excused absence is requested the absence must be documented and beyond the student's control.  Note that filling out the online student notification of absence form is not enough to get an absence excused; you must also bring documentation to class.  Please speak to the professor if you have special circumstances affecting your attendance.  Lateness will be dealt with in the following way: no penalty for up to five minutes, one half absence after 5 minutes.  Students who converse or use computers or cell phones inappropriately (see below) during class will receive emailed warnings--every two warnings will be counted as one absence.  There will also be a one-half absence penalty for leaving early, unless you. speak to the professor in advance and have a good reason.  If the professor or a substitute does not arrive within 10 minutes of the scheduled starting time of the class students may leave.

Fairly detailed lecture notes for this class will be posted on the web (you will access them when they are posted by clicking on the lecture title in the schedule below).  Hopefully, you will find that this allows you to listen and think about the material presented in class rather than struggling to write down the details.  However, think about whether you are a person who doesn't remember something unless you write it down; you may decide that you need to take detailed notes yourself rather than simply annotate the notes posted on the web.   When you are listening to lectures concentrate on the ideas and connections presented; this course is not about learning a set of facts but about learning how to analyze the relationship between the environment and society.

Blackboard discussion questions will be posted on the Blackboard learning system most weeks, but you only need to respond to five (worth two points on your final grade each).  You must go to the discussion board for your group to find the questions (you will be assigned to one of four groups during the first full week of classes).  This is a required assignment for the course, rather like the journals some other courses assign, and your responses will be graded.  The goal of the Blackboard discussion is to allow more discussion of the reading and the lectures than is possible in class. You can read comments left by others and add your own for everyone to read. You will have two weeks to respond to post to each topic; messages posted after the closing deadline for that topic will get a zero.

Your participation in this system will be graded on the basis both of quality and quantity. Contributions to the internet discussion should be thoughtful comments on the reading and/or the professor's notes  and/or the comments of other students, at least 300 words (we will not grade ones that are shorter).  They must be your own work--cutting and pasting from other sources is cheating.  To get an A you need to say something new and worthwhile about the question (not just repeat what other students have said).  Your response should be organized and clearly written and should bring new information to the discussion.  Some of that new information can be personal experience, but some should be from outside sources, which should be listed.  Blackboard discussion grades will available on Blackboard before the middle of the term so that you can see how you are doing. Your grade for the Blackboard discussion board will be the average of your 5 highest grades for individual topics (there will be at least 10 topics).  You will get only one grade per topic.  Posts after the deadline for that topic will receive no credit.

will mostly be multiple choice tests based on the reading.  They will be posted on Blackboard Wed. at the end of class and are due by 11 am on Friday.  Quizzes are found by going into Blackboard and clicking on assignments and then on quizzes.  Multiple choice quizzes will be 10 questions each.  I want you to have plenty of time but I do want people to do the reading before taking the quiz, so you have one hour to do the quiz (which should take most people about 10 minutes).  Your grade will be lowered if you go over one hour. Your lowest quiz grade will be dropped if you do all 11.

Participation credits:
You can earn these credits in several different ways, all of which will be listed in the assignments section of Blackboard under participation credits.  You can attend a lecture approved by the professor (these will be listed in the syllabus as the semester goes along), turn in a write-up of the lecture, and get up to 2 points credit for each lecture write-up.  You can rent and view up a film listed under participation credits on Blackboard, write a critique of the film, and get up to 2 points credit for each one.  You may participate particularly actively in class discussion on a regular basis.    You can do a reading project, as assigned by the professor, and turn in a write up for up to two points.  These assignments will all be graded good/poor/no credit for 2, 1 or 0 points.  You may earn up to a total of 10 points from any combination of these activities.

Two in-class tests will be administered Feb. 10 and Mar. 24.  The final exam is scheduled for April 27 at 8 am. Both the in-class tests and the final will be essay tests and open books and notes will be permitted.  They may be written either on your laptop or on paper.  On the in-class tests you will write one essay of 600 to 1000 words from a choice of two questions.  There is advice on taking this kind of test at: and also here.  Makeup exams will be available only for students who have excused absences.  In other cases there will be a mechanism to get partial credit.

The argument paper will consist of a paper of about 4-6 pages that will take a stand on a controversial issue. Topic assignments will be posted at Argument paper assignment. The higher grades will go to papers that exhibit logical thinking, an analytical framework, specific evidence, the ability to inform and communicate, sound organization, and a concise and coherent argument. In this paper the premium will go to those that make a persuasive argument. This paper is due April 7.  Papers must be both handed in as a paper copy and also submitted via Blackboard to the Turnitin plagiarism detection system.  (This system does keep a copy of your paper--if you have a problem with that please speak to the professor.)  Late papers will be penalized two points if turned in after the end of class on the day due and an additional two points for each calendar day late.  Very late papers will be penalized no lower than a 65 if the paper merits at least a 75.

Academic Integrity:  As members of the Clemson University community, we have inherited Thomas Green Clemson's vision of this institution as a "high seminary of learning."  Fundamental to this vision is a mutual commitment to truthfulness, honor, and responsibility, without which we cannot earn the trust and respect of others.  Furthermore, we recognize that academic dishonesty detracts from the value of a Clemson degree.  Therefore, we shall not tolerate lying, cheating, or stealing in any form.  This includes representing someone else's work as your own or handing in the same paper to two different courses without permission of the instructors.  Be careful to avoid plagiarism--text you take from a web site, from a book, or from the online class notes must be either quoted with the source given or restated almost entirely in your own words, with the source given.

