The UMass School of Earth & Sustainability is proud to offer undergraduate and graduate students a diversity of introductory and upper-level courses across multiple departments. Below is a sample of courses that will be offered within SES during the Fall 2020 semester. A full catalog of courses can be found in SPIRE and you can search for other sustainability courses ("GRN") under Class Attributes.
| Building and Construction Technology | Environmental Conservation | Environmental Science | Geography | Geology | Geosciences | Landscape Architecture | Microbiology | Natural Resources Conservation | Regonal Planning | Stockbridge School of Agriculture | Sustainable Communities
Building and Construction Technology
150 Sustainability in the Built Environment — Ben Weil
This course explores the issues of sustainability from the perspective of the built environment, our history of construction and expansion, and buildings and how they interact with the natural environment. Students will be exposed to issues of human impacts on natural systems through the built environment and the variety of disciplines that are working to create a more sustainable future.
304/597W Wood Properties — Alex Schreyer
Wood is an amazing building material: It is beautiful and warm to the touch. It is easy to machine and abundantly available. It is light, yet strong and stiff. And best of all: It comes from a renewable source. To build with wood, however, requires understanding its peculiarities: the variability of its properties, its interaction with water and the possibility of biodeterioration. This course introduces students to the physical and mechanical properties of wood. It provides an overview of wood-based products and exposes students to structural systems in wood. Basic techniques for physical measurement and mechanical testing are introduced by conducting and analyzing several laboratory experiments.
602 Analysis of Environmental Data — Michael Nelson
This course provides students with an understanding of basic statistical concepts critical to the proper use and understanding of statistics in ecology and conservation science and prepares students for subsequent ECO courses in ecological modeling. The lecture (required for all ECO Master's level graduate students) covers foundational concepts in statistical modeling (emphasis is on conceptual underpinnings of statistics not methodology, with a focus on defining statistical models and the major inference paradigms in use today), basic study design concepts (emphasis is on confronting practical issues associated with real-world ecological study designs and statistical modeling), and lays out the 'landscape' of statistical methods for ecological modeling; emphasis is on the conceptual underpinnings of statistical modeling instead of methodology, with a focus on defining.
610 Offshore Wind Energy – Technology, Resources, Grid Integration, and Trends — Dwayne Breger and Joshua Watson
Offshore wind farms are engineering projects, and it is vital for all professionals who work in the wind energy industry to have an understanding of the underlying science and engineering considerations which drive the siting of offshore wind farms. This course is designed for students without an engineering or scientific background, but provides the engineering context and basic scientific concepts to explain, among other things, the sources of wind energy, how wind turbines work, and why wind farms are sited where they are. The on-line course will consist of recorded lectures with slides, assigned readings, problem sets, and two exams. Students will engage with the instructor and fellow students through robust on-line discussion sessions and postings.
691E Seminar- Ecological Responses to Climate Change — Toni Lyn Morelli
This seminar will discuss recent and emerging topics of how climate change is impacting fish, wildlife and related natural resources. Students will become familiar with the latest literature and scientific approaches on ecological responses to climate change as well as management, conservation and adaptation strategies being implemented to decrease risk and vulnerability to climate and interactive stressors. Potential topics include climate niche, distribution and occupancy modeling, field surveys, and other techniques used to collect and analyze species responses to changing environmental conditions in terrestrial, aquatic and ocean ecosystems. This is a discussion based class; topics will be selected based on the specific interests of participants.
697DD Spatial Databases and Data Interoperability — Alexander Stepanov
This course will introduce students to modern approaches in working, managing and sharing geospatial data. The course focuses on exposing students to state-of-the-art practices in retrieving/selecting, aggregating, analyzing and processing geospatial data from multiple heterogeneous sources and technologies, such as relational databases (RDBMS), spatially enabled RDBMS, NoSQL databases, file-based databases, CAD, BIM, web-services, web-APIs, XML-based spatial data, GeoJSON, KML,cloud-based repositories and open data hubs.
