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

Programs of Study

Major or Minor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies 

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

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.

Degree Requirements and Courses

Required Courses

Concentrations

Students majoring in environmental and sustainability studies pursue diverse programs of study depending on which concentration they choose and which particular courses they take as electives within their concentration.

The program is administered by a faculty steering committee. Each student seeking the major or minor should contact one of the program chairs for advisement in the environmental and sustainability studies program.

Major in Environmental and Sustainability Studies with a Natural Sciences Concentration

4 credits in physical sciences from the following:

4 credits in statistics from the following:

4 credits in arts and humanities from the following:

4 credits in ethics or theology from the following:

4 credits of upper-level environmental science from the following:

4 credits in social science from the following:

Major in Environmental and Sustainability Studies with an Environmental Policy Concentration

The requirements for a major in environmental and sustainability studies with an environmental policy concentration are 37-40 credits.

4 credits in physical or biological sciences from the following:

4 credits in ethics or theology from the following:

8 credits in policy from the following:

4 credits in arts and humanities from the following:

Additional requirements:

  • 1-4 credits in a policy-related internship, study away, or directed research experience approved by the environmental and sustainability studies program director(s): ENVR 390 – Cooperative Education OR ENVR 487 – Directed Research, 4 credits
  • ENVR 475 – Interdisciplinary Research, 4 credits

Major in Environmental and Sustainability Studies with a Sustainability Studies Concentration

4 credits in statistical or geographical reasoning from the following:

4 credits in ethics or theology from the following:

8 credits in policy or economics from the following:

4 credits in arts and humanities from the following:

4 credits of upper-level environmental science or GIS not taken above from the following:

Additional requirements:

  • 1-4 credits in a policy-related internship, study away, or directed research experience approved by the environmental and sustainability studies program director(s): ENVR 390 – Cooperative Education OR ENVR 487 – Directed Research, 4 credits

Major in Environmental and Sustainability Studies with an Environmental Humanities Concentration

The requirements for a major in environmental and sustainability studies with an environmental humanities concentration are 36 credits.

8 credits in ethics or theology from the following:

4 credits in policy or economics from the following:

8 credits in arts and humanities from the following:

8 elective credits not taken above from the following:

Major in Environmental and Sustainability Studies with a Contract Concentration

4 credits in policy from the following:

4 credits in arts and humanities from the following:

Additional requirements:

  • 20 credits proposed by the student as a course of study in environmental and sustainability studies, along with a rationale describing how the courses meet the student’s goals and the learning objectives of the environmental and sustainability studies program – subject to approval by the environmental and sustainability studies program director(s). The major should be submitted and approved no later than the end of the junior year. Some examples of emphasis include sustainability leadership, environmental education, sustainable design, sustainable agriculture, ecofeminism, environmental activism, indigenous and traditional ecological knowledge, climate justice, and more.
  • Recommended course: BIOL, ENVR 360 – Introduction to Geographic Information Systems, 4 credits

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

Contact

Dr. Jonathan M. Steinwand

Professor, English; Co-Director, Environmental and Sustainability Studies Program English, Environmental and Sustainability Studies