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Hannah Wellish, student on JBS Environmental Health and Justice Program, creates a short video about the students' work with Worcester Roots.


The Environmental Field Semester consists of four courses for a total of 20 credits.

1.  BIOL 32a Field Biology

Introduces students to the biodiversity of southern New England, emphasizing woody plants. Course work primarily takes place on field trips to various terrestrial and aquatic habitats. Four credits.


  • SN School of Science Distribution Requirement
  • Elective in Environmental Studies: Natural Sciences Group
2.  AMST 104b Boston and Its Suburbs:
Environment and History

Advanced seminar follows the development of the cultural landscape of Boston, Waltham and the western suburbs from glacial retreat to urban sprawl. Employs ecology and history to better understand and address contemporary environmental issues. Four credits.


  • SS School of Social Science Distribution Requirement
  • Elective in Environmental Studies: Social Sciences/Humanities Group
  • Elective in Social Justice Social Policy: Historical and Comparative Perspectives on Social Justice
  • Cross-listed in History
3.  AMST 106b Food and Farming in America

American food is abundant and cheap. Yet many eat poorly, and some argue that our agriculture may be unhealthy and unsustainable. Explores the history of American farming and diet and the prospects for a healthy food system. Four credits.


  • SS School of Social Science Distribution Requirement
  • WI Writing Intensive Requirement
  • Elective in Environmental Studies: Social Science/Humanities Group
  • Elective in International and Global Studies: Global Environment Elective
4.  ENVS 100e GIS and Field Methods:
The New England Landscape

The skills, methods, and fieldwork component of the Environmental Field Semester. Trains students in geographic information systems (GIS), ecology, farm and forest work, and research into the ecology, history and stewardship of conservation land in New England. Eight credits.


  • SS School of Social Science Distribution Requirement
  • Two electives in Environmental Studies: one Social Science/Humanities Group, and one Natural Sciences Group


Students in EFS receive four distinct grades, one for each course. The grades are determined by enthusiastic and full participation, field quizzes, a series of essays, GIS homework, written exams on course content and readings, but most of all, by student preparation of their research findings in a variety of formats for effective presentation.

Students present their work as a technical research paper, a public summary report and an op-ed article. In addition, each student group makes an oral presentation.