697DL Sustainable Building & LEED Certification — Paul Wolff
The LEED Professional Credentials indicate professional excellence and a strong depth of knowledge as well as practical understanding of the LEED Rating Systems and how they apply to the high-performance design and construction of the built environment. Preparing to take the LEED Green Associate and AP exams requires more than taking one course; it is a process that involves acquisition of disciplinary knowledge and understanding of complex building and environmental systems. This course introduces core concepts of the USGBC LEED Rating Systems and assists students with study and preparation for the LEED Green Associate exam.
197D Foundations of Sustainability — Ezra Markowitz
Earn 2 academic credits while building foundational knowledge on issues of sustainability and explore how best to raise awareness among your peers. Eco-Rep is an academic course open to students of all interests and academic levels, focused on working toward environmental literacy and leadership within the program and on the campus at large.
213 Introduction to Environmental Policy — Anita Milman
An overview of the environmental policy process covering the roles of major players at community, state, and federal levels, and emphasizing the role of environmental science. Covers the major environmental laws and recent amendments, the role of policy analysis, and international environmental policy.
575 Environmental Soil Chemistry — Baoshan Xing
The course describes fundamental chemical concepts/processes in soils such as precipitation/dissolution, ion exchange, redox reactions, partitioning and adsorption, ion speciation, and the nature of soil minerals and organic matter. These concepts and computer models are used to examine some current environmental, agricultural and engineering problems. The course also addresses how the chemical processes affect fate, transport, and availability of conventional pollutants and contaminants of emerging concerns (e.g., antibiotics and nanomaterials) and nutrients in soils and other related terrestrial environments. Problem sets, quizzes, midterm, and final, scholarly review. Prerequisites: CHEM 111 & 112, PLSOIL 105 or consent of instructor. Also cross-listed as STOCKSCH 575.
102 Intro/Human Geography — Toby Applegate
A wide-ranging introduction to the ways people shape the world they live in. We will study the themes and concepts of human geography through the current issues and large questions which guide them. Lectures and reading will focus on the geographic aspects of cultural diversity, population issues, states vs. nations, the global economy, development, urbanization and the human transformation of the earth. We will cover major subdivisions of human geography including cultural geography, population geography, economic geography, social geography, urban geography and political geography. (Gen.Ed. SB, DG)
110 Global Environmental Change — Steven Petsch
The natural relationships between the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and lithosphere; human impact on the natural environment. Global environmental issues: global warming, sea-level rise, and ozone depletion in the stratosphere. Global changes of the past also studied to give perspective to forecasted changes. Includes writing exercises. (Gen.Ed. PS)
220 World Regional Geography — Toby Applegate
Survey of world physical and human geography, highlighting regional diversity and variation in globalization processes and outcomes. Introduces geographical theories, concepts, and methods while exploring nine major world regions. (GenEd SB, DG)
354 Climate Dynamics — Michael Rawlins
This course examines fundamentals of the earth’s energy balance, the general circulation of the atmosphere and oceans, and the hydrological cycle. It explores the physical basis behind climate change and its effects on society. By the completion of this course students will understand the origin, composition, and structure of the atmosphere and oceans. The course is divided into a series of concept modules and associated learning objectives that are observable and measurable. By completion students will have improved their ability to analyze statistical data and gained skills in the interpretation and creation of multivariate graphs. They will be proficient in communicating new research findings on climate variability and change to diverse audiences.
Prerequisites: GEOG-110 and PHY-131. Lecture; 3 credits.
372 Urban Issues — Piper Gaubatz
This course addresses the challenges faced by 21st-century cities as the world's population becomes increasingly urbanized. These challenges are grouped in five themes: water, land, air, built environment and community. The course takes an integrative, geographical, case-study based approach in its exploration of the linkages between these issues and the physical, social, cultural, economic and political aspects of today's rapidly changing cities. Case studies emphasize, but are not limited to, the experiences of cities in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, where most of the world?s urbanization is taking place today. Course topics vary by year in response to current events but usually include issues such as the privatization of drinking water provision, impacts of natural disasters, brownfields and blighted neighborhoods, air pollution, transportation planning, squatter settlements, and environmental and social justice issues.
