This course examines the complex and often problematic relationships and connections between humans and natural ad built environments. How do environments shape cultures and societies? How do societies and cultures shape environments? What effects does this interaction have on both the natural world and on human life? What are some of the cultural, social, and ecological consequences of development, globalization, economic growth and affluence? How are communities around the world working to manage, protect and improve their natural and built environments? Starting with Macao and China, we will address these questions by examining how cultures and societies construct knowledge about nature and attribute value to it, how they use or abuse environments and resources, and how human activity, culture and social organization have always been deeply linked to the natural, material world. We will also examine how factors such as gender, race, class, ethnicity, and cultural/historical experience influence the ways people perceive, understand, relate to, and are affected by the environments in which they live. In understanding these issues, we will use social science theories and concepts such as social stratification, social interaction, and continuity and change. We will bridge sociology, anthropology, history, political science, economics, and psychology, and will do a comparative analysis between Macao, China, and other societies.