Study the Environment in a Living Laboratory

The natural setting that surrounds the city of Walla Walla, Washington, provides Whitman College's Environmental Studies Program with a superb living laboratory in which to study a wide range of issues associated with the interactions between humans and nature.

In addition to the agricultural, grazing and timber activities that make up the predominant economic uses of the land of southeastern Washington and northeastern Oregon, environmental studies students have ready access to a great number of resources: the Columbia and Snake rivers with many large hydroelectric dams, the Hanford site (U.S. Department of Energy); the McNary National Wildlife Refuge and other wetlands; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Walla Walla District); Natural Resources Conservation Service (U.S. Department of Agriculture); the U.S. Forest Service, which includes the Umatilla National Forest—Walla Walla Ranger District and the Wenaha—Toucannon Wilderness Area, Oregon coal generating plant; and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, particularly the Tamastslikt Cultural Institute, based in Pendleton, Oregon.

An Interdisciplinary Approach to Environmental Studies

The hallmarks of the Whitman program are its multidisciplinary organization and local and regional 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 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.

Whitman Majors in Environmental Studies

At Whitman College, the environmental studies major develops a common core of knowledge through extensive interdepartmental coursework, complemented by a concentration in a specific area in either the environmental humanities, sciences, or social sciences. Students can study in Environmental Humanities or elect one of 10 areas of concentration to combine their Environmental Science major. The 10 areas of concentration are anthropology, art, biology, chemistry, economics, geology, humanities, physics, politics, and sociology. Learn more about Environmental Science requirements at Whitman.

Environmental Studies at Whitman and Beyond

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.

Green Living at Whitman

Whitman College offers myriad opportunities for students to be active and care for the environment, locally and globally. Click the links to learn more about how you can get involved!