Indiana University Bloomington
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U320/U520 Environmental Problems and Social Constraints in Northern and Central Eurasia
Roman Zlotin

General description: This course provides students, both undergraduate and graduate with an analysis of environmental and social conditions in the immense region of Northern and Central Eurasia. The region is undergoing profound restructuring after thee collapse of the Soviet empire. New geopolitical situations and economies are emerging across the territory of the former USSR. This region has inherited from its soviet past numerous environmental problems, low life expectancy, and high morbidity and mortality rates.

After September 11, 2001 the NIS of Central Asia bordering Afghanistan, and Transcaucasus became a staging ground for the war against terrorism and the area of US national interests. Due to political reasons and richness of mineral resources, the region plays a crucial role in global security and economic stability.

The course is divided into four units. In the first, introductory unit, the major features of the environmental and political situation in the region is presented. The second, general part, is dedicated to the analysis of mechanisms transforming the environment during the period of Soviet rule. The third, regional part, describes a variety of environmental and public health problems which emerged as a result of the soviet economic development. In conclusion, current trends in environmental and social situation is analyzed.  

Readings: There is no single textbook for this course available. The lecture package consisted of chapters and articles from the numerous sources on the topics discussed in class is available at the T.I.S on 3rd Street.

Students are also presented with thematic videos of short length which are a significant component of the course. The concepts and content of videos will appear on exams.

Course requirements: It is essential that students complete the recommended readings before class and be prepared for a brief (15 min) presentation and discussion (3-5 min) on a related topic provided in the course content. Participation in class presentations and discussions is a requirement for all graduate students, though undergraduate students are also encouraged to participate.

 Students of both sections will receive two take-home exams (the midterm and the final) that cover rather equally the two parts of the course. There will be also two in-class presentations and one map quiz given to both sections. The graduate students will also write a research paper on the topic provided.

Days and Time:  Monday and Wednesday, 11:15-12:30.