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This is meant to be an informative resource of courses typically offered by the UVM Environmental Program, not a semester specific list. To view our semester specific list of courses, please visit the Course Advising Resources.
A broad based survey course intended to provide a comprehensive introduction to the multi-disciplinary field of environmental studies through a combination of lectures, discussion seminar, field walks, and site visits. This course examines the ecological, social and political-economic aspects... READ MORE
This course explores some of the most pressing global environmental issues of our time, including biodiversity and protected areas, agriculture and food systems, fresh water, energy, waste, and climate change. We examine these issues using a variety of different disciplines and approaches, with... READ MORE
This course will complement employment in the Eco-Reps Program. Instructor permission required. For more information on the Eco-Rep Program and becoming an Eco-Rep, visit: http://www.uvm.edu/ecoreps/be-involved/apply-be-uvm-eco-rep.
Following a set of introductory readings and online exercises, students will embark on a ten day bicycle tour of Vermont. This format immerses students in the topics at hand, provides ample space for engaging group discussions, builds relationships between students and community members, and... READ MORE
This course offers an introduction to the field of “environmental health” through a lens of sustainability. We begin with the idea that sustainability is achieved by creating a balance between ecological flourishing and human well-being, and that health is a primary component of well-being.... READ MORE
Landscape Design Fundamentals is a studio course that introduces students to the principles of landscape design. Students in this class will examine the world in new and different ways, including observations of natural and cultural phenomena, and studies of form and function on small and... READ MORE
This course will introduce ecological economics as a transdisciplinary framework to economic, social, and environmental problem solving. "Transdisciplinary" implies a problem-orientation that draws from a diverse web of knowledge across the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. As... READ MORE
Travel study courses examining environmental issues from a local ecological, political, and socioeconomic perspective using experiential learning methods in diverse sites. See specific course offerings.
This course examines the response of artists to their environment through the prism of the oldest of the Hawaiian Islands, Kauai. This fertile island, with its rain-soaked mountains and sun-bleached beaches, will be our guide to the profound interplay of art, traditional culture, and the natural... READ MORE
Students will travel to Nicaragua for a two-week study in the practice, application and design of agro-ecological systems. Focus will be on the agro-forestry systems that are being managed on the Island of Ometepe by organic coffee growers and the experimental agro-forest and Permaculture site of... READ MORE
In the space of just a few years, China has become a global leader in renewable energy investment and industry — and much more growth is anticipated. This 14-day course is conducted in conjunction with students from Tsinghua University (the MIT of China), who join UVM students to form research... READ MORE
This two-week travel course in Nicaragua will explore all levels of chocolate production, from cacao farms to chocolate product distribution, as well as the global chocolate market, geopolitics, and social justice issues within cacao farming communities. During the course we will visit cacao farms... READ MORE
This course will explore the forces and processes of social change in Costa Rican communities given the rise of nature-based travel to this Central American destination. We will consider the processes of how communities in service sector enterprises relate to concepts of sustainability, including... READ MORE
This course will introduce students to: a) the foundations of community development and sustainability b) the fundamentals and principles of service learning, c) the methodologies of participatory rural research and rapid rural appraisal. Course material will be delivered in a service learning... READ MORE
This study-abroad and service-learning course focuses on issues of land use, distribution, and reform in Ecuador. Today, social movements in Ecuador are at the global forefront of grassroots political organization and egalitarian land reform. This two- week-long course provides students with an... READ MORE
A hands-on exploration of the unique biodiversity found in the tropical Andes and the Galapagos Islands. Students will contemplate ideas of how this great diversity came to be and learn about current conservation efforts in place that aim to protect this diversity. Students will keep detailed... READ MORE
This study abroad hybrid course begins with an online component to introduce students to the science and art of tracking and to examine local and regional Vermont wildlife corridor planning. In Belize students will engage wildlife researchers regarding the development of an international wildlife... READ MORE
Through the development of networking and other research skills each student in this course compiles diverse background knowledge about areas of personal environmental interest. From this knowledge are developed personal academic and activity plans. Presentations by class members and guests... READ MORE
Ethnobotany is the study of people-plant interactions as mediated by culture. It includes how people use and think about plants, as well as how plants in turn influence humans and their habitats. This course considers plants used for food, medicine, shelter, transportation, household items,... READ MORE
The class focuses on traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) as a system of knowledge, practice and belief. Using examples from a range of the world’s biomes, we consider maintenance of biocultural diversity, the similarities and differences between “science” and indigenous ways of knowledge,... READ MORE
Permaculture is the study and practice of the way human beings- as individuals and communities- can participate in the creation of ethical (socially just and ecologically regenerative) perennial support systems. We present a whole systems approach that integrates plants, animals, buildings, people... READ MORE
In addition to introducing students to the basic principles and concepts of environmental history, this course will explore the influence of nature—climate, topography, plants, animals, and microorganisms—on human history and the way people, in turn, have influenced the natural world around... READ MORE
Throughout human history and in all cultures people have created shelters, clothing, storage vessels and more using the local materials around them. In all this work we find the expression of human needs and we see the expression of human desires. In this course we will explore a variety of old... READ MORE
This field course is designed to acquaint you with a variety of Vermont landscapes and provide you with an integrative framework for “reading” the land. Although we will be focusing on Chittenden County, you will be able to take what you learn here and use it in other landscapes that are important... READ MORE
Natural areas serve many functions, from maintaining regional biological diversity to providing important open space for contemplative and recreational activities. Protecting and managing these areas in fragmented and human influenced landscapes is an increasingly formidable challenge. This course... READ MORE
This course explores the emerging field of landscape restoration, which attempts to find ways to repair and restore the ecological systems and natural landscapes damaged by past human activity and neglect. The many facets of restoration are examined including its historical development, its... READ MORE
Current approaches and problems in environmental ethics drawing on philosophy and case studies in animal rights, land ethics, deep ecology, wilderness protection, and human rights.
