Primatology is the study of the closest living human relatives in the animal kingdom. Most people are fascinated with the range of physical traits and behaviors shown by monkeys and apes. Scientists study them in order to understand how the principles of evolution apply to their biology, environmental adaptations and patterns of social interactions. This online course will use three classroom session in lecture, videos, and field trips to Brookfield and Lincoln Park zoos for direct observation, in addition to power point modules and assignments on Blackboard.
Catalog Description: Crosslisted as BIOS 341X. Study of nonhuman primates, both living and extinct. Focus on primate biology in its broadest sense. Topics include primate taxonomy, behavior, natural history traits, ecology, reproduction, feeding and locomotor adaptations, anatomy, and paleontology. Lectures and laboratory. PRQ: ANTH 240 or consent of department.
Judith Calleja (3 credit hours)
The perennial culture wars raging in the USA are expressed in many areas of society. One area of attack is the opposition by the Religious Right to the teaching of evolution in public schools. Since before the famous “Scopes Monkey Trial” in 1925, school boards and legislatures have tried to eliminate, add equal doses of creationism to, or water down the coverage of evolution. They have targeted evolution as a cause for many of their perceived “social evils,” don’t understand science, and cannot separate evolution from “Social Darwinism.”
This course will introduce students to the history of the controversy, define the opposition, and explain where each side gets their ideas and what they believe. We will then explore philosophy of science in enough detail to be able to separate a scientific question from a non-scientific question. A preliminary survey of primarily biological evolution will provide students with the necessary information to counter creationist arguments. This course is designed to give students the ability to not only defend evolution but, more importantly, attack non-scientific intrusions into the public school system. It is not a course in biological evolution but complementary, and can be taken by any upper-level undergraduate with an interest in science and society.
Catalog Description: Evolutionary theory and tenets of present-day anti-evolutionists with emphasis on providing students with the skills to articulate the theory of evolution as it applies to the biological sciences. Not a substitute for a formal course in evolutionary theory. Recommended for students pursuing careers in secondary science education.
Ronald Toth (3 credit hours)
This course is a study of international economics. It will cover concepts in international trade, including the position of U.S. in the global economy, and international trade policies, including environmental, protectionist and labor standards. It will also cover contemporary topics including global economic crisis and the role of emerging Asian markets.
Catalog Description: International trade, foreign exchange markets, balance of payments, and international monetary relations. Includes relevant theoretical foundations, institutions, and policy alternatives. PRQ: ECON 260 and ECON 261.
Sowjanya Dharmasankar (3 credit hours)
This course focuses on advanced writing techniques including peer editing, revision, development, clarity, organization and grammar. It will focus on the memoir or personal memory, and but also tackle PowerPoint and the MLA-based research paper. Whether you are struggling with the basics, wanting more challenge, or eager to branch out into new avenues of writing, this course will help.
Catalog Description: Writing expressive, persuasive, and informative essays and developing appropriate stylistic and organizational techniques. Open to both majors and non-majors.
Laura Bird (3 credit hours)
This course acts as a survey of global environmental problems in which humans are playing a role. In order to best convey these complex issues, this course will incorporate the basic physical/ecological principles of the earth’s environmental systems as well as an historical perspective on the environment movement and resource use. By the end of this course, students should be able to: 1) identify and describe major global environmental problems, 2) critically evaluate scientific studies and arguments, 3) possess an “international”perspective on global environmental problems, and 4) apply and relate material covered in this course to their lives.
Catalog Description: Introduction to the study of human-environment interactions from a geographic perspective, with emphasis on the role of humans in changing the face of the earth. Fundamentals of environment science as well as global and local issues, related to human population growth, agriculture, water resources, biodiversity, forest resources, energy use, climate change, and environmental health.
David Goldblum (3 credit hours)
Though maps have been used by civilizations for well over 5,000 years, practically all aspects of mapping today involve computers - from the collection of real-world data by GPS or satellites, to drafting and printing. Rather than study the history of maps and mapping, we will instead study the concept of maps as tools of modern communication and visualization. This course is also the starting point for NIU's certificate of undergraduate study in Geographic Information Systems (in addition to applying toward the B.G.S.) and is required for several further courses in geography.
Catalog Description, GEOG 256: Introduction to maps as models of our earth, tools of visualization, and forms of graphic communication. Use of satellite and aerial imagery, land surveying, and geographic information systems in map production. Thematic maps and how they are used. Map design for informational and persuasive purposes. Two hours of lecture, two hours of laboratory.
Catalog Description, GEOG 556: For graduate students with little formal background in mapping. Maps as models, tools of visualization, and forms of graphic communication. Processes of map production, including imagery and surveying. Principles of map design.
Kory Allred (3 credit hours)
This course is intended to provide the student with a broader understanding of water and its importance to our lives and earth’s complex environment. We will consider issues facing water such as whether the supply of water will continue, how man-made developments have altered water availability, how pollution has eroded this natural resource, and where/how we can restore our water resources. Relevant video clips, online tutorials, and supplemental readings will be used throughout the course to provide examples of water-related issues affecting northern Illinois, other regions of the U.S., as well as various countries around the world.
