UVM/GIV Environmental Science and Technology Institute Course Syllabus Title: UVM /GIV Environmental Science and

Technology Institute (GEOL 095) 3 Credits; 45 Contact Hours.


Instructor: Paul Bierman, PhD (Geology and Natural Resources); pbierman@uvm.edu Meeting dates and times: June 23, 2014 - June 28, 2014 daily, with evening sessions. Location: University of Vermont Course Description: In this course, Vermont high school students, grades 9-12, will learn about Environmental Science and Technology. Through extensive hands-on activities and a variety of experiences, participants will learn about how practicing environmental scientists understand Earth and human interactions with our planet. During the on-campus week, students will work directly with science faculty and graduate students as well as meet engineers, scientists, and professionals who manage environmental systems including power plants, sewage treatment plants, and recycling operations. Hands-on student research will address pressing environmental problems including air, soil, and water pollution and the effect of this pollution on organisms in the environment. Activities are led by University faculty and environmental professionals. All students will do one short reading prior to the residential portion of the course and write a short (one to two page) essay about how the reading affected them. During the Institute, students will work in groups to create PowerPoint presentations of their results. Each student will write a reflection and submit it for evaluation within a week of the conclusion of the Institute. Goals: We have developed a series of learning goals for the Institute. They fall into three distinct categories. (Content) SCIENCE and TECHNOLOGY 1. Use the scientific method (develop hypotheses, collect data, analyze data, and present interpretations) 2. Use a variety of scientific disciplines to approach local environmental problems 3. Properly document data collection methods, protocols, and results 4. Develop a sense of place for the field site (geographic, historical, cultural, ecological) 5. Expose and explain to students technology that is new to them 6. Critically evaluate information from a variety of sources (web, peer-review, books) 7. Explore science career options 8. Provide a context for larger, global environmental issues including Environmental Justice and the unequal distribution of environmental risks. (Pedagogy) TEACHING and LEARNING 1. Encourage students to direct their own learning through an inquiry, question-based approach 2. Emphasize a hands-on, experiential learning approach


3. 4. 5. 6.

Foster group work Make findings available to stake-holders Use problem-solving or “solve the mystery” approach Develop transferable skills/methodologies useful for students’ future

(Social) STUDENT EXPERIENCE 1. Provide experiences for students that they do not get in traditional settings 2. Expose students to a group of like-minded, interested peers 3. Expose students to scientists as role models/educators 4. Experience living in a college environment with a diverse peer group 6. Engage in written and oral reflection on program from a personal perspective Learning Outcomes: By completing this course, participants will: • Obtain a basic knowledge of Environmental Science and Technology • Understand how to apply that knowledge to better understand air, water, or soil pollution and its impact of humans and the environment • Reflect upon what they have learned and how it is relevant to their lives. General Course Information: Course Policies/Expectations: Program participants must fulfill the following tasks. a. b. c. d. Complete the required readings and a short essay prior to spending a week on campus. Attend the GIV week and participate fully in all activities. Make a group presentation to peers and parents on June 28, 2012. Write a reflection paper after the week on campus at UVM (due July 11) and complete the Institute Evaluation on June 28.

Attendance Expectations: Students are expected to attend and participate in all of the activities during the week on campus. Contributions in Class: Students are expected to participate fully in the discussions throughout the program and to work with their team collecting, processing, and understanding environmental data. Academic Honesty & Professionalism: All students are required to be familiar with and adhere to the “Academic Honesty Policy Procedures” delineated in the following website. http://www.uvm.edu/~uvmppg/ppg/student/acadintegrity.pdf ).


Required Readings It is expected that students will have read the following paper prior to coming to campus and will use it to craft a short essay reflecting on the human impacts on the environment in the town in which they live. An Earth WITHOUT PEOPLE, Scientific American; July 2007, Vol. 297 Issue 1, p. 76-81. (this reading is available on the Institute web site for 2014; http://uvm.edu/giv) This writing and each student’s essay will set the stage for discussions during the week. Electronic Submissions/Internet Use Students will submit their post-institute reflective essay via e-mail. Description of Class Assignments: Students Will: 1. Read assigned material, write a reflective essay, and bring a paper copy of the essay with them to campus on June 22, 2014. 2. Make final presentations in groups at the conclusion of the week on campus on June 28. 3. Write a two-page reflection paper, indicating how what they did and learned at the Institute affected them personally and professionally. Submit by July 11.

Percentage Contribution of Each Assignment: Complete required reading and prepare essay prior to arriving at ESAT Institute (30%) Attend all institute activities and maintain a daily journal throughout the Institute, reflecting on what was learned, how it connected to previous learning, and how it could be used in the future. (40%) Complete Institute Evaluation and write a reflection paper on program impact on them personally and professionally (30%)