Program Coordinator: Dr. Chandreyee Mitra
Environmental Studies Faculty
Environmental Studies is a truly interdisciplinary program that gives students a detailed understanding of environmental issues at the local, regional, national and global level. The Environmental Studies faculty come from disciplines across our entire campus to teach students to use the diverse tools and perspectives of the natural sciences, social sciences, humanities and business. Environmental Studies students are able to evaluate the causes and consequences of today’s environmental problems and to develop solutions because they draw upon and integrate ideas from their liberal arts education and this interdisciplinary training. Environmental Studies classes use our campus and its surrounding communities as a laboratory so that students get hands-on experience with evaluating critical issues in sustainability such as energy choices, water use, food sources, waste disposal and transportation systems. North Central College’s location in Naperville provides a unique opportunity to examine the complex and intertwined environmental issues facing urban-industrial Chicago and its rapidly expanding suburbs, as well as nearby agricultural and natural areas in rural Illinois.
This interdisciplinary approach to Environmental Studies offers a valuable major to all students who want to understand the full complexity of environmental issues in order to develop effective responses. Environmental Studies is also a valuable second major or minor for students in a wide variety of disciplines. Our Environmental Studies program is organized into three areas of emphasis—Society and the Environment, Science and the Environment and Sustainable Business—and students gain breadth by taking courses in all three areas, while also choosing one area to pursue in greater depth. The Society and the Environment area includes humanities courses on environmental ethics, history and literature as well as social science courses on environmental policy, politics and international issues. The Science and the Environment area offers courses on issues like ecology, climate change, and energy grounded in biology, chemistry and physics. Finally, the Sustainable Business area takes advantage of North Central College’s combination of liberal arts and pre-professional departments to offer courses in sustainability, green business and environmental economics taught by business, accounting and economics professors. Our shared goal is to prepare our students to be environmental leaders in their chosen fields because they possess an awareness of local and international issues, an appreciation of historical societal causes as well as new technological developments and an understanding of the diverse contributions of scientific, economic and political approaches to environmental problems.
Degree offered: B.A.
Special Study Opportunities
Morton Arboretum — The College maintains this affiliation through the Associated Colleges of the Chicago Area. Located nearby in Lisle, Illinois, Morton Arboretum offers courses in botany, soil science, ecology and related areas in which North Central students may enroll for credit. Specific courses are announced annually, with key courses repeating on a two-year cycle. Information is available from the Department of Biology. Registration is arranged through the Office of the Registrar.
Shedd Aquarium — The College maintains this affiliation through the Associated Colleges of the Chicago Area. Located in downtown Chicago, the Shedd Aquarium is truly one of the world’s best aquariums and offers a variety of courses for credit in both freshwater and marine biology, some of which include trips to the Caribbean. Detailed information is available from the biology faculty. Registration is arranged through the Office of the Registrar.
Study Abroad — Numerous opportunities are available for study abroad in Environmental Studies programs. Detailed information is available from the Center for Global Education. Credit toward the minor may be arranged in consultation with the coordinator of Environmental Studies and the Registrar.