Nature and Nurture: Human Development and the Environment

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Winter 2019 quarter

Taught by

ecology, biology, mycology
  • Phil Kreniske

Only one land animal thrives from the Arctic tundra to the Saharan desert, from the Himalayas to the islands of Oceania. As humans, we shape our environments and these environments shape us. This introductory, one-quarter program will focus on how our environment affects our health and psychological development. We will use the twin lens of developmental psychology and human biology to examine the interaction between humans and our environments.

Using real-world examples, we will explore child development and the influence of environment on development. We will also study human anatomy and physiology and will use current disease and health challenges as an invitation to learn how the body and diseases function. At the end of the program students will be ready be for intermediate studies in psychology, biology, and human health.

Topics will be covered through texts, workshops, seminars, lab exercises, field trips, and lectures. Students will be expected to research topics, write papers, and give presentations, both individually and in small groups. Student progress will be assessed through discussions, written assignments, exams, individual and group projects, and participation in program activities.

Note: This program will be repeated in spring. Students enrolled in the winter program should not enroll in spring.

Program Details

Fields of Study

biology environmental studies health physiology psychology

Preparatory For

teaching, biology, psychology, and health-related fields.


Winter Open

Location and Schedule

Campus Location


Time Offered


Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning