Winter 2016 quarter

Taught by

veterinary medicine

Why do humans keep pets and at the same time raise animals for food? What are the psychological and moral complexities that characterize our relationships with animals? What is the impact of human-animal interactions on the health and well-being of people and animals? How do we assess the relative welfare of animals under a variety of circumstances? This program is an interdisciplinary study of human (anthro) and animal (zoo) interaction. This topic of inquiry will be used to study general biology, evolutionary biology, zoology, anthropology, and philosophy. Through field trips, guest speakers, reading, writing, and discussion, students will become familiar with the multiple and often paradoxical ways we relate to companion animals, animals for sport, zoo animals, wildlife, research animals, and food animals. We will use our collective experiences, along with science-based and value-based approaches, to critically examine the ever-changing role of animals in society.

We will begin the quarter by focusing on the process of animal domestication in different cultures from an evolutionary and historical perspective. Through the formal study of animal ethics, students will also become familiar with different philosophical positions on the use of animals. Physiology and neuroscience will be used to investigate the physical and mental lives of animals, while simultaneously exploring domestic animal behavior. Students will explore the biological basis and psychological aspects of the human-animal bond. They will then study the science of animal welfare and complete a final project in which they will apply their scientific and ethical knowledge to a controversial and contemporary animal welfare question. Students will finish the quarter with a multiple-day trip to University of British Columbia, where they will visit with faculty and students doing active research in animal welfare science.

Students will be expected to read primary literature in such diverse fields as animal science, ethology, neurobiology, sociobiology, anthropology, and philosophy. Student success in this program will depend on commitment to in-depth understanding of complex topics and an ability to combine empirical knowledge and philosophical reflection.

Program Details

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

biology, neuroscience, anthropology, animal welfare, and veterinary medicine.

Academic Website

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Day

Advertised schedule: First winter class meeting : Tuesday, January 5 at 8:30am (Lib 1412).


Buy books for this program through Greener Bookstore.

Online Learning

No Required Online Learning: No access to web tools required. Any web tools provided are optional for students.

Required Fees

$150 for an overnight field trip to an animal welfare research center.

Upper Division Science Credit

A limited amount of upper division science credit will be awarded to students based on exam scores and ability to read and interpret primary scientific literature.


Date Revision
January 26th, 2016 Fee has increased (from $100 to $150).
December 18th, 2015 First winter class meeting corrected.
December 4th, 2015 This program will accept enrollment without faculty signature.

Registration Information

Credits: 16 (Winter)

Class standing: Freshmen–Senior; 25% of the seats are reserved for freshmen

Maximum enrollment: 24



Students need to contact the instructor by email and provide a short paragraph detailing their relevant academic preparedness in program topics.

Course Reference Numbers

Fr (16 credits): 20103
So - Sr (16 credits): 20104

Go to to register for this program.

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