Catalog Description: Evaluation of water as a resource; its availability, distribution, use, and quality. Operation of the hydrologic cycle and relationships between surface water and the soil, groundwater, and atmosphere. Human impacts on water resources and the management of water-related hazards, including flooding, drought, and the spread of disease. Lecture and field experience.
Sharon Ashley (3 credit hours)
Have you ever asked yourself, "Where in the world am I?" GEOG 359 may help you answer that question with an introductory study into the principles of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). In this online course, we develop skills in GIS, its components, and how it applies to our surrounding environment. This course is a primer for those who are interested in learning more about the dynamic and ever-changing world of GIS and its career applications.
Catalog Description, GEOG 359: Study of the fundamental principles of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Emphasis on the development of these systems, their components and their integration into mainstream geography. Two hours of lecture, two hours of laboratory. PRQ: GEOG 256 or GEOG 352 or consent of department.
Catalog Description, GEOG 557: For graduate students with little formal background in GIS or computer mapping. Principles, components, and uses of geographic information systems. PRQ: GEOG 552 or GEOG 556, or consent of department.
Philip Young (3 credit hours)
This course introduces students to geographic concepts surrounding climate change. The coverage of this broad subject will focus on different scales of climate change, i.e. local (urban heat island) to planetary (atmospheric teleconnections and global blocking patterns). In addition to climate change science, human dimensions of climate change will be examined covering the effects of humans on climate as well as mitigation strategies for adapting to the different scales of climate change ongoing and/or predicted. This course will be of value to a wide ranging audience as it will not only cover answers as to why our climate changes, but also further geographic questions of where, how, and when these changes will be manifested. Finally, mitigation and adaptation strategies will be discussed in order to synthesize our understanding of climate change and also provide students with knowledge applicable to urban and regional planning, public administration, and environmental planning.
Catalog Description: Overview of the science of climate change and an analysis of the implications of this change on societies throughout the world. Spatial dimensions of climate change will be examined from a holistic perspective, taking into account interactions between the natural and man-made environment, impacted societies and the development of economic and social policies. Social and political ramifications of climate change have become apparent as local commnities in different parts of the world struggle to adapt to new patterns of urban climate, excessive rainfall, prolonged droughts, and severe weather events.
Mace Bentley (3 credit hours)
A Geographic Information System (GIS), composed of multiple map layers of a place, can facilitate problem-solving in a variety of social, environmental, and business settings. This course will apply GIS to examples from these different settings. Methods of integrating land, environmental, demographic, and business information will be demonstrated. In addition to applying to the B.G.S., this class also counts toward NIU's certificate of undergraduate study in Geographic Information System.
Catalog Description, GEOG 459: Study of the conceptual framework and development of geographic information systems. Emphasis on the actual application of a GIS to spatial analysis. Two hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory. PRQ: GEOG 359 or consent of department.
Catalog Description, GEOG 559: Study of the conceptual framework and development of geographic information systems. Emphasis on the actual application of a GIS to spatial analysis. Two hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory. PRQ: GEOG 557 or consent of department.
Richard Greene (3 credit hours)
In the United States, there has been a connection between music and politics since the nation’s founding. Politicians, social movements, and the citizenry have routinely expressed political views through music. What messages are these actors sending? Are the messages being received? Is there something unique about music that changes the nature of the message? Music has been used for both pro-establishment and anti-establishment purposed. National anthems, patriotic songs, campaign songs, protest songs, and anti-war songs are just some examples of the ways in which politics and music intersect. Unlike other forms of music, political music is usually not ambiguous, and is therefore relatively easily discerned by listeners. In this course we will explore various types of political music and topical songs over time with an emphasis on contemporary music and how it relates to various social movements particularly those involving race, class, and gender. Through readings, discussion, and, of course, music, we will examine how artists such as Billie Holiday, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Marvin Gaye, Bruce Springsteen, N.W.A., Ani DiFranco, Green Day, and Jay-Z have had their political songs both understood and misunderstood by politicians and citizens alike.
Catalog Description: Selected topics in the analysis and evaluation of political phenomena in a variety of settings. Topics vary each semester. May be taken a total of three times as topic changes. Enrollment in multiple sections of POLS 395 in a semester is permitted. Recommended: At least sophomore standing.
Art Ward (3 credit hours)
The major objective in this course is for students to develop an understanding of psychopathology as a variant of normal behavior. It is hoped that students will come to view human behavior on a continuum where psychopathology represents a departure from normal behavior in that it is more extreme, exaggerated, disabling, maladaptive, distressing, and/or distrubing to those within the context of the person’s environment or to society. Students are expected to become familiar with the various paradigmatic viewpoints exploring the depth of all diagnosable psycho-pathological disorders. Students will become familiar with the current methods of classification and diagnosis of psychopathology and gain an understanding of the treatments that are used to help individuals and families who experience these conditions. Finally, familiarization with research and research methods will be an important part of the course, as it reflects an essential component of the science of psychology.
Catalog Description: Introduction to the study of pathological behavior. The development, maintenance, and treatment of problem behavior discussed from theoretical, empirical, and clinical perspectives. PRQ: At least sophomore standing and PSYC 102, or consent of department.
Phil Krasula (3 credit hours)