Environmental Sentinels is a required course for all ENVS students. It is a four credit course that meets once a week and is offered in the fall. Sentinels is field-based, which means that students spend the majority of each class period outdoors. The course provides a unique opportunity for students to interact with the natural environment while learning natural history, biodiversity, stewardship, and interpretation of our environment.
Students are also exposed to primitive skills throughout the semester. These skills include, but are never limited to, friction fires, identifying medicinal plants, making rope from natural sources such as the dogsbane plant, animal tracking, and tree identification. Students learn these skills hands-on, which helps connect them to the environment on a one-on-one level.
Through Sentinels, students are also exposed to environmental history. Local ecological formations are identified and discussed, as is the ecological history of Tompkins County. This knowledge is important in understanding our current environmental conditions.
Sentinels is a course that students look forward to all week. The knowledgeable staff and engaging coursework take students out of their comfort zones, making this unique course highly educational and productive.