Maj
Min

Environmental Studies

About

As an environmental studies major at Saint Michael’s, you will investigate important domestic and global environmental problems and learn how to help create a more sustainable world. You will get outside the classroom for engaged learning that reflects the social justice mission of the college through internships, study abroad, community projects, and collaborative research with faculty. You can also participate in sustainability and environmental justice projects on campus such as recycling and energy efficiency, working in the organic garden, and activism through environmentally-conscious clubs such as Green Up, Food for Thought, the Fair Trade Committee and the Divestment Campaign.

In-Depth

As an environmental studies major you will enroll in an interdisciplinary core of courses team-taught by faculty from the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences.  Building on this core, you can then choose from three tracks for the major:

Environmental Imagination

Environmental Imagination is for students interested in exploring how different intellectual and creative traditions have imagined nature in the past and how they continue to inspire new perspectives on the relationship between human beings and the natural world in the present and for the future.

Environmental Justice and Sustainability

Environmental Justice and Sustainability is focused upon the social science of decision-making around some of the most important global challenges of our time: climate change, the potential of fair trade, and of domestic and international initiatives to protect the environment.

Environmental Science and Policy

Environmental Science and Policy gives students a deeper understanding of the ways in which scientific knowledge and discovery is used to form environmental policy.

Other Courses

The sophomore-level Environmental Research Methods course will take you into the field in Vermont urban and rural communities, as well as natural environments, to focus on specific skills in the social and natural sciences that relate to environmental problems.   In Environmental Studies Practicum you will apply those skills in the world outside the classroom.  In Senior Seminar you will complete a capstone research project.

You can also choose from other courses such as:

  • Eco and Environmental Art
  • Religion, Ecology and Ethics
  • Philosophy of Science, Technology and Environment
  • Film and the Environment
  • Environmental Economics
  • Coral Reef Ecology
  • Sustainable Food Systems
  • Environmental Hazards
  • Nature and Outdoor Writing
  • Politics of Food
  • Introduction to Ecology and Evolution
  • New England Environmental History
  • Community and Environmental Planning
  • Environmental Conflict Resolution
  • Geography of Water
  • Global Environmental Politics

Research

Environmental studies majors are very active in the college’s student research programs.  Funding is available for students to conduct summer research projects working with faculty.  Recent grant-funded environmental studies student research projects include:

  • Nitrogen Pollution and Phosphorus Stress on NE Trees
  • Nature Deficit Disorder and VT Framework of Learning Standards
  • Perceptions and Reality of Energy Sources in Vermont and NH
  • Nitrogen Pollution and Phosphorus Availability on Soil Microbial Respiration
  • Organic Methods of Pest Control for VT Hops Growers
  • Totum: a Database of At-Risk-Locations
  • VT EPSCOR Water Quality Lab

TOTUS: a student research video on climate change in Alaska by Ross Henry.

Internships

Internships and Community Partnerships

At Saint Michael’s environmental studies students are involved in partnerships with local and international non-governmental organizations, businesses and government agencies so you’ll have many opportunities to make a positive contribution to environmental change while acquiring skills needed for work or graduate study.  Students do environmental internships at such places as:

  • Sopher Investments (rating environmental practices of businesses for development of green portfolios for environmentally conscious investors)
  • Native Energy (carbon-offset business)
  • Shelburne Farms (environmental education)
  • Ben and Jerry’s (wastewater monitoring)
  • The Intervale (organic garden and compost facility)
  • The ECHO Center (environmental education and animal care)
  • Essex Junction Wastewater Treatment Facility (economics of utility management)
  • Keeping Track, Inc. (non-profit wildlife monitoring and citizen science organization)
  • Instituto Oceanografico (tropical ecology)
  • 350 Vermont (climate change activism)

Environmental Studies Internship at Ben & Jerry’s

Special Opportunities

Environmental Law and Policy

Saint Michael’s has an agreement with Vermont Law School that guarantees Saint Michael’s graduates admission into law school providing they meet the entrance requirements. The Vermont Law School is ranked number one in the US for environmental law.  The environmental studies program at Saint Michael’s provides an ideal foundation for law school through courses that shape critical thinking, analytic reasoning, and oral and written communication skills.

