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History of the Environment of the United States
Section 1, Fall 2013

Instructor: Prof. Pamela E. Mack
Office: Hardin 006, e-mail: pammack@clemson.edu3
Office Hours: MW 10-11:30, Wed. 1:15-2:15 pm and by appointment
Class meetings: MWF 9:05-9:55, Hardin 201
this syllabus on the web: http://www.clemson.edu/caah/history/FacultyPages/PamMack/syl323.html

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course is a sampling of American environmental history from colonial times to the present. The goal of the course is to think about the interaction between humans and the natural environment with the help of the broader perspective that history provides. To that end, the course will focus on different approaches to environmental history and discuss in detail selected case studies.  

STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES: By the end of the course students should be able to:


This course meets the STS general education requirement:

Science and Technology in Society:
Demonstrate an understanding of issues created by the complex interactions among science, technology, and society.

You can use one of the papers you write for this course (or one of your exams) as your STS ePortfolio artifact.  You might want to write something in your rationale statement about the role of science and technology if that is not obvious in your paper.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS: Analyzing and drawing conclusions from the reading will be central to the course, so it is essential that you do the reading and come prepared to discuss it in class. Attendance will be taken by seating chart and six absences will be allowed without penalty. Coming late or leaving early will count as one half an absence. Excuses do not have to be given for the six allowed absences, but it is expected that these will cover scheduled events (including  extracurricular activities in most cases) and minor illnesses. Additional absences will be excused for official university activities, emergencies, serious illness, or funerals, but documentation must be provided, the student notification of instructor process is not sufficient. Students with more than six absences will be penalized 5 points for each additional absence, to be deducted from their participation assignment grade. The class is excused if the instructor does not arrive within 10 minutes of the scheduled starting time.

Total points will be divided by 500 to give a numerical grade out of 100, which will be converted to final letter grades by the system 90-100=A, 80-89=B, 70-79=C, 60-69=D, below 60=F.  Grades above 95 our of 100 are rarely given except for exceptionally fine work.

PARTICIPATION ASSIGNMENTS:  You can earn points for participation assignments in a variety of ways. These include:
You may earn up to a maximum of 100 points by any combination of these.  There will be at least 120 possible points, probably more.  Excessive absences will be deducted from this grade (at the rate of 5 points for each absence over 6), so you can partially make up for absences by doing the reading reflection even if you are not going to be in class.

PAPER: The details of the paper assignments are found in Blackboard and in these general paper instructions.  Papers handed in by the beginning of class are on time.  Papers handed in later that day get a 2 point penalty for lateness.  Each calendar day after that is an additional 2 point penalty for lateness.

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: As members of the Clemson University community, we have inherited Thomas Green Clemson's vision of this institution as a "high seminary of learning."  Fundamental to this vision is a mutual commitment to truthfulness, honor, and responsibility, without which we cannot earn the trust and respect of others.  Furthermore, we recognize that academic dishonesty detracts from the value of a Clemson degree.  Therefore, we shall not tolerate lying, cheating, or stealing in any form.

This includes representing someone else's work as your own or handing in the same paper to two different courses without permission of the instructors.  Be careful to avoid plagiarism--text you take from a web site, from a book, or from the online class notes must be either quoted with the source given or restated almost entirely in your own words, with the source given.  Note that the catalog defines as one form of academic dishonesty: "Plagiarism, which includes the intentional or unintentional copying of language, structure, or ideas of another and attributing the work to one’s own efforts."  Note the word unintentional--if you forget to put quote marks or a reference you can be found guilty of academic dishonesty even if it was not your intention to cheat.

It is cheating to cut and paste or otherwise copy portions of a argument paper, exam, or discussion board posting from a book, web site, or from the online class notes, even if you change a few words, unless you quote and give the source.  It is poor writing for more than about 20% of your paper to consist of quotes.  In most cases when you use specific material from any source you should paraphrase: cite the source and put the ideas into you own words (generally no more than 5 consecutive words should match the source but if the words are mostly the same it could still be plagiarism even if there aren't 5 consecutive words).

LAPTOPS AND CELL PHONES:  You are welcome to bring technology to the classroom as long as you can handle it responsibly and respectfully.  Use of laptops, tablets and cell phones during class for purposes not related to this course is disrespectful to the instructor and distracting to other students.  Do not carry on conversations—either out loud or in text form—or play games in class.  You may use your devices to take notes during class or to look up further information on a topic being discussed.  Students using their devices during class may be called on to share what they are learning with the rest of the class.

TEXTS: Four required books are available in the bookstore:

Author: Eric Rutkow
Title: American Canopy: Trees, Forests, and the Making of a Nation
Publisher: Scribner
ISBN: 1439193584
Author: Neil M. Maher
Title: Nature's New Deal: The Civilian Conservation Corps and the Roots of the American
Environmental Movement
Publisher: Oxford
ISBN: 0195392418
Author: Benjamin Ross
Title: The Polluters: The Making of our Chemically Altered Environment
Publisher: Oxford
ISBN: 0199739951
Author: James Morton Turner
Title: The Promise of Wilderness: American Environmental Politics Since 1964
Publisher: Univ. of Washington Press
ISBN: 0295993308

SCHEDULE: Readings are listed under each lecture or discussion topic.  Underlined lecture titles are links that lead to notes.

 Aug. 21
hand out syllabus, introduction
Read Rutkow introduction
Rutkow ch. 1
Rutkow ch. 2
class will not meet.  View all 14 parts of The Greatest Good, starting at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9m-oFZMhJqc
See Blackboard other participation credits (under assignments) and discussion board for assignments
 Sept. 2
Rutkow ch. 3
Rutkow ch. 4
Rutkow ch. 5
Rutkow ch. 6
Rutkow ch. 7
Rutkow ch. 8
discussion of paper ideas
Rutkow ch. 9
Rutkow ch. 10 and Epilogue
Rutkow paper due, Maher introduction
Maher ch. 1
Maher ch. 2
Maher ch. 3
Oct.  2
Maher ch. 4, first set of optional other participation assignments due
Oct. 2
Optional Participation Assignment: Lecture by Fran Mainella (former director of the National Park Service) on "Climbing to the Summit"
7 pm Oct. 2, Academic Success Center room 118
Maher ch. 5
Maher ch. 6
Maher Epilogue
film--class will not meet, see assignments in participation assignments and discussion board
Fall Break
in class test
Ross chapters 1-2
Ross chs. 3-4
Ross chs. 5-6
Ross chs. 7-8
Ross chs. 9-11, optional rewrite due
Nov.  1
Ross chs. 12-13
Ross chs. 14-15, second group of other participation assignments due
Ross paper due, Turner introduction
Turner ch. 1
Turner ch. 2
Turner ch. 3
film--class will not meet, see assignments in participation assignments and discussion board
Turner ch. 4-5
Turner ch. 6
Turner ch. 7

Turner ch. 8
Thanksgiving break
Dec.  2
Turner ch. 9, third group of other participation assignments due
Turner ch. 10 and Epilogue
Takehome final exam due 10:30 am

This page written and copyright © Pamela E. Mack
Send me e-mail at: Pammack@clemson.edu
For my other pages see:  PEM Index Page
last updated 10/28/2013