Environmental Studies

At the University of Montevallo, we wear Purple and Gold, but we think Green.

Environmental Studies: Affiliated Faculty (PDF)

Our Environmental Studies program is top notch thanks to our devoted faculty and staff and a number of invaluable hands-on resources like University Lake, the James Wylie Shepherd Observatory, the UM Organic Community Garden, and the Ebenezer Swamp Ecological Preserve.  We also have other ways to get involved in making our community more sustainable, like ValloCyclerecycling, and the Green Fund.  All of these facilities and opportunities are open to the whole campus community – after all, more participation always makes for a bigger impact. See our Sustainability Plan in the link below:

2022 UM Sustainability Plan (PDF)

The University of Montevallo has been recognized nationally for our efforts in sustainability. We were honored as a 2016 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School, and in 2019 we received our first STARS Bronze Rating for sustainability achievements. In 2023, our STARS rating was upgraded to Silver.


Be Part of the Sustainable Future

The Environmental Studies Program at the University of Montevallo offers a major with either a B.A. or a B.S. degree, as well as a minor that can complement any other major on campus. See more information below for the current degree requirements.Environmental Studies is an interdisciplinary program that incorporates perspectives from the social and natural sciences, the arts and humanities, and business. The purpose of the program is to provide students with the skills, knowledge, and attitudes they will need as citizens and as members of the workforce to make informed decisions with respect to ecological issues. The Environmental Studies Program is an innovative option for UM students looking for an interdisciplinary “Honors College” experience in step with the best Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC) environmental programs.The Environmental Studies Program prides itself on bringing faculty, students, staff, administrators, and the community together to solve environmental problems and on making the UM campus a veritable sustainability lab. The success of the latter endeavor led to UM’s 2016 designation as a Green Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.

Dr. Susan Caplow and student cultivating plants at Community Garden

Dr. Susan Caplow works with a student in the Community Garden.

Why Environmental Studies at UM?

  • ES emphasizes integrating and applying diverse disciplinary perspectives to complex environmental problems.
  • Our program gives students opportunities to develop leadership skills and work effectively as a member of an interdisciplinary team on a complex environmental problem with real-world stakeholders.
  • Junior and senior level courses are taught in classes with limited numbers, promoting class discussion and individual attention.
  • Internship opportunities are available at a variety of environmental organizations in the region.
  • Our commitment to the environment goes well beyond course offerings and includes a number of green initiatives and facilities.

What kinds of careers can I pursue with a degree in Environmental Studies? 

  • Environmental Management (park ranger, game warden, pollution prevention, landscape management, water conservation)
  • Environmental Monitoring (water quality technician, health and safety, compliance officer, EIA assessment)
  • Environmental Law/Policy (advocacy, legislative aid, politics, policy analyst)
  • Environmental Education (naturalist, outdoor educator, zoo educator, ES teacher)
  • Environmental Information (marketing, journalism, creative writing)
  • Organizational Sustainability (sustainability officer, recycling coordinator, energy conservation, environmental economist)
  • Urban planning (transportation, waste management, public works)


Contact Dr. Susan Caplow by e-mail at for more information.

Alumnae Barbara Bonfield and Ms. Brady photo

Alumnae Barbara Bonfield and Ms. Brady