Environmental Studies

Connie Y. Chiang, Program Director
Eileen Sylvan Johnson, Program Manager
Rosemary Armstrong, Program Coordinator

Professors: Philip Camill (Earth and Oceanographic Science), John Lichter (Biology), Dharni Vasudevan (Chemistry)
Associate Professors: Connie Y. Chiang (History), Matthew W. Klingle† (History)
Assistant Professor: Shana M. Starobin (Government)
Senior Lecturer: Jill E. Pearlman
Lecturer: Eileen Sylvan Johnson
Visiting Faculty: Conrad G. Schneider

Contributing Faculty: Mark O. Battle, David Carlon, David Collings, Vladimir Douhovnikoff, Jens Elias Klenner†, Laura A. Henry†, Guillermo E. Herrera, Amy S. Johnson, Susan A. Kaplan, Sarah Kingston, Michèle G. LaVigne, Peter D. Lea, Barry A. Logan, Marcos F. Lopez, Barbara R. Lyon, Sarah F. McMahon**, Erik Nelson, Emily M. Peterman, Samia Rahimtoola, Nancy E. Riley†, Strother Roberts, Collin S. Roesler, Allen L. Springer**, Anthony E. Walton, Allen Wells, Nathaniel T. Wheelwright†, Mary Lou Zeeman

Requirements for the Coordinate Major in Environmental Studies

To receive a major in environmental studies at Bowdoin, students must complete the nine credits detailed below and also have a disciplinary major either in an academic department, e.g. biology, or an academic program, e.g. Asian studies.

Required courses:

  • Environmental Studies 1101, Our Earth: Introduction to Environmental Studies (preferably taken as a first-year student)
  • one introductory course (numbered 1100 or higher) with a weekly lab in biology, chemistry, earth and oceanographic science, or physics
  • Environmental Studies 2201, Perspectives in Environmental Science
  • Environmental Studies 2330, Environmental Policy and Politics
  • Environmental Studies 2403, Environment and Culture in North American History
  • one senior seminar chosen from environmental studies courses numbered 3900–3999
    • This is a culminating course providing an opportunity for exploration of a topic, or a senior capstone course experience of one semester.
    • It is preferable to take this course during the senior year.

Beyond these six courses, students choose a concentration made up of three environmental studies (ES) courses of their choice. The concentration is an opportunity for students to develop a particular interest from the broad spectrum of environmental studies courses offered at Bowdoin. Each concentration consists of three ES courses (or three ES-approved courses) that are linked by a cohesive theme. Examples of such a theme might be ecology, food systems, or energy. Students meet with their ES advisor to discuss possible themes and submit a major tracking and concentration form to the ES Program.

Requirements for the Minor in Environmental Studies

The minor consists of five courses.

Required courses:

  • Environmental Studies 1101
  • two environmental studies intermediate courses (2000–2969) or higher, one of which should be outside a student’s departmental major
  • two core courses in the disciplinary area as specified below:
    • natural science majors: Environmental Studies 2403, Environment and Culture in North American History; and Environmental Studies 2330, Environmental Policy and Politics
    • social science majors: Environmental Studies 2201, Perspectives in Environmental Science; and Environmental Studies 2403, Environment and Culture in North American History
    • humanities majors: Environmental Studies 2201, Perspectives in Environmental Science; and Environmental Studies 2330, Environmental Policy


Independent Study

Students may engage in independent study at the intermediate (2970–2979) or advanced (4000–4051) level. Only one semester of independent study or honors work may count toward the major or the minor.

Additional Information

  • A grade of C- or better must be earned in a course to fulfill the major or minor requirements and no courses taken Credit/D/Fail may be applied to the major or minor.
  • Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate: With a score of five, a student can earn one general credit if the student completes ES 2201 with a minimum grade of B-. In order to receive credit for advanced placement work, students must have their scores officially reported to the Office of the Registrar by the end of their sophomore year at Bowdoin.
  • Students may count up to three courses cross-listed with environmental studies and the student's departmental or program majors to fulfill this environmental studies major requirements.
  • With Environmental Studies Program approval, one study away course may be used to fulfill the major requirements.

(Department/Program website)