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Duluth Campus

Environment, Sustainability & Geography B.A.

Geography & Philosophy
College of Liberal Arts
  • Program Type: Baccalaureate
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2019
  • Required credits to graduate with this degree: 120
  • Required credits within the major: 44 to 45
  • Degree: Bachelor of Arts
The purpose of this degree is to prepare students to create sustainable communities for present and future generations. This program provides students with the tools to understand the physical and social systems of the earth to become informed change makers locally and globally. Sustainability challenges are all around us: from climate change, to vulnerabilities in the industrial food system, to the way we design cities. One of the fundamental hurdles in a transition toward sustainability is bridging the ecological and social sciences with decision-making. The program trains students to analyze the interwoven nature of social and ecological systems, and translate that knowledge into policies to enact change. Meaningful engagement with the world outside the classroom prepares students to comprehend and address these challenges. To this end, the program provides students with theoretical and hands-on instruction in ecological and social processes, mentoring, as well as opportunities for professional and real-world experiences through internships and applied research. The program has three tracks that students may choose from: 1) Environment and Sustainability, 2) Geography, 3) Urban and Regional Studies.
Program Delivery
This program is available:
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Admission Requirements
For information about University of Minnesota admission requirements, visit the Office of Admissions website.
General Requirements
The Board of Regents, on recommendation of the faculty, grants degrees from the University of Minnesota. Requirements for an undergraduate degree from University of Minnesota Duluth include the following:
  1. Students must meet all course and credit requirements of the departments and colleges or schools in which they are enrolled including an advanced writing course. Students seeking two degrees must fulfill the requirements of both degrees. However, two degrees cannot be awarded for the same major.
  2. Students must complete all requirements of the Liberal Education Program.
  3. Students must complete a minimum of 120 semester credits.
  4. At least 30 of the last 60 degree credits earned immediately before graduation must be awarded by UMD.
  5. Students must complete at least half of their courses at the 3xxx-level and higher at UMD. Study-abroad credits earned through courses taught by UM faculty and at institutions with which UMD has international exchange programs may be used to fulfill this requirement.
  6. If a minor is required, students must take at least three upper division credits in their minor field from UMD.
  7. The minimum cumulative UM GPA required for graduation will be 2.00 and will include only University of Minnesota coursework. A minimum UM GPA of 2.00 is required in each UMD undergraduate major and minor. No academic unit may impose higher grade point standards to graduate.
  8. Diploma, transcripts, and certification will be withheld until all financial obligations to the University have been met.
Program Requirements
1) A second field of study (either a minor, another major or dual degree). 2) Study abroad is encouraged for all students and the department makes every effort to facilitate such experiences.
First Term Requirement (1 cr)
Transfer students with 24 or more credits and current UMD students who change colleges to CLA are exempt from this requirement. New first-year students with 24 or more PSEO credits may request to be waived from this requirement.
UST 1000 - UMD Seminar (1.0-2.0 cr)
Core Requirements (16 cr)
ES 2005 - Environment and Sustainability [SUSTAIN] (3.0 cr)
ES 4612 - Field Techniques and Research Design (3.0 cr)
GEOG 1205 - Our Globalizing World [SOC SCI, GLOBAL PER] (3.0 cr)
GEOG 1414 - Physical Geography [LE CAT4, NAT SCI, SUSTAIN] (4.0 cr)
GIS 2552 - Mapping Our World [LOGIC & QR] (3.0 cr)
Advanced Writing Requirement (3 cr)
WRIT 31xx - Adv Writing (3 cr)
Electives (9 cr)
To fulfill this requirement students propose 3 courses related to their major for at least 9 credits. Students must consult with their adviser before proposing their elective courses. No more than 3 credits at the 2xxx level. No more than 3 credits of independent study, teaching assistant, honors projects in the following courses: ES 4091, 4910, 4999; GEOG 3991, 4910, 4999, 5991; URS 3991, 4910, 4999. Proposal form found here: z.umn.edu/umdclaprograms
(ESG proposed course)
Program Sub-plans
Students are required to complete one of the following sub-plans.
Environment and Sustainability
This track emphasizes the ecological and societal dimensions of sustainability, specifically, the food-energy-water nexus. Students develop the skills to create solutions that meet material human needs while preserving natural resources and ecosystems.