 

Study Abroad

Saint Michael’s sponsors environmental study trips to places such as India, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Cuba, and the United Kingdom.  Recent topics have included Coral Reef Ecology, Sustainable Food Systems, and the Environmental and Aesthetic Study of Sustainable Places. In addition to these two or three week trips, Saint Michael’s is affiliated with the School for Field Studies with longer term environmental programs in the Turks and Caicos, Bhutan, Australia, and Tanzania.

 

On-Campus Sustainability and Leadership Opportunities

Students at Saint Michael’s College have many opportunities to engage in projects that promote campus sustainability, raise awareness on campus and locally of pressing environmental issues, and hone leadership skills through challenging outdoor wilderness activities.  The campus organic garden offers paid summer positions and academic year volunteer opportunities, while four active environmentally-themed clubs develop environmental citizenship skills through fair trade, divestment and local food campaigns.

Careers

The number and kinds of careers in the environmental field are growing rapidly. Many organizations, including for-profit corporations and non-profit institutions, now have a sustainability office with at least one staff member taking the lead on environmental efforts. The fully interdisciplinary nature of our program prepares graduates well to work with a variety of constituencies within organizations on environmental initiatives since the skills required for that work go beyond scientific understanding of environmental problems.  Graduates of our Environmental Studies program are well prepared to pursue careers in the fields of environmental conservation, environmental management, environmental education, and “green” business.

Recent Environmental Studies graduates are working at businesses and organizations like:

  • Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
  • Environmental Maintenance Contractors
  • Greenskies Renewable Energy
  • Intervale Center
  • National Parks Conservation Association
  • NextGen Climate
  • Norwich Technologies
  • Peace Corps
  • Stantec
  • Sustainable Nantucket

The program also prepare students for post-graduate study in environmental law, “green” M.B.A., environmental sustainability, environmental studies, ethics, conservation, management and policy programs.  Saint Michael’s has an articulation agreement with the Vermont Law School that guarantees admission to the J.D. program or the Masters of Environmental Law and Policy program for qualified Saint Michael’s College graduates.

In-Depth

As an environmental studies major you will enroll in an interdisciplinary core of courses team-taught by faculty from the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences.  Building on this core, you can then choose from three tracks for the major:

Environmental Imagination

Environmental Imagination is for students interested in exploring how different intellectual and creative traditions have imagined nature in the past and how they continue to inspire new perspectives on the relationship between human beings and the natural world in the present and for the future.

Environmental Justice and Sustainability

Environmental Justice and Sustainability is focused upon the social science of decision-making around some of the most important global challenges of our time: climate change, the potential of fair trade, and of domestic and international initiatives to protect the environment.

Environmental Science and Policy

Environmental Science and Policy gives students a deeper understanding of the ways in which scientific knowledge and discovery is used to form environmental policy.

Other Courses

The sophomore-level Environmental Research Methods course will take you into the field in Vermont urban and rural communities, as well as natural environments, to focus on specific skills in the social and natural sciences that relate to environmental problems.   In Environmental Studies Practicum you will apply those skills in the world outside the classroom.  In Senior Seminar you will complete a capstone research project.

You can also choose from other courses such as:

  • Eco and Environmental Art
  • Religion, Ecology and Ethics
  • Philosophy of Science, Technology and Environment
  • Film and the Environment
  • Environmental Economics
  • Coral Reef Ecology
  • Sustainable Food Systems
  • Environmental Hazards
  • Nature and Outdoor Writing
  • Politics of Food
  • Introduction to Ecology and Evolution
  • New England Environmental History
  • Community and Environmental Planning
  • Environmental Conflict Resolution
  • Geography of Water
  • Global Environmental Politics

Research

Environmental studies majors are very active in the college’s student research programs.  Funding is available for students to conduct summer research projects working with faculty.  Recent grant-funded environmental studies student research projects include:

  • Nitrogen Pollution and Phosphorus Stress on NE Trees
  • Nature Deficit Disorder and VT Framework of Learning Standards
  • Perceptions and Reality of Energy Sources in Vermont and NH
  • Nitrogen Pollution and Phosphorus Availability on Soil Microbial Respiration
  • Organic Methods of Pest Control for VT Hops Growers
  • Totum: a Database of At-Risk-Locations
  • VT EPSCOR Water Quality Lab

TOTUS: a student research video on climate change in Alaska by Ross Henry.

