Human-Environment Interaction

Increasing rates of poverty, landlessness, and declining health are co-occurring with rapid shifts in land use, land cover, loss of biodiversity and global warming. These interconnected human/environmental changes represent a clear risk to the well being of individuals, communities and societies now and in the future. The Human Environment Interactions specialization draws on the expertise of GDPE Faculty in the social and environmental sciences to help students construct solutions to critical human/environmental problems. Students learn about the human aspects of environmental issues such as human drivers of environmental change and the feedbacks on individuals and social systems and their institutions, past, present and future. This is accomplished through material presented in classes, in research projects, theses and dissertation research and joint work with faculty on professional papers.

For more information, contact Kathy Galvin.

In addition to the program required courses for the PhD degree in Ecology, the following curriculum must be completed:

Course Title Cr
Required Courses (7 credits)
ECOL 505P Foundations of Ecology 2
ECOL 571P Distinguished Ecologist Lecture Series 2
ECOL 592P Interdisciplinary Seminars in Ecology 2
ECOL 693P Research Seminar 1
Min. of 7
Group A – Organism / Population (Select a minimum of 3 – 6 credits)1,2,4
ANTH 572P Human Origins 3
BSPM 570P Chemical Ecology 3
BZ 526P / BSPM 526P Evolutionary Ecology 3
BZ 530P Ecological Plant Morphology 2
BZ 535P Behavioral Ecology 3
BZ 548P Theory of Population and Evolutionary Ecology 4
BZ 555P Reprodutive Biology of Higher Plants 3
BZ 578P / MIP 578 P Genetics of Natural Population 4
FW 544P Ecotoxicology 3
FW 662P Wildlife Populations Dynamics 3
Min. of 3 – 6
Group B – Community / Ecosystem (Select a minimum of 3 – 6 credits)1,2,4
ANTH 515P Culture and Environment 3
ANTH 530P Humans in Ecosystems 3
ANTH 545P Culture and Mental Health: Theory and Method 3
ANTH 555P Paleoindian Archeology 3
ANTH 571P Anthropology and Global Health 3
ATS 760P Global Carbon Cycle 2
BZ 561P Landscape Ecology 3
ECOL 600P Community Ecology 3
ECOL 610P Ecosystem Ecology 3
ECOL 620P Applications in Landscape Ecology 4
ESS 660P Biogeochemical Cycling in Ecosystems 3
F 624P Fire Ecology 3
FW 540P Fisheries Ecology 3
FW 555P Conservation Biology 3
RS 578P Ecology of Disturbed Lands 3
RS 630P Ecology of Grasslands and Shrublands 3
Min. of 3 – 6
Group C – Quantitative / Qualitative Tools (Select a minimum of 9 credits) 3,4
BZ 548P Theory of Population and Evolutionary Ecology 4
ESS 575P Systems Ecology 4
FW 663P Sampling and Analysis of Vertebrate Populations 5
NR 523P / STAT 523P Quantitative Spatial Statistics 3
NRRT 665P Survey Research and Analysis 3
NRRT 765P Applied Multivariate Analysis 3
POLS 621P Qualitative Methods in Political Science 3
SOC 610P Seminar in Methods of Qualitative Analysis 3
STAT 511P Design and Data Analysis for Researchers I 4
STAT 512P Design and Data Analysis for Researchers II 4
STAT 544P Biostatistical Methods for Quantitative Data 3
Min. of 9
PROGRAM TOTAL = Minimum of
72 credits
P This course has at least one prerequisite. Check the Courses of Instruction section of the catalog or to see the course prerequisites.
1 Total number of credits from Groups A and B must be equal to or greater than 9.
2 A student wishing to select elective credits from Group A and/or Group B in addition to the required 3-6 credits may select from the Ecology course list with approval from advisor and committee.
3 Three of the 9 credits in Group C must be in a qualitative methods course (either POLS 621 or SOC 610).
4 The distribution lists contain suggestions for appropriate courses and are not complete lists. Other courses that fit within these categories may be taken to satisfy the credit requirement. This approach ensures that all students have a fundamental background in ecology while also permitting them to tailor a program to their interests. No specific distribution of ecology courses beyond the required courses is expected by GDPE; the appropriate course work is determined by the student, advisor, and committee.
5 Students should consult the Graduate and Professional Bulletin for requirements for transfer of credits from other institutions and completion of courses toward a graduate degree. Select a combination of elective courses, ECOL 695, ECOL 698, and ECOL 799 with approval of advisor and committee. All students in the Ph.D. program must complete a dissertation.