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Sustainability in Academics

The Environmental Studies Program serves as a major portal for introducing and engaging students in sustainability courses and research. More than 25 courses put sustainability at their core, and many connect students to active research and community projects on campus and in the region.

Courses are designed to help students acquire basic analytical tools and investigate major environmental issues, whether tracking salamanders around vernal ponds, studying post-apocalyptic literature, analyzing atmospheric chemistry, or helping local communities develop climate-action plans.

Ecology ClassFeatured Stories


"Students can serve as an important catalyst in a community. The experience of working with this class was incredibly helpful. One of the great outcomes of working with the students was that they helped to connect these initiatives between the two communities."
— Rod Melanson, Natural Resource Planner, Town of Topsham

ES 301 – Environmental Capstone course

As part of Environmental Studies Director Phil Camill’s Capstone Course, students learned about the fundamentals of calculating an entire community's carbon footprint. Over the course of a semester, students conducted a greenhouse gas inventory for the towns of Brunswick and Topsham. Afterwards, they conducted community meetings in which they both informed the general public about their findings and asked for input on next steps. The result of these projects was the drafting of a climate action plan for both communities. Read the web page article and Orient article »

See full descriptions of Bowdoin’s sustainability courses.

"The Capstone course strengthened my interest in environmental consulting and highlighted the importance of community collaboration in creating cost-effective strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emission."
— Krista Bahm '11 Economics/ES