The mission of the Environmental Studies Program is to foster deep learning of and critical engagement with diverse human-environment relationships within the complex dynamics of the natural world.

Students explore these relationships within a broad range of cultural, historical, social, and scientific contexts: urban and rural, global and local, past and present. Our students engage critically with questions of justice and inequity that arise in myriad settings from wild lands to cities. Students develop scientific and cultural knowledge of diverse narratives about what “nature” means, how nature works, and why it matters.

Students develop a strong foundation of skills, theories, and perspectives within one of our established foci, as well as broad knowledge across the liberal arts. ES majors integrate ideas and approaches that span disciplinary lines and pursue open-ended, collaborative, and placed-based learning that is simultaneously scholarly, pragmatic, and community oriented.

Through a commitment to interdisciplinary learning, our students develop the following:

  • The ability to anticipate and understand interconnectivity within complex and dynamic socioecological systems.
  • The practice of engaging, communicating, and collaborating to enrich our understanding of complex environmental systems and to advance solutions to the world’s most challenging environmental problems.
  • The habits of mind and heart to bring intellectually sophisticated and culturally aware knowledge of nature, environmental decision making, and human-nature relationships into lives of compassionate, ethical, and engaged citizenship.