397S/697S Environmental Geography and Sustainability — Britt Crow-Miller
This course provides a critical exploration of the fundamental interrelations among human systems and the natural environment. We take as our focus a handful of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to examine the two-way interplay between environmental factors and issues related to poverty, hunger and food systems, gender equality, urbanization, inequality, and economic and socio-cultural change. The course enables students to consider major challenges related to the environment and sustainability at multiple scales, from the local and regional to the global.
426 Remote Sensing & Image Inter (626) — Qian Yu
This course introduces the principles of digital image analysis for interpreting remotely sensed data for environmental, resource and urban studies. Emphasis will be given to the processing and information extraction from optical and thermal imagery.
497P Political Ecology — Eric Thomas
Economic globalization, environmental degradation, and climate change are reshaping the world in which we live. The tenuous, constructed boundaries between “nature” and “culture” now appear more porous than ever as we grapple with rapid changes to our planet. In this course, we will explore the geographic, historical, political, economic, and cultural dimensions of these challenges. Through case studies from different world regions, we will critically examine issues including, but not limited to, deforestation, pollution, wildlife conservation, and sustainable food production.
592M Computer Mapping (352) — Don Sluter
Mapping projects through the use of software mapping packages. Students select their own final projects.
593G Intro to GIS (NRC 585/PPA 697B) — Forrest Bowlick
The goals of this course are to teach you basic GIS concepts such as spatial data sources and structures, projections and coordinate systems, geospatial analysis, cartographic modeling, and the integration of remote sensing and GIS. By the end of the course, students will be proficient in ESRI ArcGIS software.
491P/691P GIS Programming — Seda Şalap-Ayça
This course will cover a number of programming methods and applications in GIS. Beginning in the (familiar) ArcGIS environment, this course will explore the fundamentals of programming in Python while learning the Model Builder interface. By exploring basic automation methods of repetitive or complex tasks, this course will also introduce foundations of computer science and computational thinking. After gaining proficiency in Model Builder, this course will expand to other python scripting applications, both within ArcGIS and in other platforms. By exploring many applications of programming to advance GIS analysis and improve workflows, students will build a strong base of knowledge and capacity for future learning and flexibility with programming in GIS.
493S/693S Spatial Decision Making and Support — Seda Şalap-Ayça
This course is aimed at students who have a foundation in basic GIS techniques and applications and are interested in expanding their knowledge into their area of spatial decision making and visualization of the decision maps. We will start with the linkage between GIScience, spatial analysis, and decision support. We will then discuss different decision-making techniques and highlight the important distinction between conventional MCDA methods and spatially explicitly multicriteria approaches. An overview of handling spatial uncertainty as well as sensitivity analysis will be discussed. The course will also introduce Python scripting for geoprocessing as a flexible approach for the development of spatial decision-making models.
101 The Earth — Bill Clement
Nature and origin of the earth; volcanism; minerals and rocks; earthquakes; plate tectonics; mountain belts; geologic time scales; wave, river, glacial, and wind action in the modification of landscape and atmosphere; the asteroid impact hypotheses; the genesis of non-renewable resources, the geologic basis for environmental decision making. Field excursions. (Gen.Ed. PS). There is also an Honors section Geol H101.
103 Intro Oceanography — R. Mark Leckie
The natural processes of the ocean, including earthquakes and volcanoes, the hydrologic cycle and weather, ocean circulation and the global energy balance, the carbon cycle and productivity, biodiversity and marine food webs, coastal dynamics. Also, global warming, sea-level rise, environmental degradation and the ocean system response to human activity and global change. Interactive class sessions, with considerable participation by students in problem-solving, discussions, and demonstrations. Exams and grades based on teamwork as well as on individual performance. Students needing or wanting a laboratory component may register for GEO-SCI 131. (Gen.Ed. PS). There is also an Honors section Geol H103.
494LI Living on Earth: Real World — Martin Medina
In this course, students take advantage of the breadth of their shared experiences in the Geosciences Department from human dimensions to physical sciences, drawing from geography, earth systems science and geology. The platform of the course examines the most pressing problem within Earth Sciences, anthropogenic climate change, incorporating the themes of Water, Air, Energy, and Sustainability.
