The program’s courses span the natural sciences, social sciences, humanities and fine arts and expose students to the power of social activism related to environmental degradation and justice. Below you will find a list of our current or recent offerings. See the course catalog for descriptions and updated information. 

  • 49-104 Introduction to Environmental Studies
    This course introduces students to the essential environmental issues of the 21st century. Students are introduced to core concepts in areas such as environmental degradation and pollution, biodiversity, urbanization, climate change, sustainable development, resources use and consumption, activism, and environmental justice. Each of these topics is taught from an interdisciplinary perspective that examines the interconnections among humans and the environment. Offered annually. (ScS) (SJ)
  • 49-204 Environmental GIS
    This course introduces students to the practice and theory of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as a method for analysis of the environment. Students will examine the fundamentals of GIS and GIS applications, learning the concepts needed to effectively manipulate, query, analyze, and visualize spatial-based data. At the end of the semester students should feel comfortable applying GIS to a range of environmental issues, and have a solid understanding of the procedures and data necessary to conduct geographical analysis. Contributes to Data Analytics and Data Science. (NSL)
  • 49-214 Texas Our(?) Texas
    In this class, we deconstruct the complex cultural, economic, and environmental identity of the Lone Star State. We will explore historical documents and personal narratives that provide multiple perspectives from the point of view of Indigenous, Tejano, and formerly enslaved Texans. We will also compare these with Anglo texts that later came to dominate the narrative of Texas history and the Texas/Mexico border. We will question important symbols of Texan culture such as food, music, and film, but also the symbolism and history of the border itself. In short, we explore how contemporary and historic forces have shaped the Texas environment, culture, and political economy. Contributes to Latin American and Border Studies. (ScS)
  • 49-224 Ecolab
    The purpose of this course is to expose students to applications of Environmental and conservation Studies through (1) environmental monitoring and (2) conservation/restoration projects. This course examines management and policy issues relating to conservation, while providing scientific background to understand these issues. Students will organize a semester long project focusing on management of the Southwestern Ecolab.
  • 49-364 U.S. Environmental Policy
    This course explores the development of environmental policy in the United States since the 1970s. The purpose of this course is to help students (1) conceptualize the economic, political, and cultural issues associated with policy, (2) become aware of the policy process, key actors, and important legislation, and (3) apply this knowledge as capable professionals, scholars, and engaged citizens. The last three weeks of the course focus on contemporary policy issues in Texas such as water use and planning, endangered species protection, and energy policy. Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 49-104. Offered every Fall. (ScS)
  • 49-464 Sustainable Cities
    Following a brief review of environmental and social planning perspectives, this class explores the application of sustainability discourse and practice as it relates to (1) neoliberal policies and urban governance, (2) social and environmental justice issues, and (3) contemporary sustainability strategies. In the latter part of the semester, the course uses the Austin area as a case study for the evaluation of the promises and pitfalls of sustainable urban development in the 21st century. Topics include urban ecology, segregation and environmental racism, place-making, neoliberal governance, and planning/design issues related to climate change. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing and above only. (ScS) (SJ)
  • 49-474 Advanced GIS
    Advanced Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a guided research course in which students will learn how to produce a high quality environmental spatial analysis using methods such as: web mapping, differential GPS, remote sensing, and environmental modeling. Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 49-204.
  • 49-964 Capstone in Environmental Studies
    This seminar requires students to analyze a local or regional environmental issue from multiple perspectives and it has a strong reading and discussion component. It also encourages environmental activism. Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 49-364. Only seniors majoring in Environmental Studies should register for this class. Offered annually. (WA)