Environmental Studies at UVM

ENVS Course List

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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.

ENVS 001 Introduction to Environmental Studies

Credits: 4 Prerequisites: First-year or sophomore standing, or instructor's permission Enrollment Limit: 50

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

ENVS 002 International Environmental Studies

Credits: 4 Prerequisites: First-year or sophomore standing.

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

ENVS 095 Energy Alternatives

Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 30

This course introduces the concepts of energy, work, and power. Focuses include, energy conversion, utilization, conservation, and energy systems for rural areas. Students will also gain an understanding of alternatives to fossil fuels including solar, wind, biomass, etc. Cross-listed with CDAE... READ MORE

ENVS 095 Introduction to Vermont

Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 5

This course surveys Vermont's geography, history, politics, social issues, ethnic populations, culture, and environment. Special emphasis on an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Vermont. Cross-listed with VS 052 A.

ENVS 107 SU: Human Health and the Environment

Credits: 3 Prerequisites: Sophomore standing Enrollment Limit: 60

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

ENVS 137 Landscape Design Fundamentals

Credits: 4 Prerequisites: Minimum junior standing; at least one course in drawing, design, or mapping; instructor permission required Enrollment Limit: 20

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

ENVS 141 Ecological Economics

Credits: 3 Prerequisites: Sophomore standing Enrollment Limit: 70

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

ENVS 142 Introduction to Environmental Policy

Credits: 3 Prerequisites: Sophomore standing Enrollment Limit: 40

This course covers 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

ENVS 150 Environmental Art in Hawaii

Credits: 3 Program Fees: $2,267 Enrollment Limit: 10

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

ENVS 150 Environmental Field Studies

Credits: Variable Prerequisites: Variable Program Fees: Variable

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.

ENVS 150 Natural History and Conservation of the Galapagos Isle

Credits: 3 Program Fees: $2,993 Enrollment Limit: 15

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

ENVS 150 Conservation of Jaguars in Belize

Credits: 3 Program Fees: $1508 Enrollment Limit: 15

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

ENVS 153 Ethnobotany

Credits: 3 Prerequisites: ENVS 1 or NR 1 or permission Enrollment Limit: 20

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

ENVS 154 D2: Traditional Ecological Knowledge

Credits: 3 Prerequisites: Sophomore standing, ENVS 001 or ENVS 002 or ANTH 021 Enrollment Limit: 25

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

ENVS 156 SU: Permaculture

Credits: 3 Prerequisites: 3 credits in basic biology or ecology Program Fees: $152 Enrollment Limit: 22

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

ENVS 167 Global Environmental History

Credits: 3 Prerequisites: ENVS 002 or NR 002 Enrollment Limit: 55

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 them... READ MORE

ENVS 170 Nature Drawing

Credits: 3 Prerequisites: Minimum sophomore standing; ENVS 001 or 002 or NR 002 Enrollment Limit: 15

The core of this course will be our on-site drawing sessions in the field. Along the river, at UVM natural areas, in the woodlands, fields and gardens of the Intervale we will cover a range of methods and tools for translating what we observe into meaningful graphic form. Our practice will be... READ MORE

ENVS 170 Landscape Photography

Credits: 4 Prerequisites: Minimum sophomore standing; ENVS 001 or 002 or NR 002 Enrollment Limit: 20

This is a relatively unconventional course combining photography and natural history. All levels of photographic skill are welcome, as are all levels of previous experience in the Vermont landscape. We use the camera as a tool to explore and learn about the world around us. While we spend some... READ MORE

ENVS 173 Landscape Natural History

Credits: 3 Prerequisites: ENVS 001 or NR 001 Enrollment Limit: 15

Consisting entirely of field trips, this course will explore the nature of Vermont’s landscapes from an interdisciplinary perspective. Through site visits and projects students will learn skills to help understand why landscapes look the way they do. We'll investigate a variety of locations... READ MORE

ENVS 174 Natural Areas Conservation and Stewardship

Credits: 3 Prerequisites: ENVS 001, NR 001 or permission Enrollment Limit: 30

Natural areas serve many functions from maintaining regional biological diversity and habitat to providing important open space for contemplative, educational, and recreational activities. Protecting and managing these areas in fragmented and human-influenced landscapes is an increasingly... READ MORE

