Graham Sustainability Institute

Ecological Issues


The environment is defined as the circumstances or conditions that surround an organism, and environmental science as the study of the environment and our proper place in it. These definitions point out the intricacy of understanding environmental science from a scientific, ethical, behavioral, economic, and institutional perspective. This course focuses on ecological principles and concepts underlying the management and use of natural resources, as well as socioeconomic factors and institutional roles. Throughout the course, emphasis is placed on the importance of interdisciplinary approaches to matters concerning the allocation of natural resources and the quality of our environment. Through lectures and discussions, students are encouraged not only to learn about environmental issues but also to consider their personal ethics relating to nature, resource use, and human populations. Topics covered include biodiversity, endangered species, exploitation practices, global fisheries and aquaculture, tropical deforestation, agriculture, air and water pollution, energy production and use, waste disposal, and the role of politics and economics in environmental issues. A particular focus is placed on the role of natural resources in the lives of people from the developed and developing world, and issues relating to environmental justice in the use of resources by people from both regions.

Literature, Science, & Arts » Program in the Environment
Literature, Science, & Arts » Residential College
Winter 2018
Fall 2017
Winter 2017
Fall 2016
Winter 2016
Fall 2015
Winter 2015
Fall 2018