519 Aqueous Environmental Geochemistry — Matthew Winnick
With lab. Chemical processes affecting the distribution and circulation of chemical compounds in natural waters. Geochemistry of precipitation, rivers, lakes, groundwater, and oceans; applications of thermodynamic equilibria to predicting composition of aqueous systems. Behavior of trace metals and radionuclides in near surface environments. Prerequisite: Chem 111, 112.
558 Paleoclimatology — Ray Bradley
Methods used in reconstructing climate before the period of instrumental records and their application in understanding late Quaternary climatic fluctuations. Topics include dating methods, ice core studies, palynology, ocean core studies, terrestrial geological and biological studies, dendroclimatology, and historical climatology. Prerequisites: Geo-Sci 354, 458.
573 Environmental Geophysics — Bill Clement
Application of seismic, gravity, magnetic, and electrical methods used in geophysical exploration. Field techniques, data compilation, and basic interpretations used to support shallow subsurface studies and environmental or hydrologic programs. Lectures, laboratory and field problems.
615 Organic and Biogeochemistry — Steven Petsch
The cycling and distribution of "life elements" (C, O, N, S, P) and compounds in modern and ancient marine and terrestrial settings. Emphasis on the transfer of compounds from the biota to their surroundings. Topics include: anthropogenic influence on biogeochemical cycles, imporance of microbes in geochemistry, utility of bio-markers in reconstructing paleoecosy-stems and paleoenvironments. Prerequisite: one year of college chemistry, or Geo-Sci 415 or consent or instructor. Organic Chemistry highly recommended.
595D Physical Oceanography — Rob DeConto
An intensive survey of physical and chemical oceanography, emphasizing the role of the ocean as a system influencing the Earth's surficial processes and climate. Topics include the composition, properties and behavior of seawater, wind-driven and thermohaline ocean circulation theory, air-sea interactions, the flux of materials from the continents to the oceans, biogeochemical cycles (including the marine carbon cycle), and the role of the ocean in past, present, and future climatic change. Attendance at an accompanying weekly seminar required.
297A Studio I, Intro to Landscape Design — Jane Thurber/Michael Davidsohn
Introduction to Design -- basic introduction to two-dimensional concepts of design. Line, form, contrast, repetition, symmetry, texture, scale, and other design techniques. Models -- introduction to three-dimensional design thinking by creating spaces through land form, vegetation, and structure. Students should enroll in both LANDARCH 297A and LANDARCH 297B.
547 Landscape Patterns & Process — Dana MacDonald
Landscape patterns resulting from interactions of biotic, abiotic, and cultural resources and processes over time. Understanding these dynamics as a prerequisite to appropriate planning and design interventions.
547L Landscape Patterns & Process LAB — Dana MacDonald
This course must be taken concurrently with LANDARCH 547, Landscape Pattern & Process.
587 People & the Environment — Robert Ryan
Interdisciplinary seminar on the applications of environmental psychology research to planning and design. Topics include landscape preference, territoriality and defensible space, way finding, and restorative settings/therapeutic gardens.
592A Plants in Landscape — Ethan Carr
With lab. Introduction to 200 basic ornamental plants used in landscape architectural, horticultural, arboricultural, and other design uses; their identification, uses, and cultural requirements. Two weekly field trips around campus. Workbook with sketches required. Also, cross-listed as SUSTCOMM 335.
444 Biodeterioration, Bioconversion, and Bioenergy: Carbon Cycling to Sustainability — Barry Goodell
Bioconversion of materials is part of the natural cycle for all bio-based materials as well as a key factor in bioenergy production. Biodegradation processes including those employed by fungal, bacterial, insect and marine organisms relative to carbon and nutrient cycling and the production of feedstocks for bioenergy and biomaterials are important to maintaining the ecological balance on earth, and for the development of a sustainable society with renewable and bio-based materials. The course examines aspects of natural degradative systems, and how biomimicry of these systems can be harnessed for sustainable energy and product production. Deterioration and protection of biomaterials including wood, bamboo, and historic materials is also included.
