students walking in field

What is your vision for a just and sustainable world?

Our learning community provides opportunities to explore and build the skills and qualities needed to create a regenerative present and future for life at all scales: personal, social, and ecological. It's a place where we explore our self, communities, and larger human and natural systems. We honor our relationships with our local communities and natural environment by getting out and exploring the woods, Lake Champlain, local food systems, campus organizations, fall foliage, and discovering peaceful places to slow down. We seek to deepen and celebrate our sense of place, fostering an atmosphere where everyone find points of connection to their community—the built environments that we inhabit, and the natural landscape that frames our lives.



  • For new first-time, first-year students, our one-credit course Ecology of Place uses an interplay of field-based outings and reflection. We begin within our Sustainability Learning Community buildings (Harris and University Heights South) and branch out across campus and into the greater Burlington communities and landscapes by engaging in a number of activities and events led by students, staff, and faculty. Students will explore these sustainability-related areas:
    • Harvest, Cook, Eat: Food Systems
    • Mountains, Rivers, Lakes: Exploring the Outdoors
    • Bedrock to Birds: Natural History
    • Journey Within: Mindfulness and Sustainability
    • Identity, Solidarity, Equity: Social Justice
    • Reduce, Reuse, Rethink: Matter and Energy
  • Current UVM students living in the Sustainability Learning Community neighborhood will have the option to apply for an enhanced experience. If admitted, students will receive additional benefits, including priority for room selection, special programming options, leadership opportunities, and possibly an option to enroll in a seminar and earn credit. (More information about how to apply for the enhanced experience will be made available in January.)


  • Sustainability: Welcome Gathering
  • Harvest Celebration
  • Fall Hike
  • Thanksgiving Community Celebration
  • Self-Guided Exploration and Adventures (examples: learning to use the bus system to get to natural areas, farmer’s market, donating used items, buying second-hand items from areas businesses)
  • Guilds—Student-Designed, Student-Led Community Groups (examples: hiking, sewing, music, yoga, cooking, trail-running)



For a deeper dive, we invite returning students placed in this learning community to explore this Sustainability option.


Locations for 2018-2019: Harris, Millis, University Heights South

Please check your housing contract for more specific location information.


Alex Boesch Alex Boesch
Area Coordinator
Leah MitalLeah Mital
Program Director
Walter PolemanWalter Poleman
Faculty Director


What excites us about Sustainability? We get to be a playful arm of the university and say "yes!" all day long to student ideas and initiatives. Join us—and help to build the type of community in which you would like to live!

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