Be Part of the Solution

Do you want to be part of the solution to one of the defining environmental and social problems of our lifetime? UNE’s Climate Change Studies minor is an interdisciplinary course of study, drawing on expert knowledge of faculty throughout the College of Arts and Sciences to explore climate change from a diversity of perspectives impossible to find within most single programs. By examining the scientific, social, political, psychological, and ethical dimensions of the issue, you will acquire a marketable understanding of how climate change relates to business models, public policy, economies, livelihoods, conservation, and human health and happiness that will serve you well in a vast number of careers. 

Meet Kiara, Marine Affairs ’22

A Marine Affairs major currently interning in the Maine Governor's Office of Policy Innovation and the Future, Kiara analyzes climate change data, helping her colleagues meet the state’s most urgent challenges.

Why UNE

One of only two formal climate change minors in the Northeast, this minor is truly unique, serving as the perfect complement to virtually any major and enhancing career prospects in a wide variety of fields. 

  • Interdisciplinary, drawing from eight different areas of study 
  • Flexible, with only three foundational courses 
  • Focused on hands-on learning, including opportunities to participate in political action, educational efforts, etc. 
  • Composed of a cohesive community of students and faculty bound by a shared interest 
  • Provides eligibility to apply for the Kinsman Trust Scholarship for Climate Change Studies (1-3 UNE Climate Change Studies minors receive $1,000 to $5,000 annually)
     

UNE’s climate change minor has helped me understand what needs to be done on local and international levels to mitigate the effects of our climate crisis. Experience from my climate classes has helped me gain an internship working under Governor Janet Mills as her climate and energy intern.” — Kiara Frischkorn ‘22, Marine Affairs major/Climate Change Studies minor 

Academics

Experiential Learning

Solving an issue like climate change requires real-life, hands-on work, and we strive to prepare you for that — from classroom activities and research projects to internships and special out-of-class activities.

Classroom Activities

  • Developing a vulnerability analysis for the UNE campus
  • Designing an all-electric fleet of UNE vehicles
  • Field trips

Research

  • Invasive species in a warming ocean
  • Implications of sea level rise for New England salt marshes
  • Climate-induced changes in grassland bird migration

Internships

  • Maine Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future
  • City of Biddeford Climate Task Force
  • Maine Conservation Voters
  • Washington Internship Institute (D.C)

Co-curricular Activities

  • Participation in conferences
  • Creation of University-wide climate-themed events
  • Participation in climate demonstrations
  • Meetings with governor’s staff for budget advocacy
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Examples of Available Courses

In addition to three foundational courses, you will select three elective courses. Below are just some of the classes from which you may choose:

  • Climate Change, Oceans, and Law
  • Climate Change Adaptation: Planning and Policy
  • Environmental Economics
  • Gulf of Maine Field Studies
  • Climate Change and Conservation
  • Global Change Biology

Curriculum

A student may minor in Climate Change Studies with the approval of the academic directory. To complete this minor, students are expected to successfully complete the following course of study, totaling nineteen (19) credits:

Program Required Courses Credits
ENV 208 – Climate Change: Causes, Consequences, and Solutions 3
PHY 218 – Energy and Climate Change 4
SOC 227 – Climate Change and Society 3
Total Required Course Credits 10
Choose One (1) Policy Electives** Credits
ENV 250 – Environmental Policy in Comparative Perspective 3
ENV 362 – Climate Change Adaptation: Planning and Policy 3
MAF 300 – Climate Change, Oceans, and Law 3
MAR 316 – Science and Society 3
PSC 201 – Introduction to International Relations 3
PSC 205 – Introduction to Politics and Environment 3
PSC 306 – Environmental Politics 3
Total Policy Elective credits 3
Choose One (1) Natural Sciences Electives** Credits
ENV 318/318L – Advanced Field Methods in Avian Ecology and Conservation with Lab 4
ENV 328 – Environmental Pollution: Ecosystems, Wildlife, and Human Health 3
BIO 235/235L – Winter Natural History with Lab 4
BIO 413 – Global Change Ecology 3
BIO 422/422L – Coral Reefs with Lab 4
MAF 200 – Introduction to Marine Pollution 3
MAR 270/270L – Oceanography with Lab 4
MAR 436/436L – Natural History of Iceland with Lab 4
MAR 368 – Advanced Oceanography II: Physical and Chemical Oceanography 3
MAR 460 – The Scientific Basis for Global Climate Change 3
MAR 464 – Polar Biology 3
Total Natural Sciences Elective credits 3
Choose One (1) Social Sciences and Humanities Electives** Credits
BUEC 390 – Environmental Economics 3
BUEC 395 – Ecological Economics 3
ENV 321 – Environmental Communication: Expert Practices for Environmental Management 3
ENV 328 – Environmental Pollution: Ecosystems, Wildlife, and Human Health 3
ENV 340 – Environmental Movements and Social Change 3
ENV 344 – Environmental Ethics 3
PHI 202 – Ethics of Science and Technology 3
PHI 330 – Environmental Philosophy 3
SOC 210 – Displaced Cultures and Society 3
SOC 320 – Community Organization 3
SOC 226 – Environmental Sociology 3
SOC 265 – Social Issues/Problems Global World 3
SOC 377 – International Development 3
Total Social Sciences and Humanities Elective credits 3
Total Credits 19-20

*Course Designators vary by major and include but are not limited to ENV 295/495, PSY 300/400, PSC 411, SOC 300/400, SPT 395.

**Internship Opportunities (Optional): Internships may substitute for one of the above elective courses, subject to advisor and internship coordinator approval. The internship must deal explicitly with some aspect of climate change science, mitigation, or adaptation.

To learn more see the Academic Catalog.

A student in a field for hands-on Bobolink bird research
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Find your Career

Employers are increasingly interested in hiring those with an understanding of climate change for positions within fields ranging from business, economics, and health professions to marine science, environmental consulting, and political ecology. A Climate Change Studies minor complements many different majors at UNE and prepares you for a wider breadth of career possibilities than your major alone.

Having a background in climate change studies will benefit a multitude of careers, including:

  • Policy Analyst
  • Public Health Researcher
  • Director of Sustainability (government, business)
  • Renewable Energy Technician
  • Wildlife Biologist
  • Environmental Lawyer
  • Public Health Administrator
  • Urban or City Planner
  • Landscape Architect
  • Agricultural Extension Agent
  • Secondary School Teacher
  • Land Manager
  • Financial Planner
  • Business/Insurance Professional
Pair a Climate Change Minor With a UNE Major in For a Career in the Field of
  • Marine Sciences
  • Aquaculture, Aquarium Science, and Aquaponics
  • Marine Biology
  • Oceanography
  • Aquaculture
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Data Science
  • Risk Analysis
  • Business Administration
  • Sustainability and Business
  • Marine Entrepreneurship
  • Entrepreneurship
  • The Green Economy
  • Sustainability
  • Economics
  • Marine Affairs
  • Carbon Markets
  • Emissions Trading
  • Public Policy
  • Political Science
  • Marine Affairs
  • Public Policy
  • Climate Mitigation/Resiliency
  • Public Sector (legislature)
  • Social Work
  • Public Policy
  • Climate Justice
  • Public Health
  • Public Health Research
  • Public Health Administration
  • Art and Design Media
  • Communications
  • Climate Change Communications
  • Community-Based Social Marketing
  • Environmental Science
  • Environmental Studies
  • Wildlife Biology
  • Land Management
  • Education

Climate Change Careers by the Numbers

16,800

new climate analyst jobs expected in the next 10 years

Career Explorer, 2022
$73,230

national median salary for environmental scientists and related specialists

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021

Contact

Undergraduate Admissions

Contact Undergraduate Admissions at (800) 477-4863 or email admissions@une.edu. You can also stop by our office on the Biddeford Campus Monday–Friday from 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.