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Environment - Ferrum College

Page history last edited by Kate H. 11 years ago


Service  |  Academic Work  |  Education & Training  |  Capacity Building  |  Deliberative Democracy 


 Sub-categories in this issue

  • Water Quality Issues

          Ferrum Water Quality Program and partnership with Smith Mountain Lake Association

  • Conservation
  • Community Supported Agriculture

          Ferrum/Franklin County Farmers Market

  • Mountain Top Removal         

          The Virginia Organizing Project (VOP) has partnered with Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards to

          top the destruction of our communities by irresponsible surface coal mining, to improve the quality of life

          in our area, and to help rebuild sustainable communities.

  • Wildlife Protection


Service Work & Environmental Programs   short-term  |  ongoing school year  |  summer

  • Ferrum College Water Quality Monitoring Program

          Throughout the academic year and summer students from Ferrum College work in collaboration with      

          volunteers from the Smith Mountain Lake Association in an ongoing effort to monitor the water quality at

          Smith Mountain Lake.

  • Ferrum Nature Society

    Members of the FNS regularly conduct counts of local birds and mammals which they provide to the DNR. They also engage in habitat restoration projects and trail maintenance.


    Placement opportunities during school year for volunteers to work with Envirothon (HS ENvironmental Science Competitions), provide educational enrichment programs k-12 to the local school systems and community members, manage the water barrel project, provide consulting services & research for local farmers, residents, and districts on H20 & Soil conservation.
  • Ferrum On-Campus

    • Tray-less Dining Hall instituted to cut down on food waste and conserve H20

    • Food Services program considering ways to incorporate more local food into the campus meal services by purchasing locally grown food

    • Pursuing a composting program using the dining hall waste to fertilize the campuses farms and landscaping

    • Direct service on college living farm museum, beef farm, or agricultural programs (mainly reserved for academic field work)

    • Intermittent recycling programs - not currently functioning, no concrete home base

    • Bonner End of Semester Collection Drives (Food, Clothing, Household Goods, etc. that can be used by our community partners) with the goal of reducing waste and keping re-usable items from the dumpsters and landfill.

  • State & National Park Systems

    Event and Placement opportunities at Booker T. Monument and local parks. Primary activities include trail/park maitenence and educational enrichment programs.
  • Agriculture Club

    Open to all students interested in agriculture, this group sponsors events each year including a number of field trips.
  • Environmental Action Coalition

    Promotes environmental awareness through activities such as recycling, hiking, speakers, and special events.
  • Ferrum Outdoors

    Coordinates and leads outdoor adventure activities for students, faculty and staff. Programs include rock

    climbing, mountain biking, hiking, canoeing, sea kayaking, low and high ropes courses and much more. The center can assist students in planning an excursion to one of these areas. They teach and equip members on the upkeep and maintenance of trails and often do trailwork in the community.  They provide workshops on how to be an efficient camper, how to be less hurtful to the environment, etc.

  • Wildlife Club – The Wildlife Club is open to all students, faculty and staff for the purpose of enriching

    volunteer activity in wildlife programs in our society. The club will promote the understanding of state and

    national wildlife organizations



Academic Work   courses  |  service-learning  |  CBR and policy research   |  departments and institutes

Environmental Science Program

Ferrum is home to the 2nd oldest environmental science program in the nation, and offers both a major and minor in the field.

  • ESC/HOR 315 - Soil Science and Management

    Examines properties of arable and natural soils, considering their various ecological functions, and

    studies productive management of soil tilth and fertility, while developing concepts of conservative,

    sustainable practice.

  • AGR/HOR 390 - Special Topics in Agriculture 

    2008-2009 E-Term Sustainable Crops/Livestock: This course is designed to study the emerging importance of sustainable agriculture at the regional and international levels. This course begins with an exploration of what sustainable agriculture is, and allows for students to design/ implement sustainable agriculture at Ferrum College. Students will collaborate with Heifer International and E-term travel will include a trip to the Heifer Ranch in Arkansas.

