These undergraduate courses offered or co-listed within our college are a great way to explore topics of diversity, equity and inclusion within the context of environmental science and studies. The courses focus on sociocultural, political and/or economically diverse perspectives of the human experience at local through global levels and are designed to help you develop an understanding of the complexities of living in different socio-environmental systems. The courses are a great way to meet the university’s Diversity Requirement (DIV). Many of these courses have no prerequisites and are open to all majors.

Register for any of these courses using the MyPlan Academic Planner. Not a UW student? Learn how to get started on your degree.

Currently offered by units in our College


Climate, Justice and Energy Solutions (ATM S 100)

Presents visions of the future when the climate crisis is solved and describes paths towards reaching these goals. Examines solutions including building a resilient society with clean energy, sustainable agriculture, climate justice and a just transition for workers.

  • Spring 2021
  • 5 credits (NW, I&S, DIV)
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Faculty: Dargan Frierson

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Introduction to Environmental Studies (ENVIR 100)

Examines the ethical, political, social, and scientific dimensions of environmental issues. Integrates knowledge from different disciplines while evaluating environmental problems at various scales. Uses and environmental justice lens to examine the ways problems are concentrated in some communities while providing opportunities to practice environmental communication and collaboration across disciplines.

  • Summer 2021
  • 5 credits (DIV, I&S, NW)
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Faculty: Kristi Straus

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Environmental Pedagogy (ENVIR 315)

Introduces the art of teaching in non-traditional settings. Designed to help students become effective environmental educators such as park naturalists, interpretive guides or urban garden educators. Students learn pedagogical philosophy and gain skills to become more effective environmental educators.

  • Winter 2021
  • 5 credits (DIV, I&S, NW)
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Faculty: Tim Billo

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Wilderness in the Anthropocene (ENVIR 380)

Explores the ways in which landscapes change over time while considering wilderness as a space and an idea. Who benefits and who is marginalized from wilderness? How does wilderness serve humans ecologically and psychologically? How and by whom should wilderness be managed for equitable, ethical, and sustainable outcomes for nature and people? Includes pre-trip readings, lecture, and discussion, up to two weeks in field, and post-trip writing.

  • Summer 2021
  • 5 credits (DIV, I&S)
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Faculty: Tim Billo

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Attaining a Sustainable Society (ENVIR 439)

Discusses diverse environmental issues, the importance of all areas of scholarship to evaluating environmental challenges and the connections between the past and the future, to reveal integrative approaches to protect the long-term interests of human society.

  • Winter and Spring 2021
  • 5 credits (DIV, I&S, NW)
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Faculty: Eli Wheat (Winter), Gary Handwerk (Spring)

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Role of Culture and Place in Natural Resource Stewardship: Yakama Nation Experience (ESRM 421)

Learn how history, self-determination and sovereignty have shaped natural resource stewardship on the reservation and on the ceded lands of the Yakama Nation.

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Resource Economics for Management and Policy (FISH 461/561)

Examines how and why resource users make decisions leading to overfishing and pollution. Introduces market and non-market economic tools that support the natural resource management process. Evaluates incentives presented by alternative policies, with an emphasis on regional and global fishery management case studies.

  • Autumn 2020
  • 4 credits (DIV, I&S)
  • Prerequisites: either FISH 230/ECON 230, ENVIR 235/ESRM 235/ECON 235, or a 300-level FISH course.
  • Faculty: Christopher Anderson

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Climate Governance: How Individuals, Communities, NGOs, Firms and
Governments Can Solve the Climate Crisis (SMEA/ENVIR 201)

Examines climate change, its causes and impacts (on ecosystems, water availability, extreme weather, communities, health, and food) globally, nationally and locally. Surveys its solutions (mitigation, adaptation, migration and just transition), actors that implement them (governments, firms, NGOs, activists, communities, individuals) and approaches they use (regulation, markets, planning, innovation, social movements, behavioral change).

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Pacific Recreation and Tourism Issues (SMEA 485)

Examines how marine tourism links people to one another and to the environment. Utilizes concepts from cultural anthropology, sociology, political science, geography, ecology, conservation biology and planning. Topics include: ecotourism, ethnic tourism, marine parks and protected areas, fisheries, sustainable development, tourism ethics and marine environmental education.

  • Autumn 2020
  • 3 credits (DIV, I&S, NW)
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Faculty: Marc Miller

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Power, Privilege and Preservation (ENVIR/ESRM 460)

Critically examines strategies of resource managers to integrate local communities and cultures in protected areas management. Explores issues of power, privilege and injustice and their impacts on individuals, society and resource management decisions. Examines the potential for more socially just and ecologically sustainable approaches to protected areas management.

  • Spring 2021
  • 5 credits (DIV, I&S, NW)
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Faculty: July Hazard

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Offered by other units and co-listed with UW Environment


American Indians and the Environment (HSTAA/AIS/ENVIR 308)

Examines the historical relationships American Indians have possessed with local environments, with special attention to the ways these peoples have adapted to altered environments and new conditions, including migrations, involvement with markets of exchange, overhunting, dispossession, conservation and mainstream environmentalism.

  • Winter 2021
  • 5 credits (DIV, I&S)
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Faculty: Joshua Reid

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Not scheduled for 2020-21, check for offerings in 2021-22


Development and the Environment (SMEA 430)

Critically examines policy approaches that balance economic development, natural resource use/environmental protection and socioeconomic and political diversity. Examined policy approaches include market instruments, standards, information-based regulation and corporate responsibility.

  • 3 credits (DIV, I&S)
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Faculty: Nives Dolšak

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Diversity Outreach Program in Earth and Space Sciences (ESS 307)

Students will lead Earth and Space Sciences outreach events to underserved and underrepresented populations in the Northwest. Gain an understanding to the barriers to education and participate in events to remove some of these barriers.

  • 3-5 credits (DIV, I&S, NW)
  • Prerequisites: ESS 101, ESS 102, ESS 211, ESS 212, ESS 213 or ESS 472
  • Faculty: TBD

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Environmental Justice (AES/ANTH/ENVIR 211)

Examines introductory studies of environmental racism and ecological injustice in the United States and select areas of the world. Reviews environmental justice theories and methods applied to risk science, ecosystem management, biodiversity conservation, and sustainable development. Includes comparative studies of social movements for
“eco-justice”.

  • 5 credits (DIV, I&S)
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Faculty: TBD

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Culture, Ecology and Politics (ANTH/ENVIR 459)

Critical studies of class, gender and race differences in environmental politics. The political-economic dimensions of ecological change. Contemporary environmental movements including the varieties of bioregionalism, deep ecology, ecofeminism, ecosocialism, environmental justice and social ecology.

  • 5 credits (DIV, I&S)
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Faculty: TBD

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