Environmental Studies

Students, faculty, and staff in the Department of Environmental Studies approach environmental understanding and problem solving through diverse programs that examine the interaction of social and natural systems to promote positive change in the environment. Western’s interdisciplinary Environmental Studies curriculum is designed to help students make intellectual connections and gain the practical skills necessary for building socially and environmentally sustainable futures. The Department’s undergraduate programs include a variety of major specializations. A range of minors, including Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and Sustainable Design, are also available.

Western’s Environmental Studies Department is part of Huxley College of the Environment.


Beyond the Classroom

Student work is received and recognized from national and statewide organizations for exceptional problem-solving solutions that use geographic information systems and computer-aided design. Some students are published in The Planet, a student-run publication that combines the environmental focus of Huxley College with the writing and reporting skills of journalism to produce an award winning environmental magazine.

Huxley hosts the Huxley College Speaker Series, which brings guest lecturers to Western’s campus to address topics of contemporary environmental concern in the region and beyond. The speaker series is intended to bring together environmentally-minded members of the Western and Bellingham communities. Students and Bellingham community members also volunteer for LEAD (Learning Environment Action Discovery), a program designed to help restore native environments and increase biodiversity.

Bringing together even broader communities, Huxley College students have the opportunity to take environmental studies classes in Europe and other parts of the world through a number of faculty-led study abroad summer programs.

Careers and Graduate Studies

Environmental Studies directs students to specific environmental career paths or provides an excellent background for advanced study in education, law, natural resource management, public administration, urban and environmental planning, and other fields.

Sample Careers

  • Urban Planner
  • Environmental Lawyer
  • County Planner
  • Environmental Public Relations
  • Director of Non-Profit Organizations

Department of Environmental Studies

Environmental Studies, BA

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