Surge Seen in Number of Students Minoring in Environmental Studies
Christine Clark | December 14, 2009
The number of UC San Diego students minoring in environmental studies has doubled in the past year to 60. The minor was established nearly two decades ago in John Muir College, one of the university’s six colleges, to give a broad interdisciplinary perspective on the environmental aspects of any field of study. Students can choose between an academic track that emphasizes natural sciences or another that emphasizes the social sciences and humanities.
From left, Adrian Chiang, Katie Merrill, Jack Buchanan, Eric Martin, and Yohan Penny pose for a photo at the entrance to the John Muir Wilderness that would lead to the Cottonwood Lakes. The trip was one of the off-campus outings offered in May 2009 as part of the Wilderness and Human Values course at UC San Diego.
“The environment is one of a handful of the defining challenges of our time,” said John Muir College Provost Susan Smith. “Every citizen needs to be educated about the environment and our students are especially interested. They want to know more and do more to help protect the environment.”
This academic year, a course inspired by naturalist John Muir, “Wilderness and Human Values,” was added to the curriculum to explore the meaning of wilderness and nature today. “It was great to take a course that involved field work and outdoor trips,” said Nick Starvos, a junior at Sixth College who is an environmental studies minor.
Muir College also added “Global Carbon Science and Politics — The Road from Copenhagen” for winter quarter and enrollment quickly hit the maximum of 60 students. The class examines global carbon science and international politics of climate change negotiations as they’re happening.
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