Whitman College Environmental Studies Goals and Learning Outcomes

The program introduces students to a wide variety of perspectives that examine the many connections between humans and nature. To do this, the program combines a broad set of relevant courses in the natural and social sciences as well as the humanities. The basic preparation can then transfer easily to further graduate training or to an immediate career in research, policy, or some other professional environmental direction. The hallmarks of the Whitman program are its multidisciplinary organization, and local and regional in empirical emphasis. Students wrestle with the challenges, and come to understand the necessities, of an interdisciplinary approach in the elucidation of any environmental problem. They develop a literacy in understanding their Walla Walla environmental address, so they can appreciate the deep links between their temporary community and the surrounding human and natural environments. Field trips and internship opportunities are a vital part of this experience.

Program Goals

To foster critical thinking skills in relation to environmental problems

To enhance environmental literacy

To encourage interdisciplinary integration of disciplinary approaches to environmental concerns

To develop communication skills in a wide variety of formats designed for diverse audiences  

Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Articulate an understanding of relevant concepts that underlie environmental processes, thought and governance in the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities.

  • Integrate and apply sophisticated perspectives from multiple disciplinary approaches that address complex environmental problems

  • Design and conduct research on environmental topics.  Research could include a variety of methods (quantitative, qualitative, artistic, rhetorical, spatial, etc.) as well as in a variety of contexts (senior thesis, summer research, course assignments, study abroad, etc.).

  •  Communicate effectively in both written and oral formats to academic and non-academic audiences