Where is the College of the Environment

The College of the Environment

Part of the study of geography or environmental studies is location. But even something as basic as knowing where you are can be confusing at times. Indeed, below you will find more than 50 different ways of describing the location of the College of the Environment, along with a collection of other geographic trivia (like the antipode of the College of the Environment) and numerous map and history links.


Addresses & Location Descriptions



Coordinates for the College of the Environment

Spatial coordinates (common coordinate systems):

Coordinates for the College
Lat-Long (WGS-84)  48° 44' 2'' North,  122° 29' 8'' West
     Decimal Minutes      48° 44.0400' (N),  -122° 29.1360' (W)
     Decimal Degrees): 48.73400, -122.48560
Lat-Long (NAD-27) 48° 44' 3'' North,  122° 29' 4'' West
     Decimal Minutes 48° 44.0503' (N),  -122° 29.0606' (W)
     Decimal Degrees 48.73417 -122.48434
UTM (NAD-83) Zone 10 N    537,824 E    5,398,014 N
     NAD-27 Zone 10 N    537,918 E    5,397,815 N
State Plane (NAD-83)  
     Wa N, meters Zone 4601      378,467 m E    194,102 m N
     Wa N, feet Zone 4601   1,241,689 ft E     636,817 ft N
State Plane (NAD-83)  
     Wa S, meters Zone 4602     353,862 m E    379,932 m N
     Wa S, feet Zone 4602  1,160.962 ft E   1,246,493 ft N


Spatial coordinates for the College of the Environment (less common coordinate systems):   

Spatial coordinates for the College
GARS 116MP31
Geohash c28vhzb8n
Georef DKND30864404
Global Position System (GPS) 48.73400, -122.48560
Maidenhead CN88SR16RD48
Makaney Code GDQY-BBOY6
MapCode V4YZP.W2LV
Military Grid Reference System (MRGS) 10UEU 37824 98014
Natural Area Code (NAC) 4RRKD R3N07
Open Location Code 84WVPGM7+JQ
Plus Code 84WVPGM7+JQ
Public Land Survey System (PLSS) W1/2, SW1/4, Section 31, T38N, R3E,
Willamette Principal Meridian
Township-Section-Range (T-R-S) 38 N - 3 E - Section 31
United States National Grid (USNG) 10UEU 37824 98014
Web Mercator 13,635,035,  6,229,847
What 3 Words* clouds.scouts.middle


WWU History

The College of the Environment (formerly Huxley College of the Environment) was established as part of Western Washington State College in 1967 and is the oldest dedicated environmental college in the United States. 

Prior to becoming "Western Washington University" the school has had seven different names, having been in two locations and four different towns:

  • 1886    Northwest Normal School (located in Lynden, WA)
  • 1893    New Whatcom Normal School (moved to its present location in what was then New Whatcom (now Bellingham), WA)
  • 1901    State Normal School at Whatcom (name changed to reflect the change in the name of the town to Whatcom, WA)
  • 1904    Washington State Normal School at Bellingham (name changed to reflect the change in the name of the town to Bellingham, WA) 
  • 1937    Western Washington College of Education (four year college)
  • 1961    Western Washington State College 
    • 1967 Fairhaven College
    • 1969 Huxley College of the Environment (named for Thomas Henry Huxley)
    • 2021 College of the Environment (renamed)
  • 1977    Western Washington University (university status)


Historical Geography

The College of the Environment is situated on the traditional lands of the Lummi Nation and the Nooksack Tribe.

The land where the College is located was a part of:

  • The traditional lands of the Coast Salish Peoples
  • 1818 - joint occupancy of United States and Britain
  • 1846 - the Treaty of Oregon
    • Signed by the United States and Britain
    • Established the 49th parallel as the international border (and what is now WWU as in the United States)
  • 1848 - the Oregon Territory (wiki)
    • Included all of what is now WA, OR, ID and parts of MT and WY
  • 1855 - the Treaty of Point Elliot Treaty (wiki)
    • Signed by the United States and numerous Native American tribes
    • Ceded traditional indigenous lands to the United States
  • 1853 - the Washington Territory (wiki)
  • 1854 - Lysle's Donation Claim
  • 1889 - Washington State
  • 1890 - the Town of Fairhaven (following the merger of Fairhaven and the town of Bellingham)
  • 1903 - the City of Bellingham (following the merger of Fairhaven and New Whatcom)


