Courses That Address Climate Change, Sustainability, and Environmental Studies

As the intellectual hub of Brooklyn College, the School of Humanities and Social Sciences offers a wide range of courses and majors that address critical contemporary issues in historical, cultural, and social context. Below you will find a guide to HSS courses that address, in one way or another, issues of climate change, sustainability, and environmental studies. Use this guide to facilitate your intellectual exploration of the causes, consequences, and possible solutions to the problems that shape our politics and our lives.


SOCY 2201 Sociology of the Environment

Society’s relationship to the natural environment. Origins of major environmental stresses and political conflicts associated with them. Role of society’s utilization of natural resources in creating crises, how society identifies environmental stresses as social problems and how social responses to environmental problems lead to political conflicts. Outcomes of environmental conflicts; development of integrated, viable solutions to Socio-environmental problems.

SOCY 2701 Sociology of Science and Technology

Prerequisite: Cultures of science and engineering. Development of scientific ideas. Social context for scientific work and technological innovation. Institutional influences on scientific research agendas and technological development trajectories. Scientific communications. Resistance and receptivity to science and technology. Science, technology and social change.

SOCY 3202 Race, Class, and Environmental Justice

Processes that create inequality and how they impact the uneven distribution of environmental degradation and protection. Placement of hazardous facilities in minority communities, unequal protection of environmental health, employment structure of hazardous industrial workplaces, socio-ecological conditions of migrant farm workers, extraction of resources from Native lands, population control initiatives directed at peoples-of-color, and the national and transnational export of toxic waste.

SOCY 3205 Sociology of Globalization and Sustainability

Nature and effects of globalization in the U.S. and internationally. Rise of multinational institutions and their critics. Immigration and cultural transformation in response to political conflict, economic dislocation and environmental change. Effect on race, class, and gender inequality.

Urban Sustainability

SUST 1001 Introduction to Urban Sustainability

Introduction to urban sustainability; ecological, economic and social analyses of the human-nature interface in urban environments; problem-based and place-based approaches; data analysis, communication, group projects and interdisciplinary skills; site visits. This course is the same as Economics 2251 and Earth and Environmental Sciences 1500

SUST 2001 Urban Sustainability Theory

Interdisciplinary intellectual history and contemporary questions, debates, and theories surrounding urban sustainability. Theoretical contributions from natural sciences, economics, and sociology to understanding the human-nature interface in urban environments; analysis and synthesis of primary texts and policy documents.

SUST 2101 Mapping Inequalities: Revealing and Combating Racism in America

Relationship between environment, sustainability, and landscape, focusing specifically on the production of inequality. From segregation to gentrification, from slavery to global capitalism and disaster capitalism, inequality is produced spatially and impacts our ability to build sustainable environments and societies. Understanding the geography of inequality helps illustrate the roots of inequality, as well as possible solutions. SUST 2101 and AMST 3502 are the same course.

SUST 2301 Sustainable Urban Gardens and Social Justice

Introduction to the history and practice of urban gardening, farming and food production and connection to values of sustainability, resilience, social, environmental and climate justice; history and present case studies; hands-on work in a garden; examination of social and ecological sustainability of different types of urban agriculture systems.

SUST 4001 Capstone

Seminar in recent and current topics in urban sustainability with focus on research methodology. Seminars by invited speakers; student seminars and discussions moderated by instructor. Students will collaborate to complete and present a project for a client selected by the urban sustainability steering committee.

Prerequisites: SUST 2001W, EESC 3750, advanced standing in the urban sustainability major and permission of the director of the Urban Sustainability Program.

PHIL 3309 Environmental Ethics

Ethical aspects of human treatment of the natural environment, including the moral basis for pollution control, wilderness preservation, energy and resource conservation, protection of endangered species, and sustaining the earth’s ecological diversity. Major theories of environmental ethics and their valuational foundations will be examined critically.

Brooklyn. All in.