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 sessions 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.
Classroom sessions will meet on Saturdays, 9/10, 10/15 and 11/19 at NIU Hoffman Estates, 9 am - 3 pm with 10/15 and 11/19 afternoons on zoo field trips. Online modules will have assignment due dates dispersed throughout the semester.
Catalog Description: Crosslisted as BIOS 341X. Study of non-human primates, both living and extinct. Focus on primate biology in its broadset sense. Topics include primate taxonomy, behavior, natural history traits, ecology, reproduction, feeding and locomotor adaptations, anatomy, and paleontology. Lectures and laboratory.
Judith Calleja (3 credit hours)
The perennial culture wars raging in the USA are expressed in many areas of society. One are of attack is the opposition by the Religious Right to the teaching of evolution. 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 couse will introduce students to the history of the controversy, define the opposition, explain where they get their ideas, and what they believe. We will then explore philosophy of science in enough detail to be able to separate a scientific quesiton 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 evoltion 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 designed as a substitute for a formal course in evolutionary theory. Recommended for students pursuing careers in secondary science education.
Ronald Toth (3 credit hours)
Introduction to Land Plants
This blended online course will survey all of the major groups of land plants but will not cover the algae or fungi, since they are not really plants. We will look at the anatomy, morphology, a bit of physiology, and the evolution of the groups. We will use modern groups in a sequence so that they parallel past evolutionary stages and show how wach successive structure or physiological process which evolved gave that particular group a selective advantage over the previous group. Lecture and lab material are integrated into a seamless presentation of PowerPoints with a narration for each image. This course cannot be used for credit toward a major in Biological Sciences.
Catalog Description: Ecology/Environmental Biology. Lectures, discussions, and reports on topics of special interest in a particular field of biology. Topics may be selected in one or more fields of biology to a total of 6 semester hours toward any one degree.
Ronald Toth (3 credit hours)
Health has evolved into a multidisciplinary concept; the study of the concept has broadened beyond the realm of physicians, epidemiologists and now includes economists. This course will examine this universal concept from an economist's perspective, which will include an analysis of market for health care, the social determinants of health, the role of the government, the role of private sector and an evaluation of the efficiency of public policy.
Catalog Description: Topics of current importance to consumers, resource owners, business, and government. May be repeated once as topics change.
Sowjanya Dharmasankar (3 credit hours)
Recent Western Literature
This course will introduce you to a selection of European literary works, ranging in publication from 1864 (Notes from Underground) to 1984 (The Lover). The title of this course may at first appear misleading: these works are "recent" in the larger scope and rich tradition of literary history; they are "western" in a global sense (as opposed to Japanese or Indian literature, for example), but focus on continental Europe rather than British or American works. These works give us a chance, then, to broaden our cultural horizons by reading authors whom we might not otherwise encounter, whose works represent the turmoil and political upheaval specific to modern European civilization.
Together we will explore these texts, which include short works of fiction as well as drama, in terms of the alienated individual - a state of crisis or anxiety resulting from the collective traume of modern existence (war, poverty, oppression, etc.) coupled with shaken religious or moral foundations. In such a rapidly changing and highly destructive world, where developments in science and technology call into question traditional belief structures, how does one begin to explain, understand, or justify one's place or purpose? All of these works will, in their respective ways, grapple with this question. That is not to say, however, that they lack a playful and highly imaginative side; indeed, I think you will find them quirky and intriguing, if not exactly uplifting. Within the general theme of alienation, this course will be divided into three thematic subunits: 1) the absurd, 2) the anti-hero, and 3) women and men.
Catalog Description: Comparative study of representative modern works, read in translation, by authors such as Chekov, Proust, Kafka, Rilke, Dinesen, Duras, and Calvino.
Ryan Hibbet (3 credit hours)
Maps and Mapping
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 cerificate of undergraduate study in GIS (in addition to applying toward the B.G.S.) and is required for several further courses in geography. Mandatory introductory face-to-face class meeting.
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.
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/Andrew Krmenec (3 credit hours)
Introduction to GIS
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. PRQ: GEOG 256 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)
Tropical Environmental Hazards
Are hazards the same globally? Understanding of tropical hazards is essential in order to mitigate the losses in property and life these systems produce. Traditional approaches to hazard assessment cast hazards as static and linear, assuming only one causal factor. During the past half-century, however, it has come to light that natural hazards and the technological hazards that accompany them are not problems that can be solved in isolation. Many losses - rather than stemming from unexpected events - are the predictable result of interactions among three major systems: the physical environmnet, the social and demographic characteristics of the community that experience the, and the components of the built environment. Natural hazards do not exist independently of society because these perils are defined, reshaped, and redirected by human actions. This course in tropical environmental hazards will focus on these complex interactions between earth surface systems and the physical and social environment by examining Southeast Asia.
