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Living and Working in the West

What is the ambitious goal of this project?

We envision a Western landscape where the ecosystem, the rural communities, and all other people who love the West all are able to live, work, and play in ways that support each other’s health and sustainability.

Experience Gained

In this VIP, you’ll learn and practice a variety of skills and subjects, including:

  • Understanding the environmental policies surrounding public lands in the West
  • Examining current environmental issues through historical, social, and technological lenses
  • Evaluate change through time from past to future, within ecological and social systems and among diverse cultures
  • Identify, analyze, and compare views of the environment, personal and collective value and ethical systems, social structures, and institutions that shape environmental politics, policies and laws
  • Recognize and engage with different types of evidence and varied research methods, particularly philosophical and sociological methods
  • Establish connections with a broad array of communities both within BSU campus and in our shared communities
  • Practice leading and following as informed citizens, team-players, and scholars

Methodologies and/or Technologies used to achieve project goals

  • Adult education strategies
  • Case studies
  • Fieldwork
  • K-12 outreach and collaboration
  • Participant/study observations
  • Qualitative research methods
  • Quantitative research methods
  • Structured interviewing
  • Writing

Preferred Preparation

There are no minimum requirements except a profound interest in the people and ecosystems of the American West, a driving desire to learn about social and philosophical research methods, and the integrity and grace to do your part in a dynamic interdisciplinary team

Majors or Interests Needed

  • Any/All

VIP Coach Information

Dr. Jared L Talley is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies in the School of Public Service. You can reach him at

Course Information

VIP  200, VIP 400 or VIP 500
Full semester course. Choose to enroll in 1 or 2 credits.
Team meetings: In-person. Meeting times TBD after students register

Interested in joining this team?

For more information and to request a permission number to register, contact Dr. Jared Talley at
You can also complete this interest form and someone will contact you. Check out this page for tips on contacting a professor.

To register

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