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CLUSTER OPTIONS

The intent of the minor is to expose students with science related backgrounds (majors) to humanities and social science and tvice versa.

EXAMPLE CLUSTER OPTIONS FOR DIFFERENT MAJORS

The minor is flexible to suit your personal interests. There are as many options as there are students. You can look at some examples of students from different majors by following the links below. After you’ve looked at them, why don't you try to compose one for yourself! Look at the course list and see which courses you have already taken and find courses that interest you!

FOCUS AREAS WITHIN THE MINOR: CLUSTER OPTIONS

The minor has five areas of specialization. Students can select from one of five course clusters options. The focus of each cluster option is described below.

A. Biodiversity and Ecosystems
This specialization prepares a student to learn about the importance of biodiversity in ecosystems. Over the last 100 years, humans have dramatically reduced the biodiversity on the earth primarily through loss of habitat. To reduce the pressure on the world’s biological resources will take political will, scientific research and creativity in planning. A central focus is on developing effective understanding of land management practices that can enhance the prospects for biological diversity. (View courses for cluster)

B.Environment and Society
This specialization provides insights into the debates and challenges about the distribution and utilization of the world’s environmental resources. All people deserve to live in a safe environment regardless of their income, skin color, religion or gender. Yet, many of the poorest people in the world live in unsafe environmental contexts. Research in many different fields of social science, as well as ethical research, is required to understand how to promote and achieve environmental justice. (View courses for cluster)

C. Environmental Explorations
This specialization scrutinizes the range of debates, practices and possibilities guiding discussions of how to achieve equitable and sustainable development. Global and national discussions are beginning to probe how we can move toward a future where resources are more effectively utilized and the environment is maintained while achieving well being for the whole world. A cross-disciplinary approach is necessary to promote an understanding of these broad discussions. (View courses for cluster)

D. Ideas About the Environment
This specialization engages the philosophical and political challenges underpinning concerns of modern environmentalism. People have always contemplated the meaning of the world around them and the ways in which their reality is shaped by the environment. The meaning and value of the “environment” therefore depends on a person’s range of understandings, ideas, and representations about the physical world. To operate effectively, civil society must be based on open discussions including environmental concerns, and this requires basic levels of ecological literacy. (View courses for cluster)

E. Water Resources
This specialization emphasizes basic literacy required to understand the debates surrounding water as a resource and offers insights into what people can do to protect and maintain its integrity on a worldwide basis. Water and water resources are central to human life, and yet modern industrialization and human settlement patterns are creating untenable competition for water between humans, and other flora and fauna. Basic science is required to ascertain problems of supply. Social science understanding is required to understand challenges facing water supply and utilization and the search for wise utilization of the world’s water resources. (View courses for cluster)

F. Human Settlements
This specialization examines human settlement patterns and their interaction with the environment. Particular emphasis is placed on patterns of development, human movement and migration patterns, as well as environmental impacts. As population increases worldwide, land is increasingly taxed beyond proper capacity. Zoning regulations, suburban sprawl, and uneven settlement that replaces fertile agricultural land have all become major issues within the policy spectrum that must be dealt with to ensure a positive future for the entire world population. (View courses for cluster)

G. Energy Resources
This specialization offers a glimpse into the emerging technology that exists in the energy sector. As the worldwide supply of fossil fuels diminishes, and the demand for those fuels increases, new energy technology must be developed to power our planet. In recent years, energy sustainability and the use of infinite resources have been considered serious options for the first time. Thus, this cluster option employs an interdisciplinary strategy with the goal of educating individuals on a broad-range of emerging technologies in relation to energy resources. (View courses for cluster)