The environmental studies concentration focuses on the study of nature, the interactions between people and nature, and the efforts of people to protect nature.  Our concentration offers a wide variety of courses that can prepare you for a broad range of careers both in the environmental field and also in the many other fields that are connected to environmental studies.  Students graduating from SUA with an Environmental Studies concentration have found work in a wide variety of fields such as sustainability management, renewable energy, Geographic Information Systems, environmental engineering, law, firefighting, business consulting, and journalism.  Our curriculum is an excellent preparation for graduate education as well, and a number of SUA environmental studies graduates have continued their studies at distinguished graduate schools in the United States, Britain, and Japan (including Yale, Oxford, University of Michigan, Indiana University, Tufts University, Duke University, University of California Los Angeles, Pepperdine University, Boston University, Washington and Lee University, University College London, University of East Anglia, Monterey Institute of International Studies, and Soka University in Japan).

The environmental studies concentration has an interdisciplinary curriculum that includes extensive course offerings in the social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities.  Our concentration requires the completion of five courses in environmental studies and a capstone project on a topic in environmental studies; the mix of those concentration courses is flexible and allows you to choose different paths of study that follow your own interests.  You can therefore complete your environmental studies concentration requirements by taking courses exclusively in the area of social sciences, or by taking courses exclusively in the area of natural sciences, or by taking a mixture of courses that combine coursework in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities.  In addition to our courses, research and laboratory assistantships give you opportunities to work alongside our internationally recognized faculty in their research and teaching activities.

Most of our courses are taught by five full-time environmental studies faculty members who have together received widespread international recognition for their research.  Additional cross-listed environmental studies courses are taught by faculty in other programs across the University.  The environmental studies curriculum has several major clusters of courses that are described below:

Ecology (ECOL).  These natural science courses allow students to study animals, plants, and their interactions through lecture, field, and laboratory studies.

Environmental Management and Policy (EMP).  These social science courses focus on the efforts of people to protect and manage the environment, with an emphasis on the practical realities of planning and implementing policies for environmental protection at the local, regional, national, and international levels.

Earth and Ocean Sciences (EOS). These natural science courses allow students to understand planet Earth as a physical and chemical system. Through lecture, field, and laboratory studies, students learn about the interaction of human and biological activity with the air, water, and soils of Earth.

Geography (GEOG).  These courses focus on the mapping and analysis of the interactions of natural and human activities across the world and across time. Geography courses include perspectives from both the natural and social sciences, and some of these courses include instruction in computer-based mapping through Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS).

Cross-listed Environmental Studies (ENVST). These courses offer a wide variety of additional perspectives on environmental studies taught by faculty across the University, including courses in the humanities and social sciences.

Environmental Studies course descriptions from the SUA Course Catalog

Class rotation


 Spring 2018
    EMP 320 Environmental Planning and Practice (Deike Peters)
    EMP 330 Sustainable Cities (Deike Peters)
    EMP 350 Environmental Policy (George Busenberg)
    ENVST 170 Environmental Ethics (Robert Allinson)
    GEOG 350 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (Monika Calef)
    GEOG 440 Biogeography (Monika Calef)
 Fall 2018
    ECOL 402 Aquatic Ecology (Anthony Mazeroll)
    ECOL 444 Ecological Methods (Anthony Mazeroll)
    EMP 335 Cities and the Environment in the Global South (Deike Peters)
    EMP 410 International and Comparative Environmental Policy (George Busenberg)
    ENVST 215 Music and Ecology: Studies in Interconnection (Michael Golden)
    EOS 280 Sustainable Agriculture and Gardening (Robert Hamersley)
    GEOG 250 Physical Geography (Monika Calef)
    GEOG 350 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (Monika Calef)
 Spring 2019
    ECOL 435 Alien Invaders (Anthony Mazeroll)
    EMP 340 Environmental Movements (Deike Peters)
    EMP 400 Environmental Management (George Busenberg)
    EMP 430 Urban Planning and the Built Environment (Deike Peters)
    GEOG 400 Advanced GIS (Monika Calef)
 Fall 2019
    ECOL 330 Fish Biology (Anthony Mazeroll)
    ECOL 444 Ecological Methods (Anthony Mazeroll)
    EMP 300 Sustainable California (Deike Peters)
    EMP 380 Environmental Law (George Busenberg)
    ENVST 230 Thinking Through Nature (Oleg Gelikman)
    ENVST 360 Environmental Economics (Diya Mazumder)
    GEOG 110 Regional Geography (Monika Calef)