Aerial view of the Center for Science and Innovation

Environmental Studies

"I have found that my degrees in Environmental Studies/Science were very helpful to my job in land use planning. Topics such as Env. Law, and Government and Env. Policy helped provide an understanding of the foundations and history of the land use regulations I must now understand and navigate, while topics like Geology, Ecology, and River Systems etc.., have given me a fundamental understanding of the real world factors which necessitate the regulations and the science upon on which the policies are built." Nate Joyner '13

Read more about our graduates.

Student examining earth from a digThe environmental studies major at MCLA is a multidisciplinary program. Environmental studies majors study human activities and their effects on natural systems through coursework, fieldwork, research and internships. The complexity and interdisciplinary nature of environmental problems requires that students be provided with a solid foundation in the natural sciences, as well as the social sciences. Environmental studies students therefore take courses in departments and disciplines including biology, chemistry, geology, economics, and sociology. Partnerships with local environmental organizations and agencies provide students with opportunities to gain experience investigating and developing solutions to environmental problems of regional significance. Students graduating with a degree in Environmental Studies will be able to:

• Use classical skills such as critical thinking, research, speaking and writing as they apply to contemporary environmental issues
• Use particular technologies necessary for modern professionals in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities
• Quickly assess environmental problems and work effectively in a team to suggest realistic solutions
• Enter either the professional world or graduate school with broad understanding, specific skills and significant experience in environmental studies.

Read about environmental studies students and faculty researching and restoring rivers, and about a recent alum.

Programs Available

Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies ~Flow Sheet
Environmental Studies Minor
Earth Science Minor

Professor and class in a river for field work

Why MCLA is Different

Our major includes a variety of courses in disciplines including biology, chemistry, geology, economics, and sociology.  Through our partnerships with local environmental organizations and agencies, you can investigate and develop solutions to environmental problems of regional significance. Study abroad offers you the opportunity to experience the environment from a different geographical perspective.

Each spring we host a weekly Green Living Seminar series, centered around a specific  topic related to current sustainability issues. See the mini-documentary about TCE pollution in North Adams groundwater created by seminar students.

 two students sit in a river and take samples

Environmental Studies Faculty and Students Complete Study on Bacterial Pollution to Hoosic River.
MCLA, in collaboration with the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, has completed a study on sources of bacterial pollution to the Hoosic River in northern Berkshire County. Read the final report and report addendum

An Alumna’s Wild Career in Montana


A Summer with Sea Turtles


Senior Serves NYC Community in Summer Internship

Jaret Gonzalez

Three Conference Presentations Highlight Student’s First Year


Spring Break Trip Leads to Spot on Local Board of Directors

Katie Howe with child

Environmental Studies Alumnus Teaches Sustainability to Farmers

David Wilfore trees for Tribs

Environmental Studies Grad Helps
NY Farmers

student in waders in a river

Class Trip Changes Career Course      

Rachel Drugin
Students Explore South Florida’s Ecosystems
Spring 2017 South Florida Trip

students wading through a cypress dome in Everglades National Park 

Degree is "Top Priority" for
Local Man

Adam Galambos and his dog

View a sample 4-year plan to complete your major

Current Catalog

2017 Capstone Course Descriptions

Berkshire Environmental Resource Center (BERC)


Environmental student clubs on campus


Prof. Elena Traister - ENVI Department Chair
CSI 225F

  Living Green logo

Green Living Seminar Series


ENVI 355 Everglades and South Florida January 2019

Trip typically costs $1,400 
Contact: Prof. Dan Shustack 
Click here for more information

Florida landscape

Previous Travel Courses

ENVI 350: Sonoran Desert and the Arizona Borderlands
March 8-19, 2018
Prof. Dan Shustack

ENVI 350: Ecology and Management of the Adirondack Park
October 6-9, 2017
Prof. Elena Traister

ENVI 350: Everglades and South Florida January 7-16,2017
Prof. Dan Shustack
Watch YouTube video #1!     Video #2

March 12-22, 2015
Prof. Dan Shustack

Jan 3-13, 2014
Prof. Dan Shustack