Founded in 1969, College of the Atlantic was the first college in the United States to focus on the
relationship between humans and the environment. COA enriches the liberal arts tradition
through a distinctive educational philosophy—human ecology. A human ecological perspective
integrates knowledge from all academic disciplines and from personal experience to
investigate—and ultimately improve—the relationships between human beings and our social
and natural communities. The human ecological perspective guides all aspects of education,
research, activism, and interactions among the college’s students, faculty, staff, and trustees.
The faculty, students, trustees, staff, and alumnx of College of the Atlantic envision a world
where people value creativity, intellectual achievement, and the diversity of nature and human
cultures. With respect and compassion, individuals will construct meaningful lives for
themselves, gain appreciation for the relationships among all forms of life, and safeguard the
heritage of future generations. Our 350 students, 35 faculty, and 75 staff members share COA’s original focus on engaged learning and community, and more than ever we believe that an interdisciplinary, human ecological perspective is critical to addressing the world’s most pressing problems.