Environmental Studies at The College of Wooster

The Environmental Studies Program at Wooster engages students with environmental issues both inside and outside the classroom, at both local and global levels. Resources available to students include a campus garden, visiting speakers, connections to local researchers and facilities at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, and opportunities to get involved in faculty research, campus sustainability initiatives, and internships both on and off campus. Recent students have worked with urban gardening initiatives in Cleveland, environmental education centers, environmental writing, and a variety of off-campus study options that expose them to environmental concerns and initiatives in other parts of the world.

Students majoring in Environmental Studies choose from four different pathways to give their interdisciplinary major a coherence and focus. Those pathways are:

  • Environmental Humanities
  • Environment and Society
  • Environmental Conservation
  • Sustainable Food Systems

Although pathways are focused around a central theme, students get the full breadth of an interdisciplinary program, by taking Environmental Studies courses and and cross-listed courses across all the academic divisions.

Faculty & Staff

Iemanja Brown

Iemanja Brown

Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies


Susan Clayton

Susan Clayton

Whitmore-Williams Professor of Psychology; Liaison to the Environmental Communication & Action Pathway


Erum Haider

Erum Haider

Assistant Professor of Political Science; Environmental Studies


Jennifer Ison

Jennifer Ison

Associate Professor of Biology


Beth Lingenfelter

Beth Lingenfelter

Administrative Coordinator - Biology, Environmental Studies, Neuroscience


Matt Mariola

Matthew Mariola

Associate Professor and Program Chair of Environmental Studies


Carlo Moreno

Carlo Moreno

Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies


Greg Wiles

Gregory Wiles

Schoolroy Chair of Natural Resources; Professor of Earth Sciences; Archaeology (on leave calendar year 2023)


Latest Environmental Studies News

Susan Clayton

Susan Clayton to speak on virtual panel focusing on emotions related to climate change

Susan Clayton, the Whitmore-Williams Professor of Psychology, will be speaking on the virtual panel “Leveraging Emotions: Climate Change and the Power in Feeling” co-hosted […]

Susan Clayton

Wooster Science Café begins spring season with “The Science of Climate Change and its Impact on Mental Health”

The spring season of the Wooster Science Café, sponsored by The College of Wooster and The Ohio State University. begins Feb. 1 at 7 […]

Chemistry Lab

Wooster receives $475 thousand HHMI grant to support inclusive excellence in research mentoring in STEM

The College of Wooster has received a grant of $475,000 from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Inclusive Excellence 3 (IE3) initiative for work over […]

Duncan Hardy headshot

APEX Fellowship | Duncan Hardy

Major: Environmental Studies Class Year: 2024 Organization: Brown Family Environmental Center As an intern for the Brown Family Environmental Center, I will be conducting […]

More Environmental Studies Articles


Environmental Studies majors become knowledgeable about core scientific concepts that are relevant to the environment; able to understand different ways of assessing the value of the natural environment; comfortable with different means of examining and communicating about the environment; and familiar with the ways in which social institutions contribute to environmental problems and potential solutions to those problems. They should also understand their own roles within the human-environment relationship.

To complete a major, students choose 13 courses that span environmental science, economics, communications, psychology, various humanities options, and other science courses. All students at The College of Wooster complete two semesters of independent study under the guidance of a faculty mentor and their research is used to build a thesis delivered in spring semester of their senior year.


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Environmental Studies minors are knowledgeable about core scientific concepts that allow them to understand ecological processes and change. They are able to understand different ways of assessing the value of the natural environment and be comfortable with different means of examining and communicating about the environment; and familiar with the ways in which social institutions contribute to environmental problems and may be utilized for solutions to those problems. They should also understand their own roles as actors within the human-environment relationship. The environmental studies minor complements a major in a traditional department so that students combine a detailed understanding of the knowledge and methods within a discipline with a focus on a particular topic.


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Independent Study

All students at The College of Wooster complete independent study on a topic of their choice under the guidance of a faculty mentor. The research becomes the basis of a thesis delivered in spring semester of each student’s senior year.


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Megan Tuennerman '22

Wrong-way Icelandic puffins lead student researcher to follow the right path

“I met a grandfather who climbed over a 6-foot-tall fence to rescue a puffin. It’s not that they devote their lives to these birds, […]

IS Button

Positive, Negative, and Apocalyptic Climate Messages: The Effect on Attitudes and Possible Future Behaviors Toward Sharks

Name: Truong Nguyen Majors: Communication Studies and Environmental Studies Advisors: Denise Bostdorff and Matt Mariola The purpose of this study is to find out the best […]

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Deep Roots in Eroding Soil: Building Decolonial Resilience Amidst Climate Violence and Displacement in a Louisiana Bayou Indigenous Community

Name: Lia McGrath Kahan Major: Environmental Studies—Environment and Society Advisors: Dr. Iemanja Brown, Dr. Carlo Moreno (second reader) The Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe of coastal […]

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Finding a Way Home: Examining Outcomes of Foster Care after Maltreatment

Name: Sky Gill Major: Statistical and Data Sciences Minors:Sociology, Environmental Studies Advisors: Dr. Christina Horr, Dr. Jillian Morrison (second reader) Foster care in the […]


Environmental Studies majors have access to internships and hand-on learning in college that leads to job offers and career paths after graduation.

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In February, Chelsea Barnes '07 lobbied the Virginia Legislature for a grant to develop renewable energy on former coal-mined land.

Biology alumna honored for clean energy work

Chelsea Barnes ’07 strikes the balance between working with her community to promote solar energy and creating environmental policy

Dekila Chungyalpa ’98

Self-designed environmental studies major tackles issues at cross-section of faith and environment

Dekila Chungyalpa ’98 incorporates interests and skills she developed at Wooster into a lifelong commitment to environmentalism.

Aaron Levy '16

Political Science major co-founds environmental company

Aaron Levy ’16 tailored his degree to find the intersection of environmental studies and political science

Rita Frost

Environmental studies alumna learns to focus her “interdisciplinary lens”

As advocate for social change, Rita Frost ’14 combined her majors and involvement to engage her passion