Mountain Geography: Physical and Human Dimensions|
Spring 2023 not offered
While nearly everyone is familiar with the importance of oceans and rainforests, mountain environments receive relatively little attention. Yet mountains are home to approximately one-tenth of world's people, cover 1/5 of the Earth's surface, and occur in 75 percent of the world's countries. As much as 80 percent of world's freshwater originates in mountains, and all of the world's major rivers have their headwaters in the highlands. More than half of humanity relies on the fresh water that accumulates in mountains for drinking, domestic use, irrigation, hydropower, industry, and transportation. Mountains are dynamic yet fragile ecosystems, home to some of the most disadvantaged but highly motivated people in the world, and centers of armed conflict. They present additional challenges to sustainable development because of their lack of infrastructure, communications, and historically marginalized cultures. Additionally, they are often among the first landscapes to display a range of climate change impacts, such as the recession of glaciers, formation of large glacial lakes, and glacial lake outburst floods (GLOF). The course will provide students with a broad and integrated overview of the physical and human dimensions of the mountain world. Covered within this interdisciplinary course will be lectures, videos, readings, and individual projects covering: - The geological origins of mountains, how they're built-up and worn-down over time. - The importance of mountains for biodiversity and water cycles, globally and locally. - The cultural significance of mountains to people around the globe, and how that relationship has evolved over time. - How mountains are used, how they're protected, and how today they're experiencing rapid change in a warming climate. - The basics of integrated conservation and development programs in mountains, including their design, monitoring, and evaluation - Basic skills related to staying healthy in the high altitude environment (acclimatization, preventing acute mountain sickness, evacuation basics, clothing layering, staying found)
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Lecture||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Prerequisites: BIOL182 OR ENVS197 OR E&ES199
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ENVS-MN)(ENVS)
The core textbook will be (available at the Wesleyan University bookstore, and on reserve at the library): Price, M., Byers, A.C., Friend, D.A., Kohler, T., and Price, L.W. 2013. Mountain Geography: Physical and Human Dimensions. Berkeley: University of California Press, with selected readings from (available on the course¿s Moodle site): Messerli, B. and Ives, J. (eds.) 1997. Mountains of the World: A Global Priority. New York: The Parthenon Publishing Group; Fonstad, M.A. (ed.) 2018. Mountains: Human, Environmental, and Sociocultural Dynamics (based on the 2017 Special Issue on Mountains of the Annals of the Association of American Geographers 107 (2)). Additional course readings will also be available online and listed in Moodle.
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Class participation (10%), completion of assigned readings (10%), exam 1 (20%), exam 2 (20%), oral presentation of research and funding proposal (10%), research and funding proposal paper (30%).
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
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