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Course Descriptions

AGRIC (EN SP) 3150: Environment and Agriculture
meets STS and mathematics or natural science requirements

Survey of the interrelationships of the environment and current agriculture and agricultural practices to include both the environmental impacts of agriculture and the role of agriculture in conservation and improving the environment. Preq: Sophomore standing and two semesters of biology or chemistry.

AP EC 2050: Agriculture and Society
meets STS and cross-cultural requirements

Introduction to the development of world society with a focus on food production, from early hunting and gathering to modern biotechnology. Factors driving societal growth with a global perspective. Systematic impacts of growth in technical capacity to produce agricultural products on farm and community organization, industrialization, and the global economy.

AP EC 4570: Natural Resource Use, Technology, and Policy
meets STS requirement
prerequisite MTHSC 102 and APEC 357 or ECON 314

This course is focused on economic analyses of actual, efficient, and sustainable uses for natural resources, impacts of technologies that affect these uses, and policies that affect development and use of such technologies. Resource-technology-policy combinations might var, but an example is crude oil, hybrid automotive engines, and fuel economy standards

AVS 3150: Animal Welfare
meets STS requirement, prerequisite junior standing

Discussion of past, present, and future, human/animal interaction. Topics include wild animals, domestication, animal welfare organizations, animal rights organizations, welfare assessment, animal agriculture, animal research and other current topics. Prerequisite: Junior standing.

AVS 4150: Contemporary Issues in Animal Science
meets STS requirement

To provide knowledge, understanding, and critical analytical skills on current issues in animal agriculture in diverse regional, national and global social-cultural and political environments as they impact animals and man. Prerequisite: Junior standing in AVS and AVS 150 and 151.

BIOL 2010: Biotechnology and Society
meets STS requirement and mathematics or natural science requirement

An introduction to the theories, fields and applications of biotechnology including the structure and function of genes and their manipulation to improve plant and animal productivity and human health. Individual case studies will be examined, including social and ethical issues surrounding biotechnology-based research and development. Not open to Genetics majors. Preq: BIOL 120 and 123, 122 or 123; or equivalent or consent of the instructor.

BIOL 2030: Human Disease and Society
meets STS and mathematics or natural science requirements

This course will focus on the basic biology underlying human disease, how disease is understood, and current methods of prevention and treatment of disease. The economics as well as the social and ethical issues surrounding human disease will be a common thread through the course. Preq: BIOL 103, 104, 121, 122, 110, 111, or approval of instructor.

BIOL 2100: Evolution and Creation
meets STS requirement and mathematics or natural science requirements

A critical review of the scientific and technological basis for evolutionary theory compared to creationist explanations for the origin and diversity of life. Includes a historical survey of the impact that the evolution/creation debate has had on law, politics, education, and other important aspects of society.

BIOL 2200: Biology: Concepts, Issues, Values
meets STS and mathematics or natural science requirements

This course will develop a thorough knowledge of basic biological concepts and issues, and will explore how these can be incorporated into a system of human values affecting technology, society, and life.

BIOSC 2000: Biology in the News
meets STS and mathematics or natural science requirements

For non-science majors. Students examine current topics of biology appearing in newspapers and other current media. Uses a problem-based learning approach, with students working as teams and individually on areas of interest identified by the class. Preq: ENGL 103 and General Education natural science requirement.

BIOSC 2030: Environment, Power and Society
meets STS and mathematics or natural science requirements

Examines the processes of power and energy production, the resultant interactions with the environment, and the overall relationship between this technology and the development and structure of society. Introduces historical and contemporary sources of energy and power as well as the economic, social, and political forces important for types and patterns of development. Introduces relationship between these forces and the resultant impacts to ecosystems and the environment.

BIOSC 2100: Introduction to Toxicology
meets STS requirement

Acquaints students with the field of toxicology, integrates the science of toxicology with regulatory policy, and demonstrates its impact on our daily lives. Preq: BIOL 103/105, 110, or consent of instructor.

BIOSC 4730: History of Biology
meets STS requirement

Examines the intellectual and social factors defining the study of life from the scientific revolution of the 1600s to the modern biological sciences. Investigates the historical origins of biological disciplines and explores the differing cultures, methodologies, and philosophical commitments of these communities. Prerequisite: introductory biology or consent of the instructor.

C H S H2001: Structures and Society
meets STS requirement, humanities requirement pending

Interdisciplinary honors seminar that examines selected structures regarded as monuments to artistic creativity and technological genius and the ways that structures affect and are affected by the societies that produce them.

C H S H2060: Controversies in Science and Technology
meets STS requirement

Interdisciplinary honors seminar that examines social issues relating to science and technology, suing perspectives from science, the social sciences, and humanities. May be repeated for a maximum six credits, but only if different topics are covered.

