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Environmental Studies Program
Jeannette Rankin Hall 106A
The University of Montana
Missoula, MT 59812-4320
Tel: (406) 243-6273
Fax: (406) 243-6090

Environmental Studies Undergraduate Focus Areas

All Focus Areas of Study require the completion of the general requirements of the Environmental Studies major. In addition, each Focus Area of Study has additional special requirements below.

Sustainability Studies:

Sustainability is a major organizing theme within Environmental Studies. Students focusing on this area will increase their understanding of our earth's limited capacity to support all forms of life and to provide for the needs of human society. Students will learn how to reduce our demands on the earth through increased resource efficiency and choosing simpler but more joyful lifestyles. Students have the opportunity to identify and develop more sustainable means of providing food, shelter, mobility and other necessities by working and innovating in the local community. Students complete 20 credits of advisor-approved courses and/or internships and may further focus their studies in these areas:

Sustainable Business: Students focus on creating and maintaining enterprises that meet social needs sustainably. Students should take ENST 291 (EVST 210) or TASK 160S (BUS 160S); ACTG 201 & 202 (ACCT 201 & 202); MIS 257 (IS 257); ENST 476 or 487 (EVST 485 or 487); COMM 379; MGMT 457. Students should also intern with a local sustainable business or the Sustainable Business Council. Students interested in this focus area are encouraged to double major in Business Management and in addition to the core Business courses take some of these courses: MGMT 348, 430, 445, 446, 458. Faculty Advisor - Vicki Watson.

Sustainable Energy: Students interested in sustainable energy should take ENST 204, 291, 480, and 494, (EVST 204, 210, 450, 460 and 470) and the energy related courses offered by the College of Technology. Students should arrange an energy related internship. Also recommended are ECNS 201S, 433 (ECON 111S, 440). Faculty advisors - Len Broberg and Josh Slotnick.


Sustainable Food and Farming: Students focus on creating and maintaining sustainable food systems. Students must complete 6 supervised internship credits in the Program in Ecological Agriculture and Society ENST 396 (PEAS, EVST 390); ENST 430 and 480 (EVST 430 and 450). In addition, students must complete 9 more credits of advisor-approved courses or internships. These could include courses such as ENST 494 (Practicum in Sustainable Ag Education), ENSC 245N, (FOR 210N), ANSC 262 (FOR 362), NRSM 424 (FOR 424); NUTR 221N (HHP 236N); PHAR 324; ANTY 133H (ANTH 103H); GPHY 434 (GEOG 434). Faculty advisors Neva Hassanein and Josh Slotnick.

Sustaining Water Resources & Watersheds: Students focus on sustainable use of water resources and watersheds. Students must complete 20 credits of advisor-approved courses or internships. These could include courses in Biology (Freshwater Ecology, Biology of Fishes, Fisheries Science, courses offered at the Flathead Lake Biological Station), Chemistry (Aquatic Chemistry), Forestry (Watershed Hydrology, Watershed Management, Environmental Soil Science, Riparian Ecology), Geography (Water Policy), Geology (Global Water, Geochemistry, Geomorphology, Hydrogeology). Note: Some of these courses require prerequisites not in the environmental studies core requirements. Students can also work with UM Watershed Health Clinic. See Faculty advisor - Vicki Watson.

Environmental Justice:

With this focus area students will develop the capacity for thoughtful active participation in the quest for environmental and social justice. Students gain in-depth understandings of a wide range of environmental injustices and the role of race, class, and gender in shaping quality of life, enjoyment of environmental amenities and access to natural resources both domestically and internationally. Students learn about the ways that business, government, financial institutions, and the labor and environmental movements can work toward a more just and sustainable society. Students must complete 21 credits including the following: ENST 489S, 487 (EVST 477S, 487), a 3 credit internship ENST 398 (EVST 398) and 12 credits of advisor-approved electives (contact Robin Saha for a list of recommended courses). Faculty advisors - Robin Saha and Dan Spencer.

Environmental Science:

Students will develop sufficient science literacy to qualify as environmental scientists. Students should double major or minor in one of the scientific disciplines on campus and/or consult with the Environmental Studies science advisor to design a course of study that includes 30 to 40 credits in science & math. Faculty advisor - Vicki Watson.

Environmental Writing and Literature:

Students focus on the careful reading of American Nature & Environmental Nonfiction Writing and the creative writing of their own work in the field. Students must complete ENST 335L and 373A (EVST 305L and 373); at least one 3 credit course at the 200-level or above in ENCR or LIT or JOUR; at least either one internship credit (Camas magazine, the Environmental Writing Institute, Wild Mercy Reading Series, or some other environmental publication); or one independent study credit ENST 492 (EVST 496), arranged with instructor in either original nature writing or in nature literature study. Faculty advisor - Phil Condon.

Environmental Pre-Law:

The Pre-Law focus area of study is designed to prepare students for law school and a career in environmentally oriented legal and policy matters. Students focusing on environmental law must consult with the pre-law faculty advisor within environmental studies (Len Broberg) to design a suitable pre-law program. The pre-law focus area is a flexible program that allows students to strengthen their background within their area of interest. Faculty advisor - Len Broberg.

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