Environmental Studies

Environmental Studies takes an interdisciplinary and holistic approach to understanding human-environment systems and environmental challenges.

Do you want to use your knowledge and skills to promote positive change in the environment? Do you want to understand the interactions and interdependencies between human and natural systems? Do you want an interdisciplinary education that reflects the complexity of society’s environmental challenges? Do you want to learn to communicate and integrate knowledge across areas of environmental expertise? Then Environmental Studies is the major for you.

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Environmental Studies Degrees

Economics / Environmental Studies, BA

Degree Type: Interdisciplinary

Students who choose this degree will learn how to use economic principles to help understand the economic causes of environmental problems and how to identify potential remedies through law and policy. The degree awarded is a B.A. in Economics.

Contact

Kathryn Patrick, Huxley College Professional Advisor
Kathryn.Patrick@wwu.edu | 360-650-3520

Diane Brearley, Economic Major Information: Academic Department Manager
Diane.Brearley@wwu.edu | 360-650-3910

Environmental Studies, BA

Do you want to use your knowledge and skills to promote positive change in the environment? Do you want to understand the interactions and interdependencies between human and natural systems? Environmental Studies takes an interdisciplinary and holistic approach to understanding human-environment systems and environmental challenges.

Contact

Kathryn Patrick, Huxley College Professional Advisor
Kathryn.Patrick@wwu.edu | 360-650-3520

Environmental Studies (Extension), BA

Location: Western on the Peninsulas

WWU Huxley College on the Peninsulas (HOP) is distance-based education for students located in Poulsbo, Port Angeles, and Everett, Washington. The HOP Environmental Studies major includes core classes in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities to prepare our students to integrate knowledge from multiple fields of study.

Contact

Alex Tadio, Huxley College on the Peninsulas Admissions Advisor
| 360-650-4485

Environmental Studies (Extension) — Environmental Policy Emphasis, BA

Location: Western on the Peninsulas

WWU Huxley College on the Peninsulas (HOP) is distance-based education for students located in Poulsbo, Port Angeles, and Everett, Washington. Do you want to use your knowledge and skills to promote positive change in the environment? Then the Environmental Studies – Environmental Policy emphasis is for you.

Contact

Alex Tadio, Huxley College on the Peninsulas Admissions Advisor
| 360-650-4485

Environmental Studies (Extension) — Geographic Information Science Emphasis, BA

Location: Western on the Peninsulas

WWU Huxley College on the Peninsulas (HOP) is distance-based education for students located in Poulsbo, Port Angeles, and Everett, Washington. Geographic Information Science Emphasis students gain advanced skills in the creation, development, management, analysis, and visualization of spatial data.

Contact

Alex Tadio, Huxley College on the Peninsulas Admissions Advisor
| 360-650-4485

Environmental Studies — Education & Eco-Social Justice Emphasis, BA

Students explore themes of environmental hope, eco- and social-justice, Indigenous and Land/Sea methods and practice of teaching, and Urban/City settings. With partnerships around the Salish Sea, students work on local projects that focus on public health, socio-environmental literacy, and climate justice.

Contact

Kathryn Patrick, Huxley College Professional Advisor
Kathryn.Patrick@wwu.edu | 360-650-3520

Gene Myers, Faculty Advisor
Gene.Myers@wwu.edu |

Environmental Studies — Elementary, BAE

Degree Type: Teaching Endorsement

Are you excited about teaching children about the environment? Do you want to teach people to make environmental choices in their lives? Perhaps an Environmental Studies-Elementary major is for you!

Contact

Kathryn Patrick, Huxley College Professional Advisor
Kathryn.Patrick@wwu.edu | 360-650-3520

Teacher Education Admission, Woodring College of Education
TeacherEd.Admission@wwu.edu | 360-650-3313

Environmental Studies — Geographic Information Science Emphasis, BA

Do you love maps? Are you comfortable with spatial problem solving? Do you enjoy the combination of art and science that goes into cartography? Are you curious about how spatial data can be used to explain the patterns and processes behind environmental issues? Come join us as we work together to map our world!

Contact

Kathryn Patrick, Huxley College Professional Advisor
Kathryn.Patrick@wwu.edu | 360-650-3520

Environmental Studies — Geography Emphasis, BA

Environmental Geography links together the social sciences and natural sciences, studying the relationships between human activity and natural systems. We draw on knowledge from many different fields of study to give us the big picture view of how and why cultural and natural landscapes vary over space.

Contact

Kathryn Patrick, Huxley College Professional Advisor
Kathryn.Patrick@wwu.edu | 360-650-3520

Environmental Studies — Justice & Community Resilience Emphasis, BA

Gain the interdisciplinary knowledge and skills to promote a more just and resilient society. Become an effective advocate for environmental justice and support frontline communities facing climate change, environmental pollution, sea-level rise, and oppression. Learn how to use policy, planning, advocacy, and engagement strategies to address environmental injustice and increase community resilience.

