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Environmental Studies

Ezra Richardson and Garrett Hopkins studied post-wildfire soil conditions. (photo: Courtney Dillon)

Our Planet. Our Future.

Why Consider a Major from the Department of Environmental Studies?

Are you interested in shaping our common environmental future? Would you like to help organizations become more sustainable, collect field data that informs relevant environmental decisions, or develop forward-thinking environmental policies? If you want to use your passion, knowledge and skills to promote positive change, and seek to develop your foundation in both human and natural systems to do so, then a degree from the Department of Environmental Studies might be right for you.


Program Overview

KSC conservation intern Anthony Oatley inspects an invasive plant during a summer field internship.

Get Out in the Field

At KSC, the Environmental Studies major offers a unique experience that includes small classes, hands-on learning (via in-course field experiences, internships, student capstone projects, and undergraduate research opportunities), dedicated & experienced faculty, and a commitment to preparing students with life-long skills in critical thinking and professional growth.

Our department prides itself on our close working relationship with students, providing support for their success. We believe strongly in an interdisciplinary curriculum because it is critical to have a basic understanding of both human systems and natural systems to effect change.

Our faculty have experience in both local, regional and international environmental affairs. Our local connections allow students to participate in solving real-world environmental problems such as air pollution caused by woodsmoke, ecological restoration of river systems, and protection of local natural resources.

Our Local Ecosystem

Keene’s location in the Ashuelot River watershed and the Monadnock region provides an excellent location for field studies, with "urban" pollution problems and relatively undisturbed pristine forests and wetlands in close proximity.

Nearby Mount Monadnock is one of the most climbed mountains in the world. The Ashuelot River runs right through the KSC campus, at about the half-way point along the river’s course.

Along the river’s 63-mile length, its water quality varies significantly. The KSC campus also includes Brickyard Pond, the Arboretum and Gardens, and a Wildlife Management Area along the banks of the Ashuelot near the College’s athletic field complex. This are was established by the KSC Grounds Crew in cooperation with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Program Options

Beyond the basic requirements of the major, our students have great flexibility to focus on our natural science or human dimensions courses, and choose an allied minor to broaden their learning or expand potential job opportunities.

Popular minors include Geography, Safety and Occupational Health Applied Sciences, Biology, Communications, and our new minor in Sustainability.

Many students also choose to minor in Environmental Studies or in our new Sustainability minor, available Fall 2018.

Career and Other Opportunities

Our students go on to work for businesses, government agencies, non-profits, and consulting companies as Environmental Health and Safety Managers, environmental consultants, field technicians, research assistants, and project coordinators.

Below, Tara Pratt, ‘15, talks about her undergraduate research experience with Dr. Nora Traviss.


KSC Environmental Studies in the News

Gabby Pacheco and Tim Panella
December 19, 2017 –

This year, seniors in the Environmental Studies Department at Keene State College once again conducted their two-semester capstone research projects on Harris Center lands.

Keene State College and the Harris Center of Conservation and Education have a long running collaboration whereby ENST students perform research on Harris Center lands, providing…

Scott Semmens Animal Tracking
December 5, 2017 –

From New Hampshire to Africa, Keene State Environmental Studies instructor R. Scott Semmens has been tracking animals for over two decades.

Join Scott on a silent walk in the woods and discover the stories left behind in snowy imprints, scratched trees and scraped earth.

Liora Engel-Smith’s profile of Scott Semmens…

The Environmental Studies internship team at the...
July 21, 2017 –

Keene State’s Environmental Studies program has had a long and rewarding relationship with the Harris Center for Conservation Education (HCCE) in nearby Hancock, NH. Through an ongoing partnership, Environmental Studies students are hired as interns for eight weeks in the summer to help the HCCE with various conservation projects. The…


Environmental Studies Alumni

What do students do with a major in Environmental Studies? Find out what our former students are doing after graduation. More about Environmental Studies Alumni


Department Faculty

Learn more about the Environmental Studies faculty. More about Department Faculty


Contact Environmental Studies

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Environmental Studies (Sciences)
Emma Wilson
Administrative Assistant
603-358-2540

Admissions Office
800-KSC-1909
229 Main Street
Keene, New Hampshire 03435