Environmental Studies & Sciences
The Environmental Studies & Sciences Program at Rhodes College offers an innovative curriculum that allows students to combine study in social sciences, humanities, natural sciences, and fine arts. The program encourages a personalized combination of interdisciplinary coursework and a sustained examination of global and local contexts environmental issues from many perspectives.
Based on their specific interests, students can major in Environmental Studies (B.A.) or Environmental Sciences (B.S.), or they can choose an Environmental Studies or Environmental Sciences minor. Majors and minors also have common experiences, beginning with an interdisciplinary team-taught core course called “Environment and Society,” as well as an Environmental Experience which takes students off-campus to put their study into action. Students in both majors also take a course in Geographic Information Systems and a Senior Seminar which helps draw together the threads of their academic experiences.
The Environmental Studies & Sciences Program prepares students to be leaders in the 21st century world in which environmental questions will become increasingly pressing. These issues will require a global perspective, and Rhodes helps to prepare students think about the environment from a world-wide point of view by encouraging study abroad and international internship opportunities. Our students have already worked on environmental and related issues in Bolivia, South Africa, Costa Rica, Namibia, and other international locations.
At the same time, this program is unique from similar programs at other schools by using the resources of our local community. As a small liberal arts college in an urban setting, there are numerous possibilities for research relating to urban environmental questions (brownfields, environmental justice, etc.). In addition, our location along the Mississippi River, on the edge of the Delta, and atop the New Madrid Fault present other possible opportunities for students to study and research environmental issues in hands-on ways. This program models the time-honored environmental saying: “think globally, act locally.”
The Environmental Studies & Sciences Program established the Margaret A. Cargill Community Environmental Fellowship in 2010 to bring talented individuals from the Memphis area to the Rhodes College campus and connect with students, faculty, and staff inside and outside of the classroom. The Fellow engages with the Rhodes community to address broadly-defined environmental topics such as population, public health, natural resources, or conservation, among others.