Leave No Trace Trainer

Content includes an overview of the history of the Leave No Trace organization, basic teaching techniques, presentation skills, and an introduction to the seven guiding principles: Plan ahead and prepare, Travel and camp on durable surfaces, Dispose of waste properly, Leave what you find, Minimize campfire impacts, Respect wildlife, Be considerate of other visitors.

Cultural & Ecological Resilience in Arctic Norway

Sustainable Scandinavian Systems (Global Field Study)

This course takes students as far north as 69.6º north latitude in Arctic Norway as we look at cultural traditions and contemporary lives of Sámi, herding traditions, agriculture, and efforts to balance tourism, recreation, and environmental impact in the region. From basecamps near Tromsø and Narvik, Norway, we will meet with researchers and local experts to help us understand the roles of ecological research, sustainable energy production in the face of climate change, and of food production this northernmost part of Europe.

Planned highlights of the course include: Trail building with the Norwegian Tourist Association (DNT), which manages most hiking trails and 500 huts throughout Norway; following Sámi reindeer production from herd to table; participating in the annual cloudberry foraging harvest; exploring traditional and contemporary Norwegian and Sámi cultural traditions; and looking at the role glaciers play in climate change, energy production, and biodiversity.

Timber Framing Practicum

Faculty: Makaio Maher, Rick Thomas, Charlie Ryland, Tony VanWinkle

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Learn and practice the art of timber framing! This two week intensive will cover the fundamentals of designing and constructing a post and beam structure using mortise and tenon joinery.

Students in this immersive, hands-on course will join in all aspects of timber frame construction while building a traditional timber frame structure that will be used as an outdoor classroom on campus.

We will begin with introductions both to timber framing as a craft, and to your fellow students who will be working together to cut the class project frame. We will then move into an introduction to design in which students will discuss joinery, timber dimensions and general structural considerations.

The second portion of the class will be centered around hands-on work and demonstrations. The instructors will demonstrate Square Rule layout; how to efficiently use hand saws, chisels, and other tools; how to cut a mortise and a tenon; how to sharpen tools; how to lay out rafters; and more. Students will work from shop drawings to build a mid-sized frame using a combination of traditional and modern techniques for laying out timbers, cutting joinery and raising the structure.

Finally, students will be introduced to the basics of traditional half-dovetail log building techniques including hewing timbers, laying out joinery, and constructing the outdoor classroom.

 

Register Now for Early Bird Pricing!

Register Now!

Want some more information before you register?  Let us know!


Level:  Beginner – Intermediate. 

This class is for anyone who is interested in the building craft of timber framing. All students, no matter what skill level they bring to the class, will participate actively in the cutting and erecting of a timber frame project.  In the past our students have included professional builders who want to shift their careers into timber frame building, architects and designers, owner-builders and hobby woodworkers who want to build a modest timber frame structure for themselves, as well as potential timber frame homeowners who want an intimate education in the art of timber framing.

Prerequisites:  There are no formal prerequisites for this class.

Tuition & Fees:  Early Bird Pricing: $2250 / Pricing after July 7th: $2275 covers the cost of the class, most course materials, and daily meals from our top-ranked Sterling Kitchen. Accommodations are not included in course pricing.

Housing Availability & Fees: On-campus housing is available for an additional fee of $60/night with a private bathroom and $50/night with shared bathrooms. Please note that Sterling College offers rustic/vintage/farmhouse style accommodations that are clean and safe but not luxurious.  Availability is limited and room requests are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you prefer to stay off-campus please see our accommodations page for local recommendations.


photo of local timber framer Makaio Maher

Makaio Maher: master builder and owner of Green Timber Works, brings fifteen years of experience to exquisitely craft one of a kind custom homes, and other projects. From restoring and renovating old timber frames, to creating new homes and barns, Green Timber Works will be invested every step of the way in your project from design to finish. We have experience in many facets of construction using locally harvested and milled wood from the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, including custom cabinetry and built in furniture, pavilions, decks, greenhouses, straw bale construction, renovations, and small scale excavation.

 

 


Disclaimer: Course descriptions on this webpage are for informational purposes only. Content may be updated or change as planning evolves.  Sterling College reserves the right to alter the program specifics, including details about course content, instructors, collaborations, field trips and facilities at any time without notice.

