The Environmental Studies Program is designed to help students become systems thinkers—an increasingly important trait, sought by employers and necessary for addressing complex problems.
Understanding environmental issues requires knowledge of natural and human social systems and the ways they interact, which can only be gained through the integration of diverse perspectives. For this reason, the interdisciplinary environmental studies major (and the minor too) focuses on developing students' abilities to integrate concepts and knowledge relevant to environmental issues from across multiple disciplines and to communicate about those in important ways. Progress toward these central goals is supported by a variety of skills developed through hands-on learning experiences. Environmental Studies students can expect to integrate information from various fields, confront diverse and sometimes conflicting perspectives, and apply these in specific problem-solving efforts.
The graphic above is a visual representation of the interdisciplinary nature and structure of the major. All environmental studies students develop a common foundation through core classes focusing on natural systems, human social systems, ways of effectively communicating about complex interdependent systems, and through the cultivation of practical skills. Beyond that, environmental studies majors identify one of the three areas of emphasis that best matches their interests and aspirations. With the help of their adviser, each student then crafts a personalized combination of elective courses within that area of emphasis.
For more information about specific major and minor requirements, please see "Program Requirements."
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For advising and more information, please contact:
- Michael Benedict, Program Co-Director and Assistant Professor