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Environmental and Sustainability Studies Department

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Environmental and Sustainability Studies majors and minors explore complex relationships between humans and the environment. This interdisciplinary program emphasizes hands-on learning through collaborative projects, practical-skills courses, undergraduate research, global learning, service- and community-based learning and internships. All of this prepares students for jobs in a variety of industries.

Guilford itself has a strong commitment to sustainability. The Guilford College Farm, an important source of local food for the campus, continues a 120-year history of farming at Guilford. Students can participate in the farm based on such individual interests as recycling and composting; planting, harvesting, packaging and distributing food; reducing hunger; and conducting water-quality research and ecosystem surveys.

Guilford is one of the few colleges in the country to hold a grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation. Funds from this grant provide scholarships for study abroad and internship opportunities related to the environment. Scholars receiving support from this fund have studied in Italy, New Zealand, Mexico, Thailand and Bhutan.


College Catalog

For more information about courses for the Environmental and Sustainability Studies Department, visit the online, searchable College Catalog. The Undergraduate Catalog also includes academic department and major information, academic regulations and resources, admission standards and requirements, and tuition, fees, and financial aid information.

Majors and Minors

"It is very rewarding to work at a small, innovative nonprofit organization working to improve the environmental health of Baltimore's under-served communities."

Carl Simon '07
Director of Programs, Blue Water Baltimore
  • Environmental Studies (A.B.) Major and Minor: Environmental Studies is an interdisciplinary major that requires a second disciplinary major and an adviser in each. With core courses in modern environmental problems and environmental planning, as well as focused electives, the major requires a minimum of 32 credit hours, and the minor/study track requires 16 credit hours.
  • Sustainable Food Systems (A.B) Major and Minor: Sustainable Food Systems is an interdisciplinary major. With core courses in sustainable agriculture and regional food, as well as focused electives, the major requires a minimum of 45 credit hours, and the minor requires 20 credit hours.
  • Cape Fear River Basin Track: This minor/study track explores complex social-environmental systems through the lens of shared water, with specific emphasis on social and environmental responsibility through experiences and relationships within our watershed. The minor requires 16 credit hours.

Environmental and Sustainability Studies Department News and Events

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Sustainable Food Systems and Beyond

Sustainable Food Systems and Beyond

Washington, D.C., native Ginger Mandel '19 started her college journey in pursuit of developing her painting skills — until she stumbled upon Guilford in the book Colleges That Change Lives.

Sonya Brunk ’21 Named Spring 2020 Environmental Studies Distinguished Scholar

Sonya Brunk ’21 Named Spring 2020 Environmental Studies Distinguished Scholar

The Environmental and Sustainability Studies Department recently named Sonya Brunk ’21 as the Environmental Studies Distinguished Scholar for spring 2020.

Food for Thought

Food for Thought

“Food and Faith” takes students on a journey to explore the most basic and important tasks that tie all of life together — gathering, making, and eating food.

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Cooking Up Knowledge

Cooking Up Knowledge

From hands-on learning to the College’s Core Values, Professor of Sustainable Food Systems Marlene McCauley’s Artisan Bread and Cheese class embodies every aspect of Guilford’s educational foundation.

Growing Ambitions

Growing Ambitions

With a passion for sustainability, Guilford was the perfect place for Sustainable Food Systems major Will Bryer ’19 to continue his education and start his career.

Vintner’s Voyage

Vintner’s Voyage

Even before starting at Guilford, Danika Gottbrecht '18 knew it was unlike any other college. Stepping foot on campus, she felt at home among the trees, the brick buildings, and the friendly faces.

Contact Us

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Damon Akins

Damon Akins

Associate Professor of History

Kyle Dell

Kyle Dell

Academic Dean (Interim)

Dave Dobson

Dave Dobson

Professor of Geology

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Tom Guthrie

Tom Guthrie

Professor of Sociology and Anthropology

Marlene McCauley

Marlene McCauley

Charles A Dana Professor of Geology and Sustainable Food Systems

Holly Peterson

Holly Peterson

Associate Professor of Geology

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Bronwyn Tucker

Bronwyn Tucker

Visiting Instructor for Environmental Studies