Community Based Environmental Management Practicum (LEC)


Community-Based Environmental Management (CBEM) involves communities becoming empowered to manage their own environment in ways that are economically viable, socially just and environmentally sustainable.

This course exposes students to a wide variety of approaches to promoting CBEM, including:

  • Integrated conservation and development (ICDP) initiatives
  • Community-based natural resource management
  • Environmental justice campaigns
  • Participatory urban environmental planning and management
  • Community-private partnerships for sustainable development

Students will develop strong theoretical foundations and applied skills in community organizing and in assessing, designing and implementing community-based environmental management initiatives.

Students will be partnering with a number of organizations from throughout North Carolina that are involved, in a variety of ways, in promoting community-based environmental management. Students work with the organizations to develop client-driven projects that will apply the specific skills students will be learning in the course.

Examples of the types of projects students might complete include:

  • Designing and implementing a community-asset mapping workshop for a group wishing to develop a green space development and use plan for their neighborhood
  • Working with a community group to develop, implement and analyze an internet survey to understand their community’s priorities for environmental issues to address
  • Collaborating with a organization and community members to design a social marketing campaign around the importance of properly disposing of motor oil to avoid ground water contamination
  • Working with a community group to develop an anti-fracking political action campaign. Students are assigned to their partner organization and their client project early in the semester.

The experience of completing these projects allows students to apply the skills and test the theories they are learning throughout the course on a real case and to receive feedback and suggestions from the instructor and guest speakers throughout the process.