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

  • 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.

  • Scholars Citation Class of 2020 Recognized at Virtual Awards Ceremony

    When the Scholars Citation Class of 2020 arrived at the University of Maryland in fall 2018, they were wide-eyed freshmen who took part in the usual rites of passage in Scholars: Service Day, excursions related to the annual theme, a kickball tournament the spring of their freshman year. And, while the 984 students’ second year in Scholars fell during the program’s 25th anniversary, “that year turned out to be anything but ordinary,” observes Scholars Executive Director Marilee Lindemann.

  • Scholars Recognizes 2019 Citation, Founders Circle Award Winners

    In 2017, College Park Scholars welcomed more than 800 freshmen to what would become its 24th citation class, the Scholars Class of 2019. All who successfully completed the requirements of their Scholars program received their official Scholars citation. But there were some that went above and beyond the expectations, leaving a lasting impact on the community.

  • What Scholars Did on Their Summer Break

    It’s a perennial back-to-school query from teachers: What did you do on your summer vacation? When we asked some of our Scholars students and alumni, they had a lot to tell us… and not surprisingly, they made the most of their summer break. Now that students have settled in on campus and the semester is a few weeks in, we highlight some of our impressive Scholars accomplishments from over the summer.

  • Scholars Turn 'Shower Power' Colloquium Project Into Real-Life Sustainability Push

    In the Environment, Technology and Economy (ETE) Scholars program, the second-semester colloquium is largely devoted to the “Connections” Project. Teams of four to six students propose an idea to enhance sustainability on campus or in the community. They research an idea, propose how best to achieve it and implement one aspect of the proposal by the end of the semester.

  • Scholars Recognized at 2017 University Awards

    Scholars students took home several top awards at the 36th University Student Leadership Awards on Sunday, May 7. University Awards recognized Maryland Medallion Society members and Byrd/Elkins Finalists who have contributed significantly to the general advancement of this university’s interests and displayed outstanding involvement and leadership in campus activities. These students are the university’s top 20 senior students; two Scholars alumni were recognized by the Maryland Medallion Society:

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