Environmental Policy and Culture
The Environmental Policy and Culture Program offers students an interdisciplinary approach to environmental studies, focusing on the social sciences and humanities. Environmental issues and conflicts are among the most important concerns of the 21st century. The minor in environmental policy and culture provides opportunities to engage in scholarly inquiry about managing the natural environment. Courses address issues such as global climate change, efforts to maintain and restore biodiversity, and the reconciliation of development with environmental protection. Courses that fulfill the minor requirements include both those offered by EPC (identified as ENVR_POL) and courses from different departments and programs. They fall into three categories: the humanities (largely courses in history, philosophy, and religion), policy (largely courses in the social sciences), and the natural sciences. Although all students who minor in environmental policy and culture take at least 1 relevant course in the natural sciences, the emphasis is on courses in the humanities and social sciences.
Students are encouraged to participate in environmental research at Northwestern. They may take EPC research seminar ENVR_POL 395-0 and/or pursue independent research projects in ENVR_POL 399-0 Independent Study under the supervision of faculty affiliated with the program.
Program of Study
ENVR_POL 101-6 First-Year Seminar (1 Unit) Open to first-year students in Weinberg College. Does not satisfy major/minor requirements in EPC. WCAS First-Year Seminar
ENVR_POL 211-0 Food and Society: An Introduction (1 Unit) Overview of past and present food systems from a sociological perspective, examining the roles of culture, government policy, and social movements in shaping such systems and future alternatives. ENVR_POL 211-0 and SOCIOL 211-0 are taught together; may not receive credit for both courses. Social Behavioral Sciences Distro Area
ENVR_POL 212-0 Environment and Society (1 Unit) Key environmental problems, such as climate change and oil spills; how they are shaped by the market, government regulations, and social movements; possible solutions. SOCIOL 212-0 and ENVR_POL 212-0 are taught together; may not receive credit for both courses. Social Behavioral Sciences Distro Area
ENVR_POL 261-0 American Religion, Ecology and Culture (1 Unit) The historical rise of environmentalism in American culture and its impact on religious thought and practice. ENVR_POL 261-0 and RELIGION 261-0 are taught together; may not receive credit for both courses. Ethics Values Distro Area
ENVR_POL 309-0 American Environmental History (1 Unit) American history from precontact to the present, focusing on the role of the natural world in human history and the role of human thought and action in natural history. ENVR_POL 309-0 and HISTORY 309-0 are taught together; may not receive credit for both courses. Historical Studies Distro Area
ENVR_POL 311-0 Food, Politics and Society (1 Unit) Social groups, institutions, and policies shaping food production, distribution, and consumption around the world; their social and environmental consequences. Alternatives to existing food systems. SOCIOL 311-0 and ENVR_POL 311-0 are taught together; may not receive credit for both courses. Social Behavioral Sciences Distro Area
ENVR_POL 312-0 Social Change and the Environment (1 Unit) The ways social patterns of production and consumption affect the natural environment, such as climate and biodiversity. Roles of social actors and structures in shaping environmental problems and policies. SOCIOL 312-0 and ENVR_POL 312-0 are taught together; may not receive credit for both courses. Social Behavioral Sciences Distro Area
ENVR_POL 336-0 The Climate Crisis, Policies, and Society (1 Unit) Examination of main impacts of climate change and of different perspectives toward mitigation and adaptation: market-based, institutionalist, bio-environmentalist, social movement, and climate justice. SOCIOL 336-0 and ENVR_POL 336-0 are taught together; may not receive credit for both courses. Social Behavioral Sciences Distro Area
ENVR_POL 340-0 Global Environments and World History (1 Unit) Introduction to the recent histories of environmental issues around the world, including urbanization, industrialization, population growth, commodification, empire building, intercontinental welfare, energy extraction, and new technologies. ENVR_POL 340-0 and HISTORY 376-0 are taught together; may not receive credit for both courses. Historical Studies Distro Area
ENVR_POL 356-0 Native Americans and Environmental Decision Making (1 Unit) Focus on Native Americans, culture and cultural processes, and environmental decision making. Emphasis on contemporary Native American cultures and relevant research. ENVR_POL 356-0 and PSYCH 356-0 are taught together; may not receive credit for both courses. Prerequisite: PSYCH 110-0. Social Behavioral Sciences Distro Area
ENVR_POL 390-0 Special Topics in Environmental Policy and Culture (1 Unit)
Lecture course on environmental issues of current interest to students and faculty. May be repeated for credit with different topic.
ENVR_POL 395-0 Special Topics Seminar (1 Unit)
Seminar on current environmental issues and problems. Topics vary. May be repeated for credit with different topic.
ENVR_POL 399-0 Independent Study (1 Unit) Independent project in student's area of interest. Readings and conferences. Comprehensive term paper required. Prerequisite: consent of program director.