ESS is the study of challenges to Earth’s life-support systems—and their solutions.
Drew professors studying mountaintop-removal mining in Appalachia enlisted Environmental Studies and Sustainability students to help research the environmental impact of the practice. Students are seeing firsthand the complex ways in which environment and society interact.
Other ESS students are helping study the alarming rise in toxicity in the blubber used by Inuit communities in the Arctic. Our program encourages students to customize the curriculum to follow their own interests wherever this may take them, intellectually and geographically.
ESS has helped develop or modify courses to include sustainability content in a dozen departments, including environmental aesthetics (with philosophy) and environmental justice (with anthropology).
Drew was the second school in the nation to sign the Real Food Challenge, a significant, student-led movement to work toward serving more organic, locally grown food on campuses. ESS students were integral to the Drew initiative.
Careers Made easy
Green 9 to 5
The environment is in crisis. There are lots of ways to help—and that translates into lots of jobs. Real-world internships, of which there are plenty, look great on résumés. We can get you there.
Our program is a fine preparation for graduate school, and ultimately, teaching at the university level or conducting high-level laboratory research.
Other graduates are working for nonprofits on the frontlines of environmental solutions, and in government agencies, environmental law and science teaching.
I love being an ESS major because of all the hands-on experiences. I have been to Ecuador twice and gone all over New Jersey looking at different habitats. I also worked on a food action plan for the university. There is always something to do in the major that fits your interest.
We went on a “toxins tour” of Newark, N.J., which inspired me to take the course Toxic Chemicals. That eventually led to my research identifying and analyzing air pollution hotspots in Newark.
I like that there are two distinct tracks within the major, one that deals with social sciences and the other with natural sciences. As a first-year student, I was able to get right into what I wanted to, and choose classes that I enjoyed.
I’m interning with the Keep Nestlé Out of the Gorge campaign, which is trying to stop Nestlé from building a water-bottling facility off the Columbia River in Portland, Ore. I’m able to take the information I’ve learned on campus and apply it to a real-life situation.
Associate professor & director
My current work is in expanding the scientific understanding of the atmosphere—specifically the tiny particles that float in the air, like sea salt, smoke and windblown minerals, and how trace pollutants might chemically change these particles and affect cloud formation and the climate.
Ph.D., Cornell University
Professor of anthropology
I’d call myself a total tangential thinker. It is hard to stay on any single line of thought when you are an archaeologist. Everything connects with everything. That includes the work I’m doing with students on unexplained archaeological sites in Ecuador.
Ph.D., Southern Methodist University
Associate professor of anthropology
I lead student trips to Appalachia to learn about mountaintop-removal mining and see firsthand the environmental and social consequences paid every time we turn up the thermostat in New Jersey.
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin–Madison
Professor of philosophy and ESS
Named in The Princeton Review’s Best 300 Professors
I’m the NEH Distinguished Teaching Professor of the Humanities, and am writing a paper on environmental aesthetics, which I’ll present at a conference in Australia.
Ph.D., University of Colorado
I teach ecology, botany and environmental science courses and am working on ecological restoration of the Drew University Forest Preserve. And I once worked fighting fires in Colorado.
Ph.D., University of Minnesota
Professor of economics
I’m working on a long-term project connecting oil depletion and climate change to global trade and local economies. I’d call myself an ecological economist, and in my spare time, I meditate.
Ph.D., University of Massachusetts
Philip A. Mundo
I’m working on a project on hydraulic fracturing (fracking), focused mainly on state regulation of this practice. I take great satisfaction in leading a productive class session. I’ve also been known to ballroom dance.
Ph.D., University Of California, Berkeley
Professor of biology
I’ve studied primate behavior in Peru and Uganda, and recently started research on small mammal population dynamics here in New Jersey. When I’m in the field, what I miss most are hot showers, McDonald’s and not having to wake up before dawn.
Ph.D., Duke University
- Professor of biology
- Climate change specialist
U.S. Agency for International Development, Washington, DC
USDA Longhorned Beetle Program
Learn more about when you graduate
My Favorite Course
“It really started me thinking about what kind of work I would like to do and what change I would like to see come out of it. It made me realize how important the work really is.”
Matt Boudreau on Peak Oil and Climate Change