Community Engagement

The Environmental Studies Program at Washington University in St. Louis engages with many St. Louis initiatives and organizations.

Engagement with Environmental Studies

Through community-engaged courses, a community internship program, faculty research, and collaborative events, we are dedicated to work that lies at the nexus of student learning, faculty expertise, and community impact. Community engagement is one important strategy we use to bring its values of interdisciplinarity, experiential learning, collaboration, community-building, and anti-racism to life. We see our community partners as co-educators of our students, who can provide a invaluable opportunities to understand complex and nuanced perspectives, professional expertise, and real world factors that influence environmental challenges. We are always seeking out opportunties to support and deepen the environmental work of those local, regional and global partners. 

Sustainability Exchange Partners Spring '24


Following up on geospatial and policy research conducted in Spring and Fall 2023, this team will work with St. Louis City Emergency Management Agency representatives, to further develop tools for increasing resilience to urban sewer disruptions in the long and short term. Students will learn risk-mapping strategies and resilience tools, including physical disaster response, policy adaptation, and public communications / education strategies. They will generate recommendations for municipal entities, to enhance the City’s ability to respond to disaster and reduce vulnerability from sewer disruption in the long term.

Learn more about the Sustainability Exchange

Dutchtown South Community Corporation (DSCC)

For this project, students will geotag dumpster locations using the Arc GIS Field Map mobile app in the DSCC service neighborhoods. Students will also analyze waste service requests, waste service schedules and routes, and vacancy data to understand waste disparities. Students will also explore sustainable solutions to alleyway issues, such as the adoption of green alleys as potential solutions to illegal dumping. The ultimate goal of the project is to provide DSCC with the best available data on waste services in the four neighborhoods and information on possible remedies for improving alleyways in neighborhoods that have experienced historic and ongoing disinvestment.

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Monument of Faith

With a collaborative effort with Monument of Faith (MoF), a venerable faith-based organization in Jennings, Missouri, with over 50 years of community service. MoF plays a pivotal role in providing stability and support to the predominantly African American community of Jennings, which has suffered from chronic under-resourcing. In this project, our team will build on the work of the fall team who assessed the sustainability of MoF's building, researched efficiency improvements, and developed a plan for sustainable upgrades. This semester, we'll compile valuable resources and insights to propose community development programs that promote built-environment sustainability, benefiting MoF and the broader community. Our mission encompasses diligent research to explore a multitude of options for enhancing MoF’s operational efficiency and overall presence in the community. Join us to continue the impactful journey to empower this under-resourced community through sustainability and positive change.

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Painted bulleye logo that transitions from yellow to blue; ONE STL logo


In collaboration with ONESTL, students will work to create communication tools focused on Climate Change for local environmentalists. Deliverables will include summaries that translate local climate change science into pieces that are digestible, informative, interesting, and attention getting.Students will work with ONESTL to identify an appropriate audience, assess existing local resources and actionable changes to highlight, and will create a communication plan with and for organizations that encourages and furthers the work of ONESTL in Climate.

Learn more about the Sustainability Exchange

Partner with Us

Environmental Studies hosts a Community Engagement Manager as a resource to support faculty, staff, students, and community partners in collaborative, community-engaged environmental work. The Community Engagement Manager can help you:

  •  Think through how to structure a new or existing community-engaged course
  • Apply for funding to develop a course or project
  • Connect with partners on and off campus with complementary interests
  • Figure out if and how your organization can work with WashU Environmental Programs

To learn more, contact Griffin Knipp, Community Engagement Manager for Environmental Studies.



Organizations or Individuals Outside WashU