The Environment and Sustainability Studies concentration offers students the opportunity
to explore a wide range of environmental issues—ranging from climate change, peak
oil, and renewable energy to invasive species, extinction, and globalization—from
a variety of perspectives, both in the classroom and in the field.
Through the concentration and supplemental work in other disciplines, students begin
to prepare themselves to engage in environmental problem solving in a complex and
rapidly changing society where increasing demands on the environment threaten sustainability.
The concentration draws on such disciplines as biology, ecology, the social sciences,
ethics, and literature.
Students learn about aquaponics and start plants that are transplanted to the community
Related career paths
Students with a concentration in environment sustainability studies may enter into
fields such as social activism, education, government, law, business, research, and
The concentration requires completion of four prerequisites prior to moderation, a
core of at least 21 credits of coursework (including two courses at the 300-level
or higher) in environmental studies and related courses, and an internship. Students
planning to pursue environmental science as a career are strongly encouraged to take
a complementary body of courses in the natural sciences, including biology, chemistry,
and physics, as well as mathematics through Elementary Functions and Introduction
to Statistics. Those interested in pursuing in greater depth the political, social,
or aesthetic dimensions of environmental studies can pursue complementary coursework
or a second concentration in the social sciences, literature, or the arts.
Jessie Parrott ’16 awarded a Torrey Botanical Society Undergraduate and Graduate Student
Training Fellowship to study at the Eagle Hill Institute in Maine with two experienced
Rocker Studies Ferns with Experts
Given the concentration’s natural link between theory and practice, all students are
required to enroll in at least one internship program during their time at Simon’s
Rock (this can be for credit or not, but must be approved by the faculty concentration
advisor and, either way, must meet the requirements for a 4-credit internship). Recent
internships have been sponsored by the Massachusetts Audubon Society; the Center for
Ecological Technology; the Berkshire County Regional Planning Commission; the International
Environmental Studies Internship Program in Nicosia, Cyprus; the School for Field
Studies; and the Berkshire Environmental Research Center, Ltd. (BERC), a nonprofit
research and education corporation based at Simon’s Rock.
Geography/Environmental Science 205: Geographies of Nature, Wilderness, and Conservation
This course examines both the “sociopolitical realm” in terms of its metaphors of
nature and its conservation practices, as well as the ecologies in which it seeks
its moorings. We focus on the origins of modern Western conceptions of nature, wilderness,
conservation, preservation, biodiversity, land ownership, and protected area management.