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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

Programs that begin in Fall 2020

Shaped by the Sea, Shaped by the Hand: Marine Biology and 3D Art (FW, exploratory)

Algebraic Thinking (F, preparatory, course)
Chemistry Counts! (F, preparatory)
Geology and Mathematics (FW, preparatory)

General Biology: Cells, Populations, Ecosystems (F, foundational)
Integrated Natural Sciences (FWS, foundational)
Introduction to Environmental Studies: Water (FW, foundational)

Exploring Other Worlds: Astrobiology and Instrumentation (F, advanced)
Forests (F, advanced)
The Fungal Kingdom (FW, advanced)

Programs that begin in Winter 2021

Chemistry Counts! (W, preparatory)
Precalculus I (W, preparatory, course)

Marine Biodiversity (WS, advanced)
Plant Ecology and Physiology (W, advanced)

Programs that begin in Spring 2021

Earth Art: Rock and Metal (S, exploratory)
Experiments in Photography: Science + Art (S, exploratory)

Chemistry Counts! (S, preparatory)
Geology and Ecology of Land-Ocean Margins (S, preparatory)
Precalculus II (S, preparatory, course)

Field Ecology (S, advanced)
Field Plant Taxonomy and Biodiversity Conservation (S, advanced)
Student-Originated Studies: Medicinal Botany
Student-Originated Studies: Prairie Conservation

Programs Planned 2021-25


  • 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


  • 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

Back to the Environmental Studies overview.