Course code:



IM - Introductory/Intermediate

Meets the following requirements:

  • HS - Human Studies

Lab fee:


Typically offered:


Albert Einstein once observed that “no problem can be solved from the same consciousness that created it. We must learn to see the world anew”.

If Einstein’s idea is accurate about how humans understand the universe, it is likewise true of how we plan and manage our relationships with the environment. One of the primary aims of human ecology is to explore new ways to envision human environment relations.

Within its integrative perspective, scientific knowledge and human aesthetics can be combined in ways that enrich human communities as well as value and protect the rest of the living world. The purpose of this course is to provide students with a foundation of theory and practical skills in ecological policy and community planning. A broad range of ideas and methodologies will be explored.

Using real examples of current issues such as sprawl, smart growth, gateway communities, watershed based regional planning, land trusts, and alternative transportation systems. We will be joined by the actual leaders of these changes locally and state wide in Maine. We will also examine emerging methodologies that emphasize participatory planning, community capacity-building, and empowering marginalized groups. These models and ideas will be further compared with prominent approaches and case studies from elsewhere around the country.

As a part of current ideas about community planning and policy, the course also introduces small group collaboration techniques, and the use of computers to enhance complex decision processes. A field component will take advantage of varied external opportunities—including town meetings, conferences, and public events.

Evaluations will be based on class participation, several short research papers, and end-of-term small group projects.



Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.