Environmental Studies

Undergraduate Major & Minor College of Natural Sciences

Bachelor of Arts

Video Transcription

Andrew Schwartz Transcription


[video: A panning shot of a stand of tall trees.]


[video: Andrew’s voice comes in over a video of him walking on a tree-lined path with a black dog next to him.]

Andrew: Hey my name is Andrew Schwartz here in Portland Oregon I am an alumni of
PLU Class of 2007 and I am the Director of

[video: Andrew speaks to the camera in a forest of trees, walking forward towards the camera.]

Andrew: Sustainability and Global Affairs at the Center for Earth Ethics which is based at Union Theological Seminary and we work on climate environmental

[video: Andrew’s voice continues over a shot of him walking on a path.]

Andrew: issues a lot of the work that we do is with front line marginalized

[video: Return to Andrew speaking to the camera and walking.]

Andrew: vulnerable communities and always taken asking the question of how does climate impact people how’s it impacting communities and how are the solutions that we’re deriving simultaneously slowing down global warming as well as uh solving for the problems that exist in our communities there is no mistaking the role of environmental racism there’s no mistaking the choices that are made to put the worst impacts of climate on communities that are vulnerable or suffering or marginalized

[video: Andrew’s voice continues over a slowly rotating shot from below a circle of trees.]

Andrew: this I think we need to take a step back and look at the beliefs and values that are the most present in our society what

[video: Andrew’s voice continues over video of him on the trail with his dog, calling the dog to him.]

Andrew: are the stories that are being told and the story that’s being told is this best be wealthy

[video: Return to Andrew speaking to the camera.]

Andrew: it’s best to consume it’s best to be individualistic and we’re seeing the absolute worst parts of that coming true now where you’re seeing communities that are being devastated you’re seeing that the desire to grow and consume more

[video: The camera moved through the forest path, trees passing on either side.]

Andrew: and more is outstripping what the planet has to offer why have our values become so obscured towards what’s best for one but not best for the

[video: Return to Andrew speaking to the camera.]

Andrew: rest and I think that for us is where we try to do our work at the Centers engaging these questions of values engaging these questions of tradition and culture and asking what needs to change within ourselves and with our communities to overcome this crisis because this crisis is perpetuated by a style of life that is not copacetic with the natural world and we’re seeing that so badly we’re seeing the fires we’re seeing the floods we’re seeing the rain the droughts everything and these are all symptoms of a corrupted system we need to take a deep look at our society and what we say values the most and we need to reevaluate what that means and ask ourselves you know what is the community mindset going forward how do we listen to
you know the the core beliefs and wisdom from our past traditions whether that’s christian or buddhist or muslim or any religious tradition indigenous traditions as well as the best of what today has to offer and say all right we know we have the technology we know we have the science that all exists what doesn’t exist is the will power

[video: Andrew’s voice continues over a shot from below of trees.]

Andrew: no one thing is going to solve the climate there isn’t there is no

[video: Return to Andrew speaking to the camera.]

Andrew: single technological solution there’s no magic button that’s going to be pressed
that we get that’s going to solve this what solves it is each of us in our own ways and our own localities through our own passions and strengths working to the best of what we can and being in conversation with you know

[video: Andrew’s voice continues over footage of him walking on the trail with his dog.]

Andrew: with others for me uh working on climate working on the environment is an opportunity to leave leave something better than where I found it and hopefully build something that my daughter can enjoy for years and years to come and I think that’s true for a lot of us who are getting to this work is we see

[video: Return to Andrew speaking to the camera.]

Andrew: it it’s an existential threat yes but there’s also this really a lived experience of will she be able to have the same life at 10 that I had at 10 or is she going to have to ask completely different questions about what her future will hold and I think for me that is a deep deep moral question that we cannot get wrong we have to have to answer this question the right way and that comes from reorienting the way that we are with each other with the way that we are with this world um and listening to those who are able to help get us there and so for me it’s just you know I think I just I don’t know what else we can do but live into the world that we have to be with the community that holds us together to love deeply and to challenge what threatens that and if you know I think that’s what we’re called to do and so that’s why i’m in this work and I hope that you’ll join me in it you


Environmental Studies at PLU teaches students how to explore the complex web of connections between people and their environments. By integrating a wide range of disciplinary perspectives, our students gain a new understanding of the causes and consequences of environmental problems, ask questions about the ethics and cultural meanings of our relationship with the environment, and graduate with the tools they need to respond to many of the greatest challenges facing humanity. We live in an increasingly endangered and altered world: plants and animals are driven to extinction; ecosystems are threatened; the climate is changing; and human communities live with the realities of overpopulation, pollution and the loss of clean water. The study of the environment is necessary to respond to local and global challenges. When you graduate, you’ll be well-prepared to educate others about environmental problems and solutions, to pursue graduate studies, to work at non-profit organizations that focus on environmental stewardship, at laboratories, conservation and sustainability institutions, consulting firms, and environmental and regulatory affairs offices in corporations and government.

Graduates from the last 5 years: Their jobs

  • Environmental Specialist, Washington State Department of Agriculture
  • Forestry Tech Fire Fighter, Forest Service
  • Sustainability Educator, Corporation for National and Community Service
  • English Teacher, Carden American School
  • Interpretive Naturalist, City of Everett
  • Outreach Educator, Pacific Science Center
  • Staff Geologist, Brown and Caldwell
  • Environmental Technician, Washington State Department of Ecology

Graduates from the last last 5 years: Their graduate programs

  • Master of Public Administration (Environmental Policy emphasis), University of Washington
  • Master of Science in Geology, Northern Arizona University
  • Master of Science in Land Resources & Environmental Sciences, Montana State University-Bozeman
  • Master’s in Public Policy Analysis, University of Denver - Korbel School of International Studies
  • Master’s in Sustainability Leadership, Arizona State University
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