2011-2012 Academic Catalog 
    Sep 19, 2019  
2011-2012 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Global Environmental Studies Minor


Undergraduate Program

Citizens of the world in the 21st century must deal with notoriously difficult environmental questions. How do we reduce our dependency upon fossil fuels? How can we reverse biodiversity decline? Is biotechnology safe for humans and other species? Can we achieve more economic justice and protect the environment at the same time? Will international institutions and social movements lead the way or will local environmental justice groups provide the real solutions?

Through an interdisciplinary approach, the global environmental studies major provides students with the knowledge and tools to understand the economic, political and cultural causes of environmental transformation, degradation and exploitation. More importantly, the major affords students opportunities, through research, internships and field work, to consider and develop solutions to environmental problems. Students will look at global and local environment issues through the eyes of people whose lives, livelihoods and ways of living are at stake in the process of economic, ecological, cultural and political change. Students will contend with the economic practices, laws and policies, cultural values and social norms that guide use of the environment in multiple locations with different climates, histories, economies and governing regimes. Students will learn the histories, geographies and strategies of major social movements which have fought for environmental protection, cultural survival, biodiversity, food security, common property and equitable distribution of resources.

The international community needs professionals with a breadth of understanding of today’s complex reality. Students with an understanding of international political economy, global environmental change, environmental information systems, environmental law and policy, geographic information systems, gender and environment, and social theory will be able to go into media, finance, law, advocacy, government, civil-society organizations or corporations with the knowledge and skills necessary for shaping sustainable livelihoods.

For details regarding the major or minor, students should consult the Guide to the Major/Minor, which is available on our Web site at http://www.clarku.edu/departments/ges/.

The Clark Advantage

Global Environmental Studies (GES) majors, Geography majors and Environmental Science (ES) majors concentrating in Earth Systems Science (ESS) have the opportunity to work on research projects with faculty members and graduate students in one of the most prestigious graduate programs of geography worldwide. Summer Fellowships are available for qualified students to participate in the Human-Environment Regional Observatory (HERO) program, an intensive summer academic-year research effort focused on environmental change in New England. Eligible majors also have the opportunity to enter the tuition-free, accelerated M.A. in GIScience program. Other accelerated M.A. programs include International Development and Social Change, Environmental Science and Policy, and Community Development and Planning.

GES, Geography, and ESS undergraduates are served by the Clark University Geography Association (CUGA) and Gamma Theta Upsilon, an international geographic honors society.

CUGA is the voice of GES, Geography, and ESS majors, with student representation on the undergraduate studies committee and the opportunity to attend departmental meetings. CUGA representatives are able to vote at department meetings and give their ideas and opinions on various topics that concern undergraduate majors. They also attend field trips and periodically have group gatherings to discuss topics of interest to geography majors, such as research, internships, courses and future jobs.

Gamma Theta Upsilon is an elite international honor society; initiates must have completed a minimum of three geography courses, have a B+ average in geography, rank in the upper 35% of their class, and have completed at least three semesters or five quarters of college course work. For more information on Gamma Theta Upsilon please see their Web site at: http://www.gammathetaupsilon.org/

Emeriti Faculty

Robert Mitchell, Ph.D.

Off Campus Affiliated Faculty

Scott Jiusto, Ph.D - Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Rob Krueger, Ph.D - Worcester Polytechnic Institute


Program Minor

Students wishing to minor in GES must complete a total of eight courses. They are the following components of the regular program major:

Breadth Courses

Same as the major students seeking a GES minor are required to take 5 breath courses which are selected from the broad disciplinary areas –listed above. Students are required to take one course from State of the Earth and one course from Natural Science. The remaining three courses can be chosen from the four remaining areas: Economics/ Political Economy of the Environment; Government/ Institutions; Civil Society and Social Movements; Culture and Environment.

Depth Courses

Must take 2 depth courses, one being at the 200 level.

Skills Course

One skills course is required;