environmental studies program

Old Growth Forest

In Exploring Nature, nearly every class is spent outdoors and students always visit the old growth forest on nearby Mt. Sunapee.
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Environmental Internships…

Environmental Studies majors gain valuable professional experience through a required internship.

Career Opportunities…

Graduates who major in Environmental Studies are prepared for careers anywhere in the world.

Environmental Studies Faculty…

Environmental Studies majors learn from experienced, expert faculty members.

B.S. in Environmental Studies

The Environmental Studies major is for those whose interest in the environment is more interdisciplinary. Required study areas introduce students to ecology, business, nature writing, ethics and psychology or sociology and make links between each of these areas and the environment.

There are six focus areas to select from in this major: aquatics, conservation biology, food and agriculture, sustainable systems, teaching outdoors, and writing for the environment. All six focus areas take full advantage of the environment surrounding Colby-Sawyer. The region's many lakes and rivers, forests and mountain ranges allow students to conduct field research where they live.

Minor in Environmental Studies

The minor in Environmental Studies can be combined with any baccalaureate degree. See the college catalog for requirements.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will locate, evaluate and share information effectively and responsibly.
  2. Students will demonstrate an understanding of group/team dynamics, the ability to assess teamwork, and work effectively in a team.
  3. Students will communicate informed and responsible action to address ethical, social, and environmental challenges. Evaluates and applies diverse perspectives to complex subjects within natural and human systems in the face of multiple and even conflicting positions (i.e. cultural, disciplinary, and ethical).
  4. Students will critically analyze and engage with complex, interdependent global systems (social, economic and environmental) and develop both a functional and a working knowledge of interactions within and among natural and global systems with an emphasis on human impacts and problem-solving.
  5. Students will assess own ethical values and the social context of problems, recognize ethical issues in a variety of settings, develop a personal statement/philosophy with regard to one's personal ethics.

Facilities and Resources…

The Environmental Studies Department offers stationary and mobile lab equipment for air, water and soil testing. The department is housed in the new Curtis L. Ivey Science Center, with extensive space for laboratories, classrooms and technology including GIS.

Community Based Projects…

The community based project is the defining characteristic of the Environmental Studies and Environmental Science majors. In addition to traditional classroom and laboratory exercises, students are immersed in an in-depth, year-long analysis of a local environmental problem or issue.

Field Studies…

Colby-Sawyer College offers a variety of field studies courses and also has an affiliation agreement with the School for Field Studies for an international experience.

Capstone Project

Colby-Sawyer seniors complete a Capstone project, a culmination of work in their fields of study that allows them to demonstrate a deep understanding of a body of knowledge and perspectives informed by that knowledge.

Environmental Studies majors complete an independent research project in an area relevant to the study of community and environment. Students learn to develop a research question, become familiar with quantitative and qualitative research methods, and write a literature review and a research proposal. Class sessions are discussion-based as students apply the readings to the development of their research question and proposal. Visit My Capstone Experience to find out more about student capstones.

Additional Curricula Opportunities…

Students interested in law, medicine and veterinary practice can combine their major with a course of study to prepare for the next academic step.