Environmental Studies

Environmental Studies

Understanding the urban ecosystem... and helping it thrive.

Today, more than half of the world’s 7 billion people live in cities. Since both of these figures are expected to grow, sustainable and livable cities are imperative for the good of the future, and the well-being of people all over the globe.

Oglethorpe’s Environmental Studies/Urban Ecology program takes an interdisciplinary, experience-based approach to investigate the way people in urban areas interact with their environment. This inquiry draws from numerous disciplines, including: biology, economics, geography, psychology, politics, and sociology.

The program, which enables undergraduates to earn a minor in this high-stakes subject, is one of just two of its kind, nationwide. Whether you hope to pursue a career in urban ecology or a related field, this unique opportunity offers a competitive edge.

Offered as:

Minor Environmental Studies

Right now, Atlanta is a city in the midst of transition and revitalization. Community-driven initiatives and neighborhood improvement projects are cropping up all over the city… some on an unprecedented scale. It’s an exciting place to study urban ecology.

  • Oglethorpe Environmental Studies students complete internships at key environmental organizations and administrative offices: Blue Heron Nature Preserve, the Healthy Community Design Initiative at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, The Conservation Fund, Fulton County Water Department, DeKalb County Parks Acquisition, Dunwoody Nature Center, Southface Energy Institute, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, and more.
  • With the urban ecosystem of Atlanta as a living laboratory, fascinating field experiences abound. As a student, you’ll explore sites like the Atlanta BeltLine (a vast and ambitious revitalization effort), Atlanta’s zero milepost marker, Oakland Cemetery, and the Southface Energy Institute (an organization dedicated to promoting green building). And you’ll hear lectures by expert speakers hailing from organizations like the Atlanta Regional Commission, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Chattahoochee Riverkeeper.
  • Through internships and service learning experiences, Oglethorpe Environmental Studies students carry out serious research with real-life implications, for example: assisting with the Chattahoochee National Recreation Area’s development of control programs for invasive plants; helping the CDC and EPA develop educational websites; helping to identify priority areas within DeKalb County for new parks, and determining the source of illegal pollution along local streams.

As Oglethorpe’s Environmental Studies program is one of only two across the nation, it confers a rare and notable credential that will set you apart from your peers. Through this opportunity to explore high-level issues as an undergrad, you benefit from a significant head start on your way to success.

  • The minor in Environmental Studies offers exceptional undergraduate preparation for graduate programs in urban ecology, environmental studies, urban planning, public policy, or conservation biology.
  • A background in environmental studies will pay off in careers in environmental consulting and research, public health, landscape architecture, resource management, urban planning, wildlife management, and more.
  • Recent alumni are working at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), consulting on LEED/Green Building standards and certification, earning degrees in public health, and finding high-impact, community-focused roles across the nation.

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