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ENVST Minor - 18 credits:

Environmental and Sustainability Studies students develop an understanding of ecological systems and the consequences of human-environment interactions, with grounding in earth systems and social science. The curriculum emphasizes human impacts on the environment, policy and decision making, ethics, and historical approaches to the human-environment relationship. This interdisciplinary program is unique in its emphasis on peer learning and community engagement regarding the environment, social responsibility, and sustainability.

ENVST 2050 (or AP Environmental Science with a score of 3 or higher) & 2100 are required prerequisites before ENVST 3364 & 3365 are taken.  


Required Courses:

 The goal for this class is to have students versed in the topics of: 1) Ecology and Sustainability, 2) Biodiversity, and 3) Earth Resources and Environmental Quality. The course consists of lectures, participation exercises, which will require critical thinking and data analysis, and the laboratory assignments (at-home and field based). The materials have been designed to step you through the topics and if you already have some science background this class will help you make connections among scientific disciplines and ESS.

 This course consists of a series of lectures from University of Utah faculty on a wide variety of research focuses on the environment and sustainability. The course professor will provide continuity and develop an integrated framework for understanding and analyzing the material. The course will expose students to a diverse range of research viewpoints and approaches to studying issues surrounding the environment and sustainability.

 This course surveys the natural and anthropogenic factors that have caused the Earth’s climate to change over the past 700 million years. Topics include: how scientists study past climates, the causes and evidence for climate changes, how ecosystems respond to climate change, and how climate change impacts humans and culture. We will also discuss how human-produced climate change can be distinguished from a background of natural climate trends.

 With the recent upswings in economic, political, cultural, and technological globalization, human societies around the globe are increasingly interconnected in various ways, often unequally. At the same time, forms of globalization pose both challenges and opportunities for addressing the most fundamental sustainability challenges facing the world today. This course provides a multidisciplinary overview of the human causes, environmental and ecological consequences, and potential policy solutions to various sustainability challenges in global contexts.

*ENVST 2050 & ENVST 2100 are prerequisites for this course

Environmental Justice is concerned with the potential for the disproportionate impact of environmental harm on communities of color and the poor. This could include, for example, the citing of toxic waste-producing facilities in poor or minority communities, the impact of high energy prices on low-income people, the confiscation of land and water from native communities, the concentration of air and water pollution in communities that lack the political access and funding to fight them, the role of racism as a factor in determining who should bear the brunt of negative environmental externalities, and an overall concern that all policies affecting the environment be formulated and implemented in a manner that does not victimize people because of their race, ethnic heritage or income. This course will explore the theories and concepts of environmental justice, assess the empirical research on the subject, and examine specific case studies. And finally, the course will explore ways to achieve environmental justice for all people regardless of race, gender, ethnic heritage, and income level. The overall objective of the course is to understand how a multi-cultural democratic society can achieve environmental sustainability within a framework of justice and equality for all.

*ENVST 2050 & ENVST 2100 are prerequisites for this course

Last Updated: 3/30/24