Program Director: John Van Hoesen, Ph.D.
Division of Environmental Studies & Management
BA in Environmental Studies
Minor in Environmental Studies
Minor in Environmental Policy
The Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies
Environmental Studies at Green Mountain provides students with a solid understanding of ecological processes and a broad background in the range of disciplines, which study human interactions with the environment. The major provides all students with basic information and skills from the natural sciences, environmental policy, and economics, and it provides the opportunity for students to pursue their interests in any existing GMC minor requiring at least 18-credits, nine of which need to be upper division. Students can pursue a self-designed concentration but should seek guidance from their advisor about the application process. Students interested in this option need to develop a proposal prior to the end of their sophomore year.
Learning Outcomes for Environmental Studies Core Curriculum
The successful student will:
Students will demonstrate the ability to integrate science, economics and policy when solving social and environmental problems creatively in a professional setting.
Students will understand and be able to articulate different perspectives regarding the origins and solutions to social and environmental problems, and develop appropriate processes to resolve differences and bring about positive change.
Our strong emphasis on regional issues and our deep commitment to interdisciplinary studies prepares students to effectively address the complexities of environmental problems. Vermont’s rich environment provides laboratories for the natural science courses, and local issues engage students in ethics and policy classes. With diverse ecosystems close to campus, rich opportunities exist for field study and outdoor adventure. Off-campus field courses broaden students’ perspectives and a variety of courses address the global dimensions of environmental problems, including climate change, loss of biodiversity, and habitat degradation.
Environmental Studies students pursue an internship as their capstone experience, usually completed during the summer following their junior year. Internship proposal guidelines are sent electronically to all majors, and they are available from any faculty advisor. Proposals must be approved by faculty advisors and then submitted for review to the Environmental Studies Committee by April 25 for summer or fall interns, and by November 24 for winter or spring interns. On rare occasions, the Environmental Studies Committee approves proposals for a research capstone experience.
During their junior year students take a course titled The Environmental Professional. In addition to preparing for internships and honing interpersonal skills essential to success in environmental fields, students in this course assess their strengths and areas for development in anticipation of their final year of undergraduate education. To prepare for this junior year assessment, all Environmental Studies majors should keep a portfolio of their academic work.
To graduate with honors in the Environmental Studies major, students must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.3 in all courses and have a GPA of at least 3.5 in the major. Candidates must successfully petition to the Environmental Studies Committee to be considered for honors. Petitions will be considered only from students who have completed 75 credits. Candidates must form a three-person honors committee to evaluate an honors research project. The committee should include two faculty members who teach in the Environmental Studies concentration in which the research takes place and one person from outside the department. Candidates must also do a substantive honors research project in the major, write up the project in an honors thesis, and defend the thesis in a public forum. Candidates must take 21 credits in the major at the upper level.
Environmental Studies periodically offers special interdisciplinary block courses, from six to fifteen credits that focus on complex environmental issues in the region and often involve overnight field trips. These have recently included The Northern Forest, The Lake Champlain Basin, The Hudson River, The Adirondacks, Renewing Civil Society, The Promise and Peril of Biotechnology, The Vermont Wilderness Debate, Soil Ecology, and Food, Agriculture, and Community Development in the Northeast.
Requirements for the BA in Environmental Studies
Environmental Studies Core:
| ENV 1002: Freshman Year Retreat
BIO 2025: Ecology
ECO 2023: Economics of the Environment
ENV 2011: Public Policy and the Environment
ENV 3093: The Environmental Professional
ENV 4070: Senior Seminar
ENV 4090: Internship in Environmental Studies
| Choose one of the following lab courses:
CHE 1021: General Chemistry I
ELA 1017: Introduction to Environmental Chemistry
GLG 1011: Introduction to Geology
Environmental Studies Minor
A minor in environmental studies is available to all Bachelor’s degree candidates. To fulfill the requirements for this minor, students complete at least 19 credits in the environmental studies area. The following courses are required for the minor:
| BIO 2025: Ecology
ENV 2011: Public Policy and the Environment
ENG 3011: Environmental Writing Workshop OR
PHI 3045: Environmental Philosophy
|Any course with an ENV prefix that is at the 3-4000 level.||9|
Environmental Policy Minor
|ENV 2011: Public Policy & the Environment||3|
|ENV 3011: Environmental Law||3|
|Choose one of the following courses:||3|
|PHI 3007: Topics in Social and Political Philosophy|
|PHI 3045: Environmental Philosophy|
|PHI 4011: Philosophy of Law|
|Environmental Policy Electives||9|
|Choose 9 credits; at least 6 of the 9 credits must be upper level:|
|ENV 3XXX: Any 3000-level ENV course|
|ELA 2023: Environmental Justice|
|ENV/ELA 2045: International Negotiation & the Environment|
|HIS 3023: America Since 1960|
|BUS 3050: Legal & Ethical Environment of Business|
|BUS 3060: Transformational Leadership|
|NRM 4030: Environmental Conflict Management|
|Total credits for a minor in Environmental Policy:||18|