Overview

Engage in an interdisciplinary study of Earth’s environment and humankind’s interaction with it. Beyond the natural sciences, students examine the environment from perspectives of biology, geosciences, sociology, urban studies, art, and the humanities. The major complements a variety of interdisciplinary majors and minors.

Fast Facts
  • Study abroad includes faculty-led programs in Costa Rica and China.
  • Environmental studies internships are available in city and state government entities and at local volunteer organizations, public institutions, and private firms
  • Utilize a wide range of research opportunities with professors, with many students presenting their research at regional and national academic conferences and at student ACS conferences.
Professor and students taking measurements in canyon

 


What You'll Study

View the environment from scientific, economic, and sociocultural perspectives.


Faculty

Accessible, interdisciplinary leaders in their fields

Faculty span multiple disciplines, giving students the chance to address environmental problems using an interdisciplinary lens. Faculty lead small classes and act as accessible mentors, while also working with students to conduct meaningful research in the field.

David Ribble
David Ribble, Ph.D.
Program Director
Professor, Biology
Kelly Grey Carlisle
Kelly Grey Carlisle, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, English
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Gregory Hazleton, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Glenn Kroeger
Glenn Kroeger, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Geosciences
Kelly Lyons
Kelly Lyons, Ph.D.
Professor, Biology
Jennifer P. Mathews
Jennifer P. Mathews, Ph.D.
Professor, Sociology and Anthropology
Shana McDermott
Shana McDermott, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Economics
" "
Troy Murphy, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Biology
Judith Norman
Judith Norman, Ph.D.
Professor, Philosophy
Richard K. Reed
Richard K. Reed, Ph.D.
Professor, Sociology and Anthropology
Heather Sullivan
Heather Sullivan, Ph.D.
Professor, Modern Languages and Literatures
Benjamin Surpless
Benjamin Surpless, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Geosciences
Elizabeth Ward
Elizabeth Ward, M.F.A.
Professor, Art and Art History

Student Opportunities

Explore and interact with the natural world

Internships

Undergraduates expand their learning beyond campus, gaining real-world experience in actual professional settings in San Antonio and nationwide. ALE places students in year-round internships in a variety of leading arts organizations, government offices, environmental nonprofits, and social services. 

Summer Internship
Students can participate in fully-paid, 10-week internships in San Antonio, complete with optional on-campus housing, for many companies, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations.

Academic Internship
Students serve as interns for various scientific, governmental, social agency, arts, or nonprofit organizations throughout the fall or spring semesters.

Scholarships

Hixon Environmental Studies Scholarships are awarded to students interested in the environment to take courses or undertake environmental studies research.

Research Opportunities

Environmental studies majors have a wide range of research opportunities with professors, with many students presenting their research at regional and national academic conferences and at student ACS conferences.

Hixon Summer Research Fellowship

Students propose an interdisciplinary research project that can range from field work to studying food sustainability in San Antonio. Faculty sponsor and support these student-proposed projects.

Study Abroad

Costa Rican Ecology Program
Students in the Costa Rican Ecology Program will spend a month surveying and sampling a variety of mammals while studying the physical and cultural differences of the country from sea level rainforests to high elevation cloud forests.

Ecology and Bioconservation of China
Trinity University has partnered with United International College (UIC) of Zhuhai, China, to offer a specialized Trinity Study Abroad course “The Ecology and Bioconservation of China.” This course brings together faculty and students from both universities in a unique, interdisciplinary learning community in several spectacular regions of China. The course is led by environmental studies faculty and taught in English. 

Trinity’s CIE offers the School for Field Studies, where students can study environments in Africa, South America, and all over the world.

Service-Learning Opportunities

Environmental studies internships are available in city and state government entities and at local volunteer organizations, public institutions, and private firms, such as the San Antonio River Authority, Sierra Club, Edwards Aquifer Authority, and San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department, Mitchell Lake Audubon Center, The San Antonio Water System, TCEQ, GEAA, the Texas Nature Conservancy, The Monarch Festival, and more.

Students also have opportunities to serve on campus-wide committees, including Trinity’s sustainability committee and the sustainability living-learning hall.

Spaces and Facilities

The Center for the Sciences and Innovation (CSI)
An integrated 300,000-square-foot science and engineering complex, complete with a rooftop observatory, a living “green” roof and rooftop greenhouse, and an open-air innovation and design studio.

Trinity University Community Garden 
The community garden is student-managed, but receives support from the entire community. In addition to volunteering, students may also register for a student-led course centered around community gardening. 

San Antonio’s green, urban ecosystem
Being in the middle of a vibrant urban setting, there are ample opportunities to study urban ecology first-hand in the many parks, rivers, and green spaces across the city.

Student Organizations

EcoAllies
Eco Allies is Trinity University's student organization dedicated to sustainability on campus and in the local community. They put on many events throughout the year and encourage sustainability and recycling on campus. They also coordinate sustainability-related volunteer opportunities in the San Antonio area.

Trinity Bee Alliance 
The Trinity Bee Alliance is a student organization that maintains on-campus hives and promotes awareness about the importance of honeybees.

Lecture Series and Annual Events

Earth Week
Every April, Trinity celebrates Earth Week with both educational activities and ways to help out the local environment. This includes events such as an office supply exchange, a zero-waste sporting event, and the encouragement of using reusable food service ware, encourage waste minimization.

Distinguished Scientist Lecture Series
The Trinity University Distinguished Scientists Lecture Series is made possible through an endowment gift from the Walter F. Brown Family of San Antonio. The lecture brings pioneering U.S. and international scientists to Trinity.

Organizations

Trinity University is a proud member of the following organizations: 

  • AASHE - Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education 
  • CURC - College and University Recycling Coalition 
  • STAR - State of Texas Alliance for Recycling
  • TRACS - Texas Regional Alliance for Campus Sustainability 
  • USGBC - U.S. Green Building Council

When You Graduate

Success Comes Naturally

Graduates leave Trinity with versatile knowledge stemming from the humanities, social analysis, and natural sciences. They pursue nonprofit service or work, private industry careers, influential positions in policy making, as well as law or graduate degrees.

 

Careers

Trinity graduates have launched careers in academics, nonprofit public interest groups, private industry, and state and local policy making.

Graduate Schools or Programs:

  • Earth and Environmental Studies
  • Ecology and Evolution
  • Geology
  • Environmental Policy
  • Environmental science
  • Law School
  • Natural Sciences
  • Sociology

Career Areas:

  • Environmental Engineer
  • Policy Analyst
  • Sustainability Specialist

Notable Companies who have Hired Trinity Graduates:

  • Greater Edwards Aquifer Authority
  • NOAA
  • Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
  • VIA Metropolitan Transit

Take the next step

Have more questions or want more information? Learn more about becoming a Tiger, and how you can accelerate what’s next for your education.