Department Course List

Courses by Learning Goal PDF

100 Level Courses


11:374:101 Introduction to Human Ecology (3 credits)
Prerequisite: None
Course Syllabus
Description: The study of complex and varied patterns of interaction between people and the environment, with special attention to concepts, concerns, and methods of human ecology.

11:374:103 Introduction to Science Communication
Prerequisite: None
Course Syllabus
Course Description: Science communication encompasses a range of activities, from the scientific paper to science stories in mass media to informal science in museums, films and social media. This survey course will introduce students to the range of activities that are used to communicate science to a range of audiences. Guest lecturers, in class activities and participation in science communication events will demonstrate the potential opportunities to communicate science, as well as will include students in the creation and production of such activities.

11:374:110 Theories & Reasoning (3 credits)
Prerequisite: None
Course Syllabus
Description: The term Anthropocene is thrown around a lot these days, by journalists, activists,
scholars and others. The term suggests we are living in a recently distinguished
geological period in which the Earth’s geologic, atmospheric, and biologic features are no
longer governed by natural processes, but are shaped by humans. From Ebola and
melting ice caps to deforestation and genetically modified organisms in our food systems,
human-environment issues are becoming increasingly complex. But how can we
conceptualize these issues? How do we identify the relationships and processes that
shape such challenges? And if human activities are at the center of environmental
change, how can we think of ways for producing healthier environments and living
conditions? This course offers a response to these questions by exploring various
theories of nature-society relations and environmental change.

11:374:115 Water and Society (3 credits)
Prerequisite: None
Course Syllabus
Description: This course introduces students to fundamentals of water resources issues in the United States and the world, and how they affect the development, design, evolution and sustainability of societies and economic viability. Included will be discussion of case examples where conflicts over water allocations, drought limitations, water quality problems and catastrophic floods are damaging societies and international relations. Students will be exposed to and discuss current and developing methods for reducing such problems in support of more sustainable societies.

11:374:141 Health & Society (3 credits)
Prerequisite: None
Course Syllabus
Description: This course examines human health in its dynamic relationship to both the social and physical environment. We will explore how a range of social factors determines the health of populations. Through both historical and contemporary case studies we will develop an ecological model of health and disease, drawing on perspectives from medical anthropology, medical sociology, public health, and health psychology. During this process, we will explore a range of cross-cultural strategies for the maintenance of human health and the management of disease. We will learn that health is totally embedded in society.

11:374:175 Energy and Society (3 credits)
Prerequisite: None
Course Syllabus
Description: Examines the social, environmental, economic and political impacts of our current human-energy system. Topics investigated include why societies make the energy choices they do, tools for analyzing energy decisions, and strategies and policies for transforming the human-energy system.


200 Level Courses


11:374:201 Research Methods in Human Ecology (3 credits)
Prerequisite: None
Course Syllabus
Description: 
This course explores how social scientists empirically investigate and quantify behavior within the social world.

11:374:220 Environmental Solutions (3 credits)
Prerequisite: None
Course Syllabus
Description: The causes of modern environmental problems are complex and multi-faceted. As our understanding of this complexity has grown, societies have begun to explore solutions beyond the traditional government regulatory approaches. This class focuses on understanding the complex causes of environmental problems and the full range of non-regulatory approaches to improving the environment. By focusing on understanding the causes and contexts of environmental problems along with innovative environmental solutions, the class aims to provide students an understanding of under what conditions various environmental solutions are appropriate and should be applied.

11:374:223 Urban Society & Environment
Prerequisite: None
Course Syllabus
Description: This course will explore the antagonism between Black people and the world as it relates specifically to urban America. We will consider the fraught nature of environment from a variety of perspectives, historically and in the contemporary moment. In studying the antagonism inherent in urban environments, evidence is widely available.  Among the materials we will rely on are: writings including memoir, social science and humanities literature, and print media; photographs, films, and other imagery; archival sources; and publicly available data. Taken together, our investigations will illuminate where the antagonism resides, how Black people negotiate it, and where we might look for solutions.

