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Course Syllabus

The Heritage Institute, Antioch University


COURSE TITLE: Environmental Ethics: Practicing Deep Ecology
NO. OF CREDITS: 3 Humanities Credits CONTACT HOURS: 30 hours
INSTRUCTOR: Chant Thomas, M.S. (541) 899-1712

Dakubetede Environmental Education Programs (D.E.E.P.)

P.O. Box 1330, Jacksonville, Oregon 97530 E-mail: deep@deepwild.org

Website: www.deepwild.org

DATE AND TIME: This course will be offered as two different options:

1. As an evening class meeting in Ashland for 10 weekly 3 hour sessions.

2. As part of an 8-week interdisciplinary residential intensive at Birch Creek arts & Ecology Center.
LOCATION: The evening classes in Ashland will be at Headwaters Environmental Center. Birch Creek arts & Ecology Center is located at historic Trillium Farm in the Little Applegate Watershed an hour west of Ashland.

Ethics are an essential ingredient for participating productively and peacefully in society. Most educational systems ignore formal ethics classes, traditionally leaving such instruction to parents, churches, scouting, etc. These sources have been sorely lacking in recent years, especially in the realm of environmental ethics. Educators should be capable in filling the gap to help students develop the ability to make ethical decisions.

In this course, our readings and discussions of ecocentric philosophy as applied to everyday life will form the basis for examining choices which lead to formation of a "deep ecology" personal code of environmental ethics. The connection between patterns of consumption and the deterioration of planetary life support systems serves as a baseline for participants to examine the changes necessary to adopt "greener" lifestyles. Discussions will revolve around these lifestyle choices regarding consumerism, energy use, dwelling, diet, occupations, organizations, parenting, activism, wilderness use, recycling, and health care. Participants will examine how to design environmental education opportunities for various grade levels from K-12 and adults.

As a result of taking this course, participants will:

1. Become familiar with various perspectives of deep ecology and ecocentric philosophy.

2. Understand the methods of developing a personal code of environmental ethics.

3. Identify lifestyle choices and changes which enable a personal code of environmental ethics to be

placed into action in daily life.

4. Develop plans to instruct others about "greening" lifestyles through deep ecology.


Following are general course requirements weighted for determining the granting of university credit. Antioch University requires 75% or better to issue credit at the 400 level and 85% or better for credit at the 500 level.

1. Attendance and active participation in all class sessions-50%

2. Reading of articles, handouts, books or texts-20%

3. Satisfactory completion of all outside assignments-30%

For 400 Level Credit:

Depending on your preferences and professional situation, complete one of the following assignments, which should be typed, double-spaced:

1. Educators will prepare three lesson plans on selections from the list of outside readings. These lesson plans will be presented and discussed in class.


2. Other participants will write three (2-3 pages) reports on selections from the list of outside readings. These reports will be presented and discussed in class.

For 500 (Graduate) Level Credit:

To earn graduate level credit, complete one of the following assignments in addition to the 400 level assignments:

1. Educators will review additional literature from the bibliography and create a teaching unit made up of 4-6 problem-solving scenarios where students must analyze the environmental and ethical ramifications of choices and decisions.

2. Other participants will review additional literature from the bibliography and create an "Action Plan" indicating:

a) how they will implement deep ecology ethical choices into their own lives.

b) how a group (e.g. family, club, business, neighborhood, town) can make changes to "greener" lifestyles.


Please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope if you would like to receive the instructor's comments on your assignments.


Course text: Devall, Bill. Living Richly In An Age Of Limits: Using Deep Ecology for An Abundant Life. Salt Lake City: Gibbs Smith, 1993.



A) From: Environmental Ethics, a journal published by The Center for Environmental Philosophy, University of North Texas:

1. Bulkey, Kelly. "The Quest for Transformational Experience: Dreams and Environmental Ethics."

(Summer '91): 151-163.

2. Callicott, J. Baird. "Intrinsic Value, Quantum Theory, and Environmental Ethics." (Vol. 7): 257-276.

3. Cheney, Jim. "Ecofeminism and Deep Ecology." (Vol. 9): 115-146.

4. Cheney, Jim. "Postmodern Environmental Ethics: Ethics as Bioregional Narrative." (Vol. 11, No. 2):

5. Davis, Donald. "Ecosophy: The Seduction of Sophia?" (Vol. 8): 151-162.

6. Guha, Ramachandra. "Radical American Environmentalism and Wilderness Preservation: A Third

World Approach." (Vol. 11, No. 1):

