What does a healthy ecosystem look like?
What are the habitat requirements for migrating songbirds that breed in the North Woods?
How does geology affect forest composition and forest management?
What is our relationship to the land and how can we lessen our ecological impacts?
Students studying Ecology at Sterling College will ask these questions and many more, acquiring the tools and knowledge necessary to actually understand the nature of a place and how best to interact with it. Through extensive exploration and field research, you will study natural history and environmental conservation in places near and far. Over half of your coursework happens in the field!
Sterling students will develop a profound understanding of the natural world and its ecological systems, positioning them to help solve the complex environmental problems facing our world today. Sterling’s rural geography and experientially-based Ecology bachelor’s degree program prepares students for careers as environmental stewards.
Sterling College Ecology graduates work as guides, researchers, consultants, and educators for a variety of nonprofit organizations, government agencies, businesses, and educational institutions. Many of our students go on to graduate school in related fields.
Place-Based Ecology Education
Your Ecology education will be grounded in the forests, mountains, rivers, and lakes surrounding Sterling College. This northern corner of Vermont, with its beautiful and diverse ecosystems, serves as your living laboratory where you will explore, conduct field studies, and develop skills you can translate to any environment.
Your discovery of this remarkable place will give you the tools to understand any place, be it the steppes of Mongolia, the deserts of the American Southwest, or the Hudson River Watershed.
What will I do as a Sterling College Ecology major?
Immerse yourself in a wealth of opportunities in natural history, field ecology, and conservation:
- Explore the rich diversity of the forests and wetlands of the North Woods
- Practice “reading the landscape” of Northern New England
- Learn ecological field methods and their applications to watersheds and vegetation
- Interpret the field experience in the Sterling College lab
- Study the rainforest ecosystem and watersheds of Belize
- Experiences the high mountain environment of the Sierra Nevada
- Intern at places like Ecology Project International, the Vermont Center for Ecostudies, Loki Clan Wolf Refuge, Rocky Mountain National Park, and other organizations.
- Complete a Senior Applied Research Project (SARP) or Senior Project working with a faculty advisor.