Become a steward of sustainability
Become a steward of sustainability
Become a steward of sustainability
As a student within the Environmental Studies concentration, you will be on the forefront of global conservation and environmental efforts, while learning the critical skills necessary to become advocates and eco-citizens. Economic, political, ethical, and social dynamics are all explored in the context of environmental stewardship.
Our approach to learning and teaching is reflective, experiential, and engaging, led by experienced faculty who demonstrate mastery in their professions. We combine academic instruction and hands-on experience to build important intellectual and professional tools centered around six core purposes – Critical Thinking, Diverse Perspectives, Social Justice, Applied Learning, Communication, and Self-Awareness – designed to graduate globally-aware citizens, socially-responsible leaders, and highly marketable graduates. Learn more
The Environmental Studies concentration explores numerous disciplines, including global studies, psychology, business, and multiculturalism, within experiential and engaging coursework.
Students are strongly encouraged to complete several of the following courses (chosen in consultation with an Academic Advisor):
ECO 300 Ecopsychology (3)Ecopsychology recognizes the complex interconnection, interaction, and interdependence among living and non-living nature. It is a cross-pollination among the sciences and humanities that provides a critical and necessary understanding that the well-being, the flourishing of the planet and that of the human and non- human world must include sustainable and mutually enhancing relationships. This course will emphasizes the relationships between personal, community, organizational, economic, social, ecological and ethical issues.
|Environmental Justice and Advocacy
ECO 301 Environmental Justice and Advocacy (3)In this course, students explore fundamental environmental justice issues and effective means of advocacy. Environmental Justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. Environmental justice is achieved when everyone – regardless of race, color, national origin, or income – has the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards and equal access to the decision-making process. Students will gain awareness of environmental justice issues and examine case studies from around the world. This course satisfies the Ethics requirement.
ECO 302 Marine Ecology (3)This course is designed to give students an interdisciplinary perspective of marine science focusing on organisms, ecosystems, currents, and future environmental problems our oceans face, such as ocean acidification. Organisms in the sea will be discussed, including microbes, algae, invertebrates, fishes, reptiles, birds, and mammals. The ecology of plants and animals in various marine habitats, including rocky shores, estuaries, open ocean and deep sea, will be covered. Included topics are the natural history of Santa Barbara oceanic habitats and the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.
ECO 304 Conservation Biology (3)Conservation biology is an interdisciplinary science that focuses on conservation of biological diversity at gene, population, species, ecosystem, landscape, and global levels. This course provides an overview of the discipline including the causes and consequences of biodiversity loss, established and emerging conservation approaches and strategies, and the ecological and evolutionary theory that underlies these approaches.
|Natural History of Santa Barbara
ECO 305 Natural History of Santa Barbara (3)This course examines local habitats in the Santa Barbara region, including sloughs, chaparral, streams, and gardens. Research and observational techniques will focus on contemporary ecological problems in diverse habitats, exploring solutions that emerge. This course incorporates knowledge of flora, vertebrate and invertebrate fauna, geology, chemistry, and ecological restoration and will include field work at various habitats.
ECO 306 Animal Ethics (3)What is our ethical responsibility to animals? This course will focus on that central question as we explore how non-human animals are viewed within our dominant Western paradigm, and look at alternative cultural and philosophical perspectives that challenge this paradigm. The field of animal ethics has emerged as a response to the profound impact of human practices on other species. Key areas of debate in the field of animal ethics will be covered and students will be encouraged to apply critical analysis and ethical reasoning to issues such as animal rights, speciesism, animal welfare, eating animals and animal experimentation.
ECO 320 Sustainable Aid (3)In this class, students will explore sustainable aid initiatives globally that focus on communities, countries, and ecosystems and empower people within their habitat. Sustainable aid is a pattern of resource use that aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to come. Sustainable aid can be grass roots oriented, using bottom-up approaches, involving constant conversation with aid recipients and using their feedback. Students will learn about sustainable aid in the context of collaborative, honest, realistic situations on the ground. We will focus on case studies that are mission-driven, people-oriented, marketable and scalable, well-managed and financed.
|Global Environmental Studies
ECO 345 Global Environmental Studies (3)The goal of this course is to give students an appreciation and understanding of the natural world. From the local scale to the global scale, we will use several approaches in our study of the science of ecology, and in the process, learn something of the natural history of the Santa Barbara area and the global processes important in controlling such phenomena as global warming. The course will include one mandatory all-day field trip.
