Environmental Science

EVSC 1050/STS 2500: Ethics, Protocols, and Practice of International Research

Robert Swap, Research Professor

Through an intense combination of readings, discussions, guest presentations, and group projects students will address scientific research in an international context. The class provides opportunities for the active participation of scholars and practitioners from southern, eastern, and central Africa, as well as Asia and South America.

Additional nonrefundable $100 fee required.

EVSC 2070/STS 2140: Earth Systems Technology and Management

Michael Gorman, Professor

Earth Systems Engineering Management (ESEM) is a comprehensive perspective that combines engineering, environmental science and psychology to explore how human beings can take care of the ecosystem. Students will listen to lectures and discuss background readings from a variety of perspectives related to ESEM. Then they will apply what they have read to a practical problem: identifying and managing national parks and other national entities like monuments, battlefields, etc. Why should these places be set aside? Are they, as Ken Burns suggest, "America's best idea?" What other countries have national park strategies?

Students will go on two field trips, one to the Shenandoah National Park to listen to park scientist Jim Schaberl and others discuss park management issues. Jim has been a regular speaker and facilitator in the class. The other will be to the section of the Chancellorsville battlefield that has been preserved by the Civil War Preservation Trust, because the Parks do not have funds to purchase or interpret battlefield sites. Mary Koik from the CWPT has taken us on two tours of the sections of the battlefield preservced by the SWPT. This year, we plan on making this an exploratory exercise instead of an outdoor lecture and walk. Students will also visit the McCormick observatory one clear night, to learn about light pollution and see its effects.

Additional nonrefundable $150 fee required.

EVSC 4559(1): The Captive Ocean [3]

Stephen Macko, Professor

This class offers students more exposure to the ocean through a mixture of in-class work and field experiences. The course addresses not only the particulars of the marine science, but also aspects of ethics (keeping marine animals in captivity or in situations that their life spans will be significantly shortened) and special difficulties that arise from captive ocean populations. Various trips to locations where the ocean is being 'captured' allow students to explore both the extinct and extant ocean and complement class and laboratory experiences at UVa. Locations for overnight field trips likely will include the National Aquaria in Baltimore and Washington, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, and the Virginia Aquarium in Virginia Beach. 

Virginia Public Radio: Meet the Oyster Professor

Approximate additional nonrefundable $700 fee required. Added fees will include transportation, overnight accommodations, entrance fees and some course specific meals.

EVSC 4559(2): Marine Conservation in the 21st Century

Carleton Ray, Research Professor
Geraldine McCormick-Ray, Senior Scientist


Objective: To advance critical thinking about marine conservation through student innovation, exploration, and development of individual thinking about the marine conservation challenges of the 21st century.

This course takes a virtual voyage through the global ocean, intended to inform student of issues confronting marine conservation, mechanisms used to address them, and the science required to understand them. The outcome will be an appreciation of the social-ecological setting for biodiversity maintenance, ecosystem sustainability and resilience and policy development.

Marine conservation is a rapidly-expanding human endeavor. As humans have exploited the oceans, especially since World War II, resources have dramatically been diminished, pollution has raised concerns for human and ecological health, and intractable issues, such as climate change and acidification, have unpredictably emerged. Inevitably, human wellbeing is being affected.

Teaching methods are adapted to an intense, two-week schedule. The first half-week is dedicated to orientation, with emphasis on individual and group participation. Groups of 4-5 individuals will interact inter alia and among groups (e.g. speed-dating). Instructor- and guest-led discussions will introduce students to issue-specific case studies. At the end of each day, each student will submit a one-page summary. The final two days will consist of group and individual presentations.