11:374:225 Environment and Health in Society and the Mass Media (3 credits)
Prerequisite: None
Course Syllabus
Description: This course will provide an introduction to the social, mass media and social media presentation of environmental and health. Students will explore how knowledge, attitude, behaviors, and social structure influence public perceptions and opinions of environmental and health risk. We will focus on depictions of environment and health: what effects those depictions have in perceptions of these topics, the role of audience and source on communication, and the implications for those working to address environmental and health issues. Particular examples of social and media coverage will be used to provide an insight into the workings of the mass media and their effect on society, and demonstrate how th

11:374:226 Health in Society and Mass Media (3 credits)
Prerequisite:
Course Syllabus
Description:  This course will provide an introduction to media representations of health and health issues. Students will explore how cultural factors such as knowledge, attitude, behaviors, and social structure influence public perceptions and opinions of these topics. We will consider how depictions of health--what is healthy? What is not healthy?--affect the perceptions of those topics, the role of audience and source on communication, and the implications for those working to address health issues. Particular examples of social and media coverage will be used to provide an insight into the workings of the mass media and their effect on society, and demonstrate how the challenges of addressing health concerns are based on much more than just disseminating science information.

11:374:227 Agriculture in Society and Mass Media (3 credits)
Prerequisite:
Course Syllabus
Description: We are what we eat. But before we can eat anything, it has to be grown or raised. And before it is grown or raised, it is communicated. This course will examine US agriculture from the position that what we communicate and how we communicate makes meaning. And it is this meaning that turns into choices and decisions for what we eat and how we support and understand agriculture. Using case studies and hands on research, this course will examine the communicative practices of current issues in agriculture.

11:374:240 Visualizing Information: Communicating Science through Visuals (3 credits)
Prerequisite: None
Course Syllabus
Description: The course objective is to build student’s skills in developing visualizations and infographics to tell a science story with data. The activities and discussions will expand abilities to engage with and communicate science more effectively and improve their public science communication skills (general and technical). Students will practice many types of science visualizations, and develop a final visual and presentation relevant to a current research project. We will focus on a scientific and non-scientific audiences.

11:374:250 Environmental Justice
Prerequisite: None
Course Syllabus
This course examines environmental quality and social justice. It starts from the premise that all people have a right to live in a clean environment and access resources to sustain health and livelihood. We will investigate under what conditions some people are denied this basic right and how some have fought back. How is it that certain groups of people experience the effects of pollution or environmental hazards more than others, or lack basic resources? What are the social relations of production and power that contribute to these outcomes? How have people organized to demand environmental justice?

11:374:269 Population, Resources, and Environment (3 credits)
Prerequisite: None
Course Syllabus
Description: The interaction between populations, resources, and the environment in the developed and developing world.

11:374:279 Politics of Environmental Issues (3 credits)
Prerequisite: None
Course Syllabus
Description: People fight over issues like organic food or natural gas drilling because they have different values, define problems differently, and aim for different goals. In this introductory course, we use environmental issues to learn about political conflicts, government, and policy.

11:374:280 Careers in EPIB (3 credits)
Prerequisite: None
Course Syllabus
Description: Students will gain a broad understanding of the variety of careers available to EPIB majors and minors, create an electronic portfolio with samples of their work, create online professional profiles, prepare and revise resumes, prepare job-appropriate cover letters, prepare for and practice interview skills, and network with professionals regarding job skills, opportunities and professional practices.

11:374:289 Sustainable Food: Politics, Policy and Ethics (3 credits)
Prerequisite: None
Course Syllabus
Description: This course explores how food systems can be made more environmentally sustainable and socially just. Specifically, drawing on tools from social and environmental sciences, we undertake an in-depth examination of four major food-related social movements: organic farming, local food, fair trade, and animal welfare. Each of these food evolutions has political, economic, and social dimensions, and is the result of efforts by government, citizen groups, and food producers to accomplish certain goals (and block others). Therefore, for organic farming, local food, fair trade, and animal welfare, we ask: Where does it come from? What are its goals? What problems is it meant to solve? What is working - what is not? Who is benefiting - who is left out? And especially: Give the strengths and weaknesses of existing attempts to transform food systems, what should be the focus of the next generation of responsible, food-literate citizen.

