Environmental Studies

Environmental Studies

Moving Us Closer to a Healthy Relationship with the Environment

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Are you fascinated with environmental justice, biodiversity conservation, ecotourism, urban gardening, or smart growth? Are you concerned about climate change, invasive species, or air pollution? Then our Environmental Studies program is for you. It draws from various academic disciplines to investigate how people interact with their surroundings and how to manage those interactions for sustainability and health.

The perfect place to study these interactions, our campus sits in the large, vibrant, and growing metro Atlanta area. Students in Environmental Studies can take an Urban Ecology course with copious afternoon field trips and guest speakers, complete internships at a range of host institutions (see Real-world Experience below), while taking electives with extended field trips to protected ecosystems in the Appalachian Mountains, the Okefenokee Swamp, or Sapelo Island on the Georgia coast. You’ll also have opportunity to catch a flight out of the world’s busiest airport to join a study away class in Hawai’i  for a hands-on conservation course. Our graduates are prepared to enter professional and/or graduate programs and to jump directly into environmental work.

Offered as:

Minor in Environmental Studies

Oglethorpe’s campus is ideally situated in the large, vibrant, and growing Atlanta metropolitan area, offering our Environmental Studies students unparalleled access to sites that illustrate key concepts in urban ecology, host institutions offering internships, and environmental research.

  • Students in Urban Ecology take numerous field trips to sites around Atlanta: Atlanta BeltLine, Atlantic Station, Druid Hills Neighborhood, Georgia Tech’s Living Building, Historic Fourth Ward Park, Oakland Cemetery, Olmsted’s Linear Park, Peachtree Creek Greenway, Piedmont Park, and more.
  • Students complete internships at important environmental organizations and administrative offices: Atlanta Office of Resilience, Atlanta Regional Commission, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, Conservation Fund, DeKalb County Parks, Dunwoody Nature Center, Fulton County Water Department, Georgia Audubon, Nature Conservancy, Peachtree Creek Greenway, Southface Institute, Zoo Atlanta and more.
  • Students conduct research with real-world implications during the internships noted above, by collaborating on faculty projects, or by developing their own independent studies.

Your work with the environment will continue far beyond your time at Oglethorpe. Whether you choose to volunteer or work full time in the field, you will be prepared to work within the areas of conservation easements, environmental consulting, environmental education, environmental law, green building certification, habitat restoration, landscape architecture, organic gardening, public health, urban planning, water protection, wildlife management, and more.

We are proud of our Program participants. Here are a few examples of our graduates who are working to protect and improve the environment:

  • Jessica Daniel ’09 – Jessica completed two internships, while a student at Oglethorpe. In the first, she developed marketing and outreach materials for the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. During the second, she overhauled the webpage on climate change for the Centers for Disease Control. She went on to earn an M.S. in Environmental Management from Duke University and now works for the Office of Research and Development in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Tate Davis ’16 – Tate developed web content for the Healthy Places website and updated toolkits for Health Impact Assessments while interning for the Healthy Community Design Initiative at the Centers for Disease Control. She also earned an M.S. in City/Urban, Community, and Regional Planning from Georgia Institute of Technology and worked as a Policy Analyst for the Council for Quality Growth in Atlanta.
  • Rosa Fowler ’18 – Rosa used GIS to plan sustainable developments while interning with the Planning Department of the City of Atlanta. She earned an MPH from the University of NC-Chapel Hill and works for the Environmental Epidemiology Department of the DeKalb Count (GA) Board of Health.
  • Dayla Jackson ’20 – Dayla helped restore a habitat for monarch butterflies while interning with the Monarch Collaboration and South Fork Conservancy. She works as a graphic designer for Temple Sinai and volunteers at the AWARE Wildlife Center.
  • Mounica Kota ’17 – Mounica developed environmental education materials while interning for the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. She is a doctoral student in Marlene Zuk’s lab at the University of Minnesota studying behavioral ecology and sexual selection with Hawaiian crickets.
  • Mike Meyer ’08 – Mike directs the Neighborhood Water Watch Program for the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper.
  • Dia Parker ’17 – Dia earned a B.A. in Social Innovation from Agnes Scott College, worked to build social capital and provide affordable housing as co-founder and Executive Director of Los Vecinos de Buford Highway, and promotes equitable access to education as Executive Director of Athena’s Warehouse.
  • Michael Williams ’15 – Michael used GIS to identify opportunities to provide accessible greens pace and improve environmental justice while interning for the Healthy Community Design Initiative at the Centers for Disease Control. He also earned an MPH from George Washington University, served as a Health Policy Intern for the U.S. Senate, and worked as the Legislative Director for U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath.

See degree requirements and course descriptions in the University Bulletin.

Apply for the Environmental Studies Minor using this form and notify the Program Coordinator Dr. Roarke Donnelly of your application via email ([email protected]). The application is due by close of business on the last Wednesday before your first opportunity to register for your second sophomore semester.


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