Our curriculum is developed to ensure students look at the field through an interdisciplinary lens. The program uses the expertise of faculty members across campus, including biology, political science, English, philosophy, and history. Students do hands-on field studies and have exceptional opportunities to travel and study abroad.

Our courses are uniquely designed to explore complex challenges and solutions while emphasizing collaboration across disciplines and employing expertise from many departments across campus.

Programs of Study

Major or Minor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies 

Majors can choose from the following concentrations: Natural Sciences, Environmental Policy, Sustainable Studies, Environmental Humanities, and Contract.

Unique Opportunities

Capitalizing on the strengths of the college's liberal arts curriculum, environmental and sustainability studies offers many opportunities for hands-on experiences, field research, and study abroad.

River Ecology

Many of our students work with the River Keepers organization in Fargo-Moorhead to study issues related to water quality in the Red River basin.

Eco Experience

At the college's Language Villages near Bemidji, Minn., students study energy conservation and north woods ecology at the one-of-a-kind BioHaus, designed by a leading-edge German environmental firm.

Long Lake Field Station (LLFS)

Located about 35 miles from campus near Detroit Lakes, Minn., the LLFS allows students to study a variety of issues related to prairie, forest and lakeshore habitat. The on-site classroom provides an opportunity to bring samples from the land and water in for closer examination.

Learning Tools

Students use Geographical Information Systems to analyze data related to various environmental and sociological issues. Applications range from natural resource management, to engineering and construction, to public safety. Students are mapping the Long Lake Station’s forb, grass and tree species using GPS and GIS.

Explore the World

Many of our abroad programs study unique places like Norway's Lofoten Islands, located above the Arctic Circle where ocean currents are changing the landscape. Or the Galapagos Islands to see some of the world’s most unique plant and wildlife species. Or to Tanzania to work alongside scientists with the African Wildlife Federation.

Careers and Continuing Studies

Positions Held by Recent Grads

Fish hatchery, Colorado // Environmental scientist, Dakota Technologies // Regional community organizer, NextGen Climate // Development coordinator, AmeriCorps, VISTA, CARE Clinics // Microbiology lab, American Crystal Sugar Company // Biology instructor, Hibbing Community College // Executive advisor, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Alumni Graduate Schools

Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University // Kent State University // Pacific University // Indiana University School of Law – Bloomington


Dr. Jennifer L. Sweatman

Associate Professor, Biology; Program Co-Director, Environmental and Sustainability Studies Biology, Environmental and Sustainability Studies

Dr. Joseph C. Whittaker

Associate Professor, Biology, Environmental and Sustainability Studies Biology, Environmental and Sustainability Studies