Dimensions of Ethnobotany

This course bridges ecology, food systems, cultural studies and humanities, and provides students with an investigation into the diverse relationships between humans and plants. The course will explore how different cultures have classified and understood ecological concepts, the liminal spaces between humans and plants, how social dynamics established landscape practices and cultural identities, and the use of plants in artistic pursuits. The class will explore the theories and methods associated with the academic field of ethnobotany through lectures, field trips and experiential activities. Talks and interviews with local foragers, herbalists, crafters, and restaurant owners will provide students with opportunities to investigate the role of plants in Vermont culture .

Students enrolling in this class will also participate in Forgotten Foods

The Walls Are Meant for Murals (ST)

This class will guide students in the mural creation process from concept to completion in painting groups, teams, or individually. We will briefly introduce the concept of murals in art history and do a short research project to seek inspiration! We will then scout our own spaces for potential murals around campus, and then create design proposals for our murals using input from the community, and get the necessary approval before we start throw paint on the walls. After we gather materials and troubleshoot installation logistics, and we will get painting!

Foundations of Outdoor Education: Leadership & Facilitation

The course will provide a broad introduction to leadership and facilitation skills as they apply within the context of outdoor education, as well as an overview of the history and philosophical/theoretical underpinnings of adventure programming broadly speaking, and challenge-based experiences more specifically. Students will identify and cultivate the skills necessary for working effectively with groups, including assertion and listening skills, group assessment, briefing, facilitation of reflection, tone setting, intervention, working one-on-one, and other leadership and facilitation skills. The vehicle for skill development will be facilitation of high and low challenge course activities for middle and high school age students. Students will also understand how to apply new facilitation and leadership skills in a variety of settings and will gain practice doing so through experiences built into the course as well as through structured reflection. Attention will be given to cultural contexts and applications of challenged-based programming, and to diversity and inclusivity theory and practice in challenge course settings. The course will introduce students to important thinkers and practitioners in the field and will provide exposure to a range of work opportunities in the field of outdoor education. By the end of the course students will be able to identify, use, and safely facilitate the use of a variety of high and low challenge course elements. Students will receive intensive leadership development through feedback and self-evaluation, and will increase their own confidence and competence in confronting physical and interpersonal challenges. Writing competency will be a central focus of this course through use of a portfolio which requires twice-weekly reflective writing to engage students with course materials (course readings, class sessions, and practical leadership experience) as well as two formal written assignments that will utilize a revision process and peer review.

Blacksmithing Skills: Carving Knife

Blacksmithing Skills:

Carving Knife

September 2-6, 2019

Faculty: Lucian Avery

 

This course is full

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In this class you will learn how to forge a Scandinavian style knife blade and make a wooden handle shaped to fit comfortably in your hand. Next, you will sew a rawhide sheath and hone a razor edge. On the third day we will put our knives to work, giving them a real world test by doing some carving. This class will provide a foundation for people who want to go farther into knife making or making other tools. It will also includes skills and knowledge for maintaining tools in general. Steel selection, basic metallurgy, heat treating and sharpening will be covered as well as local wood selection and safe carving grips. This class is best suited for people who have some experience in at least one of these subject areas or for beginners who are up for a challenge.


Course Details

Prerequisites:  There are no formal prerequisites for this course. In order to take full advantage of this course students should have a general understanding of blacksmithing weather in practice, readings or videos.

Tuition & Fees:  $400 covers the cost of the instruction, field trips, most course materials, three meals per day from our top-ranked Sterling Kitchen, and ground transportation between class locations. Not included are airport transfers or accommodations; please let us know if we can assist you with finding or providing these.

Housing Availability & Fees: On-campus housing is available for an additional fee of $60 per night with a private bathroom and $50 per night with shared bathroom access. Please note that Sterling College offers rustic, dormitory-style housing that is clean and safe but not luxurious. Availability is limited and room requests are filled on a rolling, first-come, first-served basis.   Please visit our accommodations page for more options.

 

This course is full

Sign Up for More Information


Lucien AveryLucian Avery started blacksmithing in 1992, captivated by the idea of making his own tools for gardening, woodworking and eventually tools for blacksmithing. He soon developed a broader interest in smithing and started taking on commissions. Since then, he has forged a wide array of custom pieces, working with designers, builders, and homeowners from across the country. His work has ranged from thumb latches for historic buildings to stair railings, fire tools, and garden gates. Lately he has come to especially enjoy making early American doorlatches and hinges. And,of course, he continues to be fascinated with toolmaking. In this era of high tech, he has chosen to continue emphasizing old-fashioned craftsmanship and handwork. Avery works solely in his studio in Northern Vermont while teaching classes and demonstrating blacksmithing to the public and blacksmith associations across the United States.


