OCN 105 - Sustainability in a Changing World

Spring 2016

(Tu/Th 1:30pm – 2:45pm: MSB 100)

 

Lead Instructor:

Michael Guidry, guidry@hawaii.edu

Instructors:

Frank Sansone, sansone@soest.hawaii.edu

Christina Karamperidou, ckaramp@hawaii.edu

Michael Roberts, mjrobert@hawaii.edu

Rosie Alegado, ralegado@hawaii.edu

Mara Mulrooney, mara@bishopmuseum.org

Teaching Assistant:            

Sara Coffey, Office MSB 214; Email: coffeys@hawaii.edu
Office Hours (Tuesday 12:00 to 1:30pm or by appointment)

Course Website: piazza.com/university_of_hawaii_manoa/spring2016/ocn105/home

Textbook, Readings:

The textbook for the course is Jared Diamond's "Collapse" (2011). Required class readings can be download from Piazza in the "Resources" section.
There are also short, optional readings under “General Resources” on Piazza that you can read at your leisure.
Lectures Notes:

The projected slides from class will be available shortly after each class in the Piazza “Resources” section under “Lecture Notes”.

Goals:

This course addresses the need for the students to understand the concepts of sustainability and the history of sustainable practices across a wide range of cultures; this knowledge will allow you to be informed, active participants in efforts to address future global environmental change and to develop sustainable solutions.

This course focuses on the use of scientific tools to study how past civilizations and cultures impacted both the environment and environmental resources through their use of environmentally sustainable or non-sustainable practices.

There are three areas of focus for the course: (1) investigation of historical case studies to demonstrate how cultures and societies from pre-historic times to near-present-day have used resources in sustainable or unsustainable ways; (2) discussion of general sustainability concepts and how they apply to discussions of how past societies and cultures impacted and controlled their environments; and (3) consideration of the tools and data used to determine past environmental change (both human-induced and non-human-related forcings such as natural climate change)


Student Learning Objectives:  

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Provide a simple and clear definition of societal sustainability.
  2. Explain the underlying principles of societal sustainability and resilience, particularly with regards to environmental change prior to the year 1500.
  3. Explain the major means by which societies have been undermined by both humanly induced and natural environmental change, and provide examples of such occurrences from before the year 1500.
  4. Explain the factors commonly responsible for societal collapse, and provide examples from before the year 1500.
  5. Discuss the major features of global environmental change over the past 200,000 years (with a focus on the interval between 15,000 to 1,500 years before present) and how these changes affected people and societies.
  6. Critically read and evaluate quantitative and qualitative information presented at the public level concerning issues of climate, environmental change, and the sustainability and resilience of cultures, societies, and resources.
  7. Plot and interpret simple time-series data (for example, paleo-environmental records, population and resource trends, etc.).

How to do well:

Everyone can do well in this class. It simply requires effort and participation. These suggestions probably apply to all of your classes:

  1. Read assigned material *before* class and be prepared with questions. Was anything unclear in the reading? Did any of the issues or concepts bother you on a personal level? If so, raise your questions and concerns in class (NOT to the instructors privately). You'll earn participatory credit and, more importantly, will learn a lot more because the simple act of participating will cause you to be much more focused and engaged. Your participation will help others learn too.
  1. Form study groups. Try to form these with your fellow classmates to discuss class materials. If you can teach the material to others, then you know it. If you can't, then benefit by being around those that know the material and by discussing it with them.

 

Grades:  

Your final grade is the sum of two mid-term exams, a final exam, in-class quizzes, exercises, and participation:

    1. Midterm I: 25% of final grade
    2. Midterm II: 25% of final grade
    3. Final: 25% of final grade
    4. In-class grade: 25% of final grade (e.g., quizzes, participation & attendance, completing exercises, etc.)

 

Missed Assignments, Unexcused absences, and excused absences:

There will be no makeup opportunities for any missed assignment, including all quizzes, mid-term exams and the final exam, and class participation, except for truly exceptional circumstances.

Except for medical emergencies or circumstances beyond your control, excuses must be submitted for consideration and be approved BEFORE the day of the exam or the assignment due-date. Note that submitting an excuse does not guarantee it will be approved.