Core (9 cr)
ES 3100 - Sustainable Food Systems [SUSTAIN] (3.0 cr)
GEOG 3461 - Geography of Global Resources [SUSTAIN] (3.0 cr)
GEOG 3401 - Weather and Climate (3.0 cr)
or GEOG 4446 - Water Processes and Management (3.0 cr)
Internship (3 cr)
ES 4097 - Internship (3.0 cr)
Capstone (3 cr)
ES 4005 - Environmental Policy (3.0 cr)
Geography
This track emphasizes a holistic and spatial approach to both human and physical systems. Students explore how humans transform the earth, with an emphasis on three broad streams of geographic thought: human-environment interaction, human systems, and physical systems.
Core (9 - 10 cr)
Human-environment Interaction
GEOG 2306 - Environmental Conservation [LE CAT8, SUSTAIN] (3.0 cr)
or GEOG 3411 - Human Environment Interactions (3.0 cr)
Human Systems
GEOG 2313 - Economic Geography [LE CAT6, SOC SCI] (3.0 cr)
or GEOG 3334 - Urban Geography (3.0 cr)
or GEOG 4393 - Political Geography (3.0 cr)
Physical Systems
GEOG 3401 - Weather and Climate (3.0 cr)
or GEOG 4446 - Water Processes and Management (3.0 cr)
or GEOG 4451 - The Geography of Soils (4.0 cr)
Internship (3 cr)
GEOG 3997 - Internship (3.0 cr)
Capstone (3 cr)
GEOG 4803 - Geographic Thought (3.0 cr)
Urban and Regional Studies
This track emphasizes the social and cultural dimensions of urbanization, addressing how our increasingly urban world can organize in just and cohesive societies.
Core (9 cr)
ARTH 2300 - The City as a Work of Art [LE CAT9, LEIP CAT09, HUMANITIES] (3.0 cr)
GEOG 3334 - Urban Geography (3.0 cr)
GEOG 3335 - Urban Planning (3.0 cr)
Internship (3 cr)
URS 3097 - Internship in Urban and Regional Studies (1.0-6.0 cr)
Capstone (3 cr)
URS 4001 - Cities and Citizenship (3.0 cr)
 
More program views..
View college catalog(s):
· College of Liberal Arts

View sample plan(s):
· Enviro., Sustainability & Geog Sample Plan
· Environment and Sustainability
· Study Abroad (one term)
· Geography
· Urban and Regional Studies

View checkpoint chart:
· Environment, Sustainability & Geography B.A.
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UST 1000 - UMD Seminar
Credits: 1.0 -2.0 [max 2.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02403 - EHS 1000/UST 1000
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Facilitates the successful transition into college learning and student life at UMD. Credit will not be granted if already received for EHS 1000.
ES 2005 - Environment and Sustainability (SUSTAIN)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02630 - ES 1001/ES 2005
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
This course will cover human impacts on their natural environments (resource depletion and pollution) and the complex notion of Sustainable Development. Students will analyze resource depletion (i.e., fossil fuels, forests, fisheries, water and soil) and pollution (i.e., climate change, ocean acidification, and oceanic garbage patches and dead zones) trends over the past century to better understand our growing impacts on the natural environment. Students will also analyze a wide variety of solutions (i.e., local food systems, renewable energy systems and water systems) from the emerging field of Sustainable Development aimed at mitigating these alarming resources depletion and pollution trends. Finally, students will be introduced to policy considerations regarding the implementation of these solutions and new economic approaches to help transition from economic growth to Sustainable Development.
ES 4612 - Field Techniques and Research Design
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02629 - ES 4612/GEOG 4612
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
This course is an introduction to qualitative research methods in environmental sustainability, and is designed to equip students to plan, analyze, and present original research. Students will follow the complete research design process, including funding and grant proposals internal review board applications, and how to use these leverage employment and graduate school applications. Specifically, students will learn to collect data through interviews, focus groups, textual analysis, and participant observation; how to analyze data through these techniques; and how to prepare sound scientific arguments based on these analyses. Based on the collection of data throughout the semester students will produce original research that will be presented to the public. no grad credit
GEOG 1205 - Our Globalizing World (SOC SCI, GLOBAL PER)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
This course analyzes the relationship between the environment, economic development, culture, and politics by examining human geography in the context of global regions. This course introduces core concepts in human geography such as space, place, and scale, and globalization, and applies those concepts to understand the diversity of our globalizing world. Topics from the impact of climate change, to colonialism, the geography of agriculture, urbanization, geopolitics, and ethnic and national identities are explored.
