Apr 24, 2024  
2023-24 Western Washington University Catalog 
2023-24 Western Washington University Catalog

Environmental Education, Non-Thesis, MEd

Location(s): WWU - Bellingham

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Department of Environmental Studies, College of the Environment

Graduate Faculty

Bach, Andrew J., PhD, physical geography, geomorphology, soil development, landscape change.
Buckley, Patrick H., PhD, economic and development geography, modeling the Hawaiian economy to explore issues of social justice, quality of life, transborder environmental issues.
Darby, Kate J., PhD, Social and environmental justice, environmental justice pedagogy in higher education, food systems.
Flower, Aquila, PhD, biogeography, climatology, forest ecology, long-term environmental change, dendrochronology, and GIS.
Hayes, Nini, Ed.S, Ed.D, Critical environmental education, social justice education, and critical teacher education.
Medler, Michael J., PhD, biogeography, GIS, remote sensing, forest fire and wilderness management.
Myers, O. Eugene, PhD, environmental education, conservation psychology, human ecology, environmental history and ethics.
Neff, Mark W., PhD, science, democracy and decision making; science, technology, and society; anticipatory governance of science and technology; sustainability.
Paci-Green, Rebekah, PhD, natural hazards risk, social vulnerability, resilience, risk perception, disaster risk reduction, comprehensive school safety, disaster management policy.
Rossiter, David A., PhD, historical geography, settler colonialism, outdoor recreation, Canada/BC.
Stanger, Nicholas R., PhD, environmental education and exploration of the emotional, ecological, educational, indigenous, and complexity systems.

Program Advisor: Dr. Nick Stranger

All College of the Environment of the Environment faculty can serve on Environmental Education master’s project or thesis committees, even serving as committee chair. 


The non-thesis program serves students who want to develop an individualized applied project as a route to building their qualifications in environmental education.

The philosophy of environmental education at College of the Environment is that it is to be broad and inclusive. The goal of environmental education, in the words of the 1976 Belgrade Charter that saw the international spread of the profession, is “to develop a world population that is aware of, and concerned about, the environment and its associated problems, and which has the knowledge, skills, attitudes, motivations and commitment to work individually and collectively toward solutions of current problems and the prevention of new ones.” Today environmental education has diversified greatly, occurring in formal classrooms, school grounds, nature centers, outdoor and environmental education programs, government agency programs, mass- and social-media venues, and community-based programs in businesses, faith communities, international conservation, or environmental-social justice movements. Environmental education programming may include science, history and cultural or social studies, the arts or many other disciplines. The process may involve inquiry, social learning, or many other varieties of structured or emergent curriculum approaches. Environmental education focused on the intrinsic development of the learner in their culture as it is about the human relationship to nature.

The non-thesis option serves teachers and others who wish to develop background and skill to incorporate environmental education into their educational work. Students develop a focus which requires the application of knowledge to design a field project which suits their vision of environmental education. This program does not provide teacher certification. If desired, that must be pursued separately. All graduate students are expected to develop and implement creative projects that will aid their own practice with the guidance and advice of the program advisor and other teachers.


All applicants should have experience in the field of environmental education and a basic background in natural history. Each applicant’s background will be examined to determine if additional preparation is needed.

Application Information

Deadline: Please refer to Graduate School deadline dates. Coursework starts in the fall.

Supporting Materials:

  • Graduate Record Exam or Miller Analogies Test, official transcript(s) and three letters of reference; applicants with advanced degrees are not required to submit test scores
  • One- to two-page statement of purpose

Program Requirements (46-52 credits)

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