May 19, 2024  
2018-2019 Catalog 
2018-2019 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Environmental Studies

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Departments


Students, faculty, and staff in the Department of Environmental Studies approach environmental understanding and problem solving through diverse programs that examine interacting social and natural systems. By putting the social sciences, natural sciences, humanities, and environmental professions into direct dialogue, the department’s curriculum is designed to help students make the intellectual connections and gain the practical skills necessary for building socially and environmentally sustainable futures.

The department’s undergraduate programs include major specializations in environmental education, environmental policy, geography, and urban planning and sustainable development, as well as an interdisciplinary major in environmental studies. The department also offers joint programs with the College of Business and Economics, Woodring College of Education, and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. A range of minors, including Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), Geographic Information Science (GIS), Energy Policy, and Sustainable Design, and Geographic Information Certificate are also available. These programs direct students to specific environmental career paths or provide an excellent background for advanced study in education, law, natural resource management, public administration, urban and environmental planning, and other fields. The department also offers advanced study through graduate degrees in Environmental Education and Environmental Studies.


The faculty’s work in this department is diverse, yet tied together by a shared commitment to ongoing interdisciplinary exchange. Faculty are trained in anthropology, education, engineering, geography, history, law, natural resources management, political science, psychology, urban and regional planning, and related fields. Active research programs keep faculty at the forefront of these fields as they intersect with environmental studies. Department academic programs also draw upon the expertise of colleagues in other units of the University, such as the departments of economics and political science.

Department Resources

Department facilities support applied student learning in the 38-computer spatial analysis lab with a complete suite of state-of-the-art GIS, cartography, and remote sensing software, GPS receivers, and extensive local data sets. Facilities also include the planning studio and environmental education lab. Experiential learning is emphasized in many of our programs, taking students into the field, from the local to the international, where they apply their skills and knowledge to current problems. Student work has received recognition from state, national, and international organizations for exceptional problem-solving solutions, which use geographic information science and computer-aided design.

Major Declaration

How to Apply as a Pre-Major:

At any time, you can declare yourself as a pre-major with interest in envionmental studies or any other major in the Department of Environmental Studies. There are several advantages to declaring an Environmental Studies department pre-major during your freshman or sophomore year. Once you are declared as a pre-major you are assigned a Huxley professional advisor and a faculty advisor based on your academic interests. Your professional advisor can help you understand graduation requirements and how to navigate through the Huxley curriculum. Your faculty advisor can discuss with you which courses to take, and when, and give you advice about how to prepare for graduate school or a future career. As a pre-major, your email is added to an email distribution list for Huxley majors so you will begin to receive notifications and general announcements. Pre-major status will also give you access to priority registration for some classes.

How to Apply to the Majors:

Admission to environmental studies majors is a competitive process. Students may apply after they have obtained 75 credits, with satisfactory GPA in all coursework, and completed 200-level foundational courses with a C- or better. These foundational courses are ENVS 201 and ENVS 203 for all students. Additionally, students applying to Environmental Education major must complete BIOL 101 or BIOL 204 and ESCI 101.  Students applying to the Geography major must complete ENVS 204; those applying to the Environmental Policy or Urban Planning and Sustainable Development majors must complete ECON 206. 

Students must then submit an application that includes a 1- to 2-page essay describing your reasons for wanting to enter into one of the five ENVS majors (Environmental Education, Environmental Policy, Environmental Studies, Geography, or Urban Planning and Sustainable Development).

Most majors accept applications at central Huxley College office in ES 539 during fall, winter, and spring quarters. Urban Planning and Sustainable Development major applications are accepted only in spring quarter, for fall quarter admission, and have additional admissions requirements. Please read details about the application process under each major.

When declaring as a pre-major, and later as a major, students must meet with the central Huxley College professional advisor to develop a plan of study.  The student must then meet with a faculty advisor to review this plan of study and discuss career goals.

Changes to your major, plan of study, or requests for a change of advisor during Phase II require completing a new declaration card.

