This is the idea of “T-shaped training” for people who want to pursue environmental careers. The vertical line represents the “depth piece:” the specialized training students receive in a traditional academic discipline. But that depth piece is complemented by a “breadth piece”—represented by the horizontal line. The T model pairs both pieces, to convey the idea that an ideal training is one that gives students both the depth they need to make real progress on a part of a problem, and the breadth they need to interact with others in order to be part of a team that can tackle the problem as a whole.
The Environmental Studies major is an ideal way to gain that “breadth piece,” the horizontal part of the T. By double majoring, students who are receiving the in-depth training in a particular approach to environmental issues from a traditional major can gain both a familiarity with other ways of thinking about the environment (through the electives), and also experience interacting with students getting trained in other disciplines (through the core sequence).