College of Social and Behavioral Sciences


     See our Guest Lecture: Environmental Investigation of Donna Reservoir and Canal Superfund Site.


Summer & Fall 2014 Environmental Course Offerings below

Earth Day Tree Planting     

Environmental Studies Cluster:  Students not minoring in Environmental Studies are encouraged to take some environmental courses as their electives. 
There are both undergraduate and graduate environmental courses.

RATIONALE:  The need for environmental and sustainability education in many areas is great, as a variety of environmental problems
pose risks, and sustainability opportunities are tremendous. We need for our workers and leaders to increase their ability to critically
assess and address how we contribute to environmental problems and how we can implement measures to resolve or mitigate
Environmental education, while essential for environmental scientists, is for people in all walks of life. We need environmentally literate
professionals, policy-makers, journalists, social workers, health providers, educators, business people, and artists.
MISSION STATEMENTThe Environmental Studies Minor promotes environmental literacy and sustainability and raises awareness
of the effects of daily decisions on how we interact with animals and plants and how we use natural resources such as water, air, and
soil.  It takes a holistic ecological perspective, reflecting the recognition that human activities are dependent upon natural processes
and that humans are a part of interconnected systems. It is broadly interdisciplinary, encompassing courses from the humanities, social
sciences, health and human services, sciences, business, engineering, and public policy. It enables students to identify environmental
problems, communicate across disciplines, and promote sustainable solutions. Students can explore relationships between global
ecology and our South Texas environment, and also examine the relationships among social inequalities, negative environmental
impacts, and environmental justice.

MINOR REQUIREMENTS:  Students are required to take at least 18 semester hours (9 advanced), a minimum of 6 courses
Student should be in contact with the coordinator, Lynn Vincentnathan (contact info below) to ensure proper advisement and course


  • one to two Environmental Science courses (A list), and
  • four to five Environmental Studies courses (B and C lists).

A.    Environmental Science Courses: 

  • GEOL 1401 Physical Geology - also meets GenEd requirement
  • CHEM 1301 & 1101 General Chemistry & Lab – also meets GenEd requirement
  • BIOL 2406 Environmental Biology
  • ENSC 3400 Environmental Science & Policy (prerequisites: 2 core courses in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, or Geology)
  • ENSC 3401 Environmental Regulations and Environmental Impact Analysis (prerequisite: ENSC 3400)
  • GEOL 4302 Environmental Geology (prerequisite: GEOL 1401)
B.     Environmental Studies Courses:
  • PHIL 2395 Environmental Ethics
  • HIST 3303 Geography and Environment
  • ENG 3320 Topics in English: Environmental Literature
  • ENSC 3300 Environmental Ethics
  • ENSC 3301 Environmental Approaches to Sustainable Development
  • POLS 3319 Environmental Policy
  • HIST 3365  American Environmental History
  • ANTH 4314 Environmental Anthropology
  • CRIJ 4316 Environmental Crime and Justice
  • ELEE 4373 Renewable Energy (prerequisites: ELEE 2302 & ELEE 3307)
  • MECE 4360 Solar Energy (MECE prerequisistes)
  • MGMT 4362  Business & Sustainability
  • One of the following can be taken:
    • ENST 4380 Environmental Studies Directed Research
    • ENST 4390 Environmental Studies Internship

C.    Additional Courses and Course Sections with an Environmental Focus (these need to be 
          substituted in to count toward the minor): 

  • ENG 1302 Rhetoric & Composition (sections taught by S. Herweck) - also meets Core requirement SOCW 3333  ST:  The Natural Environment & Human Well-Being
  • PUBA 4363 Politics of Scarcity and Ecology (Zemrani)
  • PUBA 4363 Government and Economy (Zemrani)
  • SOCI 4385.90L Environmental Sociology (Donner)
  • PHIL 4390 Religion & the Environment (Leach)

Coming soon:

  • Environmental Communication
  • Environmental Art
  • Environmental Health  

SUMMER I 2014:
  • ENG 1301 Rhetoric & Composition I: (Escamilla sections) environmental reading and writing. Meets Core Requirement.
  • GEOL 1401 Physical Geology: Materials composing the earth; deals with the classification and analysis of geologic agents responsible for the origin, structure and evolution of the earth’s crust. Core
  • BIOL 2406 Environmental Biology: biology focused on the environment. Ecology, environmental problems, human impact, and solutions. Interaction of humans and the environment, topics such as ecosystems, biotic & abiotic environmental components, population & sustainability, energy flow, toxicology, waste production, waste disposal, pollution and others are covered. Government policies and case studies are also presented.
  • SOCI 4385.90L Environmental Sociology: (Donner section) An ecological perspective on how the environment effects communities and communities impact local & global environments; ways of addressing environmental problems; specific topics include the environmental movement, climate change, natural & technological hazards, genetic engineering & food, toxins & environmental waste, and conservation.
  • CRIJ 4316 & 6316 Environmental Crime & Justice: bodily & property crimes & harms from abuse & irresponsible use of the local, regional, & global environment. Problems with identifying environmental crime & harm and victims. Governmental & non-governmental responses to environmental problems are investigated.
FALL 2014:
  • ENG 1301 Rhetoric & Composition I: (Escamilla sections, see Summer I). Core
  • ENG 1302 Rhetoric & Composition II: (Herweck sections) environmental reading & writing. Core
  • GEOL 1401 Physical Geology: (see Summer I)
  • PHIL 2395 Environmental Ethics: Moral theories and ethical principles regarding environmental issues. The concepts of “nature,” whether nature and the environment are intrinsically or merely instrumentally valuable; our responsibilities to future generations, whether entities other than humans have moral rights. Core
  • BIOL 2406 Environmental Biology: (see Summer I)
  • HIST 3303 Geography and Environment: examines the effects of the environment and geography on history. How humanity has reacted to the environment and influenced ecosystems, and how different cultures have interacted with similar environments. Also examines how trade routes, the effects of disease, and the connections between resources and the rise of civilizations and empires.
  • HIST 3365 American Environmental History: American environmental history from first contact between Europeans & Native Americans through the 20th century. Experiences and understandings of nature; attempts to control & preserve it. Nature & disease, conservation & preservation efforts, and the postmodern nature/culture dichotomy.
  • PHIL 4390.02 Religion & the Environment: (Leach section) The way religious traditions have conditioned our relationship to the environment through a survey of Western (Judaeo-Christian-Islamic) and Eastern (Chinese, Japanese, and Indian) traditions. Identification & evaluation of ecological attitudes, values, & practices of diverse traditions, commonalities among them, & common ground for constructive understanding and valuing of nature.
  • ENSC 3301 Environmental Approaches to Sustainable Development: Covers issues of preserving renewable and non-renewable resources for future generations. Roles of scientists, government, NGOs, and local people in sustainable development. Topics include land, subsistence & cultural rights, environmental cooperation, relationships between technology, environment & economy, water wildlife, and forestry resources.
  • ENSC 3400 Environmental Science & Policy: A study of populations, communities, and ecosystems and how these are affected by human perturbations such as pollution of air, water, and soil, deforestation, global warming and consumption. Critical examination of federal and state policies that affect the environment and “quality of life” is included. Prereqs: 2 Core courses in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, or Geology
  • GEOL 4302 Environmental Geology: The human-planet relationship, how Earth processes influence human lives & how human actions alter the interactions of Earth systems. Hazardous geologic processes, use & care of energy resources, & the human impacts on the environment. Prereq: GEOL 1401
  • MECE 4360 Solar Energy: Engineering course on solar energy with prereqs.

Graduate Environmental Studies Courses:

  • PUBA 6307 Politics of Scarcity and Ecology
  • ANTH 6314 Environmental Anthropology
  • CRIJ 6316  Environmental Crime & Justice
  • SOCW 6933.02 The Natural Environment & Human Well-Being (Faver)

Questions:   Email Lynn Vincentnathan,  or call 457-9311