ENVS Topics Courses for Summer 2020

Environmental Studies Topics Courses*
Summer 2020


*Please note that ENVS 491 options are open to undergraduate students only, while ENVS 591 options are open to both undergrads (mostly geared towards junior/senior level students) and grad students.


ENVS 491 Options:


ENVS 491 (sect. 001) TOPIC: ENVIRONMENTAL APPLICATIONS OF STATISTICS

Scheduled dates: June 9 – July 30, 2020; Tuesday/ Thursdays 3:00-5:40pm

Instructor:
Daniel Albrecht-Mallinger

Credits:
3

Course Description: This course will provide a foundation in basic statistical theory using environmental data and topics. Students will learn how the concepts of central tendency, population, probability, and uncertainty are critical to pressing issues in conservation, climate change, and human health. In addition to analytical skills, the class will provide an introduction to public data hosted by the Center for Disease Control, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and other institutions. Students will learn how to access and manage these data to ask pertinent environmental questions with hypothesis testing using t-tests, ANOVAs, chi-squares, regressions, and generalized linear models.

This course is eligible to sub in for the STAT 314 requirement for Environmental Studies majors.

Recommended prerequisites: MATH 151 & STAT 210


ENVS 491 (sect. C01) TOPIC: EXPEDITION PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT*

Scheduled dates: July 9 – August 7, 2020; M/T/W/R/F (every day of the session including weekends)

Instructor:
Karl Schmidt

Credits:
2

Course Description: Expedition Planning and Management is an experiential learning outdoor leadership course. Using Idaho’s Lower Salmon River as a classroom, students will be challenged to critically assess the pragmatic roots of group management, outdoor adventure environmental impact, outdoor education, leadership theory, outdoor camp craft, and risk management. By the end of the expedition, students will be able to connect class theory to practical application in a western river setting.

VCU’s “Canyons of the Salmon River” is an immersion summer course block framed around three inter-related courses focused on enabling the students to develop the knowledge and skills they would be needed to support a modern river scientific expedition down the Lower Salmon River, Idaho in the spirit of the historic western river explorations of Lewis and Clark and John Wesley Powell. The Salmon River is one of the longest free-flowing rivers in the lower 48 states. The Lower Salmon River features Class II-IV whitewater in one of the deepest canyons in the United States. Much of the Lower Salmon is roadless and accessible only by boat.

Registration for this course is by override only, and the course must be taken as part of the “Canyons of the Lower Salmon River” block.

For more information: https://rampages.us/riverofnoreturn/

Interested? Apply here!

*This course can count as capstone if completed while you have senior standing.  If you are not a senior or have already completed an ENVS capstone course, it will count towards electives for the ENVS major/minor and towards VCU’s upper level credit requirement.

If you are on the 2018-2019 bulletin (or an earlier bulletin year) and want this class to count as your capstone, Lindsay can sub in this course for your ENVS 490 requirement on DegreeWorks.

If you are on the 2019-2020 bulletin and want this class to count as your capstone, you will also need to register for ENVS 499 capstone experience.   The credits for ENVS 491 will slot in towards your required ENVS electives, while registering for ENVS 499 indicates that you’ve fulfilled the capstone requirement.  An override will be required for ENVS 499- please email envsadvising@vcu.edu for an override into this course.


ENVS 591 Options:


ENVS 591 (sect. 002) TOPIC: ENVIRONMENTAL RISK COMMUNICATION*

Scheduled dates: May 18- July 8, 2020; ONLINE

Instructor:
Cliff Fox

Credits:
3

Course Description: This class will help the student to develop the ability to communicate environmental risks to the public. In an on-line format, it will provide an understanding of theories of communication and how they can help in planning and conveying messages about environmental risk to various types of communities. The class will require learning about how communication takes place and the nature of environmental risk. It will then provide step by step instructions and practice in developing and implementing an environmental risk communication plan for a student-chosen environmental risk.

*This course can count as capstone if completed while you have senior standing.  If you are not a senior or have already completed an ENVS capstone course, it will count towards electives for the ENVS major/minor and towards VCU’s upper level credit requirement.

If you are on the 2018-2019 bulletin (or an earlier bulletin year) and want this class to count as your capstone, Lindsay can sub in this course for your ENVS 490 requirement on DegreeWorks.

If you are on the 2019-2020 bulletin and want this class to count as your capstone, you will also need to register for ENVS 499 capstone experience.   The credits for ENVS 491 will slot in towards your required ENVS electives, while registering for ENVS 499 indicates that you’ve fulfilled the capstone requirement.  An override will be required for ENVS 499- please email envsadvising@vcu.edu for an override into this course.


ENVS DRONE COURSES

Students can choose one version (1 credit or 3 credit) of the class below.