If you have any questions, please contact a professional advisor at the central Huxley College office in Environmental Studies Building 539, or by phone 360-650-6520.


GRACE WANG (2002) Chair and Professor. BS (political economy of natural resources), University of California-Berkeley; MS, PhD (forestry), University of Minnesota.
TROY D. ABEL (2006) Associate Professor. BS, Indiana University (public health); MPA, George Mason University (public policy analysis); PhD, public policy and science and technology policy).
ANDREW J. BACH (1995) Professor. BS, MA (geography), University of California-Davis; PhD (geography), Arizona State University.
GIGI BERARDI (1995) Professor. Policy, Planning, Education and Geography, BA (biology), University of California at San Diego; MS (natural resources conservation), PhD (natural resources, policy and planning), Cornell University.
PATRICK H. BUCKLEY (1987) Professor. BS (civil engineering and geology), University of Notre Dame; MA (economic geography and South Asian studies), University of Washington; PhD (economic geography), Boston University.
KATE J. DARBY  (2010) Assistant Professor. BS, Pennsylvania State University (chemical engineering); MS, University of Oregon (certificate: Not-for-Profit Management); PhD, Arizona State University (environment, technology and society).
AQUILA FLOWER (2013) Associate Professor. BA (geography), Humboldt State University; MS (geography), University of Victoria; PhD (geography), University of Oregon.
NINI HAYES (2015) Assistant Professor. BA (outdoor education and interpretation), Western Washington University; M.i.T (elementary education k-8); Ed.S. (social justice education); Ed.D. (teacher education and school improvement).
STEVEN J. HOLLENHORST (2012) Professor and Dean, Huxley College of the Environment. BS and MS (recreation and park management), University of Oregon; PhD (recreation and park management), The Ohio State University.
NABIL KAMEL (2004) Associate Professor. BS (Architecture and Urban Planning), MA (Urban Planning), Texas A&M University; PhD (Public Policy and Social Research), University of California, Los Angeles.
TAMARA J. LANINGA (2005) Assistant Professor. BS, Western Washington University (environmental policy and assessment); MA, University of Colorado (water resource policy); Graduate interdisciplinary certificate, University of Colorado (certificate in environmental policy); PhD, University of Colorado, Denver (design and urban planning).
MICHAEL J. MEDLER (2002) Associate Professor. BS (philosophy), MS (environmental studies), University of Oregon; PhD (geography), University of Arizona.
JEAN O. MELIOUS (1996) Professor. BA (government and environmental studies), St. Lawrence University; PhM (urban design and regional planning), University of Edinburgh; JD, Harvard Law School.
O. EUGENE MYERS (1995) Professor. BS (human ecology), Western Washington University; MA, PhD (psychology and human development), University of Chicago.
MARK NEFF (2009) Associate Professor. BA (German Literature and Language), MS (Environmental Studies), University of Oregon; PhD (Life Sciences and Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes), Arizona State University.
REBEKAH PACI-GREEN (2007) Associate Professor, BS (civil and environmental engineering), University of Washington; PhD (civil engineering, minors in cultural anthropology and science & technology studies), Cornell University.
DAVID A. ROSSITER (2005) Associate Professor. BA (Honors), University of British Columbia; MA (geography); PhD, (geography) York University.
PAUL STANGL (2007) Associate Professor. BS (liberal arts) Kansas State University; MCRP (city and regional planning), Rutgers University; PhD (geography), University of Texas-Austin.
NICK STANGER (2014) Assistant Professor. BS Honors (Comparison of Temperate Old-Growth Forest Epiphyte Communities), MA (Youth and Environmental Art), Royal Roads University; PhD (Replacing Ourselves in Nature), University of Victoria.
WENDY WALKER (1991) Visiting Senior Instructor. BA and K-12 Teaching Certificate (geology), Western Washington University; MS (religion), Florida State University.
NICHOLAS C. ZAFERATOS (1999) Professor. BA (economic and regional geography), State University of New York; MS (urban and regional planning), Western Washington University; PhD (urban planning), University of Washington.

