Winter 2014 quarter

Taught by

veterinary medicine

Why do humans keep pets and at the same time raise animals for food? What are the psychological and moral complexities that characterize our relationships with animals? What is the impact of human–animal interactions on the health and well-being of people and animals? How do we assess the relative welfare of animals under a variety of circumstances? Anthrozoology is the interdisciplinary study of human (anthro) and animal (zoo) interaction. This topic of inquiry will be used to study general biology, zoology, anthropology and philosophy. Through field trips, guest speakers, reading, writing and discussion, students will become familiar with the multiple and often paradoxical ways we relate to companion animals, animals for sport, zoo animals, wildlife, research animals and food animals. We will use our collective experiences, along with science-based and value-based approaches, to critically examine the ever-changing role of animals in society.

We will begin the quarter by focusing on the process of animal domestication in different cultures from an evolutionary and historical perspective. Through the formal study of animal ethics, students will also become familiar with different philosophical positions on the use of animals. Physiology and neuroscience will be used to investigate the physical and mental lives of animals while simultaneously exploring domestic animal behavior. Students will explore the biological basis and psychological aspects of the human-animal bond. Students will then study the science of animal welfare and complete a final project in which they will apply their scientific and ethical knowledge to a controversial and contemporary animal welfare question.

Students will be expected to read primary literature in such diverse fields as animal science, ethology, neurobiology, sociobiology, anthropology and philosophy. Student success in this program will depend on commitment to in-depth understanding of complex topics and an ability to combine empirical knowledge and philosophical reflection.

Program Details

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

biology, neuroscience, anthropology, animal welfare and veterinary medicine.

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Day


Buy books for this program through Greener Bookstore.

Online Learning

No Required Online Learning: No access to web tools required. Any web tools provided are optional for students.

Required Fees

$100 for an overnight field trip.

Upper Division Science Credit

Some upper division science credit will be awarded to students who have taken at least one year of lower division biology and consistently demonstrate advanced understanding of topics covered in the program by performing well on exams, research papers, and seminar discussions.


Date Revision
October 10th, 2013 Signature requirement has been added.
October 10th, 2013 $100 fee added.
June 3rd, 2013 This program is now only offered during winter quarter. During spring quarter, Mike Paros will offer Ecology of Grazing in the Grasslands in the Pacific Northwest.

Registration Information

Credits: 16 (Winter)

Class standing: Freshmen–Senior; 25% of the seats are reserved for freshmen

Maximum enrollment: 24


Signature Required

Students should contact the faculty by email with a paragraph detailing their relevant academic background as well as describing why they want to enroll in the course.

Course Reference Numbers

Fr (16 credits): 20161
So - Sr (16 credits): 20164

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