The resources on this site are freely available to other programs in environmental higher education. I developed them, with input from my students and faculty colleagues, for our ENVS Program at Lewis & Clark College.
The question we, and other environmental programs, continually face is: what is environmental scholarship, and how shall we help our students develop a scholarly approach to the environmental issues they care about? There are no easy answers: environmental scholarship includes, but is broader than, science (which itself is many things), and yet when one attempts to honor the full range of scholarly approaches to environmental issues the result looks at best like bricolage, and at worst like dilettantism—or utter confusion.
Thus the question ultimately becomes: how do we in the environmental field do interdisciplinarity well? The notion of interdisciplinarity is hard to define, but we know that it means something different, something broader, something more connected than the way most academic disciplines work. And yet doing interdisciplinarity well means not losing what disciplines are good at: no matter what their limitations in scope, scholarly disciplines generally make up for it with their methodological rigor.
It’s easy to claim to be interdisciplinary these days—and who isn’t??—but we don’t even know what a good interdisciplinarian looks like. If we want environmental higher education to make a genuine, creative contribution to environmental issues, and if we want our students to practice good scholarship that transcends disciplinary boundaries, we had better think long and hard about how to do interdisciplinarity well.
This site contains resources we have used toward these ends at Lewis & Clark College. It is under development starting summer 2018, in part a function of the retiring of a digital scholarship multisite the ENVS Program at Lewis & Clark College developed and used extensively (archive here).
Do please email Jim Proctor if you have feedback and ideas on these resources!—I’d love to hear from you.