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Urban Ecology

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Program Description

Urban Ecology is an interdisciplinary field concerned with the interrelationships among social, environmental, and economic systems, with the goal of enhancing the vitality and sustainability of places and communities. The University of Utah’s Urban Ecology program is designed to respond to problems and opportunities that exist in cities, suburbs, small towns, and rural places for example, environmental management, fragile landscape protection, recreation and tourism, public lands planning, rapid population growth, regional transportation, energy production, and sprawl. As a student of the Urban Ecology program, you will take classes in urban ecology, planning, field studies, economics, law and social justice; you can also choose from a variety of electives topics, such as green infrastructure, sustainable development, community leadership and cities in literature. In your senior year, you will do an internship and take on a real world problem in the Ecological Planning Workshop.

The Student Experience

While a student of the program, take time to interact and network with peers and faculty, attend special guest lectures, and join one of our student organizations. Go to Italy or Korea to learn about the ways old and new cities strive to become more sustainable. Stay current by learning about the exciting research being conducted the Metropolitan Research Center and the Center for Ecological Planning & Design. Contribute to the field by completing your own research project or get involved in a community-based project.

Career Opportunities

The undergraduate program in Urban Ecology will prepare students for professional careers in environmental and sustainability planning, public health, public policy, and community development and planning. U graduates have used analytical and technical skills to pursue work as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analysts, planning consultants, conservationist, community organizers, environmental outreach, and project engineers. With further education, Urban Ecology graduates can pursue a career in architecture, law, real estate development, social work, urban design, urban & regional planning.

Last Updated: 7/15/24