Minors in the Program in the Environment

Students wishing to pursue a minor in the Program in the Environment must develop a specific plan for its completion in consultation with the program's academic advisor. 

Students can either pursue an Academic Minor in the Environment or the Academic Minor in Sustainability, but not both.

 

Program in the Environment Advising

Students interested in declaring either a major or a minor must attend an information session. Information sessions are held throughout the Fall and Winter terms. Appointments may be scheduled with Program advisors on-line at: www.lsa.umich.edu/pite/academics/advising

Minor in Sustainability

Effective Winter 2012

A minor in  Sustainability is not open to students concentrating in the Environment, to students in the School of Natural Resources and Environment, nor to those pursuing a minor in the Environment. Students who are electing a minor in Sustainability are excluded from earning the Sustainability Scholars Certificate. 

Sustainability, although dealing directly and intimately with environmental issues, has as its core goal the development of systems of human behavior to enable both current and future generations to maintain a quality of life that is both productive and pleasing. To achieve such a goal requires an interdisciplinary approach to answer a variety of questions such that human needs and desires can best be met:

  • How do groups and individuals compete or cooperate in the distribution of scarce resources? How can open, fair and effective governance structures be better developed and implemented to promote sustainable consumption?
  • How can economies be modified to incorporate the value of ecosystem services critical for human well-being? What future business models can be developed that more quickly identify and respond to human needs while simultaneously minimizing consumption and maximizing wealth generation?
  • How do various environments at different length scales (local, regional, continental, and global) respond to anthropogenic alterations due to resource consumption and waste generation? What is the time scale for such alterations to become visible, and perhaps irreversible? How can human societies best adapt to such changes?
  • How do natural systems respond to changing anthropogenic inputs? What are the determinants of sustainable yield? What feedback cycles between natural and human systems determine health and welfare of humans and their domesticated biota?
  • What is the role of technology and design in meeting sustainability goals, particularly in urban environments where the majority of the human population currently lives? How can goods and services best be provided such that a high standard of living can be achieved while minimizing resource use and waste generation?

The objectives of the sustainability minor are to:

  1. educate students from across campus on interdisciplinary approaches of historic and emergent sustainability problems
  2. engage students in team projects examining real-world problems both on and off-campus
  3. provide students practical experiences/leadership experiences that enable them to integrate their skills to address complex sustainability problems.

As part of the minor activities, the challenges of crafting a suitable definition of sustainability will be highlighted. This will be part of developing understanding of the need for clear and effective communication across disciplines, which will be stressed to ensure effective teamwork is pursued such that the interdisciplinary whole is greater than the sum of individual disciplinary efforts.

Prerequisites to the Minor

None for the minor per se, although individual courses elected to meet the requirements of the minor may have course prerequisites.

Requirements for the Minor

At least 18 credits of courses (at least 9 credits must be at the 300-level or above), to be elected from the following categories as stated:

  1. Introductory course: ENVIRON 207: Sustainability and Society.
  2. Practical/Field Experience Course:Students pursuing the Academic Minor in Sustainability are required to spend time off-campus participating in a pre-approved Internship or Field Experience/Study Abroad Course. This provides students with an opportunity to have greater exposure to sustainability issue(s) and develop greater skills in identifying and helping to resolve current and emerging sustainability issue(s).

