Livestock Systems Management

Livestock Systems Management will provide students with the knowledge and skills to assess housing, and forage production and storage needs, for a wide variety of livestock types. Air quality, special needs handling, manure storage, feed storage, water and fencing systems, construction styles, and environmental regulatory compliance will be covered. Class sessions will be supported by extensive field trips to observe a wide variety of animal housing and feeding systems. Economic implications of various systems will be evaluated. Students will develop a housing and  feeding system for a group of animals of their choosing.

Orienteering Sports (ST)

Experience the thrill of racing through the woods with just your wits and map and compass to guide you.  Whether it is team adventure racing, foot orienteering, or doing it on skis that is your interest, you get the solid navigation skills you need for all of them. Depending on the season the course is taught, one sport will be the main focus each semester.  (Fall 2016 Foot Orienteering) Some running fitness is a plus, but not required.

Learn the standard symbols for competitive orienteering maps both by navigating on existing maps and creating new ones using a digital mapping program.  Early classes focus on particular aspects of map interpretation and decision making. Later classes put all the pieces together.  The skill development progression will mix on terrain travel with on paper map exercises, and digital map drawing.  Several weekends the class will travel to orienteering competitions to test skills and see how events are run. (an individual student would only be required  to attend two weekend events) The end of semester goal for the class is to host a quality orienteering event.  The course will enhance your personal skills and also prepare you to teach orienteering to others.  

Practicum (Yestermorrow Semester)

Students will be introduced to the vernacular architecture of northern New England and the history of the design/build movement of the latter half of the 20th century. Guest lectures, field trips, readings and discussions will provide a survey of shelter types and strategies in Vermont’s difficult climate as well as the evolution of design/build. This course will also examine the historical, social, and economic issues surrounding housing and architecture in the region. Issues such as bioregionalism, historic preservation and land use will also be explored. Students will analyze the climatic responses of vernacular building features to inform their work, as they consider the social, cultural, and economic factors driving the evolution of certain forms, building types, and aesthetic choices. Special interest will also be paid to the Bauhaus teaching philosophy developed by Johannes Itten, its migration to the Unites States, and its ultimate implementation as part of the practical approach applied in the late 60’s and 70’s by Vermont Design/Builders.

This course is available to Sterling students through our partnership with Yestermorrow Design/Build School. For more information about Sterling’s partnership with Yestermorrow please visit this page.

Design & Visual Communications Studio (Yestermorrow Semester)

This two-part course will investigate ideas of architectural design process and visual representation through a studio format. We will begin by reading Michael Pollan’s book “A Place of My Own”, using his autobiographical account as a launch pad to explore ideas of shelter. Students will then research and present on various leaders of innovation in the design world and important precedent works, taking note to account for the particular methodological approaches that produced noteworthy outcomes. Drawing from these precedents students will examine various methods for generating a concept, effectively communicating that concept through drawing. Subsequently students will reflect on the outcome a drawing may produce when lifted from the page, or screen, into a fully realized form. Through field trips, additional readings in design theory and phenomenology, and individual research, students will begin to apply these lessons learned to a final semester project. Development of presentation and critical thinking skills will be essential as students will themselves grapple with developing a project all the while addressing key environmental and cultural influences necessary to realize a successful work of architecture. Students will leave with a fundamental understanding of how social, political, performative, and economic factors impact design choices. Particular emphasis will be placed on the process of collaborating as a group, including a variety of perspectives and conceptual approaches, and incorporating the ongoing building process. Students will present their designs for interim and final reviews and will incorporate feedback in an ongoing iterative learning process.

This course is available to Sterling students through our partnership with Yestermorrow Design/Build School. For more information about Sterling’s partnership with Yestermorrow please visit this page.

Sustainable Design (Yestermorrow Semester)

This course is an inter-disciplinary seminar designed to allow students to explore the emerging definitions of “sustainability.” Students will be exposed to and required to discuss current theories, methodologies, and best practices related to the creation of our built environments. Topics for consideration may include but are not limited to human health, community engagement, building performance, ecological impact, human relationships to nature, material life cycle, material spirit, affordability, appropriate technology, beauty, ethics, and utility. Students will grapple with these topics as they develop an appreciation of multiple perspectives; including various stakeholders like developers, designers, builders, and clients. Using a case-study approach, readings, discussions, and lectures students will develop and defend various positions, ultimately defining for themselves metrics for how to define the sustainable building movement, beyond just the greening of conventional affordable buildings into the territory of regenerative design and development.

This course is available to Sterling students through our partnership with Yestermorrow Design/Build School. For more information about Sterling’s partnership with Yestermorrow please visit this page.

Sustainable Building Systems (Yestermorrow Semester)

The objective of this course is to develop the understanding of basic principles of building physics, material science, and appropriate technology for a New England climate. Through lectures, readings, class discussions, and assignments students will gain comprehension of building anatomy. They will understand how natural forces, particular to a northeast climate can affect a buildings structural and thermal performance. Through individual research, leaning heavily on sourcing and reading white papers from specialists in the field of building science, students will form opinions and present findings on best practices and relate those findings to sociopolitical and economic factors of accessibility. Guest lectures will introduce students to current sustainable technologies, and students will have the opportunity to experiment through applied material research.

This course is available to Sterling students through our partnership with Yestermorrow Design/Build School. For more information about Sterling’s partnership with Yestermorrow please visit this page.

