Faculty Profile

Brian Pedersen

Associate Professor of Environmental Science (1998)

Contact Information

pedersen@dickinson.edu

Kaufman Hall Room 132
717.245.1897

Bio

His teaching and research interests concern ecology and environmental science.

Education

  • B.S., Harvey Mudd College, 1981
  • M.S., University of California at Davis, 1988
  • Ph.D., Oregon State University. 1992

2018-2019 Academic Year

Fall 2018

ENST 121 Enviro Science for Non-Majors
This introductory environmental science course will explore the integrated, interdisciplinary study of natural environmental systems and human interactions with them. Students will use scientific principles to explore the consequences of human activity. Students will be exposed to basic techniques for investigating environmental topics in lectures, laboratory exercises, and fieldwork. This is an introductory course for non-majors. Students intending to major in Environmental Studies or Environmental Science should enroll in ENST 161.Three hours classroom and three hours laboratory a week. This course does not count towards the B.A. in Environmental Studies or B.S. in Environmental Science.

ENST 361 Role of Natural Sci in Env St
What can natural science contribute to our understanding of the interactions between humans and our environment? What makes it possible for natural science to provide this understanding? What are the limits on natural science’s capacity to contribute to environmental studies? Answers to these questions come from the humanities, social science, and natural science. From these perspectives, this course will examine natural science as a way of knowing, and explore the application of natural science to environmental challenges. Laboratory activities will provide opportunities for students to work with ideas and processes that are fundamental to natural science, and experience how natural science is applied in environmental studies. Three hours classroom and three hours laboratory a week. Prerequisite: 162 or any three natural science courses or junior class standing.

ENST 406 Contrarian Views
The academic field of environmental studies, including environmental science, is relatively new. But the field is sufficiently established to have a recognizable set of experts. As with the water in a river, most of these experts are in the mainstream of environmental studies; they have similar perspectives on environmental challenges. But some experts, while sharing the mainstream’s concerns about the state of human-environment interactions, have perspectives on environmental challenges that are outside of the mainstream. A third group of experts hold views that are in opposition to the first two groups. This latter group is, in effect, flowing counter to most experts in environmental studies. This seminar is concerned with the “contrarians”, those experts who are outside the mainstream, whether flowing with and against the mainstream. What are the views of these contrarians? On what ideas, information, and principles are their views founded? What are the merits and utility of the contrarian’s views? What are the consequences of their views? The seminar will be organized as a semester-long project. We will search for environmental studies’ contrarians and then characterize and analyze their perspectives. We will organize and present this work in a form that is publicly-accessible and that will be useful to a wide range of audiences. Students in the seminar will be responsible for defining the project’s scope, planning the work, and carrying the project to completion. The work of the seminar will be done as individuals, small groups, and the entire class. Students will be able to focus some of their contributions to the project within their own areas of interest. Individual students’ contributions will be evaluated based primarily on portfolios of their work.

Spring 2019

ENST 361 Role of Natural Sci in Env St
What can natural science contribute to our understanding of the interactions between humans and our environment? What makes it possible for natural science to provide this understanding? What are the limits on natural science’s capacity to contribute to environmental studies? Answers to these questions come from the humanities, social science, and natural science. From these perspectives, this course will examine natural science as a way of knowing, and explore the application of natural science to environmental challenges. Laboratory activities will provide opportunities for students to work with ideas and processes that are fundamental to natural science, and experience how natural science is applied in environmental studies. Three hours classroom and three hours laboratory a week. Prerequisite: 162 or any three natural science courses or junior class standing.