Having endorsed systems theory and systems analysis—and having recognized that all life exists and develops within complex, dynamic systems that are hybrids of human and natural processes, we must address scale problems if we are to understand sustainability.
In this first year writing and communication course you will consider how your work at Tech and after Tech may interact with and affect urban communities and the people who live in them. We will begin by examining our own backgrounds--whether you're a life long city dweller or whether you grew up in a rural or suburban area--and how they have shaped our attitudes toward Atlanta and toward cities generally. These backgrounds, we will see, may condition our attitudes toward the development of urban space.
This course asks students to examine what we talk about when we talk about “dirt,” and how do the things we communicate about dirt change its presence in our lives. The major assignments facilitate learning goals through four units: dirt vs. soil, earthworks, dirt stories, and trendy dirt. The primary texts in this course will largely deal with a North American perspective on dirt. We will engage with American film (ex: Grapes of Wrath, Waterworld, Noma, Interstellar, The Martian, the Mad Max megaverse), and contemporary American literature.
Biodiversity Dynamics will be a project-based course will explore where plants and animals live on the landscape, and how and why they move or evolve in response to environmental changes and human impacts. We will use real species, landscape, climate, and human impact data to explore biogeographic rules, such as the latitudinal & elevation diversity gradients. We will also learn about how landscape ecologists use species distribution models and corridor models for conservation purposes.