DISCLAIMER: COURSE DESCRIPTIONS ON THIS WEBPAGE ARE FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. CONTENT MAY BE UPDATED OR CHANGE AS PLANNING EVOLVES.  STERLING COLLEGE RESERVES THE RIGHT TO ALTER THE PROGRAM SPECIFICS, INCLUDING DETAILS ABOUT COURSE CONTENT, INSTRUCTORS, COLLABORATIONS, FIELD TRIPS AND FACILITIES AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.

Blacksmithing Essentials for the Beginner

Blacksmithing Essentials for the Beginner

August 26-30, 2019

Faculty: Lucian Avery

 

This course is full

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This class will introduce you to the ancient art of blacksmithing through a series of small projects. We will start with fire tending and safety, then we will jump right into shaping hot iron with a hammer. Filing, basic metallurgy, heat treating, tool and material selection will also be covered as they are encountered in projects, as well as using both coal and propane forges. This class is suitable for beginners and for students who have done some smithing but want to brush up on their fundamentals.

 


Course Details

Prerequisites:  There are no formal prerequisites for this course. In order to take full advantage of this course students should have a general understanding of blacksmithing weather in practice, readings or videos.

Tuition & Fees:  $400 covers the cost of the instruction, field trips, most course materials, three meals per day from our top-ranked Sterling Kitchen, and ground transportation between class locations. Not included are airport transfers or accommodations; please let us know if we can assist you with finding or providing these.

Housing Availability & Fees: On-campus housing is available for an additional fee of $60 per night with a private bathroom and $50 per night with shared bathroom access. Please note that Sterling College offers rustic, dormitory-style housing that is clean and safe but not luxurious. Availability is limited and room requests are filled on a rolling, first-come, first-served basis.   Please visit our accommodations page for more options.

 

This course is full

Sign Up for More Information


Lucien AveryLucian Avery started blacksmithing in 1992, captivated by the idea of making his own tools for gardening, woodworking and eventually tools for blacksmithing. He soon developed a broader interest in smithing and started taking on commissions. Since then, he has forged a wide array of custom pieces, working with designers, builders, and homeowners from across the country. His work has ranged from thumb latches for historic buildings to stair railings, fire tools, and garden gates. Lately he has come to especially enjoy making early American door latches and hinges. And,of course, he continues to be fascinated with toolmaking. In this era of high tech, he has chosen to continue emphasizing old-fashioned craftsmanship and handwork. Avery works solely in his studio in Northern Vermont while teaching classes and demonstrating blacksmithing to the public and blacksmith associations across the United States.


DISCLAIMER: COURSE DESCRIPTIONS ON THIS WEBPAGE ARE FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. CONTENT MAY BE UPDATED OR CHANGE AS PLANNING EVOLVES.  STERLING COLLEGE RESERVES THE RIGHT TO ALTER THE PROGRAM SPECIFICS, INCLUDING DETAILS ABOUT COURSE CONTENT, INSTRUCTORS, COLLABORATIONS, FIELD TRIPS AND FACILITIES AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.

Affinage: The Art and Science of Maturing Cheese

Affinage: The Art and Science

of Maturing Cheese

September 25 – 28, 2019

Faculty: Eric Meredith

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The art and science of affinage is a complex alchemy that can take a few hours or last several years. When making aged cheeses, the French consider that milk undergoes two transformations:  first, liquid milk is transformed into fresh curd and second, the curd is transformed into aged cheese. This course covers the second transformation in all aspects while adding tips for clear lines of communication with the cheesemaker (first transformation) and developing profitable relationships with your customers.

Two comprehensive tastings have been designed to hone your palate and expand your knowledge of sensory evaluation in respect to age profiles as well as defects. Classroom sessions will dive deep into the microbiology behind affinage. Later in the week the class will apply the classroom theory by working directly with cheeses at the Cellars at Jasper Hill. This day long experiential part of the course will include a soft and hard cheese practical skills workshop. The exercises planned will give you hands on practice to applying in your own endeavors.