7. King, Roger. "Environmental Ethics and the Case for Hunting" (Spring '89):

8. McLaughlin, Andrew. "Images and Ethics of Nature." (Vol. 7): 293-320.

9. Sturgeon, Kareen. "The Classroom as a Model of the World: Is There a Place for Environmental

Ethics in an Environmental Science Class?" (Summer '91):

10. Zimmerman, Michael. "Feminism, Environmental Ethics, and Deep Ecology." (Vol. 9): 21-44.

B) From: Diamond, Irene and Orenstein, Gloria Feman, eds. Reweaving the World: The Emergence of

Ecofeminism. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 1990:

1. Hamilton, Cynthia. "Women, Home and Community: The Struggle in an Urban Environment."

pp. 215-222.

2. Javors, Irene. "Goddess in the Environment: Reflections on the Sacred in an Urban Setting."

pp. 211-214.

3. Kheel, Marti. "Ecofeminism and Deep Ecology: Reflections on Identity and Difference." pp. 128-137.

4. King, Ynestra. "Healing the Wounds." pp. 106-121.

5. Nelson, Lin. "The Place of Women in Polluted Places." pp. 173-188.

6. Plant, Judith. "Searching for Common Ground." pp. 155-164.

C) From: Macy, Joanna, ed. Thinking Like a Mountain. Philadelphia: New Society Publ. 1988:

1. Macy, Joanna and Fleming, Pat. "Guidelines for a Council of All Beings Workshop." pp. 97-116.

2. Naess, Arne. "Self Realization: An Ecological Approach to Being in the World." pp. 19-30.

3. Seed, John. "Beyond Anthropocentrism." pp. 35-40.

D) From: Conservation Biology, a journal published by The Department of Environmental Resources, Cook College, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J.:

1. Farnsworth, Elizabeth and Rosovsky, Judy. "The Ethics of Ecological Field Experimentation."

(Vol. 7, No. 3): pp. 463-472.

2. Noss, Reed. "Sustainability and Wilderness." (Vol. 5, No. 1): pp. 120-122.

3. Robinson, John. "The Limits to Caring: Sustainable Living and the Loss of Biodiversity."

(Vol. 7, No. 1): pp. 20-28.

E) From: Scherer, Donald, ed. Upstream / Downstream: Issues in Environmental Ethics. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1990.

1. Partridge, Ernest. "The Rights of Future Generations." pp. 40-66.

F) From: Tobias, Michael, ed. Deep Ecology. San Diego: Avant Books, 1985.

1. Naess, Arne. "Identification as a Source of Deep Ecological Attitudes." pp. 256-270.

As part of the residential intensive program, tuition and fees are combined for the entire program, which includes other courses and fees.

Chant Thomas holds a M.S. in Environmental Education from the Department of Biology, Southern Oregon University, and a B.S. in Earth Science (minor in Theatre) from University of California, Santa Cruz. Chant's background as an educator ranges from teaching a multi-grade class in a remote one-room schoolhouse to designing and teaching forestry, biology, and geography courses at Southern Oregon University. A long-time wilderness outfitter and environmental activist, Chant has worked in geology with the U.S. Geological Survey, in wildlife and engineering with the U.S. Forest Service, and as a contract forester, wildlife biologist and botanist for several National Forests. Currently a forest researcher and educator with Headwaters, Chant coordinated the design and content of the annual Western Ancient Forest Activists Conference at Southern Oregon University from 1992-2000. Chant is founder and director of Dakubetede Environmental Education Programs (D.E.E.P.).

NOTE: When this course is taken as an evening class, the outline below describes each of the 10 weekly sessions. When taken as part of the residential intensive, the same outline applies in a less structured format.

Course introduction. Oral readings from Devall, Bill: "The Orphic Voice and Deep Ecology", a chapter in Simple in Means, Rich in Ends: Practicing Deep Ecology. Deep Ecology poetry readings, listen to environmental music selections, and view environmental videos.


Preface by Bill Devall. Basics: Anthropocentrism, Ecocentrism, Deep Ecology, "Greening" lifestyles. Dilemmas of Social Activism. Read text pp. 7-20, 222-235. Readings reports: A-2,3,5,10, B-3,4, C-3.


Myths from the Age of Exuberance: the Fifties, Sixties, Seventies, Eighties. Read text pp. 21-49. Readings reports: same as Session #2.


Philosophical Roots for Greening Our Lifestyles: Ecology and Ecosophy, General Principles for Deep Green Lifestyles, Language and the Search for Ecosophy, Facing Ambiguity and Challenge.

Read text pp. 50-81. Readings reports: A-1, F-1.

