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Environmental Studies

The Program

Lewis & Clark’s Environmental Studies Program was founded in 1997 by a Professor Evan T. Williams. His was the spirit of pluralism and engagement: Evan championed a “tripod” approach, drawing upon the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities to fully inform our understanding of environmental issues, and he was active in a number of local and larger causes. Sadly, Evan fell victim to cancer a few years after founding the program, but his legacy of intellectual diversity and making a difference lives on. In his honor, Lewis & Clark College commemorated his life and work with the Evan T. Williams Memorial Tree Walk in 2005. In addition, the Lewis & Clark College Sustainability Council awards one individual and one organizational recipient annually with the Evan T. Williams Sustainability Prize.

Environmental Studies now has three dedicated appointments: Jim Proctor, geographer and current Program Director; Liz Safran, geologist and Program Director from 2011-2014; and Jessica Kleiss, oceanographer joining the program in 2012. Environmental Studies also involves participating faculty specializing in biology, philosophy, economics, geology, international affairs, sociology, and many other fields, all of whom seek the connections that make environmental studies a uniquely interdisciplinary field.

The Environmental Studies Program has moved fully into the 21st century with cutting-edge theory and technology, and opportunities for students to connect local and global processes responsible for the environmental transformations we witness today.

Funded in part by a major Andrew Mellon Foundation grant, we offer an exciting initiative for students titled Situating the Global Environment, bring cutting-edge environmental thinkers onto campus, and collectively build and share online resources for local, regional, and international environmental research sites. Along with the Career Development office, we are developing a process to provide students with professional training and skills while pursuing exciting internships. Environmental Studies is also developing a process with the office of Overseas and Off-Campus Programs to integrate work done by students on their study-abroad programs into the Environmental Studies research program.

We are proud of what we offer, and look forward to continued growth and further educational opportunities for our students.