Skip to main content
Unit of study_

AMST2607: Climate Crisis in America

Semester 1, 2022 [Normal day] - Remote

Combining American history, literature, and politics, this unit examines environmental changes within and beyond the United States. It considers how different perspectives on land management, human needs, and state policies can inform the various uses of natural resources. From buffalo to agri-business, railroads to oil wells, Standing Rock to Three Mile Island, the unit uses a variety of sources to think about how people have understood their relationship with the environment. The unit asks questions about food and water supplies, conservation, urban planning, and the complex roots of the present climate emergency.

Unit details and rules

Unit code AMST2607
Academic unit United States Studies Centre
Credit points 6
Prohibitions
? 
None
Prerequisites
? 
12 credit points at 1000 level in American Studies or 12 credit points at 1000 level in History
Corequisites
? 
None
Available to study abroad and exchange students

Yes

Teaching staff

Coordinator Pamela Maddock, pamela.maddock@sydney.edu.au
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment Research Essay
State your thesis and make your case.
40% Formal exam period 3000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Participation Class Participation
Collegial, thoughtful engagement with unit materials.
10% Ongoing on-going
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO6 LO4 LO2
Assignment Annotated Bibliography
Provide a list of relevant sources with descriptions and explanations.
10% Week 06 500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO5 LO3
Assignment Research Essay Proposal
Set out your question and how you propose to answer it.
30% Week 09 750 words
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO6 LO5 LO4
Assignment Group Presentations
Explain your proposed legislative, economic, or social change.
10% Week 12 10-12 min.
Outcomes assessed: LO5 LO6 LO1

Assessment summary

The assessments in this unit are designed to give students a variety of learning opportunities.

Assessment criteria

Result name

Mark range

Description

High distinction

85 - 100

 

Distinction

75 - 84

 

Credit

65 - 74

 

Pass

50 - 64

 

Fail

0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded
  • If you experience short-term circumstances beyond your control, such as illness, injury or misadventure or if you have essential commitments which impact your preparation or performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

 

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week -01 Environmentalism - An Introduction Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO3
Week 02 Earth - Soil and its Precarity Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5
Week 03 Energy - Extractive and Radioactive Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5 LO6
Week 04 Energy - Empire Powered Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO3 LO6
Week 05 Excrement - Geography, Hygiene, Disease Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5
Week 06 Extinction, Especially the Buffalo Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 07 Eradication, Especially the Boll Weevil Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 08 Experiences in Geographies - Nature Writing Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO6
Week 09 Evangelicalism and Environmentalism Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5 LO6
Week 10 Empire of Timber Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 11 Emissions Targets and Carbon Markets - Climate Summits Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO3 LO6
Week 12 Expressways - Mobility, Access, Liveability Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO6
Week 13 Emergencies, Especially Expanding Seawater Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5 LO6

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Identify and comprehend how various interests and decisions in the US have changed land, water, and species over time.
  • LO2. Use primary sources (including written, oral, material, data-driven, and digital sources) and secondary sources to understand ways Americans have understood their relationship with the environment.
  • LO3. Explore and explain the significance of historical and political context to the present climate emergency with attention to historical transitions and persistent patterns.
  • LO4. Analyse aspects of environmental change through the lenses of race, gender, and class, both in terms of decision makers and in terms of the effects of those decisions.
  • LO5. Compose research questions and synthesise diverse sources to build and defend a compelling position in response to those questions.
  • LO6. Reflect on how our understanding of the way patterns of production and consumption have changed might inform best approaches to the climate crisis.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities
GQ1 GQ2 GQ3 GQ4 GQ5 GQ6 GQ7 GQ8 GQ9

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

This is the first time this unit has been offered.

Disclaimer

The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.