The Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment

The Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment is an interdisciplinary academic program that draws on the expertise and interests of faculty, staff and students in the liberal arts to address contemporary environmental challenges. Students of any major can apply, and those accepted undertake a self-tailored path relating to their personal environmental passion and desired area of contribution, as well as become part of a larger community of discussion and support.   The center strives to integrate all areas of learning to deal with issues of environmental stewardship and sustainability, and incorporates real world aspects of environmental experience including service learning. Faculty members with environmental interests who are actively involved in the center come from the departments of anthropology, art history, botany, biology, chemistry, economics, English, government and international relations, history, philosophy, physics, psychology, sociology, and more.

The mission of the Center is to foster an understanding of biological diversity, the integrity of natural ecosystems and other fundamental environmental issues both in the College community and in the public sphere. Its programs foster an understanding of the interaction between people and ecosystems, including political, social and economic factors that influence natural resource use by different cultures worldwide. The Center encourages the integration of environmental themes into courses and student projects in the social sciences, humanities, arts and natural sciences. The Center supports and facilitates many campus­ wide environmental programs and activities. Student-run organizations, programs and events add rich opportunities for extracurricular involvement and education.  Center fellows who have experience in environmental issues and research provide another layer of support for Center students, and students receive professional and personal mentoring throughout their time in the Center.