The Environmental Studies Program seeks to create a learning environment that fosters an understanding of the causes and consequences of our environmental predicaments, as well as the creative problem-solving skills to design a more sustainable relationship between humans and the rest of the natural world.


Our faculty are both scholars and teachers who are engaged in research, writing, and teaching that range from climate change, systems ecology, and natural resources and conflict, to indigenous environmental issues, environmental justice, and urban sustainability. They collaborate with indigenous, African diaspora, and Asian communities, and with local, county, and “Rust Belt” communities in the Great Lakes bioregion. Committed to undergraduate education, they teach everything from introductory courses to advanced seminars.

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Program Overview

We offer a design-oriented curriculum to equip you with the broad set of intellectual tools and learning experiences needed to address the unprecedented environmental challenges facing your generation: remediating and adapting to climate change while developing sustainable systems to produce food, fuel, shelter, and fiber. While daunting, these challenges also present tremendous opportunities for you and your peers to creatively construct a world that is better than the one you inherited.

Students can major or minor in environmental studies. Majors will gain the knowledge, intellectual tools, and learning experiences to pursue an increasingly diverse set of career options. Majors often obtain employment immediately after graduating, but most eventually pursue advanced degrees in such fields as environmental science, public policy, architecture, business, law, sustainable agriculture, and urban planning.

The Environmental Studies Program annual newsletter is the most intimate way of learning about our faculty, staff, and student endeavors, achievements, and ongoing projects. 

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Upcoming Environmental Studies Events

Environmental Studies News

A man signs a book.

Oberlin in Photos

March 31, 2020
If the walls in Finney Chapel could talk, they would reverberate with the enchanting sounds of the Oberlin Orchestra; command attention with empowering words spoken by Martin Luther KingJr.; and pulse joyously along with South Africa’s Soweto Gospel Choir.

Environmental Studies Facilities

Exterior view of Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies.

Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies

This solar-powered building has earned national acclaim as a showcase for green building technologies and operating systems.
Hallock Auditorium

Hallock Auditorium

Hallock Auditorium is in the Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies. The auditorium serves the dual purpose of being a lecture space for academic classes and a venue for campus events.
Lewis Annex

Lewis Annex

The Adam Joseph Lewis Center Annex is a renovated 19th-century home that offers lab and office space for the Environmental Studies Program.