ENVS 179 D2: Ecofeminism

Credits: 3 Prerequisites: ENVS 001, ENVS 002, NR 002, or GSWS 001 Enrollment Limit: 11

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 of philosophy and environmental ethics, and a... READ MORE

ENVS 180 Radical Environmentalism

Credits: 3 Prerequisites: ENVS 001 or 002 or NR 002 Enrollment Limit: 30

As environmental problems continue to 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 various radical environmentalisms,... READ MORE

ENVS 181 D1: Race, Class and Garbage

Credits: 3 Prerequisites: ENVS 001 and ENVS 002, sophomore standing Enrollment Limit: 40

Examine environmental waste through social justice analysis of pollution patterns that reflect racism, sexism, and classism, including responsive strategies of the environmental justice movement.

ENVS 182 D2: Religion and Ecology

Credits: 3 Prerequisites: ENVS 001, ENVS 002 or NR 002; REL 020 or 021 preferred Enrollment Limit: 30

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... READ MORE

ENVS 195 Energy Action Seminar

Credits: 1 Prerequisites: ENVS 001, 002 or NR 001, 002 or ENSC 001 Enrollment Limit: 36

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

ENVS 195 Careers In Environment

Credits: 1 Prerequisites: ENVS major, senior standing, recent graduates or permission. Enrollment Limit: 25

“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

ENVS 195 Applied Ecology

Credits: 3 Prerequisites: ENVS 001, 002 or NR 001, 002 or ENSC 001 Enrollment Limit: 60

This course provides students with an opportunity to develop a comprehensive knowledge base of the principal concepts, ideas, relationships, and tensions in ecology. We will investigate the physical characteristics of natural systems and the manners by which individuals and groups of individuals... READ MORE

ENVS 195 Careers in Sustainability

Credits: 1 Enrollment Limit: 25

"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

ENVS 195 The Southwest Borderlands

Credits: 3 Prerequisites: ENVS 001, 002 or NR 001, 002 or ENSC 001 Enrollment Limit: 40

In the wake of the U.S.-Mexican War in 1848, Anglo-settlers, Native Americans, Asians, and Mexicans struggled over competing visions of an American future that would take root in the Southwest Borderlands. In this semester-long course, we will examine how cross-cultural encounters shaped policy,... READ MORE

ENVS 195 Environmental Literature, Arts, and Media

Credits: 3 Prerequisites: ENVS 001 or 002

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

ENVS 195 Natural History of Centennial Woods

Credits: 3 Prerequisites: Minimum sophomore standing; ENVS 001, 002 or NR 001, 002 or ENSC 001. Enrollment Limit: 15

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

ENVS 195 Environmental Security: War, Climate, and National Defense

Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 25

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

ENVS 195 Emerging Technologies and Health

Credits: 3 Prerequisites: Minimum sophomore standing; ENVS 001, 002 or NR 001, 002 or ENSC 001 Enrollment Limit: 40

The course examines the possible social, environmental and health risks caused by emerging technologies in the areas of agriculture, medicine, and human reproduction. Students will gain a basic scientific/technical literacy pertaining to the biological concepts associated with new developments in... READ MORE

ENVS 195 Controversies in Vermont Agriculture

Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 25

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

ENVS 195 Ways of Knowing: Nature and Perception

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

ENVS 195 Land and Food Justice Movements

Credits: 3 Prerequisites: ENVS 001 and one prior 100-level ENVS course; sophomore standing Enrollment Limit: 30

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

ENVS 195 What Does the Fox Say: Sustainability from a Non-Human Perspective

Credits: 3 Prerequisites: ENVS 001, 002 or NR 001, 002 or ENSC 001 Enrollment Limit: 15

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

ENVS 195 Nonmaterial Values Ecosystems

Credits: 3 Prerequisites: ENVS 001 and sophomore standing Enrollment Limit: 40

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

ENVS 196 Permaculture Practicum

Credits: 2 Prerequisites: Completion of ENVS/PSS 156. Instructor permission required, email aresnik@uvm.edu Enrollment Limit: 22

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

ENVS 197 Students Teaching Students

Credits: 3 Prerequisites: ENVS 001, 002 or NR 001, 002 or ENSC 001 Enrollment Limit: 15

ENVS 202 E Food, Land, Community Senior Capstone

Credits: Variable Prerequisites: ENVS major; Junior standing, ENVS 151 Enrollment Limit: 25

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.

