Interdisciplinary Studies: Environmental Literacy

Associate in Arts Degree (AA)

The Environmental Literacy degree is designed to provide students with an interdisciplinary knowledge of environmental issues and theories focused on the humanities and social sciences (rather than the natural sciences). The program will require that participants learn:

  1. various historical, literary, social, psychological, economic, and philosophical dimensions and implications of environmental issues and
  2. to read, write, evaluate, revise, and present their ideas with a level of clarity and cogency that will make them eligible for immediate employment.

Career Opportunities

This degree will evidence competency in understanding and ability to work successfully with environmental problems and solutions upon graduation with the AA. Students should be able to assume administrative and research positions and other entry-level, non-technical positions. For example, graduates with an associate degree in Environmental Literacy should be employable as environmental research assistants and community organizers (e.g., aiding community transition to low carbon activities). Depending on the course work selected, the course of study may lead into several social science (e.g., political science), humanities (e.g., philosophy), or environmental study bachelor degree programs. Note that most environmental study degree programs in California require natural science and math courses over and above those required for this AA. Students may find employment in policy, law, journalism, education, activism, and arts in regard to the environment. Positions such as policy adviser, energy contract negotiator, city resiliency specialist, public transportation coordinator, and environmental journalist are a sample of possible lines of work. Lastly, this program will prepare students to be active, informed participants in their communities in responding to the environmental challenges confronting us.

Upon completion of this program, the student will be able to:

  • possess specialized knowledge that will be applicable in fields such as environmental politics, literature, economics, philosophy, and community activism.
  • demonstrate familiarity with and understanding of the major environmental positions presented in the relevant history and literature.
  • identify, expose, analyze, and evaluate the interconnections between the environment and the domestic and world economies.
  • identify and critically evaluate environmental conflicts in various realms and at various levels.
  • write position papers in regard to environmental concerns that are clear, concise, and well constructed.
  • identify, expose, analyze, and evaluate the ethical dimensions of various environmental theories and practices.
  • compete for environment-focused jobs in administration, law, government, design, journalism, etc.