Environmental sustainability is of paramount concern in the 21st century as society grapples with increasing demand for energy and water, changing climate and land use, and limited resources.

The programs in environmental science and environmental studies are designed to allow students to study these and other environmental issues using a multidisciplinary approach. Students learn environmental fundamentals across a number of departments on campus, then progress through more specialized courses in their chosen area of study. The program culminates in a capstone project or independent research.

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Ecological Restoration at Metzgar Fields

Students in EVST 400, EVST 353, and BIOL 342 explore an eco-cultural perspective on restoration.

Lafayette College promotes three values as core to the decision-making process of the institution: 1) diversity and inclusion, 2) community engagement, and 3) sustainability. With these values as guidelines, Lafayette faculty, staff, and students worked together to create the 2019 Climate Action Plan (CAP) 2.0, which proposes achieving carbon neutrality by 2035. One component of the CAP that has great potential to provide transformational learning experiences for our community is the proposed ecological restoration of the farmland at the Metzgar campus. This Metzgar component was initially described as a combination of forestation to sequester heating-related carbon emissions and an on-site solar array to address electricity related emissions. In fall 2021, EVST 400 students under the mentorship of Professor Kira Lawrence and Sustainability Director Delicia Nahman recommended that the vision and goals of the Metzgar project be expanded beyond the initial description in the CAP to “...more broadly pursue three main goals: resilience, justice, and relevance, which…attend more appropriately to the core tenet of environmental stewardship.” In spring 2022, students in Restoration Ecology (BIOL 342) and Decolonizing Methods in Environmental Studies (EVST 353) built upon the recommendations made by EVST 400 students in fall 2021 by suggesting ways Lafayette College might shift perspective on ecological restoration at Metzgar to include moral and cultural as well as technical considerations.

Watch a video that summarizes the project


The Community Garden & Working Farm

The Community Garden & Working Farm is a site for teaching, research, outreach, growing healthy food, and building community. Our daily work and our long-term goals aim to build an understanding of the critical role of food and farming in environmental stewardship.

Learn more about lafarm

In Practice

Ecological Sustainability

Sept 2016. As part of our ongoing efforts to address ecological sustainability, EVST students recently planted native perennials (Little Bluestem, Obedient Plant, Grey-Headed Coneflower, and Indian Grass) along the buffer area and drainage swale at LaFarm. The project was funded by a grant from the Lehigh Gap Nature Center's Landscaping for Communities and Wildlife program. Past ecology projects at LaFarm have included installation of a bee hive, bluebird boxes (a local Eagle scout project), plantings that attract pollinators, and protecting milkweed from mowing.

Contact Information

Megan Rothenberger

220 Rockwell Integrated Science Center

Liz Fulton

Administrative Coordinator
Rockwell 324