Animal Related Courses Offered at Harvard

Academic Year 2015-2016:

Philosophy 174a 'Animals and Ethics'  Proseminar:  Wednesdays, 12:00-2:00
Professor Christine M. Korsgaard
What, if anything, do we owe to the other animals, and why?  Do the other animals have a moral nature, and does it matter to how we treat them whether they do? What can we learn about human morality by thinking about animals?  Should or could animals have legal rights? We will consider some answers to these questions, including utilitarian and Kantian approaches and others.
This course satisfies the general education requirement in Ethical Reasoning.

MIT 21H.380, 21H.980, 21A.419J, 21A.411J  'People and Other Animals' Undergraduate/Graduate Seminar
Spring (2 hours, probably Wednesday morning). 
Professor Harriet Ritvo
This course is a historical exploration of the ways that people have interacted with their closest animal relatives, for example: hunting, domestication of livestock, exploitation of animal labor, scientific study of animals, display of exotic and performing animals, and pet-keeping. Themes include changing ideas about animal agency and intelligence, our moral obligations to animals, and the limits imposed on the use of animals. Students taking the graduate version complete additional assignments.

For more information: http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/history/21h-380j-people-and-other-animals-fall-2013/index.htm  

Psych 980f: 'Animal Cognition'
Fall 2015, Psychology
Dr. Irene M. Pepperberg
How “smart” are animals? What do they know, how do we determine what they know, and how much of what they know is influenced by their ecological niche and social interaction? This course involves reading original papers, discussing the pros and cons of the experiments and the experimental methods, and learning as much as possible about animal behavior in a short semester. The topic of animal cognition covers an immense range of topics and species and we will do little more than scratch the surface. But I hope that the representative topics and papers will at least serve to excite interest in the field. Given class interests, some topics may be given more or less time than indicated.  Some class meetings will concentrate on a particular species, other meetings will concentrate on a topic, but all will explore how animals process information and use it in ways that are surprisingly similar (and occasionally interestingly different) from those of humans. 

'Animals in History' 
History of Science
Professor Janet Browne

Academic Year 2017-2018:

'Realms of Power: Animals in Religion' 
Harvard Divinity School
Professor Kimberley Patton 

Fall 2014 

*Computer Science 279: Research Topics in Human-Computer Interaction 
Catalog Number: 1435 
Krzysztof Z. Gajos
Half course (fall term) Tu., Th., 10-11:30 EXAM GROUP: 12
The course covers major areas of inquiry and core research methods in Human-Computer Interaction including experimental design, statistical data analysis, and qualitative methods. Activities will include discussion of primary literature, a small number of lectures, assignments (design, execution and analysis of both lab-based and on-line experiments), and a research project. Special focus this year is on social computing and crowd-powered systems. Specifically, we will look at the design and analysis of systems, in which crowds of intrinsically motivated volunteers contribute to meaningful and non-trivial human computation tasks as a byproduct of doing something that they are motivated to do anyway.
Note: Designed for first year grads from all areas. Advanced undergraduates welcome, particularly those who wish to do research (or write a thesis) in an area related to Human-Computer Interaction. 
Prerequisite: None for graduate students; for undergrads CS 179 or CS 171 is strongly recommended and permission of the instructor is required. Basic web hacking is required to implement and deploy web-based experiments.

Course website

Engineering Sciences 163: Pollution Control in Aquatic Ecosystems 
Catalog Number: 72571 
Patrick D. Ulrich
Half course (fall term) M., W., F., at 10 EXAM GROUP: 5
This course is focused on aspects of environmental engineering related to the fate, transport, and control of pollution in aquatic ecosystems. The course will cover human impacts to water resources; the sources and ecological impacts of environmental contaminants; quantitative models of the fate and transport of pollutants in natural aquatic ecosystems; best management practices for the prevention and control of pollution; and sustainable natural treatment systems for water quality improvement.
Prerequisite: Applied Mathematics 21b (or equivalent); Engineering Sciences 6 (or equivalent)

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Expository Writing 20.070: The Ethics of Human Experimentation 
Catalog Number: 97946 Enrollment: Limited to 15
Donna L. Mumme
Half course (fall term) M., W., at 10 EXAM GROUP: 5
To learn about human biology and behavior, researchers often use people as research subjects. Although such research has produced many social benefits, it sometimes comes at a cost to study participants. In this course, you will weigh the costs and benefits of a controversial psychological study, take a psychological approach to understanding why unethical research practices occur, and consider how research can be done to maximize its impact while minimizing the risks to human participants.

