Student Perspectives on Environmental Studies at Princeton

Educational and internship opportunities through the High Meadows Environmental Institute (HMEI) and the Program in Environmental Studies (ENV) are open to all Princeton undergraduate students regardless of their major. The ENV program is educating a generation of Princeton students as leaders who can address the critical environmental challenges that they will face throughout their careers and in life. ENV provides a strong community for students who are interested in environmental topics and offers a wide selection of courses, fully funded HMEI summer internships, and funding for independent undergraduate research. Students who want to demonstrate their proficiency in environmental studies can pursue a Certificate Program in Environmental Studies, which can be structured to compliment a student’s field of study.

In the videos below, four students from different disciplines and class years talk about their unique experiences with HMEI and the Program in Environmental Studies, and how their HMEI education has prepared and inspired them to tackle the challenges facing our planet and our society.


Cole Morokhovich, Class of 2020

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
HMEI Smith-Newton Environmental Scholar
HMEI Summer Intern


Cole came to Princeton as a pre-med student, but his pursuit of ecology and environmental biology was solidified by a HMEI summer internship studying the effects of climate change on broad-tailed hummingbird behavior at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory with Princeton professor Mary Caswell Stoddard. He parlayed his diligent and innovative fieldwork into his Princeton senior thesis research with support from the HMEI Smith-Newton Environmental Scholars program and established a new project in the Stoddard Lab.


Hannah Reynolds, Class of 2022

Anthropology/ENV Certificate
HMEI Smith-Newton Environmental Scholar
HMEI Summer Intern


Hannah got involved in the ENV certificate program as a first-year student exploring the variety of environmental topics offered through ENV classes such as HMEI’s flagship course, ENV 200: “The Environmental Nexus.” As a HMEI summer intern, she taught conservation to schools around the Mpala Research Centre in Kenya, strengthening her interest in how people interact with, and are shaped by, the environment. Pursuing her passion for environmental justice, Hannah will work in Alaska as a HMEI Smith-Newton Environmental Scholar studying the link between the loss of indigenous languages and a decline in biodiversity.


Louison Sall, Class of 2021

East Asian Studies

HMEI Summer Intern


Louison bolstered her interest in environmental policy related to China with a laboratory-based HMEI summer internship. She worked in the research group of Xinning Zhang, assistant professor of geosciences and the High Meadows Environmental Institute, studying the relationship between metabolism and isotopes. The connection between environmental science and policy are intertwined, and ENV gave Louison the opportunity to gain a crucial and thorough understanding of both.


Chris Gliwa, Class of 2021

Civil and Environmental Engineering/ENV Certificate
HMEI Summer Intern


Chris found his inspiration to join the ENV certificate program from the environmental issues he’s experienced and worked to address in his hometown in North Jersey. He hopes to provide a cleaner, safer environment for the people in his community through the expertise he’s gaining at Princeton in environmental engineering, policy and community engagement. Chris has been able to work at the intersection of those areas through the interdisciplinary courses offered through ENV, such as ENV 200: “The Environmental Nexus,” and as a HMEI summer intern for metropolitan New York City’s Regional Plan Association.