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Support Environmental Studies


The Environmental Studies Program has a long history of getting by with limited resources. Beginning in the 1970s, a few committed faculty volunteered their time to help establish an undergraduate minor in environmental studies. The Geography Department lent office space, and a one-course release was provided to a program director who advised students and ran all aspects of the program. As the program grew, it garnered more institutional support, but we are still lean. With about 500 undergraduate majors and twenty graduate students we have just three tenured faculty with partial appointments in Environmental Studies and two career-track instructors whose sole responsibilities are in Environmental Studies. A dozen or so core faculty members from various departments volunteer their time to make the program work, as well. In 2009 we were fortunate to have the opportunity to move from the basement of Pacific Hall to slightly larger and nicer quarters in Columbia Hall.

We are grateful for what we have. But the university as a whole receives less than ten percent of its funding from the State of Oregon (a result of budget cuts and legislative decisions in the past two decades). Consequently, we are constantly looking for support to help our students who shoulder an increasing portion of the financial burden, and for ways to enhance our program outside of normal funding.

From the generous donations given over the years by many alumni, parents, friends, community partners, and foundations, we have established funds that help with student scholarships, provide support for graduate research and travel to conferences, support curriculum development or provide equipment and materials, and help to support an annual convocation and seminar series.

Major current funds

Several exceptionally generous donors have provided funds that help the Environmental Studies program be as good as it is. These include:

The Coeta and Donald Barker Foundation Environmental Studies Endowment Fund provides partial scholarships that help us to recruit top graduate students and also provides small amounts of research support and research-related travel funds for all graduate students.

The Arnold Soderwall Enviromental Studies Endowment Fund provides support for faculty or graduate students working on curriculum development, for instructional materials and equipment, or for special near-term opportunities.

The Environmental Leadership Program Fund, established in 2004 by a gift from the Miller Family Foundation, provides support for the Environmental Leadership Program, which places teams of undergraduate students and a graduate student project leader out in the community to address current environmental needs in the Eugene-Springfield area.

The Environmental Studies Gift Fund is used to support a range of program needs relating to both graduate and undergraduate students and resident and non-resident students.

Examples of current needs:

UO Faculty in residence: We would like to be able to support a faculty member from another department at the UO to spend a term in residence in the Environmental Studies Program. A one-course buyout would allow that person to teach an interdisciplinary course and interact on a daily basis with other environmental studies faculty and students.

Seminar Series: Through judicious use of funds and partnering with other groups on campus, we have been able to host a small number of top scholars for brief visits to our campus. In recent years these have included Bill McKibben, Stephen Schneider, Annie Leonard, and Dale Jamieson. By offering public lectures, these visits have brought prominence to our program while offering our students a chance to meet movers and shakers in the field of environmental studies.

Teaching Laboratory Facilities: We are in need of a teaching space that would allow our environmental science classes and our field studies classes to do wet lab activities. We currently “borrow” space around campus when it is available, but often it is lacking.

Environmental Leadership Program: donations to the Environmental Leadership Program fund could help support a community need for which other grant or gift monies are unavailable or in short supply.

Graduate Student Scholarships: donations to the Barker Foundation fund could help us to recruit top students or to allow a student nearing completion to have support for a term to focus on writing the dissertation.

Miscellaneous: Donations to our gift fund have helped provide support for modest undergraduate scholarships, helped purchase field equipment for the Environmental Leadership Program activities, enabled us to display posters of student work in hallways, and many other small, but important items.

Giving Online or by Check
If you wish to make a donation using your credit-card, complete the on-line form. The form should automatically direct your donation to the Environmental Studies Program general fund. If you have problems with the online giving form, contact the UO Foundation webmaster at or call (541) 302-0287. If you prefer to make a donation by check, mail your check directly to the UO Foundation using the following address.

University of Oregon Foundation
360 E. 10th Avenue, Suite 202
Eugene OR 97401-3273

Your check should be made payable to the UO Foundation. Include “Environmental Studies Program” on the memo line. The UO Foundation can also handle gifts in the form of financial securities, property, or matching gift programs sponsored by your employer. Your donation, whether it is large or small, is greatly appreciated.

If you would like to target how your funds will be used, or would like to discuss the program’s long range plans or dreams, please contact the program director, Mark Carey,