ENSP Sustainability 490

The students in this course are chosen to further sustainability through semester and year-long projects in partnership with faculty and staff across the campus. This course combines an advisor-coordinated sustainability project with a class taught by the sustianability director for 1-3 ENSP 490 credits. Some projects are capstone eligible.

The course requires approximately 5 hours per week spent creating and implementing a sustainability project/research, in collaboration with a supervising staff or faculty member.  Class will be held monthly with the sustainabiltiy director.  This is a great opportunity to work with different departments and offices while making a difference furthering sustainability at the university. 

If you have questions about the program or any of the projects, contact Calandra Waters Lake at [[waterslake]].

Apply by November 28, 2018


Survey of Sustainability Research | 1 position | fall semester | 1 credit

This student will work with the sustainability director and an intern to complete a survey of the sustainability related faculty/staff research that took place in the 2016-2017 academic year. The survey will involve reaching out to faculty across multiple schools and departments, tracking responses, following up with professors and collating data. The preferred student will have strong communication skills, experienced in excel, and well organized. 

Project Goals: 

  • Help obtain list of faculty/staff and projects
  • Contact all researchers and follow up with likely candidates
  • Create and disseminate survey for faculty/staff
  • Collate data and project descriptions
  • Determine the percent of sustainability research conducted
Economic Evaluations Projects | 1-2 positions | spring semester | 1 credit
  • Changes in Alternative Insulating Gas Usage in the Power Grid
  • Household Coal Stove Phase-Out: Health and Climate Benefits Revisited 
  • Student Self Identified Topic

ENSP faculty Drs. Yana Jin and Dan Maliniak invite W&M undergraduate students who are interested in economic evaluation of public investments to check out these multiple research opportunities through ENSP 490. No economics prior experience required, however you should demonstrate abilities to quickly learn by yourself the ABC of multiple topics in the field of environmental health and climate change. You should be comfortable working with formulas and numbers using Microsoft Excel.

Research opportunities on environmental benefit-cost analysis

Benefit-cost analysis (BCA) is a powerful tool used to guide public policy, particularly when trying to determine how to allocate resources. The cutting edge of BCA is probabilistic risk analysis, which uses Monte Carlo simulations. The benefits of this method are in (1) suggesting the most efficient option (program, projects or policy) to implement, and (2) identifying key factors influencing the efficiency outcomes.

 Drs. Jin and Maliniak would like the help of several students in applying environmental BCA in the areas of research described below. Through this research, students will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to undertake standard and probabilistic BCA. The list below is not exhaustive, and student-identified research idea and applications are also encouraged. The applications go into details of research design, implementation and data analysis.