Professor James Peters (Philosophy), Coordinator of the Program
The Environmental Studies Program at Sewanee offers students an unusually rich array of curricular options with four majors, one minor, and a certificate. This expansive curriculum—including natural and social sciences as well as the humanities and fine arts—offers students multiple pathways for appreciating the ecological complexity and wonder of the earth we inhabit. The Program’s spread of curricular options across four diverse majors enables majors to develop not only depth of exposure to key fields and methodologies of study, but also cross-disciplinary breadth of understanding. This broad-gauged outlook is crucial for graduates looking to address the inherently interdisciplinary challenges of environmental study in today’s world. So while each of the four majors has its own, largely autonomous pattern of faculty-administrative oversight, an overarching belief in the value and need for interdisciplinary inquiry suffuses the entire program. Students enrolled in the four majors also share the chance for common exposure to the Program’s team-taught offering, “Introduction to Environmental Studies” (ENST 101, recommended for one of the majors and required for the other three), as well as involvement in various other collaborative opportunities and occasions for interaction across academic disciplines.
A major asset of the Environmental Studies Program at Sewanee is the unparalleled opportunity for field study available throughout the University’s 13,000-acre land-base, commonly known as “the Domain.” This extensive tract includes extensive woodlands, lakes, trails, caves, and bluffs that surround the central campus and encompass the residential village of Sewanee. The Domain’s amalgamation of wildlife preserve, working forest, farmland, and settlements thus offers students and faculty members rare benefit as a “living laboratory” for inquiry.
The four majors available are those in Ecology and Biodiversity, Environmental Arts and Humanities, Environment and Sustainability, and Natural Resources and the Environment. Each major requires eleven courses, including a senior capstone seminar and typically though not always ENST 101.