SOC 320 - Population - Natural Resources and Environment

  • 3 credits

This course uses a sociological lens to help us explore the interconnections between population, society, and the environment. In the first part of the course, students will learn the dominant approaches to studying the relationship between human populations and our environment. Next, we will examine how these theoretical approaches are applied and shape our understanding of how humans manage natural resources like water, trees, and air. Upon the completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Describe a demographic perspective on the environment and explain competing theories of how population growth affects natural resources
  • Understand the connections between individual behavior, social norms, public policy, and the environment
  • Use what they have learned to evaluate potential courses of action (e.g., public policies, activism, private enterprise, scientific innovation, etc.) for dealing with environmental problems like climate change, deforestation, or the decline of global fisheries


SOC 100 (General Sociology) or SOC 105 (Social Problems).

Textbooks and Materials

Textbooks and materials can be purchased at the CSU Bookstore unless otherwise indicated.


  • Environment and Society: A Critical Introduction, 2nd Ed. (2014)
    Robbins, Paul et al.

Textbooks and materials can be purchased at the CSU Bookstore unless otherwise indicated. Additional readings will be posted on Canvas.


Meghan Mordy

Meghan Mordy received her BA in Political Science, a Master’s in Public Administration, and a Ph.D. in Sociology. She has worked in international development in Central America and completed extensive qualitative fieldwork with children and youth in El Salvador. She loves teaching and is always excited to learn from her students. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time outside with her four year-old daughter.