The Environmental Semester, Environmental Studies | Earlham College

The Environmental Semester

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Sustainability, Environmental Issues,
Nature and YOU

The Environmental Semester is a new offering under the "Earlham Scholars" program and designed exclusively for incoming first years. The program is designed for students with wide-ranging interests in environmental studies and sciences and combines academic coursework with co-curricular experiences during the fall semester including the “Bioregional Field Expedition” held over early semester break. Students considering any major are welcome to apply. Spaces are limited and are on a first-come, first-serve basis.


Academic Courses

The Environmental Semester involves an integration of coursework and co-curricular experience. Students who sign up for the program are automatically enrolled in the following courses:

  1. ENST 240 Environment and Society — an introductory course on the social issues involved with environmental problems and problem solving. This course is required of the Environmental Studies major or minor and the Environmental Science major.

  2. BIOL 111 Ecological Biology — an introductory course in Biology with a strong field lab focus. This course meets requirements in both the Environmental Science and Environmental Studies majors.

  3. Environmentally Themed Earlham Seminar — a first-year seminar is a required course of all incoming students.

Residential Living


In addition to these courses, students in the Environmental Semester will live in the same “Living and Learning” Residence Hall — allowing opportunities to share common interests and reflect on classroom topics and learning. Throughout the fall, Environmental Semester students will be invited to events coordinated through the Center for Environmental Action as well as several specific activities designed to introduce you to environmental groups, academic programs, and campus organizations working with environmental themes.

Special Note: In joining the Environmental Semester, participants will be housed together as part of a living/learning community. A willingness to be flexible with living arrangements (type of residence hall, roommate, etc.) will be a necessary component of the overall experience.

The Bioregional Learning Expedition


Finally, as part of the semester, students and a small group of faculty will participate on a learning expedition over early-semester break (Oct. 11-14, 2012) focused on gaining a “sense of place” in our bioregion. We’ll travel to several key sites, camp out, and learn about the natural history, environmental issues, and cultural dynamics of the region including water issues, mining, renewable energy production and food systems. The purpose of the expedition is both to connect academic coursework to relevant local/regional issues of interest and to build relationships in a spirit of adventure and community.

For More Information

Jay Roberts
Associate Professor of Environmental Studies;
Director of the Center for Environmental Action
(765) 983-1327


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