University of Vermont

Greening UVM

Teaching and Research

Academic Programs

Greening in the classrooms: Students and faculty in UVM's environmentally related academic programs and research centers regularly work with staff to “green” the campus. Internships, class projects, and lectures bring together campus and community members to learn about and solve environmental and social problems. Learn More about UVM's environmentally-related academic programs and research centers on our Links & Resources page.

Community and service learning: The Office of Community–University Partnerships and Service Learning, created in September 2003, supports collaborative UVM–community partnerships, high–quality service–learning, and community-based scholarship. The office identifies resources, education, and incentives for the full range of academic endeavors at the university, as well as a wide variety of social and environmental organizations in the local community. Learn more and see examples of service learning on the CUPS website.

Student Greening Projects: Through the years, students have contributed many  hours of work and research on campus greening projects via internships, class projects, and senior theses, either for the Office of Sustainability or with other campus departments. See examples of student projects on the Office of Sustainability website.

Matching student environmental interests with potential projects: Managers of recycling, energy, procurement, transportation, dining services, and residential life regularly work with students on demonstration projects, surveys, data analyses, and other activities intended to reduce the campus' environmental footprint and increase green awareness. The Office of Sustainability maintains a strong relationship with many of these managers.  Contact the Office of Sustainability for more information.

Environmental academic majors:  The UVM Environmental Program, offering the Environmental Studies major and minor in four college units, has been established for over 35 years, offering interdisciplinary and individually designed concentrations, including a track in Sustainability Studies. Environmental Science majors across three college units have been thriving for over ten years. The Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources offers majors in both Environmental Studies and Environmental Science as well as Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries Biology, Recreation Management, and Natural Resources. Students can also major or minor in Geography and Community Development and Applied Economics, a program with strong international applications. A 2002 Environmental Report Card calculated 9% of undergraduates were in an environmental or sustainability related major, and that number has grown dramatically in the 2008 with a 25% increase in Environmental Studies majors.

Environmental leaders as professors:  Students have access to some of the leading environmental thinkers, right here on campus.

Saleem Ali, Professor of Environmental Planning and Policy, expert on international environmental conflict management
Paul Bierman, Directs the Cosmogenic Nuclide Lab and the Landscape Change Program, a well published scientist and author on erosion
Robert Costanza, Director of the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics
Josh Farley and Jon Erickson, Ecological Economics
Tom Hudspeth, Environmental and Sustainability Education
Jennifer Jenkins, member of the Nobel Prize Winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, science advisor for Vermont Climate Collaborative, and Co-Director of UVM Carbon Dynamics Lab
Stephanie Kaza, Director of Environmental Studies, writer and speaker on "Unlearning Consumerism"
John Todd, Ecological design guru and creator of Living Machines, winner of the Buckminister Fuller Challenge in 2008

Demonstration Research Projects and Research Centers

Wind turbine project: As a complement to the solar panel demonstration project in 2000, a 10kw wind turbine was installed on central campus in 2006. Learn more about the turbine in a UVM news article.

Rain garden project: Students in Civil and Environmental Engineering designed and installed a rain garden next to a busy parking lot in June 2006, with support from staff in the Grounds, Planning, and Transportation departments. Learn more about the rain garden in a UVM news article.

UVM Transportation Research Center: A hub for innovative interdisciplinary research, education and outreach programs that advance sustainable transportation systems.

Gund Institute for Ecological Economics: A consortium dedicated to examining the relationships between ecological and economic systems. Ecological economics is based on the assumption that the economy is a subsystem of a larger ecological life support system.

Lake Champlain Sea Grant Co-administrator:  Mission is to identify and address critical ecological and economic issues affecting the Lake Champlain (nation’s 6th largest freshwater lake) basin.

Northeastern States Research Cooperative Member: Supports cross-disciplinary, collaborative research in the Northern Forests of VT, NH, ME

USFS Northeastern Research Station (part of the USDA Forest Service): Research projects relate to forest health, water quality, and integration of social and biophysical sciences

VT Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit: Provides practical information needed to understand and manage fish and wildlife resources in Vermont.

Take Action:

Create your own academic project, make a positive difference.
The biodiesel buses, the paper purchasing policy, and the solar panel project each stemmed from students with dreams and ideas who transformed them into real academic projects. To learn more, contact the Office of Sustainability or talk to your academic advisor.

Last modified May 14 2009 10:59 AM

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