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Majors Making a Difference: Environmental Education
Sarah Kuck, 22 Oct 08

Inspired to teach: Environmental Education

This piece is part of a series on how universities and colleges around the world are integrating theories of sustainability into traditional majors to give students the skills they need to build a more sustainable future for all.

Where to Study: Western Washington University

schools_enviroeducation.jpg Western Washington University offers a Master’s of Education degree in Environmental Education through the Huxley College of the Environment. Graduate students in this program take courses such as Curriculum in Environmental Education, Introduction to Place-based Environmental Education and Conservation Psychology.

Students enrolled in the program can choose either a campus-based or a residency approach. The campus-based option usually interests those who already have teaching jobs, but wish to incorporate environmental education into their classrooms. The residency option is offered through The North Cascades Institute, and offer students course work in environmental education, field science, cultural studies, teaching and nonprofit administration. When students graduate from this program, they receive both their Master of Education in Environmental Education and a certificate in leadership and nonprofit administration.

Environmental educators work in private or public schools, outdoor education or nature centers, or with parks, camps and recreation programs. Those going into the public or private school system teach either environmental studies or science, or work to integrate aspects of environmentalism into a wide variety of courses from math to literature.

School teachers with a background in environmental studies, ecology and environmental science bring environmental education into the classroom and give young people the knowledge, skills and motivation they will need to solve current problems and to prevent new ones. The world will be a much different place when the children of today grow up to be the leaders of tomorrow. The more they know about how the planet works, the better they will be able work within it.

schools_university.jpgMore Places to Study

The following universities offer a Master of Arts in Environmental Education:

Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College

University of New Hampshire

Cal State San Bernardino

The following institutions offer courses and programs in environmental education:


Keystone College Environmental Education Institute

schools_book2.jpg Resources

North American Association for Environmental Education

Images by Morgan Greenseth

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