Dr. Wendy Sue Harper in
the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences teaches a fantastic course
entitled, "PSS 161 Introduction to Plant and Soil Science." This
four credit course covers just about everything shy of quantum mechanics.
It explores the topics of biology, chemistry, physics, geology,
agriculture, and environmental quality as they relate to the nature and
properties of soil (not dirt). A knowledge of soils is, at the least,
essential for those interested in the sciences and environment. Wendy Sue
is an incredibly good lecturer and a truly approachable person (both
qualities to treasure in the university environment). The course stresses
material covered in lecture as well as a number of outdoor and indoor
labs. You will definitely get your hands "dirty" here. Along with many
other skills, students learn to measure soil infiltration rate, pH,
texture and structure, to delineate soil layers in profile, and determine
soil suitability for septic and agricultural use. This course also goes
so far as to relate soil to human culture. PSS 161 is a must for students
interested in, among other things, the natural sciences, agriculture,
engineering, water quality, erosion control and hazardous waste.
Environmental and Political Values with Robert Taylor in Political Science investigates the relationship between environmental ethics and political philosophy by focussing on the major works in contemporary environmental ethics and thought.
Environmental Heroes and Heroines with Tom Hudspeth examines individuals or groups who serve as role models or examples for others to emulate to bring about environmental change or live more suitably. Students produce videotape programs on these people for local cable access broadcasting.
Emerging Environmental Thought with Stephanie Kaza focusses on hotoffthe press books in three emerging areas of environmental thought: deep ecology, ecopsychology, and ecospirituality.
Environmental Policy in Transition with Ned Farquhar looks at what is happening in Vermont and in D.C. in terms of environmental policy and policymakers. Students track an issue through the semester, participate in field trips, and hear speakers on their topics.
Ecolabeling of Forest Products with Jamie Ervin provides an overview of forest product certification, or forest "ecolabeling." It includes key elements of the certification process, highlights of integral issues and current debates, and a framework for a critical analysis of certification as a policy instrument.
Ethnobotany and Environmental Attitudes with Kit Anderson
surveys the literature of ethnobotany, exploring its relationships with
botany, anthropology and geography, and ways in which humans respond to
plants. Students learn research techniques and learn to identify,
classify, and prepare plants for consumption.