[F&ES 831b] / 2014-2015

Society and Natural Resources 

Credits: 1-3

Spring 2015: Time and location TBA


This research seminar explores the relationship between society and natural resources in a genuinely interdisciplinary manner. Although the specific topic of the seminar varies from year to year, the consistent underlying theme is an examination of how societies organize themselves, use natural resources, and affect their environment. In past years, the seminar focused on energy and the environment, interdisciplinary problem solving, and other topics. Last year’s seminar was on environmental psychology and sociology. It draws upon literature from psychology and sociology to deepen our understanding of intrapersonal, interpersonal, and human-nature relationships. Using literature reviews, case studies, guest speakers, our own self-examination, and research, we analyze how people’s construction of self and “worldviews/window on the world” affect their decisions about their lives, nature, and the environment. Improvement and sustainability rest on change in ourselves and in other people. We focus on leadership (the lead and leader’s relationships), too. Guests and students make presentations and participate in discussions each week. Readings, active participation, and student papers are required. The seminar overall looks at people seeking values using natural resources through institutions. This relationship (people, values, natural resources, and institutions) has been extensively written about and discussed in diverse fields. A few years ago, the seminar examined the relationship of human dignity as a universal value goal, professionalism and practice, and sustainability as an applied notion. Other versions of the seminar have looked at conceptual (theoretical) models about society and natural resources from policy sciences, social ecology, political ecology, and other knowledge areas. Still other seminars focused on “Bridging Local and Professional Knowledge in Environmental Sustainability” and “War and the Environment.” Topic for this years seminar to be determined.


F&ES 831 is a prerequisite for:
F&ES 952: Property Rights and Natural Resource Management
F&ES 952: Property Rights and Natural Resource Management