ESPM 1012H Environmental Science & Society
In ESPM1012H, we will address a selection of current environmental issues that affect our daily lives and examine the interaction between science and society. We will explore the roles science, technology, economics, policy, and ethics all play in addressing environmental issues, and discuss the limitations of technological solutions and the constraints of policy on science. Additionally, students will learn how to identify credible sources of information concerning the environment and critically evaluate different solutions. Unlike topics taught in most introductory classes, the field of Environmental Science is so broad that it is likely different students will leave the course with different knowledge sets: this course will not focus primarily on learning facts but more on understanding broader concepts. Topics addressed in class will cover current issues at the local and regional level, but also at the national and global scale. The course is intended for undergraduate honors students from all disciplines with varying scientific backgrounds. This course meets the University of Minnesota's common goals of liberal education by encouraging students to think ethically about the environmental challenges facing society, teaching them to apply their acquired knowledge in solving those challenges, and instilling in them a sense of shared responsibility for ensuring intergenerational equity of our natural resources.