ATH214 Environment, Animals & Culture

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Explores contemporary and historical examples of animal symbolism, food taboos, ethical issues around the treatment of animals or other kinds of human-animal interactions from an anthropological perspective. Introduces ecological anthropology and the sub-field of cultural ecology. Examines systems of power and social justice issues related to sustainability and the equitable use of resources from a cross-cultural perspective. Prerequisites: (WR 115 and RD 115) or IRW 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement. Audit available.  (For detailed information, see the Course Content and Outcome Guide).

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many classes have additional fees.
classes marked with $0 or <$40 use low cost materials. Cost does not include art supplies, calculators, fees, and equipment.
Class type:
in-person:    remote:    online:    hybrid: ( or )
List of classes for ATH214 Environment, Animals & Culture
CRN Location & type Days & time Dates Seats available Materials More info Sign up
30923 Web


From June 22 through August 15, 2020
Textbooks for CRN 30923
Instructor: Kerry J Pataki
Tuition: credit Fees: $20
For information, contact the department at 971-722-4289.

Course details: CRN 30923

Course materials


Find out which textbooks are required for this course.

Proctored exams and activities:

There are no proctored exams and activities.

Other in-person and on-campus activities:

There are no other in-person and on-campus activities.


 only a home computer

Instructor comments:

THIS UNUSUAL COURSE PROVIDES a direct introduction to the intimate relation between culture and environment. It includes an assessment of the concept of culture, and a scrutiny of what is called "environment" with its physical, behavioral and perceptual aspects. Culture is at the heart of all human societies and includes often-profound contrasts and complexities, and these always take place in some existing space-time-place setting. i.e. the "physical" and behavioral environment. Using an anthropological perspective including ethnographic films, the course introduces, reviews and discusses these two cores, culture and environment, to achieve a knowledge of each of them as (1) complex systems in themselves and (2) as part an inclusive interacting global ecocultural system.

THE COURSE USES A VARIETY of concepts and examples for the basic characteristics of this complex relation or metasystem and its interactions, including impact, scale, linkage and feedback. The course introduces you to concepts, principles and realities concerning environment and the cultural values, explicit and implicit, that are changing today's global landscape. It uses a variety of activities: discussions, lectures, quizzes, a midterm and a final, and a brief and interesting personal project. The instructor is an anthropologist with extensive experience in teaching, fieldwork, consultation and projects in developed and developing countries, and brings these into the class in a realistic and relevant sense.

TWO BOOKS ARE USED in the course. One is about systems as such, which is important since all life, in fact, everything involves systems related to other systems, such as our eosystem. Our readable text for this is Thinking in Systems by Donella H. Meadows, Chelsea 2008 (ISBN 978-1-60356-055-7). The other book is People and Nature - An Introduction to Human Ecological Relations, by Emilio F. Moran. Blackwell 2012 (ISBN 978-1-4051-0572-9), about the realities of this environment/culture linkage. Both are paperback and available in the PCC Sylvia bookstore, or are available online; the instructor's favorite is for inexpensive copies. The course uses these two books together as it proceeds to its goal: to develop awareness, knowledge and appreciation of a core reality of our world today: the environment mediated by culture, and how we use and abuse it and are at the same time, used and abused  by it. 

UNCERTAIN ABOUT TAKING AN ONLINE CLASS? Well, (1) the reality and mechanics of actually doing this course are built into it and are very clear and accessible (it's a proven course adapted from f2f), and (2) it is entirely possible to feel part of a group and communicate personally in an online course: in fact, THAT is what we do in it.

Looking forward to meeting you virtually!



Web course information

No show policy
Your instructor can mark you as a "no show" if you do not participate in your class during the first week. This will remove you from the class. It is important to log in as soon as the class starts to see what the participation requirements are.
Web & Remote Teaching Technical Requirements:
Please be sure to read the quick guide to Online Learning technical requirements.
Students with Disabilities:
Students with disabilities should notify their instructor if accommodations are needed to take this class. For information about technologies that help people with disabilities taking Web based classes please visit the Disability Services website.
Web Prerequisite | Start Guide for Online Learning:
Before you take your first online class at PCC, you must complete the start guide for online learning. The start guide will help you decide if online classes are right for you. Once you complete the start guide, you will be eligible to register for online classes.

The Start Guide is not required for Hybrid or Remote Courses but strongly recommended. To learn more, go to