Natural Resources Conservation
100 Environment and Society — Lena Fletcher
In this course, you will both individually and in teams to explore the inherently interdisciplinary environmental challenges facing society. You will engage in discussions, debates, and problem-based team projects to learn about, critically consider, reflect on, and address both local and global environmental problems. You will investigate the impacts of human activities on forests, water, fish and wildlife populations, urban areas, and climate change. If you are an NRC major, this will prepare you for upper-level studies. If you are not a major, you will develop an increased awareness and understanding of the environmental challenges facing our society, while also fulfilling the Interdisciplinary Science (SI) Gen Ed requirement. (Gen.Ed. SI)
102 Arboriculture Field Techniques — Brian Kane
Get outside, get some exercise, climb a tree! Learn safe tree climbing techniques for recreation and professional tree care management.
232 Principles of Arboriculture — Kristina Bezanson
Learn the basics of good tree care to keep community trees healthy and allow them to grow large. The course covers planting, pruning, and fertilizing, as well as important safety aspects.
260 Fish Conservation & Management — Andy Danylchuk
Overview of the biological, sociological, historical, and economic factors that influence the use and conservation of our nation's fisheries resources. Prerequisite: One semester general biology or permission of instructor.
290B Introduction to Quantitative Ecology — Meghan MacLean
This introductory statistics course aims to provide students interested in ecology with a supportive, encouraging and comfortable environment for developing a sound knowledge of core statistical concepts in ecology. Ecology, the study of the relationships between organisms to one another and their environment, is a discipline concerned with quantifying the relationships we observe in nature. The objective of the course is to demystify statistics and help develop the basic level of understanding that all future ecologists should possess. In this course, you will develop a detailed understanding of why and how to apply the great variety of statistical tools available for answering important ecological questions. (Gen. Ed. R2)
290C Trees & Sustainability — Brian Kane
Trees growing in residential areas provide many benefits like cleaning the air and water, reducing energy use, and blocking unsightly views. They can also be dangerous if not carefully planted and properly maintained, causing power outages and damaging property. We'll review the benefits that trees provide, including different ways to assess their value. We will also discuss how best to plant and maintain trees to maximize their benefits and minimize their costs.
297R Renewable Energy & Sustainability — Alison Bates
This course will introduce students to major themes of renewable energy systems. Students will analyze alternative energy solutions for a sustainable future. Emphasis will be on the different forms of renewable energy, within the context of the existing energy mix, energy policy, resource potential, and institutional opportunities and barriers. We will explore renewable energy potential and solutions through textbook and supplemental readings, current event briefings, group work and activities. The culmination of the course is a group research project to evaluate strategies and envision creative solutions.
541 Urban Forest Management — David Bloniarz
Learn how to manage the urban forest—composed of trees, infrastructure, and people—to maximize the ecological, economic, psychological, sociological benefits that community trees provide.
564 Wildlife Habitat Management — Paige Warren
The dynamics and management of forested, open woodland, and savanna habitats in North America and elsewhere. Topics include wildlife ecology, habitat classification, resource utilization, impacts on humans, and management techniques.
590D Marine Conservation & Policy — Lisa Komoroske
Advanced course in the applied science and policy frameworks underlying maintenance of our oceans’ biodiversity and management of marine resources. We will learn about how key properties of marine species and ecosystems are unique or shared with terrestrial ecosystems, and how these shape both major threats and innovative solutions. We will assess human threats to ocean biodiversity and mechanisms for dealing with these risks, with an emphasis on marine reserves and other management approaches for building ecological resilience. Using active lectures, readings, case studies, and discussions we will evaluate the causes and consequences of diversity loss, and what legal frameworks and grassroots conservation actions effectively combat marine environmental degradation.
590IE Invasive Ecology — Bethany Bradley
Invasion ecology explores the introduction, establishment, and impact stages of non-native, invasive species. We will consider how invasions differ across all taxonomic groups, from plants to fish to pathogens.
