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Letter from the Director

Welcome to the Environmental Humanities Graduate Program at the University of Utah -- a master's degree preparing students for careers as environmental leaders and thinkers.

These are exciting times in the field of environmental humanities, and the University of Utah is making its mark in this emerging discipline. This year, we hosted a symposium of leaders in the field imagining an ambitious future for the environmental humanities, we funded summer grants for student research, we saw recent graduates bicycle across Alaska collecting climate stories, we awarded Indian novelist and climate writer Amitav Ghosh the first annual Utah Award in the Environmental Humanities, and we heard from leading environmental thinkers like Columbia’s Adam Sobel and BYU’s George Handley. From this foundation, our students engage our culture’s most urgent environmental problems and offer creative environmental solutions.

Here in our historic sandstone building -- flush against the Wasatch mountains -- a community of learners and thinkers trains to lead the next generation of environmental journals, non-profits, academic programs and government agencies. These are carefully educated, well-connected change-agents. They are versed in creative expression, ethics, literature, language and history. Atop all this, we immerse our minds in this glorious western landscape through field study, research opportunities and extended time at our ranch in the 300,000 acre Centennial Valley.

Utah alumnus Wallace Stegner called our west “the native home of hope” and said we have “a chance to create a society to match its scenery”. Well, I hope that now is the time for the environmental humanities to govern the unfolding collision between human necessity and natural limits. This is the work that needs to be done and the University of Utah’s Environmental Humanities Program is the west's best chance for doing it.

I invite you to look around our website, consider our commitments, see the great things these students are accomplishing and then get involved. I’d be glad to hear from you.

Jeffrey M. McCarthy, Ph.D.
Environmental Humanities Graduate Program

Last Updated: 11/29/18