Teaching

NAS 18 / ENVS 18 Indigenous Environmental Studies (Fall Terms)

In this course, we examine Indigenous worldviews, environmental values and everyday life through the lens of environmental issues facing Indigenous nations and communities. Our geographic focus is on North America, with limited examples from other places and peoples globally. Through course materials, discussions, and assignments, students gain exposure to varied Indigenous perspectives and knowledge expressed and enacted by scholars, Elders, community people, political leaders, and activists. Key concepts in Indigenous environmental studies will be discussed including Indigenous rights and responsibilities, Indigenous environmental stewardship, energy and development, land-language linkages, tribal sovereignty and self-determination, empowerment and resurgence.

NAS 13 Feast and Forest (Fall Terms)

This class explores the interrelated social, cultural, and political dimensions of Indigenous food systems. Our work in this class will link the politics of Indigenous land and resource rights with food-related socio-cultural practices including farming, gardening, hunting, gathering, cooking, eating, and feasting. We will contemplate and engage with Indigenous food systems, while simultaneously questioning problematic ways that non-Indigenous communities fetishize the foods and food practices associated with Indigenous peoples. Food provides a space where many concepts from Native American and Indigenous Studies converge including food sovereignty, interspecies thinking, land-language linkages, settler colonialism, Indigenous environmental ethics, and resurgence. In this class, we will focus on experiential forms of learning and our time will be organized as weekly field excursions where we learn directly from Indigenous knowledge holders, directly from the land, learn by doing, and learn through critical thinking and dialogue. The class will host a fall feast as a culminating experience.

ENVS 50 Environmental Problem Analysis and Policy Formulation (spring terms)

Students working together in groups will formulate and justify policy measures that they think would be appropriate to deal with a local environmental problem. The purposes of this coordinating course are to (1) give students an opportunity to see how the disciplinary knowledge acquired in their various courses and departmental major programs can be integrated in a synthetic manner; (2) provide a forum for an in-depth evaluation of a significant environmental policy problem; and (3) give students the experience of working as a project team toward the solution of a real-world problem. Considerable fieldwork may be involved, and the final examination will consist of a public presentation and defense of student-generated policy recommendations.