Emeritus Faculty

JOHN T. (JACK) HARDY Professor Emeritus of Environmental Sciences. BA, University of California-Santa Barbara; MA, Oregon State University; PhD, University of Washington
J. RICHARD MAYER Professor Emeritus of Environmental Science. BS, Union College; MA, Columbia University; PhD, Yale University.
JOHN C. MILES Professor Emeritus of Huxley College of the Environment. BA, MA, University of Oregon; PhD, The Union Institute.
ROBERT L. MONAHAN Professor Emeritus of Geography and Environmental Social Sciences. BA, University of Washington; MA, University of Michigan; PhD, McGill University.
DEBNATH MOOKHERJEE Professor Emeritus of Geography. BSc, MSc, University of Calcutta; PhD, University of Washington.
LYNN A. ROBBINS Professor Emeritus of Environmental Studies. BA, University of Utah; MA, PhD, University of Oregon.
BRADLEY F. SMITH Professor Emeritus of Huxley College of the Environment. BA, MA, Western Michigan University; PhD, University of Michigan.
THOMAS A. TERICH Professor Emeritus of Geography. BA and MA, California State University, Los Angeles; PhD, Oregon State University.
HERBERT H. WEBBER Professor Emeritus of Geography and Environmental Social Sciences. BSc, PhD, University of British Columbia.
MING-HO YU Professor Emeritus of Huxley College. BS, National Taiwan University; MS, PhD, Utah State University.

Adjunct Faculty

JAMES D. ALLAWAY, PhD (natural resources, policy, and planning), Cornell University.
PAUL DINNEL Marine Scientist, Shannon Point Marine Center. PhD (fisheries), University of Washington.
STEFAN FREELAN, MS (geography), Western Washington University.
JERRY FREILICH, Research and Monitoring Coordinator, Olympic National Park, PhD (aquatic ecology), University of Georgia.
APRIL MARKIEWICZ, MS (environmental toxicology), Western Washington University.
BRADY OLSON, Marine Scientist, Shannon Point Marine Center. PhD (biological oceanography), University of Washington.
JENNIFER SELTZ, PhD (history), University of Washington.
MICHAEL G. STONER, Environmental Manager, Port of Bellingham. MS (forest soils), University of Washington.
SUZANNE STROM, Marine Scientist, Shannon Point Marine Center. PhD (biological oceanography), University of Washington.
LAURIE D. TRAUTMAN, Associate Director, Border Policy Research Institute. PhD (geography), University of Oregon.
KATHRYN L. VAN ALSTYNE, Marine Scientist, Shannon Point Marine Center. PhD (marine ecology), University of Washington.
SETH VIDANA, WWU Sustainability Manager, MEd (environmental education), Western Washington University.
SAUL WEISBERG, Executive Director, North Cascades Institute. MS (biology) Western Washington University.

Affiliated Faculty

JOHN BOWER, Associate Professor, Fairhaven College
DON BURGESS, Assistant Professor, SMATE 
CRAIG DUNN, Associate Professor, Management, CBE
DAN HAGEN, Professor, Economics, CBE
JILL HECKATHORN, Senior Instructor, PE
VICTOR NOLET, Professor, Woodring College of Education
ARUNAS OSLAPAS, Professor, Engineering Technology
DEBRA J. SALAZAR, Professor, Department of Political Science
DAVID SATTLER, Professor, Department of Psychology
STEPHEN D. SULKIN, Professor and Director, Shannon Point
PHIL THOMPSON, Assistant Professor, Economics, CBE
JOHN TUXILL, Assistant Professor, Fairhaven College

Graduate Study

For concentrations leading to the Master of Education or the Master of Arts degrees, see the Graduate School  section of this catalog.


    Undergraduate MajorUndergraduate Combined MajorUndergraduate ExtensionUndergraduate MinorGraduateCertification


      Environmental Studies

      Courses numbered X37; X97; 300, 400, 500 are described in the University Academic Policies  section of this catalog.

      Page: 1 | 2

      Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Departments