Loyola University Maryland

Messina

Self and Other Course Pairing

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Human, Animal, Machine: Environmental Philosophy (PL201S)

In this course we look beyond our human selves to that other, natural, world of which we are a part. Is nature a kindly mother? Wild and dangerous? A resource for our use? Are animals mindless machines, or do they possess modes of intelligence that we have not begun to understand? If we are to escape eco-peril we must re-think and re-discover the natural world.

Faculty Biography

Drew Leder has a medical degree as well as a Ph.D. in Philosophy and has taught at Loyola for many years. His six books range in focus across issues of world spirituality, the philosophy of medicine, and the plight of inmates in maximum-security settings where he has long volunteered.

The Perfect Storm: Environmental Issues for the 21st Century (BL111S)

For several decades, geologists have been pushing for recognition of a new epoch, the "Anthropocene". This change would reflect the visible impacts that humans have had on the earth during most of our history.  We are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction in the 3.6 billion year history of life on earth, and the causes are, without a doubt, human impacts such as habitat destruction, introduction of invasive species, and rapid climate change.  This course covers the history of the earth; starting with the creation of our solar system, through the evolution of life forms that over time changed our atmosphere, to current conditions where the dominant impact is by one species, man.  The theme of Self and Other will be emphasized as we explore the impacts of humans on global conditions through a systems approach.  Students will become adept at understanding positive and negative feedback loops, how to deconstruct complex systems, and actions they can take that could, collectively, make a difference.  Intersections with economic, social, and philosophical systems will be explored through the lens of environmental justice.

Faculty Biography

Bernadette Roche is an associate professor in the Biology Department at Loyola, and the Director of the Environmental and Sustainability Studies Minor.  She has been involved in freshmen programs since coming to Loyola in 1997, teaching in first year programs, serving as Core Advisor most years, and serving on the boards of both Messina and the Honors Program.  Bernadette teaches Plant Ecology and Plant-Animal Interactions, as well as introductory biology majors courses such as Ecology, Evolution, and Diversity. She regularly teaches the non-majors Environmental Biology course, and has adapted that course for Messina this year.  Her research is on the evolutionary ecology of a small mustard, the lyre-leaved rock cress. She is also expanding her research into urban environmental education.  In her spare time, she enjoys doing things with her family, singing in the church choir, scuba diving, hiking with the dogs, gardening, cooking, and traveling. 

Mentor Biography

Ms. Katsura Kurita is the assistant vice president for student development and Title IX deputy.  She is responsible for providing services, support and engagement opportunities for students. In collaboration with other professional staff, she supervises the strategies, programs, policies, and evaluation related to student services, programs, activities and organizations, including Title IX student cases and services, case management for students who need additional support and care, and bias or discrimination related incidents.  Katsura serves as a member of the Vice President for Student Development’s leadership team and assists in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of the strategic initiatives of the university related to student development.  Katsura received a bachelor’s degree from Smith College, a master of science degree in Multicultural Counseling from Syracuse University School of Education, and a juris doctorate from Syracuse University College of Law.  Katsura wants “to forge meaningful connections by learning and growing together with you.”