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Environmental Studies Program 

Director: Sarah Luria
Fall 2020 Environmental Studies office hours: Thursday 2-3 p.m. and by appointment
Fenwick 211

Academic Administrative Assistant for Environmental Studies: Silvia Aldredge
O’Neil 120

Environmental Studies Study Abroad Advisor: Aaron Seider
Fenwick 423


Students conduct fieldwork at a stream in Worcester as part of the Watershed Hydrology course taught by Sara Mitchell, associate professor of biology.

Students conduct fieldwork at a stream in Worcester as part of the Watershed Hydrology course taught by Sara Mitchell, associate professor of biology. 

Integrated Curriculum

The Environmental Studies major is composed of a series of courses bridging three or more disciplines and providing a comprehensive understanding of environmental issues. Majors select 14 courses from 11 different departments or programs to create a broad, yet deep, curriculum tailored to their interests. 

Students seeking to pursue graduate studies in environmental science should consider majoring in a traditional science discipline, such as biology, chemistry, or physics, and complete a minor in Environmental Studies. Students interested in pursuing graduate studies or a career in environmental affairs may be best served by combining a minor in Environmental Studies with a major in economics, English, political science, sociology, visual arts or other disciplines. 

Expert Faculty

Environmental Studies involves faculty experts from various departments. Faculty conduct original research in numerous fields and cover a wide range of topics such as:

  • the environmental devastation caused by extreme weather events and war 
  • the environmental history of central Massachusetts, including the impacts of industrialization
  • environmental philosophy and ethics
  • green architectural design and city planning
  • water quality in the Blackstone River watershed
  • global impacts of and responses to the climate crisis
  • environmentally responsible breweries in New England
  • the use of drawing, digital art, and stories to reimagine our place and role in the natural world

Sustainability at Holy Cross

Sustainability is a priority at Holy Cross. In response to strategic student advocacy and the Presidential Task Force on the Environment, Holy Cross is in the process of hiring its first Sustainability Director.  The College has also submitted a plan for carbon neutrality through Second Nature's Climate Leadership Commitment. Holy Cross commits to reduce its carbon emissions over the next few decades until carbon neutrality is achieved.

To learn about the College’s sustainability efforts and to read the Carbon Neutral Plan, visit the sustainability website.

Blackstone Visitor Center and Gateway Park

The Blackstone Heritage Corridor Visitor Center and adjacent Blackstone Gateway Park are located near campus.

The visitor center, which opened in 2018, is an interpretive, recreational and cultural resource serving as a gateway to the city of Worcester and the communities located in the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor. Holy Cross donated funding and land to make the project a reality.

Blackstone Gateway Park is a scenic and serene half-mile linear park that connects the Visitor Center to the McKeon Road entrance to campus.