Urban ecosystems represent approximately 2% of all available land, yet they house more than 50% of the world’s population. The ecology of urban ecosystems, therefore, is shaped by the interaction between human activity and the natural system. Cities are in part responsible for the environmental burden of air pollution, water waste, and land use change that can take place both within and outside the urban center. This course explores spatial and temporal connotations of both the physical components of urban areas, their functions and processes, as well as the social fabric of cities, with particular focus on environmental justice and social inequities. Cities are essential for a sustainable future and the study of urban ecology is critical to offer solutions to pressing socio-environmental issues.
This course focuses on climate change and how it influences and is caused by human societies. Topics include current climate issues and brief science behind it, human use of resources, energy, and food, globalization and the inequality in sustainability/impact of climate change.
This course covers the chemistry and origins of plastics and the relationship to the oil industry, the sources of pollution, the fate of plastics upon exposure to sun and salt, the current state of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and environmental concerns with persistent plastic pollution. Students also learn about the synthesis and decomposition products of biodegradable plastics, thermal stability, recycling, and mitigation. In the laboratory portion of the course, students make and explore the properties of various plastics as well as test and develop methods for detection of micro and nanoplastics via collection of soil and sand from Whittier's local water sources.
Please see the Program Coordinators for in-depth information and guidance. Similarly, refer to the College Catalog for detailed information about course prerequisites, course frequency, and additional course requirements.
ENVS 100 Introduction to Environmental Science
ENST 301 Environmental Analysis, Policy and Law
ENST 323 Environmental Anthropology
Two additional ENVS courses at the 300-level or above
MATH 080 Elementary Statistics
PSYC 214 Statistics + PSYC 214L Statistics - SPSS
SOC 214 Statistics + SOC 214L Statistics - SPSS