Environmental Studies

Our Mission

The Environmental Studies Program at The College of Idaho complements the College’s mission of promoting lifelong learning, personal development, and community leadership through offering students an education in the complex relationships among natural systems and human cultures. The interdisciplinary program encourages students to question their own cultural and environmental attitudes and examine these values in their lives and work. In addition, the program provides students the necessary skills to think critically, obtain and analyze data, speak and write effectively about the environment, and actively engage in their communities.

Environmental Studies (ES) is a field of study that explores the various and complex relationships that exist between human beings and their environment. Because understanding these relationships requires a variety of critical perspectives, the major is interdisciplinary and writing-intensive: it includes courses in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. The ES program includes components of ecology and environmental systems, the impacts of aesthetic representations of the environment, the history of environmental thought, the role of public policy and ethics in environmental decision-making, the various conceptions of "environment" held by different cultures, and the global nature of environmental problems.

All ES majors and minors complete a set of "Core" courses. In addition, to ensure in-depth training in a specific discipline, the ES major also includes a "Focus" area. Through its "Core" courses, the ES Program provides a unique opportunity for students to organize their Liberal Arts Core requirements around the interdisciplinary study of a broad and multifaceted theme: the environment.

Students interested in the following areas may find the ES Program particularly useful: careers in education, public policy, resource management, public health, public administration, international development, the non-profit sector, or the sciences; or graduate study in environmental law or policy, science, economics, or environmental literature.

Given the interdisciplinary nature of environmental studies, the ES major is unusually large. Therefore, students planning to pursue an ES major should meet with an ES faculty member (listed below) and begin taking courses in the ES Core no later than the start of their sophomore year.

Faculty: Jim Angresano (Political Economy), Denny Clark (Religion), Michael Hitchman (Mathematics), Rochelle Johnson (English), Scott Knickerbocker (English), Jasper LiCalzi (Political Economy), Don Mansfield (Biology), Kathy Seibold (Anthropology), Scott Truksa (Chemistry), Elizabeth Wakeman (Philosophy), Chris Walser (Biology), Eric Yensen (Biology).