Experiencing Nature in the Age of Ecology: Clearcuts in Ancient Forests, Natural Resource Conservation and the Gospel of Efficiency, Consciousness Practice. Read text: pp. 82-102. Readings reports: A-8, C-1


We're All Natives; Thinking Like a Watershed: Bioregional Homes, Ecostery: Another Vision of Dwelling in Place, Thinking Like a Bioregion, Emerging Public Policy and Land-Use Practices for the Next Century, Suggestions for New Natives. Read text: pp. 103-137. Readings reports: A-4,6,7


Making a Home: Downscaling, Gardens and Lawns, Energy Use, Toxic Households, Forming an Ecoteam, Community Environmental Audits, Selecting a Site and Building a New Dwelling Unit. Procreation and Parenting. Food and Sustainable Ecosystems. Read text: pp. 138-177.

Readings reports: B-6, E-1.

Organizational Reform: Survival and Social Change in Organizations, Changing Corporate Values, Changing Bureaucracies from Within and Without, Strategies for People Seeking to Change Bureaucracy, Reform in the Churches. Ecocites?: Living in a Metropolis. Ecotourism.

Read text: pp. 178-221. Readings reports: A-9, B-1,2,5, D-2.

Presentation of student research reports. Discussion of student reports, text and outside readings.


-Berger, John. Restoring the Earth: How Americans Are Working to Restore Our Damaged Earth.

New York: Knoph, 1985.

-Devall, Bill. Simple in Means, Rich in Ends: Practicing Deep Ecology. Salt Lake City: Gibbs Smith, 1988.

-Elgin, Duane. Voluntary Simplicity: Toward a Way of Life That is Outwardly Simple and Rich.

New York: Morrow, 1981.

-Fox, Warwick. Toward a Transpersonal Ecology: Developing New Foundations for Environmentalism. Boulder:

Shambala, 1991.

-Grumbine, Edward. Ghost Bears: The Biodiversity Crisis. Covelo, CA: Island Press, 1992.

-Hargrove, Eugene. Foundation of Environmental Ethics. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1989.

-LaChapelle, Dolores. Sacred Sex, Rapture of the Deep: Concerning Deep Ecology and Celebrating Life. Silverton,

CO: Finn Hill, 1991.

-McLaughlin, Corrine, and Davidson, Gordon. Builders of the Dawn: Community Lifestyles in a Changing World.

Walpole, NH: Stillpoint, 1985.

-McMillan, Carol. Women, Reason, and Nature. Princeton: Princeton Univ., 1982.

-Maser, Chris. Global Imperative: Harmonizing Culture and Nature. Walpole NH: Stillpoint, 1992.

-Merchant, Carolyn. The Death of Nature: Women, Ecology, and the Scientific Revolution.

San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1980.

-Miller, Alan. Gaia Connections: An Introduction to Ecology, Ecoethics, and Economics.

Savage, MD: Rowan and Littlefield, 1991.

-Naess, Arne. Ecology, Community, and Lifestyle. London: Cambridge University, 1988.

-Nash, Roderick. The Rights of Nature: A History of Environmental Ethics. University of Wisconsin, 1989.

-Plant, Judith. Healing the Wounds: The Promise of Ecofeminism. Philadelphia: New Society, 1989.

-Potter Van Renssalaer. Global Bioethics: Building on the Leopold Legacy. ?????????

-Raphael, Ray. Edges: Human Ecology of the Backcountry. University of Nebraska, 1986.

-Rolston, Holmes, III. Environmental Ethics: Duties to Values in the Natural World. Temple Univ., 1988.

-Roszak, Theodore. The Voice of the Earth. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1992.

-Sale, Kirkpatrick. Dwellers in the Land: The Bioregional Vision. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 1985.

-Shiva, Vandana. Staying Alive: Women, Ecology, and Development. London: Zed, 1988.

-Snyder, Gary. The Practice of the Wild. San Francisco: Northpoint, 1991.

-Stone, Christopher. Earth and Other Ethics: The Case for Moral Pluralism. N.Y.: Harper and Row, 1987.

-Taylor, Paul. Respect for Nature: A Theory of Environmental Ethics. Princeton University, 1986.

-Uusitalo, Lisa. Environmental Impacts of Consumption Patterns. New York: St, Martin's, 1986.

-Von Strum, Carol. A Bitter Fog: Herbicides and Human Rights. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 1983.

-Williams, Terry Tempest. Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place. N. Y.: Pantheon, 1991.

-Wilson, E.O. Biodiversity. Wash. D.C.: National Academy Press, 1988.

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