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.

The Environmental Studies Program

Senior Majors and Concentrators 2015

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.


2015 Envi students

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Department News

Jen Allan on “Paris Climate Summit 2015 and the History of Climate Negotiations”

On Friday, November 13th, Jen Allan visited the log to share her knowledge on the history of climate negotiations in relation to the upcoming Paris Climate Summit.  Jen is currently a PhD student at the University of British Columbia, studying...

Gaye Symington on “You’ve Gotta Run for Office!”

On Friday, November 6th was lucky to have Gaye Symington as the first official speaker at the new and improved Log! Gaye graduated from Williams in 1977 as an Art major and Environmental Science concentrator. Gaye is a strong believer...

Professor Ken Schmidt on “The Ecology of Eavesdropping Behavior: Animal Communication in the Forest”

On Friday, October 23rd Ken Schmidt, a Professor of Biology and Texas Tech University came to the Log to share about his research on “The Ecology of Eavesdropping: Listening in on your Neighbors May Save your Life.” Professor Schmidt is...

Alex Apostos on “Turbulance in the Water: Mixing Science and Policy”

On Friday, October 2nd, lecturer in the Geosciences Department, Alex Apostos, spoke at the weekly Log Lunch about mixing science and policy. His objective of the presentation was to provide a sense of what it is like to be a...

Bruce Ward on “The Future of Outdoor Recreation: Overcoming the Perfect Storm Threatening the Great Outdoors”

Last Friday, September 25th, Bruce Ward, the President of Choose Outdoors joined Williams College for our weekly Log Lunch. Choose Outdoors is a coalition for outdoor activities and interests. Their goal is to increase the use of the outdoors for...

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