What You’ll Study

Students use the land on campus for teaching and learning through long-term partnerships with both schools and nonprofits in the community. You’ll refine your skills gained from work crews such as garden and fiber arts to develop place-based programs like field trips for local schools that integrate guidelines developed by the North American Association of Environmental Education. Finally, you’ll gain additional real-world skills through a required internship and a capstone project.


Building on the core of the Environmental Studies major, the Environmental Education concentration focuses on teaching you how to engage and facilitate with diverse stakeholders from regional watershed groups to local schools. Course topics include educational psychology and program planning, which allows you to develop environmental education programming on themes ranging from food justice to climate action.


Put those new skills to work in your internship. Many internships partner with community organizations, where you’ll provide environmental education programs for specific audiences. You’ll also gain concrete experience that’ll serve you in just about any job, like project management, facilitation, community organizing, and environmental communications.

Example Internships

  • Teaching gardening and cooking classes with elementary school students 
  • Facilitating workshops on wellness for senior citizens
  • Designing climate justice tours for high schoolers
  • Working with a green cemetery to promote sustainable burial practices

Where Will You Go from Here?

Warren Wilson environmental education graduates go on to careers educating youth and adults on environmental solutions or to graduate school programs in subjects like education, environmental advocacy, or community-based conservation.

Jobs of recent graduates include:

  • Equity and education director for a land conservancy 
  • Garden education manager
  • Middle school science teacher
  • Nutrition educator for Cooperative Extension
  • Community organizer for a conservation nonprofit
  • Wildlife refuge specialist for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services

Explore Classes in This Program

ENS 2520

Environmental Stewardship in Community

Work with each other and with community partners to advance environmental protection, stewardship, and restoration efforts in the Swannanoa River Watershed. Class projects are designed with Warren Wilson’s commitment to equity, justice, and sustainability in mind.

EDU 3050

Educational Psychology

This class teaches how development, cognition, and motivation can affect learning, and how to manage a classroom with those things in mind. You will put these theories into practice by observing and teaching at a local school that focuses on outdoor experiential education.

ENS 3190

Community-based Environmental Education

Get teaching experience implementing education programs for local community organizations. You’ll also take training workshops with natural resource professionals. Counts toward North Carolina certification in Environmental Education.

Meet Our Faculty

The best part of the job is watching students graduate with a strong portfolio of experiences and find meaningful work connecting people to places.

Mallory McDuff, Ph.D.
Mallory McDuff, Ph.D.
Annie Jonas

Warren Wilson is exemplary at delivering experiential education. Our educational model provides a clear bridge between theory and practice offering our students an extraordinary education and skills for a lifetime.

Annie Jonas
Annie Jonas
Annie Jonas, Ed.D.
Amy Knisely

Teaching and learning at Warren Wilson is not for the faint of heart! And some days I wake up tired. But the strong-hearted, active-minded students and educators, busy together in this beautiful valley and beyond, send me home energized every day.

Amy L. Knisley, Ph.D.
Amy Knisely
Amy L. Knisley, Ph.D.
Liesl Peterson Erb

I am more guide than teacher; I love guiding intelligent, passionate students as they help change the world not just after they graduate, but as part of their educational experience.

Liesl Peterson Erb, Ph.D.
Liesl Peterson Erb
Liesl Peterson Erb, Ph.D.

Everywhere you look there's a story to be told here at Wilson. It's my job to help guide my students to see these stories and learn how to best share them with the world.

Peter Erb, MA
Peter Erb, MA
Connecting People to Places

See For Yourself

Learn about “connecting people to places,” a project conducted by Environmental Education students involving three different schools in the Swannanoa Valley. The video highlights the integration of academics, work, and community engagement for students studying environmental education.