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Maxwell School
Maxwell / Department of Geography


Environment and Society minor

The Environment and Society (E&S) minor examines the social dimensions of environmental issues and sustainability. Through a range of interdisciplinary course offerings, it seeks to foster environmental literacy and citizenship among students. Those completing the minor will gain a deep understanding of the political, cultural, and economic factors that affect our use of the environment. Courses in the minor draw primarily from the social sciences and humanities and ask a variety of questions. Who determines how the environment is used? How has the way we value nature changed over time? How do social divisions influence who is affected by climate change, pollution, or natural disasters? How can we create a more sustainable society? 

The E&S minor is an excellent accompaniment to majors in other fields. For those interested in the natural sciences, the minor offers perspectives on the social dimensions of nature less emphasized in science courses. For those interested in public policy and economics, it allows students to delve more deeply into environmental matters. For those interested in business, finance, or management, the minor offers an opportunity to learn more about the relationships between environment, economy, and society. Finally, for those seeking a future in the media, it enables students to learn more about the environmental issues they will report on during their career. In short, the E&S minor is a program for those who care about nature and want to find solutions to environmental problems. It is also a way for students to document their knowledge and expertise in environmental issues for the growing number of ‘green’ jobs and industries. 

The program leading to a minor in Environment and Society requires the completion of six courses (18 credits), two of which are mandatory and four of which are electives. Of the four elective courses for the minor, two must be in departments outside Geography. Students should work closely with their major advisor and the E&S minor coordinator to ensure they are meeting the necessary requirements for both programs. 

Minors must take the following TWO lower-division options:

GEO 103 Environment and Society
GEO 155 The Natural Environment or GEO 215 Global Environmental Change

Minors must take FOUR of the following courses, at least two of which must be from departments outside Geography. Please note that many courses offered through SU Abroad may also count toward the minor and that this list is subject to change as new relevant courses are created:

BIO 415        Conservation Biology
CIE 274         Sustainability Civil and Environmental Systems
CIE 341         Introduction to Environmental Engineering
CRS 377       Communication, Nature and Sustainability (must be petitioned)
ECN 437       Environmental & Resource Economics
ECS 354       Green Technology and Sustainability
EDU 300       601 Tully Project
FST 303        Food Movements
FST 304        Farm to Fork
FST 307        Feeding the World: Global Agri-Food Governance
FST 402        Feeding the City: Urban Food Systems
FST 406        Philosophy and Practice of Locavorism
GEO 300      Geographies of Sustainability
GEO 314      Hazardous Geographic Environments
GEO 316      River Environments
GEO 317      Geography of Mountain Environments
GEO 318      Tropical Environments
GEO 319      Cold Environments
GEO 322      Globalization and Environment in Latin America
GEO 326      Geography of Climate and Weather
GEO 327      Coastal Environments
GEO 340      Geography of Oil
GEO 347      Art and Environment in American Culture Since 1800
GEO 353      Geographies of Environmental Justice
GEO 354      American Environmental History and Geography
GEO 356      Environmental Ideas and Policy
GEO 358      Animals and Society
GEO/PSC 360   Sustainability Science and Policy: The Threat of Climate Change
GEO 374      Environment and Development in the Global South
GEO 400      Water: Environment, Society, and Politics
GEO 415      Food: A Critical Geography
GEO 430      Energy, History, and Society
GEO 455      Biogeography
GEO 482      Environmental Remote Sensing
GEO 583      Environmental Geographical Information Science
HNR 350      Water for Gotham
HTW 303     Community and Environmental Health
LPP/SHR 450   Sustainable Enterprise
NSD 555       Food, Culture, and Environment
PAF 451       Environmental Policy
PHI 394        Environmental Ethics
PSC 302       Environmental Politics and Policy
PSC 318       Technology, Politics, and Environment
REL 395        Religions and the Natural World
SOC 400       Environmental Sociology
TRM 300/500   Art&Ecology: Looking at Animals (must be petitioned)

Jane Read  
Environment & Society Minor Coordinator  
Department of Geography 
144 Eggers Hall