    The following courses have been pre-approved, but students may petition other courses to meet this requirement prior to enrollment, with approval granted by PitE if the course is deemed to have suitably focused on sustainability issues. Any petitions must be received and approved before enrolling in these courses. Courses with emphasis on basic aspects of environmental, social, and natural sciences and humanities are not acceptable to meet this requirement.
    • EARTH 344/ENVIRON 344: Sustainable and Fossil Energy: Options and Consequences
    • ENVIRON 302: Topics in Environmental Social Science (section titled "Sustainable Neighborhoods: Experiential Learning and Active Engagement in Detroit")
    • ENVIRON 398: Environment Internship Program
    • ENVIRON 344/EARTH 344: Sustainable and Fossil Energy: Options and Consequences
    • STDABRD 303: UM at Institute for Central American Development Studies, San Jose, Costa Rica
    • STDABRD 308: UM at EcoQuest New Zealand
    • STDABRD 358 UM/CIC Political Science Internships in British Government and Politics, London, England
    • STDABRD 452: UM at St. Peter's College, Oxford, England
    • STDABRD 471: UM at Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey
  3. Capstone Course /Design Experience. At least one upper-division course addressing major sustainability issues in settings with small sections emphasizing discussion and drawing on interdisciplinary experiences of students.
    • CEE 307/ENVIRON 407: Sustainable Cities
    • ENVIRON 302: Topics in Environmental Social Science (section titled "Sustainable Neighborhoods: Experiential Learning and Active Engagement in Detroit")
    • ENVIRON 391/RCIDIV 391: Sustainable Campus
    • ENVIRON 401: Modeling Human-Natural Systems
    • ENVIRON 404: Cars, Energy, and Chemistry
    • ENVIRON 407/CEE 307: Sustainable Cities
    • RCIDIV 391/ENVIRON 391: Sustainable Campus
  4. Distribution Requirement:Students must take courses from a pre-approved in at least three of five areas. Courses with emphasis on basic aspects of environmental social and natural sciences and humanities are not acceptable to meet these requirements.
    1. Society, Culture, Justice and Citizenship
      • AMCULT 496: Social Science Approaches to American Culture (section titled "American Values and Sustainability")
      • ANTHRCUL 256/ENVIRON 256: Culture, Adaptation and Environment
      • ANTHRCUL 439: Economic Anthropology and Development
      • EDCURINS 382/ENVIRON 382: Intro to Environmental Education and Sustainable Development
      • ENGLISH 320: Literature and the Environment, or
        ENVIRON 377: Literature and the Environment
      • ENVIRON 211: Social Sciences and Environmental Problems
      • ENVIRON 222: Introduction to Environmental Justice
      • ENVIRON 256/ANTHRCUL 256: Culture, Adaptation and Environment
      • ENVIRON 304: Topics in Culture and Environment
      • ENVIRON 320: Environmental Journalism: Reporting about Science, Policy and Public Health
      • ENVIRON 360/PSYCH 384: Behavior and Environment
      • ENVIRON 361/PSYCH 385: The Psychology of Environmental Stewardship, or
        NRE 561: The Psychology of Environmental Stewardship
      • ENVIRON 376: Environmental Ethics
      • ENVIRON 377: Literature and the Environment, or
        ENGLISH 320: Literature and the Environment
      • ENVIRON 382/EDCURINS 382: Intro to Environmental Education and Sustainable Development
      • NRE 501: Grad Experimental (section titled "Justice Issues in Conservation and Sustainability")
      • NRE 561: The Psychology of Environmental Stewardship, or
        ENVIRON 361/PSYCH 385: The Psychology of Environmental Stewardship
      • PHIL 240: Environmental Ethics
      • PHIL 355: Contemporary Moral Problems
      • PSYCH 384/ENVIRON 360: Behavior and Environment
      • PSYCH 385/ENVIRON 361: The Psychology of Environmental Stewardship, or
        NRE 561: The Psychology of Environmental Stewardship
      • SOC 415: Culture and Consumption
    2. Business and Economics 
      • BIT 445/STRATEGY 445: Base of the Pyramid: Business Innovation for Solving Society's Problems
      • EARTH 380/ENVIRON 380: Mineral Resources, Economics, and the Environment
      • ENGR 390: Special Topics (section titled "Social Entrepreneurship")
      • ENGR 521: Clean Tech Entrepreneurship
