Environmental Residential College

Explore the ecological impact of human activities.

Learn about successes in sustainable development. Raise awareness about environmental issues. Celebrate the wonder of the natural world. Study the complex scientific, social, political and ethical dimensions of environmental issues.

Environmental College Student Staff

India Carpenter, Junior Fellow

India Carpenter

"For me, being in a res college gave me a community and group of friends with a shared interest and classes, which those not in a res college don't get. It allowed me to really get close with and get to know everyone on my hall, have a class with them, and integrated me into life at Bucknell. In Environmental, we got to do a lot more outdoorsy activities than some. From stargazing at the observatory to canoeing on the Susquehanna, or even our res college trip overnight, we always had a great time together."

Hometown: Darien, Conn.
Major: creative writing

Marie Catanese, Junior Fellow

Marie Catanese

"What I enjoyed most about the Residential Colleges is their ability to continue discussions outside of the classroom. When you are introduced to an environment where everyone is excited and willing to learn, colleges becomes a more enjoyable experience. Joining a Residential College allows you to build connections and form friendships with a variety of people who are brought together by a common interest and some of my best friends are from my Residential Colleges. I am looking forward to a year with the Environmental!"

Hometown: Baltimore, Md.
Majors: international relations and environmental studies

Foundation Seminar Course Choices

Exploring Nature

This course explores the idea that enduring environmental awareness and a full appreciation of the challenge of sustainability is rooted in extensive first-hand experience of the natural world—wildlife, woods, fields, rivers, estuaries, the night sky and so forth.

This course will expose students to four major writers — Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, Jane Goodall, and E. O. Wilson — all scientists whose careers are based on field work and all with a love of language and a knowledge of literature and philosophy, who shaped twentieth and twenty first century awareness of the nature of nature and of the relationship of human culture to nature.  We will also be reading Bill McKibben’s 1989 The End of Nature which introduced the public to the reality of climate change and the philosophical idea that “we live in a post-natural world,” an era dubbed “the Anthropocene” to mark this reversal between man-made forces and the state of nature.

Christianity & Sustainability

The seminar will explore environmental ethics in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings as they relate to Tolkien’s background in early Christian studies and faith, and their background in agrarianism as an alternative to a contemporary Western culture of technocracy and state capitalism and socialism. As part of this examination, contemporary urban agrarianism and appropriate technology and local food movements will be examined in their relation to spirituality and cultural narratives. Other spiritual traditions and their relation to ecology will also be considered, including Judaism and Buddhism, as well as secular environmentalism and also Anabaptist communities (Amish and Mennonite)  in central Pennsylvania. Course work will welcome views of those of all faith and no faith, with no previous knowledge required.


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