David Sonnenfeld, Ph.D., Instructor
Jongdae Song, Teaching Assistant
Dept. of Environmental Studies
SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Fall 2019, TuTh 2:00-3:20 pm, Marshall 212
This upper-division course examines the historical and cultural origins, and evolution of the complex, multifaceted, social phenomenon known as the American environmental movement. The course surveys the events, philosophies, and historical/ cultural processes that marked and continue to drive various attitudes toward nature in the United States. Course units examine conservationism and preservationism; early urban environmental reform; the 'second wave' of environmental activism in the 1960s and '70s; the environmental justice movement; and contemporary environmental movements including those in response to global issues. Course methods include reading, writing, lectures, films, discussion and debate. As a final course project, students examine in depth an historical or contemporary American environmental issue, campaign, advocate, opponent, or environment-oriented organization of their choosing, employing course concepts, frameworks and understandings in writing a research paper on that topic.
Sophomore status or consent of instructor
By successful completion of this course, students should be able to:
Essays (3), 33.3%
Research paper, 33.3%
Weekly reading notes (10) & participation, 33.3%
Office: 211B Marshall
Tel. 315.470.4931/ 6636, fax 315.470.6915
Nash, Roderick F. 2014. Wilderness and the American Mind, 5th ed. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-19038-0
Gottlieb, Robert. 2005. Forcing the Spring: The Transformation of the American Environmental Movement, 2nd ed. Washington, DC: Island Press. ISBN 9-781-55963-832-6
Cole, Luke W., and Sheila R. Foster. 2001. From the Ground Up: Environmental Racism and the Rise of the Environmental Justice Movement. New York: NYU Press. ISBN 9-780-81471-537-6
Speth, James G. 2009. The Bridge at the End of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 9-780300-15115-2
Johnston, Hank. 2014. What Is a Social Movement? Malden, MA: Polity. ISBN 978-0-7456-6085-1
Merchant, Carolyn, ed. 2012. Major Problems in American Environmental History: Documents and Essays, 3rd ed. Boston: Wadsworth/ Cenage Learning. ISBN 978-0-495-91242-2
Lester, James D., and James D. Lester, Jr. 2015. Writing Research Papers: A Complete Guide, 15th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Longman. ISBN 978-0-321-95295-0
Litfin, Karen T. 2014. Ecovillages: Lessons for Sustainable Community. Malden, MA: Polity. ISBN 978-0-7456-7950-1
Klein, Naomi. 2014. This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate. NY: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-1-4516-9739-1
ESF Virtual Bookstore, available via myESF. For further information see: http://www.esf.edu/students/books.htm
"The Wilderness Idea: John Muir, Gifford Pinchot and the First Great Battle…" (Thurs., 9/5)
"Wild by Law: The Rise of Environmentalism and the Creation of the Wilderness Act" (Thurs., 9/12)
"Earth Days: Seeds of a Revolution" (Tues., 9/24 & 10/1)
“Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring” (Thurs., 10/10)
"Laid to Waste" (Thurs., 10/22)
"Cesar Chavez: Pesticides Kill Farmworkers" (Tues., 10/29)
"Kids at Risk" (Tues. 10/29)
"Martin Sheen" (Tues. 10/29)
"In Our Own Back Yard: The First Love Canal" (Thurs., 10/31)
"This Changes Everything" (Tues., 11/12)
Weekly reading notes (due most Tuesdays, as noted below)
Essay #1, "Early American Environmental Movements" (due Tues., 9/24)
Essay #2, "American Environmentalism: The Second Wave" (due Tues., 10/22)
Essay #3, "The Environmental Justice Movement" (due Tues., 11/12)
Research paper (see below)
Assignment. A detailed assignment will be provided during Week 7.
Proposal (T-1). By Week 10, submit a proposal in the form of an abstract (~1 p.) describing the historical or contemporary American environmental issue, campaign, advocate, opponent or environment-related organization that you would like to examine in your research paper.
Abstract, outline and bibliography (T-2). By Week 12, submit a revised abstract, outline and preliminary bibliography for your research paper. At least 10 relevant, peer-reviewed, scholarly journal articles on your topic should be included in the bibliography, in proper reference form.
Specifications. Term papers should be at 10-12 pp. in length, double-spaced, 11 or 12 pt. Times New Roman, plus coversheet and bibliography.
Deadline (T-3). Due at the beginning of the regularly scheduled Final Exam period for this course.
This guide is designed to help you with the research assignments of EST 361. Please stop by the reference desk at Moon Library for additional assistance. You may also find it useful to consult other Subject Guides which are available on a wide range of topics. We also have a 24/7 Library FAQ available - where you can search an existing FAQ list or send us a new question. Also consider taking ESF 200, Information Literacy, as this class will help you throughout your academic endeavors.
Reference Librarians are here to help you with your research. We work at the reference desk (left side of service desk) from 9am - 6pm Monday-Thursday and 9am - 4pm on Friday. We are also available by appointment. Please stop by - we are here to assist students, faculty and staff with their information needs.
Direct reference queries to us using this form, calling 315-470-6711 or directly contacting a librarian.
Jane Verostek is the department liaison for EST.