GEOG 1414 - Physical Geography (LE CAT4, NAT SCI, SUSTAIN)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Periodic Fall, Spring & Summer
The environment is highly dynamic and is continually modified by human and environmental processes. This course examines these processes to better understand how the Earth's landscapes were formed and how they are currently being transformed. Specifically, students will understand the fundamental processes that govern the physical environment including Earth-sun relations, water resources, landforms, weather and climate, natural vegetation, and soils.
GIS 2552 - Mapping Our World (LOGIC & QR)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02628 - GIS 2552/GEOG 2552
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
This course starts with the definition of what a map is and considers maps as tools for communication. Students are led to explore the effects of scale, projection, cartographic symbolization and generalization on the mapping process and resulting digital databases. Students are introduced to spatial data models, types of spatial data and representation, and study alternative or non-tradition map representations provided by GIS and Remote Sensing. The course includes hands-on map activities; map reading/interpretation, map use, and map production where students will use their laptops to create online web mapping services.
ES 3100 - Sustainable Food Systems (SUSTAIN)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Historical and contemporary food systems within sustainability framework. Understands food within social, political, economic and environmental contexts. Looks at sustainable production, consumption and processing issues.
GEOG 3461 - Geography of Global Resources (SUSTAIN)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Spatial distribution and uses of global natural resources addressed through models of resource management, focusing on energy, non-fuel minerals, population, food, and technology. Theoretical approach and political perspective applied to trade, international economic development, and environmental issues. prereq: Minimum 30 credits or instructor consent
GEOG 3401 - Weather and Climate
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Weather and climate are critical to both Earth systems and human societies, yet they are frequently misunderstood. The goal of this course is to develop a scientific understanding of atmospheric processes and how they are responsible for weather events and climatic patterns. Atmospheric composition, structure, and motion are studied, along with precipitation processes, air masses, fronts, cyclonic storms, and the the distribution and classification of climates. prereq: 1414 or GEOL 1110 or 1130 or instructor consent
GEOG 4446 - Water Processes and Management
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Introduction to the surface water processes and water resources management, including precipitation, runoff generation, channel processes, spatial and temporal variations in water distribution, aspects of water quantity and quality, and watershed management problems. Prereq: Geog 1414 or Geol 1110 or Graduate students or Instructor consent.
ES 4097 - Internship
Credits: 3.0 [max 6.0]
Grading Basis: S-N only
Typically offered: Periodic Fall, Spring & Summer
Experience in the field of environment and sustainability with direct supervision in public agencies or relevant private firms. prereq: instructor consent; no grad credit
ES 4005 - Environmental Policy
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
This course explores the creation and implementation of environmental policy in the United States. Major environmental policies and laws at the federal and state level. Particular attention will be paid to air and water pollution, climate change, and natural resource use. pre-req: minimum 60 credits or instructor consent
GEOG 2306 - Environmental Conservation (LE CAT8, SUSTAIN)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
In order to adapt to and mitigate environmental challenges that are predicted to occur in the future, we must have a clear understanding of the physical, economic, societal, and political contexts that brought us to the present. This course examines the complexity of coupled social-ecological systems and the role that humans have played in changing the face of the Earth.
GEOG 3411 - Human Environment Interactions
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
This course examines the interactions between humans and their physical environments. Topics covered include the physical components of the natural environment, human population growth and movement, natural resource use, and human impact upon vegetation, soil, water, landforms and climate. pre-req: Minimum 30 credits or instructor consent
GEOG 2313 - Economic Geography (LE CAT6, SOC SCI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Contemporary geographic pattern analysis of production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. Development of geographic theories and models that attempt to explain spatial variations of economic activities such as agriculture, manufacturing, and trades and services.
