Four semesters of the Goodwin-Niering Center certificate seminar are conducted in the fall and spring semesters for sophomores, juniors and seniors participating in the Certificate Program in Environmental Studies. The seminar is designed to introduce students to salient environmental issues and to help prepare them for their internships after junior year, and senior integrative projects (SIP).  All except the spring semester seminar for sophomores (ES 290) are two-credits.  ES290 is four credits due to a combined seminar and service learning project.

The seminar is specifically designed to foster a peer-to-peer learning situation so that students who have gained expertise in their chosen area of environmental interest share their knowledge with the class. Senior students provide a significant portion of the course content. Students from each of the classes benefit from their interactions at different stages of their certificate program and from their participation as a member of a team with shared experiences over a three-year period.

The three main goals for the seminar are:

  • to provide in-depth exploration of a contemporary environmental issue, the theme of which changes each semester
  • to provide opportunities for in-depth discussion of current environmental issues and information through a multi-disciplinary lens, among students with diverse interests
  • to provide practical assistance in the planning and presentation of internships and projects

Some recent seminar themes have included:

  • Animal ethics
  • Energy conservation and renewable energy
  • Environmental communications
  • Environmental history
  • Food, the environment and American culture
  • Global environmental justice
  • Green business
  • Nature in mind: Concepts and perspectives in environmental psychology
  • Restoring natural habitats
  • Smart growth, sustainability and Connecticut College
  • Thoughts on wilderness
  • Water scarcity and conflict