American Environmental Issues

The United States has been simultaneously a country with abundant natural resources and a world leader in economic development and industrialization. Numerous federal policies, particularly since the 1960s, have tried to balance these realities and protect our environment even as we pursue economic growth. But the balance between the economy and the environment is uneasy. The Trump Administration, for instance, recently announced changes to federal interpretation of the Endangered Species Act. And the government shutdown in early 2019 led to numerous environmental impacts. This seminar will consider this dynamic by reviewing important policies and the state of the American environment. Topics will include climate change, national parks, endangered species, ecosystems, and the Indiana Dunes. We will also review the use of an in-class exercise that challenges students to see controversial issues from multiple perspectives, which we dearly need more of in society.