CH 1050: Chemistry in Context
meets STS and natural science with lab requirements

The chemistry of societal issues including air quality, global warming, acid rain and alternative energy sources is discussed in the context of their impact on society. May not be taken as a prerequisite for organic chemistry. Credit toward a degree given for only one of CH 101 or 105.

CH 1060: Chemistry in Context II
meets STS and natural science with lab requirements

Continuation of CH 105. Topics include the chemistry of nuclear energy, new energy sources, nutrition, medicines, new materials, and genetic engineering. May not be taken as a prerequisite for organic chemistry. Credit toward a degree will be given for only one of CH 102 or 106. Preq: CH 105 or CH 101 .

COMM 1070: Media, Science, and Technology
meets STS requirement

Examines mediated representations of science and technology from a communication perspective. Attention is paid to portrayals/coverage of science and technology in popular film, television, Internet, journalism and other media. Students examine an array of theoretical issues and case studies in this area.

C OMM 3070: Public Communication of Science and Technology
meets STS requirement

Examines the role of science and technology in society from a communication perspective. Particular attention is paid to this dynamic in public culture. Students examine an array of theoretical issues and case studies in this area. Preq: COMM 201 with a C or better or consent of instructor.

ECON 3190: Environmental Economics
meets STS requirement

Study of the application of economic logic to issues surrounding environmental management and policy. Examines individual, firm, and collection decision making as well as the evolution of regulatory approaches for controlling environmental use. Prerequisite ECON 314.

EdF 4800: Foundations of Digital Media and Learning
meets STS requirement

Critical use of digital media for leadership and learning within societal and educational contexts. This course focuses on learner impact while exploring, developing, and evaluating technology-­enhanced applications. It further develops competencies with new media literacies and addresses societal, cultural, ethical, and participatory issues and uses of digital media.

ENG 3490: Technology and the Popular Imagination
meets STS requirement

Examines the relationship between technology and fiction and creative non-fictional texts, including print, film, and electronic media. Preq: sophomore literature or consent of the instructor.

EN SP 2000: Introduction to Environmental Science
meets STS and mathematics or natural science requirements

Basic principles of environmental science including ecology, energy, resources, waste management; and air, water, and soil pollution. Consideration of issues, specific cases, investigative approaches, and remedial actions. Preq: Sophomore standing and two semesters of either freshman chemistry or biology.

EN SP 4000: Studies in Environmental Science
meets STS requirement

Study of historical perspectives, attitudes, and government policy within the framework of environmental case studies to illustrate the interaction between human and natural factors as they mutually affect the environment and man’s ability to deal with that environment. Preq: EN SP 200 or consent of instructor.

EX ST 2220: Statistics in Everyday Life
meets STS and mathematics or natural science requirements

Focuses on the role of statistics in a variety of areas including politics, medicine, environmental issues, advertising, and sports. Students explore common statistical misconceptions and develop an understanding of how principles of probability and statistics affect many aspects of everyday life. Not open to students who have received credit for EX ST 301, MTHSC 301, 302, or 309.

FD SC 2140: Food Resources and Society
meets STS requirement

Introduces students to the basics of food science (food chemistry, food microbiology, and food processing principles) and also relates how advances in food science have paralleled societal advances and also created social controversy.

FOR (ENR) 4160: Forest Policy and Administration
meets STS requirement

Introduction to the development, principles, and legal provisions of forest policy in the United States and an examination of administrative and executive management in forestry.

GEOL 1120: Earth Resources
meets STS and mathematics or natural science requirements

Survey of earth's mineral, energy, water, and land resources and environmental and societal impacts associated with the use of these resources. Preq: GEOL 101.

GEOL 1200: Natural Hazards
meets STS requirement

This class investigates the science behind various types of natural hazards and examines how society deals with such disasters.

GEOL (EN SP) 1250: Sustainable Resource Use
meets STS requirements

This course explores the challenges our society faces in making the transition to renewable resource use in a way that is truly sustainable environmentally, economically and socially. The conflicting demands of each system will be examined and used to critically examine possible solutions using a systems based approach.

GEOL 2700: Sustainable Water
meets STS requirement

Integrates cross-disciplinary perspectives on sustainability through active student participation in real-world development projects. Focuses on identifying and overcoming environmental, technical, social/organizational, and economic barriers to the sustainability of water resources.   An emphasis will be placed on small-scale international water resources development.

GEOL 3000: Environmental Geology
meets STS and mathematics or natural science requirements

Discussion-oriented introductory study of the relationships of man to his physical surroundings and problems resulting from upsetting the established equilibria of geologic systems; man's role as a geologic agent, environmental conservation and management. Preq: GEOL 101 or consent of instructor.

