Spotlight: GLOA 400 Global Affairs Capstone: Justice & the Global Environment, Spring 2023

In GLOA 400, students draw from interdisciplinary core and concentration coursework in order to synthesize, compare and consolidate the various approaches and theories explored throughout the major through a focus on a pressing global issue.

Additionally, the course is designed to further develop research, writing, presentation, and organizational skills.


In this section of GLOA 400 (cross-listed as INTS 475), students consider how power asymmetries and entrenched political, social, and economic forces can both produce contemporary global environmental challenges, from the climate and extinction crises to conflicts over extraction and energy transitions, and undermine solutions to them. 

Considering race, ethnicity, class, nationality, and gender, in particular, students in the class analyze how environmental injustices emerge and persist as well as how we might overcome that across scales.

Especially through the semester’s primary assignment – a group-based, policy-oriented project on a specific environmental issue of their choice, students develop subject-matter expertise and produce original reports that directly address pressing global challenges.

Portrait In the Spring 2023 semester, GLOA 400 is taught by Professor Laura Aileen Sauls on Tuesday evenings in Horizon Hall. 

Professor Sauls focuses on the global environment. Her research draws on political ecology and critical development studies to examine how resource-governing institutions change in the context of global environmental crises and political economic shifts.

Her most recent projects explore how emerging remote sensing and near-earth observation technologies intersect with ongoing land rights struggles and governance arrangements.