Course Inventory

Browse our curated collection of environment-related courses available to undergraduate and graduate students at Penn.

Modern Western colonialism impacted the world in many ways. However, each country and community has had a different encounter and experience with colonialism. For the Adivasis (indigenous peoples) of India, it was catastrophic and marked a new phase in their history. The pre-colonial symbolizes a periodof freedom in the hills and forest, whereas the colonial era symbolizes state coercion, eviction from landand the end of free movement in the forest. The proposed course discusses Adivasis' encounters withthe British colonial state. The course examines Indian history from the perspectives of Adivasis andcontrasts these with dominant paradigms of Indian history. In this way, the course allows students tounderstand India from a different perspective. Under British colonialism, the diverse ethnic self-governing communities were imagined as primitive, uncivilized, barbaric, violent, backward and childlikepeople. The course discusses how such constructions impacted Adivasi social life and development. Ittraces how the expansion of the colonial state in forests and hills put an end to self-rule and inducedmassive migration from the plains of India and asks how Adivasi areas were integrated into the colonialeconomy. How did the colonial state use revenue and forest policies and regulations to bring theseareas under its control? How did commercialization of agriculture and forest conservation work tofurther marginalize Adivasis? The course also examines how Adivasi knowledge of cultivation andforest conservation were viewed by the colonial state and asks why the colonial state encouragedcaste-Hindu peasant migration into Adivasi areas. Finally, it traces the ways that colonial interventionhas resulted in a series of contestations, acts of resistance, and insurgencies by Adivasi groups?Tracing forms of Adivasi resistance, the course puts these into conversation with intellectual history,emphasizing the role of rumours, myths, and orality, which provided the basis for the new insurgentconsciousness that spread throughout Adivasi communities. Adivasi resistance movements have beendocumented and analyzed by colonial rulers and anthropologists. Colonial discourses were successfulin criminalizing Adivasi politics. Ironically, many colonial-era discourses concerning Adivasis have beenperpetuated within the post-colonial academy. The anti-colonial struggles of Adivasis were constructedas sporadic, spontaneous, unorganized and apolitical. The inauguration of the Subaltern Studies Projecthas reversed such arguments and attempted to provide ideological integrity to Adivasi politics. Studentswill be introduced to important literature on Adivasi anti-colonial insurgent consciousness and will beencouraged to think critically about the concepts and theories of subaltern politics. Assigned readingsinclude texts by James Scott, Ranajit Guha, David Arnold, David Hardiman, Ajay Skaria, Dhanagare,Ramachandra Guha, Biswamoy Pati, Alpa Shah, Crispin Bates, Jangkhomang Guite and BhangyaBhukya. One aim of the course is to sensitize the students to how the political and cultural mobilizationsby subalterns have contributed to the shaping of democracy.

School(s):
School of Arts & Sciences
Instructor: N/A
Section:
401
Priority:
Societal Resilience
Topics:
Global
Society

This course examines the law (constitutional, statutory, and administrative) governing the structure, functions, and oversight of federal agencies. It proceeds in three related parts. Part I covers Congress’s establishment of and delegation of powers to agencies, including the constitutional limits of such delegations; subsequent mechanisms by which Congress controls agencies; and the President’s power to direct and oversee the work of agencies, and control them by appointing and removing agency officials. Part II covers the main legal categories of agency action, i.e., rulemaking and adjudication; the choice between them to make policy; and the constitutional, statutory, and other law governing agency action, including the Administrative Procedure Act. Part III covers judicial review of agency action, with emphasis on standing to sue, the availability and methods of review, the timing of review, remedies, and the scope of review as to agency factual determinations, policy decisions, and interpretation of statutes and regulations.

School(s):
Law School
Instructor:
Coglianese / Lee / Lee Weiner
Section:
0.001
Priority:
Societal Resilience
Topics:
Justice

This course introduces students to the development and uses of the 4-step urban transportation model (trip generation-trip distribution-mode choice-traffic assignment) for community and metropolitan mobility planning. Using the VISUM transportation desktop planning package, students will learn how to build and test their own models, apply them to real projects, and critique the results.

