The Environmental Studies (ENV) Program Freshman Open House Draws Engaged Students

Carol Peters ・ High Meadows Environmental Institute

The Program in Environmental Studies (ENV) held its Freshman Open House on September 15. Filling the ENV lab to capacity, the enthusiastic students were eager to learn how to incorporate environmental studies into their undergraduate coursework.

Henry Horn and student
Henry Horn, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and PEI Associated Faculty Member, discusses the ENV Program with a student.

The students listened to presentations from one of the program’s founders, Henry Horn, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Dr. Eileen Zerba, Director of the ENV Undergraduate Laboratories, Dr. Xenia Morin, who leads the ENV Senior Colloquium, and Lynne Johnson, Academic Program Manager for the ENV Program.

Three seniors, who are working toward certificates in environmental studies and majoring in Architecture, Politics and the Woodrow Wilson School, also addressed the freshmen. Together they explained how they have grown from their experiences in the ENV certificate program and how their other affiliations with PEI have enriched them.

The 2009 Currie C. and Thomas A. Barron Visiting Professor in the Environment and Humanities, Steven Cosson, also attended the session and briefly described his course. “The goal of the freshman open house is to reach students early in their academic careers, to make them aware that Princeton offers an exceptional interdisciplinary undergraduate program in environmental studies,” said Lynne Johnson, Academic Program Manager.

Lynne Johnson
Lynne Johnson, Academic Program Manager for the ENV Program, addresses the group of freshman.

Dr. Eileen Zerba added, “The undergraduate environmental studies labs are unique in that they provide opportunities for students to work on local environmental projects that focus on regional and global environmental issues.”

Horn, Zerba, Morin and Johnson explained how the Environmental Studies Program has the potential to compliment student’s academic experiences within their disciplinary major, and stressed that the Environmental Studies Program at Princeton is by definition broad and multi-disciplinary. This is consistent with the view that all academic disciplines at Princeton, including the sciences, engineering, social sciences and the humanities, play a critical role in addressing and solving global environmental problems.

Kathy Hackett ’79, Associate Director of PEI, added, “This is a great time to be involved in Environmental Studies at Princeton University. PEI offers exciting academic programs, coursework and many other terrific opportunities for undergraduates, including support for environmental internships and independent research.”

Carolyn Edelstein
Senior Caolyn Edelstein ’10 (right), who is majoring in the Woodrow Wilson School and pursuing a certificate in environmental studies through the ENV program answers questions.

For more information regarding the ENV program, courses, internships or faculty advisors, please contact Lynne Johnson, ENV Academic Program Manager at, or stop in to see Lynne during her office hours: Tuesdays 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM and Thursdays from 2:30 PM to 4:00 PM.