The environmental studies program includes disciplinary majors in environmental biology, environmental chemistry, and environmental geology, and two interdisciplinary majors and one minor. The environmental studies majors and minor enable students to analyze the relationship between human society and the environment.
This relationship involves four major components that are interconnected:
- the effect that human populations have on the environment, including climated change, environmental degradation, conservation, and restoration;
- the benefits humans derive from their environment, such as the ecological services and natural resources used to sustain societies;
- the ways in which our relationship to the environment builds on and reinforces social (in)justices;
- and sustainable development.
The interactions of humans with the environment are influenced by variations in the natural environment such as the geology, geography, climate, flora, and fauna, and also by variations in and characteristics of human cultures such as economics, government, societal values and ethics.