Courses

Environmental Justice – introductory course

This course introduces students to the key concepts of Environmental Justice. It evaluates the beginnings of Environmental Justice as a concept and examines its development into an emerging field. The course is based on the premise that all people have a right to live in a clean environmental free from hazardous pollution and contamination. This course examines mainly issues within the US context in order to analyze the factors that contribute to the constellation of issues labeled as environmental justice. Students will be allowed to critically analyze examples of environmental justice cases, while seeking to develop an understanding of the complex relationships among actors and the social, political and economic processes that lead to environmental injustices. We begin this course by examining the foundational principles and history of the environmental justice movement as well as the concepts of justice, race and class. We will then explore a series of case studies of environmental (in)justices in the US context taking urban, rural and indigenous populations into consideration. Finally we will explore the issues of climate justice on the global level as well as the activity of grassroots organizations as they propel the EJ movement forward.

Global Environmental Justice – advanced course

This advanced level course expounds on the concepts and theories of Environmental Justice from an international perspective. It evaluates the international frame of Environmental Justice and its applicability to different case studies. The course examines cases from both a developing and developed context in order to analyze the factors that contribute to the constellation of issues labeled as global environmental justice. Real world examples of environmental justice cases will be critically assessed, in order to develop an understanding of the complex relationships among actors that lead to environmental injustices. Given the interdisciplinary and cross-cultural examination of human-environmental interactions of this course, it can be used to satisfy the Global Engagements distributional requirement.

Oil Extraction in Trinidad and Tobago

Introduction to Social Science approaches to Environmental Studies

This is an introductory course to the frameworks used by social scientists when analyzing environmental issues. All environmental issues have social as well as physical aspects: humans affect the environment through their individual and group actions, and the environment affects humans as individuals and as members of various groups. The goal of this course is to allow students to think analytically about environmental issues using a variety of perspectives. Each semester we will use a different environmental issues as the main focal thrust, but other environmental issues will also be discussed briefly.

Community based perspectives on social issues

This project-based, interdisciplinary course examines current environmental issues in the context of community-based learning. Topics for investigation are selected by faculty, usually in conjunction with the campus sustainability coordinator, the Upstate Institute, or directly with local and regional agencies. Students get practical experience working in interdisciplinary teams to examine environmental issues with a goal of developing relevant recommendations.

Caribbean Environments

This course introduces students to the key physical environmental settings as well as the concerns facing the Caribbean region. It evaluates the mosaic of ecological settings, their use, threats and adaptive capacity. This course seeks to show the complexity of the region beyond the sand, sea and sun stereotypic view. Students will be allowed to critically analyze critical scientific and media readings on the different ecological settings as well as the respective stressors. The course has an extended study component to Trinidad and Tobago, which will provide students with the unique ability to view the ecological settings studied and interact with the local community to determine concerns and threats currently experienced by the community.

Trinidad and Tobago