Geographical Trivia for the College of the Environment

The antipode of the College of the Environment is -48.73400,   57.5144

  • In the Southern Indian Ocean between Madagascar and Antarctica, approximately 460 km southeast of the Crozet Islands
  • An Antipode is the exact opposite spot on the earth (find the antipode of anywhere on earth here)

The College of the Environment is NORTH OF:

  • Every other university in the contiguous United States (WWU is the northernmost University in the contiguous USA)
  • Every city with a population greater than 50,000 in the contiguous United States (Bellingham is the northernmost city in the contiguous USA)
  • Over 99.7% of the population of USA (based on 2010 census block groups that are entirely south of the College)
  • Over 70% of the population of Canada, including:
    • Victoria, BC, Toronto, Ottawa, Quebec and Montreal are all south of the College
    • New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia are all south of the College
  • All of the Olympic Peninsula
  • Most of the San Juan Islands
    • Only Patos, Sucia and Matia Islands are further north than the College
  • Lakes Michigan, Ontario, Huron and Erie and 98% of Lake Superior
  • All of Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, Vermont and Maine
  • All of New England
  • All of Japan
  • Most of France
  • The Black Sea and The Caspian Sea

The College of the Environment is SOUTH OF:

  • The Aleutian Islands (but only by 276 km)
  • England
  • Most of Germany
  • Poland
  • Most of Russia

The College of the Environment is EAST OF:

  • Olympia, WA
  • Portland, OR
  • Eugene, OR

The College of the Environment is WEST OF:

  • Seattle, WA
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Los Angles, CA
  • All of Mexico
  • All of South America


The College of the Environment is at approximately the SAME LONGITUDE AS:

  • Great Bear Lake, NWT   (3,700 km north of the College)
  • The Aldergrove Border Crossing
  • Guide Meridian, WA   (5 km north)
  • Aroyo Park, WA   (5.5 km south of the College))
  • The northern end of Clayton Beach, WA   (15.5 km south)
  • Bay View State Park on Padilla Bay, WA   (41 km south)
  • Vashon Island, WA   (215 km south)
  • Tacoma, WA   (245 km south)
  • The Golden Gate Bridge and Golden Gate Park   ( 1,675 km / 1,683 km south)
  • San Francisco, CA   (1,683 km south)

The College of the Environment is at approximately the SAME LATITUDE AS: 

  • Saltspring Island, BC   (110 km west of the College)
  • Goosberry Pt. Ferry Dock   (20.5 km west)
  • North Lake Whatcom Park, WA   (19 km east of the College)
  • The northern end of Baker Lake, WA   (100 km east)
  • The southern end of Ross Lake, WA    (160 km east)
  • The northern shore of Lake Superior   (3,850 km east )
  • Newfoundland, Canada   (7,400 km east)
  • The English Channel   (13,000 km east)
  • Ukraine   (17,000 east or 23,000 west of the College)
  • Kazakhstan   (19.000 km west)
  • Mongolia   (15.000 km west)


The elevation of the College is ​99 m (326')


Approximate POPULATIONS:

Approximate Populations
Location Estimate:
The College of
the Environment

        1,037 students (2019)
        ~100 faculty / staff
       7,500 + alumni

WWU      16,000   (2019)
Bellingham      90,665   (2018)
Whatcom County    229,247   (2019)
Washington State 7,614,893   (2019)


New York City established an orthogonal grid of streets and avenues in 1811 beginning at the intersection of 1st Avenue and Houston St. (with numerical Street names increasing to the north and numerical Avenue names increasing to the west). This grid was intended to cover the entire island of Manhattan but can be extended beyond the city as far as one might like... If extended far enough to include Washington State, the College of the Environment would be near the intersection of 919th Street & 15,444th Ave. 
      Find the NYC street grid for any location on earth here: http://extendny.com/


One of the problems with almost all address and coordinate systems is the difficulty in communicating a location without confusion. Most systems are prone to a wide range of human errors, and humans are notoriously poor at remembering strings of numbers (see list of coordinate systems above). Postal addresses, in particular, are highly variable from one country to another, and much of the world is not, or is poorly, addressed. As a solution, What3Words has designed a novel system for addressing the entire world using a unique 3-word combination for each 3 x 3 m. square on earth.

Using this system, the College of the Environment is located at clouds.scouts.middle.