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Environmental Studies at Linfield College – More Than a Minor Consideration…

Going green, carbon footprint, biodegradable, organic, sustainable – buzzwords picked up and splashed around by the media today, but do we really know what they mean and how appropriate or otherwise they may be in our everyday lives? This is where the Linfield College Environmental Studies Minor comes in, providing you with a solid, objective, interdisciplinary, and practical background to approaching today’s environmental concerns.

The minor program is designed to give you a strong foundation, not only in natural science, but also fundamental economics and ethics. Like a three-legged stool, each is critically important and interconnected, empowering you to make informed, rational, and progressive decisions with respect to environmental issues and situations.

The program consists of a variety of primarily online classes. Though for invaluable practical and experiential learning, you are also strongly encouraged to take at least one field course offered each summer. For example, Shoreline Ecology will introduce you to a variety of native species in coastal marine and terrestrial environments. Human Ecosystems will focus on several restoration and stewardship projects in the lower Columbia River Basin. And Fire History of the Cascades is designed to expose you to relationships between fire events, restoration efforts, and politics.

So, is it worth the extra time and credits to pursue this minor alongside your major? Consider the following:

  • Today’s increasing number of green jobs, such as in renewable energy
  • Banks looking more frequently to providing business loans for more sustainable practices
  • Cooperation and partnerships among a variety of interest groups (and agencies) to fund and implement small to large restoration projects
  • More intense and successful lobbying efforts for environmental clean-up or protection

These are just a few of many examples where your broadened background, coupled with Linfield’s long-standing reputation in the regional business community, can really increase your marketability to potential future employers. Or perhaps there’s a possibility of assisting your present employer in starting, continuing, or improving practices in more sustainable directions.

So, if you’re interested in this minor program that can be attached to any major in your bachelor’s degree, register for our June and July courses. Registration begins May 14, 2012. It could help you make a world of difference, locally and beyond!

Written by Dr. Ned J. Knight, adjunct professor of biology and environmental studies, Linfield College. Dr. Knight teaches the field study courses, Shoreline Ecology and Human Ecosystems, and in addition offers online courses in the Environmental Studies program, such as Water Resources, Intro to Ecology, and Concepts in Marine Ecology.

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