New Course “Paths to Environmental Leadership” targeted at Sophomores and Juniors

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Are you a college sophomore or junior? Are you interested in conservation, environmental stewardship, or environmental policy? Have you demonstrated a commitment to the environment through participation in campus activities or service to your community? Are you working towards a career that will enable you to address environmental issues on a local, national, or global scale? Do you want to develop a vision of how your academic path will help you achieve your career goals? If you answer yes, then Paths to Environmental Leadership might be for you!

This is an illustration of the cover of Charles Mann's book "The Wizard and the Prophet" [View Image]Students in ENVS 291 will read Charles Mann’s book “The Wizard and the Prophet” as part of their exploration of leadership in environmental studies fields.

This course focuses on personal leadership development, leadership in the field of environmental studies, grant-writing & revision, and the peer-review process. We will use Charles Mann’s 2018 “The Wizard and the Prophet – Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow’s World” (Reviewed here) to frame our exploration of different approaches in leadership in our field. Discussions with guest speakers who are leaders in various environmental fields, additional readings, and self-directed exploration of leadership figures will broaden our understanding of environmental leadership. Students will then use the Udall Undergraduate Scholarship as a tool to begin to develop their own vision of environmental leadership and develop experience in grant writing and peer review. In developing a Udall application, students will need to articulate their professional aspirations, what aspect of environmental studies they wish to focus on and why, and how their academic plan will assist them in achieving their goals. They will need to articulate and demonstrate a personal plan for engaging in leadership. Finally, they will need to discuss a significant public speech, legislative act, book, or public policy statement by environmental leaders Congressman Morris K. Udall or Secretary of Interior Stewart L. Udall and its impact on their field of study, interests, and career goals. Students will be trained to peer-review each others’ proposals and to revise their own work in response to peer (and instructor feedback). Students who chose to  may continue to revise their proposals after the course under the mentorship of the VCU National Scholarship Office and submit them for the March 2021 competition.

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