ENVS 591 (sect. 001) TOPIC: ENV APP OF DRONE TECHNOLOGY (1 cr)
ENVS 591 (sect. 003) TOPIC: APPLICATION OF DRONE TECHNOLOGY (3 cr)

Scheduled dates: 1 Credit Course: July 27 – July 28, 2020 8am-5pm
Scheduled dates:
3 Credit Course: July 27 – July 31, 2020 8am-5pm

Instructor for both sections:
Will Shuart

Please contact Will Shuart at wshuart@vcu.edu for more info.

Course Objectives:
Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS’s) are being introduced in a wide range of environmental applications such as crop health and stress monitoring, volumetric assessment of biomass, regulatory assessments, and change detection. In this course, students will gain an understanding of how to integrate rapidly expanding technologies into environmental (and ultimately business) applications.

Course Overview:
Students will become familiar with the application of UAS and their related technologies to understand how to apply them in environmental analysis and visualization. The two day course will focus on UAS platforms, flight planning, regulations and use of drones, data collection and processing, and spatial fidelity and how global positioning systems (GPS) increase viability of UAS data. In wrapping up the two day course, students will understand how to process UAS data and the products derived from those collections. The five day course will showcase various UAS technologies and data collection in the field. Students will also gain experience publishing final orthophotos, photogrammetric point clouds, elevation models, and 3D meshes to the web for dissemination and consumption. Full motion video and capturing geospatial data from UAS’s will be explored. Students will be exposed to open source and proprietary software to process and interrogate UAV data.

Grading:
This course will utilize Blackboard for submission of work, grading, updates, announcements, etc. Please make sure that you stay in tune with the courses’ page on Blackboard and check your VCU email account as information is sent through Blackboard to your VCU account. Assignments and exercises are due based upon the course schedule. Students will submit a final analysis for grading in the 1 and 3 credit class based on the course schedule.


ENVS 591 (sect. 004) TOPIC: ENVS FILMMAKING IN THE FIELD*

Scheduled dates: July 9 – August 7, 2020; M/T/W/R/F (every day of the session including weekends)

Instructor: Ron Lopez

Credits: 2

Course Description: ENVS Filmmaking in the Field is a course designed to teach the fundamentals of science filmmaking in the rugged expedition setting. Students will have the opportunity to document their journey down the Lower Salmon River, and create a film that communicates the scientific, cultural, and social stories of our Salmon River research expedition. The course will cover the process of designing a narrative, camera fundamentals and shooting in the field, media and equipment management on an expedition, and film editing. Students will gain proficiency in science filmmaking and enhance their capacity for communicating science while having to manage the challenges inherent in shooting the expeditionary setting. All cameras and peripheral equipment for the course will be provided, though students are welcome to bring their own gear if they wish.

VCU’s “Canyons of the Salmon River” is an immersion summer course block framed around three inter-related courses focused on enabling the students to develop the knowledge and skills they would be needed to support a modern river scientific expedition down the Lower Salmon River, Idaho in the spirit of the historic western river explorations of Lewis and Clark and John Wesley Powell. The Salmon River is one of the longest free-flowing rivers in the lower 48 states. The Lower Salmon River features Class II-IV whitewater in one of the deepest canyons in the United States. Much of the Lower Salmon is roadless and accessible only by boat.

Registration for this course is by override only, and the course must be taken as part of the “Canyons of the Lower Salmon River” block.

For more information: https://rampages.us/riverofnoreturn/

Interested? Apply here!

*This course can count as capstone if completed while you have senior standing.  If you are not a senior or have already completed an ENVS capstone course, it will count towards electives for the ENVS major/minor and towards VCU’s upper level credit requirement.

If you are on the 2018-2019 bulletin (or an earlier bulletin year) and want this class to count as your capstone, Lindsay can sub in this course for your ENVS 490 requirement on DegreeWorks.

If you are on the 2019-2020 bulletin and want this class to count as your capstone, you will also need to register for ENVS 499 capstone experience.   The credits for ENVS 491 will slot in towards your required ENVS electives, while registering for ENVS 499 indicates that you’ve fulfilled the capstone requirement.  An override will be required for ENVS 499- please email envsadvising@vcu.edu for an override into this course.


Other topics courses that may interest ENVS majors this summer:


    • BIOL 391 Topic: Natural History of the Lower Salmon River (part of VCU’s “Canyons of the Salmon River” block) presents students with an investigation of the ecological components of this unique environment and opportunity to compare it with our home river, the James. Students will identify and examine relationships between organisms and communities in this system and the impact of natural and human activities upon them. Students will be tasked with implementing the scientific sampling agenda of the expedition, managing a schedule of data collection protocols and recording regular journal entries.  Registration for this course is by override only, and the course must be taken as part of the “Canyons of the Lower Salmon River” block.
    • BIOL 391 Topic: Medicinal Botany

    • HIST 391 Topic: World War II US Food Policy

    • URSP 391 Topic: Sustainable Business