  • ESC 110 - Introduction to Environmental Science

    An interdisciplinary course designed to introduce students to the problems associated with humans

    and their relationship to the environment. Environmental science enables us to understand how the

    world is operated by physical, chemical, and biological processes and how mankind, technology, and

    human social processes affect the natural world.

  • ESC 206 - Community Ecology of the Southeast

    Designed to study the vegetation relationships of selected communities in the southeastern United

    States and to survey the associated vertebrate populations. This course requires a two-week field

    trip through the southeast.

  • ESC 302 - Conservation Biology

    This course deals with principles of maintaining biological diversity in managed landscapes.

    Conservation biology investigates human impacts on biological diversity and loss and develops

    practical approaches to preventing extinction of species. Conservation biology has two underlying

    themes – seeking new approaches to sustainability and maintenance of biological diversity. This

    course will explore the theories and methods related to these themes.

  • ESC 310 - Environmental Planning and Assessment

    Introduction to environmental law and policy analysis, impact evaluation, planning, and decisionmaking.

  • ESC 421 - Pollution Science

    The logical starting point for individuals interested in pollution control. The student will be introduced

    to the major perturbations causing air, soil, and water pollution.

  • ESC 424 - Environmental Toxicology

    Concepts from toxicology and ecotoxicology are introduced. The first half of the course will address

    fundamental concepts of toxicology (effects of poisons on individual organisms), experimental toxicology,

    and chemical hygiene. The second half of the course will introduce ecotoxicology (effects

    of poisons on ecosystem structure and function) and monitoring and assessment of ecotoxicological

    conditions. Students enrolled in ESC 424 may also take ESC 425 and receive the 40-hour OSHA

    certification for handling hazardous material.

  • SCI 126 - Natural Resource Conservation

    Surveys the natural resources which are useful and necessary to humankind. Utilization and conservation

    of natural resources including fossil fuels, soil, air, water, forests, and wildlife will be considered.

    Alternate energy sources, resource management, and environmental conservation will be discussed.

  • SCI 141 - Humans within Ecosystems: An Integration of Science and Humanities through

    Environmental Education

    This course will introduce ecological principles, focusing primarily on diversity, change, and succession

    or resource cycling. Readings, class activities, and student projects will demonstrate the

    benefits of integrating science, the humanities, and the arts to educate children and the community

    about the environment.

  • SCI 143 - Our Home/Our Habitat

    This course will introduce ecological principles, focusing primarily on habitat and homes. Readings,

    class activities, and student projects will demonstrate the benefits of integrating science, the humanities,

    and the arts to educate children and the community about the environment. 



Recreational Leadership 

The Recreation Leadership program is founded on the principle that healthy recreation and leisure pursuits are critical to the development of the complete individual with a holistic approach to living.

  • REC 265 - Foundations of Ecotourism

    As an overview of general principles and theory of the hospitality and tourism industry with a focus

    on ecotourism, this class is a critical stepping stone of knowledge preparing students for a career in

    ecotourism. Topics include origin of ecotourism; ecotourism environments, present characteristics

    of the ecotourism market and destination development; importance of ecotourism to state and federal

    economies; environmental, economic, and socio cultural impacts; and implications of business

    and non-business eco-travel.

  • REC 420 - Issues in Sustainable and Ecotourism

    A capstone course that explores the many facets of ecotourism in a research and seminar format.

    Special attention will be paid to ecotourism as a responsible form of tourism in which protecting natural

    environments and cultures while improving local economies are the primary goals. Students will

    learn about using ecotourism as means of protecting green space and integrating local people into

    the tourism process all stages of development.

  • Ferrum College Water Quality Monitoring Program

    Throughout the academic year and summer students from Ferrum College work in collaboration with      

    volunteers from the Smith Mountain Lake Association in an ongoing effort to monitor the water quality at Smith Mountain Lake. 

