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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
Studio course to learn techniques of landscape design and analysis, develop graphic communication skills for representing the landscape, and apply sustainable design principles to a site. Pre/co-requisites: Junior standing; at least one course in drawing, design, or mapping, or consent of... 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
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 lean about current conservation efforts in place that aim to protect this diversity.
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
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.
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,... 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
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
In traditional societies, knowledge about plants, animals, water, soils and natural phenomena is embedded in practice, story, ritual and belief systems. This course examines general features of traditional ecological knowledge; specific groups and their knowledge systems; how TEK is similar to... READ MORE
This is the first of a two-part course for a total of 5 credits. You must be co-enrolled with PSS 195 Permaculture Fundamentals. Taken together, these two courses fulfill the requirements for an internationally recognized Permaculture Design Certification Course. Part one, ‘Permaculture’ will... 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
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
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
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
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
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
How are world religions responding to today's environmental issues? What is, or could be, their role in creating change? What do environmentalists need to understand about religious traditions to find common ground? The main focus is on the major world religions: Christianity, Judaism, Islam,... READ MORE
Through readings, student-led research, and weekly “lab” exercises, we will study the face of consumerism both personally and in the context of globalization. Looking at ads, catalogues, websites, and other popular manifestations, we will evaluate social, psychological, and environmental impacts of... 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.
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... READ MORE
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
This is the second of a two-part course for a total of 5 credits. You must be co-enrolled with PSS 156 Permaculture. Taken together, these two courses fulfill the requirements for an internationally recognized Permaculture Design Certification Course. Part one, ‘Permaculture’ will cover the... 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
“So what are you doing after you graduate with that ENVS major?” This one-credit winter session course aims to assist ENVS seniors toward the threshold of graduation and environmentally-related work. A range of activities will challenge and help you assess and represent well your values, knowledge... READ MORE
The primary objective of this class is to provide understanding of the history, global evolution, current issues, leadership skill standards, ethics and future trends in wilderness education and leadership. Secondarily, students will pursue skill mastery in concrete leadership "hard skills" (... READ MORE
This one-credit fall session course will provide a glimpse into the potential employment in the sustainability field, with a specific emphasis on municipal employment, while also introducing students to basic information on the core principals and required skills. We'll briefly explore how and why... READ MORE
Cosmetics, chemicals, hormone disrupters - how do environmental toxins impact women? We will look at early warning calls from Rachel Carson and Sandra Steingraber as well as recent literature in the field regarding the impact of modern chemicals on women's reproductive health. Course topics will... 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
Are local food systems more sustainable than global food systems? Why do some farmers like farmers markets? How do consumer choices shape food systems? Why does the federal government subsidize some types of agriculture but not others? Addressing these questions requires social, environmental,... 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
Ecopsychology expands the focus of psychology to include the human relationship with the natural world, placing all psychological and spiritual matters within an ecological context. It thereby aims not only to develop a truer picture of human psychology but also to draw attention to the... READ MORE
For students who have introductory herbalism experience and a sound understanding of anatomy and physiology, this course is the next level of study. Topics included are: the relative safety-toxicity of herbs, determining correct dosages, current issues in botanical medicine, a sampling of... READ MORE
This course offers an introduction to the field of “environmental health.” We begin our collective work by situating environmental health within the context of sustainability—specifically, the idea that sustainability is achieved by creating a balance between ecological flourishing and human well-... READ MORE
Business practices fundamentally affect all aspects of life, including our communities and the natural environment. In this course students will explore how the growing trend in socially and environmentally conscious management is being shaped by intrepreneurs and entrepreneurs. This course is... 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
This Students-Teaching-Students (STS) course will explore the history of social and environmental activism in the United States, and how organizing techniques can shift paradigms and affect systemic change. This course aims to develop students into capable organizers by teaching the hard skills... 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 thesis or project. Includes the literature review and proposal writing.
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.
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
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 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
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.
This course focuses on Federal environmental laws, especially the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Air Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Using a well-regarded law school textbook as its base, the course complements it... 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 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 resource management is a diverse and growing set of integrative, place-based and collaborative approaches to sustainably using and conserving natural resources. In practice, it often combines local knowledge with scientific management for social, ecological and economic benefits.... 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 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
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
Description to come
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
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
Service-learning course partnering with local schools, Greenhouse RLC, and local NGOs, in which students learn about the potential of education to address many of our most pressing sustainability issues. Looks at formal education (K-12 and higher education, emphasizing curriculum but also examining... 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
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
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
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