Environmental Policy and Planning B.A. & B.S.

We as a society depend on and value the environment for basic services such as food production, climate regulation, and recreation.  In turn, societies have a significant impact on the environment, which in turn, can have significant economic and quality of life impacts.  However, environmental problems are often difficult to resolve because they are embedded in a complex mesh of economics, politics, culture, and behavior. In order to address environmental problems in the future, we will need citizens who understand the human dimensions of these issues. The purpose of this new major in Environmental Policy and Planning is to provide students with an opportunity to concentrate on the related social science and policy dimensions of environmental problems.

The major integrates a group of courses to comprise a coherent approach to the study of the human dimensions of environmental problems. The major provides a recognizable, meaningful label to a concentration of courses that are customized by the student, thus making graduates viable as potential employees or candidates for graduate education. The major is managed by the Department of Geographical and Sustainability Sciences.

The Environmental Policy and Planning major is offered as a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) within the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

Click here for the Environmental Policy & Planning major tracking sheet. 

Requirements

Students will take a common core of courses in anthropology, economics, geographical and sustainability sciences, and political science. Then, students choose between the Planning and Policy tracks. Each track has one course required for all and a selection of courses from which students pick an additional three. The Planning track has courses primarily in geographical and sustainability sciences and in urban and regional planning. The Policy track has courses primarily in political science and geographical and sustainability sciences.

Students who earn a second major in anthropology, geography, political science, or history must complete a minimum of 12 s.h. of course work in the second major that they do not also count toward the major in environmental policy and planning. The 12 s.h. of courses must be offered by the second major's administrative home: anthropology (prefix ANTH), geographical and sustainability sciences (prefix GEOG), or political science (prefix POLI). This requirement applies whether students earn the same degree (B.A. or B.S.) with both majors or earn a B.A. with one major and a B.S. with the other. However, honors students in environmental policy and planning may count their honors thesis credit toward this 12 s.h. requirement.

Students may not use a course to satisfy more than one requirement of the major.

EPPL majors: How to get a minor in Geography

EPPL majors: How to get a minor in Geographical Information Science (GISci)

The B.A. with a major in environmental policy and planning requires the following course work: 

Introductory Courses 17-18 
Intermediate Courses  12
Methods Courses 7-8  
Capstone Course/Research Project 1-4 
Track Courses 12 
Total Hours 49-56

The B.S. with a major in environmental policy and planning requires the following course work:

Introductory Courses 17-18
Intermediate Courses  12 
Methods Courses 13-14 
Capstone Course/Research Project 1-4 
Track Courses 12 
Total Hours 55-62

 

Introductory Courses (B.A. and B.S.)

Requirements for B.S. and B.A.
All of these:    
ECON:1100 Principles of Microeconomics 4
ENVS:2010 Interdisciplinary Environmental Seminar 1
GEOG:1070 Contemporary Environmental Issues 3
GEOG:2013/BUS:2013/URP:2013  Introduction to Sustainability  3
One of these:    
GEOG:1046/ANTH:1046/GWSS:1046  Environmental Politics in India 3
ANTH:2261 Human Impacts on the Environment 3
One of these:    
EES:1080/ENVS:1080 Introduction to Environmental Science 3-4
EES:1085/ENVS:1085 Fundamentals of Environmental Science 4
GEOG:1020 The Global Environment 3

Intermediate Courses (B.A. and B.S.)

Requirements for B.S. and B.A.
Two of these:    
POLI:1400 Introduction to Comparative Politics
POLI:3111 American Public Policy
GEOG:3400 Iowa Environmental Policy in Practice
GEOG:3780/GHS:3780 U.S. Energy Policy in Global Context
HIST:3230 American Environmental History
One of these:    
ANTH:3103 Environment and Culture 3
GEOG:3300 Envisioning Future Worlds: Sustainable Development and Its Alternatives  3  
NAIS:1290 Native American Foods and Foodways
One of these:    
CNW:2740 The Art and Craft of Writing about the Environment
JMC:1800 Environmental Communication
RHET:3560 Public Policy and Persuasion
RHET:3700 Advocacy and Sustainability: Crafting Stories of People, Place, and Resilience 3

Methods Courses (B.A. only)

Requirements for Methods Courses.
This course:    
GEOG:1050 Foundations of GIS
One of these:    
GEOG:1065 Introduction to Spatial Analysis: Patterns and Processes 3
STAT:1020/PSQF:1020 Elementary Statistics and Inference
STAT:1030 Statistics for Business
STAT:2010 Statistical Methods and Computing
STAT:2020 Probability and Statistics for the Engineering and Physical Sciences 3
STAT:3510 Biostatics
STAT:4143/PSQF:4143 Introduction to Statistical Methods

Methods Courses (B.S. only)

Requirements for Methods Courses.
All of these:    
GEOG:1050 Foundations of GIS 4
GEOG:3520 GIS for Environmental Studies 3
STAT:2010 Statistical Methods and Computing  3
One of these:    
STAT:3120/IGPI:3120 Probability and Statistics  4
POLI:3000 Analyzing Political Data
ANTH:5110 Anthropological Data Analysis 
STAT:4143/PSQF:4143 Introduction to Statistical Methods 

 

Capstone Course/Research Project (B.A. and B.S.)

Students complete a capstone course or research project requirement. Capstone or research project courses are typically taken by students during their senior year. Students who choose GEOG:3992 Undergraduate Research must make arrangements with a faculty advisor.

One of these:    
ENVS:3010/EES:3010/GEOG:3003 Interdisciplinary Environmental Seminar 1
GEOG:3992 Undergraduate Research (consult advisor)
Honors students choose from the following options:     
One of these:    
GEOG:4995 Honors Thesis  3
POLI:4601 Honors Senior Thesis
ANTH:4995 Honors Research Seminar 
Or, both of these:    
HIST:3995 History Honors Research Seminar 
HIST:3996 Honors Thesis  3

 

Tracks (B.A. and B.S.)

Students choose either the Planning Track or the Policy Track and complete their track's required course work.

Planning Track

The planning track requires 12 s.h. Some of these courses have prerequisites; students must complete all of a course's prerequisites before they may register for the course or seek permission of the instructor.

Requirements for Planning Track.
One of these:    
ECON:3625/URP:3135 Environmental and Natural Resource Economics 3
GEOG:3800 Environmental Economics and Policy 3
Three of these:    
ECON:3640/URP:3134 Regional and Urban Economics
GEOG:2410 Environment and Development
GEOG:2930 Water Resources
GEOG:3210/OEH:3210 Health, Work, and the Environment
GEOG:3315 Ecosystem Ecology 3
GEOG:3340 Ecosystem Services: Human Dependence on Natural Systems 3
GEOG:3350 Urban Ecology 3
GEOG:3400 Iowa Environmental Policy in Practice 3
GEOG:3760/GHS:3760 Hazards and Society
GEOG:4770 Environmental Justice 3
NAIS:1290/AMST:1290/GHS:1290/HIST:1290 Native American Foods and Foodways 
URP:3001/GEOG:3920 Planning Livable Cities 3
URP:3350/ECON:3750/GEOG:3940 Transportation Economics

Policy Track

The policy track requires 12 s.h. Some of these courses have prerequisites; students must complete all of a course's prerequisites before they may register for the course.

Requirements for Policy Track.
One of these:    
GEOG:4750 Environmental Impact Analysis
POLI:2417 Comparative Environmental Policy 
Three of these:    
ANTH:3237/MUSM:3237 Politics of the Archeological Past
ANTH:3240 Cultural Resources Management Archeology: Practice and Practicalities
CPH:3400/GEOG:3210 Health, Work, and the Environment
GEOG:2331 Human Dimensions of Climate
GEOG:3400 Iowa Environmental Policy in Practice
HIST:3230 American Environmental History
NAIS:1290/AMST:1290/GHS:1290/HIST:1290 Native American Foods and Foodways 
POLI:3100 American State Politics
POLI:3102 The U.S. Congress
POLI:3110 Local Politics
POLI:3111 American Public Policy
POLI:3117 Bureaucratic Politics and Public Administration 
POLI:3118 Interest Groups
POLI:3123 State Politics in Iowa (section EXW)
POLI:3126 Environmental Policy
POLI:3204/SOC:3525 Public Opinion
POLI:3424 Global Development
POLI:3408 Chinese Politics and Society

The course POLI:3125 Perspectives on Contemporary Iowa must be taken concurrently with POLI:3124 Political Science Des Moines Internship Program. Credit from POLI:3124 does not count toward the major.

Courses may not be used to satisfy more than one requirement. * For the policy electives, the course POLI:3125 Perspectives on Contemporary Iowa must be taken concurrently with POLI:3124 Political Science Des Moines Internship Program. Credit from POLI:3124 does not count toward the major

Majors in Environmental Policy & Planning may minor in Anthropology, Geography, Political Science, or Geographic Information Science (among others); no more than 6 sh can count toward both the major and the minor.

Honors in the Major

Students have the opportunity to graduate with honors in the major. Honors students in the program must maintain a cumulative UI g.p.a. of at least 3.33 and a g.p.a. of at least 3.33 in all work for the major. They must be admitted to the major's honors program by the first semester of their senior year or earlier.

Honors students pursue study beyond the typical undergraduate level. They work under the direction of a faculty member to conduct original research and then prepare and present an honors thesis based on their research. The thesis is reviewed by a committee of at least three faculty members. Students earn credit for the thesis by registering for GEOG:4995 Honors Thesis or POLI:4601 Honors Senior Thesis, or for both ANTH:4995 Honors Research Seminar and ANTH:4996 Honors Research.