The Center for Environmental Studies

Log Lunch Student Workers

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

Laura Marx on Forests and Climate Change

Laura Marx of the Nature Conservancy gave a talk at the last Log Lunch on how climate change has implications for forests. Severe weather, increased droughts, storms, and altered temperatures are changes in the environment that trees are used to.

Jessica Leibler on the animal-human interface

Jessica Leibler of the Department of Environmental Health at Boston University’s School of Public Health gave a talk at Log Lunch about her research on animals, humans, and the diseases they carry.

America’s Vanishing Coastline: Climate Adaptation and Decision-Making in Southern Louisiana

At the first Log Lunch of the spring semester, Katy Hall, associate professor at Williams-Mystic, and Natalie DiNenno ’18 presented “America’s Vanishing Coastline: Climate Adaptation and Decision-Making in Southern Louisiana.” The presentation was adapted from research DiNenno conducted for Hall’s...

David McGowan on the Role of Land Conservation in the Age of Changing Lands

David McGowan, director of the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation, gave a Log Lunch talk about how he got into land conservation and why it’s important that lands continue to be conserved.

Log Lunch: “Berkshire Rattlesnakes: The Most Endangered Vertebrates in New England”

The last Log Lunch of Winter Study featured Tom Tyning— Professor of Environmental Science at Berkshire Community College—who discussed New England’s most endangered vertebrate: the Timber Rattlesnake. This rare reptile is found in the eastern portion of North America, though...
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