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Environmental Sustainability

What is the ambitious goal of this project?

Dear and fawn are in field, but urban sky line of tall buildings can be seen behind them.

Our interdisciplinary team is tackling sustainability challenges across the planet – from rangelands to wetlands, from Boise to Bhutan. Students will work with Human-Environment Systems faculty to address these real-world challenges, while simultaneously building skills in mapping, data analysis, and collaboration. Each student will be matched with a project based on individual interests. Cross-cutting themes include global change, governance, and natural resource management.

Experience Gained

You will gain experience doing interdisciplinary, team-based research. You will learn how to process and analyze a variety of environmental, social, and spatial data.

This project uses the following tools and methodologies:

  • Coding and coding software
  • Case studies
  • Qualitative research methods
  • Quantitative research methods

Majors and Interests Needed

  • For the 400 level VIP, students are recommended to have taken Introductory and Intermediate GIS courses (or have equivalent proficiency)
  • Anthropology
  • Bachelor of Applied Science
  • Biological Sciences
  • Computer Science
  • Environmental Studies Program
  • Geosciences
  • Global Studies
  • History
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Multidisciplinary Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science

VIP Coach Information

Dr. Kelly Hopping is an Assistant Professor in Human-Environment Systems. She studies how environmental and social changes are affecting ecosystems and rural livelihoods, particularly in mountain and pastoral regions.

Dr. Vicken Hillis is an Assistant Professor in Human-Environment Systems. He studies human behavioral and institutional change in environmental contexts, using quantitative surveys, behavioral experiments, computational modeling and social-ecological network analysis.

Course Information

VIP  200, VIP 400, or VIP 500. (check the Topic title to find the right section number for this project)
Full semester course. Choose to enroll in 1 or 2 credits.
Team meetings: 10.30 a.m. on Wednesdays

Interested in joining this team?

For more information and to request a permission number to register contact Kelly Hopping at  Phone: (208) 426-4152 OR complete this interest form and someone will contact you. Check out this page for tips on contacting a professor.

To register:  search by Subject: Vertically Integrated Projects, read the project description to find the right section of VIP 200, 400, or 500. Here are instructions on how to use a permission number Add with a permission number