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Environment and Community at USU

USU is home to one of the country's largest and most active groups of social science faculty working on Environmental and Natural Resource problems, and on their linkage to varying community contexts in both urban and rural settings. Our doctoral specialization in Environment & Community provides strong disciplinary training in social theory and research methods, together with sustantive coursework and research opportunities exploring a wide range of environmental and natural resource issues.

The specialization in Environment and Community focuses on the sociology of natural resources, environmental sociology, community theory,and applied community development. The faculty members in the specialization maintain research in areas such as natural resource development and social change, resource dependency patterns, land use planning, public participation in environmental planning, social responses to hazardous facility siting, environmental equity and environmental justice concerns, public land management policies, linkages of environmental conditions with population change, among others topics.

Our graduates have gone on to do great work all around the country and the world. Read a few of their stories here. 

Shawn Hazboun

Evergreen College


Read Shawn's Interview

Jacqueline Keating

Subsistence Resource Specialist
Alaska Department of Fish and Game


Read Jacqueline's Interview 


Core faculty and graduate students are often involved in collaborative and interdisciplinary research efforts involving colleagues in engineering, natural resource science fields, and other physical and social sciences. Much of the faculty and graduate student research in this specialty area is coordinated through the Institute for Social Science Research on Natural Resources, a research unit housed within the department. Graduate curriculum offerings are focused on the sociology of natural resources, environmental sociology, inequality and environmental problems.