2023-2024 Academic Catalog 
    Jul 20, 2024  
2023-2024 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Global Environmental Studies Minor

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study

Global Environmental Studies Overview

Undergraduate Program

Global Environmental Studies (GES) majors study the relations between society and environment. The major is structured so that students can critically understand how economic, cultural and political processes transform the earth’s environment. Completing the GES major involves taking classes that explore the relationship between society and environment from differing disciplinary perspectives. This means that although the major is administered by the School of Geography, GES majors can take classes that count towards the major in other programs, including: Visual and Performing Arts; International Development, Community and Environment; Biology; Chemistry, Physics, Economics; Political Science; Management; Philosophy; Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies.

Completing the GES major requires students to take 12 courses with GES attributes. These courses are listed in the GES Program Guide. The major is structured so that students build foundational knowledge in their core courses, and then move onto develop one of three specialized set of skills. The selection of classes and identification of specialization should be undertaken in collaboration with a GES faculty advisor. Given the breadth of the GES major, it is imperative that students actively construct their major, understanding why they are taking particular classes and identify specific learning outcomes for the major.


  • Build foundational knowledge in society-environment relations from different disciplinary perspectives
  • Develop a specialized skill set that is applicable to particular scholarly and vocational areas
  • Understand both conventional and critical perspectives on society-environment relations
  • Build an awareness of the ways in which peoples can actively manage and change their environments

For additional information, students should consult the GES Program Guide, available on the GES Clark web page.

The Clark Advantage

Geography majors, Global Environmental Studies (GES) majors, and Environmental Science (ES) majors concentrating in Earth System 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 accelerated M.S. in GIScience program. Other accelerated masters programs include International Development and Social Change, Environmental Science and Policy, and Community Development and Planning.

Geography, GES, 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 Geography, GES, 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 host events, such as the annual Practicing Geography Week.

Gamma Theta Upsilon is an international honor society. In order to become members, initiates must have completed a minimum of three geography courses, have maintained a minimum GPA of 3.3, and have completed at least three semesters of college course work. For more information on Gamma Theta Upsilon please see their official website.

Minor Requirements

Students wishing to minor in GES must complete a total of eight courses from the following components of the progam. Two courses may be double counted for the major and minor.

Five Core Courses

Global Environmental Studies minors are required to take 5 core courses. Students are required to take one course from the GES State of the Earth list and one course from the GES Natural Science list. The remaining three courses must be chosen from the remaining areas (more than one course can be taken in the same area).

Please refer to the GES Major Requirements page for course listings and further details.

One Skills Course

One skills course is required from one of the following areas: Spatial Analysis, Visualization and Film, Quantitative Analysis, Research Design, Communication, and Qualitative Methods.

Please refer to the GES Major Requirement page for course listings and further details.

Two Specialization Courses

Global Environmental Studies minors must take 2 Specialization courses. Please refer to the GES Major Requirement page for course listings and further details.

Global Environmental Studies Faculty


Hamed Alemohammad, Ph.D.
Yuko Aoyama, Ph.D.
Anthony Bebbington, Ph.D.
Asha Best, Ph.D.
Mark Davidson, Ph.D.
Abby Frazier, Ph.D.
Lyndon Estes, Ph.D.
Karen Frey, Ph.D.
Joseph Getzoff, Ph.D.
Dominik Kulakowski, Ph.D.
Deborah Martin, Ph.D.
James McCarthy, Ph.D.
Siobhan McGrath, Ph.D.
James T. Murphy, Ph.D.
Robert Gilmore Pontius Jr, Ph.D.
Rinku Roy Chowdhury, Ph.D.
John Rogan, Ph.D.
Florencia Sangermano, Ph.D.
Christopher Williams, Ph.D.


Denise Bebbington, Ph.D.
Halina Brown, Ph.D.
Sarah Buie, M.F.A.
Patrick Derr, Ph.D.
Timothy Downs, D.Env.
Jude Fernando, Ph.D.
Robert Goble, Ph.D.
Todd Livdahl, Ph.D.
Bruce London, Ph.D.
Paul W. Posner, Ph.D.


Brenda Nikas-Hayes, Department Administrator and Assistant to the Director

Yaa Poku, Administrator of Degree Programs

Aidan Giasson, Office Coordinator and Asst. to the Dept. Admin.

Global Environmental Studies Courses

Courses offered within the last 2 Academic Years

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study