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 through a variety of courses and disciplines. Built around an integrative curriculum involving 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 will 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.

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 studies, and/or internships. Applicable environmental courses offered through the Honors program, International Study Abroad or National Student Exchange may also be taken with consent of an advisor.

This minor requires a minimum of 24 credits, of which at least 12 credits must be from courses numbered 300 and higher.
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
Water Resources
The Physical Environment
and Introduction to Geomorphology
Climatology
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
Seminar in Science and Nature Writing
Water and Wastewater
Hazardous and Solid Waste Management
Epidemiology
Land Use Issues and Problems
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 be applied as electives, pending advisor and college approval, when they focus specifically on environmental topics. Examples of such courses include: CHEM 100, HNRS courses, IDIS 151-IDIS 155, IDIS 351-IDIS 355, NRSG 255, and WRIT 114, WRIT 116, WRIT 118, WRIT 120. Also, various departments may offer special topics courses, directed studies courses, independent study courses, and/or internships that may also apply.

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