• UVM stepping up environmental studies
    July 27,2014
     

    UVM stepping up

    environmental studies

    BURLINGTON — The University of Vermont is taking several steps designed to raise its profile as a place for environmental studies.

    The Burlington Free Press reported that the school is creating a new Institute for the Environment, a new master’s program in sustainable entrepreneurship, and a “food systems initiative” to study food production and its environmental impacts.

    The school has renovated Aiken Hall, where its environmental programs are centered, to meet a top “green building” standard, and it has hired a new dean for its School of Environment and Natural Resources.

    That dean, Nancy Matthews, is a wildlife biologist who previously worked at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

    UVM executives sought ideas from faculty beginning in 2009 for so-called “spires of excellence,” fields in which the school could hone a national or international reputation.

    One outgrowth of that process was the idea that the school should create in interdisciplinary institute to study environmental issues.

    The institute is expected to take shape after a faculty committee charged with developing a mission statement, a strategic vision and an operating plan issues its report later this year.

    UVM Provost David Roswosky said he did not expect the institute to issue degrees; rather it is hoped it will enhance coordination between existing departments at the school and attract new scholars to UVM.

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