Program Curriculum and Course Requirements


One three-unit proseminar, EC 610 Environment & Community Research, to be taken during the first semester in the program.

One three-unit research methods elective, chosen from an approved list, to be completed no later than the third semester

15 units of graduate seminars developed specifically for this program. Students take at least one seminar from each of the following three curricular categories:

Political and Economic

Seminars in this curricular category:

1. provide analytical frameworks for understanding the role of political and economic institutions, discourses, organizations, and movements;
2. study competing normative arguments about the role played by the state, markets, democracy, liberalism, globalization, technology, and participation;
3. cultivate recognition of diverse forms of power;
4. critically examine strategies, obstacles, and opportunities for change.

Topics that may be addressed include political theory (liberalism, democracy, justice, property rights), environmentalism, environmental policy, environmental security, national and international environmental governance, environmental politics, conflict resolution, grassroots and transnational social justice movements, international development.

Socio-Cultural: Race, Class, Gender and Place

Seminars in this curricular category:

1. provide an understanding of the categories of race/ethnicity, class, gender, and place, including their social construction and varied intersections;
2. explore the role of culture and its production/reproduction;
3. cultivate critical reflexivity and a willingness to entertain multiple epistemologies and to explore other subjectivities/emic perspectives;
4. explore historical processes behind and the global dimensions of contemporary issues;
5. study how environmental perceptions and values are produced, reproduced and changed by culture.

Topics that may be addressed include race, gender, and the environment, international development and post-development, rural communities and natural resources, subaltern studies, globalization, community formation, social movement theory, and environmental health.

Ecological

Seminars in this curricular category:

1. provide a basic understanding of at least one biophysical process or cycle;
2. focus on human-environment interactions;
3. explore analytical and/or applied methods associated with reducing negative human impacts on the environment.

Topics that may be addressed include natural resource management, energy use and conservation, valuation and use of ecosystem services, biodiversity and conservation, adaptations to climate change, and other similar areas.

One-unit graduate colloquium, EC 615, taken for three semesters

One additional course at the graduate or upper division undergraduate level from a list of elective options approved by the graduate coordinator

Maximum of six units of master’s thesis or project research

Minimum of three units of field research or independent study
Total units required: 36
Course Rotation

Fall 2014

EC 610 Environment & Community Research

Required of every graduate student in the Environment and Community Program their first semester at HSU. Helps develop the skills necessary to become critical consumers and producers of knowledge. Establishes common frames of reference through exploration of a variety of approaches for understanding “environment” and “community.” Develops a working understanding of the variety of research approaches and methods for investigating different aspects of environment-community interrelationships. Provides students the opportunity to identify the specific types of research methods most appropriate, given their own particular research interests and questions.

EC 620 Political Ecology (Political and Economic)

Political ecology is an interdisciplinary field of study whose primary focus is the interrelationship between politics, society, and environment. It emerged as a field of inquiry to refute dominant narratives of environmental change embedded in Malthusian assumptions about the relationship between society and environment. This course examines the dialectical relationship between society and environment across a variety of temporal and spatial scales – from the colonial to the contemporary period and from individual resource users to international environmental regulatory regimes. Issues of interest include deforestation, soil erosion, class and gender relations, state-local conflict, neoliberal capitalism, and social movements.

EC 620 Environmental (In)Securities (Political and Economic)

This course explores the “securitization” of environmental degradation and thus, the processes by which particular environmental issues have become a focus of national security rhetoric and policy in the U.S.. The course examines Environmental Security through a primarily Intersectional Feminist theoretical and activist lens. The course explores a range of environmental security issue s including (but not limited to) resource scarcities, militarization, conflict, genetic engineering, the “youth bulge”, immigration, population growth, climate change, desertification, and deforestation, as well as hunger and malnutrition.

Spring 2014

EC 620 Politics of Sustainability (Political and Economic)

Focuses on the values that underlie social and political decisions regarding environmental concerns. Role of currently dominant ideas of liberalism and democracy in relation to these concerns. Philosophical basis for influential policy tools such as cost-benefit analysis. Exploration of “nature” as a social construction and of critical perspectives raised by feminists, socialists, conservatives, and communitarians.

SOC 535 Dispute Resolution (Political and Economic)

A course description is in the works.

EC 630 Social Influence and the Environment (Socio-Cultural)

Fall 2013

EC 610 Environment & Community Research

A course description is in the works.

EC 620 Globalism, Capitalism, and Environment (Political and Economic)

This course explores the intersection of globalization, capitalism, and the environment, paying particular attention to the ways in which environmental problems are fundamentally grounded in social, economic, and political relations. Three broad themes unify our consideration of the course material: environmental governance occurs simultaneously at multiple levels, from the personal to the global; environmental governance is predicated on struggles over both substantive and symbolic goals; and struggles over knowledge and knowledge production are central to environmental governance.

EC 640 Ecosystems and Society (Ecological)

Examines how ecosystems function and how humans interact with other parts and processes of ecosystems. Emphasis will be on how humans have developed more or less sustainable relationships with their physical environment. Students will work on understanding their bio regions.

ENGR 532 Energy, Environment, and Society (Ecological)

A course description is in the works.

SOC 680 Community, Ecology, and Society (Socio-Cultural)

A course description is in the works.

Spring 2013

EC 620 Political Ecology (Political and Economic)

Political ecology is an interdisciplinary field of study whose primary focus is the interrelationship between politics, society, and environment. It emerged as a field of inquiry to refute dominant narratives of environmental change embedded in Malthusian assumptions about the relationship between society and environment. This course examines the dialectical relationship between society and environment across a variety of temporal and spatial scales – from the colonial to the contemporary period and from individual resource users to international environmental regulatory regimes. Issues of interest include deforestation, soil erosion, class and gender relations, state-local conflict, neoliberal capitalism, and social movements.

SOC 535 Dispute Resolution (Political and Economic)

This course assumes a basic competence in advanced social science. It is a skills based course where we will read technical and case study materials for professional process providers. It covers beginning and intermediate level process design, facilitation, implementation and assessment. Communication skills, negotiation strategies, and decision-making models will be covered.

EC 640 Conservation, Ecology, and Society (Ecological)

Interdisciplinary graduate course emphasizing theories and applications of conservation biology as they relate to sustainable societies. Special topics may vary. This course is intended to broaden the training of graduate students in the interdisciplinary study of conservation & society. For students whose backgrounds are mainly in social sciences, this course will provide a primer of relevant topics in conservation biology; for students whose backgrounds are mainly in biological sciences, this course will embed conservation theories in a social context.

Fall 2012

EC 610 Environment and Community Research Proseminar

A course description is in the works.

EC 630 Klamath River Issues (Social-Cultural)

A course description is in the works.

SOC 680 Community, Ecology, and Action (Socio-Cultural)

A course description is in the works.

ENG 532 Energy, Environment and Society (Ecological)

This interdisciplinary graduate level course emphasizes technical, environmental, and
socio-economic dimensions of energy utilization in contemporary society. Covers technology and policy issues related to conventional and alternative energy resources.

Approved research methods elective courses include:

  • Anthropology 318 Ethnography
  • Biometrics 333 Intermediate Statistics
  • Education 679 Qualitative Methods in Education Research
  • Education 681 Quantitative Educational Methods
  • Sociology 583 Quantitative Research Methods
  • Sociology 584 Qualitative Research Methods
  • Natural Resources Planning & Interpretation 480/Sociology 480 GIS for the Social Sciences
  • Natural Resources Planning & Interpretation 377 Intro. to GIS
  • Natural Resources Planning & Interpretation 470 Intermediate GIS

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