Welcome to Environmental Studies

The Environmental Studies major represents the best of the liberal arts in that it is a truly interdisciplinary and intersectional major that connects directly to some of the most pressing issues of our time. Quite simply, there is nothing going on in the world that isn’t – in some way – connected to Environmental Studies.

Whether your interests are in understanding the science of climate change and its effects on natural systems, in developing policy to help mitigate environmental degradation, in working toward just and equitable solutions to environmental challenges, or communicating the urgency of climate change to the public there is a place in the department for you!

The Environmental Studies major encompasses multiple fields of study and provides students with opportunities to investigate the Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences. Given its interdisciplinary nature, our graduates go on to careers in the sciences, law, policy, architecture, the arts, and fiction and non-fiction writing.

Environmental Studies was launched as a program and major in Fall 2008 and became a Department in Spring 2014. The department includes two full-time faculty (Profs. Hewitt and Ravikumar) and twelve additional faculty who hold joint appointments in other departments: four in Biology (Clotfelter, Levin, Miller, and Temeles), two in History (Lopez, Melillo), Geology (Martini and Fame) and Sociology (Holleman and Zhang), and one each in Economics (Sims) and Philosophy (Moore).

The department is dedicated to maintaining Amherst’s tradition of excellence in teaching and scholarship and is committed to anti-racist, anti-colonial, and anti-imperialist approaches to addressing environmental questions. Link to our Learning Goals here. Please use the links in the navigation menu for information on courses, faculty teaching and research, student honors research, and major requirements.

Questions about Environmental Studies at Amherst can be directed to:

Diane Hutton, Academic Coordinator in ENST 
101B Beneski Building

Professor Edward (Ted) Melillo, Department Chair 2022-2025
William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of History and Environmental Studies; 
Chair of Environmental Studies
102 Beneski Building