Current Courses

Fall 2017


Note: All McBride sophomores must take the following two required classes.  Each course will be offered twice, in the fall and spring.  Students will receive an email instructing them as to which class they should register for in the fall.

HNRS305-A: Explorations in Modern America (K. Osgood)

Course Theme: “Controversies and Challenges, Past and Present” 

This course looks major controversies, challenges, and issues facing the modern United States from a historical perspective.  We will look at hot button issues from a wide variety of lenses – right, left, and everywhere in between –  to see (and debate) how contemporary challenges have been influenced by events and ideas from the recent past.  In so doing, we will learn how critical events in the past 100 years of American history have shaped the contemporary landscape.  As an Honors “core course,” the class seeks to develop your skills—at reading and writing, in professional communication and planning, and at thinking and perceiving. A goal is to sharpen your mind and broaden your perspective on the world around you. Above all else, this course seeks to encourage you to ask questions about the U.S. role in the world: questions about war and peace, questions about relationships between different races, classes and sexes, questions about the government and its role in shaping American life, questions about social practices and popular culture, questions about equality and opportunity—questions, in short, about life.

Schedule Listing: HNRS305, Explorations in Modern America
Registration Number: TBA
Class Meetings: Wednesdays, 6:00-9:00 PM 
Instructor: Kenneth Osgood

HNRS315-A: Explorations in the Modern World (Hitt)

Course Theme:  Narrative and the Puzzle of the Human Journey 

Humans are accustomed to thinking about life as a journey, one that encompasses many smaller pathways of experience. Yet often the choice of which road to take is puzzling: how do we figure out where we are, where we want to go, and why? What happens when we’re forced into a scenario that wasn’t of our design or choosing? Some of the oldest and most common stories are those of individuals trying to work through this maze of life. By reading novels and writing personal narratives, we will explore human movement—through space and through life—and use the metaphor of the puzzle to understand what compels our personal paths and the decisions we make about them that are common to all people regardless of place, time, or culture. 

Schedule Listing: HNRS315, Explorations in the Modern World
Registration Number: TBA
Class Meetings: Wednesdays, 6:00-9:00 PM, Room TBA 
Instructor: Sarah Hitt


Note: McBride juniors and seniors may enroll in any one of the following courses. Note that the CSM online course schedule identifies these courses by their generic titles (e.g. “Explorations in Earth, Energy, & the Environment) but each course has a specific theme listed and described below (e.g. "Communicating Across Cultures"). Occasionally, some courses may have the same time title, but will address different themes. Be sure to register for the appropriate section; double-check the instructor name(s) and registration numbers. 

HNRS425: Explorations in Politics, Policy, and Leadership (K. Hancock)

Course Theme:  "Renewable Energy Politics: The Individuals, Interests, and Institutions behind the  Energy Transition"

Renewable energy (RE) production and consumption is on the rise. Climate change, pollution, jobs, and nature conservancy are all driving the agenda but can we move faster? Questions abound. If Republicans love oil and gas, as we often hear, then why is heavily-Republican Texas the leading state in wind energy? How did energy efficiency become our third most important energy source? Why is coal-heavy Xcel Energy (a key electricity provider in Colorado) rushing past its goals for more RE? Why is coal-heavy South Africa investing in a massive hydroelectric power dam in the Democratic Republic of Congo, 3,500 miles away? Why is a major non-governmental organization in California also opposed to this dam? To answer these questions, we have to understand the global, state, and local politics behind renewable energy.

In this class, we will start high and go low: we begin at the global level, then onto the US and other countries, down to Colorado and other states of interest (Texas, California, others) and finally to individuals (“political entrepreneurs”) who are key players in the energy transition. You will drive the syllabus: your interests will determine what countries, states, cities, people, and types of energy we focus on. Along the way, we will hear from lobbyists for RE companies, representatives at RE non-governmental organizations, an engineer who became an expert witness on RE issues, local political leaders, and others who can give us a richer understanding of how politics and RE intersect. Ultimately, using social science research design and methods, we will collectively conduct original research toward a final report on RE and then present our findings in a public forum. 

Schedule Listing:  HNRS425, Explorations in Politics, Policy, and Leadership
Registration Number:  TBA
Class Meetings:  Tuesdays, 2:00-5:00 PM in (TBA)
Instructor: Kathleen Hancock

HNRS430: Explorations in Ideas, Ethics, and Religion (C Norrgran)

Course Theme: "Madness and Morality: The Dark Side of Psychology"

In the past, psychology researchers conducted many experiments that we would find horrifying today, with shocking treatment of the mentally ill, prisoners and prisoners of war, homeless persons, and other unwitting subjects, both healthy and unhealthy. Many steps were taken to bring these unethical practices to an end. Reports, laws and regulations, the Geneva Convention, various ethical constructs, and institutional review boards sought to address the problem with mixed success.  Even today, today, cults brainwash people to obtain new converts, people are tortured for information, and horrifying practices take place in prisons. This course will examine the dark side of psychology and the changes that have attempted to enforce the humane treatments of experimental subjects, prisoners, the mentally ill, and others.

