Course Information

What are brownfields and why do they belong in an academic curriculum?

What can I expect to learn in this course?

The course will provide practical knowledge of the following topics:

  • Environmental Law and Regulatory Framework
  • Financing of real estate development and brownfields, funding sources and process
  • Urban planning: zoning, decision making process
  • Site investigation and remediation: overview of the different phases and factors
  • Policy: how do municipalities make decisions and what are operational aspects influencing the process
  • Community involvement and Environmental justice

An important component of the course is to work with a town or regional planning agency to put together a proposal for an EPA assessment grant. A team of 3 of 4 students works together to prepare the proposal for submission by the town or RPA. For more information see the ENVE 3995 Brownfields Syllabus_F19. 

What is the follow up practicum course?

In the Spring semester, students who took ENVE 3995 may elect to enroll for a follow up practicum, during which they will work with CT municipalities on a specific aspect of real brownfield project, helping the communities identify sources of funding and potential end uses, create wide area plans, prioritize sites, conduct a Phase I investigation or write grant proposal, to mention a few example of potential projects. Students will be supervised by professionals from the CBI partners, who span the range of relevant fields and have years of experience with projects in Connecticut and elsewhere. The practicum will offer students further opportunities for internships and hands on experience and interaction with future employers.

For more details see ENVE 3995 Brownfields Practicum Syllabus S20

Is this relevant to Connecticut and potential job opportunities?

Connecticut has a rich industrial history, which has resulted in thousands of abandoned sites throughout the state. The investigation, remediation and redevelopment of these sites requires skilled personnel in environmental law, financial and real estate analysis, land use and urban planning, public policy, environmental science and engineering and landscape architecture. The course will bring students in contact with active professionals and CT municipalities, who will provide practical knowledge of the process, with real world examples.

Student testimonials

“This course was my favorite one I've taken in my undergrad career. I think I've learned so much more in these past two semesters than I have in any other class. It has prepared me for the professional world and gave me the feedback to improve my skills along the way. A lot of topics related to brownfields, assessments, and remediation was taught in this class that was not taught anywhere else in my undergrad career. I'm very excited to watch all of the incredible things to come from this class!”

Environmental Engineering Senior

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is this a course only for engineers?

No. Brownfield redevelopment has an engineering component, but the course will provide an overview of all related aspects, including legal, socioeconomic, and science and engineering issues. There are no prerequisites for the course and it is open to all majors. Juniors and seniors are encouraged to participate, but sophomores may also take it.

2. How can I register for the course?

For Fall 2019, the course is offered as ENVE 3995 Special Topics in Environmental Engineering: Brownfield Redevelopment. 3 credits, Meeting times Tu Th 3.30-4.45 pm.

3. How can I get credit for the course and the follow up practicum in my major?

You will have to discuss this with your academic advisor, depending on your program requirements. Some information for selected majors follows:

  • Environmental Engineering students: you can use ENVE 3995 as Area 7 (Geoenvironmental Processes) Professional Elective; contact your advisor to process the necessary substitution. The practicum course may be taken as an independent study for free elective credits.
  • Civil Engineering students: you can use ENVE 3995 as one of the additional Professional Requirements. The practicum course may be taken as an independent study for free elective credits.
  • Environmental Studies students: ENVE 3995 may be used as Major Elective, while the practicum portion may qualify for EVST 3991 Internship credits.
  • Environmental Sciences students: contact the ENVS Advisor Sara Tremblay