Sustainable Building and Design Certificate (Yestermorrow)

Our Certificate in Sustainable Building & Design provides students with a solid grounding in sustainable design principles, along with hands-on experience in the design/build process. Ranging from community-scale planning to the details of photovoltaic installation, the Certificate covers a broad spectrum of topics from small to large scale. Balancing theory with hands-on practice, students have the opportunity to explore alternative, innovative, and experimental design and building methodologies and materials. The certificate program is designed for those wishing to learn the art of design/build while developing a strong understanding of the concepts and methods of green design.

The Certificate program includes the three-week Core Curriculum, plus an additional eighteen days of elective courses and workshops.  Students enrolled in the Certificate program will also be expected, with the support of an advisor, to participate in a practicum project and presentation after finishing the full curriculum.  Through this culminating activity, the student documents his/her theoretical and practical knowledge and skills in the area of sustainable building and design in a hands-on manner before a jury of professional architects and builders.  The scope, topic, and form of the Practicum and presentation are determined by the student and advisor, depending upon the skills, interests, and focus of the student.

There is no official start or end date to the program, though we strongly suggest that students begin the program with the Core Curriculum.  One can participate as classes are available and as one’s schedule permits.  With careful planning some participants complete the program within six months, while others might chip away at it over several years.  There are no prerequisites for entering the program.

This course is available to Sterling students through our partnership with Yestermorrow Design/Build School. For more information about Sterling’s partnership with Yestermorrow please visit this page.

Natural Building Certificate (Yestermorrow)

Yestermorrow’s 6-week Natural Building Certificate is a unique course of study providing hands-on exploration of earthen and natural elements and the means by which they can be used to create structures and shelter. From the design and planning stages through the finishing touches, students will gain comfort and experience working with straw, wood, clay, sand, stone, water, and lime as they design, erect, shape, sculpt, and detail the walls, roofs, and floors that enclose healthy, comfortable, and low-impact living spaces. The program includes an Introduction to Natural Building, as well as segments on Insulative Natural Wall Systems, Thermally Massive Natural Wall Systems, Natural Plasters, Advanced Plaster Techniques, Earthen Floors, Natural Paints & Finishes, and will conclude with individual practicum projects and presentations. The Natural Building Certificate provides the opportunity to develop a range of natural building skills for owner-builders and aspiring professional natural builders alike.

This course is available to Sterling students through our partnership with Yestermorrow Design/Build School. For more information about Sterling’s partnership with Yestermorrow please visit this page.

Woodworking Certificate Program (Yestermorrow)

Yestermorrow’s 11-week Woodworking Certificate program gives amateurs and aspiring professionals a solid grounding in woodworking and furnituremaking techniques, led by Yestermorrow’s talented and nationally recognized faculty.  Skills learned in the Certificate program include design and drafting, wood selection and preparation, joinery, traditional hand skills, sharpening, power tool techniques, and finishing. The curriculum has a strong focus on the integration of design in the woodworking process, part of Yestermorrow’s core philosophy of design/build.

The Certificate begins with an analysis of trees and the wood they produce, an overview of felling and milling practices, and an introduction to the tactile essence of working with green wood. The program then moves into the realm of Cabinetry, in which students become oriented to the tools of the woodshop and basic principles of wood movement and layout. Additional program segments include Beginning Furnituremaking, Green Ladderback Chairs, Joinery, Boxmaking, Care & Repair of Shop Machines, Design/Build Process, Intermediate Furniture Techniques, and Wood Finishes. The program culminates in a two-week studio where each student will design and build a piece of his or her own choosing.

This course is available to Sterling students through our partnership with Yestermorrow Design/Build School. For more information about Sterling’s partnership with Yestermorrow please visit this page.

Research in Tropical Ecosystems: San Salvador Bahamas (Global Field Study)

Research in Tropical Ecosystems is a Sterling College field study program in which students have the opportunity to diversify their northern Sterling experience with an intensive field course in a tropical region.

 

 

 

 

kevin dean entering caveThis research oriented course builds on research skills learned at Sterling College and allows students to implement these skills in a tropical ecosystem. Partnering with local biological research stations and the local community, Sterling students have the opportunity to explore the impacts of land use on a tropical watershed and the coral reef. Tropical Ecosystems and Culture (NS 304) is offered during the fall semester and is recommended but not required for participation in this field study program.

 

Oral History: Family Stories and Cultural Identity (ST)

This course explores how families (as well as communities) serve as sites for cultural transmission by gathering and studying family and community stories. Focusing on various traditions or a ‘tradition bearer’ in students’ families (or in the local community), we will collect oral histories and consider how these traditions contribute to our sense of individual, regional, and cultural identity. Students will also be introduced to methods of folklore and ethnography, including interviewing, collecting, and other forms of documentation. This course satisfies two credits of a student’s writing-intensive requirement.

Studio Art: Natural History Illustration

In this two week long intensive, students will explore a variety of media including: pencil, charcoal and watercolor in illustrating plant and animal forms and cultural objects. We will visit a variety of collections that may include the Fairbanks Museum, Birds of Vermont and the Audubon Society of Vermont, and the Echo Lake Aquarium and Science Center. We will sketch and photograph subjects in local fieldtrips. We will draw and paint plants, focusing on specific technical approaches to drawing. We will then turn to drawing insects and animals, from direct observation and from photographs. By the end of the intensive, students should gain new techniques in drawing and painting through working in a sketchbook and gain new understanding of how to use art materials for illustration. Also, students will develop knowledge about the field of natural history illustration and an understanding of the process of constructing natural history exhibits. We will read excerpts from Natural History Painting: the Eden Project, Field Notes on Science & Nature, and Drawing Nature.