Loyola University Maryland


The Good Life Course Pairing

Environmental Issues and Conservation for the 21st Century (BL 111)

For several decades, geologists have been pushing for recognition of a new epoch, the "Anthropocene". This name would reflect the impacts that humans have had on the Earth during most of our history. Life on Earth is amidst the sixth mass extinction in its 3.6 billion year history, a fact backed by science that documents our impact as humans: habitat destruction, introduction of invasive species, and rapid climate change. But science is also showing us what can be done, in concert with policy and political will to slow the degradation of our Earth. This course covers sources of Earth’s biodiversity, climate change, conservation biology, population biology, agriculture, use and abuse of Earth’s resources including energy, water and habitats. The theme of The Good Life will be emphasized as we explore the impacts of human wants and needs on global conditions in addition to exploring our values. Students will become adept at deconstructing complex systems and recognizing actions that 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. This is a course designed for non-majors. Course fulfills the requirements for the Environmental and Sustainably Studies.

Faculty biography

Professor Lauren Spearman is a Lecturer in the Biology Department at Loyola University of Maryland. She loves teaching the topics of ecology, evolution, biodiversity and conservation, and wants students to incorporate knowledge of these fields into how they see themselves and the World. She has traveled extensively for research and firmly believes it instilled in her greater purpose for sharing how being both scientifically literate and simultaneously understanding of other cultures is paramount for conserving life on Earth. Her research interests rest in the fields of taxonomy, community ecology and systematics through the lens of the little things that run the World -- insects!


Foundations of Philosophy: The Examined Life (PL 201)

Socrates, at his trial, turns to his fellow citizens and offers the following admonition: "it is the greatest good for man to discuss virtue every day and those other things about which you hear me conversing and testing myself and others, for the unexamined life is not worth living” (Apology, 38a). Four things are revealed in Socrates' words that should command our attention. First is the claim itself that an unexamined life is not worth living; it is not a life for human beings. Second is the claim that this is not a good among any number of goods . . . it is the greatest good. Third is the suggestion that this good is not to be pursued in solitude but in discourse, in conversation with others. Last, and perhaps most difficult to appreciate, is the reminder that philosophy is an activity, a way of being in the world. The course begins with Socrates, and Socrates will serve as a model to guide our conversation as we explore the question: What is the good life?

Faculty biography

Dr. James Snow is a faculty member in the Department of Philosophy and a long-serving Messina professor. His research and teaching focus on genocide studies, human rights, and racial justice.

Mentor biography

Colleen Campbell is the Director of Student-Athlete Support Services, which provides academic and other supports to all Loyola's Division I student-athletes. Colleen has been at Loyola for 20 years and has been part of first year programing for many of those years.


Virtual Advisor

PL 201 satisfies core requirements for all students. BL 111 satisfies a core requirement for non-science majors. This course pairing is not recommended for students considering a major in Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Physics, Mathematics, Forensic Studies, Engineering, or Elementary Education.

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Advising and Support

Evergreens: Your personal guides to life at Loyola

Loyola student leaders support and guide students through their first-year experience.

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