11:374:299 Introduction to Sustainability (3 credits)
Prerequisite: None
Course Syllabus
Description: You see the word "Sustainability" attached to so many things, but what does it really mean? Are bamboo socks really important? Will electric cars save the world from climate change? What makes development sustainable? How do you measure success in sustainability? Given the long term risk of climate change, what management actions provide the most benefit and why aren’t we already doing them?


300 Level Courses


11:374:302 Data Analysis for Human Ecology (3 credits)
Prerequisite: 11:374:201
Course Syllabus
Description: This course provides an introduction to the basics of data analysis for social sciences. Because a wide range of social science disciplines are represented within the field of Human Ecology, this course will explore many approaches to the analysis of data, including both quantitative and qualitative. The range of ways in which social scientists study human dimensions of environmental issues will be explored, and students will learn to approach data with multiple analytical tools.

11:374:305 Globalization, Development and Environment (3 credits)
Prerequisite:
Course Syllabus
Description: This course examines the processes at play in globalization and development and the impacts of these processes on the environment. Relevant histories, policies, and institutions are examined, with a focus on such issues as poverty, trade, migration, and inequality, among others. Emphasis of the course will be on understanding the social, political and economic factors that have contributed to globalization and development, and the environmental impacts of these trends, and the degree to which communities, nations and global institutions have the ability to manage these problems, and with what solutions.

11:374:307 Sustainability in Action; Modeling the Value of Ecosystems Services
Prerequisite: None
Course Syllabus
COURSE DESCRIPTION: How can we defend the landscapes and non-human systems that sustain us against the juggernaut of development? How can we advocate for conservation in a world of increasing human need? Combining the tool of environmental science and economics, we can make a convincing case for preserving and growing the world’s “non-human” systems. This course introduces students to the evolving field of Ecosystems Services Value Modeling. Ecosystems Services Valuation can support decisions at scales as small as back yard plantings, as large as regional land use and environmental planning. Ecosystems Services Valuation Modeling provides mathematically supported methods of evaluating land use choices applicable in engineering, planning, advocacy and public finance assessments among others. Students will trace the evolution of ecosystems services valuation modeling, discover current ecosystems services valuation modeling techniques, and learn to apply ecosystems valuation modeling to urgent sustainability issues. In this class, models we will be working with are the InVest suit of Models from Stanford University and the Itree models built by the National Forestry Service

11:374:310 Storytelling for Scientists (3 credits)
Prerequisite: Expository Writing 01:355:101 or its equivalent
Course Syllabus
Description: Description: Understanding and addressing the most complex and urgent challenges of our time�climate change, biodiversity loss, genetic engineering�requires innovative thinkers who can critically assess and communicate scientific ideas. From conference papers to Ted Talks, the ability to translate scientific research to all audiences is an invaluable skill for science majors in every discipline, and the narrative techniques of nonfiction can help students present ideas with compelling energy, clarity, and creativity. In this course, students will have the opportunity to develop their writing and communication for both the academic and public context, and hone their critical reading skills. The course will culminate in a student-driven final research project that will consist of both a paper and a presentation, which may take the form of a conference-style talk or a multimedia project, such as a short video or podcast.

11:374:311 Environmental Writing: Rhetorical Strategies for Complex Ecological Issues (3 credits)
Prerequisite: Expository Writing 01:355:101 or its equivalent
Prerequisite: None
Course Syllabus
Description: 
Given the accelerating language of environmental disaster�airpocalypse, ecocide, global collapse�is optimism still required or desirable in environmental writing? In this course, we will examine the range of rhetorical strategies that environmental writers have used to create a sense of urgency or even doom, and students will practice their own nonfiction writing in the critical essay and research essay forms. We will read work that disrupts the pastoral mode of traditional nature writing, that draws on the manifesto, that deploys logic with the reasoned marshaling of scientific fact.

Our overarching question will be: What is effective environmental writing? Can there be a new mode of environmental writing that escapes the rhetorical eddies of the past�the mourning of the disaster, the turn toward hope? How might we write ourselves into the age to follow the Anthropocene?

11:374:312 Environmental History (3 credits)
Prerequisite: None
Course Syllabus
Description: This course examines environmental problems from a historical perspective. We will begin with the dawn of agriculture, but most of the course focuses on our two centuries-long experiment with industrial civilization. The first two-thirds of the course sketches out the broad historical patterns in the ways that people have used natural resources. The last third of the course looks at the history of pollution generated by industry and considers important historical features of the American environmental movement, in particular the way that the movement has changed in response to changes in environmental problems. Throughout the course we will consider the following question: to what extent are individuals, households, and local communities contributing to our, as yet largely unsuccessful, collective efforts to control and stabilize the global environment? This question will lead us into an historical examination of sustainable development in both developed and developing countries.

11:374:313 US Environmental Policy (3 credits)
Prerequisite: None
Course Syllabus
Description: Course objectives: To further develop your capacity to evaluate environmental policy issues, including: how policy issues rise to national action; the science and scientific controversies; major actors in U.S. environmental policy creation and their roles; the relationship between environmental policies and the context in which they operate; how budgets and public administration affect environmental policies; and how environmental policy issues reflect or do not reflect regional or factional differences. Given the enormous variety of environmental issues active at any one time, this course will focus on four high-profile issues as examples for learning about environmental policy development.

11:374:314 Natural Resource Policy (3 credits)
Prerequisite: None
Course Syllabus
Description: Application of theory and methods of social science, particularly the study of common property theory, to problems in natural resource management. Focus on water use, forestry, rangelands, and fisheries.

11:374:322 Behavior and The Environment
Prerequisite: None
Course Syllabus
Course Description: This course is designed to help you understand the role played by the environment, genes, and culture in shaping human behavior. We will explore some of the most important theories from Anthropology, Biology, and Psychology that study how individuals behave, adapt to their environment, and interact among each other. At the beginning of the class we will focus on identifying the different levels of explanation, the role of genetic approaches, and the contribution of evolutionary and cultural theories. We will then investigate how adaptation to environmental stressors (i.e.: temperature, altitude) can help us understand current patterns of human variation. The course will end with a consideration of environmental and ecological psychology and its relation to risk behavior.

11:374:325 Environmental Communication
Prerequisite: None
Course Syllabus
Course description: Effective communication can be as important to achieving environmental goals as good science. Because corporations, government agencies, and advocacy groups realize this, an increasing number of jobs require these skills. Public information and communication positions are available in a variety of settings. While other courses focus primarily on improving writing or public speaking, this course seeks to strengthen those skills while introducing students to using communication as a tool for environmental change. Working with a local environmental organization, students will learn about issues in effective communication, and apply this knowledge to writing of materials to be used for public communication. By the end of the course, students will have improved communication skills that will help them compete for positions in the real world.

11:374:335 Communities and Environmental Change (3 credits)
Prerequisite: None
Course Syllabus
Description: Analysis of people's responses to environmental stresses or disturbances and the ways in which response patterns change. Second term is individual or group field research.

11:374:399 Practicum in Sustainability (3 credits)
Prerequisite: Introduction to Sustainability
Course Syllabus
Description: You have learned the complex interrelationships between environment, economy, and social issues. You are ready to put your thoughts into action. The practicum is an opportunity to work collaboratively with your peers and with the wider community on a project which enhances the culture of sustainability at Rutgers. Projects offered will change over the years, as various partners become available. Projects may involve policy issues such as debris in the ocean, microplastics in the rivers of New Jersey, rain gardens, sustainability in the curriculum, working on an app to reward student sustainable behaviors, enhancing sustainable behaviors through the arts, etc. The possibilities are endless. Students will learn to be sustainability leaders, work within diverse and interdisciplinary groups, critically analyze data, demonstrate systems thinking, and understand the significance of a local action to a global perspective.


400 Level Courses


11:374:416 Environmental Education (3 credits)
Prerequisite: None
Course Syllabus
Description: An opportunity to foster ideas and discussion about environmental and scientific literacy while developing plans to target and assess learning goals for all audiences. <

11:374:420 - 11:374:429 Topics in Environmental and Resource Policy
Prerequisite: None
Course Syllabus
Policy issues associated with a selected environmental and/or resource problem, focusing on risk and risk communication, science and policy, institutions, comparative national approaches, and policy implications of environmental change.

