Ball State University 
Clustered Academic Minors in 
Environmentally Sustainable Practices 

Interdepartmental Minor in:
Environmental Policy

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Environmental Policies
The environment poses an increasingly urgent challenge to local, national, and global communities.  The public and private sectors need qualified professionals who are prepared to handle environmental problems creatively and effectively.  Developing, interpreting, implementing, and complying with environmental regulations represent traditional approaches to environmental policies that will remain important in the years ahead.  As society's understanding of environmental issues becomes more sophisticated, so too will its concept of environmental policy.  Increasingly, the traditional approaches centered on a regulative arena – designed to prevent environmental harm or provide remedial action when it occurs – are giving way to a pro-active philosophy of environmental cooperation, which includes recognizing the limitations and responses of the fragile yet robust natural and human environments.  The undercurrent of this societal evolution is a progressive movement toward environmental policy designed for stewardship and sustainability.

The interdepartmental minor in Environmental Policy provides a specialization in environmental policy, training students to understand the interconnected technical and societal issues that influence environmental decisions.  It is structured to provide students with a sound background in environmental policy, yet is flexible enough to allow students to complement their other academic goals.  Appealing to students across several of the university's colleges and departments by being a part of the clustered academic minors program, the minor in Environmental Policy is truly interdisciplinary.

The program is designed for students seeking a background in environmental affairs and planning to pursue careers or advanced studies in environmental fields.  Graduate study in public affairs, environmental science, planning, or related programs rests on a background in environmental policy.  The minor is also ideal for students intending to pursue professional study in environmental law, architecture, or urban planning.

With increasing urgency, careers in industry, commerce, and government necessitate  an understanding of environmental laws and the regulatory framework.  Emerging companies – and those on the forefront of innovation that are leading the way into the 21st century – are seizing the opportunity to develop their products and services in conjunction with the environment.  Such firms will place high value on employees who have demonstrated skills and training in environmental policy.

The program is also designed to enhance personal awareness of environmental issues within the lives of individuals and their communities.  People do make a difference in the quality of life, and recognizing how to live in and with the environment helps ensure that the quality of all life will be high, now and in the future.

Core courses in Environment and Society, Ecology, Environmental Economics, and Environmental Ethics build the foundation; Environmental Law and Policy (POLS 347) anchors the minor.  Together with a carefully chosen set of electives from which students select two courses, students complete the minor with the closing course within the clustered minors program, Creating a Sustainable Future (ID 400).

For more information or assistance, contact:

Department of 
Natural Resources and Environmental Management
WQ 110 
(765) 285-5780
Center for  Energy Research/Education/Service 
AB 018
(765) 285-1135.

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25 Hours
Required Courses:
NREM 101 Environment and Society 3
Clustered Minors Core Courses:
BIO 216 Ecology 4
ECON 311/
NREM 303
Environmental Economics  3
PHIL 230 Environmental Ethics 3
Anchoring Course:
POLS 347 Environmental Law and Policy 3
Closing Course:
ID 400 Creating a Sustainable Future 3

 6 Hours 
3 Hours Each from Two of the Following Concentrations:
Planning and Management
NREM 357 International Rural Development 3
NREM 405 Integrated Resources
Planning and Management
PLAN 433 Environmental Planning 3
PLAN 435 Energy Planning 3
POLS 461 Community Planning
and Its Administration
PSYSC 333 Environmental Psychology 3
Policy and Administration
HIST 204 /
NREM 204
American Environmental History 3
POLS 342 Problems in Public Policy 3
POLS 350 Public Administration 3
POLS 431 Legislation 3
POLS 435 Intergovernmental Relations 3
POLS 449 Land-Use Regulation 3
Individually Structured Applications *
ECON 369 Internship in Economics 3-6
NREM 369 Paid Professional Practice 1-6
NREM 496 Professional Practice 1-6
NREM 497 Special Studies in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences 1-6
PLAN 369 Planning Paid Internship 4
POLS 369 Paid Professional Experience in
American Government and Law

*NOTE:  A maximum of 3 hours credit may be applied to the minor from these courses and with permission of the applicable department chair.

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Course Descriptions  Courses

NREM 101 Environment and Society (3).  Study of human roles in resource management, environmental quality, and conservation.  Effects of population and technology on environmental systems including air, energy, minerals, soil, vegetation, water, and wildlife.  Environmental ethics, outdoor recreation, economic development also covered.  Laboratory and field activities.

BIO 216 Ecology (3).   Effects of physical and biotic conditions on the distribution and abundance of plants and animals.  Dynamics of ecological systems are examined at the population, community, and ecosystem levels, and from an evolutionary perspective.  Practical applications are emphasized.  Lecture and laboratory. 

ECON 311/NREM 303 Environmental Economics (3).  The application of economic principles to environmental problems.  Emphasis is on applying the economist's decision-making model to environmental issues and the advantages and shortcomings of the economist's analysis. 

