The environmental studies (ES) program is the primary academic connection to sustainability at Reed. One of the largest standing interdisciplinary majors on campus with an explicit mission to bridge the natural sciences, social sciences, and history, the ES program prepares students for the multidimensional challenges inherent in environmental issues. The ES program has five concentrations reflective of the core faculty: biology, chemistry, economics, history, and political science.
In addition to teaching courses that address environmental issues from a disciplinary perspective, ES faculty are engaged in research to address national, state, local, and campus issues. Their research projects often include students who are studying both within the major and in other fields of inquiry.
Environmental studies has a broad reach at Reed. Students from across the academic program take ES courses to fulfill their own academic interests in the environment, and the majority of students taking ES courses are not ES majors.
For more information on research opportunities within ES, suggested coursework, links to projects completed within the junior seminar, and other information, visit Reed’s environmental studies site.
Reed’s Environmental Studies Summer Experience Fellowship provides Reed students with funding to pursue summer internships and field research focused on the environment.
- “Behind the Curve. Professor Josh Howe explores the paradoxical history of global warming.”
- “Bio Major Breeds Microbes that Eat Plastic. Hungry bacteria thrive on plastic water bottles, opening up the possibility of using microorganisms to fight pollution.”
- “Rail Yard Blues. Tracking pollution at Portland rail yard.”
- “Tackle Climate Change. Go Bird Watching.”
- Watson Fellow and environmental studies & history major Rennie Meyers writes about the evolution of marine science.
- Kate Hilts, environmental studies & political science major, focuses senior thesis on the linguistic framing of climate change legislation.
- Environmental studies & chemistry major Claire Young discovers how heavy metal pollutants in Portland affect hops used for homebrewing.