590M Marine Ecology — Brian Cheng
Advanced course in marine ecology, focused on how organisms interact with the ocean environment. We will explore Earth's major marine ecosystems and investigate the ecological processes that create biological patterns within these habitats. We will use field techniques to collect biological data in local New England coastal systems. Together, we shall discover how marine ecology links to other disciplines such as chemistry, physics, and geography. The course will address ways that ecological theory can inform ocean problems such as climate change, biological invasions, nutrient enrichment, and habitat destruction.Prerequisite: one semester of biology (BIOLOGY 110, 151, or 152) and one semester of ecology (NRC 252, ENVISCI 214, or BIOLOGY 287)
597B Water for Small and Disadvantaged Communities — Anita Milman, David Reckhow, Emily Kumpel
In the US, there are about 150,000 public drinking water systems, of these 50,000 are considered community water systems. The vast majority of these systems are small (serving less than 3,300 people), underfunded, under staffed and experience almost daily challenges to meet the needs of their customers, and the regulatory agencies. This creates new underserved populations in communities that are often already disadvantaged; a situation that raises serious environmental justice concerns. In this course, we examine the physical, technical, political, legal, economic, and social factors that affect the provision of water in rural and disadvantaged communities. Interdisciplinary teams of students will work together over the semester to study, visit, and make recommendations as to how to address problems from a specific nearby public water system (i.e., the "study site" or "field site"). The study site(s) will be selected by the course instructors in consultation with the New England state water administrators. The instructors will then work with each of the student teams to begin addressing the problems at the assigned study sites. This will include: (1) documenting the system and its challenges based on existing records at the state offices and community files; (2) identification of the key stakeholders, (3) on-site or video meetings with those key stakeholders; (4) development of a preliminary report on the system needs, problems, and solutions already proposed by the stakeholders; (5) development of a plan and report including proposals for new, alternative solutions to the identified problems. In addition to the problem-based learning activities, students will hear from practitioners in the field, including learn about case studies of innovations and actions taken by entities such as the Res-Eau Community Circle program and (e.g., Community Engineering Corps) to address the challenge of public supply in the USA. Cross-listed as ENVIRSCI 597B and CEE 597B.
597EC Analytical Methods for Energy and Climate Policy — Dwayne Breger
The course will provide students with the understanding and skills to analytically address issues of policy pertaining to clean energy and climate policy. Students will understand the theory and practice associated with conducting economic cost benefit analysis, optimization under constraints and multi-objectives, and the systems thinking and modeling. Students will learn the application of these tools to market and policy analysis and to present the results of such analyses in manners useful to decision and policy makers.
597GC Governing the Commons — Charlie Schweik
Over the last decade or more, there has been a detectable and growing dissatisfaction among students with the "status quo" and the way society works. Students have witnessed terrorism, long-term war, a "great recession," the "Occupy" movement, effects of climate change and worse projections to come, and most recently, a global pandemic with a great impact on the economy. Many students are looking for models of hope and alternatives to the status quo on how society at local, regional and global levels might operate to collectively address problems.
In this class we turn to the “commons” as alternatives to the status quo. This concept has a long history and, as you will see, is active in today’s life, yet is not widely recognized.
597LP Land Protection Tools and Techniques — Paul Catanzaro
This course will focus on permanent land protection tools to maintain the land in its natural state, policies that encourage land protection, landowner decisions about conserving their land, and maintaining the conservation values after the land has been protected.
574 City Planning — Mark Hamin
Introduction to city and regional planning and the urban planning profession. The role the planner plays in addressing the wide range of problems and opportunities, city or regional, that now, or may in the future, confront America's modern urban environment.
585 Planning for Climate Change — Elisabeth Hamin Infield
This seminar reads some of the most current literature on the future of the urban form given climate change, and allows time and shared space to reflect on what these coming changes mean for (primarily local) government as well as governance. The class focus will be on implications of these coming conditions for built form both now and in the future, with a goal of developing a working understanding of what municipal, regional, and state planners and policymakers need to know now about these conditions to provide leadership to communities.
597P Housing Policy in the U.S. — Darrel Ramsey-Musolf
In this seminar, we will review the prevalent themes in the implementation of housing policy in the U.S. In three modules, we examine 1) federal and state policies, 2) the mechanisms of public housing, tax credit, housing vouchers, and then 3) take a deep dive into local Massachusetts housing plans.
