Intensive Study: Applied Sustainability

420.669.91 Applied Sustainability

Date: May 27 – August 18, 2020

Please contact Environmental Science and Policy Program Director, Jerry Burgess, for more information.

Intensive Study: Applied Sustainability

Course Description

This course examines the history and current trends in the expanding field of sustainability science. Students will examine a wide range of case studies in sustainable resource management through visits to field sites and discussions with sustainability practitioners in Maryland. Topics include aspects of energy systems, infrastructure, waste management, food systems and biodiversity as related to sustainability. Student work includes teaching a lecture on an assigned aspect of sustainability as well as a small group visioning project/presentation, both during the field experience. There is no final or paper for this course, but there will be assigned readings and related mini-assignments during and after the field experience.

Course Schedule
May 27,
The online portion of the course begins.
June 19,
2020, 9:00 AM
Field Trip departure from Homewood Campus. Rendezvous details to follow after registration.
June 19–28,
Field trip: lectures, discussion and site visits highlighting energy, food, waste, and infrastructure issues central to sustainability. Housing in shared rustic cabin/tents during field trip; sleeping bags required. Meals provided during trip featuring local food sources. Activities are all day and may extend into evenings after meals. The course fee includes transportation, housing, and food for 10 days and 9 nights of field excursion.
June 28,
2020, 1:30 PM
Field experience adjourns, return to Homewood Campus from Thurmont, MD, area.
August 18,
Course ends.

Intensive Study: Applied Sustainability


Paul Kazyak
Paul is a retired scientist from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and he teaches a number of courses for AAP/ESP. His past experience includes the design of the nationally recognized Maryland Biological Stream Survey and working on numerous sustainability-related projects. He is an experienced educator and was named 2008 Environmental Educator of the Year by the National Science Teachers Association. Paul was named the 2013 Green Employee of the Year by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and he helped start Frostburg Grows, a sustainable agriculture project in western Maryland.

Intensive Study: Applied Sustainability


The field trip portion of the course will be home-based at ThorpeWood, a mountain retreat near Thurmont, MD. Accommodations will be a multi-occupancy rustic cabin (not 5 stars, but with modern kitchen, shower and toilet facilities) and/or optional tent camping near the cabin.

Intensive Study: Applied Sustainability


Students should budget for the following costs:
$4,214 Tuition
$995 Trip fee
This fee covers lodging and facility fees, ground transportation during the field trip, meals, access to field sites and use of equipment.
Travel to the Baltimore area to join the course: Students are responsible for getting themselves to and from Homewood campus for the June 19 convening and June 28 return.
The field experience ends at 1:30 PM on June 28th so students may schedule a travel home starting the afternoon of that day.

Intensive Study: Applied Sustainability


Registration for the course will open around the middle of March and close on April 15th. Students will register for this course in SIS. Payment is due at the time of registration (tuition $4,214 + course fee $995 = $5,209). If a student decides to drop this course, $500 of the tuition is non-refundable, regardless of a student’s payment method choice (financial aid, employer assistance, tuition remission, etc). Please note: this course does not follow the regular tuition refund schedule and all tuition and fees for this course are NON-REFUNDABLE when registration closes.

The course needs 10 people to run. Tuition refunds will be made if there are not enough people to run the course. The maximum number of people for the course is 15. Registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis with priority given to ESP degree candidates. Do not purchase travel or make other investments in your trip until you hear from AAP that there are enough participants to run the trip. If you have any questions please contact an academic advisor.

Important Dates
March 15 – April 15, 2020 Registration is open.
April 15, 2020 Students will be notified if the course has sufficient enrollment to run; do not purchase travel or accommodations before this notification.
May 27, 2020 The online portion of the course begins.
June 19, 2020 Field trip departure 9:00 AM from Homewood Campus.
June 28, 2020 1:30 PM return to Homewood Campus.
August 18, 2020 Last day of the course.

Intensive Study: Applied Sustainability


Students will make their own travel arrangements to and from the Baltimore area to rendezvous for the field trip. The university is not responsible for refunds, penalties, or other fees that may be incurred or lost for changes or cancellations of airfare. Trip insurance is recommended.

Intensive Study: Applied Sustainability


Student Emergency Contact Information

Students must update their emergency contact information in SIS by following these instructions:

  1. Log in to
  2. Hover over the “Personal Information” tab
  3. Select “Emergency Contact”
  4. Complete “Emergency Contact” information

Important Form

All participants must complete:

Quote from a Former Student

What an amazing trip with my Applied Sustainability class! I went into it just looking to check the box, excited that I could bang out a class in 3 weeks. Instead, I communed with nature, disconnected from the grid for a few days (mostly…), met like-minded environmentalists, saw the stars again (wow!), and ultimately remembered why I wanted to move into energy, environmentalism, and sustainability in the first place. I’m feeling recharged and grateful… 
Vinny Magno, 2013

Intensive Study: Applied Sustainability