GEOS 470
Science for Environmental Justice
Last Offered Spring 2024
Division III Difference, Power, and Equity
This course is not offered in the current catalog

Class Details

Economically challenged communities and communities of color are disproportionately affected by environmental contamination and disturbance. Although environmental racism caused by industrial pollution has been made clear in scholarship for some time, the integrated stresses of climate change and industrial contamination are now triggering new challenges to life in underprivileged communities. Resolving environmental injustice will require meaningful engagement from scientists across a range of disciplines, from chemistry and the geosciences to ecology and public health. In this senior seminar, you will learn about the history of the environmental justice movement while examining how science has been used to address cases of environmental contamination and mismanagement. You can expect experiences in field data collection, laboratory analyses, and numerical modeling, skills that are required to assist communities suffering from environmental injustice. And we will work in partnership with residents of Tallevast, Florida, who have long suffered from the impacts of groundwater contamination and governmental neglect. This partnership will involve a residential field trip to Tallevast during spring break, where you will undertake an environmental study in support of the community.
The Class: Format: lecture/laboratory; Weekly lectures, paper discussions, and hands-on labs. Required week-long spring break field trip.
Limit: 12
Expected: 12
Class#: 3435
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: weekly lab exercises and seminar presentations; a research project; a final presentation; and a spring break field trip
Prerequisites: At least one 200-level Division III course and at least one 300-level Geosciences or Environmental Studies course or permission of instructor.
Enrollment Preferences: Fourth year, and then third year, Geosciences majors and Environmental Studies majors or concentrators
Unit Notes: As a 400-level seminar, this capstone course is intended to build and extend knowledge and skills that students have developed during previous courses in either the Geosciences or Environmental Studies majors.
Materials/Lab Fee: The spring break field trip is being funded by the Freeman Foote Field Trip Fund for the Sciences.
Distributions: Division III Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
GEOS 470 Division III
DPE Notes: The course will examine the history of the environmental justice movement, unraveling the roles of governmental neglect and complicity in fostering the harm of vulnerable communities. We will review strategies of collective action in fighting climate and environmental injustice and the complicated role that scientists have played in this pursuit. We will then leverage scientific skills and perspectives to imagine ways that scientists can become responsible agents of change.
Attributes: GEOS Group B Electives - Sediments + Life

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