HSCI1585: Mammoths, Minerals, Monoculture: History of Earth and Environmental Science

3 CreditsFreshman SeminarHistorical Perspectives

This course investigates the many ways people across the globe have sought to understand the environment and the earth from antiquity to the present. We will study the context in which the modern earth and environmental sciences emerged, asking throughout the semester what knowledge traditions contributed to the development of the sciences we know today. We will investigate the historical perspectives that shaped three intersecting themes throughout the semester: the questions of geological time and of change in the study of the earth; human use of natural resources in industry and agriculture; and understandings of the earth and environment as a global system. We will examine secondary historical scholarship and primary sources from North and South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia in order to better understand the religious and philosophical stakes of earth and environmental science, the role of empire and state building in the development of geoscience, and the interrelationship of science and industry.

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All Instructors

B+ Average (3.336)Most Common: A (34%)

This total also includes data from semesters with unknown instructors.

164 students
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  • 4.43


  • 4.45


  • 3.93


  • 4.14



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