ENVS 204 Shades of Green

Credits: 3 Prerequisites: Senior or graduate standing or instructor permission Enrollment Limit: 25

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

ENVS 204 Forest, Community and Climate

Credits: 3 Prerequisites: Senior or graduate standing or instructor permission Enrollment Limit: 25

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

ENVS 212 Advanced Agroecology

Credits: 4 Prerequisites: Pre/co-requisite: Senior or Graduate standing; PSS 021 or 1 semester ecology at or above the 100 level; or permission Enrollment Limit: 24

This course presents and in-depth overview of research and applications in the field of agroecology, with a focus on providing the student with conceptual and analytical content. The course combines an international and domestic geographic focus, and examines case studies from the U.S. and abroad... READ MORE

ENVS 267 Environmental History Seminar

Credits: 3 Prerequisites: 12 hours of history, jr., sr. or graduate standing, or permission Enrollment Limit: 15

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

ENVS 284 Teaching about the Environment

Credits: 1, 2 Prerequisites: Permission of instructor; minimum junior standing Enrollment Limit: 15

Teaching assistantship for ENVS 001. Students gain practical teaching experience through assisting with instruction, evaluation, and reflection. Tasks may include: leading discussion sessions, grading, and developing course materials. Variable credit, may be repeated.

ENVS 284 Teaching about the Environment

Credits: 1, 2 Prerequisites: Permission of instructor; minimum junior standing Enrollment Limit: 15

Teaching assistantship for ENVS 001. Students gain practical teaching experience through assisting with instruction, evaluation, and reflection. Tasks may include: leading discussion sessions, grading, and developing course materials. Variable credit, may be repeated.

ENVS 292 Environmental Conflict Resolution

Credits: 3

Explores the causes of conflicts involving environmental concerns and the role of environment as a factor in conflict development and mediation.

ENVS 293 Environmental Law

Credits: 3 Prerequisites: ENVS 001, ENVS 002, and POLS 021, POLS 130 strongly recommended; minimum junior standing Enrollment Limit: 30

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

ENVS 294 Environmental Education

Credits: 3 Prerequisites: Six hours of intermediate or advanced courses in environmental studies or related areas. Enrollment Limit: 25

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

ENVS 295 Restorative Environmental Justice

Enrollment Limit: 18

Description to come

ENVS 295 Community Participatory Research

Credits: 3 Prerequisites: Recommended CDAE 250 or ENVS 201 or research methods equivalent Enrollment Limit: 25

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

ENVS 295 Plastics: Human and Environmental Impacts

Credits: 3

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

ENVS 295 Restorative Environmental Design Studio

Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 18

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

ENVS 295 Cars, Culture, and the Media

Credits: 3 Prerequisites: Minimum sophomore standing; ENVS 001, 002, or ENSC 001 Enrollment Limit: 25

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

ENVS 295 Community-Based Conservation

Credits: 3 Prerequisites: Minimum junior standing Enrollment Limit: 25

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... READ MORE

ENVS 295 Eastern Wilderness

Credits: 3 Prerequisites: Minimum junior standing Enrollment Limit: 25

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

ENVS 295 Environmental Sustainable Education

Credits: 4 Prerequisites: Junior or senior standing, instructor permission required Enrollment Limit: 25

This service-learning course 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 program; many... READ MORE

ENVS 295 Women, Health and the Environment

Credits: 3 Prerequisites: ENVS 001 and ENVS 002; minimum junior standing Enrollment Limit: 25

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

ENVS 295 The Real Cost of Food

Credits: 3 Prerequisites: Junior or senior standing Enrollment Limit: 25

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

ENVS 295 Human Ecology, Health and Sustainability in the Circumpolar Arctic

Credits: 3 Prerequisites: Junior standing

The Arctic has become a lens through which to understand the world. An unstable Arctic poses threats, not only to the future of the region, but also to the world itself. In this course we will explore a landscape that is rapidly changing, largely as a result of climate and socioeconomic changes.... READ MORE

ENVS 295 Practical Applications of Natural Areas Conservation and Stewardship

Credits: 3 Prerequisites: One 100-level ENVS course or permission. Enrollment Limit: 15

ENVS 295 Culture of Nature

Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 25

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