As we understand there might be circumstances that make it impossible to attend class (e.g., severe illness).  Thus your lowest 3 quiz/participation grades will be dropped from your final quiz/participation grade calculation.

Athletes who will miss an exam due to approved athletic commitments, etc. should inform the TA two weeks prior to the exam.

Final Exam:  

If you miss the final exam due to an excuse approved by the lead course instructor, you will have to take a make-up final exam at a later date agreed upon by both student and instructor.

If the make-up exam is taken after final course grades are submitted to the university, the student will receive an incomplete grade of “IF” for the class. The incomplete grade changes to an “F” if the make-up final exam is not taken in the allotted time per university rules.

If you miss the final exam without a valid excuse, you will receive a failing grade.

The final exam will not be given before the UHM scheduled time and date for the course.

Flight arrangements departing before the UHM scheduled final exam time are not a valid excuse to miss the final exam.

Grading of Exams:

Exams will be graded on a curve. If you have question about exam grading, contact the lead instructor. We intend to return exam scores a week after the exam.

In-class quizzes and class participation:

In-class quizzes comprise a significant share of your grade and include iClicker quizzes that pertain to reading assignments and materials covered during the class (these can occur at any time in class, so be on time). Be sure to read the assignments BEFORE class so you are prepared for the in-class quizzes!

Class participation includes being interactive and involved in classroom activities, discussions, and online forums. Your grade will also reflect the quality and quantity of questions.

As we understand there might be classes when circumstances make it impossible for you to attend class or make you late, or that during class your iClicker breaks or its battery runs out, etc.; thus we drop your bottom 3 quiz/participation scores from your final quiz/participation grade calculation.

 


 

Class Content Manager:

Piazza is the platform we’ll be using. The course is located at: (piazza.com/university_of_hawaii_manoa/spring2016/ocn105/home). You should have received an email sent to your Hawaii.edu account inviting you to join Piazza. It is part of your course participation grade to join.

 

Communication:

All course communication, updates, etc. will be announced in class and through Piazza and your UH email account. It is your responsibility to regularly check these.

 

Classroom Conduct:

Show up to class on time and be ready to take notes, listen and participate thoughtfully in discussion.

Bring your iClicker to every class as this will be part of your participation grade.
Do not take someone else’s iClicker to class and click for them, as that’s a violation of academic integrity for both of you, and all individuals involved will be held accountable.
If you need to leave prior to the end of class, notify the professor before class begins. You will still be accountable for course materials and quizzes that you miss by leaving early.

Turn off cell phone ringers before class begins.

Discussion Groups and Conduct:

Everyone's opinion is important and deserves to be heard. In discussion, whether with another individual, in a small group, or with the entire class, we will observe the right for everyone to be heard and to articulate their thoughts and opinions. It is also critical that you come prepared to participate in the discussions (e.g., by having done the reading, watched any required videos, etc.).

 

iClicker:

This class requires the use of an iClicker. During each class period you will be asked several questions that will require you to respond with your registered iClicker. Your iClicker must be registered by Wednesday, January 20th.  Register your iClicker at https://laulima.hawaii.edu/iclicker/.

 

Disability Access:

If you have a disability or related access need, the Instructors will make every effort to assist and support you. For confidential services, students are encouraged to contact the Office for Students with Disabilities (known as “KOKUA”) located on the ground floor (Room 013) of the Queen Lili'uokalani Center for Student Services:

KOKUA Program • 2600 Campus Road • Honolulu, Hawaii 96822 • Voice: 956-7511 • Email: kokua@hawaii.edu • Website: www.hawaii.edu/kokua


 

Spring 2016 OCN 105 Class Schedule and Readings

 

Class Period

 

Date

 

T/Th

Location
(MSB = Marine Science Building)

 

Themes

 

Readings

1

1/12

T

MSB 100

Class Introduction & Geologic Time

 

2

1/14

Th

MSB 100

Theories & Hypotheses; Interpreting Historic Data

 

 

1/19

T

Last day to drop course/switch sections without “W” grade

3

1/19

T

MSB 100

Nature of Archaeological Evidence

Renfrew and Bahn, 2008

 

