NAS 18 / ENVS 18 Native Peoples in a Changing Global Environment (Fall Terms)

This course is about indigenous peoples’ relationships to land and natural resources and the threats that rapid environmental changes, such as climate change and invasive species, pose to indigenous societies. What is at stake when significant changes, like the loss of a cultural keystone species, occur on indigenous homelands? In NAS/ENVS18, we attempt to understand the societal impacts of rapid environmental change from multiple perspectives including those of indigenous and non-indigenous actors.

NAS 19 / ENVS 19 Encountering Forests (Spring Terms)

What do people care about forests? How do people become knowledgeable about a landscape and how do they use theoretical and place-based, practical knowledge about forests? In this course, we attempt to see forests from different cultural and professional lenses including those of American Indian resource practitioners and natural resource managers. We look at the ways different types of information and different cultural perspectives influence ecological restoration, conservation and land use decisions.


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.