The Center for Environmental Studies

50th Anniversary Agenda and Registration

Environmental issues call upon citizens, organizations, and governments to grasp complex scientific concepts, address conflicting human values, and make difficult economic, political and ethical choices. The three curricular options in Environmental Studies—the major in Environmental Studies and the concentrations in Environmental and Maritime Studies—are designed to prepare students to effectively address 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 the 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, funding for student-organizations, and student initiated activities, and generous support for summer research and internships. The Class of 1966 Center, a Living Building and the Program’s home, includes a classroom, living room, study rooms, kitchen, as well as student gardens. The CES manages the Hopkins Memorial Forest, a 2600-acre natural area northwest of campus, in which there are field-study sites and a laboratory, and where passive-recreation opportunities may be found in all seasons. CES also operates the Environmental Analysis Laboratory in Morley Science Center. The Maritime Studies concentration builds on the course offerings of the Williams-Mystic Maritime Studies Program at Mystic Seaport.

Read more about CES

Department News

Astrid Dubois and Max Harmon tell us about their summer adventures: volcanos and place-based curriculums

Max worked in L.A., his hometown, at a high school using a place-based curriculum. This is important to him because of his educational experience, which was isolated from the place he was in. “We don’t learn about the things that...

Johnnie Kamugisha on How Uganda’s Birds are Adding New Dimensions to Ecotourism

Johnnie Kamugisha, proprietor of and tour leader at Birding in Paradise Safaris Ltd., gave a Log Lunch talk on the lesser known animals of Uganda: birds. The large mammals tourists traditionally associate with Africa can’t compare to the rare and...

Tom Van Winkle Urges Students to Seek Out Their “Grand Passion”

Tom Van Winkle, executive director of Williams-Mystic, gave an inspiring talk at Log Lunch this past Friday, cautioning students against “trying to prove that you’re not a bum” being the motivation behind their studies. He encouraged students to take a...

Using Industrial Economics to Protect Small Island Nations from Effects of Climate Change

Jim Neumann (’84) is a principal at Industrial Economics, Incorporated, a consulting firm for governments, businesses, and not-for-profits. He specializes in the economics of climate change, air pollution regulation, and climate change adaptation.

“Confronting Climate Change,” CES Documentary Film Screening at Log Lunch

The Williams College Center for Environmental Studies was founded in 1967. In honor of the 50th anniversary, the College invited a series of prominent speakers to address the topic “Confronting Climate Change.” CES Fellow Elizabeth Kolbert invited some of them...
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