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2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog | 20253

Goal Area 10: People of the Environment


    One course
    Three credits


To improve students' understanding of today's complex environmental challenges. Students will examine the interrelatedness of human society and the natural environment. Knowledge of both bio-physical principles and socio-cultural systems is the foundation for integrative and critical thinking about environmental issues.

Critical Thinking

The practice of critical thinking skills associated with environmental awareness, including ability to gather and apply factual information, recognition and articulation of the value assumptions made by ourselves and others, consciousness of possible bias in factual information.

Student Competencies

Students will be able to:

  • 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.

Courses that satisfy this goal area include:

         BIOL 1120 General Biology: Evolution And Ecology (3 credits) 
         BIOL 2925 People of the Environment: Biological Perspectives (3 credits)
         COMM 3400 Environmental Communication (3 credits)
         ECON 3925 People of the Environment: Economic Perspective (3 credits)
         ENGL 2925 People of the Environment: American Nature Writers Perspective (3 credits)
         ENVR 2000 Introduction to Environmental Science (3 credits)
         ENVR 2925 People of the Environment: Sustainability Perspective (3 credits)
         GEOG 1400 World Regional Geography (3 credits)
         GEOG 2100 Introduction to Physical Geography (3 credits)
         GEOG 2925 People of the Environment: Geography Perspective (3 credits)
         GEOG 3125 Weather and Climate (3 credits)
         GEOL 1110 Physical Geology (4 credits)
         HLTH 2925 People of the Environment: A Health Perspective (3 credits)
         INST 2925 People of the Environment: Indigenous Knowledge Perspective (3 credits)
         MASC 2925 People of the Environment: Mass Media Perspectives (3 credits)
         MATH 1120 Environmental Mathematics (3 credits)
         *PHED 2925 People of the Environment: Outdoor Ethics/Recreational Activity Perspective (3 credits)
         PSY 2925 People of the Environment: Psychology Perspective (4 credits)
         SOC 3925 People of the Environment: Sociology Perspective (3 credits)
         SCI 1110 Exploring Science (4 credits)    

All-University course numbers 1958 and 2958 are available to any department for use as study-travel courses, subject to approval, and will satisfy this goal area (also requires approval by the People of the Environment director).

*This course will satisfy Liberal Education at BSU, but does not qualify for inclusion in the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum as currently interpreted by Minnesota State, and may not be accepted as a Liberal Education course at other Minnesota State institutions or the University of Minnesota.