Environmental Studies: Whitman College Semester in the West

Adviser: Phil Brick

Whitman College Semester in the West is an interdisciplinary field program in environmental studies, focusing on public lands conservation in the interior American West in an era of climate change. Our objective is to come to know the West in its many dimensions, including its diverse ecosystems, its social and political communities, and the many ways these ecosystems and communities find their expression in regional environmental writing and public policy. During the course of the semester, we typically have the opportunity to visit with 60 to 70 leading figures in conservation, ecology, environmental writing, and social justice. Our goal is to explore the complexity of environmental issues in the West, while at the same time locating pathways toward meaningful individual and collective action to conserve and enhance the West’s natural and human communities. Each session our studies are focused around key themes that circumscribe environmental issues in the West, including water, public lands, climate change, restoration, social justice, energy, the urban/rural divide, and conservation.

Semester in the West is a program for Whitman College students only; sophomore status or higher is required to participate. The program is offered every other fall semester on even years. The program will be offered Fall 2014, and is scheduled to next be offered Fall 2016. The application process for Fall 2016 begins during Fall 2015.