Environmental conservation and awareness touches nearly every aspect of our lives, and can be tied into almost any field of study. Environmental science and ecology programs are popping up at colleges and universities across the country; schools are also making efforts to convert their campuses to “green” energy sources, and for new construction to be mindful of sustainability issues. If you are interested in studying environmental science, participating in green activities, or just attending a school that is eco-friendly – read on!
Eco Schools share a commitment to environmental stewardship, social change, and building a sustainable future through environmental learning. They encourage students to explore environmental issues and develop creative solutions to sustainability problems across multiple disciplines. You can focus on business or politics, with an emphasis on environmental issues, or you can major in ecology or environmental studies. Some schools foster this atmosphere simply by providing the intellectual space and resources for students. Some schools are more intentional about this process, such as the College of the Atlantic (Bar Harbor, ME), where all students major in Human Ecology, but can take courses across a wide range of subjects.
If you are truly eco-focused, you might want to consider some colleges that have particularly strong or unique environmental programs and facilities. To highlight just a few – Middlebury College (Middlebury, VT) has the oldest undergraduate environmental studies program in the country. Oberlin College (Oberlin, OH) has the largest solar array in the state of Ohio. Dickinson College (Carlisle, PA) has a number of exciting environmental and sustainability initiatives, including the student-run Dickinson College Biodiesel Project, where students produce their own biodiesel from local restaurants (which is then used to power vehicles and equipment on campus). Duke University (Durham, NC) has an entire School of the Environment, offers a range of environmental studies majors and a couple of minors, and runs a Marine Lab in Beaufort, NC, which all students at Duke can access.
If you see yourself on the frontiers of environmental research and ecological studies, or as the next name in green architecture, entrepreneurship, or sustainable agriculture, you may want to consider adding an Eco School to your list.