HLTH 4310: Public and Environmental Health
meets STS requirement

Principles of environmental health emphasizing understanding various health concerns created by the interactions of people with their environment. Students evaluate the impact of environmental factors on public health policy decisions. Meets specific area of need in environmental health issues. Normally limited the Health Science majors.

HIST 1220: History, Technology, and Society
meets STS and social science requirements

Topics in the history of technology with emphasis on how technology affects society and how society shapes technology. Emphasis is on 19th and 20th century America, but some material from other periods of Western Civilization and other world regions may be discussed. Sample Syllabus

HIST 1240: Environmental History Survey
meets STS and social science requirements

An introduction to environmental history, in the United States and globally, with an emphasis on changing attitudes toward the environment and the interaction between science and public policy. Sample Syllabus

HIST 3210: History of Science
meets STS requirement

Survey of the development of science in the Western world, emphasizing the period from the Renaissance to the present.

HIST 3230: History of American Technology
meets STS requirement

History of developments in technology and their role in American life with particular emphasis on the American Industrial Revolution and the 20th century.

HIST 3920: History of the Environment
meets STS requirement

Examination of the historical development of the attitudes, institutions, laws, people, and consequences that have affected the environment of the United States from pre-Columbian days until the present. Emphasizes the interaction of human beings within and with the environment.

HIST 4240: History of Health Care
meets STS requirement

Selected topics in the development of medicine and health care including public attitudes towards health and medicine.

IE 4880: Human Factors Engineering
meets STS requirement

LARCH 1160: History of Landscape Architecture
meets STS requirement

History of design on the land from prehistory to the present. Overview of the interface of aesthetics, science, technology, and natural features that influence cultures in shaping places.

MKT 4450: Macromarketing
meets STS requirement

Examines the relationship between marketing and society focusing on the social impact of marketing practices. Topics discussed include technology, ethics, materialism, globalization, environmental sustainability, and the political and economic philosophy underlying marketing. The course is multidisciplinary and uses a variety of readings to cover each of the topic areas. Prerequisite: MKT 301 and junior standing or permission of the instructor.

MS&E 1010: Materials Technology
meets STS requirement

The course will introduce principles of materials science benefiting the society and how it addresses social concerns. Students will learn how to make intelligent choices about everyday materials and devices. Students will present their informed opinions through class discussion and group projects involving a controversial topic such as recycling, green manufacturing, and nanotechnology.

Music 3180: History of Audio Technology
meets STS requirement

Surveys the historical development of audio technology and its social impacts and consequences. Technologies include automatic instruments, recording devices, radio, amplification, consumer listening devices, and distribution formats.

NURS 3330: Healthcare Genetics
meets STS requirement

Focus is on the new genetics and the implications for health care professional. Discussion will include application of the evolving genetics technology and services to changing life stages. Issues of ethics relevant to various genetic disorders will also be addressed. Prerequisite: BIOSC 223.

NUTR 2030: Principles of Human Nutrition
meets STS requirement

Principles of nutrition including functions, digestion, and requirements of nutrients; factors affecting food choices and dietary adequacy; and roles of nutrition in physical fitness and health maintenance. The course deals with both social and scientific issues. An integral component of the course is to evaluation and interpret nutrition sources from government, private sector, academics, and the health care sectors. The course content includes discussion of changes in science and their relationship with health policy.

PHIL 1240: Technology and Its Discontents
meets STS  and humanities requirements

A philosophical introduction to issues arising from the development of technologies, their implementation, and their integration into society. Consideration of theoretical questions regarding the nature of technology and its evaluation, as well as issues related to specific technologies.

PHIL 2100: Creation and Evolution
meets STS and non-literature humanities requirements

A critical comparison of evolution and creationism. By examining the scientific, philosophical and theological issues this clash brings to light, students will develop their ability to think through the various claims and counter claims critically, then articulate a coherent position for themselves.

PHIL 3240: Philosophy of Technology
meets STS and humanities requirements

Examines technology and representative philosophical assessments of it with a focus on understanding its impact on the human condition.

PHIL 3260: Science and Values
meets STS and humanities requirements

Examination of several features of the relation between science and values. Topics may include ethical and social obligations of scientists, role of value judgments in scientific practice, and influence of social and political values on science and scientists.

PHIL 3280: Bodies/Technologies
meets STS and humanities requirements

Examines the interrelation of human bodies and emerging technologies in light of philosophical notions of human nature, personal identity, and the ethical dignity of the human. Emphasizes the influence of social values on scientific and technological developments and the reciprocal impact of these developments on understandings of the body.

PHIL 3450: Environmental Ethics
meets STS and humanities requirements

Study of ethical problems in our dealings with the rest of nature and of how they relate to ethics in general. Representative topics include the basis of ethics, nature and intrinsic value, duties to future generations, economics and the environment, rare species, animal rights, ethics and agriculture, energy doctrine.

