Environmental Studies Department

Program Description

The Environmental Studies program can help students use the resources of the entire University to gain an interdisciplinary understanding of such increasingly serious issues as pollution, wildlife and wilderness preservation, land use, biodiversity loss, resource depletion, energy conservation, and a generally healthful relationship between nature and society. The program offers both a major and a minor and also assists students in constructing special majors and identifying programs and individual courses in various departments that concern themselves with environmental questions.

The major is designed to help students understand environmental issues in their political, social, and scientific context. Because dealing with environmental issues requires an interdisciplinary approach, we emphasize the development of strong writing, research, and quantitative skills and a broad liberal arts perspective. Advisors will help the student majoring in Environmental Studies to select a minor from another department.

Environmental Studies students find work primarily in research, analysis, and enforcement activities in state, federal, and local governments. Others work for nonprofit organizations such as The Nature Conservancy, Audubon Society, and Sierra Club. Some work as consultants to private firms, and some graduates become teachers in primary schools, secondary schools and universities. A few have created their own careers in such areas as organic farming, managing cooperatives, and social action.

Environmental Studies students often go on to professional and graduate schools in such fields as law, ecology, engineering, journalism, economics, public health, political science, public administration, special education, environmental policy, and human ecology.