The undergraduate major in Environmental Policy, Institutions and Behavior (EPIB) examines the human dimensions of environmental problems and solutions. Students are provided an introduction to:
- A broad range of theories of human-environment interactions;
- Ways to empirically collect data on human-environment issues to be able to understand root causes and evaluate if solutions are working;
- Training in how to communicate with various audiences about these issues.
Students are provided the opportunity to apply this knowledge through experience-based education so they can practice diagnosing the roots of environmental problems and design and implement various policy, institutional reforms, and behavioral solutions.
Students can explore issues such as how human actions affect the environment; how societies adapt to changes in natural resource availability and climate change; the social and environmental aspects of environmental health and food systems; the ethical, moral, and legal dimensions of environmental and resource issues; and the roles of governmental, corporate, and non-governmental agencies in environmental affairs.
In addition to the EPIB major, the Human Ecology faculty administer and teach several minors:
- The Science Communication Minor
- The Sustainability Minor
- The Sustainable Global Food Systems Minor
- Creative Expression and the Environment Minor
At the graduate level, the certificate in the Human Dimensions of Environmental Change provides students in graduate programs at the School of Arts and Sciences and at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences with the chance to pursue a concentration in the social, cultural, economic, historical, planning and other human dimensions of environmental change while carrying out a regular program of studies in an existing graduate program (such as Environmental Science, Biology, Geography, Anthropology, Ecology and Evolution, Public Policy, and many others). Courses include advanced seminars on current environmental issues.
Our students have gone on to careers in policy analysis, land-use planning, legislation and government, health administration, and environmental advocacy, law, business, and medicine. Graduates currently work for health and environmental agencies; local, national and international non-profit agencies; private companies such as environmental consulting and engineering firms; and in the academic arena. Faculty in Human Ecology teach and advise graduate students in a number of disciplinary departments including geography, public policy, psychology, sociology, ecology and evolution and others.