Jun 18, 2024  
2023 - 2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023 - 2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Environment and Sustainability

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View the Environment & Sustainability Program’s Core Faculty  

The Environment & Sustainability Program

The environmental problems threatening our planet and a sustainable future for our society are complex, requiring us to integrate insights and skillsets across the disciplines to address. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of these problems, students pursuing careers in environmental and sustainability sectors require significant breadth of training in the natural and social sciences and the humanities. At the same time, students must have depth of training in a specific area to develop skills in a core expertise.  To balance 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 have a primary major in another discipline which they will pair with ENSP’s highly interdisciplinary environmental curriculum to develop complementary perspectives & skillsets to solve modern environmental challenges.

The Environment and Sustainability major provides breadth in basic course work as well as familiarization with scientific, social, and human dimensions to modern environmental problems. Participation in the program requires an initial consultation with the Director or other ENSP faculty advisors.  Students pick either a natural sciences track, social sciences track, or humanities track, depending on their interests.  Students pursuing a primary major in the natural and computational sciences typically have their secondary major designated as Environment and Sustainability, Science Track and they will receive the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree. Others students with a primary major in the social sciences or humanities-will receive a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) with an Environment and Sustainability, Humanities or Policy Track designation.

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.

Many of the courses that students take for their ENSP major/minor are listed and offered by other departments, including History, Government, Economics, Philosophy, Art & Art History, Sociology, Geology, Chemistry, and Biology.  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. Brent Kaup, Sociology Dept., bzkaup@wm.edu) and visit www.wm.edu/environment.

Programs and Course Descriptions



    Environmental Science and Policy

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