Why study Human Dimensions of Environmental Management?

In this program, you’ll major in Human Dimensions of Environmental Management and learn how to use collective action, policies, institutions, and management approaches to influence environmental and natural resource conflicts, with consideration for Indigenous history, politics and cultural values. For example, you’ll learn to promote stewardship of Indigenous lands within the context of government policies and industrial development. You’ll also develop a scientific understanding of environmental change, with a focus on the social context through which environmental issues are addressed.

Is this program for me?

This five-year integrated program focuses on how social change is involved in environmental issues through sciences and humanities perspectives. Emphasis is placed on understanding how Indigenous history, politics and cultural values influence natural resource management. These competencies are in demand as industry and organizations work to advance reconciliation.   

Following this program, you will graduate with two degrees: a Bachelor of Science in Environmental & Conservation Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Native Studies. You can take this degree through either the Faculty of Native Studies or the Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences (ALES) and will remain enrolled in that faculty for the duration of the degree.

Apply Now


“For effective conservation, I believe that there is more to be considered than the biological and ecological factors. Conservation should be an inclusive and collaborative process, expanding on both western science and traditional knowledge for the benefit of all wildlife, landscapes, and communities.” Read more...


- Undergraduate student Rachel Wiebe explored new perspectives, as well as the land and culture of the Yukon, during the REN R 465 Northern Exposures Field Course.

Photo by Rachel Wiebe


Featured Courses

Wildlife Biodiversity and Ecology (REN R 205)

Introduction to animals in the context of conservation, interactions with people, and roles in natural ecosystems. Labs provide a survey of Western Canadian animal life, both vertebrate and invertebrate, with emphasis on recognition of higher taxa and on hierarchical classification. Field trip. 

View in course catalogue

History and Fundamentals of Environmental Protection and Conservation (REN R 260)

A philosophical and sociological exploration of historical and contemporary perspectives on human-environmental relationships and their implications. Explores these perspectives in a framework of critical thinking and through case studies.

View in course catalogue




Indigenous Knowledge and Oral Traditions (NS 355)

This course considers oral traditions as aspects of broader, culturally-defined systems of knowledge, in which stories are vehicles for encoding and transmitting knowledge about the people, their culture, and their history. It focuses on new academic and community-based approaches, as well as the complementarity of oral traditions/Indigenous knowledge and Western science. Students will explore the evolving roles of oral traditions for contemporary Indigenous peoples, including creative expression. 

View in course catalogue

Resilience and Global Change (R SOC 443)

This course explores the links between community and environmental sustainability using the lens of social-ecological resilience. What values/beliefs, knowledge, practices and norms have contributed towards the sustainability of local resources and ecosystems? How are small social groups demonstrating resilience in the face of larger scale political, economic, cultural, and environmental change? Drawing on interdisciplinary social science literature, the course critically discusses concepts, theories and issues of resilience from around the globe. Normally offered in alternate years. 

View in course catalogue



Feature Careers

Indigenous liaisons help build and maintain positive and effective relationships between people of Indigenous (First Nations, Metis, and Inuit) cultures, people who are not Indigenous to Canada, and stakeholders who work for or are served by an organization that employs an Indigenous liaison. Average salary: $62,124

Source: Government of Alberta, Occupations in Alberta



  • Indigenous Relations Specialist
  • Traditional Ecological Knowledge Advisor
  • Indigenous Culture Training Consultant
  • Indigenous Liaison
  • Sustainability Specialist
  • Environmental Relations Advisor
  • Environmental Educator
  • Researcher
  • Traditional Ecological Knowledge Advisor

Check out the U of A’s Environmental Science Career Guide for more options.


You may also
be interested in:

Programs related to a combined degree in Human Dimensions of Environmental Management: