Environmental Studies (BA)

Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Signature Courses
Concepts of Ecology
Form and Pattern in Nature
Philosophies of the Interpretive Naturalists
Marine Studies I
Marine Studies II
Marine Studies III

Like all of our programs, our approach to environmental studies is integrated—weaving together different perspectives and disciplines to provide you with a holistic view. With one-of-a-kind course offerings that get you out in the field and experiencing some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world.  You'll get an unforgettable education in places like the Grand Canyon, Norway, and Kino Bay, Mexico.

At Prescott College, you'll get to design a degree that's as unique as you are. Many students combine the field of Environmental Studies with another study area such as Human Development, Education, or Adventure Education. Students have designed degrees in areas ranging from Marine Studies, Natural History & Ecology, to Earth Science, and Conservation Biology.

Want to take your education further? Be sure to ask about our accelerated, tuition-free Master's degree in Environmental Studies and Sustainability! 
 

Areas of Emphasis

Marine Studies at Prescott College has a strong focus on ecology of the marine environment (physical oceanography and marine ecology) and on the relationships between humans and the marine environment. Students graduating with a competence in Marine Studies should have a foundation in life sciences, physical sciences, human ecology, conservation, and resource management, as well as a broad scope of supporting courses in literature, politics, economics, and humanities. Direct field experience further establishes a student's understanding and respect for the power and vastness of the world's ocean. Most Marine Studies students follow one of two main paths:1) Marine ecology/field research/natural history or 2) Marine conservation/resource management/policy. Many Marine Studies courses take place at the Prescott College Kino Bay Center for Cultural and Ecological Studies in Bahia Kino, Sonora, Mexico, on the coast of the Gulf of California. Marine Studies students are also encouraged to broaden their experience by participating in an EcoLeague exchange with either College of the Atlantic or Alaska Pacific University.

Students pursuing this emphasis explore both the theory and practice of EE, intertwined with empirical understandings from numerous observations, field experiences, and practicum opportunities. The Environmental Education emphasis is highly interdisciplinary and complementary as a breadth to students studying Education, Environmental Studies, Adventure Education, Social Justice, Sustainability, Human Development, Arts and Letters, Ecopsychology, and more.

Conservation Biology is an interdisciplinary field that has developed rapidly to respond to a global crisis confronting biological diversity and the cultural diversity that depends upon it. Practitioners of Conservation Biology attempt to guide society toward the maintenance of organisms, landscapes, ecological processes, and natural and cultural systems, and toward sustainable management of environmental, human, and evolutionary resources. Conservation Biology represents shifting sets of interactions among three realms: values, policy, and science. Students in this field will become competent to conduct relevant research, make balanced value judgments, and take effective action on behalf of nature and the environment.

 

Natural History and Ecology is an approach to learning how nature works, how organisms and their biotic and abiotic environments interrelate. Grounded in evolutionary principles, the field involves studying individuals and populations and how they are assembled into communities and ecosystems. Some students within this emphasis area will become naturalists who observe and interpret particular organisms and landscapes. Others may become field ecologists who build upon natural history by using the scientific method for examining questions generated by ecological theory. Ecological understanding informs and guides applied fields such as agroecology and conservation biology.

No

 

  • Identify, compare, contrast, and apply the historical, philosophical, and ethical foundations of how humans value, use, and manage nature and natural resources.
  • Identify and apply abiotic, biological, ecological, and evolutionary processes, from molecules to the biosphere across a variety of temporal and spatial scales.
  • Use appropriate methodologies to address a range of research questions, to interpret landscapes, to test hypotheses where appropriate, and to analyze and communicate the results to diverse audiences.
  • Apply understandings of the reciprocal influences between people and nature through meaningful analysis of complex relationships among ecological, cultural, socio-political, and economic systems in the creation of effective and creative approaches to meeting environmental and human challenges.

 

  • Biologist
  • Ecological Designer
  • Ecologist
  • Environmental Attorney / Lawyer
  • Environmental Educator
  • Environmental Lawyer
  • Field Biologist
  • Fisheries Ecologist
  • Forest Ranger
  • Geologist
  • High School Science Teacher
  • Marine Biologist
  • Marine Conservationist
  • Marine Policy Advocate
  • Museum Curator
  • Natural Resource Specialist
  • Preserve Manager
  • Seabird Ecologist
  • Sustainability Project Manager

Students interested in Environmental Studies engage in classes addressing the following competencies:  life science, earth and physical science, social systems, and personal values.  Though course combinations are endless, students could earn a degree in Environmental Studies with the following sample list of classes.  

Lower division - the starting points

First-year curriculum: Wilderness and Civilization
Biological Principles: Life on earth 
Natural History and Ecology of the Southwest
Earth Science: An Introduction to the Home Planet 
Foundations of Environmental Education
Soil Science: Fertile Ground for Growth
Water in the West 
Behavior and conservation of mammals

Upper Division - Developing a deeper mastery


Field Methods for Plant Ecology
Environmental Policy
Grand Canyon Semester 
Systematics of Seed Plants
Philosophies of the Interpretive Naturalists
Topics in Geomorphology,  (Kino Bay) 
Advanced GIS
The Senior Project

Environmental Studies (BA) Faculty
Mark Riegner

Mark Riegner

Faculty of Undergraduate Programs

mriegner@prescott.edu

Jeremy Johnson

Jeremy Johnson

Faculty of Undergraduate Programs

jeremy.johnson@prescott.edu

Mark Dailey

Mark Dailey

Faculty of Undergraduate Programs

mark.dailey@prescott.edu

Lorayne Meltzer

Lorayne Meltzer

Faculty of Undergraduate Programs

lmeltzer@prescott.edu

Robin Currey

Robin Currey

Faculty of Sustainable Food Systems

robin.currey@prescott.edu

Eleanor Tison

Eleanor Tison

Faculty of Undergraduate Programs

eleanor.tison@prescott.edu

Laird Christensen

Laird Christensen

Director, MS in Resilient and Sustainable Communities & MS in Environmental Studies

laird.christensen@prescott.edu

Ed Boyer

Ed Boyer

Faculty of Undergraduate Programs

eboyer@prescott.edu

Peter Sherman

Peter Sherman

Faculty of Undergraduate Programs

peter.sherman@prescott.edu

Antony Brown

Antony Brown

Associate Faculty of Undergraduate Programs

tony.brown@ecosa.prescott.edu

Terril Shorb

Terril Shorb

Emeritus Faculty of Undergraduate Programs

tshorb@prescott.edu