At Oregon, we know that we are in the midst of unprecedented and transformative environmental change. All of us, and especially our students, are facing dramatic ecological shifts to all our natural systems because of climate change and other forces. This change highlights social justice dynamics and environmental inequities that shape our world. As a result, we see societal paradigm shifts in systems that govern our economy, the built environment, democracy, and fundamental relationships among people. This work requires the amplification of voices that have often gone unheard.

We face these challenges by generating new approaches, finding proactive problem-solving pathways, engaging in collaboration with multiple constituencies and social groups, participating in diverse ideas and forms of knowledge, and exerting the full measure of our creative energy.

About the Environment Initiative



By the Numbers


National Ranking of two programs within UO's School of Architecture & Environment


 Consecutive years UO's sustainable MBA is in the Princeton Review's top 5 Green MBAs


U.S. News and World Report ranking of UO's Environmental Law Program at the School of Law


Researchers working on the environment


National ranking on Sierra Club’s list of “Cool Schools” (2019)


Years since the Environmental Studies Program began

Environment Experts in the media

For those media outlets looking to get a quote or hear from one of UO's environment experts, reach out to our media team.

Contact Media Relations

Teaching about climate change in K-12 classrooms takes a careful balance between discussions on potentially dire consequences and inspiring hope for the future, a group of future educators learned at a recent UO College of Education workshop.

Gordon Lafer, professor and co-director of the Labor Education & Research Center at the University of Oregon, is quoted.

Dr. Lesley-Anne Pittard is an assistant vice president in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Oregon, is featured.
The authors of the 12-chapter report included current or retired staff of the U.S. Geological Survey, the Seattle Aquarium, the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the University of Oregon.
Nico Larco, professor and director of the Urbanism Next Center, is featured. 
Mark Brenner, co-director of the University of Oregon’s Labor Education and Research Center. “How do we make sure that there’s a just transition for those workers who are in carbon-intensive industries?”
Governor Kate Brown nominated Dean Burke, the Dave Frohnmayer Chair in Leadership and Law, to serve on this volunteer commission.
What began as virtual events has grown to live recreational excursions and a full-day conference as a UO program works to empower often underrepresented communities to create more equitable access to the outdoors.
This year’s fellows and their areas of research are Lynn Stephen, anthropology; Mike Pluth, chemistry; Jon Erlandson, archaeology/anthropology; and Brendan Bohannan, biology.
Worthington’s $600,000 gift to Oregon Law will launch a new effort to address another lethal environmental threat: climate change.

Social Connections


    Territorial Acknowledgement

    The University of Oregon is located on Kalapuya ilihi, the traditional indigenous homeland of the Kalapuya people. Following treaties between 1851 and 1855, Kalapuya people were dispossessed of their indigenous homeland by the U.S. government and forcibly removed to the Coast Reservation in Western Oregon. Today, Kalapuya descendants are primarily citizens of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde and the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, and they continue to make important contributions to their communities, to the UO, to Oregon, and to the world.
    In following the Indigenous protocol of acknowledging the original people of the land we occupy, we also extend our respect to the nine federally recognized Indigenous nations of Oregon: the Burns Paiute Tribe, the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians, the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde, the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, the Coquille Indian Tribe, the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians, and the Klamath Tribes. We express our respect to the many more tribes who have ancestral connections to this territory, as well as to all other displaced Indigenous peoples who call Oregon home.