Environmental Psychology (ENVS 3031)
Humans have a complicated relationship with the natural environment. For many, the natural world inspires creativity, spirituality, and meaning in life. Natural resources support the livelihoods of billions of people around the world. Yet, humans have profoundly shaped our planet and current patterns of human behavior are leading to environmental degradation and instability in the earth’s climate. What are the psychological, social conditions, and physical conditions that lead us to behave the way that we do? How can these insights be incorporated into approaches and policies that will protect the well-being of people and the environment? This course covers theory, research, and methods from the field of Environmental Psychology. We examine how individuals and groups make decisions that impact the environment, and how the environment shapes those decisions. We also discuss methodologies that allow us to better understand and predict human behavior, including survey design, behavioral experiments, and an introduction to analyzing social scientific data.
Environment and Development in South Asia (ENVS 4800)
Asia is a region with immense biological and cultural diversity; yet it is also a region that, housing one-half of the world's poor, exemplifies the tensions between environmental sustainability, economic development, and human well-being. Are these tensions inevitable? Is it possible to lift people out of poverty without exhausting natural resources or sacrificing the integrity of the natural environment? We will explore these questions using the highly diverse and rapidly developing region of South Asia as a case study. In this course, we will examine how nations and communities have responded to social and environmental challenges in the past, such as natural hazards, poverty, overcrowding, and habitat destruction. Drawing from past successes and failures, we will also discuss opportunities for addressing emerging environmental and social problems in the future.
Survey Research and Design (ENVS 5210)
This course is a graduate-level introduction to survey design, implementation and analysis. We will cover topics such as writing survey questions, modes of data collection, cognitive interviewing, sampling, reliability and validity, handling missing data, data management, scale construction, and common analysis techniques used with survey data.