The word "ecology" has come to have many meanings and connotations: a scientific field dealing with the relation of organisms and the environment, a way of thinking about the world emphasizing holism and interconnection, a handmaiden of the environmental movement, to name a few. This course covers the history of ecology as a scientific discipline from the eighteenth-century natural history tradition to the development of population, ecosystem, and evolutionary ecology in the twentieth century, situating the science in its cultural, political, and social contexts. Along the way, it traces the connections between ecology and economic development, political theory, ideas about society, the management of natural resources, the preservation of wilderness, and environmental politics. How have scientists, citizens, and activists made use of ecological ideas, and to what ends? How have they understood and envisioned the human place in nature? How have the landscapes and places in which ecologists have done their work shaped their ideas? Other major themes include the relationship between theories of nature and theories of society, ecology and empire, the relationship between place and knowledge about nature, the development of ecology as a professional discipline, the role of ecologists as environmental experts, relationship between the state and the development of ecological knowledge, and the relationships among ecology, conservation, agriculture, and environmentalism.