Social ecology is a interdisciplinary field, drawing on philosophy, political and social theory, anthropology, history, economics, the natural sciences, and feminism. For an overview of the Institute’s educational projects over the years, see “About the ISE” and our History pages.


Social ecology advocates a reconstructive approach to social and environmental issues, and promotes a directly democratic, confederal politics. As a body of ideas, social ecology envisions a moral economy that moves beyond scarcity and hierarchy, toward a world that reharmonizes human communities with the natural world, while celebrating diversity, creativity and freedom. The Institute offers non-credit bearing popular education programs and provides speakers for social ecology-related conferences and events. Students can also receive an MA in social ecology, through the Master of Arts program at Prescott College.


Areas of study in the Prescott MA program include:

  • Social theory
  • Ecological and social activism
  • Ecological land use and organic agriculture
  • Ecofeminism and other ecophilosophies
  • Science and technology studies
  • Globalization and global justice
  • Community organizing and development
  • Food systems and agricultural policy
  • Ecological alternatives in education
  • Environmental issues and politics
  • Environmental justice and community health
  • Economic relocalization
  • Media democracy


The mission of the Institute for Social Ecology (ISE) is the creation of educational experiences that enhance people’s understanding of their relationship to the natural world and each other. By necessity, this involves the ISE in activities that deepen students’ awareness of self and others, help them to think critically, and expand their perception of the creative potentialities for human action. The purpose of the ISE’s activities is the preparation of well-rounded individuals who can work effectively as participants in the process of ecological reconstruction.

Click here for more information on the MA program. An in-depth overview of the many facets of social ecology can be obtained by reviewing our article archives.