School navigation

Environmental Studies

Overview

As introduced here, think of what we offer as ENVX: Environment Across Boundaries. Here’s a quick background and overview.

Lewis & Clark’s Environmental Studies (ENVS) Program was founded in 1997 by Professor Evan T. Williams. Evan championed a “tripod” approach, drawing upon the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. 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 Evan’s life and work with the Evan T. Williams Memorial Tree Walk in 2005.

The ENVS Program now has three dedicated faculty appointments: Jim Proctor, a geographer and Program Director; Liz Safran, a geologist and disasters researcher; and Jessica Kleiss, an oceanographer and climate scientist. ENVS also involves a range of participating faculty specializing in biology, chemistry, economics, history, international affairs, philosophy, sociology, and other fields.

We are at the cutting edge of environmental higher education in the U.S., having launched a number of large funded initiatives over the years; one such was Situating the Global Environment, featuring interdisciplinary environmental research by our students and faculty in sites throughout the world.  

Our approach challenges you to cross intellectualgeographic, 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. In so doing, you will draw a larger, potentially more hopeful circle around environmental issues.

Our students graduate with a background in environmental science situated in a broader understanding of cultural, political, and other key dimensions of environmental issues, plus skills and experience they apply to professional opportunities, graduate study, and effective environmental action.