Experiential Learning

Any undergraduate education at the UW is enhanced by experiential learning, and the Environmental Studies Major is no different. There are many ways to study the environment outside of a traditional classroom and still make progress towards completing your degree. Whether you are interested in a quarter studying abroad or you would like to participate in undergraduate research, you can start your search for these opportunities below.

Study Abroad Opportunities

From the Himalayan peaks to the shores of Costa Rica, UW Environmental Studies students are crossing borders and immersing themselves in new cultures to enrich their education. Environmental Studies students are well poised to truly link their classroom-based learning with their studies abroad due to the inherently interdisciplinary nature of the field. Coursework for many study abroad programs through the UW and other institutions may count towards degree requirements with prior approval. Please see an Environmental Studies adviser for more information.

Field Opportunities

You don’t have to leave the country in order to experience the environment outside of the classroom.  Students can learn about the environment outside of the classroom right in their own backyard!  These programs are called field opportunities where you may travel to the Washington State Olympic Peninsula or the North Carolina Appalachian Mountains.

  • UW Friday Harbor Laboratories
    • Study and research at UW’s own marine biology station in the San Juan Islands.  Sample programs include the “Marine Biology Quarter” (marine biology and the social sciences) and the “Zoo-Bot Quarter” (marine zoology and botany).
  • Wildland Studies
    • Sample programs include “Preserving California Environments: The Big Sur Wildlands Project” and “Wildlife Survival: The Yellowstone Endangered Species Project.”
  • Wild Rockies Field Institute
    • Sample programs include “The Alaskan Rainforest: Ecology & Policy of the Tongass” and “Cycle the Rockies: Energy and Climate Change in Montana.”

Service Learning & Internship Opportunities

Environmental studies students are strongly encouraged to get involved with service learning and internship opportunities. Participating in service learning and internships are an excellent way to connect with local & global communities and the real life environmental issues they deal with. Please see an Environmental Studies adviser for more information about service learning and internship opportunities.

Research Opportunities

Environmental Studies students are strongly encouraged to participate in undergraduate research. Undergraduate research offers opportunities to build upon your classroom learning, to work one-on-one with faculty, to contribute to scholarship in your field, and to enhance your preparation for careers or graduate study. Please see an Environmental Studies adviser for more information about undergraduate research.