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*Freshman Seminar 24q: Biology of Symbiosis: Living Together Can Be Fun! 
Catalog Number: 32855 Enrollment: Limited to 12
Colleen M. Cavanaugh
Half course (fall term) W., 2–4 with occasional meetings until 5 pm for trips or projects EXAM GROUP: 7
This course examines the remarkable diversity of symbiotic associations on Earth, their ecology and evolution, and their roles in human health and disease, agriculture, and biotechnology. Symbioses - "living together" - with microbes are ubiquitous in nature, ranging from lichens to the human microbiome. Symbiosis drives evolution, resulting in "new organisms" and charges us to think about biodiversity on a new level. In this freshman seminar, microbial symbioses with animals (including humans), plants, fungi, protists will be discussed, complemented by microscopy and field trips to local environs including Boston Harbor Islands, the New England Aquarium, and your own microbiome.
Note: Open to Freshmen only.

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*Freshman Seminar 39j: Dirty and Dangerous: Environmental Problems and Problem Environments in US History 
(New Course) 
Catalog Number: 35345 Enrollment: Limited to 12
Susanna Bohme
Half course (fall term) Th., 3-5 EXAM GROUP: 2
"Dirty and Dangerous" explores the relationship between people and the material world by focusing on the "dark side" of natural and human-made environments. How have people in the US perceived and experienced dangers associated with climate, landscape, toxins, disease, and the built environment? Focusing on the late 19th century until today, the course is organized around three types of environment: wilderness, homes, and workplace. We will draw on a range of sources, including poetry, fiction, films, activist writing, historical scholarship, and a "Toxic Tour" of Boston, examining dangers, fears and anxieties about these various environments in their historical context.
Note: Open to Freshmen only.

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*History of Science 130: Heredity and Reproduction 
(New Course) 
Catalog Number: 17927 Enrollment: Limited to 15
Sarah S. Richardson
Half course (fall term) M., 3-5 EXAM GROUP: 6
The sciences of human heredity and reproduction from Aristotle to Margaret Atwood. Readings include classic philosophical, scientific, and literary sources. The course takes up themes of technology and control; gender, race, class, and sexuality; scientific ethics; and interactions between biology and society.

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*History of Science 134: Nature on Display 
Catalog Number: 4987 Enrollment: Limited to 15
Janet Browne
Half course (fall term) W., 4-6 EXAM GROUP: 17
Advanced seminar for undergraduates. We concentrate on the history of animal and plant collecting, exploration, and the way that "nature" is put on display in museums, zoos, botanic gardens, etc. ranging from the 17th century to the present. We also think about media and imagery including illustrations in books to early wildlife film. The course hopes to enlarge your understanding of the complex relations between display, entertainment, and scientific knowledge-as well as the natural history tradition in North America. Visits will be made to museums and archives at Harvard.

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History of Science 235: Current Topics in the Social Study of the Life Sciences 
(New Course) 
Catalog Number: 24576 
Sophia Roosth
Half course (fall term) W., 2-4 EXAM GROUP: 7
This seminar tracks the history and current status of concepts of the biological. We will interrogate how the category of "life itself" has been transfigured by experimental, medical, and theoretical interventions into living things, from animal experimentation in the eighteenth century, to nineteenth century theories of inheritance, to mid-twentieth century breakthroughs in immortalizing cell cultures, to contemporary attempts to fabricate organisms from synthetic genetic components. We will focus primarily on recently published work in the history and anthropology of biomedicine, as well as cultural theory, philosophy, and media studies addressing the life sciences. Throughout, we will pay special attention to where biologists have imagined the seat of vitality, whether organismic, cellular, genetic, or informatic. How has life recently entered into new circulations of capital, intellectual property, and political rhetoric as it is sequenced, synthesized, licensed, patented, cut up, frozen, cloned? What has life been, what has it become, and what will it be next?

