HIST-240 : Environmental History of North America

Course Information

Course, prefix, number, & title: HIST-240 Environmental History of North America

Hours (Class, recitation, Laboratory, studio): 3

Credits: 3

Pre-requisites (if any): ENGL-101

Co-requisites (if any): ENGL-101

Course Description in college catalog:

This course explores how human relations with the nonhuman world—including land, plants, water, wildlife, minerals, and disease—have helped inform, mediate, and shape broader social, political, economic, and cultural developments in North America and the United States from the pre-contact period to the recent past. The course examines the multiple ways in which human understandings, manipulations, and uses of the non-human, “natural” world—often resulting in unintended yet damaging consequences—have helped effect historical change over space and time. 

Academic programs for which this course serves as a requirement or an elective:

A.A. Liberal Arts and Sciences

A.S. Liberal Arts and Sciences (Mathematics and Science)

General Education Outcomes: Below is a listing of General Education Outcome(s) that this course supports.

  1. Communicate effectively in various forms

  2. Use analytical reasoning to identify issues or problems and evaluate evidence in order to make informed decisions

Course-specific student learning outcomes:

1. Students will critically evaluate historical evidence related to the evolving relationships between human beings and the nonhuman world in North America and the United States from the pre-contact period to the present.

a. Differentiate between primary and secondary historical source material.

b. Identify how historical moments shape perspectives.

2. Students will identify and explain the cause and effect relationships surrounding environmental change in North America and the United States from the pre-contact period to the present.

a. Define difference between cause and effect.

b. Identify relationships between specific historical causes and effects.

3. Students will identify and evaluate the major social, cultural, political, and economic causes and effects of environmental change in North America and the United States from the pre-contact period to the present.

a. Define difference between different kinds of change in society.

b. Provide examples of both change and continuity over time in social, political, economic, and cultural history and its relationship to environmental and health issues in the United States over the past five centuries.

c. Evaluate different significance of different types of change.

Program-specific outcomes

FLEXIBLE CORE 2B U.S. Experience in its Diversity Outcomes:

Identify and apply the fundamental concepts and methods of a discipline or interdisciplinary field exploring the

U.S. experience in its diversity, including, but not limited to, anthropology, communications, cultural studies, economics, history, political science, psychology, public affairs, sociology, and U.S. literature.

Analyze and explain one or more major themes in the Environmental History of North America from more than one informed perspective.

Evaluate how human relations with the non-human world have helped shape the development of societies, cultures, politics, and economies in Pre-Contact and Colonial North America and the United States.

Explain and evaluate the persistent tension between economic development and environmental protection that has been at the heart of debates about the human place in nature in the United States.

Identify and differentiate among the conservation, preservation, environmental, and other movements concerned with natural resource use and protection in United States History.

Analyze and discuss the intersection of environmental politics with race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, belief, or other forms of social differentiation in United States History.

Other program outcomes (if applicable).

  1. Integrate knowledge and skills in the program of study

  2. Make ethical judgments while recognizing multiple perspectives, as appropriate in the program of study

  3. Work collaboratively to accomplish learning objectives

Methods by which student learning will be assessed and evaluated; describe the types of methods to be employed; note whether certain methods are required for all sections:

Essay Exams, Reading Quizzes, In-Class Writing and In-Class Discussion

Academic Integrity policy (department or College):
Academic honesty is expected of all students. Any violation of academic integrity is taken extremely seriously. All assignments and projects must be the original work of the student or teammates. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Any questions regarding academic integrity should be brought to the attention of the instructor. The following is the Queensborough Community College Policy on Academic Integrity: "It is the official policy of the College that all acts or attempted acts that are violations of Academic Integrity be reported to the Office of Student Affairs. At the faculty member's discretion and with the concurrence of the student or students involved, some cases though reported to the Office of Student Affairs may be resolved within the confines of the course and department. The instructor has the authority to adjust the offender's grade as deemed appropriate, including assigning an F to the assignment or exercise or, in more serious cases, an F to the student for the entire course." Read the University's policy on Academic Integrity opens in a new window(PDF).

Any student who feels that he or she may need an accommodation based upon the impact of a disability should contact the Office of Accessibility Services in Science Building, Room S-132, 718-631-6257, to coordinate reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities. You can visit the Office of Accessibility Services website.

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