University of Vermont

Environmental Sciences



The cross-disciplinary nature of Environmental Sciences results in a dynamic pool of state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories from which to draw. Some of these facilities include:

  • Spatial analysis laboratory: Located in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, the laboratory specializes in, but is not limited to, applying techniques in GIS to: land-cover mapping, planning for conservation lands, and development of new applications for natural resource management.
  • Newly renovated labs and classrooms of Delehanty Hall: The Geology Department's recent facelift resulted in remarkable new facilities that ENSC majors use often:
    • Cosmogenic isotope lab: Only a handful of these exist in the country. With the help of such laboratories to study Earth's surface processes, scientists can now measure the age of landforms and the rate at which they change.
    • Environmental stable isotope lab: Isotope analysis is a standard tool for geologists, biologists, ecologists and all scientists studying elemental or material cycles in the environment as well as global climate change.
    • Limnogeology lab: This lab specializes in lake sediments to reconstruct environmental changes of the past.
    • Mircobial geochemistry lab: This lab's equipment is used in studying the role microbes plan in natural processes.
  • Agricultural and environmental testing laboratory: For forage testing, soil testing, manure and compost analysis and more, this lab provides accurate and timely analysis for Vermont's researchers and agricultural community.
  • The Carbon Dynamics Lab is supervised by Dr. William Keeton. The Lab is interested in the social and biophysical processes that determine the stocks and fluxes of greenhouse gases between terrestrial systems and the atmosphere. Projects range widely, from field studies of carbon cycling in urban and suburban turfgrass systems, to inventory-based analysis of spatial and temporal patterns of forest carbon cycling at the national scale, to modeling analysis of forest management effects on carbon sequestration in the Northeast.
  • The Watershed Research Lab in the Rubenstein School is directed by Dr. Breck Bowden. Research focuses on interactions between hydrological and biogeochemical processes, especially as these processes are influenced by land use practices and land cover characteristics at catchment scales. In Vermont, research focuses on management of stormwater impacts from development on urban streams. In Alaska, research focuses on understanding climate change impacts on arctic streams. In both locations, research is designed to improve uptake and use of science knowledge by resource managers, policy makers, and community stakeholders.


Venturing a bit from campus finds Environmental Sciences students in any number of research centers, natural areas and laboratories. The program's most strategic notion is its location in nature's lap; Vermont's indigenous resources reflect that.

  • Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory: Based at the $14.5 million Leahy ECHO Center for Lake Champlain on Burlington's waterfront, this UVM laboratory is an extension of the Aiken Center and offers students a chance to work on a variety of lake-related projects.
  • Melosira: Our 45-foot research vessel is docked at the Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory and used for classes and to investigate issues such as invasive species and blue-green algae blooms in Lake Champlain.
  • UVM Natural Areas: At 365 acres, the Jericho Research Forest is the largest, most widely used forest protected by UVM. The university uses several other natural areas, from bogs to alpine mountaintops, and quarries to woodlands, as outdoor laboratories. Learn more about our natural areas.
  • University of Vermont Forests:The University of Vermont owns five forests throughtout the State of Vermont used for research, education, and demonstration: Jericho Research Forest, Talcott Forest, and Wolcott Research Forest in northern Vermont; Washington Forest in central Vermont; and Ethel Pew Research & Demonstration Forest in southern Vermont.
  • The George D. Aiken Forestry Sciences Laboratory is part of the USDA Forest Service's Northern Research Station and the Rubenstein School. The facility and grounds are shared by Forest Service scientists and staff in partnership with Rubenstein School faculty, staff, and students and are located about a mile from UVM campus on Spear Street.

Last modified September 18 2015 04:11 PM