Center for Environmental Studies

  • Stephen Polasky ’79 is an Ecological/Environmental Economics Professor at the University of Minnesota. Additionally, he is on the Board of Directors and Science Council of The Nature Conservancy as well as the Director of the Natural Capital Project. Polasky spoke at Log Lunch and had a seminar with the Class...

    Paul de Konkoly Thege '14

    Environmental Science major, Paul de Konkoly Thege ’14 presented his senior thesis research at log lunch on April 25, 2014. His research was focused on studying ocean circulation to learn more about rapid climate change.

    De Konkoly Thege first explained the two basic types of ocean circulation: surface ocean circulation...


    Carbon Emissions Awareness

    For Earth Week, a group of students made an art display in Paresky to show the volume of carbon emitted by a member of the Williams College community per day.

    Michael Klare on “The Carbon Curse: Resisting the Addictive Lure of Fossil Fuels”

    On April 22, 2014,...

    Matt Silver '01

    Matt Silver ’01 is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Cambrian Innovation. Cambrian Innovation was founded in 2006, while Silver was attending MIT, as a solution-oriented technology company that works with corporate, government, and agricultural clients. While at Williams, Silver majored in Astrophysics and Art History and continued his...

    Annie Moore '01 (left) and Jen Lazar '01 (right)

    Jen Lazar ’04 is a co-founder, program consultant, and facilitator of the Field Academy, an educational program that seeks “to connect, engage, empower, and educate young people from across the United States in order to inspire enduring learning and create a just and healthy world.” Lazar along with Annie Moore...

    Karen Weinberg (right) and CES Chair Professor Ralph Bradburd (left)

    Karen Weinberg owns and operates a sheep farm named 3 Corner Field Farm, with her husband, Paul Borghard, and their two daughtes. Their farm started in 2000 and raises sheep which in turn provide yogurt, cheese products, fiber, and meat. Weinberg spoke about the challenges of meeting the desires of...

    Roopali Phadke, is an Associate Professor of Environmental Studies at Macalester College. She studies political economy, science, and technology through the lens of environmental studies. Some of her work has focused on wind energy development, local place politics and energy production. On March 10, 2014, Phadke spoke about her work...

    Alison Carter

    Alison Carter is a Senior Program Officer with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the world’s largest conservation organization. The mission of WWF is “to conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth” and “to build a future in which people live in harmony...

    Gregory Durrell (right) and his daughter, Stephanie Durrell '14 (left)

    Gregory Durrell is a Senior Research Scientist and chemical engineer at Battelle where he specializes in sediments found in water. As a research and consulting firm, Battelle is unique in its purely scientific approach. Durrell spoke about his work in the chemistry of sediment offshore Alaska.

    Durrell began his log...

    Joshua Welch '86

    Joshua Welch ’86 is a Managing Partner at Vicuna Advisors LLC. Additionally, he is the owner of a small grass-fed beef cattle operation that is located by his home in Stonington, CT. In 2002, Welch decided to move to southeastern Connecticut and convert 45 acres of land into pastures to...

    Sarah Gardner (left) and Lisa Fernandez (right)

    Lisa Fernandez is the Assistant Director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication.

    She has a background in urban development both nationally and internationally. Fernandez spoke about the work of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and how their research focuses on climate change and the American mind....

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    Sugar House at Hopkins Memorial Forest
    prize win
    Prizes for outstanding scholarship were awarded to four students at Commencement on June 3.
    Log Lunch Cooks 2013-2014
    A tradition of the Center since 1972, Log Lunches are held on Fridays during the academic year at noon. Each week, a vegetarian lunch prepared by Williams students is served, followed by a talk on an environmental topic.
  • Welcome!


    The Environmental Studies Program is administered by the Center for Environmental Studies (CES). Founded in 1967, CES was one of the first environmental studies programs at a liberal arts college. In addition to the academic program, CES is the focus of a varied set of activities in which students lead and participate, often with other members of the Williams community.


    CES offers extensive resources including library materials and databases, GIS facilities, and funding for student–initiated activities, summer research and internships. The Center administers the Hopkins Memorial Forest, a 2620–acre natural area northwest of campus, where field–study sites, a laboratory, and passive–recreation opportunities may be found in all seasons. CES also operates the Environmental Analysis Laboratory in Morley Science Center.


    Environmental issues call upon citizens, organizations, and other agencies to grasp complex science, address conflicting human values, and make difficult ethical and political choices. The three curricular options in Environmental Studies—the majors in Environmental Policy and Environmental Science and the concentration in Environmental Studies—are designed to prepare students to deal effectively with these issues by integrating perspectives and methodologies from the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the arts and humanities.