Loyola University Maryland


The Good Life Course Pairing

Global Environment – Living the Good Life in the Anthropocene (CH 114D)

In this course, students of all backgrounds, explore how humans have changed the planet resulting in a new geologic age known as the Anthropocene.  Using systems theory, students will learn about the Earth system and explore the role of humans in this system.  Topics covered in this course include some of the major environmental issues of the Anthropocene such as climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution, and water availability in attempt to answer the question – are we living the good life?  During this course, students will complete a semester long self-guided research project to explore the environmental justice connection of an environmental issue of their choice.  The form of this project is a series of essays and a final group presentation.  This course fulfills the following requirements: natural sciences core for non-science majors, the diversity core, and the introductory course for the Environmental & Sustainability Studies minor.

Faculty Biography

Elizabeth Dahl is an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry at Loyola University Maryland.  Her research focuses on the sources of alkyl nitrates in the oceans and the impact on tropospheric chemistry which involves working both on ships and in the laboratory.  She has a PhD in Earth System Science from University of California, Irvine and has mentored over a dozen undergraduate research students during her time at Loyola.  In addition, she also advises the Loyola Environmental Action Club.  In her spare time she likes to spend time with her family, explore the outdoors, garden, cook, and crochet.

Human, Animal, Machine: Environmental Philosophy (PL236)

 In this course we look beyond our human selves to that larger 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 barely begun to appreciate? And how has the pervasive presence of technology changed things? Do our smartphones, TVs, and computers expand and enrich our lives? Or do we live in a technological bubble, cut off from nature and each other? What would it mean to recover a sense of "place" and "community"?
Using articles, books, film, outside wanders, and our own life experience, we will reflect on such issues. The goal will be to think more deeply about "the good life" for humans, animals, and our imperiled planet.

Faculty Biography

Drew Leder has a medical degree as well as a Ph.D. in Philosophy. He has taught at Loyola for many years, with a special interest in Asian philosophy and environmental philosophy. He has published six books which 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. His work has been featured in newspapers and magazines across the country, ranging from the Washington Post to Family Circle. He lives in Baltimore with his wife, two daughters, and his dog (who will help teach our section on animal consciousness).

Mentor Biography

Kate Figiel-Miller was born and raised in the Baltimore area.  She studied psychology at Villa Julie College (now Stevenson University).  After two years of service—doing juvenile justice advocacy work in Washington, D.C. with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, and then teaching at an after-school program in South Boston with Notre Dame Americorps—she went on to receive her Ed.M. in Prevention Science and Practice at Harvard Graduate School of Education.  She has worked as a logistical magician and faculty-community matchmaker in CCSJ for the past five years, and on the side she teaches reading to young students with dyslexia.  Her interests include sustainable living, equality in education, peace, playing board games, the outdoors, cooking, and lindy hop dancing.

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