PHYS 2450: Physics of Global Climate Change
meets STS and natural science requirements

Descriptive study of the heating and cooling balance of the earth's atmosphere and surface and the physical feedback mechanisms that regulate our climate. Considers past and future temperature trends, atmospheric greenhouse gas inventories and solar radiative forcing. Evaluation of claims, arguments and news about climate change, encountered through the lens of media or politics, and the interactions between scientists, public and policymakers regarding climate change. 

PKG SC 3680: Packaging and Society
meets STS requirement

The role of packaging in today's society as it specifically relates to the responsibilities of the packaging scientist in protecting people and the environment. Study of environmental regulations and guidelines currently in place. Students will present their informed opinions through class discussion and a group project involving a controversial topic. Preq: PKGSC 102 or consent of the instructor

PL PA 2130: Fungi and Civilization
meets STS and natural science requirements

Overview of how fungi affect the lives of humans, both currently and historically. The diversity of fungi and tremendous roles fungi play on the planet are addressed in respect to the biological, social, and ethical consequences. The general nature of this course makes it beneficial to all students.

PSYCH 2750: Applied Psychology and Transportation
meets STS requirement and social science requirement

The course will introduce psychological principles used to study human behavior (methodological, cognitive, perceptual, etc.). These psychological principles, in addition to ethical, legal, and societal perspectives will be applied to transportation issues.

SOC 4030: Technology, Environment, and Society
meets STS requirement

Issues involved in science, technology and the environment in relation to human behaviors and values, with an emphasis on the US and globalized world contexts. Surveys the sociology of environment, science, and technology. Selected analysis of related controversies and policy considerations. (This course was taught as SOC 499, with the same title, in Fall 2005.)

STS 1010: Survey of Science and Technology in Society
meets STS and humanities (non-literature) requirement

Surveys historical, philosophical, and social studies of science, introduces the basic requisites for scientific and technological literacy, and considers the problems of responsible participation in a scientifically and technologically advanced society. 

STS 1020: Ideas, Machines, and Society
meets STS and humanities (non-literature) requirement

Inter-disciplinary discussion course introducing the fundamental themes of STS: the influence of social groups on the development of science and technology and the effects of science and technology on society.   This course taught in small sections emphasizing discussion and is limited to freshmen.

STS 1200: Topics in STS
meets STS requirement

Courses on various topics in the field of STS are taught under this number; please check title or ask the professor for information on the specific topic.

STS 171: Scientific Skepticism
meets STS requirement

Investigation of unusual phenomena using scientific methodology. The interplay of science, pseudoscience, and society is explored through development of critical thinking skills. Case studies of extraordinary claims will be a focus in this discussion-oriented course.

STS 2160: Critical Analysis of a Current STS Issue
meets STS requirement and mathematics or science requirement

Critical analysis of a current science and technology issue with controversial societal consequences (e.g., global warming, alternative energy). Students will retrieve, evaluate, present, and discuss relevant information to develop basic competence in science and mathematics and in the evaluation of STS issues. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. May be repeated once if topic is different. More information.

STS 3010: Science in Context
meets STS requirement. 

The purpose of this course is to develop an understanding of the social character of scientific activity. Through the study of current work by leading historians, sociologists and philosophers of science, students will develop a comprehensive grasp of the social foundations of modern scientific inquiry.

STS 3030: Technology, Culture, and Society
meets STS and non-literature humanities requirement

Addresses issues that arise from the interaction of technology with its social and cultural context. To better understand how technologies relate to societies and cultures, students learn to use the analytic tools required to evaluate the significance of technology, as well as its relations to social endeavors and cultural endeavors.

STS 4980: Creative Inquiry
meets STS requirement. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

Students will conduct research into Science and Technology in Society with a team of their peers under the direction of a faculty member. The collaborative character of research in science and technology in society will be emphasized. This course may be repeated for up to 12 credits. 

STS 4990: Independent Study
meets STS requirement. Prerequisite: consent of instructor, previous course meeting STS requirement.

Study of selected topics under the direction of a faculty member selected by the student. Student and faculty member develop a course of study designed for the individual student and approved by the STS program coordinator prior to registration.

THRD 1150: Contemporary Technology Issues
meets STS requirement

Provides students with an understanding of the problems and contributions of technology. Examples of these problems and contributions are taken from historical accounts and from analyses of contemporary technological intervention both in industrialized and non-industrialized countries.

THRD 2210: Exploring Technology
meets STS requirement

Exploring Technology covers a wide range of technological concepts along with familiar examples of how technology impacts our lives as individuals, a society, and a global community.

For more information contact STS Program Coordinator, Prof. Pam Mack