Learn how to apply systems thinking to improve the environmental sustainability of food production systems.
This course will focus on the history of humankind’s relationship with the environment. We use the word “environment” to refer to the nonhuman components of the natural world.
This course will focus on the history of humankind’s relationship with the environment. We use the word “environment” to refer to the nonhuman components of the natural world. We will examine how environmental factors have shaped the development and growth of civilizations around the world and analyze how these civilizations have altered their environments in positive and negative ways. The course will be structured chronologically. Each unit will include representative primary-source documents that illustrate important overarching themes, such as how early humans adapted natural resources for new purposes, how the expansion of civilizations led to environmental changes, how the interaction between European explorers and Native Americans led to significant and unexpected environmental consequences, and how modern societies have responded to environmental problems that threaten the well-being of humans and the environment. By the end of the course, you will better understand the reciprocal relationship between human beings and the environment and how this relationship has evolved throughout human history.
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Define environmental history, and identify the relationship of environmental history with other disciplines and sub-disciplines.
- Think critically about the historical relationship between humans and the environment.
- Identify how early humans modified and adapted natural resources for agricultural and commercial purposes.
- Analyze how human settlements altered the environment, and evaluate how environmental factors shaped the growth of early civilizations.
- Evaluate how new agricultural and commercial practices altered the environment across the globe during the Middle Ages.
- Evaluate how the Columbian Exchange resulted in significant ecological and biological changes in Europe and the Americas and dramatically altered human societies on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
- Identify how environmental factors, such as disease and pollution, shaped political and social life across the globe in various historical times.
- Analyze the impact of industrialization on human society during the Modern Era, and evaluate how governmental and nongovernmental actors have attempted to ameliorate the negative environmental consequences of industrialization.
- Explain how technology and urbanization mediated interactions between humans and the environment historically and contemporarily.
- Identify current environmental challenges facing humanity, and analyze these challenges from a historical perspective.
- Explain how environmental consequences have been born unequally by different segments of society, such as classes, ethnicities, and races.
- Analyze and interpret primary and secondary source documents relating to environmental history using historical research methods.
More info: http://www.saylor.org/courses/hist364/