Students will be introduced to various methods of maintaining and monitoring the ripening environment. Design ideas for affinage spaces, cheesemaking facilities and distribution areas will be shared and scrutinized to maximize flow, reduce food safety challenges, comply with ergonomic principles and keep quality at its highest levels. Students will leave the course confident in their ability to make decisions concerning cheese ripening room design elements, refrigeration styles, room volumes needed, best materials for function and developing a food safety plan for an affinage facility.

 

 

Logo of Cellars at Jasper Hill

black and white logo of Mons Anglophone cheese

This course is co-sponsored by The Cellars at Jasper Hill 

Curriculum designed in cooperation with Mons Academie

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Want some more information before you register?  Let us know!


Course Details

Level: Intermediate – Advanced This course is suitable for confident home cheesemakers and those who have experience in commercial cheesemaking. This course is often considered a professional development opportunity to those who work in the cheese industry.

Prerequisites: There are no formal prerequisites for this class. The Fundamentals of Artisan Cheese course is a highly recommended prerequisite for this class but not required.

In order to gain the full value of the class, students should have confident cheese-making experience and should come with a general understanding of the biology and chemistry associated with milk, proteins, carbohydrates, enzymes and microbes along with basic algebra. Eric will commonly use metric units and degrees Celsius; please be comfortable with these units of measure before class begins.

Tuition & Fees: Price: $2700. This covers tuition, a printed text, and ground transportation between all course locations. Also provided are three meals per day prepared by the Sterling Kitchen. Not included are airport transfers or accommodations.

Housing Availability & Fees: On-campus housing is not available for this course. We recommend the Highland Lodge in Greensboro, VT which offers breakfast and a daily shuttle to and from. For other recommendations please see our accommodations page.


Eric Meredith stepped into the food world as a dishwasher in a hospital kitchen in Lynn, Massachusetts at the age of 14. He then attended Johnson & Wales University to pursue a degree in Culinary Arts and a bachelor’s degree in Culinary Nutrition.  He furthered his food-focused education by becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist in New York City. Eric later worked for Herve Mons in France for as his right-hand man helping him design his tunnel in Ambierle and running the day-to-day operations at the caves in St. Haon le Chatel. During his 6 years in France, Eric learned cheese making from the best artisans in France and affinage from Herve’s network of affineurs. Eric’s next big project was with Wegmans in Rochester, NY where he designed, built and managed their affinage facility. Eric then went on to work with Neal’s Yard Dairy as the project manager facilitating the design and move to their new aging and distribution facility in London. He also volunteers his time on the education committee for the American Cheese Society, where he stretches the boundaries and strives for excellence in artisan stewardship. Eric now runs a consulting business helping cheese makers, affineurs and retailers all over the world design, troubleshoot and fine tune cheese making and affinage programs and facilities.


Disclaimer: Course descriptions on this webpage are for informational purposes only. Content may be updated or change as planning evolves.  Sterling College reserves the right to alter the program specifics, including details about course content, instructors, collaborations, field trips and facilities at any time without notice.

Ecology: Concepts and Applications

This course will provide an overview of core ecological concepts and their application in studying the natural world. This course will help students understand the cycles and interconnectedness of living things and their environments, and how to study these systems. Successful completion of this course will also prepare students for further study in the environmental field.

Natural History of California (ST)

California is the most topographically, geographically, ecologically and biologically diverse place in temperate North America. This course is a field-based exploration of the flora and fauna of California and the physical factors such as climate and geologic history that shape the region. Emphasis is placed on the ecological interplay amongst desert, montane forest, alpine, grassland and coastal chaparral vegetation types and the climatic and physiographic factors that determine community distribution. Students build on foundational principles of natural history and ecology through development and practice of observation, identification, and interpretation skills and the keeping of a refined naturalist field journal. Topics include a botanical survey of plant families and representative species, introduction to major groups of animals including insects,herps, mammals and birds, plant and animal adaptations, natural community composition and structure, biogeographic concepts, geologic history, geomorphic processes and related landforms, and California weather and climate. Students gain skills in identification, classification and interpretation of organisms, field journaling, species accounts and systematic species lists, and reading the California landscape. Course format includes lectures, discussions, and a significant field component.

Global Environmental Literature (ST)

Global Environmental Literature is a cross-cultural exploration of fiction that examines the intersections of culture and ecology. Questions we will consider include: What does literature reveal about differing cultural perceptions of the relationship between culture and ecology? How does literature help challenge dominant narratives of the role of humans in relation to other species?

This course counts as one of the required two 400-level seminars. This course counts toward the writing-intensive requirement.