As a liberal arts college, Swarthmore's commitment to sustainability is most effectively met through its educational mission. Students address challenges facing the environment through course work, study abroad programs, opportunities for environmental studies research, internships, and community engagement opportunities.
Environmental Studies Program
Environmental studies at Swarthmore is truly interdisciplinary and offers numerous opportunities for rigorous interdisciplinary work because environmental issues have scientific, engineering, social, political, economic, literary, and philosophical dimensions that must be addressed. The Collge participates in the tri-college environmental studies interdisciplinary minor, along with Bryn Mawr and Haverford colleges. The program aims to bring students and faculty together to explore the interactions among earth systems, human societies, and local and global environments.
Sustainability research includes projects that are oriented to the natural environment and relationships between human practices and the natural environment, including related issues of social and economic equity." More about the projects currently underway and the faculty who are coordinating research in their labs.
Each year the Environmental Studies program awards the James H. Scheuer Environmental Internship to the winning applicant whose proposal embraces environmental concerns.Additionally, the Career Services Office maintains internship resources related to science & the environment and will help interested students find internships and externships related to environmental topics.
The Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility hosts conferences, speakers, and workshops to educate the entire community about community service, social action, and social justice work. Their staff also works with individual students to help match them with volunteer opportunities, to mentor them as they write grant proposals, and to help them develop plans for making their mark on the world. They stand at the ready to support students who wish to enage in environmental social action projects while at the College.
The 2012-2013 The Eugene M. Lang '38 Visiting Professorship for Issues of Social Change is Dr. Giovanna Di Chiro, Director of Environmental Programs at Nuestras Raíces, Inc. in Holyoke, Mass., and Research Associate at the Five Colleges Research Center in Amherst, Mass. She has published widely on the intersections of environmental science and policy, with a focus on social and economic disparities and human rights.