ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES 414/NATURAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT 411 Environmental and Professional Ethics Winter 2007 Professor: Annie Booth Office: New Lab Building 236 Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 11:30 to 1:00 or by appointment Telephone: 960-6649 (There is an answering machine on this line, so you may leave a message). Email: [email protected]
(Note: if you need a fast turnaround you are best advised to telephone) OVERVIEW Increasingly, ecological decisions are no longer only the mandate of politicians, resource managers, ecologists, or other experts, nor do they happen only within the realm of science or government. Instead, non-experts, ordinary citizens, are asking to be involved in resource or environmental decision-making, and their arguments and questions are based not just on scientific principles but on ethical premises. The roots of western "environmental" ethics can be traced back to Plato and Aristotle, and have waxed and waned in public discourse ever since. In the last fifty years interest in environmental ethics has risen again and become the subject of much debate between politicians, concerned citizens, academics, and natural resource managers. Understanding the debate is essential for those who will, soon, need to participate themselves. This course has three goals. The first is to give students a necessarily brief understanding of the history, scope and applications of key questions and themes within the environmental ethics debates. This course can only plant guideposts within a complex intellectual domain. A second goal is to allow students opportunity to personally define and articulate their own position within the spectrum of ethical debate. Wherever an individual ends up on the ethics spectrum, to understand and work respectfully with other perspectives the individual must understand and feel comfortable with their own perspective. Thus, opportunities for personal reflection will be an important part of this course. A last goal is to introduce students to the concept of professional ethics within a natural resources context. Many UNBC graduates will be using their degrees as stepping stones to professional employment as foresters, planners, policy analysts and makers, educators, biologists, consultants and so forth. In British Columbia and Canada a growing number of professional bodies in natural resource management require its practitioners to understand and work within ethical guidelines. To help students prepare for their own futures as professionals, this course will introduce students to the codes of different professional bodies and allow opportunity to consider the implications of professional ethics in general. REQUIRED TEXTS Aldo Leopold. A Sand County Almanac In addition, a reading package of required can be purchased at the UNBC Bookstore or is on reserve at the Library.
2 All participants will be expected to do required readings PRIOR to each class. We will be discussing them. Attendance at lectures is MANDATORY. Missing more than 10% of lectures without reasonable explanation will result in a deduction of an equivalent percentage of marks. COURSE REQUIREMENTS Ethics Research Paper = 50% Reading/Lecture Journal = 50%: 1st Section = 10% 2nd Section = 20% 3rd Section = 20% All assignments must be typed. WRITING WILL COUNT IN ALL WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT GRADES. NO rewrites will be accepted, make the first effort count! LATE ASSIGNMENT POLICY: Late assignments will only be accepted for medical reasons, and I am informed immediately. An assignment handed in late will lose 10% of the grade for each day it is late. Part One: Basic Premises WEEK ONE January 4 Introduction to the course and requirements; What is an Ethic? And what are Environmental Ethics? READER: Michael Boylan. “Worldview and the Value-Duty Link to Environmental Ethics.” READER: Anthony Weston, “Some Traditional Ethical Theories” WEEK TWO January 9 The Roots of Western Environmental Ethics READER: Roderick Nash, "The Greening of Philosophy” January 11 Humanism and Religion: Where we are we in the scheme of things? READER: P. W. Schultz et al. “A Multinational Perspective on the Relation Between Judeo-Christian Religious Beliefs and Attitudes of Environmental Concern.” READER: Barbara Dority, "Humanism and Evolutionary Evolution"