1/20

W

Last day to register/add courses/change grading option (4pm deadline)
&                       iClicker registration deadline for OCN 105

4

1/21

Th

POST 703

Hunger Game: Resource Management

TBA

5

1/26

T

MSB 315

Hunger Game: Resource Management

Diamond Collapse Prologue p. 1-19

6

1/28

Th

MSB 100

Climate and Evolution (Out of Africa)

deMenocal, 2014, Climate Shocks

7

2/2

T

MSB 100

Climate and Migration (Population of the Americas)

Tracking First Americans, 2015

8

2/4

Th

MSB 100

Climate and Extinction (Megafauna)

Nat Geo Megafauna extinction, 2001

9

2/9

T

MSB 100

Climate and Agriculture (Mesopotamia)

Ruddiman, 2005

10

2/11

Th

MSB 100

Megadroughts (Central America)

Vanished: A Pueblo Mystery, NYT, 2008

 

11

 

2/16

 

T

 

MSB 100

Climate and Famine: Lessons from the Little Ice Age (Europe)

Interview w/ Geoffrey Parker, 2013; Mann, Little Ice Age, 2002

12

2/18

Th

MSB 100

Midterm #1

 

 

13

 

2/23

 

T

 

MSB 100

Economics & Social Behavior: Population and Economic Growth

Clark, 2007, chap. 1;
Solow, 1991

 

14

 

2/25

 

Th

 

MSB 100

Managing Commons: Market and Non-market mechanisms

Ostrom, 1990, Ch. 1;
Krugman, 2010

15

3/1

T

MSB 100

From Hunter-Fisher- Gatherer To Agriculture

Diamond. 1999.
Chapter 6

 

16

 

3/3

 

Th

 

MSB 100

 

Development of Agriculture

Tollefson, 2011,The 8,000-yr-old climate puzzle; Solomon, 2010, Water-Farming.
Butler, 2006.

 

17

 

3/8

 

T

 

MSB 100

 

SW Asia – Mesopotamia and Persia

Diamond. 1999. Fertile Crescent; Solomon, 2010, Water- Mesopotamia.


 

Class Period

 

Date

 

T/Th

Location
(MSB = Marine Science Building)

 

Themes

 

Readings

 

18

 

3/10

 

Th

 

MSB 100

 

SW Asia – Ancient Egypt

Solomon, 2010, Water-
Egypt; Solomon, 2010, Water-Islam.

 

19

 

3/15

 

T

 

MSB 100

 

Ancient Greece

Runnels, 1995;
Hughes 1975 (Greeks)

 

20

 

3/17

 

Th

 

MSB 100

 

Ancient Rome

Hughes 1975 (Romans)

                                       No classes - Spring Break - March 21st to 25th                                      

 

21

 

3/29

 

T

 

MSB 100

 

The Maya

Diamond: Collapse CH. 5 p. 157 to 177

 

22

 

3/31

 

Th

 

MSB 100

 

The Maya

 

23

4/5

Tu

MSB 100

Midterm #2

 

 

24

 

4/7

 

Th

 

MSB 100

Rapa Nui –
The Traditional View

Diamond: Collapse CH. 2 p.79-119

 

25

 

4/12

 

T

 

MSB 100

Rapa Nui –
A Second Look (Part 1)

Hunt, 2006. American Scientist

 

26

 

4/14

 

Th

 

MSB 100

Rapa Nui –
A Second Look (Part 2)

 

Hunt & Lippo, 2009

 

27

 

4/19

 

T

 

MSB 100

 

Hawai‘i: Early Settlers

Maly, Hawaiian Cultural Landscapes

 

28

 

4/21

 

Th

 

MSB 100

Hawai‘i: High islands, ahupua‘a, managed resources

Maly, Hawaiian Cultural Landscapes

29

4/26

T

Lo‘i O Kānewai

Hawai‘i: Lo‘i

TBA

30

4/28

Th

MSB 100

Opposite Paths to Success

Diamond. Collapse: CH. 9 (pp. 277-308)

 

31

 

5/3

 

T

 

MSB 100

 

The Great Debate

 

32

5/10

T

MSB 100

Final Exam

Noon to 2pm