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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Environmental Classes at Tulane

Tulane course registration time is here. Here's a few classes with the environment in mind. These reviews are written by Suzannah and Erik, both Green Club member. The ratings are out of 4. If you have some more classes you'd like to write a review for, send us an email at TUgreenclub@gmail.

EVST 1010 Intro to Environmental Studies, Meredith Dudley, Rating of 3: This was a solid introductory class that focused mainly on issues in Louisiana, which I thought was useful. We were also given the opportunity to put together a final project with a topic of our choosing. Pretty easy course.
EBIO 2050 Global Change Biology, Michael Blum, Rating of 2: This is a challenging class. The average of the first exam was a D and he blamed the students, not himself.
EENS 1300/1310 Environmental Science and Lab, Jeff Sigler, Rating of 4: Sigler is adorably self-deprecating and knowledgeable. This is a solid overview of all major environmental systems and concerns. An easy class if you do the work.
COMM 3510 Environmental Communication, I think the professor died :/, Rating of 2: This was a very dry course with interesting though basic material. Perhaps now there's a new professor who can liven it up a bit.
PHILL 3340 Humanity's Place in NatureKeith Silverman, Rating of 4: This was one of my favorite classes at Tulane. It isn't so much focused on environmental issues as it is love (???), but Silverman is great. The course is easy provided you try just a bit.
SRVC 4890 Green Seminar, Adam Beebe, Rating of 3: This is connected to the service learning internship course. It had great readings on environmental principles that you won't find in other courses. Very easy and great conversations.
EBIO 2010 Evolution of Health and Human Disease, David Heins, Rating of 3: Fascinating class that could be tricky for enviro students because of the heavy human health information. It's doable and definitely worthwhile. The topics will interest anyone who's into public health.
EENS 2230 OceanographyBrad Rosenheim, Rating of 1: One of the most difficult classes in my academic experience. It was unexpectedly tricky, and requires a lot of studying.
(Editor's note: Oceanography was one of my favorite classes at Tulane. I would rate it a 4 and found Rosenheim to be one of the most passionate profs I've had.  -Nick)
EENS 3720 Infrastructure of Sustainable Urban Environments, Jeff Sigler, Rating of 4: Again, Sigler is great and reasonable. The information is really fascinating and relevant for future career choices.
Theory and Methods of EEB--Dr. Henry: 3/5.
This class is now required for all environmental biology students as well as EEB kids. Its basically a paper-centered class, in which we read 4 published papers by Tulane faculty and analyzed them to learn about the scientific method as it is actually practiced. It has some interesting topics and Dr. Henry is great (though Derryberry taught it this semester); however I was frustrated by the type of work we had to do. Its low on lectures and high on group-work, specifically work that often felt like high school style busy work. In fact, "group work" is the best concise summary of the class.
Marine Biology--Dr. Caruso: 4/5
Environmentally-minded folks might want to take this class because the marine environment is so different from the terrestrial one. A good understanding of the nature of marine environmental issues requires an understanding of the unique features of marine organisms, food chains and habitats. If you like interesting lectures and can handle a lot of memorization, you should do fine. Note: Caruso could easily have called this class "Animals I have Eaten," as you'll see once you meet him.
Processes of Evolution--Drs. Heins and Sherry: 4/5
This class is hard. Like, really hard. But its required for ENVB and EEB, so suck it up and enjoy it, because it is also the most fascinating course I have ever taken here. Though the amount of detail covered is probably excruciating for most people and the tests are really hard, if you are interested in evolution you will get a lot out of it. The main bummer in my opinion is the mandatory recitation, which fills a large chunk of time with busy work. The secret of the class : everything they taught you about evolution in high school is wrong or grossly over-simplified.
Note: I have to agree with Nick that I loved Rosenheim (Brosenheim?) and thought oceanography was fascinating and rewarding.
Note: I went to a lecture by Keith Silverman and realized that he does not believe in the Darwinian Theory of Evolution. This was kind of a bummer. While I'm sure he has many interesting and valid things to say, his arguments against evolution were circular and sort of pissed me off, and I'm not sure I would be able to "open my mind" enough to take a class with hi