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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  • OUr Earth meeting at 7 PM on Wed, Nov. 17th, in the Crimson room of the Union!

    Posted on November 17th, 2010 stacey No comments

    An introductory OUr Earth meeting will be held 7 PM Wednesday, November 17th, in the Crimson room of the Union. This is a great time to come see what OUr Earth has to offer this year and how you can get involved with environmentalism on campus. All new and old members welcome, free food provided!  We hope to see you there!

  • Course Descriptions for SPRING IPE Online Courses!

    Posted on November 10th, 2010 stacey No comments

    Hi all,

    Looking for a course for spring about the Environment?  These are what is being offered by IPE…

    IPE 3003.995 – “Nature and Culture” with Dr. Helen Robertson

          Nature and culture are always interrelated. As humans, we are active participants in our environment, affecting it and also being affected by it. How a culture perceives itself and its place in the world affects how people view nature. In this course, we will think about how the human race has lived with nature, how twentieth-century culture impacted the global environment, how humans have transformed nature to appease their desires, and how our living patterns and attitudes toward nature might influence our future.

    IPE 3303.995 – “Food, Agriculture, and the Environment” with Matthew Collier

          Food production, both large scale and small scale, has impacts on the environment. From erosion to water pollution to intensive use of fossil fuels, these impacts affect a variety of environmental elements. Since most of us buy our food pre-packaged at the supermarket, we do not see these impacts, nor typically are these impacts reflected in the price we pay. Most of our food arrives from far away, transported over long distances, in many cases from the southern hemisphere. This class will examine the impact of our food production systems on all aspects of the environment including air, soil, and water, as well as its demands and impacts on energy production.

    IPE 3423.995 – “Human Health, Man-Made Contaminants, and the Environment” with Theresa Coffman Rodriguez

          Man’s varied activities since the industrial revolution have allowed us to live comfortable, well-fed lives, free from many of nature’s diseases and environmental fluctuations. This progress has come at a cost, however, to the natural environment, which in turn, has impacted our health in subtle, but often dangerous, ways. This course examines the ways man’s activities have impacted the environment and the consequences of those impacts on human health in the past and present and also speculates on man’s future impacts.

    IPE 3913.993 – “Law and the Environment” with Jennifer Gray

                    Law is based on policy and philosophy, underlying concepts of how best to manage society.  Statutes, rules, and regulations direct our day-to-day lives.  But, policy is the foundation of these practical realities.  Therefore the introduction to the class attempts to examine the general underlying foundations of the United States constitutional principles.  There are constitutional and structural conflicts when environmental law is at issue.  We will study these.  Following the foundational concepts, the focus of the class will shift to practical information and exercises regarding environmental law.  Finally, there are three sections of specialized law and their interrelationship with the environment.

    IPE 3913.995 – “The Psychology of Place” with Dr. H. Michael Crowson

          This course addresses several questions regarding the connection between people and the places they inhabit: “What physical, social, and psychological factors are associated with peoples’ identification with and attachment to built and natural environments?” “What characteristics of built and natural environments are associated with psychological well-being?” “How does a person’s attachment to place impact his/her desire to enhance and/or protect built or natural spaces?”

    IPE 3913.996 – “Unnatural Disasters: Environment, risk and society since the 18th century” with Dr. Samuel Temple

    Disasters. Catastrophes. Cataclysms. At the beginning of the 21st century, we seem transfixed by the threat of the unknown and the unpredictable.   In the midst of unprecedented globalization, industrial growth and scientific and technological advances, new risks and dangers have appeared that seem to defy our control. In addition to recent “natural” disasters- such as Hurricane Katrina, the earthquake in Haiti, and the tsunami in South Asia- we have witnessed “industrial” disasters like the Gulf oil spill and the release of toxic sludge in Hungary. Yet what do we really mean when we talk about disaster, natural or otherwise? Is the distinction between natural and man-made disasters as clear as is often assumed? What sorts of social, political and economic choices do societies and individuals make that magnify the effects of natural disasters? Likewise, how have industrial disasters had important environmental consequences? This course investigates how attitudes towards disaster have changed since the 18th century;  how disasters, natural and otherwise, are often anything but accidental;  and what disasters, and responses to them, reveal about  our notions of nature, risk, citizenship, and the public good.

    IPE 3913.997 – “Wildlife Conservation and the Global Environment” with Dr. Janette Wallis

          This course is – at its core – a conservation biology course, but with primary attention aimed at wildlife.  Conservation biology is the interdisciplinary approach to the study, management, and protection of the Earth’s biological diversity (biodiversity).  In this course, students will explore the complex relationships that exist between our own species and wildlife throughout the world.  The required and optional reading material will help students better understand the range of threats to wildlife today.  Problem-solving in group activities and detailed assessment of case studies will introduce students to the difficult task of finding solutions to these threats that can provide wildlife conservation in a way that is also beneficial (or at least not harmful) to humans.

    IPE 3913.998 – “Biodiversity in 21st Century” with Dr. Janette Wallis

          The United Nations declared 2010 as the official Year of Biodiversity.  What will this mean for the conservation of wildlife and wild lands around the world?  In this course, we will explore all aspects of this issue.  We will first examine the meaning of biodiversity and learn about the various methods used to measure biodiversity.  We will also review the status of flora and fauna around the world, focusing on areas identified as biodiversity “hotspots.”  Through online discussions and group projects, students will evaluate several case studies aimed at finding solutions to biodiversity loss.  By carefully assessing the progress of these projects, students will gain a better understanding of how conservation biologists are working to ensure a better future for the planet’s biological diversity.               

    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.