Journalism 784

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					JOURNALISM 784 ENVIRONMENT OF THE WEST
Reynolds School of Journalism University of Nevada, Reno Summer 2007 Instructor: Jon Christensen E-mail: jonchristensen@stanford.edu Cell Phone: 650-759-6534 Course Web Site: http://www.stanford.edu/~jonallan/journalism784.html Course Web Log: http://journalism784.blogspot.com/

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
Analysis of the most pressing environmental issues in the West, as seen through the expertise of scientists, policy makers, citizen advocates, scholars, and journalists, focusing on the Lake Tahoe basin in the Sierra Nevada. This course proceeds from the question: What do interactive journalists need to know about environmental science and policy at Lake Tahoe to be successful in a democratic society? Our assumption is that it is not possible to teach or learn everything you need to know about the environment, science and policy in one course. So this course seeks to introduce you to a set of useful tools and powerful, historically informed perspectives for thinking about and navigating the complexities of environmental science and policy, while beginning to immerse you in those complexities at Lake Tahoe. Our expectation is that you will be able to put these ideas to use in your work over the next 10 months, and take these intellectual tools and perspectives wherever you go from here. COURSE REQUIREMENTS: Required Books: Conservation and the Gospel of Efficiency: The Progressive Conservation Movement, 1890-1920, Samuel P. Hays The Greening of a Nation? Environmentalism in the United States Since 1945, Hal K. Rothman Tahoe: From Timber Barons to Ecologists, Douglas H. Strong Fire in Sierra Nevada Forests: A Photographic Interpretation of Ecological Change Since 1849, George E. Gruell Roughing It, Mark Twain Discordant Harmonies: A New Ecology for the Twenty-first Century, Daniel B. Botkin The Organic Machine: The Remaking of the Columbia River, Richard White Note on required readings: You are required to complete the assigned readings before we meet each week and to submit a short contribution to the online discussion on the course web log each week in response to questions posted by the instructor. There are three books assigned for our first meeting, as well as three chapters from Mark Twain’s Roughing It. The Twain is fun. The others are serious. They are all important. So please

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get started as soon as possible on those books. And you can begin contributing to the online discussion as soon as you are done with each book. The online readings will be available through the course web site. And you are required to complete those readings and integrate them into your web log contribution as well before our meeting each week. A note on the optional additional recommended readings listed for each week: I would recommend that you not try to read these books during the weeks we are meeting. They are listed in case you are interested in going more in-depth in any particular area, either before the course begins this summer, or after it ends. A note on writing assignments: The writing assignments are due first thing Monday morning. They should aim to be publishable quality. But you should not let that inhibit you from exploring new ideas by sticking to tried and true journalistic formulas. Indeed, the assignments are meant to push you to think critically about the limits of those formulas, break out of those conventions, and explore new ideas in the environment of intellectual freedom that an academic setting affords. A note on in-class days and field trip days: We will be spending two intensive days together each week. The first day we will spend in class, with a seminar from 9 a.m. to noon, and another seminar from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. These sessions will be conducted as intensive graduate seminars in which we will discuss the week’s readings. You will be expected to contribute actively and even take the lead from time to time in these discussions. The second day we will take a field trip from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. These days will be conducted as traveling seminars, that will broaden our discussions as we get out into the environment we are studying and meet with people. These will be intense full days. And you will be expected to actively participate all day. That is why it is important that you prepare by doing the required readings before we meet on the first day.

WEEK 1: ENVIRONMENTAL HISTORY AT LAKE TAHOE
July 30: In class seminars or field trip to be announced July 31: In class seminars or field trip to be announced Required readings: Conservation and the Gospel of Efficiency: The Progressive Conservation Movement, 1890-1920, Samuel P. Hays The Greening of a Nation? Environmentalism in the United States Since 1945, Hal K. Rothman Tahoe: From Timber Barons to Ecologists, Douglas Strong Fire in Sierra Nevada Forests: A Photographic Interpretation of Ecological Change Since 1849, George E. Gruell Roughing It, Mark Twain, Chapters 21-23 “The View from John Sanderson's Farm,” Hugh M. Raup (online)

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Assignment due August 6: Write an essay that helps us understand TRPA and environmental regulation at Tahoe in its historical context given this week’s readings, class discussions and field trip. (5-10 pages double-spaced) Optional additional recommended reading: Crow's Range: An Environmental History of the Sierra Nevada, David Beesley Roughing It, Mark Twain — the rest of the story

WEEK 2: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AT LAKE TAHOE
August 9: In class seminars or field trip to be announced August 10: In class seminars or field trip to be announced Required readings: Discordant Harmonies: A New Ecology for the Twenty-first Century, Daniel B. Botkin Scientific research papers (online) Assignment due August 13: Write an essay on the Lake Tahoe basin as an ecosystem, or some aspect of the ecosystem, that explores the connections between visions of science, nature, history, and philosophy reflected in this week’s readings, class discussions and field trip. (5-10 pages double-spaced) Optional additional recommended reading: Nature's Economy: A History of Ecological Ideas, Donald Worster.

WEEK 3: HUMAN-NATURE AT LAKE TAHOE
August 13: In class seminars or field trip to be announced August 14: In class seminars or field trip to be announced August 17: Tahoe Summit Required readings: The Organic Machine: The Remaking of the Columbia River, Richard White "Thirteen Ways of Seeing Nature in L.A.," Jennifer Price (online) Tahoe Summit readings (online) Assignment due August 20: Write an essay or nonfiction narrative that explores at least three ways of seeing nature at Lake Tahoe, inspired by the last three weeks of readings, class discussions, field trips and the Tahoe Summit. (10 pages double-spaced)

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Optional additional recommended readings: Irrigated Eden: The Making of an Agricultural Landscape in the American West, Mark Fiege Rivers of Empire: Water, Aridity, and the Growth of the American West, Donald Worster

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