      • ENVIRON 380/EARTH 380: Mineral Resources, Economics, and the Environment
      • SOC 315: Economic Sociology
      • STRATEGY 310: World Economy
      • STRATEGY 411: The Corporation in Society
      • STRATEGY 445/BIT 445: Base of the Pyramid: Business Innovation for Solving Society's Problems
    3. Public Policy, Urban Planning, and Law 
      • AAS 426: Urban Redevelopment and Social Justice
      • AOSS 480/NRE 480: Climate Change: The Move to Action
      • ARCH 423/ENVIRON 370/UP 423: Introduction to Urban and Environmental Planning
      • CMPLXSYS 391/POLSCI 391: Applied Complex Systems: Emergent Challenges
      • EEB 318/ENVIRON 318/RCIDIV 318: Food, Land and Society
      • EHS 588/ENVIRON 475/NRE 475: Environmental Law
      • ENVIRON 270: Our Common Future - The Ecology, Economics and Ethics of Sustainable Development
      • ENVIRON 306: Global Water
      • ENVIRON 312/POLSCI 380: Environmental Politics and Policy
      • ENVIRON 318/EEB 318/RCIDIV 318: Food, Land and Society
      • ENVIRON 350: The Built Environment: Introduction to Landscape Change
      • ENVIRON 365: International Environmental Policy
      • ENVIRON 370/ARCH 423/UP 423: Introduction to Urban and Environmental Planning
      • ENVIRON 405: Urban Sprawl: Policy and Politics
      • ENVIRON 412: Environmental Values in Public Policy
      • ENVIRON 449/NRE 449: Organizational Theory and Change
      • ENVIRON 475/EHS 588/NRE 475: Environmental Law
      • NRE 449/ENVIRON 449: Organizational Theory and Change
      • NRE 475/ENVIRON 475/EHS 588: Environmental Law
      • NRE 480/AOSS 480: Climate Change: The Move to Action
      • NRE 501: Grad Experimental: (section titled "Urban Agriculture")
      • PHYSICS 481/PUBPOL 481: Science, Technology and Public Policy
      • POLSCI 380/ENVIRON 312: Environmental Politics and Policy
      • POLSCI 391/CMPLXSYS 391: Applied Complex Systems: Emergent Challenges
      • PUBPOL 201: Systematic Thinking About Problems of the Day
      • PUBPOL 481/PHYSICS 481: Science, Technology and Public Policy
      • RCIDIV 302: Advanced Issues in Science, Technology, Medicine, and Society (section titled "Environmental Literature/Social Justice")
      • RCIDIV 318/ENVIRON 318/EEB 318/: Food, Land and Society
      • UP 423 ARCH 423/ENVIRON 370/: Introduction to Urban and Environmental Planning
      • UP 425: Urban Systems
    4. Natural Sciences & Public Health 
      • AAS 409/ANTHRCUL 408: Maternal/Child Health and Environmental Pollution in Africa
      • ANTHRCUL 408/AAS 409: Maternal/Child Health and Environmental Pollution in Africa
      • EARTH 380/ENVIRON 380: Mineral Resources, Economics, and the Environment
      • EHS 500: Principles of Environmental Health Science
      • ENVIRON 310: Toxicology: The Study of Environmental Chemicals and Disease
      • ENVIRON 317: Conservation of Biological Diversity
      • ENVIRON 380/EARTH 380: Mineral Resources, Economics, and the Environment
      • HMP 200/PUBHLTH 200/PUBPOL 210: Health and Society: Introduction to Public Health
      • PUBHLTH 200/HMP 200/PUBPOL 210: Health and Society: Introduction to Public Health
      • PUBPOL 210/PUBHLTH 200/HMP 200: Health and Society: Introduction to Public Health
    5. Technology, Engineering, and Design 
      • ARCH 357/UP 357: Architecture, Sustainability and the City: Ideas, Forces, and People
      • ARTDES 250: Art-Design Perspectives III: Technology and the Environment
      • AUTO 533/MECHENG 433: Advanced Energy Solutions
      • CEE 265: Sustainable Engineering Principles
      • CEE 567/ESENG 567: Energy Infrastructure Systems
      • CMPLXSYS 250/PUBPOL 250: Social Systems, Energy, and Public Policy
      • ESENG 567/CEE 567: Energy Infrastructure Systems
      • ENVIRON 309: GIS Explorations of the Past, Present, and Future
      • ENVIRON 367: Global Enterprise and Sustainable Development
      • MECHENG 433/AUTO 533: Advanced Energy Solutions
      • NRE 574/PUBPOL 519/RCNSCI 419: Sustainable Energy Systems
      • PUBPOL 250/CMPLXSYS 250: Social Systems, Energy, and Public Policy
      • PUBPOL 519/NRE 574/RCNSCI 419: Sustainable Energy Systems
      • RCNSCI 419/NRE 574/PUBPOL 519: Sustainable Energy Systems
      • UP 357/ARCH 357: Architecture, Sustainability and the City: Ideas, Forces, and People

 


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