Welcome to the Environmental Studies Program at Boston College.

The Environmental Studies Program provides students with an understanding of the issues facing our planet as we strive to develop paths toward a sustainable future, from perspectives in the social and natural sciences, arts, and the humanities.

We are an interdisciplinary program that offers a major and minor in the College of Arts and Sciences, involving students and faculty throughout the University. 

News & Notes

2018-2019 Events

Gina McCarthy, Former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator

US Environmental Policy: What Has Been Lost, What Can Be Gained

Gina McCarthy served as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency under President Obama, leading historic progress to achieve the administration’s public health and environmental protection goals and Climate Action Plan. In 2015, McCarthy signed the Clean Power Plan, which set the first-ever national standards for reducing carbon emissions from existing power plants, underscoring the country’s commitment to domestic climate action and spurring international efforts that helped secure the Paris Climate Agreement. During her tenure, EPA initiatives cut air pollution, protected water resources, reduced greenhouse gases and strengthened chemical safety to better protect more Americans, especially the most vulnerable, from negative health impacts. Internationally, McCarthy worked with the UN and WHO on a variety of efforts and represented the U.S. on global initiatives to reduce high risk sources of pollution.

McCarthy now serves as Professor of the Practice of Public Health in the Department of Environmental Health at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health and is Director of Harvard Chan’s Center for Health and the Global Environment.

Presented with Earth and Environmental Sciences, Environmental Studies Program, International Studies Program, Joseph E. Corcoran Center for Real Estate and Urban Action, Institute for the Liberal Arts, and the Jesuit Institute.

October 23

6:00 PM

Yawkey Athletics Center, Murray Room

Jane Jacobs Lecture featuring Majora Carter on Sustainable Urban Development: Greening Communities

Majora Carter is an urban revitalization strategy consultant, real estate developer and Peabody Award winning broadcaster. She is responsible for the creation & successful implementation of numerous green-infrastructure projects, policies and job training & placement systems.

After establishing Sustainable South Bronx and Green For All (among other organizations) to carry on that work, she built on this foundation with innovative ventures and insights into urban economic developments designed to help move Americans out of poverty.

Her long list of awards and honorary degrees include accolades from groups as diverse as Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, John Podesta’s Center for American Progress, Goldman Sachs, as well as a MacArthur “genius” Fellowship. Her 2006 TED talk was one of the first 6 videos to launch their groundbreaking website. Majora is a Board Member of the US Green Building Council and the Andrew Goodman Foundation.

Majora embodies the American Dream. She has continually set new standards of excellence with projects in her South Bronx community, while expanding her reach nationally and internationally. Her philanthropic pursuits and business interests have all pointed toward greater self-esteem and economic potential for low-income people everywhere.

Presented with the Joseph E. Corcoran Center for Real Estate and Urban Action

October 29

5:30 PM

Fulton Hall, Room 511

Documentary screening of "The Human Element" directed by Jim Balog '74

James Balog '74 will be on campus for a screening of his new film, "The Human Element." Mr. Balog has been a photographer for almost 40 years, focusing his work on one of the most important issues of our era: the human modification of nature. This innovative and visually stunning film will take a look at how humans interact with earth, air, fire and water. 

March 29

4:00 PM

Devlin Hall, 008

Images of Changing Climates and Landscapes

Beyond BC: Images of Changing Climates and Landscapes
Exhibit on display in Higgin's Atrium Thursday, April 25th to Saturday, April 27th
Artist Talk: Higgin's Atrium at 12pm on Friday, April 26th

Alex Krowiak tells stories of change in people and their environment through photography. His exhibit features 12 photos that capture, in vivid detail, the ebb and flow of the natural world. At noon, on April 26th, Alex will walk participants through his process for nature photography and explore how visual art can help us all better understand the world in which we live.  

A graduate of Boston College with a major in Biology and a minor in Environmental Studies, Alex's work has been featured in The New York Times, News Deeply, and BostInno, among others. Currently, Alex serves as a Certified Photo Instructor & Naturalist with National Geographic Expeditions and a Trip Leader with National Geographic Student Expeditions.

(Image: Originally published on 5.9.2017 in The New York Times.)

April 25 – April 27

Higgins Hall, Atrium

Iceland’s most photographed mountain showcases the dynamic extremes that define the landscape — waterfalls, fed from a volcanic source, carve through the dramatic mountainsides on their way to the sea. Photo by BC graduate Alex Krowiak