Global Perspective on Environment, Society and Culture

As a course of study, Global Perspectives on Environment, Society and Culture focuses on a wide range of local and global issues concerning the environment – human and non-human – and seeks to raise awareness of potential contributions to cultural heritage and environmental issues. Our aim is to understand the perspectives that social and cultural analysis provides for the study of biocultural diversity, protected natural areas, climate change, sustainability, environmental justice, and environmental conflict and policy. The focus area supports the role of social science and policy in relation to the environment wherever it may be appropriate -– both within academic institutions and beyond in the wider community. Courses are offered by Anthropology, Economics, Historical Studies, Human Rights, Sociology, and Political Studies.
GPESC Focus Area

GPESC Focus Area

The goal of Global Perspectives on Environment, Society and Culture is to expand students’ knowledge of human cultures and diverse ecosystems by analyzing environmental conflicts and global threats to cultural heritage and the environment. Students develop their skills of inquiry and analysis by learning to think through anthropological, historical, social and political theoretical lenses and learning the methodological tools of social and spatial analysis. Collaboration and practicum experience – both within academic institutions and beyond in the wider community – will advance student curiosity and understanding while fostering critical independence with a concern for understanding practical applications and engagement.

Popular and Scholarly Examples of Authors/Thinkers in/adjacent to the Field: Jessica Barnes, Peter Brosius, Susan Crate, William Cronon, Michael Dove, Arturo Escobar, Erik Hirsch, Tim Ingold, Eban Kirksey, Eduardo Kohn, Myanna Lahsen, Ben Orlove, Hugh Raffles, Anna Tsing, Paige West, Richard White.

100- and 200-level courses

100-level courses
  • EUS 101: Introduction to Environmental and Urban Studies (required)
  • EUS 102: Introduction to Environmental and Urban Science (required)
  • EUS 130: Economics for Planet Earth
  • ANTH 101: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
  • ECON 100: Principles of Economics
  • GIS 102: Global and International Studies: Climate
  • IDEA 130: Chernobyl: Man-Made Disaster
  • PS 109: Political Economy
  • SOC 101: Introduction to Sociology
  • SOC 138: Introduction to Urban Sociology
200-level courses
  • EUS 215: Food Systems: Human Health & Environmental Health
  • EUS 228: Environmental Politics
  • ANTH 212: Historical Archaeology
  • ANTH 217: Asia in the Anthropocene
  • ANTH 218: The Rift
  • ANTH 223: Conservation Anthropology
  • ANTH 227: Nature & Power in the Middle East
  • ANTH 249: Travel, Tourism, & Anthropology
  • ANTH 252: The Animal in Anthropology
  • ANTH 265: Race and Nature in Africa
  • ECON 202: Intermediate Macroeconomics
  • ECON 221: Economic Development
  • ECON 237: Economics of the Public Sector
  • ECON 242: Ecological Economics
  • HIST 220: Famine
  • HIST 217: Progressive Era in US History
  • HIST 227: Dominion: Empire and the Environment in Modern History
  • HIST 280: American Environmental History
  • HIST 283: Environmental Politics: East Asia
  • HIST 2253: War Against the World
  • HIST 2308: China’s Environment
  • IDEA 210: People on the Move: Causes and Consequences of Migration
  • PHIL 256: Environmental Ethics
  • PS 239: United Nations and Model UN
  • PS 283: Environmental Politics of East Asia
  • SOC 231: From Food to Fracking: The Environment & Society
  • SOC 269: Global Inequality & Development


Upper Level and Empirical Analysis courses

300-level courses
  • EUS 307: Environmental Policy II
  • EUS 308 (Practicum): Culture through Nature: Landscape, Environment and Design into the 21st Century
  • EUS 315: Environment & Climate Policy
  • EUS 319 (Practicum): Hudson Valley Cities and Environmental (In)Justice
  • EUS 322: The Politics of Solutions
  • EUS 324: Environmental Law for Policy
  • EUS 325: Politics and Power in Global Food Production
  • ANTH 323: The Politics of Infrastructure
  • ANTH 326: Science, Empire and Ecology-Botanical Voyaging
  • ANTH 337: Cultural Politics of Animals
  • ANTH 349: Political Ecology
  • ANTH 350: Contemporary Cultural Theory
  • ECON 321: Seminar in Economic Development
  • ECON 331: International Migration
  • ECON 353: Public Choice
  • HIST 3112: PLAGUE!
  • HR 311: Food, Labor and Human Rights
  • PS 314: Political Economy of Development
  • SOC 320: Environment and Society from a Global Perspective
Empirical Analysis courses 
  • EUS 203: Geographic Information Systems
  • EUS 226: Environmental Modeling
  • ANTH 211: Archaeological Methods
  • ANTH 324: Doing Ethnography
  • ECON 229: Introduction to Econometrics
  • ECON 230: Research Methods in Economics
  • SOC 205: Intro to Research Methods
  • SOC 333: Qualitative Research Practicum

Potential Careers in GPESC

Landscape Architect, Urban Planner, Environmental Historian, Public Historian, Non-Profit Executive, Environmental Artist, Environmental Writer, International Correspondent, Environmental Journalist, Nature Writer, Science Writer, Educator, Environmental Sociologist, Environmental Anthropologist.