Academics Navigation


Get a feel for the exciting variety of courses taught at Marlboro.

This is a list of courses that faculty felt was representational of the courses offered. It is not a complete list of courses, some courses are offered yearly, while others are infrequent. A course may be inspired by events or strong interests and taught only once.

Most advanced work is in the form of tutorials on specific subjects, a collaboration between one faculty member and one student or a handful of students.

Environmental Studies

Agroecology Seminar
(2.00 Credits — Intermediate)

Spring 2014

We will develop a common base of knowledge in alternative agriculture through a variety of readings and presentations.  Additionally, each student will engage in a research project using the Marlboro College Farm or Greenhouse as a study site.  Possible ideas for research include intercropping, soil health, integrated pest management, biodynamic farming, no-till agriculture, permaculture, agroforestry, and biodiversity in agriculture.  Credits can range from 2-4.  In addition to the seminar time slot, we will meet one additional time each week based on student/faculty schedules to support the research projects.  Prerequisite: Previous work in the life sciences or permission of instructor

Environmental Studies Seminar: Imagining Water
(2.00 Credits — Introductory)

Spring 2016
Global Perspective

During this seminar we will explore a theme of environmental interest from multiple disciplinary perspectives.  This semester's theme: water. Marlboro faculty with diverse curricular interests will present ideas on the theme during the first half of the semester. Students in the seminar will lead the second half of the semester; this may include presentations of work by others, original work, field trips, guest speakers or other ideas brought by students. The seminar is recommended to all students who intend to do Plan work in Environmental Studies but it is open to any interested students. The seminar offers an opportunity to engage with various Marlboro faculty members interested in the environment and to explore the interdisciplinary nature of Environmental Studies.

Note: Course meeting time will be determined at the start of the semester based on the mutual agreement of those who wish to enroll

Future Energy
(4.00 Credits — Intermediate)

Fall 2013

We will consider options for baseload (24-7) electric power when we are forced to close down fossil fuel power plants for the sake of the planet.   

Prerequisite: Some background in the sciences

How Environmentally Sustainable is Marlboro College?
(3.00 Credits — Introductory)

Fall 2010

In our Environmental Mission Statement we commit to "using energy efficiently and resources wisely." Do we? How do we know? In this course we critically compare different methods of assessing environmental impact and dig into the data to evaluate our performance. Through a combination of guest speakers and hands-on activities we range across many topics within sustainability at every level of the Marlboro community. These topics include energy, waste, food, transport, forestry and greenhouse gas emissions. Prerequisite: None

Inhabitations: An Introduction to Environmental Studies
(4.00 Credits — Introductory)

Spring 2014
Designated Writing

Understanding the environmental challenges and opportunities of today’s world begins with careful inhabitation, or dwelling, within and upon specific places and texts. This course emphasizes local ecology and human communities through a series of visits to nearby environmental sites. Interdisciplinarity has long been a hallmark of the field of environmental studies; reflecting that tradition, "Inhabitations" is team-taught by faculty of multiple academic areas. This course is an important building block for environmental studies students and is also a designated writing course.

(4.00 Credits — Introductory)

Spring 2013
Designated Writing

Sustainability is a widely used term suggesting the ability of a system to maintain itself or for a process to continue indefinitely. In this course, we will examine the ecological basis of sustainability in agricultural, forest, marine, and urban systems. Although our focus will be on ecological sustainability, we will explore this dimension while developing an awareness of the broader cultural and social contexts in which ecological sustainability takes place. Prerequisite: None

Natural History of Vermont
(4.00 Credits — Intermediate)

Fall 2013

An "old fashioned" course where we will study the climate and landscape of Vermont and the kinds of things that live here. While studying all groups, each student will be asked to specialize on one taxon. There will be a lot of field work. Prerequisite: None

(4.00 Credits — Intermediate)

Fall 2011

An exploration of major environmental themes and issues in U.S. History, from colonial times to the present. The inquiry is organized around a series of case studies that address such issues as land and land-use control, water resources, toxic substances, wildlife, and the environmental movement. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

Who Owns the Land?
(4.00 Credits — Intermediate)

Fall 2010

This course examines changing ideas about land, competing claims over rights to land, and resulting patterns of land use and land-use control, primarily in the U.S. The course offers an historical overview but focuses primarily on topics of contemporary interest: zoning, eminent domain, and land-use planning (examining the case of Marlboro, VT); the "public-private" divide and the "wise use" movement; the tragedy of the commons; patterns of human settlement; and economic geography. Prerequisite: Previous work in social science or environmental studies or permission of instructor

For Environmental Studies offerings, also see:

China's Problems Since Mao
Consumer Culture in Historical Perspective
Designing Fieldwork
Environmental Philosophy
Food, Waste, and Justice
General Biology I
General Biology II
General Chemistry I
General Chemistry I Lab - Exploration of Biofuels
General Ecology & Ecology Lab
Generators: The Literature of Energy
Imaging Water
Inequality and "Natural" Disasters
Intermediate Microeconomics
Introduction to Cartography: History, Theory and Practice
Introduction to Confucianism & Daoism
Landscape Painting & Drawing
Political Theory and the Ecological Crisis
The Land Ethic and Other Signs of Hope
WRITING SEMINAR: Interdisciplinary Science Writing
WRITING SEMINAR: Sense of Place in a Rapidly Changing World
Writing Seminar: Writing like a Mountain


(a mostly random selection of Marlboro microdestinations)