Raft down the Grand Canyon. Shape environmental legislation. Climb the slopes of Mount Rainier. Collect algae in the Puget Sound. Survey the giant forests of the Pacific Northwest.
Getting out in the field is easy when you have the field right outside the classroom. Students in Environmental Studies benefit from Evergreen’s natural learning labs: our 1,000-acre rainforest, open shoreline and organic farm. Our location in Washington’s capital city makes getting involved in environmental politics easy. Students live and learn where policies are created. The surrounding community’s high level of environmental consciousness and the Pacific Northwest’s cultural and natural heritage form an unparalleled backdrop to your studies.
Environmental Studies offers introductory and advanced work in a wide array of laboratory and field studies that incorporate social sciences, environmental justice, biology, geology, chemistry, climatology, evolution, ecology, hydrology and oceanography. You can also work independently with support through independent contracts, internships and research. You’ll have the opportunity to work along with faculty in real-world research, publish papers, attend conferences and develop new techniques to answer novel questions. The mixture of an interdisciplinary approach and hands-on research allows you to make a transformative impact.
Join us in an education that doesn’t just change your life; it gives you the tools to change the world.
Ocean Life and Environmental Policy
Offered Fall 2013–Spring 2014
The Pacific Northwest’s cultural and natural heritage form an unparalleled backdrop to your studies.
It is essential to understand the interconnections between biology and ecology in order to make informed decisions about how environmental policy should proceed. This core program is designed to provide legal knowledge and scientific skills necessary to understand problems facing Earth’s ecosystems.
Learning will take place through lectures, seminars, a workshop series and biology laboratory exercises. Work in the field and multi-day field trips will give students first-hand exposure to various marine environments.
We will cover standard topics of first year college biology, using marine organisms as our foci, and will examine marine biodiversity in various contexts.
In spring, students will undertake a community-based internship or carry out a research project related to ocean life. This independent work will provide valuable hands-on experience to build practical knowledge and skills in environmental policy and science.
Offerings Proposed for 2013-2014
Programs for Freshmen and Sophomores
- Ocean Life and Environmental Policy (Freshman-Only Program)
- The Science Behind the Headlines: What's the Truth? (Freshman-Only Program)
- Approaches to Sustainability
- Consuming Cultures
- Introduction to Environmental Studies
- Reading Landscapes: Earth Science and Literature
Programs for Juniors and Seniors
- Activism, Advocacy and Citizenship
- Avian Research and Monitoring Methods: Winter Bird Ecology
- Field Ecology
- Mammals and Birds in the Landscape
- Marine Life: Marine Organisms and Their Environments
- Riparian Environments: Form and Function
- Small World: Poverty and Development on a Shrinking Planet
- Temperate Rainforests: Ecology, Chemistry and Management
Both upper and lower division students may take these programs
- A Sense of Wonder
- Adventure Travel and Eco-Tourism: The Businesses and Their History
- Andean Roots: Language and Cultural Landscape
- Botany: Plants and People
- China: Business, Economy, Society, Sustainability
- Community-Based Research: Social and Environmental Justice
- Conquest East, Conquest West: Comparative "Manifest Destinies"
- Earth Matters: Geology and Chemistry
- Ecological Agriculture: The Science and Policy of Food Systems
- Energy Systems and Climate Change
- Evolution and Ethics
- Field Plant Taxonomy
- Fire and Water: The Sun, Oceans and Atmosphere in Climate Change
- Green Materials: Arts, Science, and Construction
- Green Materials: Craft and Construction
- Health vs. Wealth
- Natural Capitalism: A Pathway to Sustainability
- Northwest Developments: Land Use, Economics and the Politics of Growth
- Practice of Sustainable Agriculture: Spring, Summer
- River Reciprocity
- Science Seminar in Energy Systems and Climate Change
- Tend and Tell: Developing and Interpreting an Ethnobotanical Garden
Jackie Heinricher ’86 is leading a biological revolution.
An Environmental Studies degree from Evergreen prepares you for graduate studies and careers in the field. Our graduates are leaders in ecology, environmental health, natural resource management, conservation, forestry, wildlife biology, politics, economics and global sustainability movements.
You also have the option of continuing your studies with our graduate program on the environment.
Facilities and Resources
The Organic Farm
Students of all levels have access to science labs with a full range of equipment and high-tech tools.
At the Organic Farm students can explore sustainable agriculture, agro-ecology and environmental sciences. In addition to three acres of certified organic fields, the farm’s facilities include a food-grade laboratory, the student-designed and built Organic Farmhouse, and the student-run Demeter’s permaculture demonstration site and Community Gardens.
The Evergreen State College Forest & Campus Shoreline
Evergreen’s 1,000-acre forest is ideal for studying a lowland Puget Sound second-growth rainforest. Through the Evergreen Ecological Observation Network (EEON) project, students and faculty are conducting long-term scientific research. The college’s 3,300-foot-long shoreline offers a variety of ecosystems and natural features for students to investigate.
Labs, Gardens & Collections
Students of all levels have access to science labs with a full range of equipment and high-tech tools. You can study some 27,000 specimens in the college’s zoological, botanical and mycological collections. Evergreen’s campus is also dotted with a variety of teaching gardens.
Sustainability in Prisons Project
The Sustainability in Prisons Project trains inmates and correctional staff at local prisons to carry out ecological research and conservation projects.
Rachel Carson Forum
Students in Evergreen’s The Graduate Program on the Environment program organize this annual event. Experts speak on environmental topics such as local sustainability and climate change.
The Sustainability House is a living/learning option for returning and transfer students. Residents commit to an environmentally conscious lifestyle, social justice, sustainable agriculture and activism.