Social Science Approaches to Solving Environmental Problems

Spring 2020
Class Size: 50
Credits per quarter

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Taught by

political science, economics
Edward (Ted) Whitesell
geography, environmental studies

We face unprecedented threats to our connected social and environmental systems, and yet, because people have created these problems, people can also solve them. In order to do so, we must make maximum use of what the social sciences have learned over the years about the causes of these problems and their potential solutions. A great deal of research has been done in this field, and this is cause for hope. When we can diagnose how our social systems create these threats, we can better understand how to address them. This program will provide students with both theoretical and practical tools for environmental problem solving, drawing upon an interdisciplinary range of social science tools, including political science, political economy, economics, geography, sociology, psychology, sociology, anthropology, and political ecology.

This program is designed for upper-division students with some previous exposure to relevant fields of environmental social science. Students will work together to deepen their understanding of the causes and solutions to the major socio-ecological challenges of our times. The program will include lectures, seminars, field trips, guest speakers, and individual research projects addressing the causes and solutions for a specific environmental problem chosen by each student.

This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in:

preparation for graduate-level environmental social science and environmental studies

Class Standing: Junior–Senior
Class Size: 50

Scheduled for: Day

Located in: Olympia

Spring 2020: Contact faculty or check offering in Canvas for first class meeting date and time.