OUr Earth is a student organization at the University of Oklahoma. Our purpose is to educate the OU community on environmental issues of all types affecting the campus, state, nation, and world and to encourage the active participation of members in activities relating to such issues.
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  • Seats still available in IPE ONLINE courses about the Environment this SUMMER!

    Posted on May 18th, 2010 stacey No comments

    TO: ALL Sophomores, Juniors AND Seniors

    We wanted to let you all know about a few Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Environment (IPE) ONLINE courses that still have seats available for SUMMER.  The only prerequisite for these courses is Junior Standing or above, but some of the instructors will give special permissions for Sophomores to enroll.

    IPE 3203.995 – “Sprawl and the Environment” with Theresa Coffman Rodriguez
                  The built environment, in particular our pattern of cities surrounded by suburbs, has impacts on the environment.  These impacts are both direct and indirect.  Direct effects include impact on water quality, habitat fragmentation, endangered species and the covering of natural habitat with impervious surfaces.  Indirect impacts include increased reliance on automobiles and subsequent increases in air pollution and greenhouse gasses.  Students will examine patterns in land use and their impacts and how different development patterns and practices can minimize environmental impacts.

    IPE 3503.995 – “Energy Use, Climate Change, and the Environment” with Theresa Coffman Rodriguez
                 The way we live in the modern industrialized world is extremely energy intensive.  Since most of our energy use is derived from fossil fuels, our energy use is a major contributor to the greenhouse gasses that contribute to global warming.  We will examine our energy use across all sectors, from the fuels used to generate the electricity to run your computer (mostly coal and some natural gas) to the energy we are most familiar with, that with which we fill up our cars.

    IPE 3913.992 – “The Psychology of Environmentalism” with Dr. H. Michael Crowson
                    The purpose of this course is to develop a psychological understanding of environmentalism. Much of the course will explore possible psychological contributors to peoples’ attitudes toward the environment and, more specifically, environmentalism, in an effort to better understand how conflicts arise over environmental issues and policies.  Questions to be addressed include, “What is the potential role of group-processes in the formation of attitudes?” “How might individual differences in psychological and ideological functioning influence issue-based preferences?” “What social belief systems are used in order to justify one’s attitudes toward the environment?” “What psychological factors contribute to pro- and anti-environmental activism?”  The course concludes with an exploration of how an understanding of the political psychology of environmentalism may help to encourage more productive discourse between groups on environmental issues.

    IPE 3913.993 – “Human-Wildlife Interactions” with Dr. Janette Wallis 

    IPE 3913.994 – “Biodiversity in the 21st Century” with Dr. Janette Wallis

    IPE 3913.996 – “Environmental Justice” with Jennifer Gray
                    This class examines the impact of industrial societies on human beings, especially minority and low income populations.  The course introduces students to evidence of disproportionate impact in certain populations, potential causes of the problems, theoretical concepts of environmental justice and how some of these concepts may be implemented to solve problems affecting the various communities.  Whether the student is seeking a career in environmental occupations or is interested in social aspects of environmental justice, he or she will review the legal and social implications, as well as potential methodology that is defining, refining, and shaping the environmental justice landscape.

    IPE 3913.997 – “Globalization, Culture, and the Environment” with Dr. Bridget Love
                    This course examines debates on the environment and culture in a global context. Globalization has become a ubiquitous catchword that sums up intensifying interconnections between distant people and places, yet its far-reaching impacts are hotly contested. Some understand globalization as a route to mobility and potential access for all, while others see it as a threatening force of environmental and cultural degradation. These debates play out in diverse sites and forums, from local communities around the world to transnational institutions like the World Bank. This course explores the heterogenous nature of encounters between local and global environmental concerns as we consider topics ranging from conservation, ecotourism, and bioprospecting to trade, global security, and environmental justice.

    IPE 3913.998 – “Sustainability Reports by Corporate America” with Jane Talkington
                    Sustainability reports have evolved into a must-have over the past 10-15 years. Over 5,000 reports follow the Global Reporting Initiative framework from Amsterdam. Reports now cover more about sustainability and strategy and less about philanthropy. This class begins with dissecting the GRI framework, then advances to a survey of excellent, adequate, and struggling reports (including some local efforts), and culminates by each student creating a comparative analysis of reports within a specific industry. Topics also include: carbon measurement and performance, carbon neutrality, basic greenhouse gas science, and practical applications used to green and decarbonize the supply chain.

    You can register for any of these courses through OZONE.  These courses all qualify for upper division credit, but do not have any Gen-Ed designations.  If you have any questions about the courses, you can contact the IPE Program by emailing us at ipe@ou.edu or by calling 325-0595.

    Posted by Stacey Bedgood, Asst to the Director of IPE on behalf of
    Deborah W. Dalton
    Professor and Director, Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Environment

  • BP Oil Spil

    Posted on May 9th, 2010 chris No comments

    Here is an interactive map of the BP Oil Spill from the NYT.  Keep an eye on this disaster and what the Obama Administration does to help combat these disasters in the future.