Investigation of the parallel dominations of women and nature, through analysis and reflection on ecofeminist theory, activism, and spirituality. This class is an introduction to the developing field of ecofeminism, which is both an academic subfield or philosophy and environmental ethics and a... READ MORE
As environmental problems escalate, a variety of radical currents have come to influence ecological thought and activism, representing a critical alternative to traditional environmentalism. This course will describe the historical emergence of radical environmentalisms, examine various... READ MORE
Examine environmental waste through social justice analysis of pollution patterns that reflect racism, sexism, and classism, including responsive strategies of the environmental justice movement.
Pope Francis and the Dalai Lama are among world religious leaders who have called the faithful, as well as political leaders, to address Earth’s changing climate. Will this help to shift attitudes and behaviors? Some scholars of religion and ecology believe this is exactly what’s needed. Others are... READ MORE
Through readings, student-led research, weekly lab exercises, films, and class discussions, we will study consumerism both locally and globally as it impacts the environment. Looking at recent research, websites, and our own personal habits, we will evaluate social, environmental, and psychological... READ MORE
The United States is the most auto-dependent country in the world. In this class we examine our automobility, reviewing how we got here, some of the ramifications of this dependence and what it suggests for our future. The course has three primary objectives: 1) examine the underlying causes of U.S... READ MORE
This service-learning course will focus on key operational aspects of campus sustainability using UVM as a case study. The course will explore campus operations through the lens of the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS), a framework of the Association for Advancement of... READ MORE
This course will consider the emerging discipline of sustainability systems research from an integrative natural and social science perspective. We will start off with a study of carrying capacity in ecological systems and move on to theories of ecological resilience, adaptation and restoration.... READ MORE
How can we make the systems that we work and live in to be more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable? Systems Thinking is integral to understanding sustainability. Systems Thinking enables you to see “the big picture” by synthesizing information from many different perspectives... READ MORE
Students engage in independent study or internships which have been developed with a site supervisor and faculty sponsor. Proposals must be approved by course coordinator before the activity begins. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. Permission by application.
Keeping a nature journal enjoys a long tradition of deepening understanding of the natural world and creating connection to place. Join us as we explore the journals and essays and of historical and contemporary naturalists and writers. We will apply what we learn to our own journaling and writing... READ MORE
“So, what are you doing after you graduate with that ENVS major?” This one-credit winter session course aims to assist ENVS seniors in answering this question and to support and empower you as you approach the threshold of commencement and seek environmentally-related work in conscious careers and... READ MORE
Objective of this course is to familiarize students with both the science and art of herbalism/herbology/phytotherapy and its approach as a holistic modality. Students explore the historical perspectives of Herbalism, as well as its present-day context within both the realms of complementary/... READ MORE
"Careers in sustainability" is a one-credit course designed to provide a glimpse into potential employment in the sustainability field, with a specific emphasis on municipal government. It will also introduce students to the core principles and skills required for employment. We’ll briefly... READ MORE
Interest in wilderness education and leadership has increased rapidly in the past decade. Today it is rare to meet a college or university student who hasn’t had or isn’t aware of unique educational programs emphasizing self-motivation, leadership skill development and learning by doing in outdoor... READ MORE
An introduction to the environmental humanities exploring the range of values and cultural expressions of the human-nature relationship. We will explore contemporary and historical works of literary, visual, and performative art to see the role the expressive humanities have played in shaping... READ MORE
In this class, students will tackle challenging questions about security and the environment, and examine definitions of "security" relating to the natural world such as food security, water security, energy security. Case studies will address the complex relationship between natural resources, war... READ MORE
Food - it feeds more than just our body. It provides sustenance to our communities, our cultures, our economies, our environment and our pains and pleasures. The intricacy with which it weaves itself into the many spires of our world’s existence is profound. The study of this weave is the study of... READ MORE
A number of controversial agricultural stories have made Vermont news headlines – the use of undocumented migrant farm workers on Vermont dairy farms, phosphorus runoff into Lake Champlain, flooding from Tropical Storm Irene, the shrinking number of dairy farms in Vermont, the use of genetically... READ MORE
This spring break course introduces students to the full sweep of what is currently meant by the term ecopsychology, covering the field’s psychological, philosophical, practical, and critical/political dimensions. By expanding the focus of psychology to include the relationship between humans and... READ MORE
This course builds on ENVS 195 (Plant-Based Healing Medicine) in the study of holistic, preventative health, natural medicine, and using plants for medicine. Course primary objectives are to familiarize the students with the holistic (natural medicine) approach to health and healing; the relative... READ MORE
An introduction to the study of documentary film and video in a development context. Students will criticaly watch, research and write about various films, movements and organizations that use documentary film for public communication, environmental and social change. Though the focus will be on... READ MORE
Entrepreneurial activity is a major source of innovation and job creation around the world. An environmental entrepreneur is someone who is driven not only by the possibility of making a profit, but is also driven by environmental and social concerns. Environmental entrepreneurs want to make the... READ MORE
In recent years we have seen a significant evolution of worldwide activism in response to the threat of escalating global climate disruptions. This course aims to offer a comprehensive critical outlook on this emerging popular movement, with particular attention to a variety of international... READ MORE
Writers and naturalists have long used writing and sketching to deepen their own and others' understanding of the natural world and create connection to place. And it all starts with the not-so-simple act of observation. Join us as we explore the journals and essays of historical and... READ MORE
The course will develop students’ skills analyzing the scientific, legal, social, and communication aspects of managing chemicals identified as being toxic. It will offer students a general background in toxicology and environmental chemistry, and will cover important pieces of federal legislation... READ MORE
Recent decades have seen a flowering of new popular movements across the world, highlighting concerns about the future of food, seeds, and access to land. This course will offer a comprehensive look at both domestic and international movements for land and food justice, from the emergence of... READ MORE
In this course students will develop an appreciation for the overall environmental footprint of the healthcare industry locally, regionally, nationally, and worldwide. This will include energy, water, materials use and waste outputs. Students will develop an appreciation for the regulatory... READ MORE
This course will examine childhood environmental health issues from both a scientific and a policy perspective. We will start by building a framework for understanding ways that children’s environmental health needs differ from those of adults. We will then analyze trends within our food system... READ MORE
This course is an urban ecology and wildlife observation course that puts students in charge of finding urban wildlife around campus, and in Burlington, and studying how these animals survive. The type of energy sources we use, the food we eat, the waste we produce, the way we move from one place... READ MORE
The Social Marketing for Sustainability (SM4S) course is specifically designed to teach students the principles and techniques of social marketing within the context of sustainability. The emerging social marketing discipline focuses on influencing individual behaviors by using commercial marketing... READ MORE
The goal of the class is to better understand your personal food system and to cook and eat to help meet your needs for a safe and nutritious diet, while ensuring that food production systems are environmentally sensitive, economically viable, socially responsible and sustainable over the long... READ MORE
