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Introduction to Environmental Science and Sustainability is a free and open textbook that enables students to develop a nuanced understanding of today’s most pressing environmental issues while also discussing the essentials of sustainability and best practices to incorporate ways we can incorporate socially and environmentally sustainable communities. This text helps students grasp the scientific foundation of environmental topics so they can better understand the world around them and their impact upon it. This book collaborates with various authors and organizations committed to providing students with high-quality and affordable textbooks. Mainly, this text draws from the following open sources, in addition to new content from the editor:

Introduction to Environmental Science and Sustainability is licensed under CC BY 4.0 and was edited and co-authored by Emily P. Harris, M.S., with the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of West Florida. If you have questions, suggestions, or found errors in this text, please contact her at


  • Thanks to Ms. Chasidy Hobbs and Dr. Kwame Owussu-Daaku, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences faculty, for their contribution and implementation of this textbook, more so for your dedication to UWF students and the Argo community.
  • Many thanks to Ms. Cindy Gruwell, UWF Reference Librarian and Coordinator of Scholarly Communication, for your guidance and expertise in publishing this textbook and overseeing the University’s programs to utilize OERs.
  • Thanks to Dr. Phillip Schmutz, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences Chair, for supporting this project and encouraging the use of OERs.
  • Furthermore, special gratitude to Dr. Allison Schwartz, Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research, for your mentorship and support in implementing this and many of UWF OERs, which continues to ensure faculty and staff can provide an elevated student experience.

Special Note to Instructors:

Publication and ongoing maintenance of this textbook are possible due to grant support from the University of West Florida’s Library and the Faculty Open Education Resources (OER) award. Whenever you use this textbook, please email the editor ( and provide the number of courses and students involved. This allows for the impact of this open textbook to be monitored, and hopefully, it justifies continued financial support for it.

Also, please check with the editor before adopting this textbook to see if any substantial revisions or additions are pending.

This book was last updated on June 2023.

Photo above taken in the mid-Coastal Mountain range of Oregon, CC BY 4.0 Matthew R. Fisher


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Introduction to Environmental Sciences and Sustainability Copyright © 2023 by Emily P. Harris is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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