PHIL 230 Environmental Ethics (3).  Introduction to and analysis of basic concepts, principles, theories, and issues in environmental ethics. 

POLS 347 Environmental Law and Policy (3).  Significant facets of the legal system's response to conflicting demands upon environmental resources.  Composition of environmental problems, control issues, policy formulation, and legal remedies.

ID 400 Creating a Sustainable Future:  The Clustered Minors Capstone (3).  Capstone course for students in the interdepartmental minor programs in environmentally sustainable practices.  Variable topics.  Emphasizes interdisciplinary perspectives on creating sustainable  practices--environmentally and culturally--for the future.  Seminar format, with visiting scholars working interactively with students. 


Planning & Management

NREM 357 International Rural Development (3).  Analysis of rural development in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.  Emphasizes the roles of population, agriculture, history, conflict, technology, international debt, multilateral organization, and political and cultural traditions in development efforts.  Interdisciplinary readings and case studies.

NREM 405 Integrated Resources Planning and Management (3).  Introduction to strategies used in environmental planning and resource management in contemporary society.  Stresses use of data analysis and its role in the decision making process by conceptually centering on natural and human-made systems.  May require field trips.

PLAN 433 Environmental Planning (3).  Introduction to the fundamental issues and technologies associated with planning for sensitive use of environmental resources.  Topics include waste management, air and water quality planning, ecological systems, and methods of environmental analysis and implementation.

PLAN 435 Energy Planning (3).  Energy resource issues in urban planning.  Strategies for incorporating energy efficiency in housing, land use, transportation, social services, and community development.  Analysis of energy policy, with emphasis on innovative public and private sector initiatives at the community level.

POLS 461 Community Planning and its Administration (3).  Planning and development of improved land use and service activities of cities and predominantly urban communities.  Consideration of scope, legal basis, implementation, and problems of planning for streets, utilities, education, recreation, transportation, zoning, and related community services.

PSYSC 333 Environmental Psychology (3).  Presents the current knowledge and research in environmental psychology and studies its relevance to psychological planning for people's special needs.  Investigates the psychological effects on persons and groups of selected conditions in various kinds of environments.

Policy & Administration

HIST 204/NREM 204 American Environmental History (3).  Designed to give students knowledge of resource use in the United States.  Government policies and private enterprise practices of exploitation and conservation from settlement to the present are treated in historical perspective.  Emphasis is on the way resource use has shaped society.

POLS 342 Problems in Public Policy (3).  Current political, economic, and social problems in the United States.  Consideration of relationships between government and elements of our free enterprise system, including agriculture, small and large firms, labor, public utilities, and finance.

POLS 350 Public Administration (3).  Organization, personnel, and functions of the various agencies of administration - national, state, and local.

POLS 431 Legislation (3).  A functional study of legislative bodies and lawmaking, covering organization of legislative bodies, operation of the committee system, relations with interest groups, executive branches, bill drafting, legislative aids, controls over legislation, and movement for reform.

POLS 435 Intergovernmental Relations (3).  Analysis of relations among national, state, and local governments.  Considerations of constitutional and legal bases and the nature of relations, such as grants-in-aid, tax immunity, education, and interstate compacts.

POLS 449 Land-Use Regulation (3).  An analysis of the legislative and constitutional aspects of the regulation of land use at various levels of government, including zoning, subdivision regulation, urban renewal, codes, enforcement, eminent domain, conservation, reclamation, interstate compacts, and metropolitan and regional agencies.

Individually Structured Applications

ECON 369 Internship in Economics (3-6).  Under a program approved and supervised by the Department of Economics, economics majors work full-time for one semester as economics interns for private or public organizations.  Periodic written reports of job experiences are required.

NREM 369 Paid Professional Practice (1-6).  Supervised financially supported professional experience in natural resource management, environmental education, or environmental protection.  Provides a bridge between academic and professional experiences.  Available only on a prospective basis.

NREM 496 Professional Practice (1-6).  Supervised professional experience in natural resource management, environmental education, or environmental protection.  Provides a bridge between academic and professional experiences.  Available only on a prospective basis.

NREM 497 Special Studies in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences (1-6).  Opportunities to pursue special interests in natural resources and environmental sciences.

PLAN 369 Planning Paid Internship (4).  Supervised paid work experience for at least 450 hours in public agency, private firm, or other urban planning and development setting.  May not be taken before completing the third year of the program.  Normally finished before the fifth year of the program.

POLS 369 Paid Professional Experience in American Government and Law (3-6).  Paid part- or full-time experience for one or more semesters in the office of a public official in national, state, or local government; a candidate for public office; a political party; or private firm or organization.  Assignments depend upon the interest of the student and the convenience of the sponsors.

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