All major typologies of ecosystem services include non-material services that ecosystems provide to people. These Cultural Ecosystem Services include provision of opportunities for spiritual fulfillment, recreation, identity development, maintaining cultural heritage, and fostering psychological... READ MORE
The core of this course will be spent drawing in the field, noting the special qualities of the Vermont landscape. We will cover a wide range of methods for translating what we observe into meaningful graphic form. This practice will be informed by the study of the prints and drawings of... READ MORE
This course explores the Vermont landscape through the eyes of the naturalist and photographer. Students will use the camera as a tool to discover and interpret the landscape around them. This is a field-based course that uses development of photographic skills to explore the natural world and our... READ MORE
This course will cover the basic literature on policy formulation and implementation as it relates to major issues in environmental policy. This course will expose students to policy approaches ranging from climate change to land use issues. Case studies will be an integral part of this course... READ MORE
Political ecology is a community of practice best realized in conversation with others. Through a writing-intensive and research-based approach, this course examines how politics shape our understandings of and interactions with various forms and ideas of nature in geographically diverse contexts... READ MORE
This course will explore the field of environmental communication and the ways that environmental information is created, framed, and disseminated in a digital age. Students will practice locating and evaluating information about environmental topics, and then using this information to convey... READ MORE
This special seminar series, supported by UVM’s Clean Energy Fund, features top-level thinkers engaged in identifying best practices for implementing renewable energy. Energy has major environmental impacts, both in how we use it and how we extract it, contributing, for example, from 30 to 40... READ MORE
Covering the “environmental beat” requires that journalists have the ability to report on complex and interwoven subjects, from land use policy to laboratory discoveries; energy technologies to natural history; waste management to wilderness travel. This course will give students an... READ MORE
Holistic Design Studio is an introduction to architectural design, the design process and focuses on analyzing, understanding and designing built environments that improve our lives. The designs created in the class encourage our need for community, sense of place, and a connection with nature -... READ MORE
Ski slopes, army bunkers, abandoned beaver ponds, pine plantations, mile-high glaciers, and a multitude of other characters have all played a part in shaping what we now know as Centennial Woods. In this field-based class we will take an in-depth look at the 65-acre natural area embedded within a... READ MORE
This is the second of a two-part course. Taken together, these two courses fulfill the requirements for an internationally recognized Permaculture Design Certification Course. Part two, ‘Practicum’ will build on the foundations, skills, and perspectives developed during ‘Fundamentals’, and bring... READ MORE
Student-taught courses beyond the scope of existing formal courses in environmental studies. Developed according to Program guidelines, with sponsorship by interested faculty. Variable topics.
This course covers the planning, design, and methods for the ENVS 202 senior capstone thesis or project. It is taught in seminar style and includes instruction and guidance for preparing the literature review and final proposal.
Weekly check-in sessions and support for students working on their Senior Project or Thesis. Register for the C section if you will not be on campus or are away for the semester.
The classes are weekly 202 help/support sessions for students working on their ENVS 202 capstone internship.
Weekly voluntary check-in help/support sessions for students working on their ENVS 202 Capstone Internship. For students with Food, Land, Community concentration working on a senior thesis or capstone internship with Ernesto Mendez.
This service-learning seminar considers the process of creating communities which are environmentally sound, economically successful, and socially just. Students gain an understanding of sustainability from conceptual and operational points of view and become familiar with successful sustainability... READ MORE
This seminar will take an interdisciplinary, international look at the special role of forests as both sinks and sources of carbon and the livelihood and equity issues involving local communities that depend on forests. We will start by reviewing the natural science of the role of forests in... READ MORE
This course presents an advanced introduction to media studies in the context of social, political, and environmental movements that make use of, and in the process transform, the new media environments in which social and political life increasingly takes place. We will study debates in “media... READ MORE
This course will examine how environmentalism has become a major political, social, and cultural phenomenon in the twenty-first century. We will look at the history of the different strands of modern environmentalism and the distinctive approaches taken by various individuals and organizations... READ MORE
An in-depth overview of research and applications in the field of agroecology, including ecological and social dynamics in agricultural landscapes in Vermont and abroad.
The course will examine the interaction between humans and the environment throughout history. The focus will be on North America, but since nature tends to ignore political boundaries, we will also examine other regions from time to time. We will look at how various peoples experienced their... READ MORE
Students gain practical teaching experience through assisting with instruction, evaluation, and reflection. Assist instructor in teaching and administration of ENVS 001 Introduction to Environmental Studies or ENVS 002 International Environmental Studies. Primary responsibilities will include... READ MORE
Advanced internship, independent study, apprenticeship, etc. For information on earning credit for activity outside the classroom, go to http://www.uvm.edu/~envprog/academics/envs191-291%20revised.pdf.
Explores the causes of conflicts involving environmental concerns and the role of environment as a factor in conflict development and mediation.
