environment and health

Assignment 1

Assignment Instructions

This assignment is worth 12% of your final grade. There are two parts: short and long answer questions related to your course readings.

Short Answer Questions

In four or five sentences, briefly answer five of the following questions. Ten marks each.

  1. Worster’s article uses the term “agroecological perspective.” What does he mean by this term, and how does this perspective reflect Worster’s understanding of environmental history?
  2. In Crosby’s article, try to chart some of the major changes and trends in the field of environmental history. How has the field matured over time? What are some of the dominant influences of that change?
  3. Try to identify what “the problem of the problem of environmental history” is, according to Sörlin and Warde. What do they see as the new direction for environmental historians?
  4. Based on the readings by Steinberg, and Turner and Peacock, how would you characterize the Aboriginal relationship with non-human nature and the environment prior to the arrival of Europeans in North America?
  5. Based on Krech’s reflections, how has the concept of the “Ecological Indian” continued to influence modern environmentalism?
  6. How does Crosby try to keep geography in mind? Where does Crosby concentrate his analysis? What parts of the New World does he talk about?
  7. What do Piper and Sandlos add to Crosby’s arguments? How does this research challenge the idea of ecological imperialism?

Long Answer Questions

Answer two of the following questions. 250-350 words per question. Twenty-five marks each.

  1. What is environmental history and how can it help us re-think the study of the past? How did your initial thoughts on environmental history compare to what you read in the articles?
  2. Similar to the “Keep America Beautiful” video, find two additional online sources that represent Aboriginal people along the lines of the “Ecological Indian” and explain how the readings reflect or contradict these representations.
  3. In what ways can Alfred Crosby’s concept of ecological imperialism be applied to Canada? How did ecological imperialism occur differently in Canada compared to the United States and Central America?

The following criteria will be used to evaluate your answers.

Criteria Weighting
Your response adequately addresses/answers the question. /10
Your response demonstrates critical and thoughtful reflection on the readings, videos, and other course materials. It synthesizes ideas from the course material and includes your own interpretation/response. /10
Your response is written in clear, fluent, and technically correct prose. (Note that the writing is less formal than an essay, so you may write in the first person.)


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