Environmental Studies

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Department of Environmental Studies TREE House Project named winner of the Portage Park District Foundation's 2015 Environmental Education Award.


Hiram's 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. For this reason, the interdisciplinary environmental studies major and minor are designed to develop students' abilities to integrate relevant concepts and knowledge from across the disciplines and to communicate what they learn in multiple ways.  Progress toward these main goals is supported by a variety of skills developed through hands-on learning experiences.  In the Environmental Studies program, students can expect to integrate information from various fields, confront diverse and sometimes conflicting perspectives, and apply what they learn in real life problem-solving efforts.

The graphic (above right) portrays the interdisciplinary nature and structure of the major.  Environmental Studies majors and minors 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 advisor, each student then crafts a personalized combination of elective courses within that area of emphasis.

For more information about current course offerings and specific major and minor requirements, please see "Courses and Requirements.

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For advising and more information, please contact:

  • Michael Benedict, Department Chair and Associate Professor
  • 330.569.6048
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.