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Environmental Studies

Environmental Studies

Breaking News: 

Environmental Studies at the October Major Minor Fair

Interested in Environmental Studies?  Come talk with the faculty during the Major & Minor Fair next month.  The fair is scheeduled for Oct 12 from 11:30-1:30 p.m. and will be online.  You can find out more at the Career Center's webpage.  You can also make an appointment to discuss the major or minor with the Program Director.  Just send an email to

Environmental Studies Offering New Course

ENVS 390-7: Leisure, Recreation and The Environment.  

The growing social phenomenon of nature-based outdoor recreation and sustainable tourism raises a host of environmental challenges. Working with Professor Gabriel Valle, Students will explore the environmental impact of leisure and recreation and be introduced to the potential and limitations of sustainable tourism as they assess the connections between ecotourism and social justice. The course will count as a social science elective for the major and minor.

Hike with Professors


The Environmental Studies Program offers students two interdisciplinary options.  The Baccalaurate degree with broad training in the physical and life sciences, social sciences, policy and law, and the arts and humanities and a Minor in Sustainability.  

The B.A. program introduces students to a wide range of research methods and techniques used in environmental careers from field techniques to geographic information systems.  There are extensive opportunities on and off-campus for internships and field experiences providing hands-on learning and real world training.  

If you are a student considering Environmental Studies, you will find  that our majors are able to: 

  • Describe the major physical processes affecting environmental resources. 
  • Explain and analyze the impacts of human activity on the environment
  • Critically analyze environmental problems and solutions from multiple perspectives including environmental justice. 
  • Describe the process of environmental policy development locally, nationally, and globally.
  • Evaluate environmental issues from an ethical and aesthetic standpoint  
  • Collect, organize, interpret, write about and present research and information about historical and contemporary environmental issues. 

ENVS FieldtripMany of our graduates find work in environmental education, parks and recreation, environmental planning, restoration, and management, and sustainability.  They can be found in the private, non-profit, and public sectors.  The degree is also a great way to prepare for graduate school in a wide range of fields.  Check out the Student Video about the ENVS Program and Welcome to the ENVS Family!

Kudos, Props, and Other Program News 

The Program welcomes two new lecturers, Dan Cooper and Juliana Goodlaw-Morris, for Fall Semester 2021.  Dan teaches in the Geography Program on campus. Juliana is the sustainability manager on campus. Welcome!

Claudia Avila, who taught ENVS 100 last Spring, received a prestigious post-doctoral appointment at Stanford University.  And now lives in No Cal. We wish her well in her new research position!

Professor Valle has three new articles out:

  1.  "Reframing the Sustainable Diet Narrative: Shifting Diets by Confronting Systemic Racism." In Routledge Handbook of Sustainable Diets edited by Kathleen Kevany and Paolo Prosperi. New York, NY: Routledge.
  2. "The Past in the Present: What our Ancestors Taught us about Surviving Pandemics." Food Ethics 6(7).
  3.  “Learning to Be Human Again: Being and Becoming in the Home Garden Commons.” Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space.

Professor Morris has an article in press with The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, titled "No Sustainability without Justice: An Anthology on Racial Equity and Social Justice."

Professor Simokat was named the CSUSM President's Outstanding Lecturer!  AND, she received a Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities Grant for her Pollinator research!!  And she just submitted another research grant with Geography Professor and Steering Committee Member Elizabeth Ridder. Congratulations Christina!!!

Professor Guthey published an article in The California Geographer focused on the Sustainable Food Project on campus and titled "Notes from a Field: Reflections on Space, Gardening, and Student Learning in Southern California"

Professors Valle and Guthey along with Professor Matthew Atherton and Professor Jill Weigt in the Sociology Department continue work on their two-year grant from the CSU Chancellor's Office to promote food literacy and support Student Basic Needs on campus! 

If you haven't done so already, check out Professor Valle's book:

Gabriel Valle's Book

***Winner of Two Awards!***

2017 Best Edited Volume by the Society for the Study of Food and Society

2018 Essential Reading by the American Library Association

Congratulations Professor Valle!