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Welcome to the Environmental Studies Program
Colby's Environmental Studies Program is one of the oldest in the country and is recognized as a leader in innovative education. The Environmental Studies (ES) Program focuses on education through student research, project-based learning, and an exciting diversity of on and off-campus educational opportunities. Students in the ES Program are mentored by ES faculty, and by faculty members representing many different departments and programs. The ES curriculum emphasizes independent and team investigations as well as opportunities for service learning.
The Environmental Studies Program offers a comprehensive education in environmental studies and prepares students to understand and respond to local, regional, and global environmental challenges from social science, natural science, and humanities perspectives. Our interdisciplinary curriculum encourages an understanding of the complexity and inter-relatedness of humans and nature. We strive to create a learning environment that nurtures independent thinking, creative problem solving, and effective communication skills. We do this through coursework, student research, civic engagement, internships, speakers, and study abroad experiences.
Download program information sheets for: Environmental Studies
Majors and Concentrations in Environmental Studies
The ES Program offers two majors and a minor, covering a wide range of student interests.
Opportunities for ES students
January Program Each year many environmental studies students take advantage of Colby's January Term to participate in a field study course, conduct a special research project, participate in a group research program on or off campus, or undertake an internship with a scientist, company, or government agency dealing with environmental problems. A grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation provides stipends to assist students in undertaking approved environmental studies internships either in January or during the summer. For more information on Jan Plan internships, visit our internship page. To learn more about the field study courses, visit their course pages: Tropical Ecology and Winter Ecology
Research Opportunities Colby places considerable emphasis on integrating student research into the curriculum. Facilitated by a grant from the National Science Foundation, the environmental studies faculty has designed the foundation course in environmental studies to include a significant research component. The senior capstone courses also involve extensive research projects. In addition to research opportunities in other required and elective courses, honors projects, independent projects and senior scholar projects are also options. Research assistantships are available each summer and during the academic year that enable students to work with faculty on specific environmental research projects. For more information, visit the student research page.
Study Abroad Environmental Studies students may participate in a variety of study abroad programs all over the world. A list of approved programs is available through the Off-Campus Study Office. For more information, visit our ES study abroad opportunities page.
Internships Students may apply for field experience credit for research conducted off campus during the summer or January. Colby's Environmental Studies Coordinator and program faculty not only help to locate desirable off-campus employment and internship possibilities, but they also help students to match the internship opportunity to their individual academic programs. Stipends from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation are available to help support internships. For more information on environmental studies internships visit our internship page. For more information on the Mellon grant to the Environmental Studies Program visit the Mellon Grant.
Student Activities The Environmental Studies Club works to enhance a sense of community within the ES Program by hosting social events, attending and organizing environmental conferences, volunteering at ES Program events, introducing lecturers at colloquia, providing a network for students to discuss academic issues, and reaching out to prospective students through the admissions office. The ES Program Student Advisory Committee is another way for students to be involved with the ES Program. In addition, students from the ES Program regularly serve on the Environmental Advisory Group, which is responsible for advising the president on campus sustainability initiatives. More information on campus greening initiatives can be found at our Green Colby page. For more information on student activities, visit our student page.
Maine's Environment and Field Research Opportunities
Off-Campus Field Research Opportunities
Accomplishments of the ES Program
For further information about the Environmental Studies Program, please contact
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© Environmental Studies Program Colby College 5356 Mayflower Hill Drive Waterville, Maine 04901