630 Theory and Practice of Public Participation — Elisabeth Hamin Infield
This course will introduce students to public participation at the practice level in planning. Lectures and class discussions will review current theory underpinning participation practice, and will critically evaluate the wide range of participation methods currently in use in planning practice. There will also be one or more exercises in participation implementation that occur outside standard class times, when we will join one of the other studio classes, and plan and run their participation process.
651 Planning Hist & Theory — Mark Hamin
Planning as a decision-making process, the attributes of the political and administrative environment within which planning takes place, and the implications of this environment for the planning process and the planner.
652 Tools and Techniques in Planning — Wayne Feiden
Practical information, specific tools, regulatory processes, and analytic methods useful in the practice of public sector planning at the local level.
Stockbridge School of Agriculture
100 Botany for Gardners — John Gerber
A holistic view of plants including ecology, plant form and function, inheritance and evolution, and the relationship between plants and human life. Taught using world food, agricultural and gardening examples. (Gen.Ed. BS)
120 Organic Farming and Gardening — Allen Barker
Introduction to principles of soil fertility and crop management by organic procedures which are contrasted and evaluated against conventional chemical methods of farming. A science course. (Gen. Ed. BS)
186 Intro to Permaculture — Lisa DePiano
A foundation in permaculture history, ethics, principles, design process, and practical applications, rooted in the observation of natural systems. By observing key ecological relationships, we can mimic and apply these beneficial relationships in the design of systems that serve humans while helping to restore the natural world. This course trains students as critical thinkers, observers, and analysts of the world(s) around them, and then goes on to provide students with the tools needed to design for inspired and positive change.
198P Practicum -- Permaculture Gardening at UMass — Dan Bensonoff
In this hands-on class students will learn about permaculture basics while maintaining our on-campus permaculture demonstration gardens.
320 Organic Vegetable Production — Renee Ciulla
Students will learn organic insect, disease, and weed control, greenhouse production and construction, irrigation practices, planting and fertility, harvesting and marketing techniques, as well as how to manage money, people and natural resources.
350 Sustainable Crop & Soil Management — Masoud Hashemi
Maintenance and enhancement of long-term productivity and sustainability of soil in food and feed production. Students will gain an integrated knowledge of soil and crop influences on cropping systems. The lab includes several farm visits, farmers and students presentations.
356 Food Justice and Policy — Catherine Sands
This course examines the role of policy in determining WHAT we eat, WHO experiences barriers to access to safe, healthy, local, fairly produced foods, and HOW we create equity and sustainability in our local food system. We will start by looking at the basic components of our food system: production, distribution, and consumption. We will then examine systemic structures of race, class, citizenship and ability as they relate to access to healthy local food. The course-work concludes with an in-depth look at food sovereignty, the right of communities to choose how their food is produced and what they consume, the impact of agribusiness and the concentration of resources into the hands of a few corporations, and the dramatic effect U.S. food policies have on the rest of the world. Students will have the opportunity to do research and analysis useful to those working for food change in the Pioneer Valley region.
490S Soil Ecology — Ashley Keiser
Biological processes found in the soil are essential to life on Earth. This course will introduce students to soils as their own ecosystem. Throughout the course, we will weave together descriptions of the diversity of life found within soils, plant-soil interactions and biogeography to paint a mosaic of soil life, its complexity and global importance. The final portion of the course will address the global challenges facing soil ecosystems and the potential of the soil health movement.
510 Management and Ecology of Plant Disease — Dan Cooley
The ecology of plant, microbe, and human interactions in plant diseases, from wilderness to industrial farms. Epidemics, traditional farming, environmental impacts and sustainability issues. Ways in which agriculture, particularly plant production and plant disease management, change ecosystems. Independent project.
