• <a href="/live/image/gid/5/width/650/86521_ENVS_main_image.jpg" class="lw_preview_image lw_disable_preview" tabindex="-1"><picture class="lw_image lw_image86521"><source media="(max-width: 500px)" type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/5/width/500/height/479/crop/1/86521_ENVS_main_image.rev.1607734024.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/5/width/500/height/479/crop/1/86521_ENVS_main_image.rev.1607734024.webp 3x" data-origin="responsive"/><source media="(max-width: 500px)" type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/5/width/500/height/479/crop/1/86521_ENVS_main_image.rev.1607734024.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/5/width/500/height/479/crop/1/86521_ENVS_main_image.rev.1607734024.jpg 3x" data-origin="responsive"/><source media="(min-width: 501px)" type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/5/width/720/height/690/crop/1/86521_ENVS_main_image.rev.1607734024.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/5/width/720/height/690/crop/1/86521_ENVS_main_image.rev.1607734024.webp 3x" data-origin="responsive"/><source media="(min-width: 501px)" type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/5/width/720/height/690/crop/1/86521_ENVS_main_image.rev.1607734024.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/5/width/720/height/690/crop/1/86521_ENVS_main_image.rev.1607734024.jpg 3x" data-origin="responsive"/><img src="/live/image/gid/5/width/720/height/690/crop/1/86521_ENVS_main_image.rev.1607734024.jpg" alt="Associate Professor of Geological Science Elizabeth Safran leading a field trip in the Gorge. " srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/5/width/720/height/690/crop/1/86521_ENVS_main_image.rev.1607734024.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/5/width/720/height/690/crop/1/86521_ENVS_main_image.rev.1607734024.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2504" data-max-h="2400" loading="lazy" data-optimized="true"/></picture></a> <div class="hero-split_image_caption collapsable-caption">Associate Professor of Geological Science Elizabeth Safran leading a field trip in the Gorge. </div>

Why Choose a Degree in Environmental Studies?

Our unique program will challenge you to transcend intellectual, geographic, and communication boundaries as you weave insights drawn from across the sciences and humanities; apply them in local, regional, and global contexts; and learn strategies to connect with the people and institutions you encounter. You will draw a larger—potentially more hopeful—circle around environmental issues. You will graduate with a background in environmental science situated in a broader understanding of cultural, political, and other key dimensions, plus skills and experience you can apply to professional opportunities, graduate study, and effective environmental action.

What You’ll Study

We offer a major and minor. The heart of our interdisciplinary curriculum includes core courses in environmental studies, which help build an intellectually coherent understanding of environmental problems and solutions; breadth courses in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities, which provide important discipline-specific tools for environmental analysis; elective courses, which offer opportunities to explore key topics; and a quantitative requirement, which builds skills in data analysis and modeling. In addition, many of our students earn course credit toward their environmental studies degree while on an overseas program. Popular programs for our students are Australia, East Africa, Ecuador, India, Japan, and Senegal.

Outside the classroom, the annual Environment Across Boundaries (ENVX) Symposium is organized by a committee of students with support from faculty and staff. This multiday, interdisciplinary event encourages students to expand their search for new scholarly concepts and skills, transcend geographic boundaries as they explore environmental issues around the world, and engage with people on all sides of these issues, ideally working toward mutual respect and collaborative solutions. The symposium offers the Lewis & Clark community and general public an opportunity to experience this broader approach to studying the environment. Our students also regularly engage in constructive environmental dialogue with people from diverse backgrounds in Portland and across the Pacific Northwest, and develop their own engagement projects to reach out to people connected to environmental issues. Graduating seniors have the opportunity to travel to and present their capstone work at the annual Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences (AESS) national conference. Additionally, many of our students become trip leaders for College Outdoors, taking their peers to spectacularly beautiful sites in the Pacific Northwest. This opportunity provides them with leadership opportunities and professional training for careers in outdoor education.

Curriculum

Complement Your Education With One of These Minors

The most popular minors for our environmental studies majors are data science, Earth system science, and political economy.


What Students Are Saying About Lewis & Clark

  • Umi Fulgencio BA '23

    The push for sustainability in curriculum is inspiring as each discipline has taken accountability for educating the future stewards of our planet.

    Umi Fulgencio BA ’23
    Environmental Studies | Entrepreneurship Leadership and Innovation | Līhuʻe, Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i
    More about Umi
  • Max, holding a cup of coffee, standing in front of a wall with a painted mural of the ocean. Student-supplied profile photo due to COVID-...

