This course examines the reciprocal relations between humans and non-human nature through a
historiographic perspective. The course addresses the changing impact of human populations, their
technology and their ideas on the physical environment, as well as how climate, topography,
plants and animals have enabled, constrained, and altered the path of human societies. A North
American context is emphasized.
After successfully completing this course, you will be able to:
- Describe the field of environmental history.
- Discuss significant themes in environmental history.
- Explain how historical events have been influenced by the natural environment.
- Explain how human activity has altered the natural environment over time.
- Critically read, analyze, and respond in writing to selected primary literature in the field
of environmental history.
- Effectively communicate in writing and in online discussions critical analyses and
evaluations of the environmental history literature.
- Unit 1
- Topic 1: Introduction to Environmental History
- Topic 2: Indigenous Environmental Change
- Topic 3: Ecological Imperialism
- Unit 2
- Topic 1: Resettlement
- Topic 2: Commodifying Natural Resources--The Fur Trade
- Topic 3: Agricultural Development--Technology and Power
- Unit 3
- Topic 1: The Conservation Movement
- Topic 2: The Moral Ecology of Parks
- Topic 3: Urban Nature
- Unit 4
- Topic 1: Consuming Nature--Energy and Consumption
- Topic 2: The Modern Environmental Movement
- Topic 3: Seeing Global Warming
Required text and materials
Steinberg, T. (2018). Down to earth: Nature’s role in American history (4th ed.). New
York, NY: Oxford University Press. ISBN: 9780190864422 Type: Textbook
To complete this course successfully, you must obtain a passing grade of 50% or higher on the
overall course and 50% or higher on the mandatory Final Project.
|HIST 3991 Coursework
|Assignment 1: Unit One
|Assignment 2: Unit Two
|Assignment 3: Unit Three
|Assignment 4: Unit Four
|Final Project: Proposal
|Final Project: Research Essay *
Open Learning Faculty Member
An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Primary communication is
through Blackboard’s “Mail” tool or by phone. You will receive the necessary contact information
when you start your course.