Confronting Anxiety and Despair in Environmental Studies and Sciences: An Analysis and Guide for Students and Faculty

Submission Date


Document Type



Environmental Studies

Faculty Mentor

Richard Wallace


Presented during the 21st Annual Summer Fellows Symposium, July 19, 2019 at Ursinus College.

Online access to this article has been shared by the authors via Springer Nature SharedIt.

Published online April 20, 2020, in Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences.


Project Description

In the field of environmental studies and sciences (ESS), teachers and students face a daily barrage of dire news and information from all manner of sources and all corners of the earth. Accepting, processing, and using that information in a professional learning context present existential, emotional, intellectual, and physical challenges that are too seldom made explicit in teaching and learning. This lack of explicit recognition of the deeply personal challenges of teaching and learning ESS represents a missed opportunity that disadvantages faculty and students alike by increasing, rather than decreasing, the likelihood of anxiety and despair in ESS. We analyze and provide a perspective on these circumstances, and offer several strategies for improving our ability to integrate personal and collective wellbeing into formal teaching and learning in ESS.

Open Access

Available to all.