Environmental Studies Community-Engaged Practicum (Section B)

Through this interdisciplinary capstone experience, our senior environmental studies majors collaborate with community organizations to lend their creativity, perspectives, and research skills to addressing current environmental issues in our region and beyond. We are interested in a broad range of topics as they apply to environmental studies. We favor projects that draw on numerous disciplinary perspectives.

Middlebury Contact: Alexis Mychajliw

  • Mediating human-wildlife conflicts (coyotes, bears, etc.)
  • Monitoring populations of animals
  • Species-level conservation initiatives
  • Invasive species management
  • Reconstructing the history of a given place/ecosystem
  • Cultural resource management (e.g., paleontological and archaeological inventories, sites, and specimens)
  • Museum collection digitization and access/museum exhibit development/repatriation
  • Fostering appreciation of natural history and community (“citizen”) science endeavors
  • Equitable access to K12 STEM opportunities/high school science fair programs

Camera trapping; genetic and isotopic monitoring of species; museum curation; management of archaeological and paleontological sites; mapping and statistical analysis

Please visit my website http://www.insectivora.org for more information if helpful

Students in the course will all have foundational environmental studies training as well as coursework relevant to their “focus” with the environmental studies major. These foci range across the social sciences, natural sciences, humanities, and the arts.  As senior majors, many will also be bringing relevant internship and work experience to these projects.

In addition to the learning goals of our Environmental Studies Program, specific goals for projects in this course include the following:

  • Ensuring students have the opportunity to apply interdisciplinary thinking to their projects
  • Deepening their understanding of local, state, or regional environmental challenges
  • Improving their ability to consider diverse perspectives and to listen to others
  • Critically engaging with questions of justice and inequity
  • Strengthening their teamwork and project management skills

Community-based projects are the focus of this course and students will work on them for the entirety of our 12-week semester.  Based on past experience, we will work collaboratively with community partners to design projects at a scope and scale appropriate to this full-semester timeline.

There are three required one-hour meetings that occur at regular intervals throughout the semester (beginning, midpoint, and near the end).  You can expect that students will be in contact with you via an agreed upon mode with periodic questions in between these meetings.  Draft project documents will be shared with you for your review and feedback.  We also request that you share any relevant data or resources with students as appropriate.  Lastly, we typically work with partners to arrange for some form of final public presentation of their work.

Past projects have focused on a broad range of topics as they apply to environmental studies.  Details of all past projects can be viewed here.