Intensive Study: Applied Sustainability

Last taught May 10 – June 11, 2017 and is expected to be taught again during the Summer of 2020.

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

420.669.91 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 preparation of a sustainability visioning project prior to the beginning of the trip and presentation of the project at the end of the trip.

Course Schedule
May 10, 2017 Online portion of course begins.
June 2, 2017, 9:00am Field Trip departure from Homewood Campus. Rendezvous details to follow after registration.
June 2 – 11, 2017 Field trip: lectures, discussion and site visits highlighting energy, food, waste, and infrastructure issues central to sustainability. Housing in shared cabin/tents during field trip; sleeping bags required. Meals provided during trip featuring local food sources. Activities are all day and extend into evenings after meals. Course fee includes transportation, housing, and food for 10 days and 9 nights of field excursion.
June 11, 2017, 1:30pm Class adjourns, return to Homewood Campus.


Paul Kazyak
Paul is a recently retired scientist from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. His past experience includes design of the nationally recognized Maryland Biological Stream Survey and working on numerous sustainability-related projects as the Maryland liaison for the Highlands Action Program. 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.

Environmental Sciences and Policy Intensive Study Applied Sustainability


The field trip portion of the course will be based at ThorpeWood, a mountain retreat near Thurmont, MD. Accommodations will be a multi-occupancy cabin and/or optional tent camping.

Environmental Sciences and Policy Intensive Study Applied Sustainability


Students should budget for the following costs for the course:
$3708 Tuition
$925 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 2 convening and June 11 return.
The course ends at 1:30pm on June 11th so students may schedule travel home starting the afternoon of that day.


Registration for the course will open around the middle of March and close in early May. Students will register for this course in SIS. Payment is due at the time of registration (tuition $3708 + course fee $925 = $4633). 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.

Environmental Sciences and Policy Intensive Study Applied Sustainability

The course needs 8 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 – May 1, 2017 Registration is open.
May 5, 2017 Students will be notified if course has sufficient enrollment to run; do not purchase travel or accommodations before this notification.
May 10, 2017 Online portion of course begins.
June 2, 2017 Field trip departure 9:00am from Homewood Campus.
June 11, 2017 1:30pm return to Homewood Campus.


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.

Environmental Sciences and Policy Intensive Study Applied Sustainability

Important Forms

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

Environmental Sciences and Policy Intensive Study Applied Sustainability