Master of Environmental Studies
MES Celebrates 25 Years of Environmental Leadership
Evergreen's Master of Environmental Studies program recently commemorated its 25th anniversary at the 20th annual Rachel Carson Forum.
The event, held at the Longhouse, included the keynote address, "Becoming a Conservationist," by veteran environmental educator and advocate Estella Leopold, the daughter of renowned ecologist Aldo Leopold. Billy Frank, an environmental leader, treaty rights activist and longtime chairman of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, also addressed the forum. Other presentations included promoting political progress, composting and bike-pannier making demonstrations. During the MES celebration, former MES directors Oscar Soule, Tom Rainey and Ralph Murphy spoke, as did current director Martha Henderson.
The MES program accepted its first class in the fall of 1984. Students work toward earning a graduate degree in environmental studies, which integrates knowledge about environmental science and public policy. Evergreen's program is unique among most environmental master's programs, which typically emphasize either science or policy. The goal is to produce graduates who combine an interdisciplinary understanding of the social and natural sciences with the skills and wisdom to intelligently address environmental problems. The program has historically drawn students from around the country and the world, as well as from throughout the state. Since classes are offered in the evenings and on weekends, the MES program has made it possible for many full-time employees to earn a graduate degree.
MES alumni are employed in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors; while others continue their graduate study in related Ph.D. programs. In state government, for example, the program has placed alumni in the departments of agriculture, ecology, fish and wildlife, health, labor and industries, natural resources, and transportation.