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.


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