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Human Evolutionary Biology 1351: Reproductive Ecology 
Catalog Number: 3408 
Lara Durgavich
Half course (fall term) Tu., Th., 10-11:30 EXAM GROUP: 12
A course on the physiological ecology and evolutionary biology of human and primate reproduction. Topics covered include gamete production, gestation, birth, lactation, reproductive maturation, mature reproductive function, aging and senescence.
Prerequisite: Life Sciences 2 or Human Evolutionary Biology 1310.

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*Human Evolutionary Biology 1434: Primate Behavior Lab 
Catalog Number: 19021 Enrollment: Limited to 8
Stephanie L. Meredith
Half course (fall term) Tu., Th., 1:30-3 EXAM GROUP: 8
In this class, we will collaboratively design a data collection protocol to answer questions of interest to both students and zookeepers regarding the Franklin Park Zoo gorillas, collect behavioral data at the Franklin Park Zoo (students will need to be able to commit to 5-6 hours of data collection during those weeks), analyze our behavioral data, write up study results in the format of a publishable scientific paper, and create a scientific meetings-style poster presentation of study results to be shared with the staff of the Franklin Park Zoo.
Note: Signature of instructor is required to enroll. Enrollment will be limited to 8students. Class meeting time to be changed as needed. 
Prerequisite: Suggested prerequisites are HEB 1330, HEB 1329 or equivalent.

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*Human Evolutionary Biology 1463: Molecular Evolution of the Primates 
Catalog Number: 3359 Enrollment: Limited to 12
Maryellen Ruvolo
Half course (fall term) Th., 1-4 
Introduction to the primates, emphasizing their molecular evolutionary history and the forces that mold their genomes. Topics include the neutral theory of molecular evolution, molecular clock concept and its applications, evolution of multigene families, relationships between primate morphological and molecular evolution, molecular convergences, evidence for horizontal gene transfer in primate genomes, and evolution of simian and human immunodeficiency viruses, color vision genes.
Prerequisite: Life Sciences 1b.

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Human Evolutionary Biology 1490r: Primate Evolution 
Catalog Number: 7376 
David Pilbeam and John C. Barry
Half course (fall term) Tu., Th., 10–11:30 and a weekly section, W., 1:30-3:30 EXAM GROUP: 12
A lecture/discussion course on primate evolution from a paleontological perspective. Following a survey of major primate groups as adaptive radiations, the hominoid fossil record will be reviewed within the context of the mammalian record, a particular focus being the relationship between adaptive, faunal, and climate change. Systems that can be inferred from the fossil record (for example, positional and foraging behaviors) will be discussed comparatively.
Note: No final exam; research paper required. Can be taken by Human Evolutionary Biology concentrators as a Junior Research Seminar. Introductory courses in paleoanthropology, evolution, genetics, or anatomy helpful.

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Literature 139: Fictions of Kin and Kind 
(New Course) 
Catalog Number: 89512 
Marc Shell
Half course (fall term) W., 2-4 EXAM GROUP: 7
The literature and rhetoric of kinship. Special attention to the incest taboo, orphanhood, the human-animal distinction, and social fictions of nationhood. Readings include texts by modern theorists of language as well as by Sophocles, Marguerite of Navarre, Elizabeth Tudor, Cervantes, Shakespeare, Racine, Schiller, Goethe, Melville, and Nabokov.

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OEB 59: Plants and Human Affairs 
Catalog Number: 5281 
Charles C. Davis
Half course (fall term) M., W., at 10 EXAM GROUP: 5
An introduction to the uses of plants by humans. Topics include the form, structure and genetics of plants related to their use as sources of food, shelter, fiber, flavors, beverages, drugs, and medicines. Plant structure and reproduction are studied in lecture and laboratory with a particular focus on relationships between the plant's structural, chemical, or physiological attributes and the utility plant.
Prerequisite: OEB 10 or permission of the instructor.

