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Environmental Studies

Colleges of Arts and Sciences
Environmental Center
Krauss Annex 19, 2500 Dole Street
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 956-7361
Fax: (808) 956-3980
E-mail: jth@hawaii.edu
Web: www.hawaii.edu/envctr


J. T. Harrison, PhD (Environmental Studies Coordinator/Adviser)—environmental studies, environmental management, ecosystem dyanamics
J. H. Cusick, PhD—environmental education, political ecology, protected areas
K. M. Silvius, PhD—community ecology, conservation science, resource management by local communities and indigenous peoples

Affiliate Faculty

S. Conant, PhD—Professor of Zoology; ornithology, ecology, behavior, conservation biology
G. D. Curtis, BS—Affiliate Professor and Lecturer of Natural Sciences at UH Hilo; instrumentation, oceanography, tsunami research
E. P. Dashiell, MA—Environmental Planning Consultant; environmental and facilities planner, environmental impact statements, environmental investigations
D. Drigot, PhD—natural resource management
P. Ekern, PhD—Emeritus Professor of Agronomy and Soil Science; soil management, agricultural meteorology
M. C. Jarman, JD, LLM—Associate Professor of Law; environmental law, ocean law, legal writing
E. A. Kay, PhD—Emeritus Professor of Zoology; systematics, biogeography, malacology
K. E. Kim, PhD—Professor of Urban and Regional Planning; planning theory, planning methods, infrastructure planning, alternative tourism planning
G. K. Lowry, PhD—Professor of Urban and Regional Planning; alternative dispute resolution, coastal management, planning theory, community-level planning
F. T. Mackenzie, PhD—Professor of Oceanography; geochemistry, biogeochemical cycling, global environmental change
J. Maragos, PhD—U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Island Ecoregion; ecology of coral reefs
J. N. Miller, PhD—environmental assessment, environmental oceanography, environmental studies
J. Morrow, PhD—Environmental Management Consultant; air quality
P. J. Rappa, MA—Extension Agent in Sea Grant College Program; environmental assessment, coastal zone management
M. A. Ridgley, PhD—Professor of Geography; water resources, urbanization and environmental quality, human-environment system modeling
H. Takemoto, MS—U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; environmental chemistry, hazardous waste management
R. Wilkens, PhD—Associate Researcher in Hawai‘i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology; rock and sediment properties, bore-hole research

Degree and Certificate Offered: Certificate in Environmental Studies, BA in interdisciplinary studies (major equivalent in environmental studies)

The Academic Program

Environmental studies is an individually designed, interdisciplinary program established in 1975 and coordinated by the Environmental Center. Students wishing to earn a BA degree with a major equivalent in environmental studies may do so under the Interdisciplinary Studies Program. The program encourages a great deal of self direction to accommodate the student’s individual goals and interests.

Environmental studies students may focus their curriculum on either the social or natural/physical sciences and find employment in both the public and private sectors as environmental resource managers, environmental specialists, hazardous waste managers, or any number of related fields. Others pursue graduate studies in environmental sciences, law, chemistry, biology, public health, planning, geography, resource management, etc. A unique feature of the program is the ability to undertake an internship with a local agency or organization chosen by the student. In this internship (IS 489), students design and carry out an environmental research project complete with proposal, progress and final reports, and formal oral presentation to the internship sponsors. The EVS program has enjoyed the consistent cooperation and enthusiasm of more than 40 federal, state, and county agencies and departments and many private organizations as sponsors of EVS students.

Undergraduate Study

Bachelor’s Degree

The equivalent of an undergraduate major in environmental studies is available in the BA in interdisciplinary studies program. For information, contact the Environmental Center or Interdisciplinary Studies Program. Interested students should refer to the “Interdisciplinary Studies” section within the Colleges of Arts and Sciences.


Introductory courses:

  • BIOL 101/101L or BIOL 171/171L
  • BIOL 124/124L
  • CHEM 151/151L or 161/161L or 171/171L
  • ECON 120 or 130
  • Major courses: Students must complete a minimum of 36 credit hours, including:
  • BIOL 310
  • IS 489
  • BOT 351/351L or 454 or ZOOL 200/200L
  • OCN 320
  • GEOG 301
  • 20 to 24 credit hours in courses specific to the student’s area of environmental studies specialization

Students must maintain a 2.5 GPA in the major course work.

Certificate in Environmental Studies

A Certificate in Environmental Studies signifies that a student has completed substantial environmental course work in addition to the requirements of his or her regular major. Certificate candidates are required to submit a proposal and complete 15 credit hours of course work, including two required courses and three electives from an approved list of courses. The required courses are BIOL 310 or OCN/OEST/MET 310, and IS 489. Electives for social science or humanities majors are two courses in the natural sciences and one from the social sciences. Natural science majors must select two courses from the social sciences and one from the natural sciences.

  • Electives for the natural science courses include the following:
    • BIOL 360, 410, 425
    • BOT 351/351L, 450, 453, 454, 455
    • GEOG 300, 301, 305, 309, 401, 405, 410
    • GG 454, 455
    • OCN 320, 330, 331
    • ZOOL 439/439L, 450, 485
  • Electives for the social science courses include the following:
    • ARCH 341
    • AMST 320, 420
    • ANTH 303, 415, 435
    • ECON 358
    • GEOG 326, 328, 330, 335, 380, 412, 415
    • IS 361
    • NREM 302, 432
    • PLAN 310, 399
    • POLS 346E, 378G
    • SOC 412

For information, contact the Environmental Center.