Environmental responsibility and sustainability are part of the fabric of St. Olaf College.
Welcome to Environmental Studies!
Environmental Studies cultivates an integral understanding of the relationship between humans and their surroundings. It encompasses a rich array of places, organisms, human experiences and histories, institutions, wisdom traditions, ideas and practices of justice, and the interconnectivity of systems – physical, living and non-living, social, spiritual, cultural, and creative. We integrate approaches across three broad study areas – natural/physical sciences, social sciences, and arts and humanities – as we examine and model observed phenomena, interrogate contested ideas and practices, and seek meaningful and just solutions to problems. The community of Environmental Studies embodies a big tent where the identities, gifts, talents, and experiences of each person enables a richness and depth to our work.
Experiential learning is a central part of environmental studies. It starts with our required course, Environmental Studies 237 (Integration and Application in Environmental Studies), extends to other courses, and then includes co-curricular experiences. We value the blending of academic study with hands-on experience in contexts outside of the conventional classroom.Discover
Faculty & Staff
Meet our Department!Connect
The Natural Lands provide a wealth of learning experiences for our students, from casual observations to independent research, as well as aesthetic and recreational value for the entire campus and Northfield community.Explore
Environmental Conversations (“EnCon”) is an optional program for first-year students at St. Olaf who want to explore questions of environmental policy, science, and values – no matter what their intended major may be.Learn More