ECO 350 Anthrozoology (3)This course explores the interdisciplinary field of Anthrozoology from a multidisciplinary perspective. Anthrozoology is the study of the many different ways in which human and non-human animals relate to each other and impact each others’ lives. Topics covered in this course represent an overview of current issues in Human-Animal Studies. This includes humans’ relationships with pets, psychological and physiological benefits of companion animals, concern for animal rights and animal welfare, the link between cruelty to animals and violence toward humans, individual differences in people’s relationships with animals, and a review of moral and ethical concerns about eating meat, wearing fur, and the use of animals for research and entertainment. This course uses sociological, psychological, historical, cultural and environmental perspectives to examine the human-other animal bond.
|Sustainable Business Practices
ECO 376 Sustainable Business Practices (3)In this course students explore sustainability issues and challenges affecting new and existing businesses in today’s global market. Environmental, social, ethical and cultural perspectives are addressed, and their impact on effective sustainable business management. Students reflect upon the truth about green business, carbon foot printing, green marketing, green management and finance. Students gain awareness of the potential for a paradigmatic shift in resource management, and sustainability frameworks and explore zero waste concepts. Students investigate multiple global approaches to sustainable business management and gain a solid understanding of managing without growth and a steady state economy that lead to effective integration of social, ecological and economic realities.
|Internship with Environmental Organization
To be determined with academic advisor.
COM 323 Social Media (3)The emergence and diffusion of technology has provided us with two different realms to reside in: the real world and the social media world. Social media has drastically changed how we communicate with each other, from societal to individual levels. The question we will examine in this course is how do social media shape our lives and more importantly, how do we want it to shape our lives? This course examines different theoretical and practical approaches in understanding the effects of social media in our media saturated world. We will discuss how social media affects perceptions, relationships, education, business, global, and our identity.
|Social Justice Documentary Filmmaking
COM 330 Social Justice Documentary Filmmaking (3)Documentaries are powerful tools in accomplishing social justice work. They not only tell the story of the injustice and its impact but can bring about awareness and change through informing and mobilizing others. In addition, the advents of hand-held media devices like smart phones, have put the power of the media into nearly everyone’s hands. This class will focus on how to use documentary filmmaking to address social justice issues. Students will learn how to document people, places, and things around them, interpret the material gathered and produce a visual nonfiction story. We will focus on story structure and using simple and easy-to-access media tools for creating a short documentary.
COM 352 Public Speaking (3)This experience-based course in public speaking includes the preparation and presentation of a number of speeches. Topics include research, outlining, support of ideas, ethos, audience analysis, style and delivery. Students learn to evaluate critically their own speaking and that of others. Emphasis is on performance and improvement of targeted speech behaviors.
COM 355 Intercultural Communication (3)Technology has compressed the world into a global village composed of myriad international and non-dominant domestic cultures. Communication between cultures is essential but complicated by different contexts, values, expectations, and perceptions. This course examines different theoretical and practical approaches to the complexities of both verbal and non-verbal communication across cultures. Communication styles of various nationalities are examined along with such issues as dominance, gender, religion, prejudice, time, distance, and silence.
ENT 300 Entrepreneurship (3)This course provides students with an in-depth understanding of entrepreneurship, the entrepreneurial process, and the vital role played by entrepreneurs in the 21st century global economy. This is a project-based course, mixing theory with practice, and challenges students to (1) explore and critique case studies; (2) apply theoretical principles and concepts to real world ideas and situations; and (3) develop and articulate their own entrepreneurial vision.
|History of Globalization
GBL 300 History of Globalization (3)The goal of this course is to explore the history of globalization from several different angles to allow students to develop a strong foundation in knowledge about the different perspectives available in the scholarly community. Starting from a basic definition of globalization and developing critical thinking regarding the areas of global political influence, global military influence, and global economic influence in a historic sequence. Review of philosophies for each of the influence areas supported by group projects and interactive classroom activities will allow the students to get a broad overview of how globalization developed and why it has taken on such a dominant role in current global political and business discussions.