School(s):
School of Engineering and Applied Science
Instructor: N/A
Section: N/A
Priority:
Societal Resilience
Topics:
Urban
Sustainability

This course introduces students to the development and uses of the 4-step urban transportation model (trip generation-trip distribution-mode choice-traffic assignment) for community and metropolitan mobility planning. Using the VISUM transportation desktop planning package, students will learn how to build and test their own models, apply them to real projects, and critique the results.

School(s):
School of Engineering and Applied Science
Instructor: N/A
Section: N/A
Priority:
Societal Resilience
Topics:
Urban
Sustainability

This course covers the fundamentals of atmosphere and ocean dynamics, and aims to put these in the context of climate change in the 21st century. Large-scale atmospheric and oceanic circulation, the global energy balance, and the global energy balance, and the global hydrological cycle. We will introduce concepts of fluid dynamics and we will apply these to the vertical and horizontal motions in the atmosphere and ocean. Concepts covered include: hydrostatic law, buoyancy and convection, basic equations of fluid motions, Hadley and Ferrel cells in the atmosphere, thermohaline circulation, Sverdrup ocean flow, modes of climate variability (El-Nino, North Atlantic Oscillation, Southern Annular Mode). The course will incorporate student led discussions based on readings of the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report and recent literature on climate change. Aimed at undergraduate or graduate students who have no prior knowledge of meteorology or oceanography or training in fluid mechanics. Previous background in calculus and/or introductory physics is helpful. This is a general course which spans many subdisciplines (fluid mechanics, atmospheric science, oceanography, hydrology).

School(s):
School of Arts & Sciences
Instructor: N/A
Section: N/A
Priority:
Stewardship of Nature
Topics:
Climate
Oceans & Coasts

The Advanced Regulatory Law and Policy seminar is for 3L students who have completed the Regulatory Law and Policy seminar and have been selected to serve on The Regulatory Review's editorial board. This seminar provides a unique educational opportunity for anyone interested in contemporary developments in regulatory law and policy across a variety of issue areas. Throughout the term, seminar participants follow regulatory developments in real time as well as encounter some of the most up-to-date research on regulatory issues. The primary work of the seminar centers around the production of The Regulatory Review, a daily online source of writing about regulatory news, analysis, and opinion. The format of weekly seminars varies, ranging from early lectures on the regulatory process to in-depth discussions of contemporary regulatory issues, and from critique of peer writing samples to analysis of current research articles.

School(s):
Law School
Instructor:
Cary Coglianese
Section:
0.002
Priority:
Societal Resilience
Topics:
Justice
School(s):
School of Arts & Sciences
Instructor:
Lee Cassanelli
Section: N/A
Priority:
Societal Resilience
Topics:
Global
Justice
School(s):
School of Arts & Sciences
Instructor:
Lee Cassanelli    
Section: N/A
Priority:
Societal Resilience
Topics:
Global
Justice

This course examines how agricultural science has shaped the modern world. It focuses on the lands touching the Pacific Ocean during the industrial era--from the late eighteenth century to the late twentieth century--to highlight how scientific knowledge of the natural world and regimes of agricultural production interacted to change spatial relations of power between distant places. We will explore the history of botany, chemistry, and entomology in the context of European and Euro-American exploration incursions into the Pacific. We will also explore the history of once-exotic but now commonplace things that sustain our existence, from sugar, rice, and palm oil to guano. In short, this course examines how ideas about nature, methods of converting nature into commodities, and nature itself all influence each other. Students will work throughout the semester to gain knowledge about the intersection of agriculture, science, and empire in the Pacific, while also developing and strengthening their ability to conduct historical research and produce original arguments.

School(s):
School of Arts & Sciences
Instructor: N/A
Section: N/A
Priority:
Societal Resilience
Topics:
Agriculture
Society

This is an ABCS course designed to provide the student with an understanding of air pollution at the local, regional and global levels. The nature, composition, and properties of air pollutants in the atmosphere will also be studied. The course will focus on Philadelphia's air quality and how air pollutants have an adverse effect on the health of the residents. The recent designation by IARC of Air Pollution as a known carcinogen will be explored. How the community is exposed to air pollutants with consideration of vulnerable populations will be considered. Through a partnership with Philadelphia Air Management Service (AMS) agency the science of air monitoring and trends over time will be explored. Philadelphia's current non-attainment status for PM2.5. and ozone will be studied. Philadelphia's current initiatives to improvethe air quality of the city will be discussed. Students will learn to measure PM2.5 in outdoor and indoor settings and develop community-based outreach tools to effectively inform the community of Philadelphia regarding air pollution. The outreach tools developed by students may be presentations, written materials, apps, websites or other strategies for enhancing environmental health literacy of the community. A project based approach will be used to include student monitoring of area schools, school bus routes, and the community at large. The data collected will be presented to students in the partner elementary school in West Philadelphia . Upon completion of this course, students should expect to have attained a broad understanding of and familiarity with the sources, fate, and the environmental impacts and health effects of air pollutants.

