Environmental Studies

Become an environmental change-agent. Learn to merge the natural and social sciences to solve environmental problems. Survey giant forests of the Pacific Northwest. Collect marine life in the Puget Sound. Work as an environmental policy intern in the Washington State Legislature.

Spring at the Organic Farm

Note: You can join or leave a Path of Study at any time and your credits will always count toward your Bachelor’s degree.

Programs will guide you from introductory to advanced work in three main areas: Ecosystem Science, Organismal Biology, and Human/Environment Dynamics. You can select programs from all three emphases if prerequisites are met. 

  • Ecosystem Science: Climate change, pollution, sea-level rise, and wildfire outbreaks are examples of environmental problems that require an ecosystem perspective. You will study movement and distribution of matter and energy in ecosystems, examining environmental problems through systems thinking. Through this emphasis, you will:
    • Gain a scientific understanding of many of Earth’s most pressing integrated biogeochemical problems.
    • Establish a firm foundation in math, chemistry, biology and science communication.
    • Acquire knowledge of carbon-cycle science, ecology, statistics and study design, conducting hands-on experiments using state-of-the-art technologies in ecosystem science.
  • Biodiversity/Organismal Biology: Evergreen has a strong history of field-based study of biodiversity and natural history. These key terms encompass the study of organismal biology, which connects the molecular and biochemical worlds to large-scale evolutionary and ecosystem processes.
    • Work in state of the art facilities: Natural History Museum, Aquarium Sciences Lab, 1000-acre campus forest
  • Human/Environment Dynamics:  Understanding environmental challenges and solutions requires seeing social systems and Earth systems as one. You will:
    • Understand contemporary issues—such as the climate crisis, species extinctions, and pollution—through the use of analytical and practical tools drawn from the integration of natural and social sciences. 

Recent graduates are working in the field as climate change specialists, carbon cycle scientists, marine chemists, soil scientists, and leaders in national environmental monitoring. Many students go onto graduate school to further their studies and careers.

Join us in an education that doesn’t just change your life — it gives you the tools to change the world.

Learn more about this field.

Spring at the Organic Farm

    Back to the Environmental Studies overview.

    This Path can prepare you for careers in

    • Climate science
    • Carbon cycle science
    • Marine chemistry
    • Natural resource management
    • Wildlife biology
    • Soil science
    • Environmental monitoring
    • Environmental policy

    Graduate school opportunities beyond this Path

    • Master's in Environmental Science
    • Ecology
    • Marine biology
    • Vertebrate biology
    Faculty on this Path
    Title Expertise
    Bond, Robin analytical chemistry
    Bowcutt, Frederica botany, ecology, environmental history
    Chin-Leo, Gerardo oceanography, marine biology
    Cook, Amy ecology, vertebrate biology
    Dirks, Clarissa biology, virology, molecular biology
    Fischer, Dylan forest and plant ecology
    Joshi, Shangrila climate justice, climate policy and politics, political ecology, environment and development
    LeRoy, Carri freshwater ecology, quantitative biology, environmental education
    Muehleisen, David sustainable agriculture, entomology
    Przybylowicz, Paul ecology, biology, mycology
    Scheuerell, Steven ecology, botany, plant pathology
    Styring, Alison ornithology
    Tabbutt, Kenneth geology
    Thuesen, Erik marine science, zoology, ecophysiology
    Yu, Pauline marine science
    Catalog Offerings for 2021-22
    Title Paths Class Standing Credits
    Biology and Climate Change in the Pacific Northwest
    • Freshman
    • Sophomore
    • Junior
    • Senior
    16
    Birds, Patterns, and Poetry
    • Freshman
    • Sophomore
    • Junior
    • Senior
    8, 16
    Botany: Plants and People
    • Junior
    • Senior
    16
    Changemaker Lab: Ocean Business and Science – Coral Reefs, Clams and Team Entrepreneurship
    • Junior
    • Senior
    16
    Chemistry Counts!
    • Freshman
    • Sophomore
    • Junior
    • Senior
    16
    Counting on the Brain
    • Freshman
    • Sophomore
    • Junior
    • Senior
    16
    Counting on the Brain
    • Freshman
    • Sophomore
    • Junior
    • Senior
    16
    Ecology of Grazing and Grasslands in the Pacific Northwest
    • Freshman
    • Sophomore
    • Junior
    • Senior
    16
    Exploring Other Worlds: Astrobiology & Instrumentation
    • Sophomore
    • Junior
    • Senior
    16
    Field Ecology
    • Junior
    • Senior
    16
    Fisheries in the Pacific Northwest: Biology and Political Ecology
    • Junior
    • Senior
    16
    Food from the Sea: Biodiversity, Culture, and Justice
    • Freshman
    • Sophomore
    14
    Forests
    • Junior
    • Senior
    16
    Freshwater Ecology and Hydrology
    • Sophomore
    • Junior
    • Senior
    16
    Indigenous Storytelling: Cultural Political Performance
    • Freshman
    • Sophomore
    • Junior
    • Senior
    8, 12, 16
    Integrated Natural Sciences
    • Freshman
    • Sophomore
    • Junior
    • Senior
    16
    Introduction to Environmental Studies: River Resources
    • Freshman
    • Sophomore
    16
    Marine Environments: Organisms and the Ocean
    • Junior
    • Senior
    16
    Nature and Nurture: Human Development and the Environment
    • Freshman
    • Sophomore
    14
    Nature and Nurture: Human Development and the Environment
    • Freshman
    • Sophomore
    14
    Plant Ecology and Physiology
    • Junior
    • Senior
    16
    Restoring Landscapes: Picturing Plants
    • Junior
    • Senior
    16
    Rivers of Clay
    • Freshman
    • Sophomore
    16
    Symbiosis
    • Junior
    • Senior
    16
    Vertebrate Zoology: Animal Systems, Evolution, and Ecology
    • Junior
    • Senior
    16

    Programs Planned 2021-25

    Exploratory

    • Art-Science programs
    • Environmental and Gender Studies
    • Integrated Natural Sciences (annual)
    • General Biology (annual)
    • Introduction to Environmental Studies (annual)
    • River Resources
    • Botany, Plants and People

    Advanced

    • The Fungal Kingdom (2020-21 and every 2 years): mycology, taxonomy, ecology
    • Marine Biodiversity (2021-22 and every 2 years): taxonomy, organismal biology
    • Environmental Analysis (2020-21 and every 2 years): biogeochemistry, analytical chemistry, freshwater ecology, statistics
    • Forests (2022-23 and every 2 years): forest ecology, biogeochemistry, statistics, scientific writing
    • Freshwater Ecology & Hydrology (2022-23 and every 2 years): freshwater ecology, hydrology, GIS, statistics
    • Symbiosis (2022-23 and every 2 years): ecophysiology, organismal biology, research, scientific writing

    Fields of Study related to this Path