This course explores how psychological perspectives and methods are being applied to environmental problems in the modern world. The ways humans have impacted and been impacted by natural and built environments are also examined. Topics include weather and climate, disasters and toxic hazards, territoriality and crowding, urban and rural environments, planning and design for human behavior, and building sustainable environments. The application of attitudinal, humanistic, cognitive, behavioral and political approaches to environmental problems are discussed.
- Identify ways in which human thoughts and behaviors could be changed to improve the physical environment.
- Identify ways in which the physical environment could be structured to alter human behavior and improve individuals quality of life.
- Understand the current state of our environments (e.g., air, water, land, noise, climate) and the impact of humans on these environments.
- Understand the environments impact on human behavior and quality of life.
- Employ the methods and data that historians and social and behavioral scientists use to investigate the human condition.
- Examine social institutions and processes across a range of historical periods and cultures.
- Use and critique alternative explanatory systems or theories.
- Develop and communicate alternative explanations or solutions for contemporary social issues.
- Explain the basic structure and function of various natural ecosystems and of human adaptive strategies within those systems.
- Discern patterns and interrelationships of bio-physical and socio-cultural systems.
- Describe the basic institutional arrangements (social, legal, political, economic, religious) that are evolving to deal with environmental and natural resource challenges.
- Evaluate critically environmental and natural resource issues in light of understandings about interrelationships, ecosystems, and institutions.
- Propose and assess alternative solutions to environmental problems.
- Articulate and defend the actions they would take on various environmental issues.