How do people interact with nature, and how does this impact the environment? How do societies transform nature? The environment consists of a complex set of human and natural systems of which people are an important, and sometimes dominant, element. Decisions made by individuals, institutions, governments, industries and other actors have the ability to impact the environment in both direct and indirect ways, with consequences for future generations. Understanding the costs and benefits of development and conservation, as well as the underlying values and ethical guidelines for good environmental practice are critical for informed environmental decision-making. It is critical, to both the present and future state of the environment, that dialogue and policy are precautionary, evidence-based, thoughtful and inclusive.
The Environmental Studies program at Carleton University prepares students to be informed, skilled individuals who can participate effectively in the resolution of environmental problems and in the larger environmental debates critical to our future. The program is interdisciplinary and flexible, so that students can focus on the conservation of natural systems, natural resource management, environmental organizations and institutions, sustainable economies, environmental education and activism, or research.