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Exceptional learning experiences

Within the Watershed Institute, we pride ourselves in providing exceptional learning experiences for our environmental public health and environmental studies students. Below are just some of the courses available within our program and what helps set us apart here at UWEC.

An inquiry into the magnitude and causes of global climate change, and an introduction to the physical and chemical principles that drive the climate system. Assumes no prior experience with chemistry, physics, or earth science.

Origin, distribution, use, misuse, and conservation of minerals, water, soil, and fuels. Alternative resources and lifestyles for the future are evaluated.

Core concepts and theories in ecology at the individual, population, community, and ecosystems levels and their applications.

An introduction to natural resource conservation. Problems associated with the use and abuse of America's resources are studied in an ecological framework. Resource management methods are explored.

In this course, students will learn about issues related to consumption, conservation and management of natural resources. Decisions and actions related to conservation have significant consequences for the well-being of life on earth. By necessity, these decisions are made in the face of uncertainty and with imperfect information about the consequences of action. In this course, students will be introduced to the knowledge that exists on a variety of environmental issues and then learn to critically evaluate the threats to our environment and to formulate educated responses and actions for the earth’s sustainability. Each week we meet for two lectures and one discussion period. It is a reading and writing intensive course. The discussion is a chance for us to meet in small groups to discuss the weekly assigned readings, current news and lecture topics. It is a time for us to explore and develop a personal understanding of issues and questions at a level not easily attained in a larger lecture setting.

Application of economic analysis to national and international environmental issues and policies, highlighting the connections between the economic way of thinking and other disciplines.

This course applies the economic way of thinking to issues relating to the environment.We will briefly cover the basic tools of economic analysis and discuss recent environmental and economic trends. This will include consideration of opportunity cost and marginal analysis as well as the supply and demand and elasticity. In addition, we will define and discuss the concept of externalities as well as examine the role of corporations and government in the decision-making process. We will then use our newfound economic way of thinking to address/analyze a variety of current environmental issues.  Each step of the way, the professor strives to connect this course the real world issues and I will also try my best to highlight the interconnectedness of the economic way of thinking to the thought process of other disciplines in addressing environmental issues.

Introduces major theoretical approaches to ethical and policy questions concerning environmental issues such as population growth, famine, nonhuman animals, atmospheric conditions, hazardous waste, preservation of species, pollution, pesticides, and nuclear power.

Examines interactions between human societies and the natural world in what is now the United States. Through readings and several field trips students will learn the essential elements of American Environmental History.

The course reviews sociological theories that explain environmental changes; it concentrates on sociological causes, consequences, and responses to such environmental challenges as climate change, ozone depletion, acid rain, land-air-water pollution, deforestation, desertification, and interstate and intrastate conflicts.

Explores the geography and spatial dimensions of food, with attention to the cultures and environments from which they emerged, changing nature/society relationships, and the implications of globalization, economic growth, and technological innovations.

Explores endemic and emerging health issues affecting global populations. Aims to familiarize students with adverse health outcomes associated with global socio-economic disparities.

Examination of the threats to the global environment and the response of the international community.

Health-oriented problems in the environment with attention directed to air and water pollution, solid waste, housing, occupational health and safety, food sanitation, animal zoonoses, ecology of health and disease, radiological health, energy, and global environmental health.

Explores the basic physics principles behind various types of renewable energy sources. Discusses impact renewable energy sources have on mitigating global warming and climate change.

An upper-division course that focuses on topics of the natural and physical world.

Students will study U.S. environmental and sustainability law and policy to assess the roles of science, key actors, and values in policymaking.

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