research-measurementsThe 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.

A Living Laboratory

This fall, CES is moving to a new home designed to achieve Living Building Challenge status—the most rigorous performance standard for sustainable design. Our new building, which will also house the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives, will have wonderful indoor and outdoor gathering spaces for students, faculty and staff as well as many student environmental groups. We are already making plans to use the building as a laboratory for improving our understanding of energy and water conservation.

After Williams

Graduates of our environmental studies program have gone on to do great things. One of our alumni is the president and CEO of the Nature Conservancy. Another leads a major environmental group protecting the Hudson River. Another took time off from doctoral studies in oceanography to work on marine sanctuaries and ocean policy in Congress. Our graduates are perennially represented in the Peace Corps. Several have served as environmental secretaries at the state level. And still others are advancing environmental responsibility in business, industry, and non-governmental organizations. Most students eventually go on to professional or graduate training. And our active alumni network has excellent advice for seniors contemplating their varied options.

Department News

Jane Winn on the Fracked Gas Pipeline Proposed for Massachusetts

Jane Winn

Jane Winn, Executive Director of the Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT) came to Log Lunch on January 23 to talk about the proposed Northeast Energy Direct Pipeline (NEDP) by Kinder Morgan in Massachusetts. Kinder Morgan, an energy company, has proposed...

CDE Student Speakers: Yamin Portillo on “Cambodia and Deforestation” and Selarath Chum on “The Adventurous Guatemala”

Yamin Portillo & Selarath Chum

On January 16, two graduate students from the Center for Development Economics (CDE) at Williams College came to Log Lunch to speak about environmental issues in their countries. Selarath Chum from Cambodia discussed deforestation and Yamin Portillo spoke about the...

Ian Burnes on Waste Heat, An Overlooked Affordable Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategy

Ian Burnes of Efficiency Maine Trust in Dodd

On Friday, January 9, Ian Burnes of Efficiency Maine Trust came to the first Log Lunch of the year in Dodd to speak about using waste heat as an energy efficiency strategy. After graduating with an economics degree from Wesleyan,...

William Scully on Reclaiming Vermont’s Energy Future Through Hydropower

Bill Scully in front of the Log Lunch menu

On Friday, December 5, William Scully from Carbon Zero, LLC came to Log Lunch to speak about hydroelectric energy possibilities in the state of Vermont. Scully is a successful restaurateur from Bennington, Vermont, but he is also heavily involved with...

Pipeline Politics in the Berkshires: The Kinder Morgan Natural Gas Project

Mary Douglas (Left) After the Talk

On December 4, Mary Stewart Douglas, environmental lawyer and Washington correspondent for the Berkshire Edge spoke to a crowd of local residents and students about the Kinder Morgan natural gas pipeline. The proposed project is complicated and controversial, so Douglass’s...

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