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Campus Sustainability Course (ENVS 187)

The Campus Sustainability course has been offered since spring 2005 through the Environmental Program.  First taught as a special topics course by various UVM staff and faculty members, it received a permanent course code of ENVS 187 in 2011.

The course is currently offered every spring semester as a service-learning course.  It focuses on the operations of the campus, and includes lectures, field trips, guest speakers, group work, presentations, and projects.  In the past, students have worked on updating the Tracking UVM report and worked on filling out the Operations section of STARS.

Read a student perspective on ENVS 187 from Stephanie Haynes '13 in UVM's Vermont Cynic.

Course Description

Faculty: Gioia Thompson (course designer, community partner)

This service-learning course focuses on key operational aspects of campus sustainability using our own campus as a case study. Previous classes explored campus operations through the lens of the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS), a framework of the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). After an overview of sustainability in academics, culture, and policy across the campus system, the class learned through guest lectures, class field trips, readings, and projects about nine campus operation themes: buildings, climate, dining services, energy, grounds, purchasing, transportation, waste, and water.The class assessed the current state of each operational aspect and identified best management practices within each theme. The final presentation to university officials and managers used mapping and the STARS structure to communicate campus sustainability themes and recommendations for further action.

Final Projects from ENVS 187