Fall 2023 Courses in Natural History & Sustainability

Fall classes run from August 21 – Dec 16 and are IN PERSON unless otherwise indicated. Acronyms refer to courses applying to the following certificates, with bold indicating a required course: CRM: Conservation and Resource Management, NHR: Natural History and Resources, and UA: Urban Agroecology.

Enrollment is now open! Follow the steps to apply and enroll here.

Biology (BIOL) Courses:

BIOL 5 (Course 43489/43490): Botany. Prof. Gregory Vose (gvose@peralta.edu). Introductory study of botany: Structure, physiology, genetics, ecology, and uses of plants. Laboratory work emphasizes microscopy, physiology experiments, and field identification. Lecture Tue/Th 12:00pm – 1:15pm; Lab 1:30 – 2:45pm in room S421. 4 units. CRM; UA.

BIOL 15 (Course 43491): Environmental Biology. Prof. Ben Nelson (bnelson@peralta.edu). Study of the relationships between living things and their environment:  Natural selection and speciation, the organism and its environment, population ecology, the ecosystem, and a survey of ecosystems. Lecture Tues 3:00pm – 5:50pm. 3 units. CRM; NHR; UA.

BIOL 29 (Course 43495/43496): Introduction to Biodiversity. Prof. Ben Nelson (bnelson@peralta.edu). Introduction to biology emphasizing chiefly the evolution, adaptations, and classification of life forms from bacteria to animals: Identification of groups of organisms and the most common species; lesser emphasis on cellular and molecular biology and genetics. Lecture Mon/Wed 12:00pm – 1:15pm; Lab Mon/Wed 1:30pm – 2:45pm. 4 units in room S421. CRM; NHR; UA.

Environmental Management and Technology (ENVMT) Courses:

ENVMT 1 (Course 43321): Environmental Careers. Prof. Brad Balukjian (bbalukjian@peralta.edu). Career development strategies and exploration of emerging environmental fields: Exploration of green jobs in the non-profit, government, and private sectors, with hands-on training in interviewing and job application preparation. Short course 8/29/23 – 10/03/23; Tue 6:00pm – 8:50pm in room S331. 1 unit. CRM; NHR; UA

ENVMT 5 (Course 43322/43323): Bay Area Food Culture. Prof. Elizabeth Boegel (eboegel@peralta.edu). Food systems and food cultures of the Bay Area: Field trips and case studies of area gardens designed by people of different cultures, documenting the cultural diversity of food and gardens through multiple media. In person with weekly field trips. Lecture Mon 9:00am – 10:50am; Lab Wed 9:00am – 11:50am in the Environmental Center (Please refer to this map: https://www.merritt.edu/campus-map/). 3 units. CRM; UA.

ENVMT 56 (Course 43324): Management of Public Parks and Natural Resources. Prof. David Zuckermann (dzuckermann@peralta.edu). Current practices and issues in the management of public lands at the federal, state, and local levels. In person with some field trips. Th 6:00pm – 8:50pm in room S331 with some field trips to be scheduled. 3 units. CRM; NHR; UA.

ENVMT 60A (Course 43350): Natural History of the Bay Area: The Local Parks. Prof. Ben Nelson (bnelson@peralta.edu). Survey of the natural history of the Bay Area: Climate, geology, geologic history, geomorphology, flora, and fauna of selected Bay Area parks. Late start short course 9/13/23 – 10/22/23. Wed 6:00pm – 7:50pm in room S331 and Sun 1:00pm – 4:50pm with trips to local parks. 3 units. NHR; CRM

ENVMT 61K (Course 43353): Natural History of the Bay Area: Lichens. Prof. TBD. Common Lichens of the Greater San Francisco Bay Area: Microscopic analysis and field study. Late start short course: 9/11/23 – 10/21/23. Mon 6:00pm – 7:50pm in room S331 and Sat 1:00pm – 4:35pm with trips to local parks. 2 units. CRM; NHR.

ENVMT 80B (Course 43354): Bird Songing: The Ecology of Bird Songs and Identification by Ear. Prof. TBD. Introduction to the identification, classification, and ecology of birds in terms of how they communicate and use their songs: Emphasis on Central California and Bay Area birds, with special attention paid to birds such as passerines, hummingbirds, and parrots that memorize and learn their songs; concepts relating to how birds sing, learn their songs, mimic one another, and play duets together. Late start short course: 10/10/23 – 11/18/23. Tue 6:00pm – 7:50pm in room S331 and Sat 9:00am – 12:35pm with trips to local parks. 2.0 Units.CRM; NHR

ENVMT 476F (Course 43325): Occupational Work Experience in Environmental Management and Technology. Prof. Brad Balukjian (bbalukjian@peralta.edu). Supervised internships providing opportunities to gain experience and extend learning in the environmental or food system fields. HYBRID: asynchronous online with in-person internships. Two required meetings, 8/25/23, 5:00pm – 6:20pm and 12/15/23, 5:00pm – 6:50pm in the Environmental Center (Please refer to this map: https://www.merritt.edu/campus-map/). 3 units. CRM; NHR; UA.

