Environment and Sustainability

Our students are empowered to create a more ecologically vibrant and economically and socially just world by engaging environmental problems in all their complexity.

Students develop problem-solving skills through integrative course work and experiential learning both inside and outside the classroom. When confronting the challenge of fostering sustainability our students get their boots muddy and their hands dirty with work on applied projects in the areas of climate change, action, and justice; biodiversity and wildlife conservation; agriculture and food systems, with emphasis on food security and sovereignty; circular economies, waste studies, and recycling; Geographic Information Systems (GIS); urbanization, land-use change, and planning; ocean and freshwater systems; geology; and the ongoing stewardship of natural resources. 

Students develop their theory-informed insights in integrative classes; hone their analytical, technical, and laboratory skills through course-based and co-curricular experiences; and test creative solutions in a variety of ways, including

  • working with campus and off-campus community partners on ecological restoration, ecological reconciliation, environmental management, and waste reduction projects in the area
  • seasonal engagement with food production at the campus farm and Whittaker Environmental Research agroecological field site
  • sustained stewardship of the Ursinus Food Forest and other campus greenspaces across multiple semesters
  • sustained engagement with the BearShare circular economies endeavor across multiple semesters
  • field trips to regional conservation areas and facilities
  • and meetings with champions of conservation and sustainability

Majors and minors can choose to focus their exploration of environmental problems broadly or more intensively by selecting one of six concentrations: applied sustainability, biodiversity and wildlife conservation, climate change, earth and environmental science, environmental justice, and food studies. Each concentration offers a distinctive path through the base major and a focused set of course-based and experiential learning experiences. The department also supports students interested in Marine Science. 


As part of their learning, students also have the opportunity to  shape the College’s commitment to the Welcome Home Project, working both 1) to affirm the acknowledgment of our campus’ location in Lënapehòkink, or the traditional homelands of the Lenape people, and 2) realize critical elements of the Statement of Mutual Intentions signed by the College with the five federally recognized Tribes (U.S. and Canada) that comprise the Lenape.

Quick Environment and Sustainability Facts


of Environmental Studies majors get substantial real-world experience during their four years.

Meet Our Alumni

Photo of Amos Almy working in a national park

Amos Almy

Class of 2013 | Mount Rainier National Park

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Headshot of Catherine Buczek

Catherine Buczek

Class of 2018 | Tallahassee, Florida

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Allie Cook works with the Food Corps in Maine

Allie Cook

Class of 2018 | Indian Township, Maine

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Gabe Haug explores Oregon forests.

Gabe Haug

Class of 2016 | Eugene, Oregon

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Jessie Kemper working to remove invasive species from our waterways.

Jessie Kemper

Class of 2012 | Schwenksville, PA

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Planting trees as part of watershed conservation efforts in the Perkiomen.

Beth Myers

Class of 2017 | Schwenksville, PA

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Headshot of Lauralee Lightwood-Mater

Lauralee Lightwood-Mater

Class of 2011 | Philadelphia, PA

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Photo of Regan Dohm holding a bird of prey

Regan Dohm

Class of 2012 | Madison, Wisconsin

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ENV alum Sarah Huang at the Beaufort Sea for ethnographic field work as part of her graduate degree.

Sarah Huang

Class of 2014 | West Lafayette, Indiana

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Adam Schwemin

Adam Schwemin

Class of 2013 | Rockville, MD

Delivery Experience Specialist, Tesla Motors, Inc.

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ENV Alum Pete Sosinski is studying law in New York.

Pete Sosinski

Class of 2013 | White Plains, New York

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Pfahler Hall 112
Environment and Sustainability