Jun 18, 2024  
2012-2013 Catalog 
2012-2013 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.

Huxley College offers a gathering place for individuals genuinely concerned with the environmental well-being of the earth. Our approach is holistic and deliberately innovative, designed to prepare students for creative, fulfilling professional careers in a changing world. Since its establishment in 1968, Huxley College has won national and international recognition, thanks to its comprehensive upper-division and graduate programs — continually refined and enriched to enhance practical, interdisciplinary approaches to environmental problem-solving.

Students, now numbering more than 450, pursue specialization in their chosen fields, plus breadth to guard against narrowness. Students enter Huxley College with a foundation in science and social science. A unique component of Huxley College is the interdisciplinary requirement that Environmental Science students take courses in Environmental Studies and Environmental Studies students take courses in Environmental Sciences. In addition they are encouraged to design independent programs within Huxley College and cooperative programs with other departments of the University. Faculty and staff are readily available to collaborate with student initiatives in learning. In addition to their classroom work, students participate in internships and may serve with faculty and staff on college committees. Students publish the quarterly award-winning Planet magazine.

Faculty specialties include science, social science, journalism, engineering, planning, geography and humanities. Thus, courses embrace natural and physical sciences, human ecology and ethics, history and resource policy, writing and photography, utilizing new technologies and computers.

Most Huxley College courses are conducted in the Environmental Studies building and adjacent Arntzen Hall, housing classrooms and laboratories, the Institute of Environmental Toxicology (for research on risk assessment and effects of toxic substances) and the Institute for Watershed Studies (with specialized equipment for freshwater and limnological studies).  Huxley’s resources also include a spatial analysis computer lab for Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing. The Shannon Point Marine Center, within easy driving distance on Fidalgo Island, provides facilities for marine studies.


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.

Academic Programs Leading to Undergraduate and Graduate Degrees

Economics/Environmental Studies BA
Environmental Education BA, MED
Environmental Policy BA
Environmental Science BS, MS
Environmental Studies BA
Environmental Studies/Elementary BAE
Environmental Studies/Journalism (In Moratorium) BA
Geography BA, MS
Geography/Elementary BAE
Geography/Social Studies BA
Student/Faculty Design BA, BS
Urban Planning and Sustainable Development BA

College Admission and Advisement

Admissions and Declaration of Major

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

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

  • April 25 for admission to summer or fall quarters
  • October 6 for admission winter quarter
  • January 15 for admission spring quarter.

Student/Faculty Designed, BA or BS, (Huxley College of the Environment)

Students who wish to design their own majors within Huxley College should obtain complete guidelines from the Undergraduate Advisors located in ES 539, the Huxley College office. The major must be developed with faculty advisement and must be approved by two faculty members and the Huxley College Curriculum Committee at least four quarters before the student’s anticipated graduation.

Department Chairs

Dr. John M. Rybczyk Environmental Sciences
Dr. Michael J. Medler 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.


    Undergraduate Major