Jun 13, 2024  
2013-2014 Catalog 
2013-2014 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Environmental Studies

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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 Systems (GIS), Energy Policy, and Sustainable Design, 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 Geography.


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 30-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 systems and computer-aided design.

Major Declaration

You can declare yourself as an Environmental Studies (ENVS) major at any time, and there are several advantages to declaring during your freshman or sophomore year. Once you are declared as a phase I major you are assigned a Huxley faculty advisor based on your interests at the time of declaration. You can then meet with your faculty advisor to discuss which courses to take and when, how to prepare for graduate school or a future career, or simply to get assistance navigating through the Huxley curriculum. Your email is added to an email distribution list for Huxley majors so you will begin to receive notifications and general announcements, as well as information about jobs, internships, or research opportunities.

Some important information about the ENVS major:

1. Most students begin the ENVS major in Phase I, while completing the preparatory classes for ENVS Phase II admission (BIOL 101 or 204, PLSC 250, ECON 206, Math 114 or equivalent, CHEM 121,  as well as ENVS 201, 202, and 203). Those pursuing joint programs offered by Environmental Studies with other Western academic units may also begin as Phase I majors, although the preparatory and major requirements differ from those of the other ENVS majors as outlined in this catalog. You can declare an ENVS Phase I major at any time by going to the central Huxley College office in Environmental Studies Building 539 and filling out a major declaration card. 

2. Admission to Phase II is a competitive process and requires the coursework above and a grade of B- or better in ENVS 201, ENVS 202, and ENVS 203, as well as a satisfactory GPA in all other coursework.  You must then submit an application that includes a 1-2 page essay describing your reasons for wanting to enter into one of the five ENVS majors (Environmental Education, Environmental Studies, Geography, Urban Planning, or Policy) as well as a plan of study created with the Huxley admissions advisor and signed by a faculty advisor.  Entry into the Urban Planning major also requires a portfolio, and entry into the Environmental Studies major requires the signature of a second departmental faculty member on the plan of study.  ENVS Phase II applications are accepted at central Huxley College office in the fall, winter, and spring quarters.

3. 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 an undergraduate advisor at the central Huxley College office in Environmental Studies Building 539, or by phone (360-650-2817), or (360-650-3748).


DEBNATH MOOKHERJEE (1961) Interim Chair and Professor. BSc, MSc (geography), University of Calcutta; PhD (geography), University of Florida.
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) Associate 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) Associate 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.
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.
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.
JOHN C. MILES (1968) Professor. BA (anthropology), Dartmouth College; MA (recreation and park management), University of Oregon; PhD (education), The Union Institute.
SCOTT B. MILES (2007) Associate Professor. BS (civil and environmental engineering), Washington State University; MS (civil and environmental engineering), University of Massachusetts-Amherst; Post-graduate Diploma (geographical information systems), University of Edinburgh; PhD (geography), University of Washington.
O. EUGENE MYERS (1995) Professor. BS (human ecology), Western Washington University; MA, PhD (psychology and human development), University of Chicago.
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
WENDY WALKER (1991) Visiting Senior Instructor. BA and K-12 Teaching Certificate (geology), Western Washington University; MS (religion), Florida State University.
GRACE WANG (2002) Associate Professor. BS (political economy of natural resources), University of California-Berkeley; MS, PhD (forestry), University of Minnesota.
NICHOLAS C. ZAFERATOS (1999) Associate 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.
ROBERT L. MONAHAN Professor Emeritus of Geography and Environmental Social Sciences. BA, University of Washington; MA, University of Michigan; PhD, McGill University.
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.
WILLIAM C. SUMMERS Professor Emeritus of Environmental Science. BS, ME, PhD, University of Minnesota.
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.
REBEKAH GREEN, PhD (structural engineering), Cornell University.
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.
KATHRYN L. VAN ALSTYNE, Marine Scientist, Shannon Point Marine Center. PhD (marine ecology), University of Washington.
SETH VIDANA, WWU Sustainability Coordinator, 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 Science degrees, see the Graduate School  section of this catalog.


    Undergraduate MajorUndergraduate ExtensionUndergraduate MinorGraduate


      Environmental Studies

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

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