Internships

Internships and Community Partnerships

At Saint Michael’s environmental studies students are involved in partnerships with local and international non-governmental organizations, businesses and government agencies so you’ll have many opportunities to make a positive contribution to environmental change while acquiring skills needed for work or graduate study.  Students do environmental internships at such places as:

  • Sopher Investments (rating environmental practices of businesses for development of green portfolios for environmentally conscious investors)
  • Native Energy (carbon-offset business)
  • Shelburne Farms (environmental education)
  • Ben and Jerry’s (wastewater monitoring)
  • The Intervale (organic garden and compost facility)
  • The ECHO Center (environmental education and animal care)
  • Essex Junction Wastewater Treatment Facility (economics of utility management)
  • Keeping Track, Inc. (non-profit wildlife monitoring and citizen science organization)
  • Instituto Oceanografico (tropical ecology)
  • 350 Vermont (climate change activism)

Environmental Studies Internship at Ben & Jerry’s

Special Opportunities

Environmental Law and Policy

Saint Michael’s has an agreement with Vermont Law School that guarantees Saint Michael’s graduates admission into law school providing they meet the entrance requirements. The Vermont Law School is ranked number one in the US for environmental law.  The environmental studies program at Saint Michael’s provides an ideal foundation for law school through courses that shape critical thinking, analytic reasoning, and oral and written communication skills.

 

Study Abroad

Saint Michael’s sponsors environmental study trips to places such as India, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Cuba, and the United Kingdom.  Recent topics have included Coral Reef Ecology, Sustainable Food Systems, and the Environmental and Aesthetic Study of Sustainable Places. In addition to these two or three week trips, Saint Michael’s is affiliated with the School for Field Studies with longer term environmental programs in the Turks and Caicos, Bhutan, Australia, and Tanzania.

 

On-Campus Sustainability and Leadership Opportunities

Students at Saint Michael’s College have many opportunities to engage in projects that promote campus sustainability, raise awareness on campus and locally of pressing environmental issues, and hone leadership skills through challenging outdoor wilderness activities.  The campus organic garden offers paid summer positions and academic year volunteer opportunities, while four active environmentally-themed clubs develop environmental citizenship skills through fair trade, divestment and local food campaigns.

Careers

The number and kinds of careers in the environmental field are growing rapidly. Many organizations, including for-profit corporations and non-profit institutions, now have a sustainability office with at least one staff member taking the lead on environmental efforts. The fully interdisciplinary nature of our program prepares graduates well to work with a variety of constituencies within organizations on environmental initiatives since the skills required for that work go beyond scientific understanding of environmental problems.  Graduates of our Environmental Studies program are well prepared to pursue careers in the fields of environmental conservation, environmental management, environmental education, and “green” business.

Recent Environmental Studies graduates are working at businesses and organizations like:

  • Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
  • Environmental Maintenance Contractors
  • Greenskies Renewable Energy
  • Intervale Center
  • National Parks Conservation Association
  • NextGen Climate
  • Norwich Technologies
  • Peace Corps
  • Stantec
  • Sustainable Nantucket

The program also prepare students for post-graduate study in environmental law, “green” M.B.A., environmental sustainability, environmental studies, ethics, conservation, management and policy programs.  Saint Michael’s has an articulation agreement with the Vermont Law School that guarantees admission to the J.D. program or the Masters of Environmental Law and Policy program for qualified Saint Michael’s College graduates.