3 January 16 The Psychology of Nature READER: Stuart Oskamp, “Psychological Contributions to Achieving an Ecologically Sustainable Future for Humanity” READER: Laura Sewall, "The Skill of Ecological Perception" Part Two: Key Perspectives and Questions January 18 Is Science Value-Free? READER: Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber. “The Best Money Science Can Buy.” READER: Goldie Blumenstyk. “The Price of Research” WEEK FOUR January 23 Ethics and the Scientist READER: Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber. “The Attack of the Killer Potatoes.” READER: Glenn Parsons. “Theory, Observation, and the Role of Scientific Understanding in the Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature.” 1st Section of JOURNAL DUE January 25 Bioregionalism READER: Doug Aberley. “Interpreting Bioregionalism” READER: Deborah E. Popper and Frank J. Popper. “The Buffalo Commons: Metaphor as Method.” WEEK FIVE January 30 Activism in the Ethical Debate READER: Dave Foremen. “Confessions of an Eco-Warrior” READER: Wendell Berry. “Compromise, Hell!” READER: Dave Foreman and Bill Hayward, Selections from "Ecodefence" February 1 Ecological Feminism A Video Break: "The Fury at the Sound: The Women of Clayoquat" READER: Annie Booth, "An Overview of Ecofeminism"
4 READER: Maureen Reed, “Taking Stands” WEEK SIX February 6 Ecological Feminism, cont. READER: Diane-Michelle Prindeville and John Brettiger, “Indigenous Women Activists and Political Participation” READER: Lynnette Zelezny et al. “Elaborating on Gender Differences in Environmentalism” February 8 Environmental Justice READER: Robert Bullard and Glenn Johnson, “Environmental Justice: Grassroots Activism and Its Impact on Public Policy Decision Making” READER: Jane Dawson, “The Two Faces of Environmental Justice” WEEK SEVEN February 13 Aldo Leopold's Land Ethics Leopold, "The Land Ethic" February 15 The Land Ethic, Continued Leopold, "The Round River," "Natural History" WEEK EIGHT February 20 READING BREAK February 22 WEEK NINE February 27 The Social Context of Ethics A Video Break: “The Lorax” Part Three: Case Studies March 1 Biotechnology
5 READER: “The Men in White Coats are Winning, Slowly.” READER: Michael McDonald, “Biotechnology, Ethics and Government: A Synthesis” WEEK TEN March 6 What Value Wilderness? Leopold, "Wilderness," "Conservation Esthetic," pp. 264-295, and "Marshland Elegy" READER: William Cronon, "The Trouble with Wilderness: or Getting Back to the Wrong Nature" 2nd Section of JOURNAL DUE March 8 Ethics and the Non-Human Animal Leopold, "Thinking Like a Mountain," "Escudilla," and "On a Monument to the Pigeon" READER: Matthew Scully. “Justice and Mercy.” READER: Mark Michael. “Is it Natural to Drive Species to Extinction?” WEEK ELEVEN March 13 Animals and Their Uses VIDEO: “The Witness” Leopold, "Wildlife in American Culture," "The Deer Swath," "Goose Music" READER: Charlotte Montgomery, “Pets” and “Research” March 15 Population and Ethics READER: Holmes Rolston, “Feeding People Versus Saving Nature?” READER: Robin Attfield, “Saving Nature, Feeding People and Ethics” RESEARCH PAPER DUE IN CLASS WEEK TWELVE March 20 Ethics and Climate Change Readings to be announced
6 Part Four: Professional Ethics March 22 Defining Professional Ethics READER: Merry Bullock and Sangeeta Panicker. “Ethics for All.” READER: Anthony Weston. “Business and Professional Ethics” WEEK THIRTEEN March 27 Natural Resource Managers and Professional Codes READER: Heather Campbell & Robert Marshall, “Ethical Frameworks and Planning Theory” READER: BC Professional Foresters, "Ethics and Responsibilities" READER: Paul Beier. “Being Ethical as Conservation Biologists and as a Society” READER: Canadian Institute of Forestry, "Objectives and Code of Ethics" March 29 Dealing with Conflicts of Interest and Other Personal Issues READER: Herschel Eliott and Richard Lamm. “A Moral Code for a Finite World” WEEK FOURTEEN April 3 Open Discussion No Readings Finale April 5 The Limitations of Ethics READER: Annie Booth, "Why I Don't Talk About Environmental Ethics Anymore" READER: Elliott Sober. “Philosophical Problems for Environmentalism.” 3rd Section of JOURNAL DUE (including April 5 readings)
7 As students are often confused about what in an assignment warrants the grade it receives, the following criteria should serve as a guideline. A grade of "F" (failure, no credit awarded) will be assigned if an assignment fails entirely to meet the requirements (as discussed both in handouts or in class discussion). A grade of "D" (marginal, unacceptable for transfer credit) will be assigned if the assignment meets all basic requirements, and indicates the student has a basic understanding of ideas addressed or raised by the assignment, but the student does not develop or integrate the ideas into an original, thoughtful, analytical presentation. A grade of "C" (satisfactory, average) will be assigned if the assignment meets and exceeds "D" level work in the following manner. The assignment incorporates ideas or results in an original, thoughtful set of arguments in clear support of a position. The student clearly displays their basic understanding of the ideas and makes convincing arguments in support of their position. A grade of "B" (good, above average) will be assigned if the assignment meets and exceeds the "C" level in the following manner. The student brings to the assignment a demonstrated sophistication in the use of ideas, theories, and concepts. The analysis and writing are of an advanced level and demonstrates a more than basic understanding of ideas and concepts. A grade of "A" (excellent) will be assigned if the quality of the assignment meets and exceeds the "B" level in the following manner. The level of research and presentation is exceptional, and demonstrates excellence in analysis and understanding of the material. The level of achievement is sufficient to warrant public presentation of the assignment.
IMPORTANT MESSAGE REGARDING PLAGIARISM: Plagiarism a very serious offence. Plagiarism takes several forms, but includes the following: Presentation of ideas, concepts, data, etc. taken from a publication but not cited as another author's ideas. This includes both direct quotes or paraphrasing of ideas. Handing in some one else's work as one's own. This includes bought essays or tests, and handing in papers, etc. another person wrote for a previous class. This includes utilizing a portion of some one else's work as part of your work. Handing in the same assignment, or a portion of an assignment for two (or more) different classes without permission of both instructors. Two or more people handing in the same assignment, or portions of the same assignment in one class. If you are found to be guilty of any form, of plagiarism in this class, you will automatically receive a grade of F for this class. Additional penalties may be imposed by the institution. If you are uncertain about what constitutes plagiarism, review UNBC policy in the Calendar or speak with me.
Guidelines for Keeping Your Journal This journal is your opportunity to take time to think through this course in a more coherent, organized way; to track your own thinking over time, responses to ideas, questions that come to mind, anything that revolves around the issues in this course. We cover so much material, so many ideas that are often central to your own lives that it is useful to have a record of your thoughts to help understand what direction you are travelling in. Further, it is important that you be able to comment critically and cogently on things that you read or hear. This exercise will allow you do develop critical reading and listening skills. Do the readings, attend lecture , give some thought to each and then present your thinking, conclusions and questions. Yes, this may seem like a great deal of work, but there are no exams in this course and you are essentially getting credit for what you are supposed to be doing anyway: reading and attending lectures. The individual entries should demonstrate 4th year level writing skills, logical essay construction, and demonstrate analysis and thought, rather than summary or editorial statements. If you believe something, than demonstrate why you believe this. Finally, it is important to take this assignment seriously. Sometimes, because it's not a formal research paper or presentation, the temptation is to just blow it off and write something just before it's due. That approach is clearly recognizable. I believe the journal is crucial to you gaining something out of this course, and that is reflected in its weight in your final grade (50%). Content: At minimum, you should be working on your journal at least once a week. That means at least 14 entries by the end of term on your thoughts and reactions. I would encourage you to work on it more often. Ensure you give equal attention to both assigned readings and the discussion or other information from class. Include ALL assigned readings. Notes on Research Paper This is a standard research paper on an environmental ethics topic of your choice. Please pay attention to the following requirements: 1. This must be an ethics paper; it might look at the ethical implications of natural resource management efforts, but don’t confuse ethics with policy. 2. It must present an argument; do not submit a survey of an issue; take a stance and make a case for that stance. 3. It must demonstrate 4th year writing skills as well as logical construction of arguments and a clear flow of your argument. 4. You must assemble at least 15 sound, up-to-date references to substantiate your argument. 5. Do not editorialise; this IS a research paper. 6. All essays will be reviewed through a plagiarism service.