Environmental Studies

Environmental Studies


Catch the Environmental Studies wave with Dr Steven Martin [click to read Chapter 2 "Surf resource system boundaries"]

Course Description

Concepts, objectives, and development of environmental studies; system approach to environment; interaction between life and surroundings; patterns of environmental problem in both physical and biological aspects involved in society and economics; guidelines for designing environmental education processes, including theories and philosophy of environmental management that mitigate or solve environmental problems leading to the sustainable development.


Welcome to "Food Environment", a relevant and thought-provoking presentation in 805-283 Environmental Studies. 

Food Environment is a concept which expresses a wide-range of topics and system boundaries related food production, distribution and consumption. Students of Environmental Studies begin learning from the personal perspective – That is, how human relationships with the environment are most intimate in our choice of what we put into our bodies.

Class projects and presentations develop an understanding of personal and social food environments as we explore how the environment flows into us in the food we choose to eat. The topic expands through class discussion to include contemporary dimensions, such as sustainable, toxic, local, or regional food environments, including private and public food networks and food deserts.

Intended learning outcomes include students gaining the ability to talk about personal and public health, diet and nutrition, and how personal choices and responsibility impact sustainability and the environment.

Food environment - Central Ohio, USA [click to visit this page]


In 2014, Hollywood super star, Leonardo DiCaprio, was appointed as a United Nations representative on climate change. Dedicated to shedding light on global environmental issues, his works include The11th Hour and Before the Flood.

As our class works together to uncover global environmental issues, we learn about the individual scholars featured in these and other films produced by DiCaprio. Representing social, economic, political and scientific interests and communities, experts lead us through stories and examples from around the world, sharing personal insights, history, scientific data and innovative solutions.

Students in 805-283 Environmental Studies are asked to select one of the scholars featured in any of these movies for an in-depth report and presentation on their life, education, and the events leading to the position they defend in the film. Scholars' current projects, research, challenges, and advancements in the field are discussed.

The course is designed so that student projects bring to light the interdisciplinary context of Environmental Studies in social, physical, and applied sciences.

DiCaprio's UN Speech

Before the Flood

The 11th Hour Movie Trailer


Taking into consideration that 805-283 Environmental Studies is taught in Phuket, Thailand, course content includes contemporary local and regional issues concerning national and trans-boundary park systems and management.

Students are encouraged to gain personal experience and conduct field research at terrestrial and marine national parks. Nearly any topic is worth sharing with our class, including history, current events, successes, failures, and challenges in park management.

Khao Yai – Thailand's first national park

As the first national park founded in Thailand, the significance of Khao Yai has matured and expanded to include five important protected areas in the region. Combined, these natural areas form the Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex, a World Heritage Site declared by UNESCO.

Deer at Khao Yai National Park, Thailand

Landscape at Khao Yai National Park, Thailand

Monkey at Khao Yai National Park, Thailand


One of the most rewarding experiences that I have had in Environmental Studies was the opportunity to visit the Tiputini Biodiversity Station in the Amazon Basin, and the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific in 2004. The research was supported in part by the University of San Francisco De Quito (USFQ), Ecuador, and the Study Abroad Journal.

Through sharing my photos and National Geographic videos with students, key topics and issues are opened for discussion.

Biodiversity in the Amazon Rainforest

Crossing the Rio Napo, Amazon Basin, Ecuador

House on the Napo River, Amazon Basin, Ecuador

Galapagos Seal

Galapagos brown pelican

Galapagos marine iguana