The Center for Environmental Studies

Environmental issues call upon citizens, organizations, and other agencies to grasp complex science concepts, address conflicting human values, and make difficult economic, political and ethical 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.

The program is administered by the Center for Environmental Studies (CES), located in Class of 1966 Environmental Center. Founded in 1967, CES was one of the first environmental studies programs at a liberal arts college. In addition to the academic program described below, 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 databases, GIS facilities, and funding for student–initiated activities, summer research and internships. The Center administers the Hopkins Memorial Forest, a 2600–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.


Log Lunch





The Center for Environmental Studies (CES) is one of the oldest environmental programs at a liberal arts college and now encompasses two majors—one in environmental policy and the other in environmental science—and a concentration in environmental studies. The program is interdisciplinary and includes hands-on learning as well as theoretical research.

Graduates of the environmental studies program have diverse careers from nonprofits and policy to science research and advocacy. CES provides career and summer internship advice to students as well as connections to our active environmental studies alumni network. Additionally, CES offers summer grant funding for students.

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Department News

Erica Chang ’17 on “The Blue Mussel: Mytilus edulis”

As a recipient of the Williams College Center for Environmental Studies summer grants, class of 2017 student Erica Chang pursued her interest in marine life and returned to Mystic, Connecticut to continue her research of the impact of rising temperatures...

Jeffrey Rubel ’17 on “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish”

As a recipient of the Williams College Center for Environmental Studies summer grants, Jeffrey Rubel, a member of the class of 2017, presented his summer project “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish,” at Log Lunch on Friday, October 14.

Richard King on “The Giant Squid, Global Warming, and Whale Extinction”

On September 29th, 2016, beloved Williams Mystic Professor, Richard King, spoke to the Williams Community on Moby Dick and the Giant Squid.  Specifically, what historical fiction can teach us about the world around us. Professor King reviewed for some and explained...

Van Jones on “Green Jobs not Jails”

Wednesday, September 28, 2016 – ’62 Center, Williams College

Todd Holland on “How a Small Liberal Arts College, with Limited Resources, made a bold move into Solar that will Slash most of its Carbon Emissions in a Single Project”

At Log Lunch on Friday, September 23, we heard from Todd Holland, the Projects and Operations Manager at Hampshire College. Mr. Holland worked at Williams College for four years in the Zilkha Center and Facilities Department, where he oversaw the...
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