News & Events

Most recent events in the Center for Environmental Studies

Recruiting for River Studies & Leadership Certificate Program - We are now recruiting for the VCU - River Management Society "River Studies and Leadership Certificate"! This program can be pursued as either an undergraduate or graduate student. If what you read below is of interest, get on our interest/mailing list, or reach out to the VCU RSLC coordinator - Prof. James Vonesh - jrvonesh@vcu.ed Why Rivers? Rivers play a central role in shaping landscapes and creating biologically diverse and unique ecosystems; they also form the foundation of cultures, economies, and communities.  Indeed, rivers connect us to nature, to our past, and to each other. Leaders of the future with an understanding of the fundamentals of river sciences, river-related policy and management, and river-based recreation and education will be best equipped to make sustainable decisions about future uses, studies and management of river systems around the world.  A new generation of young leaders is essential to create a brighter future for our nation’s rivers. VCU has partnered with the River Management Society (RMS) to offer the "River Studies and Leadership Certificate" program, awarded upon completion of river-focused coursework and a river-related professional project by RMS. VCU is one of only 12 schools to offer this program nationwide. Here are some… Read More
Fall Semester 2021 - Welcome back everyone!  I hope that this past summer has allowed you to pursue your passions and get recharged for this new academic year.  To all incoming first-year students as well as transfer students, "Welcome to CES!"  For those of us who have been here a while, it is wonderful to see you again. This academic year, we are on the rebound after on-line courses in 2020/2021.  We have some very exciting opportunities on the horizon for in-person and hands-on learning experiences.  Some examples include: Into the Wild - Incoming student Welcome Camping Trip.  Like 2 years ago (we had to cancel this past fall), we are holding a welcome camping trip for all incoming first-year and transfer students.  Spaces are limited, so sign up early here. A new Certificate in Outdoor Leadership.  This semester is the first one we are able to offer this new undergraduate Certificate (VCU News Article).  Go check it out, it will probably fit into your undergraduate schedule nicely. Welcome Mr. Karl Schmidt, who is joining CES in a shared capacity with his home unit in the Outdoor Adventure Program.  Karl will be teaching courses in conjunction with the Certificate in Outdoor Leadership and providing… Read More
Shows students on last orientation trip Into the wild – outdoor adventure to welcome incoming students - Center for Environmental Studies has partnered with the Rec Sports' Outdoor Adventure Program (OAP) to a offer a 2-d wilderness backpacking trip to all interested incoming CES first year and transfer students. This optional, peer-led, adventure-based experience is designed to help prepare students for life at VCU while building friendships with those who share similar academic interests. Program orientation trips offer participants opportunities to meet other incoming environmental studies students & faculty while challenging themselves through adventure in the outdoors. No prior experience necessary– CES & OAP strive to meet accommodation needs and will coordinate with individuals so that students of all abilities may participate. ENVS program orientation trip-2 Read More
Students sampling for fish How VCU’s Center for Environmental Studies is emerging as a national leader in hands-on freshwater education - An article by Brian McNeill at VCU News about experiential education in freshwater studies in CES was just posted today. The National Science Foundation has awarded a $497,000 grant to Virginia Commonwealth University Center for Environmental Studies faculty member James Vonesh who will lead a collaborative network of more than 100 professors across 35 states focused on providing undergraduate STEM education through inclusive, interdisciplinary and immersive field studies on the nation’s rivers. The NSF grant follows a separate but similar significant grant awarded last fall to a team of researchers including Daniel McGarvey, Ph.D., an associate professor at the Center for Environmental Studies. That five-year $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to the Society for Freshwater Science will fund a project, Emerge, that aims to support training and experiences for underrepresented minority students and early career scientists in freshwater science. Read the full article on VCU News.   Read More
Fording a river New Outdoor Leadership Certificate! - This fall the VCU Center for Environmental Studies will launch a brand new SHEV-approved undergraduate Outdoor Leadership Certificate open to all majors. The certificate is the natural outgrowth of eight years of successful collaborative programming with the VCU Outdoor Adventure Program. The new certificate is featured in this week's VCU news.  More information can be found here. Read More
Water scooped from Twitchell Lake in the western Adirondacks shows a tint from matter in surrounding wetlands — a sign of what researcher Paul Bukaveckas says is recovery from former acidity. “Notice that it is not murky, just stained,” he says. Photo courtesy of Paul Bukaveckas Adirondack lakes turning browner … but in a good way - By Ry Rivard When Paul Bukaveckas was first studying the effects of acid rain on Adirondack lakes in the late 1980s, he came across some stunning sights. On Silver Lake, the namesake of the Silver Lake Wilderness in the southern Adirondacks, he remembers sitting in a boat and being able to see all the way to the bottom of the lake, down some 60 feet. When he returned a few years ago, the lake was not so clear. That’s a good thing. One of the surprising effects of Adirondack waters’ recovery from acid rain is that they are becoming a bit browner. Read more here Read More
Landscape Genetics Title International Workshop in Landscape Genetics - This week Dr. Rodney Dyer is teaching an International Workshop in Landscape Genetics. This week-long course develops quantitative data analytic skills using R in landscape and spatial ecology, population genetics,Geographic Information Systems, and stochastic modeling. This years participants include graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and research faculty. Read More
Congratulations Graduates! - Today we celebrated the hard work and achievement of the VCU Environmental Studies class of 2021 and thanked all of those that supported these students on their path to success! In a  virtual ceremony that included more than 100 participants, we awarded 6 Masters and 39 Bachelors degrees to some of the most resilient, creative, hard-working students we've had the honor to serve. In addition to individually recognizing each of our graduates, we awarded the "Most Outstanding Graduate Student" to Heather King and "Most Outstanding Undergraduate Student" to Megan Black. Congratulations to all our new graduates, keep in touch, let us know what you are doing -- we are excited to see how you all help make the world a better place. Here is the recording of the complete ceremony in case you missed it! Read More
Katherine Schmidt awarded prestigious Lapham Fellowship at American Rivers - Recent Master of Environmental Studies and River Studies and Leadership Certificate graduate Katherine (Katie) Schmidt has been awarded The Anthony A. Lapham River Conservation Fellowship at American Rivers! The Lapham Fellowship is awarded after a national competition to only one person every two years. Congratulations, Katie! Katie is enthusiastic about this next stage of her career, "I am excited and honored to have been selected as the Lapham Fellow with American Rivers and for the opportunity to work to protect and restore our rivers. I completed my Masters ... with the intention to work in river conservation and this Fellowship will allow me to do just that. Katie completed her M.Envs. in December 2019. While at VCU she supported outdoor education outreach at the Rice Rivers Center and served as a trip leader for the "Canyons of the Salmon" and as a teaching assistant for the "Footprints on the James" field courses. She was also a leader among the River Studies and Leadership Certificate students, helping organize RSLC events and participating in national meetings. As part of her graduate program, she completed an internship with American Whitewater about the potential for recreational dam releases on the Hiwassee River in Tennesse, North… Read More
ENVS graduate student reminds us to say, “No Thanks, Single-Use Plastics” - VCU Environmental Studies graduate student Heather King published an article on Virginia Public Media to remind us that This Earth Day Say “No Thanks, Single-Use Plastics”!  Check out her article, art work and video. Read More