Environmental Analysis

At Pitzer College, Field Groups (similar to a discipline or department) organize major requirements and courses.

Environmental Analysis is an interdisciplinary major focusing on the interaction between human and non-human components of the biosphere. The major applies approaches in the social sciences, arts and humanities, and natural sciences to understanding and solving environmental problems.

Environmental Analysis offers an integrated, unifying perspective on life, as well as a program for creating positive change. Developing sustainable ways of living is one of the greatest challenges of our time. The Environmental Analysis Program combines the strengths of the five Claremont Colleges to provide robust interdisciplinary training for students interested in environmental issues.

Resources for field research, community-based research, internships, and service learning include the Robert Redford Conservancy for Southern California Sustainability, the Pitzer in Costa Rica Program, and the Firestone Center for Restoration Ecology, the Pitzer in Ontario Program, the John R. Rodman Arboretum, the Bernard Biological Field Station, and numerous local partnerships.

The Environmental Analysis Program regards study abroad as a valuable, though not required, part of the curriculum, enabling students to secure deeper appreciation of the global dimensions of environmental challenges. Additionally, the Program encourages students to engage in internships and fieldwork that move them beyond the classroom and library to engage in research and action.

Sample Courses

Case Studies in the Sustainable Built Environment

A critical survey of project and integrative systems-based sustainability initiatives. Applying performance/outcome perspectives…

Soils and Society

Soils are dynamic biological, chemical, and physical environments that have profoundly influenced…

Environmental Justice

An interdisciplinary investigation of the desert environment as a place with some emphasis on Australia and the American…


Shawnika Johnson
Assistant Professor of Environmental Analysis
[email protected]
Melinda Herrold-Menzies
Professor of Environmental Analysis
[email protected]
Lance Neckar
Professor of Environmental Analysis
[email protected]
Susan Phillips
Professor of Environmental Analysis
[email protected]

Student Learning Outcomes for All Majors in Environmental Analysis:

  1. Understand and describe the complex social, scientific and humanistic aspects of environmental issues
  2. Understand and apply both disciplinary and interdisciplinary analysis to environmental issues
  3. Critically analyze, evaluate, and interpret scholarly arguments and popular discourse and be able to communicate this analysis to a variety of communities
  4. Develop well-reasoned solutions to environmental predicaments, testing them against relevant criteria and standards
  5. Be able to craft well-researched, informative and effective scholarly presentations
  6. Contribute knowledge and action regarding environmental issues to the public through service learning, internships, community-based-research, and other activities

Additional Specific Student Learning Outcomes for the Separate Tracks within the major of Environmental Analysis: Environment and Society Track

  1. Understand and describe different cultural, ethnic, racial, and gender perspectives on the environment
  2. Understand, describe, and conduct research on where social justice and environmental issues intersect

Environmental Policy Track

  1. Acquire a working knowledge of the concepts, principles, and theories of environmental policy, law, and politics
  2. Engage in critical thinking about issues and concepts in environmental policy and politics
  3. Locate and analyze research and reports in the field of environmental policy and politics

Sustainability and the Built Environment Track

  1. Understand and analyze sustainable design in a holistic manner.
  2. Develop conceptual frameworks for critical inquiry and environmental problem solving.
  3. Apply design concepts and skills for a sustainability and resilience.
  4. ntegrate scholarship and analyses to test spatial ideas

Environmental Science Track

  1. Design and execute experiments using the scientific method
  2. Be able to utilize field and laboratory techniques and skills

The major prepares students for graduate work and careers in teaching, public policy and administration, law, environmental sciences, international affairs, environmental design, and the non-profit sector.