Environmental Studies Senior Seminar

Engage. Integrate. Apply. Connect.

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.


Exploring our project archive will give you a sense of the range of topics explored through our community partnerships, as well as give you access to pdf versions of the final project materials.



From the creation of our campus recycling program, to conserving a parcel of land, to enhancing the routes and schedules of our local transit provider,  to recommending and testing new procurement standards for the woodchips that fuel our biomass facility, ES 401 projects advance our community's discussion on a variety of topics and often produce tangible results.


For our students, many reflect on their project work as a mind and eye-opening experience, express the desire to be more civicly engaged, decide to continue an active role on their seminar topics either on campus or in their hometown community, and pursue professional and graduate work in related fields.

Seminar Projects in the News

Irene Impact Researched Three Years Later
December 15, 2014 Times Argus Article

Students Aim to Aid the Lake
December 12, 2011 Addison Independent Article

College Students Take Stock of Old Dam Site
December 19, 2011 Addison Independent Article

Students Push for Arsenic Law

The Science of Groundwater

Listen to Professor Pete Ryan discuss groundwater and naturally occurring contamination on VPR's Vermont Edition.

Wednesday October 20, 2010 noon and 7pm

Conserving Water Quality While Harvesting More Forest Biomass

When: Saturday, October 23, 2010
Time: 9:00 AM - Noon
Where: Waterworks Parking Lot, Plank Road, Bristol.

This workshop will focus on this key question: "Can we conserve water quality while harvesting more forest biomass?" Join us as we look at the design of: 1. Roads, Trails, and Log Landings; 2 Stream Crossings; 3. RiparIan and Buffer Zones; and 4. Forest Biomass Harvesting 0perations.

Sponsored by Vermont Family Forests in cooperation with The Watershed Center, Bristol Town Conservation Commission, & Middlebury College's Healthy Watersheds~Home Woodsheds Project.

Spring 2014 students discuss their work on community TV

Carey Favaloro '14 and Bry Kleber '14 discuss the work they did to promote Vermont's "Way to Go" Commuter Challenge as part of their seminar on Sustainable Transportation (their segment begins ~5 minutes in)


Program in Environmental Studies

Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest
531 College Street
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753