Introduce your natural curiosity to an ecosystem of new understanding.

From geology to government, the way we live and where we live are in conversation in our environmental studies program, one of the first in the nation. You'll engage with values and concepts like community and justice as you ask and answer big questions about the environment. Using your innovation and creativity, delve into complex problems using skills from a wide range of subjects including science, art, and philosophy. From collective action to the policy process, shine your light on the solutions of tomorrow. 


Natalie Fordwor '12 on the set of WorkspacED, a Ghana kids show she founded and hosts

Alumni Perspective

“The interdisciplinary approach totally informs what I do. I know the experience at Lawrence was definitely influential in all this. I was tired of seeing science on one side, arts on another side. That tends to happen in our curriculum in Ghana. Seeing the liberal arts at work at Lawrence, I knew it could be better here.” 

Natalie Fordwor ’12, Founder at WonderspacED 
Environmental Studies
Kumasi, Ghana 


Deanna Donohoue | Open Office

Lawrence students visit the office of Deanna Donohoue, Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Environmental Studies.

An ecosystem of disciplines to explore.

Learn what comprises a major or minor in environmental studies.

From classrooms to field study, experts guide you forward.

Image of the US capitol and treasury buildings

Outstanding in the field

You have a wide array of opportunities to get out into the field, whatever the field means to you. You could be gathering samples from the Fox River, interning at an environmental organization in Washington, or taking part in community organizing in Chicago.

Students in Costa Rica

Go global

Study abroad opportunities in places like Costa Rica let you tackle global environmental issues with global experiences.

The Chandler Senior Experience

The Senior Seminar is the culmination of the environmental studies major and serves as the program's Senior Experience. Through discussions of primary literature and guest lectures, you’ll engage with cutting-edge scholarship in the natural sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. You will also complete an individual project, which consists of developing models of environmentally relevant phenomena. In the course of this modeling work, you must find and acquire relevant data, determine functional relations between model elements, perform sensitivity analyses, and justify your choices and assumptions. Finally, you will present your results and conclusions orally and in a written document.

Recent Senior Experiences include:

  • PurpleAir Sensors: New Air Quality Instrumentation to Enhance Community Engagement & Data Collection Near Industrial Activity
  • Assessing Brook Trout Viability Relative to Rising Stream Temperatures in Northern Wisconsin
  • Greening Through QR Codes: The Influence of Technology on Environmental Education
  • Be Here Now: A Poetic Exploration of Dwelling in the Wisconsin Region
Grads smile for a photo at Commencement 2021

Environmental Studies Outcomes

A degree in environmental studies helps you illuminate the way forward in a changing world.

Are you a problem solver in search of a well-rounded science toolkit? Are you looking to explore environmental questions through the lens of the natural sciences? You may also be interested in the Environmental Science major.

Can you picture yourself at Lawrence? Apply for admission.

The best way to find out if Lawrence is the university for you is by visiting.

Your virtual tour starts at the Arch but be sure to check out Briggs Hall, to explore environmental studies learning spaces.