HIST 333

The Greening of America: Environmental History since 1900

4 Undergraduate credits
Effective January 25, 2000 – Present

Graduation requirements this course fulfills

This course surveys the history of environmentalism in America over the last 100 years. Students are introduced to the ideas of the environmentalists-from Theodore Roosevelt and Rachel Carson to EarthFirst!'s Dave Foreman and Vice President Al Gore-about wilderness preservation, resource conservation, public health and, fundamentally, about the proper relationship between humans and the natural world. Environmentalist thought and actions are considered in the context of ecological and resource crises (such as the Dust Bowl of the 1930s and the oil crisis of the 1970s), of problems created by technological applications (such as the widespread use of DDT) and of particular cultural developments (such as the closing of the "frontier" at the turn of the century and the growth of the counterculture in the 1960s).

Prerequisites

Learning outcomes

General

  • Can evaluate current and past environmental controversies and understand them in an historical context, consistent with the analytical and expressive complexity and sophistication that are distinctively characteristic of upper-division courses completed at a comprehensive university.
  • Can identify key people in the history of the environmental movement, consistent with the analytical and expressive complexity and sophistication that are distinctively characteristic of upper-division courses completed at a comprehensive university.
  • Knows about key controversies in the history of the American environment, consistent with the analytical and expressive complexity and sophistication that are distinctively characteristic of upper-division courses completed at a comprehensive university.
  • Understands concerns of environmentalists as well as the criticisms of them by those, within and without the environmental movement, who disagree with them, consistent with the analytical and expressive complexity and sophistication that are distinctively characteristic of upper-division courses completed at a comprehensive university.

Minnesota Transfer Curriculum

Goal 5: History and the Social and Behavioral Sciences

  • Employ the methods and data that historians and social and behavioral scientists use to investigate the human condition.
  • Examine social institutions and processes across a range of historical periods and cultures.
  • Use and critique alternative explanatory systems or theories.
  • Develop and communicate alternative explanations or solutions for contemporary social issues.

Goal 10: People and the Environment

  • Explain the basic structure and function of various natural ecosystems and of human adaptive strategies within those systems.
  • Discern patterns and interrelationships of bio-physical and socio-cultural systems.
  • Describe the basic institutional arrangements (social, legal, political, economic, religious) that are evolving to deal with environmental and natural resource challenges.
  • Evaluate critically environmental and natural resource issues in light of understandings about interrelationships, ecosystems, and institutions.
  • Propose and assess alternative solutions to environmental problems.
  • Articulate and defend the actions they would take on various environmental issues.