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Philosophy 13: Morality and Its Critics 
(New Course) 
Catalog Number: 10889 
Benjamin Bagley
Half course (fall term) Tu., Th., at 12 (section to be arranged) EXAM GROUP: 13
An introduction to ethics, focusing on two major views of what it means to be moral and how morality matters. On one (utilitarianism), morality is roughly about doing what best serves the interests of everyone involved; on the other (associated with Immanuel Kant) it instead concerns relating to people on terms that respect their dignity and autonomy. We'll explore these views in the context of both practical issues like animal rights and global poverty, and more personal concerns about well-being, manipulation, and responsibility; and we'll also consider whether both views might seriously exaggerate the place of morality in our lives.

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*Psychology 980f: Animal Cognition 
Catalog Number: 89069 Enrollment: Limited to 16
Irene Pepperberg
Half course (fall term) W., 2-4 EXAM GROUP: 7
This course is an introduction to the study of animal cognition and thought processes. Topics include categorization, memory, number concepts, insight, and language-like behavior. The course requires reading and critiquing original journal articles.
Note: Not open to students who have taken PSY 1351. 
Prerequisite: Science of Living Systems 20 and at least one course from PSY 13, PSY 14, PSY 15, PSY 18, or SLS15.

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Psychology 1305: Evolution and Cognition 
(New Course) 
Catalog Number: 70479 
Max Krasnow
Half course (fall term) M., W., at 11 
The goal of this course is for students to master the foundational logic and theory of evolutionary psychology. Students are exposed to and consider topics covering the range of human experience, including cooperation, mating, friendship, aggression, warfare, collective action, kinship, parenting, social learning, dietary choice, spatial cognition, reasoning, emotions, morality, personality and individual differences, predator avoidance, hazard management, and culture.
Prerequisite: Science of Living Systems 20 and at least one course from PSY 13, PSY 14, PSY 15, PSY 18, or SLS15.

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*Psychology 2450: Affective and Social Neuroscience 
Catalog Number: 9796 
Christine Hooker
Half course (fall term) Tu., 1-3 EXAM GROUP: 8
Reviews two emerging fields in neuroscience, affective and social neuroscience. Through integration of human and animal data, the course focuses on mapping affect, motivation, and social cognition to brain function.
Note: Open to advanced undergraduates with permission of instructor. 
Prerequisite: SLS-20 or its predecessors plus any foundational course.

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Science of Living Systems 12: Understanding Darwinism 

Catalog Number: 5523 
Janet Browne (History of Science) and Andrew Berry (Organismic and Evolutionary Biology)
Half course (fall term) Tu., Th., 10-11:30, and a weekly section/laboratory to be arranged. EXAM GROUP: 12
An interdisciplinary exploration of Darwin's ideas and their impact on science and society. The course links the history of Darwin's ideas with the key features of modern evolutionary biology. We review the development of the main elements of the theory of evolution, highlighting the areas in which Darwin's ideas have proved remarkably robust and areas in which subsequent developments have significantly modified the theory. By also analyzing the historical context of the development of evolutionary thought beyond Darwin, the course emphasizes the dynamic interplay between science and society.
Note: This course fulfills the requirement that one of the eight General Education courses also engage substantially with Study of the Past.

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Science of Living Systems 22: Human Influence on Life in the Sea 
Catalog Number: 42977 
Robert M. Woollacott (Organismic and Evolutionary Biology) and James J. McCarthy (Organismic and Evolutionary Biology)
Half course (fall term) Tu., Th., 11:30-1, and a weekly two-hour section or lab to be arranged. EXAM GROUP: 15
Many important marine fish stocks are over-harvested and their futures are in doubt. Other human activities, such as pollution and anthropogenic climate change, are also affecting the stability and productivity of marine ecosystems. This course will ask what we need to know about the causes and effects of anthropogenic change to best protect marine ecosystems and ensure sustainable harvests from the sea.

