Course Information

Environmental Studies 40 focuses on the geoclimate, resources and the ensuing policiy dilemmas faced by developing and contiguous countries with dissimilar economic status. Topics include soil, vegetation and water resources; energy, land use and wildlife management issues; agricultural practices and indigenous community dynamics. Two field research exercises give students first-hand experience about real issues: how to identify soils, vegetation and trees and to link this analysis with wildlife activities and management issues; and how to investigate land use and agricultural practices while living on selected rural farms for five days.

Environmental Studies 42 introduces the political ecology of Southern Africa. Using competitive demands on land and the environment as its intellectual prism, the course investigates the historical, social, political and economic forces that are shaping modern-day countries of Southern Africa. These forces include colonial and post-colonial land use strategies; agricutural and economic development issues; wildlife management and the role of the parks, preserves and safari areas; tourism demands and impacts; and the urban environment.

A third course, Environmental Studies 84, is a coordinating research seminar taught by the Dartmouth faculty Director, who assists the 20 students in identifying an actual environmental issue or problem in Southern Africa, undertaking original, independent research on that problem, and writing an extensive and substantial research paper. In the past, students have compared issues of privatization of Hwange and Kruger National Parks, addressed the costs and benefits of tourism for developing states of the region, analyzed the debate over trans-frontier conservation areas, investigated real and metaphorical borders that separate the peoples of Africa, and examined the issues of communal game ranching.