The mission of the Department of Environment, Society, and Sustainability is to provide students with an integrated learning experience encompassing the major social-environmental problems of our planet.  Uniquely, we approach such problems-including the climate crisis, biodiversity loss, changes in land system use, and rising social inequality and conflict-through the natural and social sciences as well as considerations of justice and ethics.

The interdisciplinary nature of the department offers students a strong foundation in the physical sciences; broad training in geospatial technologies such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and remote sensing; and environmental policy applications through experiential, collaborative, laboratory, field, capstone, and seminar learning opportunities. 

We offer students the opportunity to examine the human-natural relationship at multiple scales: the local and regional explorations of human and natural diversity, the planet-scale impacts of human civilization on the biophysical systems that maintain life on Earth, and Earth as part of the solar system and the universe.  

Furthermore, we offer students the ability to integrate physical and natural aspects of the world with the social, cultural, economic, and political aspects of the world to recognize and redress issues related to environmental racism and climate justice.

Through faculty trained in multiple disciplines, from urban planning to geology, from astronomy to geographical information systems, from physics and engineering to human cultural diversity and environmental justice, our programs offer a rich integrative experience to students that matches the transdisciplinary nature of the world’s most challenging problems.  

Larry McKenna

Lawrence McKenna

Associate Professor, Department Chair, Environment, Society, & Sustainability
Photo of Vandana Singh

Vandana Singh

Professor, Environment, Society, & Sustainability
Photo of David Merwin

David Merwin

Professor, Environment, Society, & Sustainability
Judith Otto

Judith Otto, Ph.D.

Professor, Environment, Society, & Sustainability
Hemmenway Annex 346A

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