View the Environmental Science and Policy Faculty.
The Environment and Sustainability Program
The environmental problems that threaten the planet on which our society depends are complex, requiring us to integrate insights across the disciplines. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of these problems, students pursuing careers in the environment require significant breadth of training in the natural and social sciences and the humanities. At the same time, students must have an area of expertise, and so should develop effective skills based on depth of training in a specific area. In light of the need for an appropriate balance between breadth and depth of training, the Environment and Sustainability (ENSP) program has been designed as a secondary major and a minor, each to be pursued in conjunction with a primary major in a complementary subject field. Every ENSP major/minor must major in another discipline.
The Environment and Sustainability major provides breadth in basic course work as well as familiarization with the specific scientific and social considerations related to a wide range of environmental issues. Participation in the program requires an initial consultation with the Director, and a formal declaration of major no later than the second semester of the junior year. Students pursuing a primary major in Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Physics, or other natural science field will normally have their secondary major designated as Environment and Sustainability, Science Track and they will receive the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree. Others–often students pursuing a primary major in Economics, Global Studies, Government, International Relations, Public Policy, or Sociology–will receive a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) with an Environment and Sustainability, Humanities or Policy Track designation. There are three slightly different programs for the B.A. and B.S. majors: the Humanities Track, the Science Track and the Policy Track.
There are no formal restrictions on the primary major pursued in conjunction with the Environment and Sustainability major. However, the primary should both supplement and complement the student’s environmental training, while providing the necessary additional depth. Therefore, students are expected to develop a program with an appropriate rationale based on interconnections among subjects as well as the student’s long-term career interests. Two courses may be counted toward both majors; therefore, depending on the primary major, the number of additional courses required to complete the Environment and Sustainability major may total less than 36 hours.
For both the B.A. and B.S., limited substitution of other courses for some of these requirements may be possible with the approval of the Director. In addition to the required work, various other courses as well as non-classroom training (such as internships, research projects with faculty, participation in study abroad programs, or off-campus study and research, such as participation in an REU program) are strongly recommended.
For advice, further information, updates, and additional descriptive material, contact the Director (Prof. Andrew Fisher, History Dept., firstname.lastname@example.org) and visit www.wm.edu/environment.
Programs and Course Descriptions
CoursesEnvironmental Science and Policy