11:374:424 Segregation and Health (3 credits)
Prerequisite:
Course Syllabus
Description: The words racial segregation bring to mind images from a bygone era, such as water fountains and other public facilities marked as for use by Whites Only. The passage of civil rights laws forbade that kind of legalized segregation, but in many ways, the United States remains just as segregated as before those laws were passed. The result is a cascade of limited access to critical resources and opportunities, and overexposure to negative neighborhood features and public policies. This course examines the connection between two of the United States’ most stark racial inequities: Black-White residential segregation and Black-White health disparities. For many diseases and health conditions, Black people in the U.S. have higher prevalence, more severe disease, and higher mortality rates. This health portrait is not attributable solely to restricted access to medical care; so what are the causes? In this class we will examine racial residential segregation as the cornerstone upon which Black-White health disparities are built. We will seek to answer questions such as: What are the mechanisms through which Black neighborhoods have been and continue to be segregated? How do predominantly Black neighborhoods differ from predominantly White neighborhoods? What impact does segregation have on education, income and wealth, environmental exposures, neighborhood amenities, criminal justice, and more? Taken together, how does racial segregation affect health disparities in the United States? This seminar draws on interdisciplinary social science and public health scholarship, and is open to juniors and seniors.

11:374:426 Climate Change Policy (3 credits)
Prerequisite:
Course Syllabus
Description: This course is an advanced seminar that examines topics in social, cultural and political aspects of climate change policy. We will look at the science of climate change and why it has been so contested in some quarters; the existing and predicted physical, cultural and societal impacts of climate change and how policies are developed to avoid or adapt to these; how vulnerability to climate change is measured and whether societies will be able to adapt to forecasted changes; multiscale policies from local levels to international levels to mitigate or adapt to climate impacts; and the ethical and social justice dimensions of policies for climate change.

11:374:428 Marine Fisheries Policy: GLOBAL FISHERIES: Human-Environment Interactions in Marine and Coastal Ecosystems
Prerequisite: None
Course Syllabus
Description: During this course, we will explore major theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of human environmental interactions in coastal and marine landscapes. We will explore classic, contemporary, and cutting-edge research articles from different disciplines such as Anthropology, Sociology, Human Geography, Economics, Fishery Sciences, and Natural Resource Management. Our goal will be to identify the major approaches that have been proposed to understand how societies and environments can reciprocally influence each other. Through this process, we will also examine the status of key issues in the management of coastal and marine resources we rely on, challenges to their sustainable use, and potential pathways into the future.

11:374:430 - 11:374:439 Topics in Health and Environment
Policy issues associated with a selected problem in human health and disease, food and hunger, or environmental and occupational health. The social sources of disease and malnutrition, and interventions to improve health.

11:374:430 Risk, Heath and Safety (3 credits)
Prerequisite: None
Course Syllabus
Description: In this course, students will explore many scientific, cultural, and perceptual aspects of environmental risk issues. We will discuss, in depth, toxicological and epidemiological concepts, psychological aspects of risk perception and coping, and influences on self-protective behavior. We will also spend time discussing risks and the media, and how to communicate with the public about risks.

11:374:435 Communication in the Life Sciences (3 credits)
Prerequisite: None
Course Syllabus
Description: Communication plays a fundamental role in science. In environmental policy discussions, public health directives, or the continuation of scientific research itself, progress is created and documented through acts of communication. From the mass media to individual conversations, from technical journals to textbooks, from lab notes to the World Wide Web, communication creates and defines social issues and research findings. In this course, we will examine the institutional and intellectual contexts, processes, promises, and practical constraints of communication in the life sciences (CILS).

11:374:437 Culture & Health (3 credits)
Prerequisite: None
Course Syllabus
Description: This seminar will provide an overview of the rapidly growing area of culture and health. As the U.S. grows more diverse, issues of culture and cultural competence have become more important to health care institutions and providers. The course will be grounded in medical anthropology, but is relevant for students in a wide range of health-related disciplines. There are a number of excellent texts and specific studies of culture and health.
We will begin with reading through Helman’s Culture, Health and Illness that provides an excellent introduction to the broad array of issues in culture and health. We will then read Kleinman’s Patients and Healers in the Context of Culture, which is a classic study that proposed many of the core concepts of medical anthropology. Next we will read Fadiman’s The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down that provides an in-depth examination of the collision of cultures between a Hmong immigrant family and the U.S. health care system.

