UNST 286D – Natural Science Inquiry

Portland State University
Winter 2014

Conceptual content: An environmentally sustainable society is one that meets the current needs of its people for food, clean water, clean air, shelter and other basic resources without compromising the ability for future generations to meet their needs. Problems arising from the human need for energy and the environmental degradation that follows has created problems generating from a local to global scale. The nature and success in resolving these problems starts with a proper understanding of Ecology and how humans fit into nature. It is then that we can delve into inquiry and learn how to ask proper questions. From these questions we can test and answer the scientific cause and effect of the problems, as well as return to the socio-economic and political context of the original question and more importantly perhaps the spirit nature of life.

We begin the class with (You) asking “How big is your ecological footprint?” and then making a 10 week commitment to change something in your lifestyle and quantifying its affect. We will investigate, observe, test, write, graph, draw, debate, dialog, calculate and with determined focus, Learn!

This course will include team projects and fieldwork outside of class. We will ride share, camp and venture into Nature this term.

Syllabus - Nat. Sci Inquiry