The effects of hurricane Sandy in New Jersey, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, deforestation in the Amazon, wildfires in California—those are few recent environmental events that get a lot of public and media attention. They are good examples that show how fundamental to the structure of society is the way we as humans relate to our environment.
Our activities and choices are quite linked to the way the environment will function in the near and long term future. Understanding then the relations between people and the environment is critical to natural resource management and it requires a basic understanding of the science and critical approaches to environment‐society relationships.
This course introduces the current modes of thinking about the relations between society and the environment. The course will also include an overview of the major perspectives and approaches in human‐environment geography (e.g. environmental ethics, environmental justice). At the end of the course students are expected to clearly understand the development of major theoretical themes related to interactions between environment and society. Students should be able to analyze complex environmental problems and issues, not only in the US but in other parts of the world.