Contact

Kathryn Patrick, Huxley College Professional Advisor
Kathryn.Patrick@wwu.edu | 360-650-3520

Environmental Studies — Policy Emphasis, BA

Learn how science and policy interact as stakeholders attempt to regulate pollution, manage natural resources, protect natural spaces, and live with environmental disturbances. Make a difference working at non-profits, as a consultant, or in the government.

Contact

Kathryn Patrick, Huxley College Professional Advisor
Kathryn.Patrick@wwu.edu | 360-650-3520

Environmental Studies/Journalism, BA

Degree Type: Interdisciplinary

Environmental Journalism offers the opportunity to explore the intersection between the natural world and politics, science, economics and culture. It combines rigorous research with creative storytelling.

Contact

Kathryn Patrick, Huxley College Professional Advisor
Kathryn.Patrick@wwu.edu | 360-650-3520

Jennifer Keller, Journalism Department Chair
Jennifer.Keller@wwu.edu | 360-650-4987

Major at Western

The Environmental Studies major includes core classes in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities to prepare our students to integrate knowledge from multiple fields of study. Our students learn to analyze and interpret complex environmental data and communicate environmental information for diverse stakeholders. The Environmental Studies major equips students to succeed as environmental professionals through experiential learning and advanced coursework in each student’s choice of an emphasis.

Huxley on the Peninsulas (HOP)

WWU Huxley College on the Peninsulas (HOP) is a distance based, interactive network that allows curriculum designed by faculty in Bellingham’s residential campus to be delivered to students located in Poulsbo, Port Angeles, and Everett, Washington. As a direct transfer pathway program, freshman and sophomore students in regional community colleges have guidance into four-year, direct transfer degree programs into HOP. 

Designed for working students, classes are scheduled from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. and are initiated by in-person faculty with the use of interactive conferencing.

Explore Courses

ENVS 412 - Environmental Journalism 

ESCI 404 - Indigenous Resource Management in the Salish Sea 

ENVS 333 - East Asia: Society and Environment 

ENVS 487 - Conservation Psychology 

ENVS 467 - Power, Privilege, and the Environment 

What can you do with?

There are so many different things you can do with an Environmental Studies degree. It really depends on which emphasis you decide on.

Education & Eco-Social Justice Emphasis

Graduates with this emphasis have assumed positions as curriculum consultants, interpreters with resource management agencies, youth coordinators, facilitators for disability services, and a diversity of educator roles with non-profits, schools, government, and businesses. 

Geography Emphasis

As an environmental geographer, you can make a difference working in the fields of geospatial analysis, teaching, planning, natural resource management, conservation and restoration, and more. Graduates with this emphasis have assumed positions in State and National Parks, the Forest Service, college and universities, non-profit organizations, and the private sector.

Justice & Community Resilience Emphasis

With a Justice and Community Resilience Emphasis, you can make a difference working at non-profits, as a consultant, or in the government. Graduates with this emphasis often go on to work in emergency management or as environmental justice advocates. Other graduates bring the skills and knowledge gained in this emphasis to other environmental positions. Some go on to graduate studies in social science, disaster studies, public administration, or international development. 

Policy Emphasis

With an Environmental Policy Emphasis, you can make a difference working at non-profits, as a consultant, or in the government. Graduates with this emphasis often go on to work in environmental agencies at the federal, tribal, state, and local levels, working in consulting and non-profit sectors, or go on to graduate studies in public administration, law, or related fields.

Career List

Education & Eco-Social Justice Emphasis

  • Educator
  • Curriculum Writer
  • Environmental Interpreter
  • Adventure Educator
  • Community Organizer
  • Youth Coordinator
  • Naturalist
  • Communications work in Sustainability Non-profits and Government Agencies
  • Educational Consultant
  • Field School Administrator
  • Wellness Facilitator
  • Intergenerational Educator 

Geographic Information Science Emphasis

  • GIS Technician
  • GIS Analyst
  • GIS Manager
  • Geospatial Analyst
  • Cartographer
  • Geographer

Geography Emphasis

  • Cartographer
  • GIS Analyst
  • Tourism Industry
  • Professional
  • Water Resource Manager
  • Park Ranger
  • Restoration and Conservation Analyst
  • Forest Service Employee
  • Educator

Justice & Community Resilience Emphasis

  • Careers with environmental justice non-profit organizations
  • Careers in emergency management
  • Careers in federal, tribal, and state emergency management agencies
  • Careers in international non-governmental organizations in humanitarian aid and international development
  • Bring justice and resilience concepts to a range of other environmental sector careers

Policy Emphasis

  • Environmental consultant
  • Environmental analyst
  • Careers with non-profit organizations
  • Environmental communications
  • Environmental advocacy
  • Careers at federal, tribal, and state agencies, such as Forest Service, NOAA, EPA, DNR, Ecology, and local municipalities

Related Majors

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