Environmental & Sustainability Studies

Program Overview

The Environmental and Sustainability Studies major examines the changes within our world and how to preserve it for current and future generations.

Environmental and sustainability studies is a unique interdisciplinary program that combines environmental studies and sustainability, encouraging students to think deeply and act on the challenges and solutions to the problems of the environment and its limitations, especially relating to human impact.

Human activities change our environment and resources on a scale that was previously unimaginable. In this interdisciplinary program, you'll study the challenges and solutions to global environmental problems. You'll also have opportunities to apply your knowledge, with Agnes Scott’s own sustainability efforts.

A student measures the diameter of a tree trunk.

What You'll Learn

Begin with the foundations of natural science courses that focus on the environment, like marine biology and ecology, then explore topics such as public and environmental health communication and environmental leadership. Culminate your coursework in the form of an internship either on campus or with one of our established community partners. You'll learn:

  • Causes and effects of human incursion into natural systems
  • The ability to recognize and articulate sustainability-related problems from different perspectives
  • The global aspects of issues like population growth, the availability of affordable clean water, pollution, and climate change

Program Highlights

Internship Opportunities

After completing most of your coursework, you will participate in an internship, which ideally will synthesize at least two different areas of study. Possible internships include on-campus environmental/sustainability efforts and local environmental organizations such as Southface (an Atlanta organization promoting sustainable homes, workplaces, and communities), the National Wildlife Federation or the Georgia Conservancy.

Agnes Scott's Center for Sustainability

Agnes Scott’s Center for Sustainability is unique for a college of our size. The center's mission is to provide the place for the Agnes Scott community to learn about the challenges of global climate change and to collaborate on innovative solutions for campus sustainability. The Center for Sustainability is staffed by an executive director and two sustainability fellows, as well as interns, work-study students, and student volunteers. This sustainability team works with students, faculty, and staff on projects including climate action and climate resilience planning, energy and water efficiency upgrades, renewable energy installations, recycling and composting, environmental justice, maintenance of the campus arboretum and sustainable landscaping, and student involvement and activities.

Guest Speakers and Experts

The Environmental and Sustainability Studies program has a tradition of bringing experts to campus, both to speak at community events and to meet with students. A variety of speakers have been featured, including environmental justice leaders, community activists, elected officials, artists, scientists, and policymakers.

Meet the Faculty

John Pilger

John F. Pilger

William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Biology

Working in Environmental and Sustainability Studies

Local, regional, and global organizations and governing bodies are assessing the impact and establishing new practices to preserve resources for the current and future generations. They'll need your help.

Graduates with this minor now work at the Department of Energy, Decker Design Group, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the Grove Park Foundation, Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance, and the Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. With a foundation of internships and established connections with community partners, you'll be ready for advanced coursework in graduate school or the professional world.

  • Research Assistant
  • Sustainability/Conservation Program Coordinator
  • Sales Assistant, Energy Solutions
  • Grant Writing Assistant
  • Environmental Educator

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