Course Detail


Political Ecology


Political ecology integrates environmental sciences across multiple scales to analyze the dynamic relationships between society and resources, environmental outcomes resulting from social structures, and the environmentally-mediated interactions between and within social groups. It understands environmental problems as rooted in processes operating at different nested scales, local to global. Political ecology places human environments in terms of biophysical processes that shape and sustain them, and physical environments in terms of social, political, and economic practices that help shape their material forms. It frames local resource use systems within "nests" of processes that help shape them, including political economy, globalization, gender relations, and historically produced "narratives." This class is an opportunity to think critically about ecological processes in relation to social, cultural, political, and economic processes, as well as in relation to space, place, and scale. The class offers students a critical understanding of the institutions that regulate interactions between society and nature at local, national, and international scales.

Students entering 2012 and after: satisfies Social-Scientific distribution requirement.
Students entering before 2012: satisfies Social Science distribution requirement.
Satisfies a major requirement in Environmental Studies and Anthropology.
Satisfies depth or breadth course requirement in Social Sciences Track of the Environmental Studies major or interdisciplinary minor.


ENV 272, ENV 373, or instructor approval required.