Syllabus for Estu / Esci 306 (CRN 22988 / 23462) (1 cr), Spring 2006


Introduction to Huxley College


Location:          AH 219.  Time: Thursdays, 9:00-9:50

Instructor:         Gene Myers, Ph.D. 

Contact info:     AH 224;  x4775; ms 9085; mailbox in AH 217;

Office Hours:    Tues 2:00-3:30 & W 11:00-12:30 - sign up on office door preferred.  Or by appointment.



This course is required of all entering Huxley students, regardless of how you got to Huxley (from WWU, or via transfer). Huxley College is a unique upper-division college that is surprisingly diverse in the kinds of subject matters students pursue, but is united by a common history and mission, a focus on environmental education, and its sense of community.  This course is intended to ensure that students become well-oriented to Huxley and find out about its resources, as well as to provide a sense of some of the expectations and common requirements that characterize a Huxley education.


The format of the course will include lecture and discussion, guest talks, on-campus tours, activities, reading and discussion, and short written quizzes and commentaries.


The objectives of this course are that students….

            1. Understand the history, organization and goals of Huxley College.

            2. Become aware of Huxley educational opportunities & expectations.

3. Read two environmental classics, and discuss their implications for interdisciplinary environmental studies.

            4. Meet diverse Huxley faculty and staff.

            5. Learn about useful resources at Huxley and WWU.



1. Attendance - Each session counts for 5 points. An attendance chart will be passed around at each class meeting. Absences must be arranged in advance. Absence due to illness must be accompanied by a note from the Student Health Service. You are responsible for all information conveyed on the syllabus and in class sessions, and are encouraged to form connections with each other to ensure you have someone upon whom to rely. In general the instructor is not available to review course content one-on-one.

2. Quizzes / commentaries - At several unannounced sessions you will be asked to answer a question in class (in 2 to 3 sentences), based on information in the current or previous sessions - each quiz counts for 5 points.  In addition, two out-of-class short  (1 paragraph) commentaries on assigned readings are due the day the readings are assigned - each of these is worth 10 points. All answers will be graded for correctness, as well as absence of basic writing errors. For information on the latter, see


Grading breakdown:

Satisfactory = 85% of possible points; Unsatisfactory = less than 85% of possible points.



Two readings are assigned from on-line sources (see below).



Any student with a disability that may affect their performance in this class is encouraged to speak to the instructor or the Office of Student Life (360-3844) to arrange for suitable accommodation.




3/30     Class introduction: Huxley history, philosophy & student development

            Guest: Huxley College Dean, Prof. Brad Smith.


4/6       Organization of the College, Student involvement opportunities, Internships, Advisement & graduation requirements. Guests: Kathy Johnson, UG advisor and / or Mary Moores, Registrar; Alexia Dorsch, Intern coordinator; Community Affairs Committee student member.


4/13     Discussion: Garrett Hardin, "Tragedy of the Commons.” Read before class, online: Due: Commentary on Hardin.


4/20     Resources I: Rob Lopresti, WWU Library intro; Student Technology Center; Writing Center Meet at Library, specific location TBA.


4/27     Resources II: Guests: Janet Collins: Map library; Jen Linkart & Bradley Pavik co-directors of LEAD; Sarah Kuck & Emily Nuchols, Editors of The Planet; Nancy Bonnickson, Stockroom; Community connections. Location TBA.


5/4       Faculty / program intro: Environmental Science, Institutes, & Shannon Point.


5/11     Faculty / program intro: Environmental Policy; Planning; Environmental Education.


5/18     Faculty / program intro: Geography and GIS; SAL tour. Location TBA.


5/25     Discussion: Aldo Leopold, "The Land Ethic." Read before class, online: Due: Commentary on Leopold.


6/1       Campus Sustainability, with Seth Vidana: WWU Grad. Student & Pilot Sustainability Coordinator; Directors: Env. Center; Outdoor Experiential Learning Site. Location TBA.