Environmental Studies

Environmental Studies

Mission Statement

Environmental Studies at ICU seeks to cultivate environmental literacy among citizens of the earth in the twenty-first century. With perspectives and methodologies that bridge diverse academic fields, this major will focus on environmental issues that straddle the natural, human and social environment and produce individuals able to think and act positively in confronting problems in the world today.

Learning Goals

Humans are an integral part of the environment. They live within natural, human and social environments. Humans influence and are influenced by the environment; indeed they cannot live or carry out social or productive activities apart from the environment in which they exist. The issue is what kind of relationship should humans have with their environment. Do we possess an awareness of our place as creatures born into the earth's eco-system, the entirety of which supports all life, possesses the power to grow, but at the same time includes the power to destroy? Have we come to the realization of the need to share the earth with other forms of life, and can we built a mature symbiotic relationship with the natural environment? Or have we simply used the earth's resources and spread pollution? Is this not a time when humans need to reevaluate the fundamental relationship between the environment and their lives, society and economic activities? Is it not time to begin living as responsible global citizens? It is likely that the human species will become extinct if we continue living the same way as we have in the past. Is this not a perilous course?

Environmental issues affect us all regardless of what kind of life or work we pursue. In this sense, Environmental Studies provides strong academic foundation and the ability to resolve key issues. This is a field that offers critical literacy for citizens of the earth, raising questions that people everywhere should strive to answer.

Students who major in Environmental Studies are asked to acquire the knowledge, information and technical skills necessary in meeting the goals outlined below:

  1. Develop a capacity for interdisciplinary critical thinking and problem solving
  2. Appreciate the intellectual and practical complexities of environmental problems and solutions
  3. Establish patterns of life-long appreciation of and stewardship for the environment
  4. Develop the ability to analyze environmental issues from interdisciplinary perspectives
  5. Understand current issues relating to the natural environment and ethical questions of environmental decision making, including those derived from the Christian tradition
  6. Assume positions of leadership in helping to solve some of the critical environmental issues confronting the world today
  7. Contribute toward the realization of ICU's Environmental Policy