African-American Studies Courses

AFRAM 38/ENVMT12 (Course 42556): Environmental Racism and Justice Prof. Nehanda Imara (nimara@peralta.edu) American and global environmental policy and ethics concentrating on their impact on minorities and people of color: Unequal environmental protection; the politics of pollution, race and waste dumping; and the intersection of the Civil Rights and Environmental Justice Movements with an emphasis on civil rights, social justice, white supremacy, and the impact of the Environmental Movement on people of color. Lecture: ONLINE. 3 units. CRM; NHR; UA

Art Courses:

ART 166/166L (Course 42403/42404 or 42640/42641): Beginning Botanical Drawing. Prof. Sheila Metcalf-Tobin (smetcalftobin@peralta.edu). Exploration through drawing of basic plant structures: Recording details of various plant forms; emphasis on rendering form and texture with graphite pencils, graphite powder, white drawing pencils and ink pens. Lecture ONLINE; Optional in person lab Wed 10:00am – 2:00pm ONLINE. 2 units. CRM; NHR.

Geography (GEOG) Courses: 

GEOG 1 (Course 42286/42354 or 43207/42354): Physical Geography. Prof. Teresa Williams (twilliams@peralta.edu). Basic elements of the earth’s physical systems and processes: Earth-sun relations, weather, climate, water, plate tectonics, landforms, soils, and ecosystems and their interrelationships and global distribution patterns. Lecture and Lab ONLINE, ASYNCHRONOUS. 3 units. CRM; NHR; UA.

Geology (GEOL) Courses:

GEOL 1 (Course 42223/42224): Introduction to Physical Geology. Lecture: TBA. Lab: Prof. Teresa Williams (twilliams@peralta.edu). Survey of materials and structures comprising the outer portion of the earth, and geologic processes responsible for sculpturing the earth: Plate tectonics and mountain building; formation of minerals and igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks; deformation of rocks by folding and faulting; and erosion of the land surface. Lecture ASYNCHRONOUS; Lab Mon 6:00pm – 8:50pm in room S220. 4 units. CRM; NHR.

Landscape Horticulture (LANHT) Courses:

LAND HORT 5A (Course 43132/43133): Plant Materials: Fall Native Plant ID. Prof. Stew Winchester (stewwinchester@sbcglobal.net). Identification and culture of fall native plants used in the landscape: Climate, soil, and water preferences; garden culture; pest and disease problems; and pruning and propagation. Lecture Wed 10:00am- 11:50am and 1:00pm – 3:50pm in room H101. 3 units. CRM; NHR; UA.

LAND HORT 16 (Course 42408/42409): Soil Management. Prof. Laura Forlin (lforlin@peralta.edu). Origin of soils, rocks, and minerals: Physical and chemical properties, water relations of plants and soils, soil fertility and fertilizers, organic matter, soil amendments for clay and for acid and alkali soils, and the cycling of nutrients in nature. ONLINE with Zoom meetings Wed 6:00pm- 8:15pm and 8:30pm – 9:45pm. 3 units. CRM; NHR; UA.

LANHORT 23 (Course 42250): Plant Terminology. Prof. Laura Forlin (lforlin@peralta.edu). Terminology relating to roots, stems, leaves, flowers, and fruit used in plant identification courses. ONLINE with Zoom meetings Mon 6:30pm – 8:45pm ONLINE. 2.5 units. CRM; NHR; UA.

LANHORT 28A (Course 42663/42664): Permaculture Design I. Prof. TBD. Origin of soils, rocks, and minerals: Physical and chemical properties, water relations of plants and soils, soil fertility and fertilizers, organic matter, soil amendments for clay and for acid and alkali soils, and the cycling of nutrients in nature. ONLINE with Zoom meetings Fri 10:00AM – 11:50AM and Lab 1:00pm – 3:50pm. 3 units. UA.

LANHORT 76/76L (Course 42625/42626): Edible Landscaping. Prof. TBD Use of food-producing plants in the constructed landscape for homeowners, renters, school gardens, community gardens, senior centers, and micro-farms. ONLINE with Zoom Meetings Lecture Tue 10:00-11:50pm, Lab Tue 1:00-3:50pm. 3 units. UA.

LAND HORT 81 (Course 43137/43138): Arborist Equipment Fundamentals. Prof. Allegra Mautner (prunebuggy@gmail.com). Fundamentals of equipment used in the arborist trade: Chain saws, chippers, plant health care equipment, and aerial lift; truck driving and bucket truck operations; equipment maintenance; equipment safety and safe work practices. ONLINE with Zoom meetings Saturdays 1:30PM – 2:20PM and 2:30PM – 5:20PM. 2 units. CRM; NHR; UA.