The history of life on earth and mechanisms underlying evolution. Topics include the history of thought about evolution, Darwin and "Darwinism", applications of evolutionary ideas in agriculture and medicine, mis-applications such as in eugenics and racism, and the relationship between evolutionary biology and religion. Intended for non-majors. One course.
Ecology, morphology, and identification of trees and shrubs; topics include plant anatomy and wood structure, reproduction, classification, evolution; outdoor class meetings focus on identification of native and cultivated species; intended for nonmajors. One course.
Historical and present interactions between humans and plants like coffee, tea, sugar, opium, pepper, potato and hemp, illustrating major changes in human civilization and cultures as a result. Social economic, trade, exploration, spiritual, medicinal, and plant structural and chemical reasons underlying the pivotal roles certain plant species have played in the development of human culture and technology. Case studies of different plant commodities (products) revealing these biological and historical interactions. For nonmajors. One course.
Explores the interaction of biology and culture in creating and defining diseases through an investigation of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and other emerging diseases: molecular biology; biology of transmission and infection; the role of people and culture in the evolution of infectious diseases; reasons for the geographic variations in disease. The inductive-deductive methodology of science is both used to develop and test hypotheses as well as examined itself as an analytical tool. Intended for nonmajors. One course.
Explores interactions between ecosystem health and human well-being in context of global change and human population growth. Effects of climate change on food supply, water availability, land degradation and human well-being; impact of species distribution, disease spread, and human health; ecosystem services and human well-being. Case studies used to illustrate the scientific process and to evaluate supporting evidence. For nonmajors. One course.