Fall 2021 Core Courses

GSCI 1055: Geoscience and the American Landscape

[UConn Storrs]

Not open to students who have passed GSCI 1050 or GSCI 1051. Equivalent to GSCI 1051 for the purposes of prerequisites.

This is the Honors version of introductory geology. The goal is for students to learn how the earth works, what its history has been, how life and planetary processes have co-evolved, and how the student can put this knowledge to use to solve practical environmental problems. Though geology is the main course, it will be heavily seasoned across time and space by American literature, environmental history, and our national parks.

The main pedagogy involves pre-class student preparation, followed by student-led discussions of each new topic, ranging from crystals to climates as outcomes. Field trips, seminars, a symposium and a final project round out the activities.

In this course, students will:

  • Become geoscience literate
  • Understand geology’s pervasive influence on human society
  • Realize that geoscience is a respected scientific career with excellent job prospects, especially with respect to water and energy resources
  • Realize that a geosciences major is a solid platform for graduate education in other non-scientific fields

General Education information GSCI 1055 alone is a CA 3 non-laboratory course. If you add the GSCI 1052 geology laboratory (either in the same semester or a future one), you may request the conversion of GSCI 1055 to fulfill your CA 3-Laboratory requirement.

EEB 3205E: Current Issues in Environmental Science

[UConn Storrs]

Appropriate for honors students at all class levels, Current Issues in Environmental Science (nicknamed “Alternative Futures”) explores a wide variety of current issues emphasizing linkages between earth, oceans, atmosphere, and biosphere. Topics include: earth processes, climate change; human population; food resources; genetically-engineered organisms; soil/water/air resources; alternative energy; biodiversity; deforestation/restoration; urban planning; risk assessment; tradeoffs; problem-solving. The format includes guest and instructor lectures, class discussions, student-led presentations of scientific and media-reported current events, group and individual projects, and more. The lab consists of lectures by award-winning environmental experts from other institutions as well as field trips (e.g., visit to a zero energy house, recycling facility, UConn Conservation Area).

ECON 2103: Honors Core: Deep Roots of Modern Societies

[UConn Storrs]

Requires ECON 1200 or both ECON 1201 and 1202.

This course examines the sources of challenging issues facing modern societies, such as poverty, gender roles, discrimination, migration, labor coercion, and armed conflict. Going beyond the study of limited proximate reasons affecting these problems, we analyze ever deeper, more fundamental causes that lie deep in history and natural conditions, such as colonization, slavery, globalization, warfare, geographic endowment, and environmental history. You will learn innovative methods to analyze important questions and scientific standards to communicate ideas and critique other approaches.

The course will consist of three parts. In the first part, you will learn recent methods of economic history to differentiate between proximate reasons and deep roots. The second part will apply these insights to investigate the effects of historical and geographic factors on specific contemporary issues and the channels of transmission between the past and present. In the final part, you will examine differences between traditional and modern societies with the objective of answering why certain traditional practices have disappeared while others have persisted over time.

Each student will choose a geographic region of the world and one of the issues to be covered in the course. This choice will guide your individual research and exploration and be the basis for your paper and presentation assignments.

ARTH/AFRA 2222: Race, Gender, Sexuality, and the Power of Looking

[UConn Storrs]

We are often told that we live in a singularly visual age, where most information is communicated to us via some platform, frame, or program. Yet as we are increasingly dominated by the visual, we seem to be learning less and less about how to read, interpret, engage, or resist the visual culture that swirls around us. This class looks to intervene in that trend and will be a beginning investigation into the issues of what is visual culture and how we might define visual literacy. Thematically then, this class will focus on how we see, or do not see, race, gender, and sexuality.

With those parameters, the major questions the class seeks to engage with are: How do people “know” race visually? Who has been invested in seeing race and racial difference? How have artists and others attempted to intervene or disrupt these sight lines? What does gender look like? Can we remake how we see race and gender? What about how intimacy is viewed and the definitions of sexuality created; how have these categories been visually  constructed and how can they be re-imagined? How do different mediums (sculpture, print, film, or digital) affect how we see bodies?