Nancy Mathews

Welcome to the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont (UVM). I am delighted to share with you an overview of the School and invite you to engage with us in person or virtually. Our mission question is "how can RSENR unleash empathy, passion, innovation, and creativity to heal and radically change human-environment systems in a just, equitable, and ecological direction?" We embrace core values of innovation, critical thinking, integrative learning, community engagement, and cultural awareness in all that we do. Most importantly, we strive to provide academic excellence, while advancing discovery and learning in service to society, the nation, and the world.

Our research and discovery are rooted in forests and fields, soils and waters, and cities and towns of the Green Mountain State and around the world. We take UVM’s Land Grant mission seriously: to prepare citizens and leaders of the future who understand the relevance of their education in their everyday lives. To us, this means preparing students to thrive in a rapidly changing world while recognizing the interdependence of all life on earth.

Our teaching and learning focus on preparing global citizens, who think and act in ethically and socially responsible ways, who understand the impact of their choices, and who have the disciplinary depth to solve problems in a rigorous and interdisciplinary way. We embrace learning communities that blend in- and out-of-class experiences through field courses, service learning, and internships. We cultivate the skills that will ensure that our graduates emerge ready to engage in transformative, environmental leadership.

Our students, staff, and faculty work together to address many of today’s grand challenges such as conserving Earth’s biodiversity, slowing climate change, and ensuring that people have the opportunity to live healthy and productive lives in a safe and enriching environment. In short, we strive to learn, discover, and live sustainably in order to nurture and improve the human-environment system.

Our School includes 85 faculty and staff, 750 undergraduate students in six majors, and 120 graduate students pursuing M.S., M.P.S, and Ph.D. degrees. We host the campus-wide Environmental Program, the university’s fifth largest undergraduate major. We have strong collaborative partnerships with federal and state agencies, local and international non-profits, and a diversity of businesses and corporations. We manage four research forests, including the 500-acre Jericho Research Forest just 15 minutes from campus, ten UVM natural areas, the research vessel Melosira, the waterfront Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory, and the Forestry Sciences Laboratory in partnership with the USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station.

Finally, we are proud of our newly renovated home in the Aiken Center, a LEED Platinum-certified building. Serving as a living laboratory, our School housed the Aiken Eco-Machine, which mimicked a natural wetland and successfully treated 760,000 gallons of the building's wastewater over five years. As part of Phase 2 of the evolution of the Eco-Machine, faculty and students are researching improvements to the wastewater treatment and nutrient recovery process and planning an exciting, new eco-design makerspace. The green roof also provides students a chance to study how different plants filter contaminants, leading to cleaner water running off into Lake Champlain.

Please explore our website to see the many opportunities to work with us, in real-world problem-solving, as we strive to serve as a leading school of the environment.

Nancy Mathews