Green Column: Environmental education at a collegiate level


Photo by Matt Hembree (C’20). 

By Helena Kilburn
Staff Writer


Students believe the Sewanee community is more environmentally minded than many other colleges, and while the truth to that statement is difficult to determine, environmentalism is certainly more of a spectrum.

However, environmentalism is a topic that is valued here and gaining popularity. Ethics and the anthropocene, a class in the religious studies department, is incredibly interdisciplinary in that it encompasses so much more than religion itself. It is focused the effects humans leave on the environment with an emphasis on climate change.

The number of classes offered here at Sewanee that relate to the environment prove this increased interest. There are numerous classes the University offers that deeply correlate with the idea of environmentalism.  

Annie Corley (C’20) commented that “one of the things that drew me to Sewanee was the wide array of biology and natural science courses that are offered, as well as a place to see a lot of the things we have learned. For example, what other university has cave biology and 15 caves on campus that are ready to be explored?”

Other areas of study include environmentally-based classes in a more unexpected way. In the philosophy department, students can take Environmental Ethics; the physics department offers Foundations of Global Warming; and Environmental Economics is available in the economics department.

As said by Wilder McCoy (C’20), “I feel satiated by the environmental classes here.” Classes with an environmental theme span across the education department, the politics department, and even the American studies department with classes such as Introduction to Environmental Education, Environmental Politics and Policy, and American Environmental Literature.

Environmental studies are both interdisciplinary and widely necessary. At a university quite literally submerged in nature, it is of utmost importance we incorporate environmental awareness across all mediums and classes.