School(s):
School of Arts & Sciences
Instructor: N/A
Section: N/A
Priority:
Societal Resilience
Topics:
Philadelphia
Pollution

This elective course provides an overview of : (i) management and operational basics of food animal production systems (dairy, beef, swine, poultry, and aquaculture), (ii) contemporary issues concerning current practice and sustainable future of animal production systems, e.g., food safety & biosecurity, antibiotics & antimicrobial resistance, nutrient management & environmental regulations, and animal welfare & public concerns. Students will work in teams on debates from pre-arranged topics, and will complete periodic assignments.

School(s):
School of Veterinary Medicine
Instructor: N/A
Section: N/A
Priority:
Stewardship of Nature
Topics:
Nature
Infrastructure

This course is a foundational course for students enrolling in the Animal Welfare Certificate Program. This course covers the basic principles, history, and application of animal welfare science. Over a series of video modules, online discussions, assignments, and quizzes, this course will teach students to assess the welfare of animals in a variety of settings using science-based methods and reasoning. Students will learn current welfare issues by species. This class will engage in activities that build the skills to find and assess scientific sources of information. Finally, the link between science and ethics will be explored such that students understand various ethical frameworks and how they relate to animal welfare. The objective of the course is to provide students with the background and tools to apply animal welfare science in order to facilitate students' ability to successfully engage in welfare deliberations and welfare science in a variety of fields.

School(s):
School of Veterinary Medicine
Instructor: N/A
Section: N/A
Priority:
Stewardship of Nature
Topics:
Nature

In this course we will explore how Native American technologies shaped the early modern Atlantic World in order to understand the role of culture in what is often called the "Columbian Exchange.” Technologies, for the purpose of this course, include animal practices (such as hunting and taming techniques), foraged and domesticated plants (such as maize, potatoes, and annatto), foods (such as cassava and chocolate), drugs (such as tobacco, quinine and coca), textiles (such as hammocks and featherworks), and precious metals and gemstones (such as pearls, emeralds and gold). We will explore technologies' relationships to other aspects of art and culture, and focus particularly on how and why certain technologies - and not others - moved beyond colonial Latin America in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. We will read intensively in both primary and secondary sources.

School(s):
School of Arts & Sciences
Instructor:
Marcia Norton
Section:
401
Priority:
Societal Resilience
Topics:
Global
Industry & Finance

This course is a foundational course for students enrolling in the Animal Welfare Certificate Program. It will describe the changing roles and status of animals in society, and examine the history of human-animal relationships through the lens of subsistence hunting, animal domestication, farming and pastoralism, animal research, and pet keeping. The historical development of ambivalent/oppositional attitudes to animal exploitation will also be described and discussed, and the remarkable diversity of contemporary human-animal relationships and their impacts on animal welfare will be explored across cultures and contexts. The influence of science, government, business, and non-governmental organizations in defining and influencing animal-related laws and policies will also be addressed.

School(s):
School of Veterinary Medicine
Instructor:
Serpell
Section:
0.001
Priority:
Stewardship of Nature
Topics:
Nature
Society

