Interdisciplinary Minor in Global Sustainability

University of California, Irvine

Supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation, Division of Undergraduate Education 

Senior Seminar

Bio. 191A/Soc. Eco. 186A/EarthSS 190A Wednesdays, 8-10 a.m.
140 Steinhaus Hall
Professor:  Peter A. Bowler,
Office hours: Wednesdays, 10 a.m.-noon, 407 Steinhaus Hall

This seminar is the first of three senior courses designed to encourage critical thinking and expand research skills in global sustainability.  This two unit Pass/Not Pass course is a seminar in the true sense.  It is interactive, evolving, and designed to engage students in a direct, thoughtful dialogue.  The course will include field trips into the environment to experience the environmental qualities about which we be reading.  These will include trips to the UNCRS Burns Reserve in Yucca Valley and the UCNRS San Joaquin Freshwater Marsh.  Students will read and discuss a relevant text (Seitz, 1995), as well as read and present written and verbal summaries of approximately 40 papers.  Among others, topics include biodiversity, economics, human populations, environmental ethics, human generated pollution of the air, earth and water, habitat restoration, and habitat management.  Various videos will supplement readings and discussion ("After the Warming", "Wild by Law", and others.).

Required Text:
Seitz, J.L.  1995.  Global Issues:  An Introduction.  Blackwell Publishers, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Additional readings to be summarized in class:
Arrow, K., B. Bolin, R. Costanza, P. Dasgupta, C. Folke, C.S. Holling, B.-O. Jansson, S. Levin, K.-G. Maler, C. Perrings, and D. Pimentel. Economic Growth, Carrying Capacity, and the Environment.  Policy Forum. Science 268:  520-521.

Cairns, J.C., Jr.  1991.  Saving endangered species.  Symposium on Virginia's Endangered Species.  MacDonald and Woodward Publishing Co., Blacksburg, VA. pp. 623-629.

Eisner, T., J. Lubchenco, E.O. Wilson,  D. S. Wilcove, and M.J. Bean. Building a Scientifically Sound Policy for Protecting Endangered Species. Policy Forum.  Science 268:  1231-1232.

Meyer, S.M.  1993.  Environmentalism and economic prosperity:  An update. 10 pp.

Naiman, R.J, J. J. Magnuson, D.M. McKnight, J.A. Stanford and J.R.Karr. 1995.  Freshwater ecosystems and their management:  A national initiative. Science 270:  584-585.

St. Clair, J. and A. Cockburn.  1996.  A songbird by the throat is worth two in the bush:  how consensus killed the gnatcatcher and the endangered species act.

Wilson, E.O. 1992. Biodiversity:  Challenge, Science, Opportunity.  Amer. Zool. 32:  1-7.

Wolf, E.C.  1991.  Survival of the Rarest.  World Watch (March-April issue):  12-20

Day trip to the UCNRS Burns Pinon Ridge Desert Reserve

Student papers

Fall quarter 1996

Salvage Logging by M. Ajao, February 5, 1997

The Endangered Species Act: To Be or to Be Reformed by Steven Bekedam, February 2, 1997

Conflict over Air Quality Standards by Allison Gotoh, February 5, 1997

Proposition 197- Public Safety or Public Trickery by Steve Jones, February 5, 1997

Dolphin Protection in the Tuna Fishery by John Malek, February 1997

Natural Communities Conservation Planning by Ruth Michelstein, February 1997

America's Endangered Species Act by Parvez Nawab, January 25, 1997

Poaching of Black Bears in Canada by Duc Nguyen, February 4, 1997

Bringing back the Bison by Mari Ohara, February 1997

Restoration of Bison onto the American Prairie by Moneil Patel, February 1997

Turtle Safety by Kevin Tiyaamornwong, February 1997

Hunting for Safety or Pleasure? by Mark Weng, February 1997

India: A Test of Global Sustainability by Parvez Nawab, February 1997 Winter quarter 1997

Native Americans and the Environmental Movement by Mandy Tran, March 1997

Ecotourism by Ruth Michelstein, March 1997

Owens Valley Tragedy by Steven Bekedam, March, 1997

Wetland Restoration by John Malek, March, 1997

Pros and cons of wildlife corridors by Mandy Tran, March 1997

Global Change by Kenneth B. Pierce Jr., March 1997

The Damming of the Yangtze River by Kevin Tiyaamornwong, March 1997

Climbing and Respecting the Environment by Jason Davis, March 5, 1997

The Ahmanson Ranch Development by Allison Gotoh, March 12, 1997

Ecotage: A Practical or Punishable Means of Environmental Activism? By: Steve Jones, March 15, 1997