Catalog Description, GEOG 408: Examination of natural hazards with a focus on Southeast Asia. Tsunamis, monsoons, typhoons, flooding, droughts, and urban hazards are explored. Interactions among the following three major systems are analyzed with respect to shaping these hazards: the physical environment, social and demographic characteristics, and components of the built environment.
Catalog Description, GEOG 508: Examination of natrual hazards focusing on Southeast Asia. Tsunamis, monsoons, typhoons, flooding, droughts, and urban hazards are explored. Interactions among three major systems are analyzed with respect to shaping these hazards: the physical environment, social and demographic characteristics, and components of the built environment.
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 GIS.
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)
Workshop in GIS
What are the essential building blocks required to create an effective Geographic Information System? This online course will use GIS software for the creation, manipulation and presentation of data. The methodology will be a blended set of lessons and exercises which will include design, data capture, quality control, data management and 3D. Students enrolled in the Homeland Security Program, GIS Certificate or B.G.S. degree plan may be interested in taking this course.
Catalog Description, GEOG 468: Problems and techniques of GIS prototype development. Emphasis on GIS development and spatial database management for public sector applications such as land parcel mapping, emergency services, facilities management, and homeland security. The processes of design and production, editing and quality control, and final implementation of an operational product are stressed through applied projects. PRQ: GEOG 359 and consent of department.
Catalog Description, GEOG 568: Problems and techniques of GIS prototype development. Emphasis on GIS development and spatial database management for public sector applications such as land parcel mapping, emergency services, facilities management, and homeland security. The processes of design and production, editing and quality control, and final implementation of an operational product are stressed through applied projects. PRQ: GEOG 557 and consent of department.
Philip Young (3 credit hours)
Corporate America: 1900-1929
Catalog Description: The U.S. in the era of Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Herbert Hoover. Topics include the rising corporate order, labor militance, the origins of the modern state, America's response to war and revolution, 1920s style prosperity, and the Great Crash.
Steve Barleen (3 credit hours)
Politics and Film
Is political reality accurately portrayed in motion pictures? Do cinematic practices and imperatives give rise to a "reel-world" view of politics? This course explores these questions through a survey of films, readings, and lectures on movies that deal with politics. Specifically we will examine the topics of presidential power, the interplay between mass media and politics, and the spy craft of America's role in international affairs. Students should expect to develop a more in-depth understanding of the issues covered as well as a better appreciation of the cultural significance of the way that politics is portrayed in the movies. Students are required to view full-length, feature-films ranging from classics such as Citizen Kane (1941), North by Northwest (1959) and All the President's Men (1976) to more recent pictures like Burn After Reading (2008) and Frost-Nixon (2008). Because this is a "blended" course of both on-line and face-to-face meetings, students will be responsible for viewing most of the films on their own via a Netflix subscription or other similar service.
Catalog Description: Analysis of feature films to explore topics such as war, revolution, civil liberties, alienation, and conflict rooted in race, gender, and class.
Artemus Ward (3 credit hours)
Introduction to basic concepts in statistical methods including probability, theoretical and empirical distributions, estimation, tests of hypotheses, linear regression and correlation, and single classification analysis of variance procedures. Not available for credit toward the major in mathematical sciences. Not used in major GPA calculation for mathematical sciences majors.
Catalog Description: Introduction to basic concepts in statistical methods including probability, theoretical and empirical distributions, estimation, tests of hypotheses, linear regression and correlation, and single classification analysis of variance procedures. Not available for credit toward the major in mathematical sciences. Not used in major GPA calculation for mathematical sciences majors. PRQ: MATH 206 or MATH 210 or MATH 211 or MATH 229.
Carrie Helmig (4 credit hours)
Domesticity: Representations & Realities
This class will use a feminist lens to examine the development of the domestic space in western culture, comparing the realities of women's experiences with representations of the domestic space in literature, art and scholarship. We will also examine economic, demographic, psychological, and political consequences of the changing domestic sphere.
Catalog Description: May be repeated to a maximum of 6 semester hours as topic changes.
Lise Schlosser (3 credit hours)