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,” he says.
Michael went on to earn a master’s degree in Holistic Science at Schumacher College in England. He then came back to the US to start a career fighting climate change. He served as one of the first campus sustainability officers at Harvard University, then worked as a sustainability consultant in Boston before moving back to Vermont. He spent five years at the Montpelier-based Institute for Sustainable Communities where he developed a peer-learning program for municipal sustainability directors across the US and Canada.
Central to his work is promoting the systems thinking he was first introduced to in ENVS 001.
“Taking a systems view of opportunities and challenges rather than just focusing on narrow areas helps me to think bigger and discover new possibilities,” he says.
Michael’s thesis focused on designing ecological systems for communities and he’s been doing that ever since. He encourages students to contact him about general career advice.
Michael lives in Middlesex, Vermont with daughter Lila and wife Chayah.