Our approach to Environmental Studies and Science is grounded in a core ethos that to understand the environment students must be able to think and act across disciplinary boundaries. Students are engaged in cross disciplinary inquiry in the classroom, in the laboratory, and in the field by faculty from across the College. We offer two major degrees, a BA in Environmental Studies and a BS in Environmental Science. In addition we offer a Minor concentration in Environmental Studies. All three programs of study include integrated work in the humanities, the social sciences, pre-professional fields, and the natural sciences. The two degrees share foundational coursework before students specialize in courses appropriate to the Environmental Studies or Environmental Science pathway. Our Environmental graduates are ready to enter the workforce directly in fields like environmental research and management, advocacy, and education in private businesses, non-profit organizations, and government; they are also qualified for graduate programs in areas such as Environmental Science, Environmental Law, Environmental Policy, Management, Conservation, or the Environmental Humanities. We have a well-tested articulation agreement offering Saint Michael’s graduates preferential admission to the Vermont Law School with its nationally-ranked programs in environmental law and policy.
Students benefit from extensive interaction with dedicated faculty, both in and out of the classroom, and they receive hands-on experience with modern scientific instrumentation in the laboratory and in the field. Students can expect to make extensive use of our Vermont setting during the field-based portions of their coursework, including the Saint Michael’s College Natural Area. Many experiential learning opportunities are available such as on and off campus internships, Study Abroad, community-engaged learning, and faculty-student research. Many students become involved in campus sustainability and food production through our Sustainability Office and the College Farm which feature research and service opportunities in energy conservation and recycling as well as an innovative permaculture approach to food production. Students may also get involved in the environmental student groups and activities on our campus including Saint Michael’s Green Up with its Earth Week events.
The Environmental Studies Major and Minor
Chair: Professor Richard Kujawa
Associate Professor: Laura Stroup
Instructor: Trevien Stanger
Although environmental problems frequently are defined within the natural sciences, their underlying causes and ultimate solutions lie equally within the scope of the humanities and social sciences. Human-environment relations, then, must be recognized as the product of a complex mix of national and international social, cultural, scientific, economic and political forces. The Environmental Studies major incorporates observation, appreciation, spirituality, and critical examinations of nature and the relationship humans develop with the natural environment. Students build upon this holistic framework to shape their own investigations into pressing domestic and global environmental problems gaining insights into their own relationship with nature and their role in the creation of a more sustainable world.
The Environmental Science Major
Chair: Professor Richard Kujawa
The Environmental Science major gives students the opportunity to improve their scientific understanding of the human impact on our natural world and to engage in environmental problem-solving. Building on a shared foundation of interdisciplinary environmental coursework, the Environmental Science curriculum is strongly rooted in biology and chemistry with an array of laboratory and field experiences. Field and lab-based elective coursework in the natural and physical sciences is complemented by the insights of the social sciences and humanities in an interdisciplinary synthesis.