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"Come here expecting to be inspired by the opportunity for change and your knowledge of how to do it. Come here to gain an abundance of new knowledge that may lead you in new directions or will greatly strengthen your ability to play a role leading this society to better alternatives." Todd Beer, Program Graduate, 2003


The program’s curriculum encompasses three thematic areas.

  • Economic and Political Dimensions
  • Socio-Cultural Dimensions: Race, Class, Gender and Place
  • Ecological Dimensions

Course Rotation

Fall 2012

  • EC 610 Environment and Community Research Proseminar
  • EC 630 Klamath River Issues (Social-Cultural Dimensions)
  • SOC 680 Community, Ecology, and Action (Socio-Cultural Dimensions)
  • ENG 532 Energy, Environment and Society (Ecological Dimensions)

Spring 2013

  • EC 620 Political Ecology (Economic & Political Dimensions)
  • SOC 535 Dispute Resolution (Economic & Political Dimensions)
  • EC 640 Conservation, Ecology, and Society (Ecological Dimensions)

Fall 2013
  • EC 610 Environment & Community Research
  • EC 620 Globalism, Capitalism, and Environment (Economic and Political Dimensions)
  • EC 640 Ecosystems and Society (Ecological Dimensions)
  • ENGR 532 Energy, Environment, and Society (Ecological Dimensions)
  • SOC 680 Community, Ecology, and Society (Socio-Cultural Dimensions)

Spring 2014

  • EC 620 Politics of Sustainability (Economic and Political Dimensions)
  • EC 640 Conservation Ecology and Society (Ecological Dimensions)
  • SOC 535 Dispute Resolution (Economic and Political Dimensions)
  • EC 630 Social Influence and the Environment (Socio-Cultural Dimensions)

Course Requirements for the Environment and Community

M.A. Program

  • 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 curriculum areas:
    • Economic and Political Dimensions
    • Socio-Cultural Dimensions: Race, Class, Gender and Place
    • Ecological Dimensions
  • 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


Economic and Political Dimensions:

  • Energy, Environment & Society
  • Rights, Politics, and the Environment
  • Globalism, Capitalism, and Environment
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Environmental (In)Securities: Mainstream, Intersectional Feminist, and Ecofeminist Perspectives
  • Political Ecology

Socio-Cultural Dimensions: Race, Class, Gender, and Place

  • Klamath River Issues
  • Community, Ecology, and Social Action
  • Environmental Justice
  • Social Influence and the Environment

Ecological Dimensions:

  • Ecosystems and Society
  • Conservation Ecology and Society

Environment and Community Graduate Seminar Course Descriptions

Environment and 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.

Politics of Sustainability

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.

Globalism, Capitalism, and Environment

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.

Dispute Resolution

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.

Environmental (In)Securities: Mainstream, Intersectional Feminist, and Ecofeminist Perspectives

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.

Political Ecology

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.

Environmental Justice

Focuses on the multiple ways in which people of color and workers in the United States experience and resist environmental racism, sexism, and injustice. Explores the ways in which people have organized and are organizing to articulate and realize a vision of environmental justice that includes social, economic, and environmental sustainability.

Ecosystems and Society

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.

Conservation Ecology and Society

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.

Energy, Environment, and Society

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