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What's good in the 'hood: engaging students through environmental justice research

Fellow:  Jason Douglas

Course Purpose

The primary purpose of this course is to foster a space for students to develop and implement an environmental justice research program concerning access to green space in urban areas.  Further, it seeks to promote a sense of self-efficacy with respect to young people's engagement in public policy and urban design.

Course Description

This course is designed to provide students and teachers with a web-based venue (Moodle) to develop an understanding of nature in the city, and how the physical and social sciences may be used to question access to green space and related issues in environmental justice communities.  This writing intensive course weaves lessons concerning environmental justice with environmental and social science methods that may be used to address the students’ developing concerns.  That said, the course will prepare the participants for college level research and writing, and provide a tool set for studying and addressing issues concerning environmental justice communities.  The students will conduct surveys and interviews as well as collect GIS data.  The class will participate in a series of field trips to collect data in and out of class time, while the remaining classes will include lecture, data analysis, report preparation, and community outreach.

Course Outline

Click here to see the Moodle course with anonymous student posts.


Unit 1  Science and society

Unit 2  Science and the environment

Unit 3  Doing environmental research