University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

First-Year Experience

class taking place at Lake Champlain

Full-Year Programs w/ Residential Option

Dean's Signature Programs

Integrated Study of Earth and the Environment Program Links

Integrated Study of Earth and the Environment Program (ISEE)

Fall Semester Courses

CLAS 095 ~ SU: Sustainability: A Cultural History

Instructor: Mark Usher Professor of Classics More...

“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

—Romeo and Juliet/Act II, Scene II

“Look unto the rock whence ye were hewn,
And to the hole of the pit whence ye were digged.”

—Isaiah 51:1

Proponents of sustainability tend to present their ideas and prescriptions as new and innovative and argue that sustainable living is a defining concern of our time. Sustainable living is indeed an urgent, pressing issue for today’s world, but students in this course will learn that many of the fundamental tenets of the modern sustainability movement are also hallmarks of ancient Greek culture and thought. This course, a foray into the genealogy of ideas, traces the trajectory of modern notions of ecological and socio-economic sustainability back through time. Through selected readings spanning over two thousand years students will see old ideas and precepts cropping up again and again over the course of history, up to and including the present day. They will grapple with conceptual and philosophical aspects of sustainability and with sustainable living itself (and the inevitable trade-offs and contradictions therein) experientially via a field trip to the small, diversified farm my wife and I built from scratch as an experiment in sustainable living and where we raise sheep, tend a large garden, and manage a maple sugarbush. (For more information visit

Requirements Satisfied: one Humanities course and Sustainability (SU)

GEOL 005 ~ Mountain to Lake: Geology of the Lake Champlain Basin

Instructor: Andrea Lini Associate Professor of Geology More . . .

This is a field-based course that introduces students to how geologists study the Earth around us, especially the landscape in the Champlain Valley. Weekly field trips introduce students to a variety of locations that we can use to interpret the geologic history of western Vermont. A highlight is a research cruise on Lake Champlain on the research vessel Melosira. Lab/field trip fee: $12.00. 4 credit course.

Requirements Satisfied: one Natural Sciences with lab course

Spring Semester Courses

ENGS 030 ~ Reading the American Wilderness

Instructor: Hesterly Goodson Senior Lecturer in English More...

Literary perceptions of American nature have undergone a remarkable transformation over the past 300 or so years. In his 17th century journal, William Bradford vilified wilderness, describing it as full of “dolesome” woods and “howling wastes”––literally believing it a place where the Devil lurked. Just two centuries later, Henry David Thoreau romanticized wilderness, ascribing to it transcendental notions of natural divinity. What brought about this incredible change? In this class we will explore how shifting literary interpretations of wilderness have challenged and reshaped American attitudes toward nature and identity.

Requirements Satisfied: one Literature course

GEOG 061 ~ Geography of Vermont

Instructor: Cheryl Morse Assistant Professor of Geography More...

In the American geographical imagination, Vermont is known as a “green” state. What does this mean? This course is an exploration of the geography, history, landscapes, and the cultural, and social experiences that make up the Green Mountain State. Participants in this class will attend lectures, conduct field studies, take exams, listen to guest lectures, watch films, discuss literature, and produce their own knowledge about Vermont.

Requirements Satisfied: one Social Sciences course