GEOG 3334 - Urban Geography
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
As the world becomes more urbanized there seems to be less distinction between global problems and urban problems. Analysis of the relationship between urbanization and other aspects of our modern world such as economic globalization, increased levels of international migration, and warfare. Examine how global dilemmas can be seen in the national and international issues. Pay particular attention to the everyday struggles that occur in the households and neighborhoods of cities as people attempt to care for themselves and their families in this rapidly changing world. prereq: Minimum 30 credits or instructor consent
GEOG 4393 - Political Geography
Credits: 3.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
This course examines the geography of social power from international geopolitics, to protest politics in public space, to theories of hetero-normativity and patriarchy. The central focus of this course is the spatial organization of politics, i.e., how people organize themselves into groups, and how those groups police themselves and vie with each other in various places and at multiple scales. prereq: Minimum 60 credits including or instructor consent
GEOG 3401 - Weather and Climate
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Weather and climate are critical to both Earth systems and human societies, yet they are frequently misunderstood. The goal of this course is to develop a scientific understanding of atmospheric processes and how they are responsible for weather events and climatic patterns. Atmospheric composition, structure, and motion are studied, along with precipitation processes, air masses, fronts, cyclonic storms, and the the distribution and classification of climates. prereq: 1414 or GEOL 1110 or 1130 or instructor consent
GEOG 4446 - Water Processes and Management
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Introduction to the surface water processes and water resources management, including precipitation, runoff generation, channel processes, spatial and temporal variations in water distribution, aspects of water quantity and quality, and watershed management problems. Prereq: Geog 1414 or Geol 1110 or Graduate students or Instructor consent.
GEOG 4451 - The Geography of Soils
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
This course gives students a fundamental understanding of the soil as a living resource. The course covers basic soil science and the critical need for sustainable soil management in the context of current agricultural and climate change. The course includes outdoor field excursions, hands-on soil study both in the field and in the lab. Course includes a weekend field trip. prereq: 1414 or Geol 1110 or grad student or instructor consent
GEOG 3997 - Internship
Credits: 3.0 [max 6.0]
Grading Basis: S-N only
Typically offered: Periodic Fall, Spring & Summer
Experience in the field of geography with direct supervision in public agencies or relevant private firms. prereq: 60 credits completed and instructor consent
GEOG 4803 - Geographic Thought
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Development and significance of geographic concepts and thought. History and intellectual roots of contemporary geography, geographers, and geographic institutions. prereq: 60 credits or grad student or instructor consent
ARTH 2300 - The City as a Work of Art (LE CAT9, LEIP CAT09, HUMANITIES)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
The city as a work of art and center of culture. A study of artistic representations combined with references to primary texts. Use of case studies of particular urban centers to explore the rise of the city and the history of urban planning around the globe.
GEOG 3334 - Urban Geography
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
As the world becomes more urbanized there seems to be less distinction between global problems and urban problems. Analysis of the relationship between urbanization and other aspects of our modern world such as economic globalization, increased levels of international migration, and warfare. Examine how global dilemmas can be seen in the national and international issues. Pay particular attention to the everyday struggles that occur in the households and neighborhoods of cities as people attempt to care for themselves and their families in this rapidly changing world. prereq: Minimum 30 credits or instructor consent
GEOG 3335 - Urban Planning
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Urban planning explores the purpose, practice, and theories of modern community planning for the promotion of social and economic well-being. The causes of urban problems, and the tools planners can use to solve them will be investigated. Special focus will be paid to citizen participation and how the voices of community members can be heard in the planning process. prereq: Minimum 30 credits
URS 3097 - Internship in Urban and Regional Studies
Credits: 1.0 -6.0 [max 8.0]
Grading Basis: S-N only
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Scheduled assignments with direct supervision in public agencies or relevant private firms. prereq: URS major, jr or sr, instructor consent
URS 4001 - Cities and Citizenship
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
This course explores the relationship between urbanization and democracy by examining how urban policy is created in cities around the world. The course examines the questions given the increasing pace of urban growth and the growing multiculturalism in cities around the word, how are cities responding, and how are community voices being included in the decision making process? Particular attention will be paid to infrastructure, transportation, participatory democracy, sustainability and urban resiliency, urban activism, tensions between the urban, national, and global scales, multiculturalism, and modernization. no grad credit