Publication Title

Peer Review

Document Type


Department or Program

Environmental Studies

Publication Date



Situated within a state strongly identified with pristine nature, our central Maine campus provides a fabulous "laboratory" for both environmental science and civic engagement. To take full advantage of this fortunate situation, Bates College's Environmental Studies (ES) program includes community civic engagement in many, if not all, of our classes and major requirements. Questions about community, diversity, and civic life help our students grapple with the complexity of environmental challenges, pushing them to consider the many kinds of knowledge essential to addressing problems at both local and more global scales. We strongly believe that a liberal arts environmental education can richly inform our students' future lives, regardless of where our students wind up and whether they continue in a field that is directly related to the environment. Civic engagement is also integral to ES courses in the natural sciences. Central to how the Bates ES program "does" civic engagement is the question of the sciences' role in evaluating and improving the environmental health of human, plant, and animal communities, and how the discourses of science interact with other ways of considering the meanings and histories of place.


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