Agent Orange by Duc Nguyen, March 4, 1997

Norwegian Whaling By Nalen Uk, May 1997

Preservation of Laguna San Ignacio by Mark Weng, April 23, 1997

Spring quarter 1997

Golf Courses, Biofilms, and the Black Plug Layer by Diego Caivano, June 6, 1997

Coastal California Gnatcatcherby Allison Gotoh, June 1997

Constructed Wetlands: A Last Effort to Save a Disappearing Habitat? by Christine A. Hager, June 1997

Why we need wolves in Yellowstone by Christine A. Hager, June 1997

Regulation of California Wetlands: Batiquitos Lagoon a Model by Amelia Minegar, June 1997

The Destruction and Restoration of California Wetlands by Amelia Minegar , June 1997

American Chestnut Blight and the Conservation of Chestnut Trees by Moneil Patel, June 1997

Lawn Pesticides by Chris Syrengelas, June 1997

Golf and the Environment  by Chris Syrengelas, June 1997

The Effects of Chemical Control Agents Used Against the Gypsy Moth by Stephanie Wronski, June 1997

Freshwater Mussels by Moneil Patel, June 1997

Foothill Toll Road's Toll on Wildlife by Mark Weng, May 1997

Winter quarter 1998

The USDA’s Standards for Organic Food By Dore Burry, March 1988

Are we Roundup® ready?  By Dore Burry, March 1988

Sustainability By Johnny Djordjevic, March 1998

Three Gorges Dam  By Johnny Djordjevic, March 1998

Can We Count on Aquaculture to Save Us? By Debra Einstein, February 11, 1998

Intensification: Can Agriculture Keep Up With Population Growth? By Debra E. Einstein, March 4, 1998

The world will not end with a crash, but in a whisper by Ian Forrest, March 10, 1998

Mitigation by Ian Forrest, March 10, 1998

Laguna San Ignacio By Irma Garcia, February 11, 1998

Saving the Ballona Wetlands By Irma Garcia, March 1998

Golden Lion Tamarin Reintroduction Program: Save them, Save us. By Nicole Litzie, February 11, 1998

Whaling: What's going on at the IWC By Nicole Litzie, March 11, 1998

The Salton Sea by Natalie L. Meyerhoff, February 22, 1998

Why Kill Dolphins? By Daniel G. Nunez, March 1998

Rethinking Chlorinated Tap Water  By Daniel G. Nunez, April 1998

Hanford: a historical perspective By Hung Dan Phu, March 8, 1998

The Santa Monica Bay Restoration Project  By Stephanie Rice, March 1998

El Nino kills off our Seals By Benyamin Rocca, March 2, 1998

The Yucca Mountain Project by Jeffrey O. Smith, March 1998

Ocean Contaminants and the Impact of El Nino  by Jeffrey O. Smith, March 1998

Spring quarter 1998

 Oil Spill Response by Noyan Aynechi

 Pfeisteria: the Cell from Hell by Boons Baythavong

 Damaging Diversity by Debra E. Einstein

 The Ozone Pollution Crisis by Ting-wan Huang

 Cause and Effects of Noise Pollution by Daniel G. Nunez

 Environmental Ethics By Mari Ohara

 The Improvement of Automobile Fuel Economy by Manjeet Sandhu

 Fishing in the North Atlantic: What's Left? by Kenny Tao

 Can Electric Cars Solve Air Pollution Problems? by Chris Tomongin

Sustainable Development, Eco - Tourism, and Globalization: Are They Compatible by Andrea Yoder

Winter Quarter 1999

 Economic Debates on the Performance of the Endangered Species Act by Lesley Ballou

 Urbanization and its Human Influence by Debra Einstein

 Sustainable Development by Fiorella Gardella

 The Meat Industry..Is it worth it? by Fiorella Gardella

 Atlantic Blue Giants, by Sarah Libecap

 Nuclear Waste by Frances Lin

The Promise of Green Architecture by Riaz Adaikkalam

New Urbanism and the Environmental Movement by Riaz Adaikkalam

Winter Quarter 2000

CFL: The Light to the Future by Victoria Wang
Global Warming by Kenby C. Su
Tropical deforestation and its effect on global climate by Pamela Shader
Cloning, the next step in species conservation? by Pamela Shader

Fall Quarter 2001

HEVs (hybrid electric vehicles) by Margaret Faoro


The South China Tiger by Margaret Faoro


Tropical Rainforest Destruction by Margaret Faoro


For details contact the Program Co-directors: Dr. Peter A. Bowler, 321 Steinhaus Hall; ext. 6006 Dr. Peter J. Bryant (
School of Biological Sciences
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, CA 92717, USA
Phone (714) 824-4714 Fax (714) 824-3571