Environmental Justice


Dr. Patrice Nielson, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies


With a long devotion to social justice rooted in our mission as a Catholic college for women, Trinity offers an Environmental Justice minor, as part of the Global Affairs program. Environmental Justice is the idea that all people, regardless of race, color, ethnicity, or income, have equitable and meaningful involvement in the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental policies. A minor in Environmental Justice equips students with the knowledge and skills to advocate for social change and to take action against environmental issues largely affecting marginalized communities. The minor is open to all majors in the College of Arts and Sciences and aligns particularly well with the major programs in Biology, Chemistry, Business Administration, Health Services, Global Affairs, Journalism and Media Studies, Political Science, and Sociology. Students pursuing this minor, across a range of fields, will have numerous opportunities to study and engage in significant environmental work in the greater Washington region.

Students in the environmental justice minor will:

•Understand the history leading to environmental injustices in the world today.
•Be literate in the basic science behind environmental issues.
•Make connections between their chosen career path, impacts on environmental justice, and intersections with other fields of study.
•Find and communicate solutions to environmental issues
•Learn and practice skills necessary to advocate for environmental justice and other causes.
•Identify and get involved with environmental justice organizations.

Minor Requirements

Required Courses (7 credits)
ENVS 101 Discovering Planet Earth
ENVS 280 Environmental Justice Seminar

Elective Courses – select from each category below (12-15 credits):

Human Systems and the Environment
Choose one of the following:
PHIL 280 Environment Ethics and Beliefs
ENVS 281 Environmental Pollution
POLS 345 Environmental Politics

Choose one of the following:
BADM 328 Business, Government, and Society
BIOL 113 Biodiversity of Living Systems
BIOL 351 Ecology
ECON 253 Economic Development

Global Issues
Choose one of the following:
BADM 210 Is Globalization Good?
BADM 307 International Business
ECON 253 Economic Development
ENVS 443 Conservation Biology
SOCY 131 Global Social Issues
GLBL 382 Energy and Global Affairs

Community Action
Choose one of the following:
ENVS 281 Environmental Pollution
SOCY 221 Community Development and Urban Problems
BADM 330 Sustainability, Innovation & Entrepreneurship
WST 369 Women and Community Change
WST 301 Women, Peacemaking, and Nonviolence

Program Policies

Advanced Placement:
Credits earned through AP examinations do not fulfill requirements of the minor.ƒ

CLEP Policy:
Credits earned through CLEP examinations do not fulfill requirements of the minor.

Grades in Required Courses:
Students are required to earn a grade of “C” (2.0) or better in all courses counted to fulfill requirements for the minor.

Pass/No Pass:
With the exception of internships, courses fulfilling minor requirements may not be taken pass/no pass.

Study Abroad:
Students may meet minor requirements with courses taken during study abroad.

TELL Policy:
The Environmental Justice Program supports and encourages Trinity’s TELL Program. Students applying for experiential learning credit should consult with the program faculty.

Transfer Credits:
Transfer credit from appropriately accredited institutions of higher learning may be counted for minor requirements, dependent on program review and approval. Associations recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHEA) confer appropriate accreditation; these associations include but are not limited to regional accreditors.