Jul 18, 2024  
2018-2019 Catalog 
2018-2019 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Huxley College of the Environment


Dr. Steven J. Hollenhorst, Dean

Huxley College of the Environment is one of seven colleges constituting Western Washington University, consistently recognized as one of the outstanding public institutions of higher education in the West.

As one of the oldest environmental colleges in the nation, Huxley College is a recognized leader in producing the next generation of environmental professionals, stewards, and environmental advocates. Huxley’s integrative approach is designed to train students for creative, fulfilling careers in a changing world. Since its establishment in 1969, Huxley College has won national and international recognition for undergraduate and graduate programs that are continually refined to enhance practical, collaborative approaches to solving environmental problems.

Students enter Huxley College with a foundation in science and social science and pursue specialization in their chosen fields with plans of study designed to provide a broad base of knowledge and perspective. Students are also encouraged to design independent programs within the college and to participate in cooperative programs with other university departments. Huxley faculty and staff are readily available to collaborate with student initiatives in learning. In addition to classroom work, seniors participate in internships and may serve with faculty and staff on college committees.  Students also complete a capstone class in which students find solutions to very real community problems that may end with a presentation to a city council, port governing board or even representatives from the Washington State Department of Ecology instead of a final exam.

Faculty specialties include oceanography, zoology, engineering, geology, disaster resilience, psychology, coastal geography, population biology, urban planning, environmental justice, indigenous marine ecology, climate change, marine chemistry and many other fields. Huxley College courses embrace natural and physical sciences, human ecology and ethics, history and resource policy, writing and photography, and others. Our students publish the quarterly award-winning Planet magazine, and routinely receive instruction and mentoring in the use of a variety of new technologies included in the water quality, toxicology and planning labs, and Shannon Point Marine Center.

Most Huxley College classrooms, offices and laboratories are located in the Environmental Studies building and Arntzen Hall. Huxley College also houses the Institute of Environmental Toxicology for research on risk assessment and effects of toxic substances; the Institute for Watershed Studies for freshwater and limnological studies; the Resilience Institute for promoting sustainable development and fostering resilient communities; and the Huxley Spatial Institute for teaching and research in Geographic Information Science and remote sensing. Huxley College is also a collaborating partner with the College of Business and Economics and the College of Science and Engineering to support the Institute for Energy Studies, an innovative new program designed to meet the needs of a rapidly expanding green-energy economy and student interest in energy-related fields.

Huxley College of the Environment acknowledges with respect …

We acknowledge with respect the Coast Salish territory, including Lummi Nation and Nooksack peoples on whose traditional territory Huxley College of the Environment stands.


Huxley College of the Environment addresses today’s environmental issues and prepares tomorrow’s interdisciplinary problem solvers. We accomplish this mission by integrating outstanding educational programs, faculty-student collaboration, applied research, and professional and community service.


Huxley College of the Environment is a premier institution for the education of future environmental experts and leaders.

Commitment to Equity and Inclusion

Huxley College is committed to creating and sustaining an accessible, inclusive and supportive community for students. The college values and respects all members of its communities, each of whom individually and collaboratively make a contribution to create, strengthen, and enrich our learning environment. 

Academic Programs Leading to Undergraduate and Graduate Degrees

Business and Sustainability* BA
Economics/Environmental Studies* BA
Environmental Education BA, MED
Environmental Policy BA
Environmental Science BS, MS
Environmental Studies BA, MA
Environmental Studies/Elementary BAE
Geography BA
Geography/Elementary BAE
Geography/Social Studies BA
Student/Faculty Design BA, BS
Urban Planning and Sustainable Development BA

*These are degrees shared with other colleges at Western.

College Admission and Advisement

Admissions and Declaration of Major

  • Completion of required preparatory course work
  • A brief essay in response to a given question
  • Academic performance (gpa)

Applications should be received by the Huxley College office (ES 539) by:

  • April 18 for admission to summer or fall quarters
  • October 6 for admission winter quarter
  • January 15 for admission spring quarter

Department Chairs

Dr. David Wallin Environmental Sciences
Dr. Grace Wang Environmental Studies

Other College Information

Departments, Courses and Programs

Courses listed in this catalog constitute a record of the total academic program of the University. For an exact scheduling of courses at Western, students should consult the annual online Timetable of Classes and Extended Education bulletins.

Environmental Sciences

Go to information for this department.


Environmental Studies

Go to information for this department.