Where committed students initiate real movement toward change.
Let’s face it: you love this planet, and it’s where you’ll spend a lot of your time. At Albion College's Center for Sustainability and the Environment, you’ll also spend a lot of time making it a better place. You’ll explore the intersections of nature and society, learning how to become an effective steward of our world.
Sometimes the best classroom settings aren’t classrooms at all. Our field seminars are life-changing: you’ll travel to diverse locations around the U.S. and meet people who are working on environmental protection and sustainability causes. And through internships and research projects, you’ll explore the social, political, and scientific dimensions of sustainability and be well prepared for a career in this vital field.
"I don't know of any other program that offers such a diverse curriculum and wide range of hands-on experiences. We offer three majors and two concentrations so that students are prepared for a variety of career options when they graduate, and we develop the skills necessary for them to be effective leaders."
Tim’s Best Advice
"Get involved! There are so many opportunities for you to make an impact. Students who find the time to be involved in projects have no problem finding their way into meaningful careers."
Why Tim loves being the Center’s Director
"I enjoy talking to prospective students about the opportunities our program offers, working with students on projects like the Student Farm, and following the careers of our alumni. It’s deeply rewarding. Some of the most interesting things I have seen in my life have been on our field trips."
On his favorite class field trip
"While in Oregon, we hiked the Cascade Mountains, studied sustainable urban development in Portland, looked at ecological research and forest management in the Andrews Experimental Forest, found inspiration in organic farms, spent a day discussing coastal zone management issues with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, and embarked on two scenic train rides on the Empire Builder."
Our field trips are significant because…
"Students are given an opportunity to actually experience different ecosystems of the U.S. They get to see the environmental issues that are happening and get to speak with professionals that are working to resolve them. Friendships and memories are formed on these trips that will last a lifetime."
Majors and Concentrations
The following programs of study are offered through Albion College's Center for Sustainability and the Environment.
Environmental Science Major
The 10-unit environmental science major provides broad exposure to environmental sciences at the introductory level, focused work in science at the upper level, and a set of cognates designed to show the social and humanistic context in which scientists work.
Students completing the environmental studies major will gain a deep understanding of the complex relationships among natural and social systems, as well as a proficiency in the analytical, rhetorical and creative skills necessary to perceive the wonders of the natural and human worlds and to solve the environmental challenges we face in the twenty-first century.
Note: This major is currently under revision. Please contact Timothy Lincoln, CSE director, for further information.
This major offers an opportunity for Albion students to participate in an international, interdisciplinary program that is grounded in the social sciences and designed for students who are engaged in today’s and tomorrow’s sustainability challenges.
Some environmental careers are practiced primarily in one field of science. Students interested in pursuing such careers should consider the option of a science major with an environmental science concentration. It is strongly advised that students talk with science faculty in choosing their option.
The environmental studies concentration is designed for students who have an interest in environmental issues and plan careers in related fields. The choice of courses for this concentration is more open than in the environmental science concentration, due to the varying interests and backgrounds of the students who choose this option. Participating students may pursue a major in any field. Students who complete this concentration might, for example, enter science journalism or work for environmental advocacy groups.
On the trip, we also explored other issues and visited other relevant places. At the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Labs, we visited the environmental section, where experiments ranging from ways to lessen fish kills from hydroelectric turbines to studies of the potential effects of elevated global CO2 on forest growth were explained.
On another day we visited the TVA headquarters and the nearby Norris Dam, first of many hydroelectric projects which forever altered both the economy and the riparian ecology of the region.
We ended the trip with a quick visit to Berea College's Eco-village. This complex of apartments uses 75% less water and energy than conventional housing. The progressive environmental and social innovations shown by a sister College provided inspirational and up end to our trip.