As a residential liberal arts college, Hamilton defines education in the broadest terms. Every encounter and opportunity a student has on campus and as part of the College community is developmental, so education is a thread throughout the living-learning experience. Sustainability becomes, therefore, an integral consideration in many facets of a Hamilton education.


Hamilton continues to add a focus on environmental issues to courses in its curriculum. Many courses in biology and geosciences emphasize direct study of the environment, while an environmental component has been added to disciplines such as literature, policy, economics, ethics, religion and technology. Courses on the Adirondack Park and on global warming provide focused study of environmental issues. In the Spring of 2015, students in the Global Change Ecology Seminar in collaboration with Assistant Professor of Biology Andrea Townsend, Hilary Joy Greenhouse Manager Pitoniak, and Science Technician Steve Pullman, built an aquaponic green wall of succulent plants to be displayed throughout campus. 

Environmental Studies Program

The interdisciplinary program in environmental studies began in 1993 with courses leading to a minor. It expanded in 2005 to include a concentration or major, and the number of concentrators has been growing rapidly. This program balances broad practical groundwork with focused individual study and requires coursework across the humanities, social science and natural sciences. Working closely with dedicated faculty members in biology, geosciences, government, economics, philosophy, English and other disciplines, students investigate environmental issues and attitudes with rigor and imagination and emerge ready to make a difference. Hamilton continues to add courses and programs with an environmental focus across the curriculum.

Hamilton Adirondack Program

The Hamilton Adirondack Program is a place-based, semester-long learning experience. It combines rigorous academic study with the skills and understanding gained through field experience in the Adirondack Park, working with local organizations and in wilderness contexts. Students spend the fall semester of their junior or senior year learning and living within the confines of the park. This domestic, off-campus study opportunity focuses on local interdisciplinary environmental issues with global implications. Students investigate the ecological, political, economic and cultural issues that have shaped the complex mix of natural and human environments in the Adirondacks. The program offers students an opportunity for intensive, interdisciplinary and experiential learning about the nature of place and place-making through stewardship and the liberal arts.


Contact Name

Brian Hansen

Director of Environmental Protection, Safety and Sustainability

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