Environmental studies is a multidisciplinary academic field which systematically studies human interaction with the environment in the interests of solving complex problems. Environmental studies brings together the principles of the physical sciences, commerce/economics and social sciences so as to solve contemporary environmental problems. It is a broad field of study that includes the natural environment, the built environment, and the sets of relationships between them. The field encompasses study in basic principles of ecology and environmental science, as well as associated subjects such as ethics, geography, anthropology, policy, politics, urban planning, law, economics, philosophy, sociology and social justice, planning, pollution control and natural resource management. There are also many degree programs in Environmental Studies including a Master's degree and a Bachelor's degree.
The New York State College of Forestry at Syracuse University established a BS in environmental studies degree in the 1950s, awarding its first degree in 1956. Middlebury College established the major there in 1965.
The Environmental Studies Association of Canada (ESAC) was established in 1993"to further research and teaching activities in areas related to environmental studies in Canada". ESAC's magazine, A\J: Alternatives Journal was first published by Robert A. Paehlke on 4 July 1971.
The Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences (AESS) was founded in 2008 as the first professional association in the interdisciplinary field of environmental studies in the United States. In 2010, the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE) agreed to advise and support the Association. The Association's scholarly journal, the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences (JESS), commenced publication in March 2011.
In the United States, many high school students are able to take environmental science as a college-level course. Over 500 colleges and universities in the United States offer environmental studies as a degree.
- National Center for Education Statistics. Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP 2000)- (03) NATURAL RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION Archived 12 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine. Institute of Education Sciences, United States Department of Education. [Accessed 29 January 2010]
- "About Environmental Studies at ESF," Archived 1 December 2017 at the Wayback Machine SUNY-ESF website. Accessed 28 November 2017.
- "Environmental Studies - Middlebury". middlebury.edu. Archived from the original on 5 November 2017. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 January 2012. Retrieved 12 March 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) "A Brief History of ESAC". Accessed 12 March 2012.
- Alternatives Archived 6 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine
- "The Alternatives Story" Archived 6 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine
- "Association for Environmental Studies & Sciences AESSonline.org". AESSOnline.org. Archived from the original on 10 March 2016. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
- "The History and Development of AESS". Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences. Archived from the original on 6 November 2016.
- "AP Environmental Science". Collegeboard. Retrieved 4 October 2018. Italic or bold markup not allowed in:
- "Major: Environmental Studies". Collegeboard. Retrieved 4 October 2018.