Study the most pressing issues of our time

Take your pick of careers with a major in environmental studies 

Everyone’s talking about the environment, from our rising oceans to the growing list of endangered animals. The versatile Eckerd College Environmental Studies program takes advantage of our stunning natural setting in Florida to explore some of the most pressing issues of our time. Led by passionate professors, you’ll look at how politics, economics, science, history, ethics and philosophy influence human behavior in the natural world.


Outdoor classrooms

Report for class in the mangroves, freshwater marshes or palm hammock right on campus. Professors often make use of the many nearby keys, beaches, parks and wildlife areas as well.

Early research

Why wait for grad school to get research experience? Here you can help faculty study ospreys, local fishing attitudes, ecovillages or the economic valuation of local beaches.

Careers of all types

Our Environmental Studies majors go on to careers in teaching, natural resource management, urban design, natural resource law, environmental journalism and public health, as well as nature photography, filmmaking and art.

In Their Own Words

“I can’t imagine majoring in environmental studies anywhere but at Eckerd College! The mentor program, which pairs a student with a professor in the student’s major, ensures that each student is on track with his or her academic goals and that they graduate in four years, which parents really like! Mentors and other professors can identify internships and volunteer opportunities within biking distance of Eckerd—like Boyd Hill Nature Preserve or the Edible Peace Patch Project. The professors at Eckerd are actively conducting research in their field and often give students opportunities to participate. This year, through Winter Term, I sailed the Caribbean on a tall ship while conducting research. The environmental studies major allows for a significant amount of personalization through the selection of a wide variety of minors. Eckerd College is located directly on Boca Ciega Bay and is only a few miles from St. Pete Beach, which makes it a great place for both research and fun!”
– Cassidy Walker ’17
Eckerd College Student, Class of 2017

Beyond the Classroom

Work with our liberal arts professors on research topics ranging from estimating the economic value of the Sarasota Bay to using Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to manage beach-nesting birds.

Our Environmental Studies Opportunity Database aids students in their search for internship, research, and job opportunities!

Study biodiversity in Suriname, shark biology in the Bahamas or safari through the East African Rift Valley.

Study Abroad Pics on Flickr

Join the Pinellas County Osprey Monitoring Project or lend a hand with the campus organic garden, butterfly garden or yellow bikes program.

Service Pics on Flickr

Popular classes

Green Design

Apply basic design principles to product, building, neighborhood and energy system design with a focus on minimizing environmental impact.

Sustainable Cities

This course uses St. Petersburg as an urbanization model, giving students the background they need to develop their own research projects related to urban sustainability.


Open to students 24/7, our Geographic Information System (GIS) Computer Lab has 10 high-end Global Positioning System (GPS) units for students use, 28 high-speed computers with large monitors and a state-of-the-art projection system. The computers feature professional-grade GIS and Remote Sensing software.

Our Environmental Biology Lab is equipped with microscopes, water sampling equipment, field work equipment, live traps, scales and other resources for wildlife research.

The Earth Science Lab features rock samples and sediment sampling equipment.