“We need Joy as we need air. We need Love as we need water. We need each other as we need the earth we share.”

Maya Angelou

The mission of the Environment and Sustainability Studies (ENV) Program is to prepare students to create just and sustainable futures. By leveraging the experiential learning of liberal arts education and coupling it with our vibrant professional schools, we teach students how to think across disciplinary boundaries to address environmental challenges and to act within their communities for environmental justice. We ready students to be bold and ethical leaders who respond to environmental issues using socio-environmental synthesis for evidence-based, creative, and principled action.

Upcoming Events

Check out upcoming program-related events at Wake Forest below.

Saturday, October 21st, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in Palmer Hall.
Environment and Sustainability Alumni Brunch

We look forward to welcoming alumni from the ENV program and the Office of Sustainability in our joint reception. For more about WFU Homecoming see here.

Tuesday, October 24th, 5:30 p.m.
Public Lecture Julia Bryan-Wilson “The Faces of Wood”

Julia Bryan-Wilson is a Professor of Art History at Columbia University. This lecture examines 20th and 21st century sculpture made from wood, including by artists Louis Nevelson (Ukraine/USA), Conceição Freitas Da Silva (Brazil), and Arlene Wandera (Kenya/UK), in order to propose new affinities between artists from diverse locations. What happens when sculptors turn to wood, and how can contemporary audiences ethically face such sculptures in a time of escalating deforestation, wildfires, and climate crises? More information to follow.


  • ENV Director Speaks at Atlanta Botanical Garden Sept. 21
    Dr. Julie Velásquez Runk and illustrator Frankie Green talk about how they wove and polished the illustrated storybook An Adventure of Wounaan Children and Many Birds with the biocultural team of the Wounaan National Congress and the Foundation for the Development of Wounaan People.  Wounaan are an Indigenous people of Panama and Colombia and as part of … Read more
  • ENV Director, Dr. Julie Velásquez Runk, Summer SRI Conference in Panama
    Dr. Julie Velásquez Runk is an invited panelist at the Sustainability Research and Innovation (SRI) conference in Panama in June. Whilst in Panama, in addition to this conference, Dr Velásquez Runk has spent time researching with the Wounaan National Congress, was an invited participant in the “Climate Week for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities in … Read more
  • ENV Summer Fellowships Awarded to Students
    The Environment and Sustainability Studies Program and CEES have awarded fellowships to students to support summer research work. Congratulations to Luis Bou, Ella Gay, Ella Klein, Matt Kline, Alex Miller, Hunter Szewczyk and Valeria Torres.
  • Office of Sustainability Champions of Change Awards 2023
    Program Director, Dr. Julie Velasquez Runk and Environment and Sustainability Studies Majors, Meredith Power (’23) and Isabella Gerace (’25) won campus sustainability awards from the Office of Sustainability. Student Leadership Awards were presented to Meredith Power and Isabella Gerace and the Academic Leadership Award was presented to Dr. Julie Velasquez Runk. See here for … Read more
  • Biology class takes spring break trip to Belize’s coral reefs
    The four-credit-hour course is taught by Dr. Miles Silman