Environmental Studies (BA)

Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Signature Courses
Concepts of Ecology
Form and Pattern in Nature
Philosophies of the Interpretive Naturalists
Marine Studies I
Marine Studies II
Marine Studies III

Like all of our programs, our approach to environmental studies is integrated — weaving together different perspectives and disciplines to provide you with a holistic view. With one-of-a-kind course offerings that get you out in the field and experiencing some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world.  You'll get an unforgettable education in places like the Grand Canyon, Norway, and Kino Bay, Mexico.

At Prescott College, you'll get to design a degree that's as unique as you are. Many students combine the field of Environmental Studies with another study area such as Human Development, Education, or Adventure Education. Students have designed degrees in areas ranging from Marine Studies, Natural History & Ecology, to Earth Science, and Conservation Biology.

Want to take your education further? Be sure to ask about our accelerated, tuition-free Master's degree in Environmental Studies and Sustainability! 


  • Identify, compare, contrast, and apply the historical, philosophical, and ethical foundations of how humans value, use, and manage nature and natural resources.
  • Identify and apply abiotic, biological, ecological, and evolutionary processes, from molecules to the biosphere across a variety of temporal and spatial scales.
  • Use appropriate methodologies to address a range of research questions, to interpret landscapes, to test hypotheses where applicable, and to analyze and communicate the results to diverse audiences.
  • Apply understandings of the reciprocal influences between people and nature through meaningful analysis of complex relationships among ecological, cultural, socio-political, and economic systems in the creation of effective


  • Biologist
  • Ecological Designer
  • Ecologist
  • Environmental Attorney / Lawyer
  • Environmental Educator
  • Environmental Lawyer
  • Field Biologist
  • Fisheries Ecologist
  • Forest Ranger
  • Geologist
  • High School Science Teacher
  • Marine Biologist
  • Marine Conservationist
  • Marine Policy Advocate
  • Museum Curator
  • Natural Resource Specialist
  • Preserve Manager
  • Seabird Ecologist
  • Sustainability Project Manager


  • Academic focus essay
  • Completed Application
  • Official transcripts

Students interested in Environmental Studies engage in classes addressing the following competencies:  life science, earth and physical science, social systems, and personal values.  Though course combinations are endless, students could earn a degree in Environmental Studies with the following sample list of classes.  

Lower division - the starting points

First-year curriculum: Wilderness and Civilization
Biological Principles: Life on earth 
Natural History and Ecology of the Southwest
Earth Science: An Introduction to the Home Planet 
Foundations of Environmental Education
Soil Science: Fertile Ground for Growth
Water in the West 
Behavior and conservation of mammals

Upper Division - Developing a deeper mastery

Field Methods for Plant Ecology
Environmental Policy
Grand Canyon Semester 
Systematics of Seed Plants
Philosophies of the Interpretive Naturalists
Topics in Geomorphology,  (Kino Bay) 
Advanced GIS
The Senior Project

Marine Studies at Prescott College has a strong focus on ecology of the marine environment (physical oceanography and marine ecology) and on the relationships between humans and the marine environment. Students graduating with a competence in Marine Studies should have a foundation in life sciences, physical sciences, human ecology, conservation, and resource management, as well as a broad scope of supporting courses in literature, politics, economics, and humanities. Direct field experience further establishes a student's understanding and respect for the power and vastness of the world's ocean.

Most Marine Studies students follow one of two main

1) Marine ecology/field research/natural history  

2) Marine conservation/resource management/policy. Many Marine Studies courses take place at the Prescott College Kino Bay Center for Cultural and Ecological Studies in Bahia Kino, Sonora, Mexico, on the coast of the Gulf of California. Marine Studies students are also encouraged to broaden their experience by participating in an EcoLeague exchange with either College of the Atlantic or Alaska Pacific University.

Students pursuing this emphasis explore both the theory and practice of EE, intertwined with empirical understandings from numerous observations, field experiences, and practicum

The Environmental Education emphasis is highly interdisciplinary and also complementary as a breadth to students studying Education, Environmental Studies, Adventure Education, Social Justice, Sustainability, Human Development, Arts and Letters, Ecopsychology, and more

Our Faculty

Ed Boyer

Instruction|Faculty / Director, BA/BS in Environmental Studies




Laird Christensen

Instruction|Faculty / Director, MS Resilient and Sustainable Communities



Robin Currey

Instruction|Faculty / Director, Sustainable Food Systems



Lorayne Meltzer

Instruction|Faculty / Director, Kino Bay Center




Peter Sherman

Instruction|Faculty / Director, MA Environmental Studies




Terril Shorb

Instruction|Faculty Emeritus