Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Professor Sam Zuhlke will be teaching PBAF/URP 2020:Environment and Society: Sustainability, Policy, and Politics starting in Spring 2022. This new course meets the Social Sciences Gen Ed requirement for undergrads!

Headshot of Samantha Zuhlke

This course introduces sustainability in the context of social, political, and policy-making processes, and challenges students to reflect on how societies balance human needs against those of the natural environment within the classic framework of the policy cycle. It is a great introduction to environmental politics and policy and will help students explore graduate degrees offered through the School of Planning and Public Affairs. A full description of the course is below:

How does society balance its needs against those of the natural environment when addressing modern challenges like climate change, conservation, and energy crises? This course explores sustainability through the lens of U.S. environmental policy and politics against the framework of the traditional “policy cycle.”

Students will learn and apply fundamental theories of public policy to answer questions like:

  • When do environmental problems become policy problems?
  • What economic, social, and political forces shape environmental policy decisions?
  • What are the consequences of environmental policies for individuals and organizations?

Throughout this course, students will develop their understanding of environmental politics, policy, and sustainability and demonstrate their understanding through writing, self-reflection, and participation in a stakeholder debate. Though the course primarily draws upon foundational theories of U.S. policymaking, students are encouraged to apply what is discussed to their own interests beyond the U.S.