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The Frost Center aspires to engage a diverse community in the study of the environment.

We have three main goals for programming that will achieve this aim:

  • To curate what we have by highlighting pathways for studying the environment and issues of sustainability at Wellesley.

  • To support non-traditional learning experiences that are outside the standard Wellesley curriculum and reflect the content and practices needed to address interdisciplinary environmental issues.

  • To increase opportunity and support to enable students, faculty, and staff to consistently devote time and resources towards the interdisciplinary work of studying the environment.


Environmental Studies Department

The Frost Center for the Environment houses the Environmental Studies Department. Environmental studies is an interdisciplinary department at Wellesley College. It trains students to address pressing issues, such as the biodiversity crisis, the collapse of oceanic fisheries, toxic waste disposal, global climate change, green building design, and the inequities and causes of environmental degradation. Through course work, field trips, internships, and directed research, students develop the knowledge and skills needed to study, understand, and address contemporary environmental challenges at the local, national, and international level.

Environment-related courses

There are a wide range of environment-related courses taught by faculty within the ES Department as well as other Departments across the college. Some of the highlights for the 2020-21 academic year include:

  • Fossil Fuel Divestment: Student Action at Wellesley (ES/ECON 199H)

  • The Color of Green Literature: Writing in the Face of Environmental Collapse (ES/GER/CPLT 238)
  • The political economy of natural resources in Africa (AFR 312)
  • Albright Global Challenge courses Climate Change and Global Agriculture (ES/BISC 150H) and The Future of Energy (ES 151H)


Frost Center Reads

To encourage dialogue across the community, the Frost Center for the Environment is launching an annual program centered around reading and discussing a book of relevance to the environment and to the Wellesley Community. We have selected Braiding Sweetgrass by ecologist Dr. Robin Kimmerer (Potawatomi) for our inaugural book discussion, which will be co-hosted with the Native American Student Association. The discussion will take place over three meetings from 12-1pm on Wednesday through Friday, October 21st-23rd (the week off between T1 and T2).

Please let us know if you'd like to participate in our discussion. We'll be reaching out to everyone who signs up with more details soon. We anticipate offering reimbursements for book purchases for the first 50 people who sign up with priority given to students. Sign up to participate!

Weekly community meetings

We will hold weekly meetings to build community, make connections across campus, and discuss timely environmental issues. For the Fall of 2020, we plan to hold these meetings remotely from 10-11AM (eventually these will happen on-campus with cookies and tea). The Wellesley Community can access the Zoom meeting info here. For alums and other community members who'd like to join the discussion, please email Hope to see you soon!

The Douglas Lecture

Supported by a gift in honor of pioneering Wellesley alumna Marjory Stoneman Douglas ’12, the Frost Center will host an annual lecture by a prominent environmental thinker. In Spring 2021, we look forward to hosting Dorceta Taylor, an environmental sociologist who has done pathbreaking work on environmental justice and environmental racism.

Environmental Action Items (coming soon!)

To support community engagement with environmental issues in a way that is compatible with a variety of schedules and modes of learning, we will develop a wall of Environmental Action Items supported by and housed in the Frost Center for the Environment (coming in AY 21-22). Inspired by the training activities in the Weismann Foundry, we envision these action items will take the form of one-off events that can be completed by individuals or groups (i.e. identify invasive plants, call a senator, do a GIS tutorial, build a solar cell, support an environmental justice cause). Development of these Action Items will be driven by our Student Ambassadors.