Experiential Learning

We understand that many people who choose to major in environmental studies or sustainability science like to be outdoors. Many also like hands-on learning. Some want to transition directly to a paying job while others want to move on to graduate school. Here at Keene State we create numerous kinds of augmented learning opportunities for our diverse range of students.

Field Courses

The ENST/SUST department regularly offers courses where students learn by getting out and studying processes in the real world. In addition to the field trips around New England that we incorporate into regular classes, we also strive to give our students a global experience. From visits to urban planning exhibitions in Shanghai (2019), to exploring sea level rise and coastal management in Hawai‘i (2021 and 2023), to examining development and conservation on the Colorado Plateau (2022), to tracking tigers in Nepal (2023) – in the past few years faculty have led student field courses to destinations like Japan, Hawai‘i, Arizona/Utah, China, Korea, Nepal, Cuba, and Chile. In spring of 2024 we are planning to offer a field course to Nepal as well an honors course to Japan, Korea, and China.

Field Course in Southern Utah – Summer 2022


Our Environmental Studies and Sustainability Studies students at Keene State College also supplement their learning through internships. Faculty have connections with many institutions that offer students paid and unpaid internships. It is also possible to earn course credit by doing an internship.

Every summer, our partner, the Harris Center for Conservation Education, offers four paid summer internships. These students work together on a variety of ecosystem inventory and monitoring projects including vernal pool registration, easement monitoring, trail work, habitat management, and more. See a story here about what our interns did in the summer of 2022.

Student Research Opportunities

Many faculty have research projects with opportunities for undergraduate research assistants. Most of these positions are paid. Students participate in the research design, data gathering, data analysis, writing up results, presenting results at conferences, and being co-authors on published articles.

Study Away

Study away programs offer students a chance to benefit from living and learning in a new place. Keene State hosts students from all across the USA and the world. Popular places for environmental studies students to study away are: Alaska, Montana, Nepal, Mongolia, New Zealand, and Australia, to name a few. Classes taken during study away count for credit at Keene State College.

The Global Education Office maintains a website with a list of all pre-approved transfer courses, but more can be added upon demand.