The report I reviewed is “Envisioning Environment” at UVM. The purpose of this report is to develop an inventory and make recommendations about environmental research, education, and outreach at UVM. The task had a broad focused on “environment, sustainability, and health” or ESH. I learned that the five major recommendations are to develop an ESH institute, create an associate provost ESH position, coordinate ESH graduate and undergraduate programs, expand graduate support, and finally to create an “environmental commons” or a physical and web-based place for ESH activity.
For the purposes of this blog, I focused my reading on the undergraduate education. I agree with the strengths related to ESH when it comes to undergraduate education. Being a part of the Rubenstein School, it is clear to me that we have many majors, minors, and classes related to various subjects relating to environmental health and its importance. There are many opportunities presented to students to become involved in the subject. I believe that we have a head start in that sense. I think it would also make sense for UVM to focus some time on marketing for our environmental education that we already have and try to spark some interest in the incoming students. I for one am very glad that I was drawn to the Rubenstein School and I think it is an area that will continue to expand and grow in the future. Something I’m not sure that I agree with, however, is that it is confusing to explain the range of options to incoming students. Sure, it can be confusing trying to decide on a major when you are coming into college, but I think all the information you need about each major is online. I think a “comprehensive advising map” would just be a waste of the school’s time and money when it comes to ESH.
It was helpful to see the view of UVM that this work group of people has and where we are in terms of environmental health. I think being in the Rubenstein School makes it easy for me to sort of assume that the whole school is constantly thinking about the environment and sustainability, but I have been reminded that isn’t the case and it is important that the awareness is spread.