9.36. Urban Ecology

Programs offered:

Minor in Urban Ecology (TU)

The world’s human population is large, growing, and—as of 2009—mostly urban. Thus, urban expansion will be necessary. If current practices continue, U.S. cities will expand via urban sprawl. Sprawl is low density, unplanned development characterized by segregated land uses and auto-dependence. It is also notoriously inefficient and unsustainable with regard to both natural and social resources. To better conserve our limited resources while accommodating population growth, we need to understand how biophysical and social elements of our urban systems interact. Urban Ecology is the multidisciplinary, scientific study of these interactions.

The Urban Ecology program covers the state of urban ecological knowledge and best practices for promoting and implementing sustainable development through education and public policy. It explores the urban ecology of cities across the U.S. and abroad. However, it uses the Atlanta metropolitan area as its primary model, outdoor laboratory (e.g.: Atlanta BeltLine, Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, Druid Hills neighborhood, Piedmont Park, Historic Oakland Cemetery, and Zero Milepost Marker) and source of guest speakers (e.g.: transportation planners from the Atlanta Regional Commission and public health professionals from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention).

Each student who earns the minor will be prepared to make significant contributions to growing cities by engaging in local/regional governance, educating neighbors, earning a graduate degree, and working or volunteering for government, non-government, and academic institutions.

Minor in Urban Ecology (TU)

  1. Completion of UEP 320 Urban Ecology.
  2. Completion of two 4 or 5 semester hour electives that are related to urban ecology and approved by the director of the Urban Ecology program. Acceptable electives may include, but are not necessarily limited to:

BIO 380                Conservation Biology
ECO 325              Environmental Economics
NPM 220             The Nonprofit Sector
SOC 101               Introduction to Sociology
UEP 290               Special Topics in Urban Ecology
UEP 490               Advanced Special Topics in Urban Ecology
ULP 303               New American City

  1. Completion of a minimum of 4 semester hours of one of the following courses:

UEP 400              Advanced Independent Study in Urban Ecology
UEP 410              Internship in Urban Ecology

  1. Additional requirements and things to note:
  1. A grade of “C-” or better is required in all courses contributing to the minor; the grade of “S” is required instead for students taking UEP 410 Internship in Urban Ecology.
  2. Students are urged to take UEP 320 Urban Ecology as early as possible (sophomore or junior year) to meet the prerequisites for other courses required for the minor.
  3. Some of the required courses have additional prerequisites. These prerequisites apply to students seeking the Urban Ecology minor.