Environmental Law is a very complex, very broad topic. It is difficult to think of a facet of our lives today that is not somehow touched by some aspect of environmental law. Jody Prescott was a zoology major as an undergrad, and as a practicing attorney he handles environmental compliance and... READ MORE
This course covers the philosophy, concepts, history, and goals of environmental education. Through an online discussion format, students develop an understanding of the professional roles and instructional methods of environmental education. Emphasis is placed on the integration of environmental... READ MORE
In this socially relevant course, you will learn to use computer simulation models to create sustainable environmental policies from a Systems Thinking perspective. Systems Thinking is the art and science of making reliable inferences about the behavior of complex systems. Based on class interest,... READ MORE
This is a senior level seminar that will explore the application and limits of laws, policies, and regulations in the advancement of environmental justice in the United States. We will examine major federal statutes (e.g., CERCLA, RCRA, TSCA) and their related regulations, federal... READ MORE
Across the North, climate change is happening at an accelerated rate. The hole in the ozone layer, the waning of Arctic Sea ice, the disappearance of permafrost, the release of methane from peat bogs – not only are these indicators of climate change, but they are also multipliers of that process.... READ MORE
The course seeks to provide students with knowledge on concepts and applications related to the ecology of food systems. We will learn key conceptual approaches to understand food systems, such as systems thinking, ecological design and agroecology. In addition, we will undertake hands-on exercises... READ MORE
This seminar course will examine the intersections between films and filmmaking, ecology, and philosophy. It will apply the tools of ecocritical cultural/media studies and ecologically informed philosophy to cinematic practice and to representations of the relationship between humans and the... READ MORE
RED Studio is for students who have taken Holistic Design Studio or equal, or have previous knowledge and a basic understanding of the design process and how to create architectural drawings. Projects will include conceptual design and design development which embrace biophilic design –... READ MORE
All too often environmental concerns have been framed as issues of resource scarcity that in turn lead to conflict. Instead, this course will attempt to understand how environmental concerns can be used as a means of peace-building and improving ties between nations. We will begin with a review of... READ MORE
This course uses interdisciplinary approaches to study/analyze the connections between women’s health and environment and their role in shaping the environmental health sciences and social movements. Students will examine critical scholarship that includes feminist critiques of scientific... READ MORE
What is the real cost of food? Food production in the United States, and in all other countries, requires a range of inputs and creates a range of waste outputs and impacts. For most people in developed countries, the only connection they have to the complex system that delivers the food they eat... READ MORE
In the U.S. car use has steadily increased since the early part of the 20th century. Today, mobility is defined as automobility, or motorization, because about 85 percent of the trips we take (for a purpose) are in automobiles. Central to the growth in automobility has been the size, power and... READ MORE
Across the North, climate change is happening at an accelerated rate. The hole in the ozone layer, the waning of Arctic Sea ice, the disappearance of permafrost, the release of methane from peat bogs – not only are these indicators of climate change, but they are also multipliers of that... READ MORE
Community-based conservation encompasses a diverse and growing set of integrative, place-based and collaborative approaches to protecting and sustainably using natural resources to achieve social and environmental goals. Its importance to both ecosystem health and local livelihoods has been growing... READ MORE
This course will look at conservation and development issues on the island of Madagascar, where some of the world’s most precious and threatened biodiversity uneasily coexists with an increasingly poor and desperate population. The issues will be addressed from the perspective of a practitioner... READ MORE
This course will focus on eastern North America’s rich, living tradition of wildlands restoration and protection from the perspectives of history, science and policy. We will ground our thinking in the natural and cultural histories of the region and in the wilderness advocacy of prominent... READ MORE
This course will offer an advanced introduction to current issues and debates at the intersection of environmental thought and cultural studies. The field of cultural studies will be explored in terms of its potentials to address and contribute to the understanding of environmental issues and... READ MORE
The course will focus on using the tools of input-output analysis and life-cycle energy assessment to investigate energy use in different sectors of the US food system as well as smaller-scale food supply chains. Particular elements of the food system studied in this course include agriculture,... READ MORE
Description to come
This course and service-learning program will pair UVM students as enviro-mentors and “bird buddies” with children at Flynn Elementary School. By creating an after-school birding and nature study club for fourth and fifth graders, UVM students will lay the foundation for a university pipeline... READ MORE
This course will critically examine the approach and process of conducting community-based research (CBR) with the community as full partner. Students will explore conceptual, philosophical and practical dimensions related to CBR, including the unique problems regarding protection of human... READ MORE
We have entered a new geologic age: the Age of Warming. Every species and ecosystem is now affected by the consequences of climate change. Some are in flux while others head toward extinction. Yet others are adapting. The same could be said for human communities as well. This course will consider... READ MORE
Plastics are everywhere, but what is in them and how do they impact our health and the environment? We will ground our studies in the range and nature of synthetic polymers, evaluation of information resources and exposure to environmental health science research, We will discuss the proposed... READ MORE
Human health and well-being are intricately dependent upon the functioning and resilience of ecological systems. Social and environmental changes that impact ecological systems at local, regional, and global scales have profound implications for human health and well-being. This course will explore... READ MORE