McNeely Hall's exterior

One word describes the Environmental Studies major at St. Thomas: sustainability.


What are recent graduates doing now?

Joseph Mueller '13: GIS engineer technician at City of Minneapolis
Mike Orth '13
: CEO and co-founder at Widget Wah Case
Trevor Dunn '12: loan document specialist at Wells Fargo
Theresa Wondra '11: soil and water conservation district apprentice at Conservation Corps, Minnesota and Iowa
Renee Huset '11: teaching assistant and Ph.D. candidate at Syracuse University
Megan Sheridan, '10: account manager at Haberman Marketing

Learning opportunities outside of the classroom:  

Environmental studies makes a great double major or minor and it connects well with any other discipline. Employers are looking for employees who understand how their work fits in with sustainability goals.

Internships and Research. Internships and summer research are highly encouraged. Students have worked with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in a variety of roles: preventing the spread of invasive and exotic species in Minnesota, surveying in Scott County and participating in environmental education and outreach. Many students earn summer grants to complete environmentally related research projects in areas ranging from geography, psychology and political science to journalism and history to biology and geology.

Study abroad. Many students study environment-related topics abroad. Several members of the environmental studies faculty offer study abroad courses through UMAIE that many environmental studies majors and minors take. The January-term Geology Field Methods course in the American Southwest is a great opportunity for first-year students to jump right in.

Several environmental studies students have participated in the School for Field Studies (SFS). This program provides great immersion in field research and offers opportunities in several countries (e.g., Kenya, Costa Rica). The Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS) also has environmental tracks. Travel to other bioregions and economic/political/cultural settings is invaluable for gaining a global perspective. Below are additional opportunities for ENVR-related study-abroad courses.

Faculty at work

Outside of the classroom, environmental studies faculty members are very active in their field. Our professors use their talents locally, nationally, and abroad on a multitude of projects. Professor Elise Amel, psychology, offers her insights:

"Conservation Psychology is a field that allows me to integrate my passion for the natural world with my professional work. I have co-authored (with UST colleagues, Britain Scott and Christie Manning) a book chapter and many academic papers for international conferences addressing the roles of mindfulness, framing, guilt and efficacy on sustainable behavior. My co-authors and I also have discussed the results of our research at local venues, on the radio and in print media."

What can I do with an Environmental Studies major?

The number of private, public, for profit, nonprofit and governmental jobs is growing in fields as diverse as:

  • Research, design and consulting services
  • Manufacturing
  • Environmental protection
  • Renewable energy and energy efficiency
  • Transportation
  • Waste reduction
  • Energy trading
  • Green construction
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