About the Center

Mission of the Center

The Center for Environmental Studies seeks to perpetuate creative and responsible professional practices in an increasingly fragile world. It achieves this by providing a framework through which students, faculty, and alumni can come together for the investigation of environmental issues, by identifying critical issues in the relationship between human life and both the natural and human-built environments, and by helping to determine the important roles that science, mathematics, and engineering will take in addressing those issues.

Environmental Studies

The Center interprets environmental studies broadly, with a strong dedication to interdisciplinary cooperation. Both natural and human-built environments are considered. Diverse methodologies are encouraged. These include mathematical and computational modeling; economic, historical, philosophical, psychological, and literary analysis and criticism; both theoretical and experimental chemical, physical, and biological investigations; and consideration of alternative and appropriate technologies.

All processes of environmental degradation are studied, especially in relation to human-motivated activities. Diversity of species in flora and fauna — including the human species — is evaluated. Ecology in all respects is a central focus of study and leads the Center to questions of sustainable human habitation of natural places. At all levels, technology is studied with an imaginative view toward the environment as a fundamentally important factor in all engineering design.

Structure and Administration

The participants in this Center include all HMC faculty, students, staff, alumni, and friends of the college who have a declared interest in some aspect of environmental studies. The Center is administered by a Director in consultation with a Steering Committee.


The current programs of the Center include advising resources for students interested in Environmental Studies, funding for students and faculty to conduct summer research projects at universities around the globe, an environmental clinic program, coordination of activities with the other Claremont Colleges, support for campus greening, and a variety of other educational initiatives. For more information, see our Programs page.

Goals of the Center

As a new unifying and energizing feature of Harvey Mudd College, the Center for Environmental Studies is chiefly motivated to provide educational opportunities in environmental studies and to establish the conditions necessary for a critical and creative discussion of responsible professional practices. With this in mind, the Center has adopted the following long term goals.

  1. Identify environmental issues throughout the entire curriculum and lay the foundations for environmental sensitivity in the professional practices of all HMC faculty, students, and alumni.
  2. Lead HMC to become an exemplary institution in the area of environmental education, both in the classroom and through hands-on experiences with research, clinic, study abroad experiences, and volunteer opportunities.
  3. Position the college to have a substantial impact on the environmental practices of educational institutions, industry, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations.