STS 344

Ecological Knowledge in Historical Perspective

This course examines the history of both scientific ecology and recent movements to interrogate, question, and revise the West?s understanding of nature, including Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK). In doing so the course places both defenses and critiques of Western science in historical context, with particular emphasis on potential implications for environmental policy. Students examine how the rise of conservation and environmentalism, responses to imperialism and colonialism, and debates over the role of activism and advocacy in science have influenced ecologists? work, identity, and organizations. In doing so students study the interaction between science and society, while considering the important insights a historical understanding of science can bring to understanding modern concerns and controversies.