CONCENTRATION in the BS or BA ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES MAJOR
What You’ll Study
In addition to the core Environmental Studies courses, you’ll engage in advanced study of environmental law, environmental economics, and public health or planning. Round-out your experience with electives you choose, within topics ranging from natural resource conservation to peace and justice studies to the arts. In the end, you’ll pull your work together in a capstone colloquium designed specifically for this concentration.
The Capstone Experience
If you take on this concentration, you will be challenged to produce a major work of original research, then present it in writing and in a public presentation on campus. The best of these have been used as springboards for competitive internships, fellowships, and graduate programs. Most of all, these projects often make a real and meaningful difference through engagement with our community partners and local government.
You get to participate in an internship (or two!), which could include an overseas post with the United Nations Environment Programme; the City of Asheville Sustainability Department; the U.S. EPA; or with a number of environmental nonprofits addressing clean energy, endangered species, water quality, and much more.
Your work will address real issues, giving you a chance to work intensively with peers and mentors. Projects involve research, guest speakers, and field work. You’ll get to analyze, synthesize, and reflect upon the cases in substantive papers and presentation. Recent case studies have included the state of North Carolina’s stance on fracking for natural gas; highway planning through the city of Asheville; and a regional paper mill’s efforts to remain within air and water quality compliance.
Finally, students in the EP&J concentration may elect to work on the Environmental and Social Justice Crew, which is supervised by the same faculty member who heads the EP&J concentration. The crew handles sustainability tracking on campus, and organizes a range of on and off-campus environmental advocacy programming for students.
You could move directly into a career or pursue graduate school in public administration, planning, policy studies, law, and more. With and without further school, our graduates with this concentration have gone on to work with land trusts as land protection coordinators; as researchers, writers, campaign planners, and attorneys for environmental advocacy organizations; in county and city planning and sustainability departments; and with state and federal environmental agencies.