Schedule Listing:  HNRS430, Explorations in Ideas, Ethics, and Religion
Registration Number:  TBA
Class Meetings:  Wednesdays, 6:00-9:00 PM, Room TBA
Instructor: Cyntia Norrgran

HNRS 445: Explorations in Science, Technology, and Society (L Carr)

Course Theme: "Pathways to Innovation: Synergies between the Sciences and Humanities across Time and Space"

To solve the great scientific, technological, engineering, and mathematical problems we face in the 21st century, ranging from clean water and sustainable energy to the the social and practical impact of the imminent arrival of cognitive assist and artificial intelligence, we need to have all the mental tools invented over the last 4,000 years at our disposal.  Beginning with the 20th century invention of quantum logic by physicists and representations of relativity in the paintings of Salvador Dali, we will move backward and forward through time and modes of thought, studying and learning from great thinkers throughout intellectual history from ancient Sumeria to the globally connected community we now enjoy.  In this journey of exploration, students will experience a massive expansion of their cognitive toolbox, including philosophical rigor and dialectic; non-binary logic; skepticism and the experimental framework beyond the textbook scientific method; intuition, contemplation, and meditation; lucid dream incubation; gestalt and direct sensory experience; and artistic approaches to creative problem-solving ranging from mind maps to stream of consciousness.  Considering that the invention of many of these tools can be traced to a specific point in history, e.g. the origin of the scientific method in early 11th century Cairo, the ultimate goal of the course is to enable students to invent their own new cognitive tools, synergizing the sciences and the humanities in a global perspective.  

Schedule Listing: HNRS445A: Explorations in Science, Technology, and Society
Registration Number: TBA
Class Meetings: Wednesdays, 6:00-9:00 PM, Room TBA
Instructor: Lincoln Carr

HNRS476A:  Community Engagement Through Service Learning 

Service Learning is a class like no other at Mines because most of the learning takes place outside the classroom and away from campus. This class provides a way to connect with and explore your local community through a weekly service commitment to an underserved population, and then discuss pressing social issues with your classmates. It thus combines a traditional classroom experience with an off-campus volunteer project. The themes of the course are poverty and privilege, ideas that we may hear about, but don’t often discuss at school or experience in a meaningful way. Course work will involve reading about, discussing, and researching and presenting on topics like the following: the working poor, gender, race, age and poverty, education and privilege, global poverty solutions, and sustainable community development.
The course is team-taught by Cortney Holles in LAIS, Ed Cecil from Physics, and Meridee Cecil, geologist and potter.

You will need to contact the instructor to register for this class.

Schedule Listing:  HNRS476A
Registration Number: TBA
Class Meetings:  Tuesdays and Thursdays 2:00-3:15 PM, Room TBA
Instructors: Cortney Holles (P), Edward Cecil, Meridee Cecil

HNRS476B:  Community Engagement Through Service Learning 

Course Theme: International Service Learning for Nepal

Are you inspired to help others as you help yourself grow and mature as a citizen of the world?  In this course students will do both as they “learn by doing” in a non-traditional classroom about: development and the role of international service, Nepali culture, how to fundraise and form your own non-profit, wilderness first-aid, leadership, and much more!  In addition, students will join a local non-profit organization– Hike for Help – to complete a service project in the Khumbu Valley of Nepal on one of their service projects: either Dec 20-Jan 6 (this trip is full) or May 20-June 10 (dates are approximate).

You will need to contact the instructor to register for this class.

Schedule Listing:  HNRS476B
Registration Number: TBA
Class Meetings:  Mondays 6:00-9:00 PM, Room TBD
Instructor: Rachel Osgood

HNRS 405:  McBride Practicum

The McBride Practicum requirement is an experiential learning program that is explained in detail on the Practicum page of the McBride website.  Typically this course is taken in conjunction with another 400-level McBride seminar.  Although this course runs much like an “independent study” there will be several recurring meetings over the course of the semester, at times set to work with students’ schedules.  The time listed below is a “place holder” time.  

Schedule Listing: HNRS 405A: McBride Practicum
Registration Number: TBA
Class Meetings: Thursdays, 6:00-9:00 PM, room TBA 
Instructor: Rachel Osgood

© 2017 Colorado School of Mines | | Equal Opportunity | Privacy Policy | Directories | Text Only | | rss

Last Updated: 08/04/2017 08:23:15