Environmental Policy Programs
M.A. Degree in Northern Studies - Environmental Politics and Policy
This concentration in Northern Studies examines the relationships between complex global environmental issues (e.g., ozone depletion, biodiversity, climate change, ocean pollution) and policy responses at all levels of government, inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations. While the program emphasis stems from concerns of the circumpolar north, the courses offer a broad contextual examination of global environmental politics and policy processes. It will help prepare students for a variety of public and private sector professional opportunities dealing with local, national, and international environmental issues. Students who already have backgrounds in the environmental sciences will receive valuable training in the policy-oriented aspects of their professions. The program can also prepare interested students for advanced, doctoral training.
You may click on the course titles to view their syllabi. The course content is dynamic. These syllabi are subject to change from year to year in response to events and trends.
- 1. Complete the following core courses (6 credits):
NORS 600 -- Perspectives of the North (annual, fall)
NORS 601 -- Research Methods and Sources in the North (annual, spring)
- 2. Complete 12 credits (4 courses) from the following:
NORS 603 --Public Policy--3 credits
NORS 647 --U.S. Environmental Policy--3 credits
NORS 648--Environmental Politics of the Circumpolar North--3 credits
NORS 654--International Law and the Environment--3 credits
NORS 655--Political Economy of the Global Environment--3 credits
NORS 656--Science, Technology and Politics--3 credits
NORS 658--Comparative Environmental Politics--3 credits
NORS 613--Wilderness and Environmental Psychology--3 credits
- * The environmental politics and policy concentration may be used as a basis for the M.A. thesis/project.
Note: The environmental politics and policy concentration is a clear track toward interdisciplinary doctoral programs.
- 3. Complete 6 credits of electives (may include courses from the above list or others chosen in consultation with an advisor). Students may choose from a wide variety of complementary courses in such fields as Natural Resources Management, Alaska Native Studies, Rural Development, Political Science, Economics, and History.
- 4. Complete 1 of the following:
NORS 698 -- Project (6 credits) or NORS 699 -- Thesis (6-12 credits)
Minimum credits required for the degree -- 30. The degree can be completed in two years.
Courses in the Global Environmental Policy (GEP) concentration, as well as the two NORS core courses, are offered in a dual-delivery format. Each is offered either as a face-to-face seminar for students attending the Fairbanks campus or in a user-friendly online version for off-campus students. Professional workshops, special sessions of seminars, conferences, and other events will bring students and faculty together to explore topics and practical issues of environmental policy.
Undergraduate Environmental Politics
The Minor in Environmental Politics will provide students of any major with the background needed to understand the national and international contexts within which political decisions about the natural environment are made. Coursework includes in depth examinations of contending philosophical and theoretical perspectives on the environment; cross-national comparisons of approaches to resource development and environmental regulation; critical evaluations of international environmental laws and institutions; the relationship between environmental protection and national security; and the interplay of environmental and economic interests in the global political economy. Current topics such as climate change, biodiversity, air and water quality, wilderness preservation, and sustainable development will be examined along with the changing roles of local and national governments, regional and global institutions, and non-governmental organizations.
1. Complete the following required courses (6 credits):
- PS 100X – Political Economy - to fulfill the university core requirement
- PS 101 – American Government and Politics
2. Complete any four of the following courses (12 credits):
- PS 447 – U.S. Environmental Politics
- PS 448 – Environmental Politics of the Circumpolar North
- PS 454 – International Law and Environment
- PS 455 – Political Economy of the Environment
- PS 456 – Science, Technology, and Politics
- PS 458 – Comparative Environmental Politics
The Environmental Politics courses are offered in traditional classroom settings. Classes are small and provide excellent faculty-student interaction. Professional workshops, special sessions of seminars, conferences, and other events will bring students and faculty together to explore topics and practical issues of environmental politics. Students are also encouraged to pursue their own research interests through local and national internships.
The Department of Political Science (email)