Socio-ecological Prairie Systems

NST2085 Socio-Ecological Prairie Systems
4 Intermediate Liberal Arts Credits

**NST2085 AND LVA2085 are two separate courses and students are held responsible to register for the course that they would like to receive credit for.**

Socio-ecological systems (SES) are linked systems of people with nature, emphasizing that humans must be seen as a part of, not apart from nature. This course will explore the nature of the prairie, both as a socio-ecological system and as a subject for exploration and contemplation for visual and literary artists. Before the Euro-American (un)settlement of the North American middle west-about 150 years ago-the tallgrass prairie extended for approximately 145 million acres from Canada to Texas. Now, after several generations of overgrazing, plowing, and the intensities of agricultural production, there remains less than 5% of what some scientists call our most endangered ecosystem. We will investigate how prairies function, study the causes and consequences of related ecological patterns and processes in prairie landscapes, describe both the loss and restoration of prairie environments, and appreciate the potential for the role of the arts in naming, analyzing, and imagining solutions relating to the examination and repair of prairie systems. Studying SES allows for the development of important skills for future leaders, such as approaches for incorporating uncertainty, nonlinearity, and self-reorganization from instability. Transdisciplinary approaches will be employed to address complex temporal, spatial, and organizational scales to investigate real world challenges.

Prerequisites: NST1 and FCI1000 and WRT1001

  • Program: Undergraduate
  • Division: Mathematics, Analytics, Science and Technology
  • Level: Intermediate Liberal Arts (UGrad)
  • Course Number: NST2085
  • Number of Credits: 4