11:374:438 Health in the Latino Community (3 credits)
Prerequisite: None
Course Syllabus
Description: This seminar will introduce students to health issues in the Latino community. The Latino community is the fastest growing community in New Brunswick, in New Jersey and in the United States. It is also an incredibly diverse community. While most Latinos in the U.S. speak a combination of Spanish and English, a growing number of new immigrants also speak indigenous languages. Latinos come from a wide range of Caribbean, Central and South American countries and bring with them diverse experiences with different health care and healing systems. The course will examine health issues in the Latino community through reviews of recent research on Latino health and presentations from staff at local health facilities and community organizations. Through my growing involvement in health research and health action in both New Brunswick and in Oaxaca, Mexico, where many Latinos in New Brunswick come from, students will get first hand exposure to emerging health issues in the Latino community. We will read and discuss the various chapters in Ilan Stavans’ Health Care [part of the Ilan Stavans Library of Latino Civilization] to get an overview of the core concerns of the course. 

11:374:460 Environmental Law 1: Nature, Law and Society (3 credits)
Prerequisite: **This course does not have a prerequisite course. However, you will need to know, before the course starts, the basics of how the government of the United States works. The New Jersey Citizen’s Guide to Government that the League of Women Voters publishes annually, free, is a good source. This is essential knowledge for you to make sense of the law and policy that we will be studying.
Course Syllabus
Description: 
This course is an introduction to US law and policy governing air, water and other natural resources, species and public health, and the human activities that affect them and are influenced by them. We consider environmental law and policy at local, state, regional and transnational scales, with a primary focus on US federal law statutes: the Clean Air Act, Clean
Water Act, National Environmental Policy Act, CERCLA (Superfund) and the Endangered Species Act. These statutes are representative of varied approaches to regulation and students who pursue a range of environmental careers will most likely be working with them. The class will examine sources of law, including the common law, the US Constitution, legislation, administrative rulemaking, formal and informal law and evolving negotiated and market-based approaches to regulation. You will develop basic skills in legal research, case analysis, statutory interpretation and regulatory design. The course is intended to prepare students entering environmental professions to understand the laws, regulations and court decisions you will encounter; introduce you to related history and regulatory theory; and to introduce you to legal studies.

11:374:462 International Environmental Law & Policy (3 credits)
Prerequisite: None
Course Syllabus
Description: When states choose to cooperate, they have choices over whether to use a written instrument and, if so, over the form and legal nature of that instrument. (Shaffer and Ginsburg, AJIL 2012).
This course explores the role of formal and informal law in the management of international environmental problems. The course will begin with a brief introduction to public international law as it relates to the environment and a discussion of what international environmental law means. Participants in the course will study a range of environmental issues, legal sources, and institutions. The course will include consideration of international environmental treaties, the role of the International Court of Justice in identifying and establishing international environmental law, international regulation of private conduct that affects the environment, trade and the environment, human rights and the environment, and the relationship between domestic and international law.

11:374:481 Raritan Scholars (4 credits)
Prerequisite: By permission only please contact Dr. Van Abs (vanabs@sebs.rutgers.edu)
Course Syllabus
Description: The course incorporates two distinct but integrated components.
First, all students will undertake internships in the water resources field with organizations and agencies that have programs and activities focused on the Raritan River Basin. Students must expect to work a minimum of 125 hours in the internship, plus maintain a journal and present project conclusions to the class. Internship opportunities will be identified for student consideration and applications, but each student is responsible for receiving approval from both the internship sponsor and Dr. Van Abs prior to the first week of class, resulting in a signed internship contract. Internships will provide opportunities for real-world engagement with water resources issues, using field work, research, communications or other substantive activities. Internships are professional development experiences, and are not intended as opportunities for sponsoring organizations to acquire inexpensive office help.
Second, students will participate in one 60-minute class per week. The class will incorporate a combination of guest presentations and class discussions regarding the internships and water resource management concepts. The class will provide a structured understanding of water resources management issues that are being addressed through the internships and more generally by the sponsoring organizations. The class will focus on Raritan River Basin issues, but will relate those issues to broader water resources issues in New Jersey and beyond.

11:374:490/491 Readings and Practicum in Human Ecology (By Arrangement)
Prerequisite: None
Description: Advanced interdisciplinary reading and independent research in human ecology under the guidance of a faculty member.

