Please check back for updates regarding summer 2021 plans for this course. Thank you!

Spend two weeks in the mountains, earn three credits in philosophy this summer!

The CSU Mountain Campus hosts PHIL 345: Environmental Ethics usually offered from mid- to late June. Class is in session from 8 a.m. – noon, Monday through Friday. This course is open to undergraduate students  of the main campus who are sophomores and above.

Streamside learning in PHIL 345
Streamside learning. Photo by Kari Rogers.
Colorado mountain vista above timberline
Above the mountain campus. Photo by Kari Rogers.

Professor Ken Shockley describes the mountain campus as a remarkable setting for studying the interconnectedness of the environment and how humans relate to it.

“I can’t imagine a more perfect place to explore the complex ethical relations between humans and the natural environment,” Shockley says. “The mountain course provides a great opportunity for students to immerse themselves in the topic and the place.”

Ken integrates his many experiences into his teaching. This includes his work with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), MIT, and in locations including the United Kingdom, Australia, and Malawi (Peace Corps).

Students from Summer 2018’s class are enthusiastic about Ken’s teaching and their class experience.

“One of the best courses I’ve ever taken anywhere,” said Kari Rogers, who recently graduated with a degree in Ecosystem Science and Sustainability. “It was an immersive and engaging experience in which we got to work closely with our fellow classmates and Dr. Ken, who is an amazing, passionate, and intelligent professor. Being able to be out in the beautiful environment there at the mountain campus, hiking most days, and learning what I thought to be a very interesting topic, is an opportunity students won’t want to pass up – it is intensive being a two-week, three-credit course, but it is so worth it.”

“There’s nothing like being at the mountain campus, and it is an amazing opportunity that is not to be missed,” said junior Daniel Wilson. “Even for someone like me, who is not particularly philosophy minded, being at the mountain campus and being able to contemplate,  reflect and discuss how the readings tie to the natural beauty surrounding us — that we were actually sitting in — is what made this class one if the most enjoyable and memorable experiences I have had at CSU.”

What to expect

Students read Aldo Leopold’s “A Sand County Almanac” before the course begins. A typical day following the class period includes several hours of reading and at least an hour of writing. This course may be used as an elective or as a part of wide range of majors or the interdisciplinary Minor in Global and Environmental Sustainability.

Students who are interested in attending may register through RAMweb and must contact Professor Ken Shockley for information about nominal housing costs and pre-course logistics.

Additional information: