SYLLABUS Spring 2006
(Ver 1.0, )
NORTHERN ARIZONA UNIVERSITY
COLLEGE OF SOCIAL AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES
DEPARTMENT OF ANTHROPOLOGY
ANT 390/ Ant390H Cultural Simulation: The Mars Mission (4)
Students collaborate in designing, building, populating and documenting an historically and scientifically
plausible "working model" of the first permanent settlement on Mars. 3 hrs.
lecture, 1 hrs. lab.
This course is offered in the broader context of the NAU
Solar System Simulation, an on-line laboratory for undergraduate classes
in the social and communications sciences. This will be the 11th iteration
since Spring 1990.
| Spring 2006
| Section :
| ( 4165, 6573); 14:20-17:00 T/Th;
Room: Emerald 1 - A105
lab is concurrent with class
| Professor :
|Reed D. Riner
| E-mail :
|Class listserv: Ant390email@example.com (restricted)
| Phones :
| ANT 109 F in the Emerald City
| Office hours :
| to be announced;
MWF by appointment
- The Mars Information Page,
this is accessible within the MUD
- "The Martian Papers"
on-line through SolSys website - you will post the first set, your 'Roles' papers, due on-line no
later than 12:00 NOON, Sat 12 Feb 2005 .
Castro, Elizabeth 1998 HTML for the World Wide Web - Visual Quickstart Guide, Berkeley, CA: Peachpit Press.
You'll find excellent help with HTML and authoring web pages at the ITS
Web Site Creation FAQ and Web
Developer's References and Resources pages.
This course involves students in an elaborate and challenging sociocultural
simulation in which you will build a scientifically and historically plausible,
ethically and aesthetically desirable, and ecologically sustainable
'working model' of the first permanent settlement on Mars - in the classroom
and in the Internet. You will interact through a text-based virtual reality
program, e-mail and the Web with members of your own team and teams on other
campuses simulating other sites in the future Solar System, and with volunteer
professional consultants. As a final evaluation you will compile an illustrated
writing portfolio documenting and analyzing your experiences in the community.
|Social and Political Worlds
ANT 390 CULTURAL SIMULATION: THE MARS MISSION
In July 1989 Presidential policy established the Mars Mission and Settlement as
the primary objective for the United States' space effort into the 21st Century.
Possibly this mission will be multinational, jointly with Russians, or others.
At this point in our history fantastic images of the Mars mission and settlement,
images which are much more fiction than science outnumber the more scientifically
thoughtful images. There is serious need for scientifically, socially and
politically credible images of a Mars mission and settlement.
Alternative images of the Mars Mission and the Mars Settlement need to be developed
in popular and political thinking about space development, as we move into the 21st
Century. How permanent settlement on the planet Mars might actually be achieved
merits serious and systematic investigation.
The investigation must be comprehensive, therefore interdisciplinary, including
all of the natural and social sciences, the humanities, philosophy and religion.
It is pertinent to note that NASA is placing increasing emphasis on the role of
human social and cultural factors in the development of each space project.
The students ANT 390 will undertake such an investigation.
The interdisciplinary research, design and visualization activity will be
organized as a computer-supported role-playing simulation. The students will
research and "build" a scientifically informed working model of a Mars Settlement.
The Proceedings from the Case for Mars Conferences will be included among the
primary references, as they present the most recent professional thinking about
the Mars mission in science fact and fiction.
We anticipate that several other communities will be evolving in this same
Solar System, and that Mars will be connected by the INTERNET electronic network
from the beginning of class. Over Spring Break some students will participate,
via computer connection, in the annual CONTACT conference.
University classes are seldom organized as cooperative problem solving exercises;
this course is an exception. Your learning experience in this course will not
be privatized, competitive and convergent toward a common, uniform, standardized
body of knowledge and a standardized final examination. Rather your experience
will be collaborative and divergent. You will develop your role as your team's
"expert" in one or more subject areas, and you will be evaluated, in part on your
contributions in these fields, and in part on the improvements in your abilities
to communicate and work collaboratively with your peers in that role. Additionally,
you will be graded by your peers on your professionalism.
You and your colleagues will work together to discover all the pertinent questions and problems that effect the Mars Mission, then devise procedures to solve those problems. At the same time you will be in the process of solving those problems, you will actually simulate, that is act out, what you're studying - the Mars Expedition and Settlement. You will learn about the behavior of a high-tech socio-cultural system by building an elaborate working model of one.
Based on twenty years experience with CONTACT Bateson Project simulations,
the first two rules for this simulation are:
The course will be organized in 4-week quarters:
- Work within the parameters of scientific and historic plausibility, ethical and aesthetic desirability, and ecological sustainability : you will be expected to incorporate findings of independent, and thorough, library -and other- research into your work; and
- Exhibit COLLEGIAL BEHAVIOR at all times: you are expected to conduct yourself as a professional in every respect, i.e. good communications manners, quality of contributions and participation in team projects, meeting deadlines, etc.
- 1st Quarter (weeks 1-4) will be devoted to development of a) a plan
for the community, b) individual roles and areas of expertise, and c) a common
history negotiated with members of other teams in the simulation.
- 1st paper - description of your
roles and responsibilities within the community, to be posted on course
web-site, read, commented on, and linked to/from other papers as appropriate.
- 2nd Quarter (weeks 5-8), will be devoted to applying knowledge from
one's areas of expertise in building the community in the computer simulation
&nbps; Concurrently the community history must be determined,
and the local scenario must be submitted by 1700 Thr 5 FEB 2004 for integration
into the collective Scenario integrating the histories of the several participating
communities which will be submitted for review and critique in the "Tweak
the Scenario" symposium at the CONTACT Conference.
- 2nd paper - autobiography - who
you are, and how, in the context of the history that has been developed,
you got to be here --to be posted on course web-site, read, commented
on, and linked to/from other papers as appropriate.
- At the 21th annual
CONTACT Conference, 12-14 MAR, NASA AMES - Mountain View, CA. members
of the Simulation's Board of Virtual Consultants will review, critique, and
tweak the Scenario into it's final form, the Simulation's 'virtual clock'
will be set running (initially at the rate of 2 v-months per 1 r-week) for
the duration of the 2004 iteration of the Simulation.
- 3rd Quarter (weeks 9-12) will be devoted to letting the Simulation
play itself out in the context established by the Scenario
- 3rd paper - description of your
involvement in some problem in the community and analysis of that problem
using format presented in class, to be posted on course web-site, read,
commented on, and linked to/from other papers as appropriate.
- 4th Quarter (weeks 13-16) will be devoted to letting the Simulation
continue play itself out, while students examine anthropological definitions
of 'culture' and 'sociocultural systems', then based on evidence drawn from
their previous papers, notes and other records of the Mission compose their ...
- 4th paper- "The Culture of the
First Permanent Mars Base" to be posted on course web-site, read, commented
on, and linked to/from other papers as appropriate.
The four papers, four accompanying illustrations,
an edited log of a tour through the parts of the on-line simulation that the
student has built, and any other writing and/or illustrations done in connection
with the course will constitute the student's writing portfolio and the basis
for half the over-all grade in the course
For successful participation and completion of this course you are expected
to have regular and reliable access to a personal computer (PC or MAC) for
preparation of ALL of your written assignments and access to your Internet account.
One of our long-range objectives is for you to develop habits that will lead you
to a "paper-free desk". This course may provide the "excuse" that you have been
looking for to get a personal computer and modem; we will be happy to counsel you
on this tax-deductible investment - one which you can expect to raise your GPA
by one full letter grade.
The University expects you to spend 2-3 hours studying out of class for
hour spent in class. For this course, some of that out-of-class time will be
conventional reading, researching and writing, but a considerable portion will
be spent in small-group, problem-solving sessions which you are responsible to
schedule among yourselves, meeting either face-to-face or on-line in virtual reality.
Warning: this is a high (personal) risk
course. You will be role-playing and identifying with that other person in a
high-stress situation; and you will be expected to actively cooperate with your
peers in this activity. The instructor reserves the right to counsel a student
out of the course by drop-date (Fri 7 MAR) if these active learning expectations
are too demanding or stressful for the student.
Otherwise all usual standards and expectations of the University (see Student
Handbook) will be in effect, and the instructor reserves the right to make
announced changes to accommodate unforseen contingencies of the semester.
Some of the specific objectives of this course include
the development of:
The absence of pre-requisites points to a particular aim of the class:
to take intelligent lay people (from the standpoint of science and technology)
and involve them in personal self-education, letting them start from wherever
they are at the beginning of the class and having them go as far as they can.
All students will come away with a better understanding, both of the particulars
of space exploration and of the generalities of working with science and technology. They will in particular be better able to evaluate statements they hear in the news or read in the press about matters technological.
- Interdisciplinary team work: each student works to some extent outside
her/his area of academic specialization, cooperating with other students from
diverse backgrounds on the formulation of the simulation and on the solution of
problems that arise during it.
- Communication skills: There are a number of reports to be presented,
both on paper and orally in the class; the students constantly propose and defend
ideas over the computer network with fellow classmates and with students from
other campuses; the students must propose and defend ideas orally with their
sub-groups and with the whole class.
- Debate, negotiation, and crisis resolution skills: The students
identify intra- and inter-community problems which they research, propose
alternatives for the solution, weigh the merits of these alternatives, decide
among them, then formulate and execute plans of action.
- Data acquisition skills: In addition to computer database sources,
the students also make use of information sources at United States Geological Survey,
the observatories around Flagstaff, and local community and university experts.
- Analytical skills: The students learn to make both back-of-the-envelope
and more substantive quantitative judgements about the feasibility of proposals,
e.g. how much material could be brought early to Mars, whether a given structure
has enough living space, or whether a proposed power source may be adequate.
- Creating and maintaining a simulation: The putting together of the
simulation and adjusting it while running it involves creativity, teamwork,
and critical faculties.
- Computer use skills: The students engage in extensive communication
via electronic mail and more sophisticated programs. Some can gain practice in
writing computer programs to aid in the simulation.
The laboratory will cultivate in students in a variety of information
management and critical thinking skills, including: computer-based information
retrieval, computer-mediated communication and social skills, situation analysis
skills, logical thinking, problem solving skills, etc., which are expected to
ANT 390L CULTURAL SIMULATION: THE MARS MISSION Lab (1)
Laboratory grade, computed independently of the 'lecture' grade, will be determined on the basis of attendance and active participation, and by the combination of:
- USGS Planetary Data Mapping Facility and Lowell Observatory tours,
- introduction to data location and retrieval - from Cline Library data bases,
the World Wide Web, etc
- introduction to Unix computer environment and the Internet, including e-mail,
list-serves, file management, multiple user domains and their client programs, etc.
- introduction to text-based virtual reality simulation environment
- principles and practice in programming through building in the computer simulation
- practice in conditions that support open communication
- introduction to LOGLAN, a speakable engineered language free of all structural ambiguities
- alternative socio-cultural systems design seminars on topics including:
- a) the political economy,
- b) language,
- c) family values,
- d) technology impact assessment,
- e) society and culture,
- visualization project development
- problem solving processes workshop
- the amount of time on-line,
- the amount of work accomplished on-line (e.g. commands generated), and
- the quality of the products generated.
You are expected to provide your own documentation of the foregoing,
including, especially, a logged and edited printout of a personally guided tour
of what you have built in the simulation. Appropriately edited and annotated
transcripts of important on-line meetings or other events will also be welcomed.
These documents are to be included in your Writing Portfolio.
last updated on 05.12.31
This page is maintained by:
Reed D. Riner, Professor,
Department of Anthropology