Behavioral Sciences | Environmental Studies

Environmental Studies Major: Overview

whale breaching in hawaiian waters

Environmental Studies

The environmental studies degree at Chaminade University of Honolulu responds to the growing need of society for conscientious, knowledgeable stewards of the environment. With a curriculum developed from input from over forty environmental professionals, a Chaminade degree in environmental studies is a multi-disciplinary approach that allows students to examine environmental issues from a variety of perspectives, including:

  • Policy and Law
  • Science
  • Economics
  • Ethics and Values

This major prepares students for careers in environmental service, including careers in the ever-growing sectors of government and non-profit environmental organizations. Career directions could include environmental policy, law, economics, communications & information, consulting, science, ethics, and health.

Hawai'i is our classroom

Hawai'i provides a stimulating and diverse classroom to study environmental stewardship. Hawai‘i has the highest number of listed threatened and endangered species in the nation, as well as an estimated 10,000 species found nowhere else in the world. Our unique, varied ecosystems include shallow ocean reefs as well as the deep sea, mountains, wetlands, deserts and rainforests. Our location in the middle of the Pacific naturally encourages a global awareness of environmental issues.

Hands-on service:

Students are invited to participate in numerous service-learning projects that benefit Hawai'i's environment as well as give students experience in the field. Among many varied projects, students at Chaminade have been involved:

  • Counting migratory whale populations
  • Removing alien algae from the reef
  • Quantifying reef health
  • Assessing native plant populations
  • Removing miconia (an invasive alien plant species) from Hawai’i forest habitat

Special characteristics of the Chaminade program:

Our environmental studies majors come from very different backgrounds, from students who grew up very close to nature in Polynesia, to city dwellers in the mainland states, but all have a deep feeling of connection to the environment and feel a responsibility to protect it. Our program emphasizes an awareness of the ethical, spiritual and cultural values that motivate a community towards good environmental stewardship.

At Chaminade, teachers are closely involved with students, and you will be able to take advantage of personal guidance and mentoring from instructors. Not just in the environmental studies program, but campus-wide, your professors will know you, and you can get help quickly if you need it. You will never be an unknown face lost in a crowd of hundreds of students in a lecture hall. Our ratio of students to faculty is 17 to 1. In this close-knit community, you will also get to know your classmates very well.