Environmental Studies: Act Now

Maneesh Arora
Major: Environmental studies
Concentrations: Policy and social science
Minor: Political science 

University of Oregon student Maneesh Arora was drawn to the Environmental Studies Program out of his deep concern for the well-being of the planet. Luckily, he hasn’t had to wait until after graduation to begin working on the issues he cares about.

As an environmental studies major, Arora has had the opportunity to teach third-graders about renewable energy through the Environmental Leadership Program (ELP), to help organize Power Shift West, a regional environmental conference, and to intern with the Oregon Student Public Interest Research Group (OSPIRG).

One of the highlights of the major for Arora has been the variety of practical learning experiences it offers. Participating in the ELP—an interdisciplinary service-learning program run by faculty and staff members, as well as students in the environmental studies program—served as an important source of inspiration.

Through his work with OSPIRG, he’s developed valuable organizing skills that he may someday use to run, and win, large-scale campaigns at the campus, state, and federal level.

Another feature for Arora is the interdisciplinary nature of the program. He has had the opportunity to take classes in political science, women’s and gender studies, and education studies, which all count toward his major. “It’s an exciting way to learn about how environmental issues connect to so many other disciplines,” he says.

All skills he can use, whether he decides to become a grassroots organizer or a teacher. He says, “There is so much amazing work going on all over this campus that inspires me everyday.”

Text by Jennifer Snelling MA '01