11:374:492 Environmental Studies Internship (By Arrangement)
Prerequisite: By permission of department staff. Credits: By Arrangement
Description: Internships involving environmental research and policy with faculty at Rutgers and other institutions, with public agencies, with non-governmental organizations, or with businesses.

11:374:499 Capstone in Human Ecology (3 credits)
Prerequisite: Seniors only
Course Syllabus
Description: This class will help students prepare to ‘exit’ their undergraduate career by: improving their resumes/personal statements/career portfolio; reflecting on their strengths/weaknesses in preparation for future careers; providing an opportunity to create a final project to showcase their training in EPIB. This seminar provides a forum for reflecting on the learning goals of EPIB for seniors who are majors or minors in the department. Students will draw on knowledge from our interdisciplinary program of study to demonstrate their ability to make meaningful contributions to crucial debates concerning the themes of EPIB. According to the student’s individual interests and needs, the student will develop an individual "Capstone Project," which may take the form of a research paper, a freestanding project proposal, a proposal directed at a particular funding opportunity, a policy report or "white paper", an informative website, a creative piece such as a video or artistic portfolio, etc., which will be decided on in discussion with faculty. During the Capstone course the students will engage in research, writing, peer review, editing drafts, presenting ideas, and produce a final project that will be shared with the Human Ecology community.


Graduate Level Courses


16:378:501 The Human Dimensions of Environmental Change (3 credits)
Prerequisite: None
Course Syllabus
Description: In this course we try to add to students' intellectual toolkit by introducing them to the variety of approaches used by social scientists to understand the human dimensions of environmental change. Effective applied and theoretical work on environmental problems often requires that social scientists work closely with natural scientists. To do so effectively, we must be minimally conversant in the life sciences and able to use an array of social scientific approaches to understand environmental problems. This course tries to contribute to the latter end by introducing students to the variety of intellectual approaches used by social scientists to study environmental issues.

16:378:502 Assessing and Governing Long-term Risks (3 credits)
Prerequisite:
Course Syllabus
Description: Long-term risks can be thought of as risks where the probability and/or magnitude of harm increases on a multi-decadal timescale. Long-term risks can arise from purely social causes (e.g., those associated with political or economic institutions, violence, and technology), but often arise from the interaction of humans with the Earth system (e.g., climate change; ozone depletion; resource depletion; pandemics; flood and seismic risk in areas subject to increasing development). In the past, many such risks – such as pandemics and earthquakes in the pre-scientific world – arose without the potential for foresight and were blamed on supernatural causes. Today, there are many that are within human knowledge. Nonetheless, long-term risk governance remains challenging for multiple reasons, including that uncertainty in projected hazards often increase the further we project into the future. Co-Taught by Professor Robert Kopp.

16:378:502 Theory, Research and Writing (3 credits)
Prerequisite:
Course Syllabus
Description:  This is a research practicum. The purpose of this course is to give you the opportunity, in a
structured and supportive environment, to develop a compelling and realistic proposal to conduct
research into the social dimensions of environmental change. In the first half of class, we’ll work
through several stages of project evolution, from clarifying a motivating question, to connecting
your proposed work to important ideas in your field, to designing and implementing an actual
study using one or more research methods, to writing it all up. Instead of a big final paper, short
weekly assignments will keep you moving along this path. And we’re all in it together: hailing
from diverse disciplines (not to mention, I presume, social backgrounds), our differences will be
an important resource�a well of things we haven’t all heard already that will make each project
richer and more interesting

34:833:686:02 Climate Governance (3 credits)
Prerequisite: None, but courses in law, government, political science, applied policy and/or international relations are recommended
Course Syllabus
Description: 
Climate governance is a sweeping term for measures aimed at providing tolerable climate conditions for life on earth as we know it. It raises classic issues of distributional justice, law and science, risk, uncertainty and precaution, technology policy, and international relations. Students will leave this course with an understanding of the sources and impacts of climate change, the key state, national and international policies, and the role of law.

This course is intended for graduate students in any discipline who wish to improve their understanding of governance options in managing mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, and who wish to apply their knowledge to analyze and develop recommendations for a particular aspect of climate governance.


Also see the Courses by Learning Goal PDF