A look at important environmental issues

By Elijah Gere in News

October 20, 2011

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Photo courtesy of Google Images

Offering students an interdisciplinary and comprehensive look at today’s important environmental issues, the history of environmentalism and the sciences applied to it would be a lot to ask of one professor; that’s why the new Introduction to Environmental Studies class is being taught by three.

Introduction to Environmental Studies (ENVT101) is being taught by Dr. Bob Myers, Dr. Barrie Overton and Dr. Jeff Walsh. Having three professors allows for the class to be taught in three parts.

The first part deals with the history of environmentalism and is taught by Dr. Myers. The second part is taught by Dr. Overton, and deals with biology and chemistry . The third part focuses on activism and is taught by Dr. Jeff Walsh.

The class is intended for Environmental Studies minors, in order to allow them to incorporate it into their minor.

Having three professors allows students to get different perspectives on an issue that in itself is interdisciplinary according to Dr. Overton.

“We feel we’ve created a course that’s got something for everybody,” Dr. Overton said. In the class syllabus, an overview of the class be seen detailing the purposes and responsibilities of the class. The class is “an interdisciplinary attempt to understand how scientific and social/cultural factors interact to shape the relationship of humans to their environment.”

The class of 31 students is responsible for one main project throughout the semester in order to demonstrate what they’ve learned about each part of the class.

The main project, which is also the final project, consists of an annotated bibliography and then some form of document that serves to educate the public about an environmental issue.

“Part of environmentalism is always trying to educate people,” Dr. Myers said.

“It’s not this one-sided preachy class…. We’ve presented environmental studies with a lot of debates and a lot of focus on debates within the field,” he added.

The class came to exist out of an Environmental focus group in LHU that was formed four years ago in order to “make environmentalism a key part of Lock Haven.”

The group, which consists of students, faculty and administration, decided that one of the best ways to achieve their goal was to have an Environmental Studies minor and class.

The group’s vision is being realized as this December the first environmental studies minors will graduate.

The new class has certainly been a fun and important experience for Dr. Overton.

“It’s been a real nice collaborative project,” Dr. Overton said. “I’ve enjoyed being a part of this group.”

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