The Environmental Studies Program at Lake Forest College gets students out of the classroom and into the field. Students are immersed in an interdisciplinary conversation with their local and global environments, and discover their place within them. Whether it’s on-campus initiatives like composting research on behalf of the the campus garden, or volunteering with community organizations like the Lake Forest Open Lands Association, students develop the knowledge and skills to engage with current environmental opportunities and challenges.
Our Environmental Studies Program is an interdisciplinary program that looks at the environment from a diversity of disciplinary perspectives. The environment can be studied as the set of natural systems that determines the health of the planet, or as the variety of ways humans have influenced the environment around them. Our program values the perspectives of many different disciplines from the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities, and guides students through an interdisciplinary approach to analyzing and addressing environmental issues. Its majors also learn the value of using an interdisciplinary approach to understanding issues in the environment. Majors are encouraged and given the flexibility to develop their individual interests as they can be applied to efforts in environmental studies.
Learning in and out of the classroom
The Environmental Studies program provides opportunities for students to learn in the classroom and in the field. We currently have students volunteering at several organizations in the city of Lake Forest—including the Wildlife Discovery Center and the Lake Forest Open Lands Association—as well as on campus, including the Lake Forest College Community Garden. Students here have the opportunity to direct and develop their interests into real learning experiences.
Emily Keast ’15 will head to Ethiopia with the Peace Corps in January to implement sustainable farming methods and improve food scarcity in this east African country.
Using the outdoors as their lab and lecture hall, students in Spring Flora of the Great Lakes learn to identify at least 150 species of wildflowers, grasses, trees, shrubs, and other plants.