Joseph Siry Ph.D., faculty, with
  • Bethany Eriksen, Peer educator
  • Claudia Piechota, Peer educator

This RCC class will allow you to


1. practice distinguishing facts from fiction.

2. express your ideas based on the readings in three ways:

a.     personal framework,

b.     an analytical framework (taking an argument apart into supporting pieces),

c.     a synthetic framework (putting critical parts together into a whole).

3. use biological and ecological principles to examine parts of our world economy.

4. work together in an effort to solve complex problems of human ecology.

5. every week work with a class of students at Fern Creek Elementary to improve their reading skills.

6. identify and explain with examples that every ecological problem has three facets:

            i. Physical aspects,

            ii. Biological aspects,

            iii. Social aspects.

7. practice discovering and exposing the bias or deep background to everyday problems.

8. express a sensible narrative about you, your society, surroundings and nature.

9. identify and use basic ingredients in and steps to effectively write a cogent college term paper.



Texts and readings:

The Dominant Animal: Human Evolution and the Environment. Anne H. & Paul R. Ehrlich


When the Killing's Done, T. C. Boyle


Class web site: The Imperiled Planet


Bi-Monthly readings:

Storm over the Amazon, The Diversity of Life. E. O. Wilson

Americans and their Tidal Seas, Joseph Siry

The Tragedy of the Commons, Garret Hardin

Like Weasels, Annie Dillard

Our Stolen Future. Theo Colburn

Why Sex is Fun, Evolution of Human Sexuality. Jared Diamond

The New York Times, science, technology and health/environment sections



            Mondays                    Intro to a lecture / discussion

            Wednesdays               discuss science Tuesdays section in the New York Times

            Fridays                       applying what we learned to action



      Attend all classes and events

      Letter to the editor of the New York Times / Orlando Sentinel & Sandspur papers

      A personal essay based on interviews about you, other people and this shared planet. (Carl Sagan you tube)

      An analytical essay based on an argument from Ehrlich and three-four other authors.

       A synthetic essay based on the Hardin and Colburn articles with evidence from every author.


a guide to key vocabulary go on this page.


Readings | Vocabulary | Description | Overview | Assignments | Lectures | Index of this course | Grades

technology index learn science index learn gene index learn social science index learn photograph index learn Darwin Index