Laptops and other technology: Turn off sound in class or group situations.  The fundamental rule for laptops in this course is that you may use your laptop in class only for tasks directly related to this course.  In addition to tasks the professor asks you to do on your laptop you may use it to take notes, to view the course notes, or to browse to web sites related to the material being discussed in class.  Do not email, instant message, chat, do homework, download music, look at Facebook, or play games during class.  Students using their computers for non-class related purposes will receive a warning by email after class.  Every two warnings will count as one absence.  The same penalty will be applied to students who carry on conversations with other students, who text, or who listen to headphones.
  Cell phones should be turned off during class--it is not appropriate to leave the room in the middle of class to answer a phone call except in an emergency.

Portfolio: This course meets the Social Science and STS general education requirements, and so you should be putting essays that you write for this course in your general education portfolio.  Please put the following documents in the following sections of your portfolio:

Social and Cross-Cultural Awareness:
Section 1--methodologies: write a reflection here about the different approaches of the three different books (one of the discussion board assignments will probably cover this)
Section 2--causes and consequences: put your argument paper here

Mathematical, Scientific, and Technological Literacy
Section 5--sci. and tech. in society: put here one of your exam essays that you feel best reflects your understanding of the role of science and technology in society.

Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe, 900-1900, by Alfred W. Crosby (1993)  
Wilderness and the American Mind, by Roderick Nash (4th edition 2001)  
The Greening of a Nation? Environmentalism in the United States since 1945, by Hal K. Rothman.

Course Schedule:  
Jan.     6    course introduction
environmental history, definitions
History and ecology, read Crosby ch. 1 (prologue)
            11    PC: film showing:  "A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash" McKissick Theater, Hendrix Student Center, 6-8 pm
          13   Original nature, read Crosby ch. 2
          15   Expansion begins, read Crosby ch. 3, quiz 1 (survey) due by 11 am

Martin Luther King holiday
          20   Atlantic islands, read Crosby ch. 4
            21    PC: film showing: "Blood and Oil," McKissick Theater, Hendrix Student Center, 6-8 pm
          22   Out to Sea, Crosby ch. 5, quiz 2 (Crosby 1-4) due by 11 am

          25   Failed colonies, Crosby ch. 6, bb 1 & 2 due by 11 am
          27   Weeds, Crosby ch. 7, quiz 3 posted after class
          28   PC: lecture by Ms. Jennifer Luray on "Breast Cancer Advocacy: Now and in the Future," Brooks Theater, 7:30-9 pm
          29   Animals, Crosby ch. 8, quiz 3 (Crosby 5-7) due by 11 am

Feb.   1   disease, Crosby ch. 9,  bb3 due by 11 am
           1    PC: lecture by Marilee Utter on "Transit Oriented Development" Strom Thurmond Inst. Auditorium, 5:30-7 pm
New Zealand, Crosby ch. 10, quiz 4 posted after class
           5   Explanations, Crosby ch. 11, quiz 4 (Crosby 8-10) due by 11 am

Conclusions, Crosby ch. 12, bb4 due by 11 am
           8   PC: film showing "Food, Inc." McKissick Theater, Hendrix Student Center, 6-8 pm
In-class exam
11   PC: Teach-in on climate change, 11 am-4:30 pm. 
          12   Ideas about wilderness, Nash Introduction and prologue

Old world ideas, Nash chs. 1 and 2, bb5 due by 11 am
          16   PC: Lecture by John de Graaf on "From Material Affluence to Time Affluence," Strom Thurmond Inst. Auditorium, 3:00-4:30 pm.
Romantics, Nash ch. 3, first set of pcs due
Discovery of American Scenery, Nash ch. 4, quiz 5 (Nash introduction-3) due by 11 am

Thoreau, Nash ch. 5, bb6 due by 11 am
          24   Early Preservation, Nash ch. 6; Wilderness Preserved, Nash ch. 7, optional rewrite due
          25   PC: Film showing: HOME, McKissick Theater, Hendrix Student Center, 6-8 pm (or watch it here)
  Muir, Nash ch. 8 , quiz 6 (Nash 4-6) due by 11 am

Mar.    1    Wilderness as a Fad, Hetch Hetchy, Nash ch. 9-10, bb7 due by 11 am       
           3    Aldo Leopold, Nash ch. 11
           4    PC: lecture by Mr. Jay Smith on the future of newspapers, Brooks Theater, 7:30-9 pm
Permanent Preservation,  Nash ch. 12, quiz 7 (Nash 7-11) by 11 am

Philosophies, Nash ch. 13, bb8 due by 11 am
          10   Alaska, Nash ch. 14, Irony of Victory, Nash ch. 15, second set of pcs due
International issues, Nash ch. 16

          15-19   Spring Break

Review, Nash epilogue
in-class exam
          26   read Rothman introduction

read Rothman ch. 1, bb9 due by 11 am
            31   Rothman ch. 2 and U.S. Government structure pages 3-33
Apr.     2   Forest management case study, quiz 8 (Rothman intro-2) by 11 am
              2    PC: lecture by Prof. Allen Burton on "Assessing Aquatic Ecosystems," Strom Thurmond Inst Auditorium, 2:30 pm

Rothman ch. 3,  bb10 due by 11 am
Rothman ch. 4, argument paper due
           7  PC:
panel on assisted reproductive technologies, Tillman Hall Auditorium, 7 pm
           9  Rothman ch. 5, quiz 9 (Rothman 3-4) due by 11 am

Rothman ch. 6Oconee Nuclear case study
          14   Rothman ch. 7
          16   Rothman ch. 8, quiz 10 (Rothman 5-7) due by 11 am

Conclusion: Environmental Politics, bb11 due by 11 am, last day to hand in all pcs not due earlier
          21   Review
          23   optional review session (bring questions), quiz 11 (survey) due

Apr.   27   Final Exam
:    8:00 am - 10:30 am, Hardin 100