The Environmental Studies Program has a participating faculty of more than 40 professors, representing almost every academic discipline, giving close supervision to student programs, senior theses and projects, and field experience.
Students are actively involved in a variety of campus organizations, including Greens, the Sustainability Committee, the Outing Club, and the Vassar Rangers at the Ecological Preserve.
Environmental Research Institute
The Environmental Research Institute (ERI) is a research and public outreach wing of Vassar’s Environmental Studies program. Its mission is to provide opportunities for faculty and students to conduct research on Earth’s environmental systems, promote field work, and foster engagement with the local community.
Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center
A gift from the College’s founder Matthew Vassar, the Magoon collection in The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center includes many Hudson River School landscape paintings illuminating the complex relationship between nature and culture in our historic region.
Additional campus facilities used by ENST majors include the GIS laboratory, greenhouse and growth chamber facilities, the A. Scott Warthin Museum of Geology and Natural History, and Special Collections in the Vassar library.
Vassar Farm and Ecological Preserve
The Vassar Farm and Ecological Preserve is Vassar’s 412-acre ecological preserve and field station, built in 1995, for the study of natural history, ecology, botany, and geology.
Undergraduate Research Summer Institute
The Undergraduate Research Summer Institute (URSI) has shown hundreds of students the wonders of scientific discovery through high-level research with faculty supervisors. Each summer, students and faculty collaborate in an intensive 10-week program, designing and shaping their views of the world with exciting explorations, rigorous experimentations, and critical analyses.
Mellon Grant for the Study of South Asia
Vassar College has been awarded a four-year $630,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Liberal Arts Colleges Program, to advance the study of South Asia in the College’s Environmental Studies Program. The Mellon Foundation’s key support will be for a new tenured scholar of the environmental history of South Asia, and its grant will also help make possible additions to the Environmental Studies curriculum, new library resources, research, and related travel.
Hudson River Valley
One of the College’s most important ENST resources is its location in the Hudson River Valley, one of the world’s great watersheds, and its proximity to the Catskill and Adirondack mountains.
New York City
Students utilize opportunities for the study of urban ecology in New York City, an hour-and-a-half from campus, and in association with local and regional organizations such as the Vassar-founded Poughkeepsie Institute.
Additional resources include nearby ecological and environmental institutes such as the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook and the Daniel Smiley Research Center in the Mohonk Wilderness Preserve (only 40 minutes from Vassar), as well as the Hudson Valley’s many conservation and preservation organizations, such as Clearwater, Inc., and Scenic Hudson.