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iStudy Course Syllabus

G St 391: Women, Gender, and the Environment
University of Mississippi

3 credit hours


Instructor name:

Nancy L. Provolt, M.A.

Instructor Information:

Nancy L. Provolt, M.A.

Areas of specialization:

  • Women and the Environment (EcoFeminism)
  • Women and Activism
  • Women and Poverty
  • Women and Culture; A Global Analysis
  • Entrepreneurship for Women: A Global Analysis
  • Women in Non-Profit and For-Profit Corporation; A Multidimensional Approach
  • Entrepreneurship for Women: A Global Analysis
  • Women and the American Experience
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • American Studies and Innovation
  • Ethics and Health


If you have questions concerning the content of the course, you may contact the instructor directly using the Email Your Instructor link in the Lessons or Content page. NOTE: Whenever sending email, please be sure to indicate your course title and number in the subject line. You can expect a response within 72 hours, although it may be longer on weekends. Many instructors reply within 24 hours.

For lesson or test administration issues, please contact the iStudy department:

The University of Mississippi, Department of Outreach
P.O. Box 1848
University, MS 38677

Phone: (662) 915-7313, toll-free (877) 915-7313
Fax: (662) 915-8826


This 14-lesson Independent Study course provides a historical introduction to women's relationship to the environment and their political and economic contributions to the environmental movement. Theory and political action, particularly as they relate to the issues of race and class, will be emphasized. You will read the works of women writers in this field and examine your own communities to analyze the ways in which the individual, community values, and institutions impact women's relationships with the environment. You will also learn to formulate responses and interpretations using varied strategies (e.g., critical reading, online discussion, self-reflection, comparative analysis). There are no prerequisites for this course.


Required texts:

textbook cover GWEN

Great Women Exploring Nature: How Wild Florida Influenced Their Lives. Linda Taylor (2008)


Sisters of The Earth

Sisters of The Earth - Second Edition. Lorraine Anderson (2003)


Silent Spring

Silent Spring. Rachel Carson (1962 There is also a special Anniversary Editionóthe readings are the same in both)


Blue Covenant

Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water. Maude Barlow (2007)


Women Pioneers for the Environment

Women Pioneers for the Environment. Mary Jo Breton (1998)


Tao of Nature

Tao of Nature. Mary Summer Rain (2002)


It is your responsibility to order your textbooks. Online textbook retailers such as,, or usually provide used textbooks at economical prices.
Use the ISBN numbers to make sure you are ordering the exact book required in this syllabus.


Objectives include (but are not limited to):

  1. Understand more fully the connections between theoretical concepts and peoples lived experience in relation to the environment: "The 'personal' is 'political' is a statement closely associated with eco-feminism. Many of the readings for this course will illustrate a personal history and its relationship to a woman's contribution to environmental awareness. Required learning activities also explore this connection.
  2. Recognize the intersection of gender and the environment: Gender -- the social-cultural elaboration of sexual difference -- shapes identities, defines behavioral expectations, and frames individual possibilities. Since gender constantly interacts with other cultural-social constructs such as race and class, one cannot accurately speak of men-in-general or women-in-general. Many of the readings and learning activities of the course deal with this intersection.
  3. Improve critical thinking skills: The readings and the written assignments for this course are designed to prompt you to think about women and their role in raising modern environmental awareness. "Critical" does not mean "to criticize," but "to question" based on reason and evidence.


This course consists of 14 instructional modules (or lessons).

Topic Reading Assignments
Due for Grades
Start Here
Syllabus and Orientation

You MUST take the syllabus quiz within 2 weeks of enrolling or you will be dropped from the course. NOTE: you must pass the Syllabus and Orientation Quiz for the course materials to appear on the Lessons page.

Syllabus Quiz
An Introduction to Contemporary Issues in Women, Gender and the Environment
  • Rain, ìTao of Natureî (Foreword, Pg. 1, Mariposa Morning-Beauty of Beingness, Pg. 7)
  • Taylor, ìGreat Women Exploring Natureî (Introduction, Pg. vii)
  • Carson, ìSilent Springî (Introduction, Pg. xi)
  • Breton, ìWomen Pioneers for the Environmentî (Introduction, Pg. 1)
  • Barlow, ìBlue Covenant-The Global Water Crisisî (Introduction)
  • Anderson, ìSisters of the Earthî (Valerie Andrews & Opal Whitely, pp. 3-7)
Journal Entry
Exploring the Relationship
  • Anderson, ìSisters of the Earthî (Metzer & Neale Hurston, pp. 10-14)
  • Rain, ìTao of Natureî (Her Royal Highness, Pg. 23)
  • Taylor, ìGreat Women Exploring Natureî (Harriet Beecher Stowe, Pg. 1)
  • Carson, ìSilent Springî (Chapter One, Page. 1)
  • Breton, ìWomen Pioneers for the Environmentî (Chapter One, Devi & Maathai)
  • Barlow, ìBlue Covenant-The Global Water Crisesî (Where Has All the Water Gone? Pg.1)
Journal Entry, Written Assignment
ìSisters of the Earthî
  • Carson, ìSilent Springî (Chapter 2, Pg. 5), (Chapter 3, Pg. 15)
  • Rain, ìTao of Natureî (Old Bristlecone, Pg. 15)
  • Taylor, ìGreat Women Exploring Natureî (Mina Edison #2, Pg. 13)
  • Anderson, ìSisters of the Earthî (Peterson & Hasse, pp. 15,36)
  • Breton, ìWomen Pioneers for the Environmentî (McCrory & Bori, Ch. 1, Pg. 3)
Journal Entry, Written Assignment
Is Water a ìWomanís Issueî?
  • Taylor, ìGreat Women Exploring Natureî (Douglas #3, Pg. 23), (Hurston #4, Pg. 35)
Journal Entry, Written Assignment
Research assignment 1 Research assignment exploring "What is the most important environmental issue facing us today?" Do not begin the next lesson until the research assignment has been submitted.
Pioneering the Environmental Movement, Part 1
  • Breton, ìWomen Pioneers of the Environmentî (Bullitt & Fuller, Ch. 1, Pg. 3), (Ch. 2, Pg. 47)
  • Anderson, ìSisters of the Earthî (Erdrich, Pg. 19), (Zepeda, Pg. 22), (Swenson, Pg. 52)
Journal Entry, Written Assignment
Pioneering the Environmental Movement, Part 2
  • Barlow, ìBlue Covenant-The Global Water Crisisî (Pg. 34), (Pg. 68)
  • Carson, ìSilent Springî (Ch. 4, Pg. 39), (Ch. 5, Pg. 53)
  • Anderson, ìSisters of the Earthî (Carrighar, Pg. 37), (Tapahonso, Pg. 48)
Journal Entry, Written Assignment
Life and Acceptance
  • Carson, ìSilent Springî (Ch. 6, Pg. 63)
  • Rain, ìTao of Natureî (Eye of the Falcon, Pg. 33), (Feral Orphans, Pg. 51)
  • Anderson, ìSisters of the Earthî (Ehrlich, Pg. 123), (Dean, Pg. 50)
Journal Entry, Written Assignment
Mid Course Exam
Proctored Exam

Be sure to complete all previous assignments before taking this exam. Complete this test before moving on to the next unit.

The midterm consists of 10 short answer questions and 2 essays.

To be scheduled
and completed
before proceeding
Global Water Crises
  • Breton, ìWomen Pioneers of the Environmentî (Ch. 3, Pg. 64), (Ch. 5, Pg. 102)
  • Barlow, ìBlue Covenant-The Global Water Crisisî (Pg. 102)
  • Anderson, ìSisters of the Earthî (Dickinson, Pg. 77), (White, Pg. 88)
Journal Entry, Written Assignment
Balance and Loyalty
  • Taylor, ìGreat Women Exploring Natureî (Betz, Pg. 45) (Rawling, Pg. 57)
  • Breton, ìWomen Pioneers for the Environmentî (Ch. 10, Douglas, Pg. 237 ) (Ch. 10, Carr, Pg. 245)
  • Rain, ìTao of Natureî (Balance of Realty, Pg. 115) (Punpkin Pie-Loyalty, Pg. 97)
Journal Entry, Written Assignment
ìSilent Springî
  • Carson, ìSilent Springî (Ch. 7, Pg. 85) (Ch. 8, Pg. 103)
Journal Entry, Written Assignment
Research assignment 2 Research assignment that includes conducting a poll. Do not begin the next lesson until the research assignment has been submitted.
Great Women, Great Mother Earth
  • Taylor, ìGreat Women Exploring Natureî (Lindbergh, Pg. 69) (Cochran, Pg. 79)
  • Carson, ìSilent Springî (Ch. 9, Pg. 129) (Ch. 10, Pg. 154)
  • Rain, ìTao of Natureî (Dancing on Diamonds, Pg. 87)
Journal Entry, Written Assignment
The Tao of Nature
  • Breton, ìWomen Pioneers of the Environmentî (Ch. 6, Pg. 116)
  • Carson, ìSilent Springî (Ch. 11, Pg. 173) (Ch. 12, Pg. 187)
  • Rain, ìTao of Natureî (Autumn Afternoon, Pg. 127) (The Enchanted Forest, Pg. 143)
  • Anderson, ìSisters of the Earthî (Silko, Pg. 108)
Journal Entry, Written Assignment

Water and Food Enough for All?

  • Carson, ìSilent Springî (Ch. 13, Pg. 199) (Ch. 14, Pg. 219) (Ch. 15, Pg. 245)
  • Taylor, ìGreat Women Exploring Natureî (Carson, Pg. 91) (Carr, Pg. 105)
  • Barlow, ìBlue Covenant-The Global Water Crisisî (Pg. 142)
Journal Entry, Written Assignment
Understanding Our World and Final Thoughts
  • Carson, ìSilent Springî (Ch. 16, Pg. 262) (Ch. 17, Pg. 277)
  • Breton, ìWomen Pioneers of the Environmentî (Ch. 8, Pg. 161)
  • Rain, ìTao of Natureî (Valley, Pg. 227) (Rainbow, Pg. 247)
  • Anderson, ìSisters of the Earthî (Deming, Pg. 379)
Journal Entry, Written Assignment
Final Exam
Proctored Exam

Be sure to complete all previous assignments before taking this exam. Any assignments not completed before the exam is taken will receive a grade of zero.

The final consists of 10 short answer questions and 4 essays.

To be scheduled
and completed
to finalize credit



94 - 100% = A
90 - 94% = A-
87 - 90% = B+
84 - 87% = B
80 - 84% = B-
77 - 79% = C+
74 - 77% = C
70 - 74% = C-
64 - 69% = D
Below 64% = F


The grading format is as follows:

Unit Question Assignments (journals and dropboxes) 50%
Research Assignments 15%
Midterm 15%
Final 20%



A student who wishes to receive credit for an Independent Study course must take all required exams under the supervision of an approved test site official (a proctor). iStudy has a testing facility (DETL, the Distance Education Testing Center at UM) to proctor tests for students in the Oxford area. Students near Tupelo, Southaven, Grenada or Booneville can use our regional campus testing centers. Other students are allowed to take tests from any approved 2 or 4 year college or university. Testing centers and public libraries can also serve as proctors, but K-12 schools are not acceptable. More information is available on the iStudy website. If you are testing in Oxford, you need to submit a test application via Register Blast. The link to Register Blast can be found at the iStudy website. If you are not testing in Oxford, you need to submit an online test application via the iStudy website.



In an Independent Study course, a student's reading comprehension and written communication skills become even more important than in traditional lecture courses because they are the student's primary means of receiving knowledge and demonstrating mastery of that knowledge. Accordingly, reading comprehension and written communication skills are necessary for success in this course.

Online Attendance Verification: The University requires that online students show active virtual participation as a substitute for physical presence. Active participation is evaluated by submission of a graded assignment within the first two weeks of the course. Simply logging in to Blackboard does not count. For iStudy, you can show engagement by taking the syllabus quiz. You will be dropped from the class if you fail to take the quiz by the end of the second week after enrollment. If you have already submitted any other assignment, you do not need to take the quiz.

Videos: Most lessons contain at least one video, so you'll need speakers or headphones and the download capacity to watch short videos.


  1. The course readings and assignments do not necessarily reflect my personal opinion or perspective. My responsibility is to teach the course material and do my best to make sure you understand the articles, the feminist implications, and how women helped to shape the world around them with a focus on the environment.
  2. If an emergency arises please let me know, and we can make arrangements.
  3. Spelling, punctuation, and promptness in submitting work are very important. If you need any assistance with material you don't understand, please feel free to let me know.
  4. The University plagiarism/cheating policy: There is no tolerance for plagiarism or cheating at the University or in this course. The University requires faculty to report any dishonest work, and the student will both fail the course and possibly be expelled from the college. This policy will be practiced in this course.

Please be honest with your work! You and your work both deserve it.

Grading: It is imperative to follow the requirements when completing unit work as well as research assignments, Midterm and Final Exams. If no direct quote from the readings is integrated into your analysis to the two unit questions, then up to 20 points for each question can be deducted. It is also a requirement to cite the authorís last name as well as the page number when using a direct quote. Not doing so is considered to be plagiarism. Please see the policy below regarding this. Points will be deducted accordingly if all components of the questions are not thoroughly answered. Merely stating ìI agreeî does not constitute a thorough answer and points will be deducted depending upon how much of the question is not answered.

Work load: Students in a face-to-face class spend 2.5 or more hours in class each week and an additional 2-3 hours working on class material for every hour spent in class. That equals approximately 8-10 hours per week of work expected of a student. For this class, the unit questions may take you a little less than 2.5 hours. The out-of-class work should take an average of 4-5 hours per week. Please be sure that you are able to manage your time appropriately so that you can be successful in this course. As you know, time does go fast so be sure to pace yourself. Time management is crucial to being successful. Be sure to provide yourself with enough time to complete the required readings and assignments on a regular basis. You are not able to go back into a unit once that unit is over. If you do not fully complete the current unit you are in, you cannot move to the next unit. If you turn in a unit before completing the previous one, it will not be graded.

Research Assignments: You must submit two research assignments (3-4 full pages, format depending upon the report). You may not use quoted material from any of the course readings or from other published sources in activity reports. Use your own words only. Research assignments are shown on the Lessons page when they are due: after the 4th and 10th unit of the course. The research assignment requires you to do something in addition to the reading for the unit. Whatever the particular activity, your research assignment for the unit must relate the activity to at least two of the readings in the unit for that week. You may not submit a research assignment on a unit after the next learning unit begins. No late research assignment papers will be accepted. Please note there is no making up a research assignment. This is a great way to explore the readings and to earn points. You must cite at least two course readings as well as provide a works cited and title page as well as a title page. Any of these requirements not being met results in a loss of points. All papers must meet MLA requirements.

Professional Standards in Communication. Students are required to utilize professional netiquette in this online course. This means being respectful at all times. This class is a safe and learning friendly environment where all opinions matter. Check out for more information regarding netiquette. E-Mail Netiquette: When sending an e-mail to me please make sure that you are addressing me by using ìDear Professor Provoltî or ìHello Professor Provoltî and then proceed to write your message. Do not begin your e-mail with ìHeyî or ìGuess Whatî, etc. All caps comes across as yelling through e-mail as well. Also, be certain to sign your name at the end of your e-mail. I try to respond to all e-mails as quickly as possible. However, standard reply time is two days. You are adults in a college setting so I expect professionalism in the e-mails that you send to me.

Student Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this course, you will be able to:


The University of Mississippi is committed to the creation of inclusive learning environments for all students. If there are aspects of the instruction or design of this course that result in barriers to your full inclusion and participation or to accurate assessment of your achievement, please contact the course instructor as soon as possible. Barriers may include, but are not necessarily limited to, timed exams and in-class assignments, difficulty with the acquisition of lecture content, inaccessible web content or the use of non-captioned or non-transcribed video and audio files. Students must also contact Student Disability Services at 662 - 915 - 7128 so that office can:

  1. provide you with an Instructor Notification form
  2. facilitate the removal of barriers
  3. ensure you have equal access to the same opportunities for success that are available to all students

For more information, please visit their website at


You should not share your private personal passwords (for your Blackboard account or for your email) with anyone else, including brothers or sisters, boyfriends or girlfriends, or parents. Logs of all your activity within the Blackboard course environment, including the Internet location from which you are accessing Blackboard, are available to the instructor and to the Independent Study office. Any evidence of logins to a student's Blackboard course by someone other than the student will be treated as an act of academic dishonesty and will result, at minimum, with failure in the course; the student may also be subject to the more severe disciplinary actions outlined in The University Policy on Academic Dishonesty. (ACA.AR.600.001)

Academic Dishonesty is expressly prohibited by The University of Mississippi. See The University of Mississippi's M Book. This includes plagiarism and self-plagiarism. Plagiarism is not only prohibited by the university but it could also be a legal offense (ex: copyright, infringement, fraud, etc.).

To be absolutely clear, working with another person to answer submitted questions or any of the test questions is unacceptable. If it is determined that any student has violated this policy, the instructor will take the appropriate steps under The University of Mississippi's Academic Dishonesty policy. These range from failing the course to being suspended from The University of Mississippi.

If you have any questions about plagiarism please consult the web links below or contact the iStudy office.


Set aside a regular time for studying and preparing your lessons.

You can contact your instructor in one of these ways:

  1. Contact your instructor directly by using the Email Your Instructor link to send an email via Blackboard.
  2. Contact your instructor indirectly by sending a written message or email message ( to the instructor in care of the iStudy department. Your message will be promptly forwarded to the instructor.

Do not let unanswered questions keep you from getting the maximum out of each lesson.

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