Faculty Research

Dr. Dave Johnson

Dr. Carolyn Thomas



Education & Training   forums  |  workshops  |  reflection activities

  • Ferrum Nature Society

    The FNS creates monthly newsletters which feature various articles on environmental issues, profiles on local species, and a description of natural events that will occur in the month. These bulletins are avilable online and distributed electronically to anyone on the membership list. 

  • Science Seminars

    Every Friday of the month, the science department hosts seminars often led by seniors or professors.  Topics can range from biological focuses to sustainability, and the environment in which we reside.



Campus and Organizational Capacity-Building   strategic initiatives  |  fundraising  |  resource development

Strategic Initiatives

  •  American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment Signatory

          The Commitment recognizes the unique responsibility that institutions of higher education have as role models            for their communities and in training the people who will develop the social, economic and technological           solutions to reverse global warming.   http://www.presidentsclimatecommitment.org/html/about.php

  •  Revolving Theme


Resource Development

  • Titmus Agricultural Center

          New agricultural center built on the Ferrum College 80 acre farm.  The goal is to bring experiential and           service learning to one central place for enviornmental, biology, and sustainability courses.






Research, Policy Analysis, Deliberative Democracy   evaluations  |  policy research  | issue forums  |  advocacy


Contacts   staff  |  faculty  |  students  |  community partners (local, regional, national)


  • Dr. David Johnson - Dean of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  • Dr. George Byrd - Associate Professor of Agriculture and Program Coordinator of Agriculture
  • Dr. Todd Fredericksen - Assistant Professor of Forestry and Wildlife & Program Coordinator of Environmental Science
  • Dr. Bob Pohlad - Professor of Biology and Horticulture
  • Dr. Glen Stevens - Assistant Professor of Biology and Environmental Science
  • Dr. Carolyn Thomas - Professor of Biology and Program Coordinator of Biology
  • Prof Dan Caston - Instructor of Recreation Leadership and Program Coordinator
  • Prof. Jasmine Goodnow - Assistant Professor of Recreation Leadership


Community Partners - Local

  • Blue Ridge Soil & Water Conservation District (BRSWCD)          

Volunteers with assist the BRSWCD with various outreach activities designed to educate the community about local environmental issues and promote good stewardship of local resources. Activities include hands-on classroom and after school presentations to youth groups, advising of regional groups competing in the Envirothon, and consultations with local farmers and park and rec. departments on proper land/resource management.

  • STEP

          Aims to host and run a "repair affair" in which homes are equipped with energy efficient products.


Community Partners - Regional

  • Smith Mountain Lake Association       

The Lake Committee of the Smith Mountain Lake Association is charged with addressing those issues that directly impact the environmental health of Smith Mountain Lake.  It is made up of various sub-committees that look at different aspects of the lake's health.  The committee is made up of the members of the sub-committees, and is chaired by an overall chairman who reports to the Board of Directors of SMLA.  The committee meets each month, or as needed, to review the activities of the individual sub-committees with an objective of providing guidance and help to the individual sub-committees.  The public is always welcome and encouraged to attend these meetings

  • Friends of Claytor Lake          

          The Friends of Claytor Lake is dedicated to conserving and protecting the quality, sustainability and

          tranquility of the environment of Claytor Lake for all.

Community Partners - National

  • Society Of Saint Andrews          

          The Society of St. Andrew is a grassroots hunger relief ministry that relies on volunteers to glean nutritious           produce from farmers' fields and orchards after harvest and deliver it to people in need across the United States.


  • Habitat for Humanity - Resale Store

          Habitat’s Environmental Initiative promotes cost-effective, best-practice construction methods to its U.S.           affiliates, raising awareness of the environmental impacts of house building. As a result, partner families may                enjoy healthier, more energy-efficient and durable housing at the lowest possible cost. Over time the initiative                as been integrated into Habitat’s standard education and training activities, so that affiliates are encouraged to                be good house builders and good stewards of natural resources.













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