|Conflict Management I: Nature and Cause
GBL 314 Conflict Management I: Nature and Cause (3)An interdisciplinary examination of individual, group, organizational, national and transnational conflicts in the ‘Ages of Globalization and Terrorism.’ The world is irreversibly interdependent and marked by the free flow of capital, goods, people, knowledge and ideas, and at the same time subject to the increasingly turbulent forces of nationalism, ethnicity, religion and the spread of destructive technological capabilities (nuclear arms). By examining the root causes of conflict from the perspective of biology, psychology, economics and business, politics and technology, students will delve into the nature and sources of modern conflict, the strategies and tactics most often employed by disputants and the dynamic and structural forces that cause conflict to escalate, stalemate, deescalate and ultimately settle.
GBL 361 Global Economics (3)Beginning with a review of essential concepts in economics, this course focuses on the international and cross-cultural nature of contemporary economic phenomena. Emphasis is on macroeconomics, rather than microeconomics. Theoretical concepts are applied to specific cases, such as economic relationships between the US and Japan, Mexico, and other countries.
|Leadership & Project Management
MGT 322 Leadership & Project Management (3)Project management is a continuous challenge for most of us. We manage projects daily – social, academic, and/or professional. The recorded history of project management has changed from a time when only engineers were in charge of large-scale projects to what we experience today, where homemakers, students, community advocates, and all levels of business associates lead and support team projects. This course focuses on the essential aspects of project leadership and management, covering the six fundamentals of project management: defining the scope, initiating, planning, launching, executing, and closing the project. These fundamentals are viewed from both the perspectives of the project leader and the project member. Topics include the dimensions of leadership, determining the direction, scheduling, managing risk, and creating a healthy team environment.
|Organizational Strategy and Culture
MGT 374A Organizational Strategy and Culture (3)This course explores the improvement of organizations through planned, systematic, long- range efforts focused on the organization’s culture and its human and social processes. This exploration uses behavioral science techniques to diagnose current and potential organizational problems. The course then applies theory, practice and research to determine appropriate interventions to address the problem. Long-range strategies for prevention of future organizational problems are also discussed. The course will emphasize case studies and the use of role-playing by students to develop insights into the best use of interventions.
POL 347 Public Policy (3)This course examines the dynamics of public policy formation. Through reading case studies, interviewing public officials and private sector representatives and observing community groups and government agencies in action, students learn to analyze local issues. Students gain an understanding of the political process on state and federal levels as well as the local arena. Areas of analysis may include: local and/or national policies on business, labor, human services, energy and environment.
POL 392 Engaged Citizenship (3)This course is a combination of readings on the U.S. Constitution, governmental advocacy and a practical exercise in developing the knowledge of government at all levels and the skills necessary to influence it. Particular emphasis is placed on judicial constitutional applications and the actual participation in the governing process by advocacy of a specific issue in a governmental or community forum.
|Research Methods and Statistics
QNT 389 Research Methods and Statistics (3)This course provides an understanding of the importance of science research and covers research methodology including library searches, surveys, quasi-experimental, correlational, and experimental methods. Advantages and limitations of the various methodologies are explored. Students conduct a library search, design a mock experiment, and report the findings in APA format. Required of all students – maybe satisfied with transfer work.
Core Faculty & Chair, BA Program
Dawn received her PhD in Ocean Sciences from the UC Santa Cruz and is a lecturer in Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology.
Dr. Pye’s background consists of NPO and NGO environmental and marine conservation management (Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Terra Azul, Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures) and academic instruction.
Just a handful of the broad possibilities:
- Environmental Advocate
- Recycling Coordinator
- Energy or Water Conservationist
- Eco Systems and Habitat Restoration
- Outdoor Educator
Gain insight into the world of environmental health, natural resource conservation, outdoor education, environmental law and regulation, and environmental advocacy.
AUSB has a relationship with over 100 community organizations that provide service learning opportunities for students. The BA Service Learning requirement is met by completing 40 service hours with an approved non-profit agency.
Graduate School Opportunities
For students looking to continue on into a graduate program, AUSB’s BA-to-Graduate Pathway Program provides a seamless transition from the Environmental Studies concentration into one of several advanced degree options: Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology, or Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (PsyD).