575 Environmental Soil Chemistry — Baoshan Xing
The course describes fundamental chemical concepts/processes in soils such as precipitation/dissolution, ion exchange, redox reactions, partitioning and adsorption, ion speciation, and the nature of soil minerals and organic matter. These concepts and computer models are used to examine some current environmental, agricultural and engineering problems. The course also addresses how the chemical processes affect fate, transport, and availability of conventional pollutants and contaminants of emerging concerns (e.g., antibiotics and nanomaterials) and nutrients in soils and other related terrestrial environments. Problem sets, quizzes, midterm, and final, scholarly review. Prerequisites: CHEM 111 & 112, PLSOIL 105 or consent of instructor. Also cross-listed as ENVSCI 575.
587/687 PhytoBioremediation — Om Parkash Dhankher
This course will cover the various aspects of phytoremediation - the use of plants (both natural hyper-accumulators and transgenic) and their associated microbes with the purpose of environmental clean-up of contaminated soil, sediments and water. Various strategies for phytoremediation of a wide range of toxic pollutants, both organic and elemental, with a special emphasis on toxic metals will be discussed. Also cross-listed as ENVSCI 587.
692B Soils and Climte Change — Marco Keiluweit
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, global temperatures are expected to increase 1.1 to 6.4 degrees Celsius during the 21st century, and precipitation patterns will be altered by climate change. Soils are intricately linked to the atmospheric climate system through the carbon, nitrogen, and hydrologic cycles. Altered climate will, therefore, have an effect on soil processes and properties, and at the same time, the soils themselves will have an effect on climate. Study of the effects of climate change on soils is still nascent, but has revealed that climate change will impact soil organic matter dynamics, and soil processes and properties related to fertility, water retention, nutrient export, and contaminant dynamics. This journal club serves to critically review the literature on the direction and magnitude of climate change impacts on soils. Students make one presentation of a journal article from a reputable journal with the advice and final approval from the instructor. Topics may include, but are not limited to soil (micro)biology, chemistry, pedologogy, plant-soil interactions (rhizosphere science), hydrology, biogeochemistry, and ecology.
140 Awareness of the Visual Env. — Patricia McGirr
Examines physical elements that compose a variety of visual environments including gardens and paintings; the cultural values underlying different types of American landscapes, from wilderness to cities; and the ways in which other cultures perceive, use, and create their own visual environments. (Gen.Ed. AT)
335 Plants in Landscape — Ethan Carr
With lab. Introduction to 200 basic ornamental plants used in landscape architectural, horticultural, arboricultural, and other design uses; their identification, uses, and cultural requirements. Two weekly field trips around campus. Workbook with sketches required. Also, cross-listed as LANDARCH 592A.
397R Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Urban Environments — Darrel Ramsey-Musolf
In this seminar, we will examine how urban environments operate as places of refuge and/or peril for persons that primarily define themselves by their race, gender, or sexual expression. To understand this spatial dichotomy, we will survey materials (e.g., film, memoirs, news accounts, scholarly writing) that emphasize their voice, their point of view, and conflicts with mainstream society. As a secondary theme, we will also note how capitalism, neighborhood succession, and/or gentrification may amplify their experiences.
397P Planning Tools and Techniques — Wayne Feiden
This class is for anyone working for or with local or regional governments. It is a hands-on examination of the tools and techniques communities use to get good things done: zoning and regulations, protection of natural areas and downtown parklets, tweaking transportation systems to serve all modes of travel, finding the money, managing planning functions, regulations, and everything in between. The class provides enough breadth and depth for planning and design professionals to use management, regulatory, investment, and policy interventions to improve the sustainability and quality of life in communities.
533 Urban Greening Theory & Practice — Theo Eisenman
The purpose of this seminar is to explore the theory and practice of urban greening, defined as organized or semi-organized efforts to introduce, conserve, or maintain outdoor flora in cities. The course is organized in two parts. First, we review the various discourses that animate urban greening. Second, we explore the policy and design expressions of urban greening around the world today. This combined inquiry into theory and practice enhances students' ability to develop urban greening strategies to meet the needs of 21st century cities.
574 City Planning — Mark Hamin
Introduction to city and regional planning and the urban planning profession. The role the planner plays in addressing the wide range of problems and opportunities, city or regional, that now, or may in the future, confront America's modern urban environment.