The rapid development of industrial economies has often occurred at the expense of the natural environment. Citizens of rich countries increasingly demand healthy environmental conditions. Governmental authorities, private businesses and non-profits face the challenge of mitigating past damage and creating new modes of production that entail smaller environmental costs. The environmental policy minor seeks to educate students to effectively participate in decisions that affect scarce environmental resources.
The consideration of environmental issues requires knowledge drawn from a variety of disciplines spanning the natural and social sciences and the humanities as well. Students with minors in environmental policy will possess basic knowledge of environmental science, economics, politics, history and ethics. In addition to the understanding of environmental issues, students will gain expertise in the practical skills employed by environmental policymakers. Such skills include proficiency in spreadsheet analysis, GIS mapping and lab sciences.