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Environmental sustainability is an interdisciplinary field that integrates natural and social sciences, humanities, arts, and education in pursuit of balancing human needs and ecological well-being. Environmental professionals research the environmental impacts of human behaviors and what drives these outcomes. Environmental sustainability considers the role of humans in nature and often views humans as embedded within environmental systems.

Majors in Environmental Sustainability at Earlham will leave college ready to address complex environmental problems by identifying social-ecological linkages and causes from multiple perspectives, collecting data to analyze those problems, and proposing possible solutions in collaboration with others. The Major in Environmental Sustainability prepares students for this through a collection of multi-disciplinary courses and a core Environmental Sustainability course sequence that helps students to frame and link those diverse perspectives. In each core course, students will practice collaboratively addressing complex environmental problems, gaining increased autonomy and leadership throughout their four years.

As an outcome, majors in Environmental Sustainability will:

  • develop an understanding of systems and multi-perspective thinking,
  • develop an understanding of both local and global contexts and the interrelationships between various scales  — time, space,
  • develop a critical understanding of environmental issues,
  • gain technical and applied skills relevant to the field such as scientific method, GIS, statistics, community-based research, etc.,
  • earn to work collaboratively in a community of learners, and
  • practice and demonstrate effective means of oral and written expression.

Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts, including the sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

Earlham College
801 National Road West
Richmond, Indiana
1-765-983-1200 — Main Switchboard
1-800-EARLHAM (327-5426) — Admission


Earlham admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.