Fort Lewis College: Harbinger of Environmental Education

“We provide an integrated and formative liberal arts and professional education to a diverse student population, preparing global citizens to work in and contribute to a complex world.”

Located in the Four Corners region of the American Southwest, Durango, Colorado, is a crossroads of red rock deserts, canyon lands, and towering mountains. Perched on the rim above town sits Fort Lewis College, an environmentally-conscious, higher-learning institution offering cutting-edge opportunities for students driven to change the world for the better.

With a front row seat in the classroom of the great outdoors, students at Fort Lewis College get right in the action through hands-on courses and field studies focused on modern-day issues, like local farming, water conservation, natural resource management, energy production, public policy, urban planning, tribal land uses, and more.

From the President’s Desk

While talking about the college’s initiatives towards a greener world, Tom Stritikus, President of Fort Lewis College, states, “At Fort Lewis College, we teach the importance of building an environmentally-sustainable world through academic programs, like our new Environmental Science degree, but we also practice what we teach. The college has invested millions of dollars into making the campus a more sustainable place, from LEED Gold facilities to solar arrays to high-efficiency utilities. I believe that teaching students something is good but leading by example is even better.

Scientific Programs Ignite Students’ Minds

Scientific inquiry has long been a hallmark of Fort Lewis College’s academic programming. From studying the basic building blocks of life to discovering sustainable solutions to the planet’s most pressing problems, the students hone the real-world skills they need to find successful careers and, ultimately, make a powerful difference in their communities.

Environmental Programs

With campus opening to rivers, canyons, 14,000-foot peaks, and some of the darkest night skies in the country, Fort Lewis College provides students with unparalleled opportunities to study snow science, wildfire impacts, geosciences, hydrology, biodiversity, and climate change issues.

Whether students want to better understand their role in humanity’s impact on the natural world or how to harvest renewable energy, FLC’s degrees in Environmental Studies and Environmental Science help lay the groundwork for successful careers in one of the country’s fastest growing industries.


For students in pursuit of careers in medicine, environmental health, or other biology-related fields, the FLC Biology Department guides students through undergraduate research opportunities led by an invested faculty. Students also enjoy access to new state-of-the-art laboratory facilities on campus and experience working with rural, tribal, and other unique populations in neighboring regions.


The FLC Chemistry Department prepares students for groundbreaking careers in environmental analysis, biotechnology, drug design, teaching, medicine, pollution control, engineering, and more. At FLC, students have opportunities to earn certification from the American Chemical Society and participate in supportive diversity programs, like the American Indian Science & Engineering Society (AISES) and Women in Science.

Environmental Initiatives

Going green is more than a trendy phase at Fort Lewis College; it’s a way of life. From on-campus gardens and bee hives managed by FLC’s Environmental Center to LEED Gold certified buildings and a commitment to be carbon neutral by 2080, FLC seeks to find a more sustainable way of higher education and invites students, faculty, staff, and visitors to join in the quest.

As a charter signatory of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, FLC has devoted resources to its Sustainability Action Plan since 2007. From adding local foods and composting to dining services around campus to prioritizing purchasing recycled products and upgrading irrigation efficiency, FLC’s initiatives are making waves big and small, reminding all that it’s the little things that will make a big difference in the long run.

Scholarship Opportunities

“FLC knows the road to college isn’t an easy one, especially when it comes to navigating financial obstacles.” Considering this, the college works hard to keep tuition affordable and encourage all students to investigate financial aid and merit-based scholarship opportunities such as the following:

    Institutional scholarships & grants: for undergraduate students; awards offered by the Office of Admission or a Program Coordinator

    Foundation & Departmental scholarships: for first-time undergraduate students seeking a bachelor’s degree; awards offered by private donor funding or specific major departments

    Alumni Scholarships: for first-time, degree-seeking undergraduate students who are either a child or grandchild of an alumnus/alumna from private donor funding

    Native American scholarships: for undergraduate Native American students; grants available from the Native American Center or via the Native American Tuition Waiver

Career Opportunities

At Fort Lewis College, Career Services experts help students prepare for the transition from college to finding success in their chosen profession. Thanks to Career Services, from their first year until graduation, students have access to the tools they’ll need for intelligent, productive career exploration.

From professional skill-building and leadership workshops and events, like resume and cover letter assistance, practice interviews and presentations, FLC’s Career Services not only connects students with prospective employers but also ensures students understand job and internship search strategies, networking opportunities, the Strong Interest Inventory assessment, and more.

Word of Trust

“I am part of the Real Food Challenge team, which is working to shift 20% of the food purchasing dollars on campus towards real foods, which are humane, local, ecologically sound, and fair, and do all that by 2020.”

Kaidee Akullo, Public Health ‘20

“Fort Lewis College is an ideal place to study geology because of where we’re located. We’re on the flanks of the San Juan Mountains, we’re in one of the only exposed pre-Cambrian terrains in the Southwest, and we’re not so far from the Colorado Plateau either, most of which can be accessed either out of our backdoor or via a 30-minute van ride.”

Kyle Lewis, Geology, ‘15

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