Environmental Studies at UVM

Michael Crowley '02

Senior Program Manager, Institute for Sustainable Communities

Michael Crowley stumbled on the Environmental Program as a thoughtful 19-year-old after trying several other majors at UVM. “I knew there was something fundamentally wrong with the way we were organized as a society. I didn’t have the words to articulate it. When I took ENVS 001 it connected a lot of the dots for me in terms of where we were heading in the world and it gave me a global perspective.”

Michael went on to earn a master’s degree in Holistic Science at Schumacher College in England and then served as one of the first campus sustainability coordinators at Harvard University. Now back in Vermont, Michael works with sustainability practitioners across the country. Central to his job is promoting the systems thinking he was first introduced to in ENVS 001. “What I’m doing now, what I have been doing across my career, is basically change management for sustainability. We help practitioners think about how they can engage with their organizations and communities to really change mindsets around sustainability.”

The interdisciplinary nature of the Environmental Program spurred Michael to think holistically, “taking a systems view of opportunities and challenges rather than just focusing on narrow areas. It helped me to think bigger.” Michael’s thesis focused on designing ecological systems for communities and he’s been doing that ever since.

Michael lives in Middlesex, Vermont with newborn daughter Lila and wife Chayah.