Explore your interests in environmental studies at Lawrence.

Academic advising at Lawrence seeks to empower each student to craft and pursue a transformative liberal arts experience that prepares them for impactful and personally fulfilling lives. Faculty advisors support students in planning and achieving their educational goals, facilitate connections to campus resources and communities, and guide students to make informed decisions as they pursue their academic interests and aspirations. 

Course Planning for New and Exploring Students

Environmental Studies (ENST) one of LU’s longest-standing interdisciplinary programs, and it brings together perspectives from the natural sciences, social sciences, fine arts, and humanities. Students who are interested in pursuing an environmental science major should get started with ENST 150: Introduction to Environmental Science and ENST 151: Introduction to Environmental Policy. It’s fine to take both courses in the same year, but this is not mandatory. 

In addition to the pair of introductory courses, the ENST major includes two other required core classes: a project-based symposium (ENST 300: Symposium on Environmental Topics) that most students take during their sophomore or junior year, and the capstone seminar (ENST 650: Environmental Studies Senior Seminar) that most students take during their senior year. Students should start thinking about possible capstone topics in their junior year and consulting with faculty for guidance. The rest of the courses in the major are an interdisciplinary mix of natural sciences, social sciences, art, and humanities. In most cases, students can select courses from a list of options in each category (see the major requirements list for details).

Some of the electives in the major include 18 units of disciplinary focus in one of the departments that are affiliated with ENST. The disciplinary focus is meant to give students a more refined toolset in one academic discipline, and the courses they choose for their disciplinary focus need not be cross-listed with ENST. For example, an ENST major who is interested in US climate policy might choose government as their disciplinary focus and take courses in international law, US congressional politics, and the presidency. Students should try to choose their “disciplinary focus” by the middle of the sophomore year, if possible.

Students with a special interest in environmental science should plan to do a disciplinary focus in one of the following departments: Biology, chemistry, geosciences, or physics. They also should talk to their advisors about off-campus and research opportunities to develop their skills and experiences as environmental scientists. Students with an interest in policy may choose a disciplinary focus in one of the following areas: Anthropology, economics, government, or philosophy. Prospective majors should consult with ENST-affiliated faculty in their intended focus department.

ENST majors are also required to complete a field experience that typically consists of an ENST-internship or off-campus program approved by the major advisor. Many students complete this requirement in the summer. This requirement does not have to be completed as part of a credit-earning class.

AP Credit

Students scoring a 4 or 5 on the AP Environmental Science exam will receive credit for the equivalent of ENST 150: Introduction to Environmental Science. Students scoring a 4 or 5 on the AP Statistics exam will receive credit for the equivalent of STAT 107: Principles of Statistics.

Declare a Major/Minor

All students are expected to declare a major before the end of sophomore year. Ideally, sophomore students will declare a major (and switch to an advisor in the major) before advance registration advising begins in spring term.

Major Advising

All students will transition to a major advisor upon declaration. The major advisor will help students plan their coursework to satisfy requirements for the major, select courses in other areas to complement the major or satisfy personal interests, and prepare for their Senior Experience. Prospective environmental studies majors can consult with any of the following affiliated faculty about serving as a major advisor:


  • Chloe Armstrong, Associate Professor of Philosophy
  • Marcia Bjornerud, Walter Schober Professor of Environmental Studies and Professor of Geosciences
  • Jason Brozek, Stephen Edward Scarff Professor of International Affairs and Associate Professor of Government
  • Jeffrey Clark, Professor of Geosciences
  • Sigma Colon, Assistant Professor of Environmental and Ethnic Studies
  • Bart De Stasio, Dennis and Charlot Nelson Singleton Professor of Biological Sciences and Professor of Biology
  • David Gerard, John R. Kimberly Distinguished Professor of the American Economic System and Associate Professor of Economics
  • Alyssa Hakes, Associate Professor of Biology
  • William Hixon, Gordon R. Clapp Chair of American Studies and Associate Professor of Government
  • Danielle Joyner, Associate Professor of Art History
  • Andrew Knudsen, Professor of Geosciences
  • Stewart Purkey, Bee Connell Mielke Professor of Education and Associate Professor of Education
  • Relena Ribbons, Assistant Professor of Geosciences
  • Monica Rico, Robert S. French Professor of American Studies and Professor of History
  • Jodi Sedlock, Professor of Biology
  • Claudena Skran, Edwin & Ruth West Professor of Economics and Social Science and Professor of Government
  • Timothy X. Troy, J. Thomas and Julie E. Hurvis Professor of Theatre and Drama and Professor of Theatre Arts

Add a Major Advisor

Need help identifying an advisor in the major? Students can contact advising@lawrence.edu for assistance with advisor matching.

Minor Advising

Students do not need an official advisor for the environmental studies minor. Instead, environmental studies minors are encouraged to consult with the program director or other affiliated faculty for advice on course selection and satisfying minor requirements.

Additional Student Resources

If you still have questions about advising support related to the environmental studies program, we invite you to contact the program director.