Environmentally focused classes to take this spring semester

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We are all amid currently enrolling for our classes for spring 2022. Hopefully, everyone was able to snag a seat in their first choice of classes, but even juniors and seniors struggle to enroll in all of their desired classes. While it may be disappointing, there are many alternatives and potential classes that can perhaps fulfill breadth requirements and bring some much-needed flavor to a one-track schedule. This spring semester, consider taking a course that is environmentally focused in order to become a more aware and conscientious person. Who knows, it may just be the class you look forward to the most.

ESPM C10: Environmental Issues/ESPM 15: Introduction to Environmental Sciences

Both of these classes are excellent options to take as a general introduction to environmental sciences and its intersection with human society. ESPM 15 offers a broader introduction to the topic of environmental sciences with topics including global change, energy, ecosystem services, human populations and how these interact with the many facets of society. ESPM C10 is a more focused class on particular case studies that examine the relationship between human society and the natural environment. Whether you decide to take a micro or macro approach in choosing between the two, both classes will offer a solid foundation for understanding environmental issues in our changing world.

INTEGBI 24: Welcome to California in 14 Plants

Calling all freshmen who are looking for that one unit class to meet the minimum level of enrolled units. Or perhaps you are an out-of-state student looking for an introduction to the unfamiliar landscape of California. In either case, this freshman seminar is the perfect opportunity for an easy introduction to one of the world’s greatest plant biodiversity hotspots: California. Meeting weekly, classes will often have a component of outdoor activity, so come prepared with sunglasses and comfortable shoes. Sometimes the most instructive of classes when it comes to environmental sciences are not ones that stress the scientific aspects but rather our own personal connection with the natural world. 

ESPM 52: History of Native American Land, Colonialism and Heritage Preservation

As students of UC Berkeley, we must recognize that we continuously benefit from the use and occupation of this land that was once primarily occupied and stewarded by the Ohlone people. At UC Berkeley, we also have the opportunity to educate ourselves on this very land that was once and still remains of great importance to the Ohlone people by taking classes. ESPM 52 is a great resource to become more educated on the history of Native American land and its history with colonialism that continues today.  

ENERES 190B/ESPM 150: Gender and Environment

Cross-listed between the energy and resources group and environmental science, policy and management, this course occupies an interesting space of intersectionality by exploring the connections between women and nature. In the first half of the course, feminist theoretical approaches are applied to studying environmental issues such as ecofeminism, feminist environmentalism, feminist critiques of science and more. In the second half, this foundational background is used to explore key topics in environmental science such as resource politics, reproductive justice and, of course, climate change. As a niche topic in environmental conversations, the intersection of gender and the environment deserves to be acknowledged and this course is the perfect opportunity to become more versed in ecofeminism.

In any case, hopefully this short list will come in handy when scheduling your upcoming spring semester. If presented with the opportunity, use these classes to simultaneously fulfill breadth requirements and develop a greater understanding of our environment.

Contact Adrian Fontao at [email protected].