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Human-Animal Studies: Courses in Environmental Science

Environmental Science Overview

This is a list of colleges and universities around the world who provide courses for Environmental Science in relation to the human-animal relationship.  This includes the name of the college, the name of the course, who is teaching the course, and brief description of the Environmental Science course that the instructor will be covering.


Baylor University

Animal Enrichment Field School

Heidi Marcum

This class is designed to provide hands-on training in the enrichment of captive animals through individual and group work, often without direct supervision. Class objectives include: experience in enriching captive animals; hands-on, practical experience with a current environmental problem; experience with designing enrichment activities, taking data and writing up results; experience presenting results using Powerpoint.


Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts

Environmental Studies Capstone Seminar

Prof. Mona Seymour


Green Mountain College

Environmental History and Philosophy

Matthew Osborn Ph.D.

This course provides a systematic historical and philosophical analysis of prevailing Western perspectives of the environment. Drawing on the work of historians such as Max Oelschlaeger, Carolyn Merchant, and Donald Worster, students will begin by exploring the Classical and Judeo-Christian roots of Western thought, after which they will consider how attitudes toward the nonhuman world have evolved since the collapse of the hierarchically structured Medieval world and in the wake of modern science. Students will trace current debates in environmental ethics and history through journals of record in these fields, honing their skills in research and argumentation before defending their own solutions to environmental problems in their local bioregions.

Environmental Ethics

James Harding Ph.D.

Hunting—History, Ethics, and Management

James Harding Ph.D.

Environmental Law and Policy

Sam Edwards

This course is an introduction to the laws and policies pertaining to issues such as population, energy, pollution, land management, waste disposal, economic growth, and ecosystem management, as well as some of the theoretical underpinnings of how economic and ecological burdens and benefits are distributed within society. Students will consider historic and modern common-law mechanisms for managing land use, and modern environmental statutes including federal land management regimes, consumer protection statutes, pollution prevention regimes, and the intersection of energy regulation and transportation law with environmental laws. Using the National Environmental Policy Act’s Environmental Impact Statement process as an organizing principle, students will consider a variety of environmental issues, statutes, and case law concerning environmental regulation in the United States.

Wildlife Law

Sam Edwards

This course will review the major statutes and agencies that control and manage wildlife at the state, national, and international levels. With particular emphasis on the intersection of multiple management agencies and statutory responsibilities, students will consider the network of competing protections and jurisdictions that impact wildlife management in the United States. The class will also consider larger biodiversity protection regimes that sometimes conflict with traditional wildlife management. Specific emphasis will be placed on research requirements around wildlife, including collection permits, endangered species and invasive transportation regulations, and international treaties concerning the ban or control of transportation of artifacts and samples.


Humane Society University

Animal Protection and the Environment

Sarah Bexell

This course examines the convergence and divergence of animal protection and environmental movement interests, which have far-reaching strategic and policy implications for animals. Factory farming, climate change, hunting, and sustainability are among the topics considered.


Northwestern University

Special Topics in Environmental Policy and Culture

Seth B Magle


University of California, Santa Barbara

Animals in Human Society: Ethical Issues of Animal Use

Jo-Ann Shelton

Identification and exploration of the ethical issues which arise when humans interact with other animals. Analysis of the philosophical debates about the moral status of animals, and examination of the controversies surrounding the extension of human rights concepts to non-human animals. Discussion of conflicting attitudes toward the value of animal life in such specific areas as food production, scientific research, recreational activities, pet ownership, and environmental protection.


University of Oregon

Environmental Aesthetics

Ted Toadvine

Explores aesthetic experience of nature through philosophical perspective; emphasizes nature and art; beauty and the sublime; embodiment, culture, and science; and ethics, conservation, and preservation.

Environmental Ethics

Nicolae Morar

This course introduces key concepts and methods in environmental ethics and surveys a range of contemporary positions in this field while developing skills of value clarification and ethical reasoning applicable to areas of interdisciplinary environmental study and problem-solving. Topics covered include the interdependence of facts and values in environmental decision-making, the relation of environmental ethics to traditional ethical theory, the conceptual foundations of environmental ethics, attributions of intrinsic value and rights to nature and other species, consumption and sustainability in our conceptions of the good life, and problems of resource distribution and environmental justice. The course concludes with case studies of specific ethical problems confronting environmentalists today (recent examples include restoration of oak savanna and the Klamath River salmon controversy). Emphasizing the skills of critical thinking, value reasoning, and philosophical inquiry within an interdisciplinary context, this course guides students in the application of these skills to real-world examples requiring analysis and interpretation.


University of Vermont

Culture of Nature

Adrian Avakhiv

This course will offer an advanced introduction to current issues and debates at the intersection of environmental thought and cultural studies. The field of cultural studies – which studies the ways in which popular culture, media, the creative arts, and other forms of cultural activity interact with sociopolitical, economic, and technological developments – will be explored in terms of its potentials to address and contribute to the understanding of environmental issues and practices. We will study culture and cultural practices as both the medium through which and the terrain within which different ideas about people and nature, and different social and ecological relations, are articulated and contested. Through readings, discussion, and media viewing and analysis, we will explore and examine how ideas about nature and environmental issues are framed and represented by various media; how these images and representations are used and contested by different cultural communities; the ways in which environmental ideas circulate between the mass media and popular and alternative cultures in North America (and the world) today; the relationship between culture and environmental identity at local, regional, national, and transnational scales; and possibilities for cultivating a greener environmental culture in our lives and in the world at large.


Ursinus College

Animals and Society

Jonathan Clark

In recent years there has been an explosion of research in the humanities and social sciences on what has come to be called the animal question. This course introduces students to the interdisciplinary field of animal studies, with a particular focus on the sociological literature. Students will emerge from the course with a nuanced sociological understanding of some of the most controversial issues raised by our relationship with other animals. Among the issues we will explore are genetic engineering, factory farming, animal experimentation, and the war on “animal rights terrorism.”


Williams College

Senior Seminar in Environmental Studies

William Lynn

This class is focused on the ethics and meaning of nature-society relations, for example, ‘Conceptions of Nature’ and ‘Ethics and the Environment’.


York University

Human-Non-Human Animal Relations

Leesa Fawcett

This course dwells within the emergent field of animal studies, and will consider a diverse range of human relationship to other animals. The foundation of the course is a contemporary, post-Cartesian vision of animals, with an emphasis on the relational knowledge that is made about, and between, humans and other animals from a cultural and environmental studies perspective. The course enables students to develop a creative and rigorous engagement with some of the complex dimensions of such issues as: the historical and philosophical scope of animal studies; animal agency, sociality, and consciousness; animal representation in literature, the arts, and popular culture; animal advocacy, social movements and humane education; and animal questions in science and technology.

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