Student Action

HWS encourages students to become involved in campus sustainability efforts by providing programs and resources.


Campus Greens

Campus Greens is the student-led sustainability club at HWS. They advocate sustainable practices on campus and encourage a healthy, environmentally conscious lifestyle within the HWS community. The club meets once/week to discuss ideas and plans for helping address the social and environmental problems on campus. This can be about conserving energy, waste management, social inequalities, local food purchasing, and more. If you are a dedicated student that wants to be a part of creating a solution, then join Campus Greens is for you!

For more information, visit the Campus Greens facebook page or the Campus Greens Instagram page.

Student Research Opportunities


The Carver and DeLaney Family Environmental Studies Endowment

The Carver and DeLaney Family Environmental Studies Endowment seeks to encourage and support student sustainability projects on the Hobart and William Smith campus and in local communities. Grant funding (up to $1000) can be used toward supplies, materials and travel expenses. Students must obtain a staff or faculty project advisor. Awards are determined by the Office of Sustainability, in consultation with the Finger Lakes Institute, Environmental Studies program, and others on campus. Awards are based on criteria such as: anticipated impact on campus and/or local community sustainability efforts, student and project support by advising faculty/staff, and feasibility of the project.

Guidelines for Proposals

Environmental Research Grants

Environmental Research Grants support environmental research projects in the amount of $250 – $1,000, which can be used for supplies, materials and travel expenses. Students enrolled in ENV 450 Independent Study or ENV 300/301 Senior Integrative Experience may apply. Early Career students are also encouraged to apply for this fund. Selection will be based on criteria such as: relevance to environmental studies, student motivation, preference to students early in their careers, feasibility of the project and student academic record. The Selection Committee is made up of both students and faculty.

Guidelines for Proposals

The Kloman Fellowship Fund

The Kloman Fellowship Fund is designed to underwrite Hobart or William Smith student research projects about whales and the natural environment up to $1,000, which may be used for supplies, materials, travel and living expenses. Students work with a faculty sponsor. Selection is determined by the Kloman Fund Selection Committee and is based on criteria such as: relevance to Kloman’s interests, student motivation, feasibility of the project and the student’s academic record.

Guidelines for Proposals


The Office of Sustainability is always offering internships to help on a variety of tasks. All of our job openings are posted on the HWS Student Employment webpage. Check back often to see the newest opportunities!


With a large number of interesting and innovative environmentally focused classes, students don’t need to be environmental study majors or minors to take one of the many interdisciplinary classes offered at HWS. Below is a partial list of courses that take the environment into consideration.


ARCH 302 Design Studio III: Architecture and the Wider Environment
Through a series of theoretical and applied problems in this course, students explore the integration of architecture with larger formal, social, political, economic, movement and environmental issues of urban and regional planning. Prerequisite: ARCH 200.


BIOL 316 Conservation Biology
Conservation Biology is a relatively new discipline in biology which addresses the alarming loss of biological diversity around the globe. The basic goals of the discipline are to understand the causes and consequences of this loss, while also developing practical approaches to prevent extinction and preserve biodiversity on a global basis. Prerequisite: BIOL 212, 220.


ECON 212 Environmental Economics
The primary goal of this course is to apply basic micro-economic principles to understanding environmental issues and possible solutions. The course is structured around four basic questions: How much pollution is too much? Is government up to the job? How can we do better? How do we resolve global issues? Prerequisite: ECON 120, 160 or permission from instructor.

ECON 348 Natural Resources and Energy Economics
Designing winning solutions to complicated issues affecting the environment requires a strong interdisciplinary approach. The course covers the basic theoretical models of natural resource use as well as the implications of these models for policy decisions. Students construct simple simulation models to explore basic relationships discussed in this course Prerequisite: ECON 301.

ECON 466 Seminar: Population Issues
This course examines in depth the political economy of population issues. It explores the origins of population theory, the history of world population, demographic projections for the 21st century, social and environmental impacts, and population policy. Prerequisites: ECON 305.


EDUC 348 Our National Parks
The US National Park Service functions to preserve unique and invaluable cultural resources throughout the country. Students explore our National Park system from an educational, historical, sociological, cultural, scientific, political and economic perspectives.

EDUC 360 Teaching for a Sustainable Environment
Teaching to help solve environmental problems must occur across all segments of society: homes, schools, places of work, business and industry, laboratories, political arenas and recreational venues. Teaching is defined very broadly as any action directed at people or institutions to promote a sustainable environment. Students examine the roles of ethical reasoning and critical pedagogy in helping address educational challenges posed by conflicting value systems.

Environmental Studies

ENV 101 Sustainable Community Development
Explore how sustainable development is applied to real world communities, focusing on economic and social development, and environmental protection, as well as subjects such as culture, education, public policy, landscape design, architecture, ecology, urban planning, and historic preservation. Learn how local communities are working to become more sustainable, and become civically engaged and involved within these communities.

ENV 204 Geography of Garbage
You probably know where your t-shirt or computer was made, but do you know where they go when you throw them “away”? Each night, trucks bring tons of New York City waste to processing and storage facilities near Geneva. Meanwhile, boatloads of computers “recycled” in North America sail for Asia and Africa to be dismantled in dangerous conditions so that small amounts of valuable metals may be recovered. This course will introduce students to the global geography of garbage (garbography?) with a particular focus on environmental, human health and human rights implications.

ENV 300 Senior Integrative Experience (SIE)
The SIE involves a multidisciplinary project or seminar, independent study, or an off-campus internship. Ideally and internship should have both an academic and experiential component.

ENV 301 Group Senior Integrative Experience
The Group SIE involves a multidisciplinary project or seminar. It enables a group of ES seniors to investigate an interdisciplinary topic of environmental interest with a focus on HWS and the Geneva community.

ENV 351 Sustainable Community Development Methods
Delve into the practices and processes of sustainable community development planning, its application, methods and implementation. Evaluate the successes and failures of methods and outcomes of these efforts in achieving social equity, environmental and economic sustainability. Apply the skills and knowledge you’ve learned by developing a sustainable community development plan through a service-learning project.


GEO 140 Environmental Geology
Managing important resources such as energy, minerals, wetlands, coastal areas and fresh water supplies as well as understanding the risks associated with natural hazards such as earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, droughts, and floods demands an understanding of fundamental geologic principles, materials and processes. This course provides an introductory presentation of these and associated environmental topics. With laboratory.


HIST 151 Food Systems in History
This course traces the historical emergence of the contemporary world food system. Students briefly examine the transition from hunter-gathering to Neolithic village agriculture, the differentiation between steppe agriculture and steppe nomadism in ancient Eurasia and the medieval agricultural systems of East Europe and Asia. An important course goal is to understand the meaning of changes in the food systems for individual lives.

HIST 246 American Environmental History
In this course, historical place in the natural landscape is described through the methods of “environmental history,” embracing three concerns: ecological relationships between humans and nature, political and economic influences on the environment, and cultural conceptions of the natural world. Topics range from urban pollution and suburban sprawl to agricultural practices and wilderness protection.


PHIL 154 Philosophy and Contemporary Issues: Environmental Ethics
This course explores ethical and philosophical issues that arise when we consider the relation between humans and the natural environment – issues made urgent by our current environmental crisis.


SOC 271 Sociology of Environmental Issues
This course examines the development and future implications of environmental issues from a sociological perspective. Topics of interest to students are discussed as they develop during the course. Prerequisite: SOC 100.