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Science of Living Systems 26: The Toll of Infection: Understanding Disease in Scientific, Social, and Cultural Contexts 
(New Course) 
Catalog Number: 73923 Enrollment: Limited to 60
Donald A. Goldmann (Harvard School of Public Health)
Half course (fall term) M., W., 1–2:30 and a weekly one-hour section to be arranged EXAM GROUP: 1
This course will review the devastating impact of representative infectious diseases on wars, politics, economics, religion, public health, and society as reflected in history, literature, and the arts. We will study how infections spawned revolutionary epidemiologic and scientific advances in detection, treatment, and prevention. We will address the gaps between discovery and implementation, including ethical, social, economic, and health systems barriers to progress. We will confront challenges posed by microbial mutation (e.g., antibiotic resistance, evasion of immunity, and adaptation of animal viruses to humans). By weaving together knowledge from science and the humanities, students will understand the historical and contemporary impact of infections and potential solutions to the challenges they pose.

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Science of the Physical Universe 14: How to Build a Habitable Planet 
Catalog Number: 7621 
Charles H. Langmuir (Earth and Planetary Sciences)
Half course (fall term) M., W., F., at 11, and a weekly section to be arranged. EXAM GROUP: 18
The story of Earth from the inception of the universe at the Big Bang to the revolution in planetary function and capability associated with the rise of human civilization. The aim of the course is to place human beings in a universal and planetary context, and to see the steps in planetary evolution as an essential perspective on how we relate to Earth today. Topics covered include the Big Bang, origin of the elements, formation of minerals, origin of the solar system, formation of planets, climate regulation, origin of life, co-evolution of ocean, atmosphere, solid earth and biosphere, development of plate tectonics, the modern Earth as an interconnected system, and the human era and its consequences for the planet. Current environmental problems can then be considered in a planetary context. Finally we consider whether Earth may be a microcosm reflecting laws of planetary evolution that may be common to a class of planets throughout the universe, or alternatively may be a low probability accident.

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Societies of the World 51: Politics of Nature 
Catalog Number: 0710 
Ajantha Subramanian (Anthropology)
Half course (fall term) W., 1-3, and a weekly section Friday at 1. Additional section times to be arranged if needed. EXAM GROUP: 1
This course examines the historical, social, and political life of nature in its many manifestations--as a source of life and livelihood, as a resource for exploitation, as a heritage to be protected, and as a post-industrial hybrid--in order to understand the variety of human interactions with the natural environment. Through a focus on property relations, imperialism, development, and science, students will be exposed to the intimate connection between social inequality and ecological degradation, and encouraged to envision possibilities for a future of greater equality and sustainability.

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*BPH 336: Study of Human and Primate T-lymphotrophic Retroviruses Including Agents that Cause AIDS 
Catalog Number: 3248 
Half course (fall term; repeated spring term)

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*BPH 348: Human and Related Primate Retroviruses 
Catalog Number: 3024 
Half course (fall term; repeated spring term)

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*Cell Biology 383: Molecular Biology of Instinctive Animal Behavior 
Catalog Number: 8119 
Half course (fall term; repeated spring term)

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*Human Evolutionary Biology 3350: Laboratory Methods in Primate and Human Nutrition 
Catalog Number: 62293 
Half course (fall term; repeated spring term) 
Independent laboratory study in the biochemical analysis of plant and animal foods, and of human and animal digestive physiology and feeding behavior.

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HEB 3595:

*Human Evolutionary Biology 3595: Laboratory Methods in Evolutionary Genetics 
Catalog Number: 7934 
Half course (fall term; repeated spring term) 

Note: Limited to graduate students conducting doctoral dissertation research.

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*Immunology 324: T-cell Development in Animal Models of Autoimmunity Disease 
Catalog Number: 1905 
Half course (fall term; repeated spring term)

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*Neurobiology 378: Neuronal Mechanisms and Animal Behavior 
Catalog Number: 9659 
Half course (fall term; repeated spring term)

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*Psychology 3340: Research Seminar in Cognition, Brain, and Behavior 
Catalog Number: 1754 
Half course (fall term; repeated spring term) 
Researchers in CBB, including graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty, present and discuss current research in cognitive science. Topics include memory, language, vision, mental imagery, concepts, animal and infant cognition, and related areas.

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