SOC 320 - Population - Natural Resources and Environment

  • 3 credits

Climate change is transforming the environmental conditions which human populations rely upon for food production and their livelihoods. In the coming decades, millions of people may be displaced by the climate crisis and its cascading political and social consequences. Are you interested in learning about how climate change affects population dynamics? If so, this course is for you.

The overall purpose of this course is for students to learn the demographic perspective on the environment and be able to apply what they learn to the global climate crisis. We will study key demographic concepts–specifically, mortality, fertility, and migration–and their environmental drivers and impacts. By the end of the course, students will be able to:
• Explain and assess competing theories of the relationship between human population growth and climate change
• Describe the vulnerability of women, children, and other marginalized groups in the climate crisis
• Assess the complex drivers of environmental migration
• Analyze experts’ predictions of climate migration and critique policy proposals put forward to manage human displacement

This course is designed for students who may have limited knowledge of sociology, but are interested in how the social sciences can help us understand the environmental crises unfolding across the globe. If you would like to take the course, but are concerned about prerequisites or other issues, please contact the instructor for more information.


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

Textbooks and Materials

There are no textbooks for this course. All readings will be made available on Canvas.


Meghan Mordy

Meghan Mordy has a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Washington and a Ph.D. in Sociology from CSU. She was once a Peace Corp volunteer in El Salvador and worked in international development in Central America. For her Ph.D. dissertation, she studied what pushes poor children in El Salvador out of school. She believes strongly in the power of education and is deeply committed to challenging the inequalities which prevent young people from realizing their educational aspirations.

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