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ETE students on field trip

Environment, Technology and Economy

Sustainability through the lenses of technology and economy

Introduction 

Human life and survival are deeply intertwined with the health and availability of the planet's natural resources, from water and air to coal and other energy sources. In this context, what does it mean to each of us to be a citizen of this community, this country and this world? 

The Environment, Technology and Economy (ETE) program takes on the complex and urgent issues of global sustainability from an environmental, social and economic perspective. Students explore:

  • Human impacts on ecosystems and the natural environment;
  • Advances in technology and efficiency; and
  • The role of economic sectors, such as energy, transportation and manufacturing. 

The program offers a holistic and intersectional view of sustainability, examining how institutional systems and traditional power structures create differential exposure to environmental hazards depending on race, gender and national origin. Ultimately, students are encouraged to evaluate sustainability at a personal level, in the context of their own academic, professional and personal lives.

ETE is ideal for students who are interested in engaging with the world and their communities. All majors are welcome and in fact, encouraged, to ensure a diversity of perspectives.

Colloquium and Lecture Topics

  • UMD campus sustainability tour
  • Global climate change and ecosystem services
  • Guest lectures on the applications of environmental regulations, environmental justice and corporate social responsibility
  • Corporate sustainability and ecological economics
  • New and emerging trends in energy and transportation
  • Waste audits of the Stamp food court, dining halls, student dorms and even the National Zoo

Learning about the interconnected relationship between environmental issues, economic security and social equity has helped me find connections between my ETE coursework and other classes.

Kaylyn Miller
Kaylyn Miller '23

Other Learning Opportunities

ETE offers a variety of excursions to enhance students' classroom learning. The University of Maryland's (UMD's) location near Washington, DC, means students get to learn about species conservation at the National Zoo, see lobbying efforts at the U.S. Capitol and tour the first LEED Platinum building in the world on the Chesapeake Bay.

Students also have the opportunity to:

  • Work on the UMD Terp Farm;
  • Canoe with the Anacostia Watershed Society; and
  • Hike in the region's many green spaces to experience firsthand the positive impact outdoor activity has on mental health.

ETE further works closely with UMD's Office of Sustainability and other partners to facilitate sustainable initiatives on campus. Student projects have included revitalizing an interpretive trail on the Wooded Hillock, reducing student water use in showers and installing an algal turf scrubber to clean up campus waterways. Several projects have been awarded grant money so students can put their ideas into action.

Curriculum Overview

Over the two-year program experience (four semesters), students will complete two supporting courses that will count toward their ETE Scholars citation. In most cases, these will fulfill General Education requirements. Note that your Scholars courses—colloquium, practicum and supporting course—will generally be in addition to any courses you take to satisfy major requirements.

The following table represents a typical two-year curriculum, but individual schedules may vary. Details about courses and requirements can be found on the ETE Citation Checklist.

SEMESTER COURSE CREDITS
Freshman Fall Scholars Colloquium 1 credit
4–5 courses toward degree and major requirements (including possible supporting course) 12–15 credits
Freshman Spring Scholars Colloquium 3 credits
Academic Writing 3 credits
2–3 courses toward degree and major requirements (including possible supporting course if not already completed) 6–9 credits
Sophomore Fall Scholars Colloquium 1 credit
4–5 courses toward degree and major requirements (including possible supporting course if not already completed) 12–15 credits
Sophomore Spring Scholars Practicum 1–3 credits
4–5 courses toward degree and major requirements (including possible supporting course if not already completed) 12–15 credits

Residence Hall

Chestertown Hall

Office Address

1108B Chestertown

Office Phone

301-314-1520

Faculty

Portrait of Tim Knight

Tim Knight

Program Director, Environment, Technology and Economy
Portrait of Edward Sinnes

Edward Sinnes

Assistant Director, Environment, Technology and Economy

Social Media Etc.


Environment, Technology and Economy News

Showing 1 - 6 of 15
  • 4 Graduating Scholars Alums Recognized With Prestigious University Awards

    Four Scholars alumni are among the handful of graduating seniors recognized this month with some of the University of Maryland’s most prestigious awards. Gabriela Winter, an alum of the Public Leadership Scholars program, received the Wilson H. Elkins Citizenship Awards, presented each year to one of the top students in the graduating class who has displayed outstanding involvement and leadership in campus activities.

  • Scholars Student 1 of 6 Terps to Receive 2022 Hollings Scholarship from NOAA

    An Environment, Technology and Economy (ETE) Scholars student has received a 2022 Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Maguire Ballard, a civil engineering major in his second year of ETE, is one of six University of Maryland students to have received this year's Hollings Scholarship. The award is NOAA's flagship undergraduate program and provides recipients with scholarships worth $19,000 and a fully funded 10-week, full-time summer research placement at a NOAA facility.

  • Scholars recognizes Citation Class of 2021, Founders Circle Award winners

    When the Scholars Citation Class of 2021—all 930 of them—stepped onto the University of Maryland campus in August of 2019, spirits were undoubtedly high. College Park Scholars was celebrating its 25th anniversary, with branded #ScholarsAt25 shirts, buttons and laptop stickers, and even a Maryland Dairy ice cream flavor created specifically for the occasion. But spirits sank in March of 2020 with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, sending the cohort into a virtual experience for the rest of their time in the program.

  • New Minor Expands STS Concepts Beyond Scholars

    The Science, Technology and Society (STS) Scholars program has long pushed students to consider the ethical, social and political implications of science, research and technology. It’s the kind of thinking that isn’t readily incorporated into most STEM curricula, despite the high likelihood that these students will one day design or introduce innovations that could significantly impact society. Thanks to a new minor, however, more University of Maryland students will soon be exposed to STS teachings.

  • In-Person Service Day Relaunches With Enthusiasm

    Kids bent over boxes of school supplies. Tubs of tomatoes, picked fresh off the vine. College students clad in waders, waist-deep in pond water. These were just a few of the scenes witnessed during College Park Scholars’ annual Service Day, which took place on Friday, Aug. 27, this year.

  • Despite Being Virtual, Scholars Showcases Promote Personal Interaction

    For most University of Maryland (UMD) students, the end of the spring semester heralds the start of finals. But for sophomores in College Park Scholars, for the past 24 years, this time of year has signified Academic Showcase. The event, one of the largest exhibitions of undergraduate student learning on campus each year, typically involves more than 600 Scholars sophomores presenting on their capstone projects to fellow students, faculty, parents and other members of the UMD community.

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