    I find the community through my interests. Bonding with people over different types of outdoor endeavors, musical interests, and academic interests has given me a community with which I can pursue the things I care about most.

    Max Morrish BA ’22
    Psychology | Environmental Studies | Ashland, Oregon
    More about Max
  • Grace posing outside in a white top and black pants.

    I enjoy the interdisciplinary nature of the environmental studies major, as I feel it allows me to challenge my views and explore my passion for the environment through different perspectives.

    Grace Blunck BA ’24
    Environmental Studies | Political Science | Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    More about Grace

What Can You Do With a Degree in Environmental Studies?

Our alumni use their BA in environmental studies in a variety of careers in nonprofit organizations, in academia, and at companies and agencies. Many go on to pursue advanced degrees in environmental history, landscape architecture, nuclear engineering, and other fields.

Dedicated Faculty

Our expert professors are your expert mentors. You will learn directly from faculty (no graduate assistants here!) that are nationally recognized in their fields of study and who love to work with and learn from their students. Your professors will inspire you to be a thoughtful and passionate participant in a diverse world. Your small classes will support you as you explore new ideas, find your voice, and speak your truth.

Meet the Professors

  • 54 

    nationalities represented in our undergraduate student body

  • 125 

    of our undergraduate students are Third Culture Kids.

  • Value 

    Lewis & Clark is on U.S. News & World Report’s 2023–24 “Best Value Schools” list.

  • 98% 

    Within six months of graduation, 98% of the Lewis & Clark Class of 2023 was already changing the world through employment (84%), continuing studies (11%), and service work (3%), like the Peace Corps.

  • Top 

    For the seventh time in 10 years, Lewis & Clark has been named a Fulbright U.S. Student Program Top Producing Institution for 2023–24.

Invest in Yourself

A private liberal arts education is often more affordable than you think. Last year, Lewis & Clark distributed over $74 million in assistance from institutional, federal, state, and private sources. Additionally, we’re so confident that our first-year students will graduate in four years with their bachelor of arts degree that if you don’t, we’ll cover the extra semester of tuition.

Find Your People

Students can join a variety of student-run organizations that relate to their environmental studies degree, like the ENVX: Environment Across Boundaries symposium and Students Engaged in Eco-Defense (SEED). Don’t see what you’re looking for on the club list? Start something new and build your own community of peers!


Where Lewis & Clark Will Take You

  • Maddy Frawley BA '18

    I am now working as a manager of a canoe outfitter and helping educate and prepare people to go on wilderness trips. This job has combined my passions for education, environmental studies, history, and outdoor recreation!

    Maddy Frawley BA ’18
    Environmental Studies
    More about Maddy
  • Rylie Neely BA '20

    I felt challenged by the curriculum while also supported by my peers and professors, and as a result, I believe I developed a strong work ethic and an ability to ask for help when I needed it.

    Rylie Neely BA ’20
    Environmental Studies
    More about Rylie
  • Skylar Golleher BA '21

    Lewis & Clark gave me a lot of confidence to express my ideas, opinions, and intentions. I think my favorite thing that I learned was the ability to problem solve.

    Skylar Golleher BA ’21
    Economics and Environmental Studies (double) | Little Rock, Arkansas
    More about Skylar

Environmental Studies Events

September 10

ENVS Welcome Back Celebration

All ENVS and ESS students are invited!  Eat snacks, hear important announcements, see the new ENVS suite in Albany 104, and meet the ENVS faculty, including Alana Rader, our new faculty member.  

September 30

ENVX Symposium

The theme for the 27th annual ENVX Symposium is:

Green Innovation in China and the US: Creating Climate Solutions

For the full schedule of events, see:  https://college.lclark.edu/programs/environmental_studies/symposium/27th-annual-symposium/

until October 4
September 30

ENVX Symposium: Deep Green film screening

Showing of the film, Deep Green. Followed by discussion with Matt Briggs, Director and Writer of Deep Green, and Jeongsu Shin, sociocultural anthropologist.

October 1

ENVX Symposium

The theme for the 27th annual ENVX Symposium is:

Green Innovation in China and the US: Creating Climate Solutions

For the full schedule of events, see:  https://college.lclark.edu/programs/environmental_studies/symposium/27th-annual-symposium/

until October 4
Angel Hsu, an Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Environment, Energy and Ecology at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, s...
October 1

ENVX Symposium: Angel Hsu keynote address

Harnessing AI for Sustainable Cities: Data-Driven Climate Solutions in China and the U.S. 

More News and Events →