Environmental Policy & Governance Concentration

E&S students with a concentration in Environmental Policy and Governance (EPG) will study policy and broader social dimensions of environmental issues. Foundational courses in several realms of the environmental social sciences will acquaint students with different approaches to studying human-environment relationships. Students will also learn about the design, construction, implementation and evaluation of environmental policy and management. Whether a student is interested in a policy career or social-environmental analysis, this concentration provides a foundation for understanding human-environmental relationships holistically.

Course requirements

Semester Key: F=Fall, S=Spring, Su=Summer

Seven courses beyond the E&S core requirements consisting of the following:

Foundational courses

The four foundational courses provide a grounding in four key domains of environmental action and management. Resource Management and Environmental Law introduces the legal tools that apply to environmental issues. Environmental Policy Processes shows how people construct and implement policies concerning natural resources. Environmental Sociology gives students tools to make sense of the varying ways groups of people create, understand, struggle over, and resolve environmental concerns. Environmental Governance acquaints students with key institutions through which people use resources and equips students to analyze variation and change in environmental management.

  • CRP 4440 - Resource Management and Environmental Law (S, 4 cr, not offered S23)

  • GDEV 3240 - Environmental Sociology (S, 3 cr)

  • NTRES 3311 - Environmental Governance (F, 3 cr)

  • NTRES 4300 - 4302 Environmental Policy Processes I - III (multi-term course, 3 cr)

Methods/tools course

Choose one of the following methods/tools courses to acquire tools that will enhance your ability to do research and analysis on the social dimensions of environments. Students may not use the same course to fulfill both a core and concentration requirement. (*) denotes courses that may be used to fulfill core requirements.

  • AEM 2770 - Excursions in Computational Sustainability (S, 3 cr)

  • [GDEV 3130 - Social Indicators and Introduction to Social Science Research] (S, 3 cr) (Not offered S23)

  • GDEV 3140 - Spatial thinking, GIS and related methods (F, 4 cr)

  • CRP 3555 - Environmental Impact Review (F, 3 cr)

  • CRP 4080 - Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) (F, 4 cr)

  • EAS 2550 - [Observing the Earth: Remote Sensing and GIS] (S, 3 cr) (Not offered S23)

  • GOVT 2169 - [Survey Data in the Information Age] (S, 3 cr) (Next offered 2023-2024)

  • NTRES 4600* - Planning for Environmental Conservation and Sustainability (F, 3 cr)

  • PLSCS 2200 - Introduction to Mapping and Spatial Analysis with GIS (F, 3 cr)

  • PLSCS 4200 - Geographic Information Systems (GIS): Concepts and Application (S, 3 cr)

Additional environmental courses

Choose two from the following list of additional environmental courses. Students may not use the same course to fulfill both a core and concentration requirement. For example, if you took HIST 2581 to fulfill the Humanities core requirement, you could not also count it toward this requirement, but you could additionally take NTRES 3320 for this requirement.

Courses not in this list that are relevant to social and policy dimensions of environmental issues can be considered for this requirement with approval of your advisor and the E&S Program. (*) denotes courses that may be used to fulfill core requirements.

  • AEM 2000 - Contemporary Controversies in the Global Economy (S, 3 cr)
  • AEM 4500 - Resource Economics (S, 3 cr)
  • AEM 4510 - Environmental Economics (S, 3 cr)
  • ANTHR 2420* - Nature/Culture: Ethnographic Approaches to Human-Environment Relations (F, 3 cr)
  • ANTHR 3422 - [Culture, Politics, and Environment in the Circumpolar North] (S, 4 cr) (Next offered 2023-2024)
  • ANTHR 4410 - [Indigenous Peoples, Ecological Sciences, & Environmentalism] (F, 4 cr, not offered F22)
  • BSOC 2061* - Ethics and the Environment (S, 4 cr)
  • CEE 5970 - [Risk Analysis and Management] (S, 3 cr) (Not offered S23)
  • COGST 1500 - Introduction to Environmental Psychology (F, Su, 3 cr)
  • COMM 2850 - Communication, Environment, Science and Health (S, 3 cr)
  • COMM 3210 - Communication and the Environment (F, S, 3 cr)
  • COMM 4860 - Risk Communication (S, 3 cr)
  • COML 2036* - Literature and the Elements of Nature (F, 3 cr)
  • CRP 3840 - Green Cities (F, 3 cr)
  • CRP 5080 - Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for Planners (F, S, 4 cr)
  • CRP 5460 - [Introduction to Community & Environment Dispute Resolution] (F, S, 3 cr) (Next offered 2023-2024)
  • DEA 4220 -  Ecological Literacy and Design (S, 3 cr)
  • DEA 6610 - [Environments and Health] (S, 3 cr, not offered S23)
  • GDEV 2010 - Population Dynamics (S, 3 cr)
  • GDEV 2030 - [Global Garbage] (F, 3 cr, not offered F22)
  • GDEV 3010 - [Theories of Society and Development] (F, 3 cr, not offered F22)
  • GDEV 3020 - [Political Ecologies of Health] (S, 3 cr) (Next offered 2023-2024)
  • GDEV 3150 - Climate Change and Global Development: Living in the Anthropocene (F, 3 cr)
  • GDEV 3400 -  Agriculture, Food, Sustainability and Social Justice (F, 3 cr)
  • GDEV 4380 - [Population and Development] (S, 3 cr) (Not offered S23)
  • FSAD 3200 - Global Textile and Apparel Sustainability (F, 3 cr)
  • GERST 6190 - [Introduction to Systems Theory] (F or S, 4 cr) (Next offered 2023-2024)
  • HIST 2581* - Environmental History (S, 4 cr)
  • NS 4450 - Toward a Sustainable Global Food System: Food Policy for Developing Countries (F, 3 cr)
  • NTRES 2320* -  Nature and Culture (S, 3cr)
  • NTRES 3320* -  Introduction to Ethics and Environment (S, 4 cr)
  • NTRES 3330* -  Ways of Knowing: Indigenous & Local Ecological Knowledge (F, 4 cr,)
  • NTRES 4320 - [Human Dimensions of Coupled Social-Ecological Systems] (S, 3 cr) (Not offered S23)
  • NTRES 4330 - [Applied Environmental Philosophy] (S, 3 cr, alternate years) (Not offered S23)
  • SOC 3650 - [Sociology of Disasters] (F, 3 cr, alternate years,)
  • STS 3181 - [Living in an Uncertain World: Science, Technology, and Risk] (S, 4 cr) (Next offered 2023-2024)
  • STS 4131 - Comparative Environmental History (F, 4 cr)

More information

Students in the EPG will be able to:

  • Articulate the mechanisms, strategies and, constraints involved in securing social and ecological well-being through conservation of ecosystems at scales from local to global.
  • Explain legal and policy processes pertaining to environmental issues.
  • Integrate narrative, statistical, and technical information to evaluate environmental concerns and formulate courses of action.

These skills will allow students to work with government agencies, commercial firms and civil society organizations and to address contemporary debates regarding conservation and the role of environment in politics, economic development, and security.