University of Vermont

Vermont Climate Collaborative

Research around Vermont

Studying sustainability at higher education institutions around Vermont

The following are some of the educational opportunities available at higher education institutions around Vermont:

Vermont Technical College

Center for Sustainable Practices (CSP) at Vermont Technical College has developed energy conservation and renewable energy programs, as highlighted in their Fall 2008 newsletter (pdf), that provide certification and research opportunities to students as well as public outreach projects. The degree programs at Vermont Tech offer students progressive opportunities such as a new Bachelors of Science program in Sustainable Design and Technology and starting in Fall 2009 a B.S. in Diversified Agriculture.

Green Mountain College

Green Mountain College's educational philosophy is best described as field-based, interdisciplinary, and service-oriented. This is particularly evident in the College's block course offerings, in which 3 - 5 faculty co-teach an integrated project-focused set of courses. Blocks have included The Northern Forest (15 credits), The Champlain Basin (15 credits), The Hudson River (15 credits), Vermont Wilderness (9 credits) and The Adirondacks (15 credits). Recently, a course on Food, Agriculture and Community Development in the Northeast explored ways of offering more local food in the College dining hall. A 9-credit block course on the Poultney River is conducting research on the ecological services provided by the river. The following is subset of a large number of opportunities at Green Mountain College:

  • The Environmental Liberal Arts general education program aims to teach sustainability skills and knowledge across the curriculum. The program consists of four core courses (15 credits): Images of Nature, Voices of Community, Dimensions of Nature, and A Delicate Balance and seven distribution courses in math, science, the arts, philosophy, history, and health. A sampling of ELAP distribution courses includes: Simplicity & Sustainability, Garden Design, World History & the Environment, Environmental Chemistry, Sustainable Development, Environmental Math in the Real World, Sense of Place, A Homesteader's Ecology, Nature in Theatre and Film, and Food, Society & the Environment. [Contact: Dr. Meriel J. Brooks, ELA Chair; email:]
  • The Environmental Studies program, the largest major at the College, has concentrations in sustainable agriculture, environmental science, and environmental law/policy. It sponsors a Family Farm series and partners with the Vermont Nature Conservancy and other non-profits on numerous projects. [Contact: Professor Rebecca Purdom, Program Director; email:]
  • The Environmental Management and Natural Resources Management majors also have significant sustainability components. [Contacts: Professor Jacob Park, Program director, Environmental Management; email: & Dr. Jim Harding, Program Director, Natural Resources Management; email:]
  • GMC also offers an online Sustainable Business M.B.A. program and an online MSES in Environmental Studies. Both of these make extensive use of Vermont case studies. [Contacts: Professor Karen Fleming, Director, Sustainable Business M.B.A; email: & Dr. Jim Harding, Director, MS in Environmental Studies; email:]

Sterling College

At Sterling College, sustainability and ecological literacy are integral parts of both the academic and applied work. All five majors at Sterling College (Outdoor Education & Leadership, Conservation Ecology, Sustainable Agriculture, Circumpolar Studies, and Self-Designed Studies) as well as opportunities in the College's Work-Learning-Service program have some focus on a variety of climate-change related topics. Courses range from Environmental Sciences (which serves as an introduction to sustainable systems), to Green Building Design, Wildlands Stewardship, Sustainable Forestry, and Global Field Studies focusing on sustainable systems design in Japan and Scandinavia.

  • Furthermore, the position of Sustainable Sterling Coordinator is filled by at least one student each year (in 2008-2009, these students are Schirin Oeding and Chester Elliot), who is employed through the Work College Program. Working in tandem with faculty, staff, and students, the Coordinator's job is to assess opportunities to take steps toward a greener campus, and carry out projects. These projects include energy audits, candlelit dinners (no KWhs!), a Sustainable Sterling film series, maintenance projects (winterizing buildings, converting lawns to permaculture gardens, new clotheslines, etc.) and organizing opportunities for environmental education.

Last modified January 13 2009 02:23 PM

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