This course looks at animals in the American past, to find out what a focus on an individual animal, a species, or a kind of animal (such as work animals, food animals, wildlife, zoo animals, pets and pests) can reveal by exposing the inner workings of different periods and events. When we make animals the focus of how we look at the past, things change. Making animals visible makes other things visible; hidden, surprising or even shocking aspects of the past appear. Americans have always lived with and employed animals. They also have “thought with” animals, using animals to work out their understandings of society, nature and power. How Americans perceived, named, classified, behaved toward and worked with animals bares the workings of race, class and gender, uncovers power structures, and reveals environmental and legal choices. If we want to understand how the current world came to be, taking a critter approach to history provides a way to explain how we got to now. Changing our view of the past can change our ideas of what the present can be. Though animals are everywhere in the past, they are often hidden from view. We will embark on a hunt for animals, foraging through historical writing, political documents, literature, and primary sources. We will watch movies, examine photographs and study cartoons. We will draw on knowledge from the fields of science, technology, health and environments, and employ the classifications of race, class, gender, nature and culture. We’ll talk about evolution, domestication and wildlife. We will look at zoomorphism, when people or things are labeled as animals (calling people pigs or snakes, or talking about bull or bear stock markets), and anthropomorphism, when animals are thought of or portrayed as people. In this seminar, we’ll begin with case studies from the nineteenth century, then start seeking the animals of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Writing, much of it informal, will be a regular part of this course, as will research exercises. There will be different options for writing and for research projects. Course materials will focus on American history and society but projects and exercises may look at places and times from around the globe and across the centuries.

School(s):
School of Arts & Sciences
Instructor: N/A
Section: N/A
Priority:
Stewardship of Nature
Topics:
Nature
Society

This course targets undergraduate students, such as Juniors and Seniors. Just about every student at UPenn and in particular in engineering is using progressively larger datasets to ask scientific questions. This course will break down how we use data and modeling to ask scientific questions and teach the basic toolkits to do so. The goal of this course is to allow any student who needs to use data to ask questions to see which computational tools they need to use and to use existing tools to ask those questions. All teaching will be small group and team based. The course will use a broad set of data representative of the school. The course is open to upper level undergraduate students who have some knowledge of Python.

School(s):
School of Engineering and Applied Science
Instructor: N/A
Section: N/A
Priority:
Societal Resilience
Topics:
Industry & Finance

The application of geophysical investigation techniques to problems of the local and shallow subsurface structure of the earth. The application of geophysical measurements and interpretation for environmental site characterizations, locating buried structures, groundwater investigations, and identifying geotechnical hazards with emphasis on gravity methods, seismic refraction and reflection, electrical resistivity, electromagnetic methods, ground penetrating radar, and borehole nuclear logging.

School(s):
School of Arts & Sciences
Instructor:
Sauder
Section:
690
Priority:
Stewardship of Nature
Topics:
Nature

This course aims to provide students with practical skills helpful in the study of animal welfare and in the future offer a bridge to our proposed master's program. Students will be exposed to critical reading of the scientific literature, development and testing of hypothesis as well as examining experimental paradigms used commonly to probe animal welfare and behavior. The goal of the course is for each student to conceive, develop, write, and present a research proposal on a question of interest in animal welfare that could provide the foundation for a future capstone project. Student assignments will include selected readings, synchronous and asynchronous online discussion of relevant course materials, and an oral presentation and written description of their research proposal.

School(s):
School of Veterinary Medicine
Instructor: N/A
Section: N/A
Priority:
Stewardship of Nature
Topics:
Nature

This course is designed to provide the graduate student with an understanding of the fundamentals of aqueous geochemistry.The chemistry of water,air and soil will be studied from an environmental perspective.The nature, composition, structure, and properties of pollutants coupled with the major chemical mechanisms controlling the occurrence and mobility of chemicals in the environment will also be studied.Upon completion of this course, students should expect to have attained a broad understanding of and familiarity with aqueous geochemistry concepts applicable to the environmental field. Environmental issues that will becovered include acid deposition, toxic metal contamination, deforestation,and anthropogenic perturbed aspects of the earth's hydrosphere.

School(s):
School of Arts & Sciences
Instructor:
Andrews
Section:
690
Priority:
Stewardship of Nature
Topics:
Pollution
Water

This course is designed to provide the graduate student with an understanding of the fundamentals of aqueous geochemistry.The chemistry of water,air and soil will be studied from an environmental perspective.The nature, composition, structure, and properties of pollutants coupled with the major chemical mechanisms controlling the occurrence and mobility of chemicals in the environment will also be studied.Upon completion of this course, students should expect to have attained a broad understanding of and familiarity with aqueous geochemistry concepts applicable to the environmental field. Environmental issues that will becovered include acid deposition, toxic metal contamination, deforestation,and anthropogenic perturbed aspects of the earth's hydrosphere.

School(s):
School of Arts & Sciences
Instructor:
Andrews
Section:
690
Priority:
Stewardship of Nature
Topics:
Pollution
Water