Students on the program will take the following four courses:

AMST 104bj  Boston and Its Suburbs: Environment and History
BIOL 32aj  Field Biology
NEW! ENVS 104aj  Sustainability in Suburbia

ENVS 100ej  GIS and Field Methods: The New England Landscape

The courses will be taught by Professor Brian Donahue with other adjunct faculty and the support from a program and teaching assistant. The courses will run concurrently throughout the fall semester. Students will earn 20 credits and the program counts towards one of the semesters that students need in order to graduate.

How the Courses Count:
  • SN School of Science Distribution Requirement will be met
  • SS School of Social Science Distribution Requirement will be met
  • AMST 104bj meets the Environmental Studies requirement for the  Social Sciences/Humanities Group elective
  • AMST 104bj meets the  Social Justice Social Policy elective requirement
  • AMST 104bj meets the History requirement for the Post-1800 History period
  • ENVS 100ej meets the GIS requirement for the Environmental Studies major
  • BIOL 32aj meets the Environmental Studies requirement for the Natural Sciences Group elective

1.  AMST 104bj Boston and Its Suburbs: Environment and History

Taught by Professor Brian Donahue 

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.

2. BIOL 32aj  Field Biology

Taught by Adjunct Faculty

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.

3. NEW! ENVS 104aj  Sustainability in Suburbia

Taught by an Michael Harrity

Reviews development of suburbs and challenges they face becoming sustainable communities.  Topography, climate, population and economic growth, technological change, public policy and local culture all influence settlement patterns.  Readings, discussions, case studies and field trips in Waltham and Weston.

4.  ENVS 100ej  GIS and Field Methods: The New England Landscape

Taught by Professor Brian Donahue with adjunct faculty

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.


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.