ES366: The Environment and Human Health. How human health is affected by physical, chemical, biological, and social environments; how we use science to measure effects of these determinants at the level of cell, tissue, individual, and population; how we assess these determinants to make regulatory decisions. Topics include introductions to toxicology, epidemiology, and risk assessment; health effects of pollution, synthetic chemicals, consumer products, climate change, and the built environment; the etiology of health outcomes including cancer, obesity, endocrine disruption, and respiratory diseases. Students use primary scientific literature for independent research and, when appropriate, engage in environmental health policy debates in Congress and/or the Maine legislature.
ES364 Climate Change, Justice and Health. Examines the impacts of changing climate dynamics on human livelihoods, rights, health, and well-being. Through interdisciplinary readings, class discussions, research projects, and innovative communications, students will engage deeply with data from the natural and social sciences about human impacts, adaptations, and vulnerabilities, as well as explore climate justice activism. Key learning goals include improved information literacy and written and oral communication skills and increased understanding of the ways climate change is impacting the world in which we live.
ES265: Global Public Health. An introduction to the principles and measures of global health, disease burdens, and environmental determinants of health, including poverty, climate change, pollution, population, violence, and lack of safe food, clean water, and fuels. We will also study international health institutions, key actors, and environmental regimes for the regulation of environmental health hazards. Through small-group presentations and discussion we will explore global case studies that highlight the complex relationship between human health and the environment.
ES126: Environmental Activism. An introduction to the history, theory, and practice of environmental activism, incorporating both global and local perspectives. Students explore the social phenomena that underlay human action in the environmental arena, taking an interdisciplinary approach that encompasses history, social movement and political theory, media studies, gender studies, psychology, and first-person narratives. Goals include 1) developing effective skills in critical reading, analysis, writing and communications; 2) developing an appreciation for the vastness and diversity of human responses to environmental challenges; and 3) providing the opportunity to apply emerging leadership and organizing skills to the design of student environmental groups.
ES120: Community Responses to Environmental Hazards.An introduction to community-level environmental problems related to hazardous waste and the impacts on and responses of affected communities. Explores the concept of environmental justice and how the risk of hazardous exposures is related to race, ethnicity, class, and gender. We discuss U.S. policy debates on hazardous waste regulation and environmental injustice claims, and we consider the evidence for the inequitable distribution of environmental quality and adverse health impacts, the mechanisms for environmental and public health decision making, and community access to informational resources and empowerment.
GS111: Human Rights in Global Perspective. Jointly led by Colby’s Oak Fellow and Professor Gail Carlson, an examination of human rights. Students will design and implement civic engagement projects related to the area of interest of the fellow throughout the term.