Live Deliberately in the World Around You

Environmental Studies Major

“How will you walk this earth?” asked Wayne Gilchrest, former United States Congressman. His question, posed to a group of Salisbury University’s environmental studies (ENVR) students in a summer kayaking class, is central to our program. Whether you want to become a professional environmental advocate or enrich your own understanding of the world around you, we encourage you to live deliberately.

Why Choose Environmental Studies at SU?

For the outdoor adventurer who loves marshes, rivers, forests and barrier islands, there’s no better situated university on the East Coast than SU. With the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean next door, students can:

  • Explore some of the mid-Atlantic’s most intact river systems, the Nanticoke and the Pocomoke
  • Study coastal barrier islands such as Cedar and Assateague
  • Visit major wildlife refuges at Blackwater and Chincoteague
  • Observe working watermen’s communities on Smith and Tangier islands
  • Investigate close to 100,000 acres of wetlands

In our program, opportunities for study abroad abound. Students can snorkel coral reefs in Honduras, investigate glacial landscapes in Iceland or explore biodiversity in Trinidad. Some share meals with rural villagers in India, and others live in Australian rain forests. Closer to home, they canoe remote Eastern Shore creeks, kayak to Smith Island and witness the mass spawning of horseshoe crabs in Delaware Bay.

Frequent opportunities for research, stewardship and community engagement provide our graduates with a substantial foundation for further graduate study or meaningful careers. Our students have built bird, bat and bee nest boxes with area high school students, worked with the Salisbury City Council to enhance urban tree canopy and testified to the Maryland Assembly regarding energy policy.


Our environment is more than our surroundings; it is the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat and the land where we live. Students in our environmental studies program learn to evaluate and respond to environmental issues facing our world today. You could cultivate a career as one of the following:

  • City Planner
  • Conservation Agent
  • Ecologist
  • Environmental Health Specialist
  • Forest Ranger
  • Natural Resource Specialist
  • Wildlife Manager
Meet Rachel – Environmental Studies Major

Meet Rachel – Environmental Studies Major

Find out how the major’s interdisciplinary approach empowered Rachel to make a difference in her community.

Faculty with Real-World Experience

Our faculty integrates topics in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences to give students the tools they need to examine complex environmental issues in depth and assess them from a variety of perspectives.

It’s hard to imagine how much environmental studies has grown in the past years – from a minor to a top-ranked program in the country. This is a special place to study the environment.
Michael Lewis, Ph.D. Environmental Studies Department Faculty

Learn More About Our Program