Environment, Society, and Culture, Minor

Liberal Arts (Code 489-401)

Advisors: J. Boulter, K. Mumford, J. Phillips (Chemistry), C. Pierce, D. Soll.

The Environment, Society, and Culture minor enables students to investigate the human and ecological dimensions of environmental issues. The minor provides the opportunity to integrate courses from a variety of disciplines, including ethics, environmental science, gender studies, health, history, public policy, sociology, geography, and economics. Students in the minor examine social and environmental conflicts and the policies and strategies to address these conflicts. This minor is open to all students and is designed to be flexible so that students can tailor it to meet their particular needs and interests.

In this minor, students gain the ability to research and respond to environmental challenges such as climate change, water pollution, air quality, food safety, loss of habitats, urbanization, and the spread of disease, while applying principles of environmental justice, civic engagement, sustainability, and strategic policy approaches. Students integrate concepts and tools from multiple disciplines across the university to address local-to-global challenges.

Students in the Environment, Society and Culture minor will be empowered to explore many questions, such as: What chemicals are polluting the river and how do they impact human health? What policies will help us address climate change? How can we protect ecosystems and the critical services they provide? How can our cities and towns become more sustainable? What economic practices will help us end poverty and protect the natural world? The Environment, Society, and Culture minor challenges students to think critically and holistically to understand the social and environmental systems related to environmental issues.

Minimum of 24 credits, with at least 12 credits from courses at the 300-level or above, including:
Select at least one gateway course from the following:
Environmental Biology and Conservation
Chemistry and Climate
Conservation of the Environment
Introduction to Environmental Health
Global Environmental and Public Health
Select at least three of the following from the “Socio-cultural Perspectives” category:
Environmental Economics
Sustainable Cities
Waste & Society: Energy, Food, and Efficiency
U.S. Environmental and Sustainability Policy
Geography of Food
International Environmental Problems and Policy
Historical Geography
American Environmental History
Environmental Sociology
Principles of Demography
Environmental Ethics
Ecofeminism and Environmental Justice
Natural Science Focus Area: A two-course sequence in a natural science chosen from the following options:
Conservation Biology 1
Chemical Principles
and Environmental Chemistry 2
Environmental Geology
and Earth Resources and Sustainability
Water Resources
The Physical Environment
and Introduction to Geomorphology
Environmental Hazards
Select additional courses selected from those listed above or from the options below to reach a total of 24 credits:
Biological Field Experiences and Service-Learning Capstone
Water and Wastewater
Hazardous and Solid Waste Management
Introduction to Urban and Regional Planning
Soils and the Environment
Tourism Geographies
Geography Field Seminar
Native Geographies
Earth Algebra
Physics of Renewable Energy
Social Class and Inequality

Note 1: Credits from other courses may also be applied as electives, pending advisor and college approval, when they focus specifically on environmental topics. This includes special topics, directed studies, independent study, and/or internships. Applicable environmental courses offered through the Honors program, International Study Abroad or National Student Exchange may also be applied with consent of an advisor.

Note 2: For students pursuing a standard major in Geography, a maximum of 12 credits from the major may be applied to this minor.