Solar Panels on a roof

New Course on Environment and Society Offered in Spring 2022


Samantha Zuhlke, research fellow in the Environmental Policy Research Program, is offering a new course in the Spring 2022 semester called, "Environment and Society: Sustainability, Policy, and Politics." (PBAF 2020)

The course is designed for first and second year students interested in political science, geography, environmental studies, sociology, business, pre-law, etc.

It explores the questions, "How does society balance its needs against those of the natural  environment  when addressing modern challenges like climate change, conservation, and energy crises?" This course explores sustainability through the lens of U.S. environmental  policy and politics against the framework of the traditional “policy cycle.” Students will learn and apply fundamental theories of public policy to answer questions like: When do  environmental  problems become policy problems? What economic, social, and political forces shape  environmental  policy decisions? What are the consequences of  environmental  policies for individuals and organizations? Throughout this course, students will develop their understanding of  environmental  politics, policy, and sustainability and demonstrate their understanding through writing, self-reflection, and participation in a stakeholder debate. Though the course primarily draws upon foundational theories of U.S. policymaking, students are encouraged to apply what we discuss to their own interests beyond the U.S.  

GE status:

In Spring 2022 the course has Gen Ed in Social Sciences, beginning summer 2022 this course has Gen Ed in Sustainability with a focus on Social Sciences.