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Sustainable Nature-Based Enterprises course matches student groups with local business

March 10, 2015 – by John Bouldin

Sustainable Nature-Based Enterprises (SBIO 3004) is a service learning course that draws students from disciplines across campus into the study of business sustainability. The course matches student groups with local business or non-profit clients to explore how to apply sustainability concepts into daily organizational operations. The students are required to perform volunteer work for each client, with the goal of learning how the organization is currently practicing sustainable business attitudes and methods. course content provides specific tools for assessing and improving the environmental footprint of the company, which the students then put into practice in their volunteer work and field activities. Once a week, experts in various aspects of sustain- ability appear as guest lecturers to share their knowledge and experiences in ‘greening’ the organizations they work for. Another significant portion of course content deals with analyzing current events in business, governmental regulation, and sustainability. A fundamental tenet of the course is that improvements in sustainability can be implemented in any organization, even those ventures who are not thought of as ‘green’.


SuStainable nature-baSed enterprises CourSe matches Student groupS with loCal buSineSS Mr. Richard Palmer of Appalachian Power explains how the hydro-electric turbine generates electricity.

As a part of the course, students participate in a series of field trips to experience various applied sustainability efforts. We wish to extend a special thank you to Appalachian power employees Mr. Larry Jackson for arranging our visit, and to Mr. Richard Palmer for conducting the tour.

SBIO 3004 is offered during fall semesters and all students are welcome. Class size is limited.

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Winter 2015


Upcoming Events

Category-12 Wood Preservation Re-certification Workshops

Workshops for those needing category-12, wood preservation, re-certification. 

  • Madison Wood Preservers in Madison, VA from 9:00-12:00 on March 25th.
  • Lexington, VA at the Rockbridge County extension office from 9:00-12:00 the morning of Friday, March 27th. 

Pre-registration is required, please contact Dr. Bond at (540) 231-8752 or

Web-Based Unit Load Design Short Course for Pallet Suppliers

“How to Use Pallet Design Differently” Date: April 21-23, 2015
Location: Live Webinar
Topics include: 

  • Principles of unit load design; 
  • Unit load material handling audit procedures; 
  • Packaging design; 
  • Pallet design; 
  • Material handling systems; 
  • Interactions between material handling equipment, packaging, and pallets; 
  • Diagnosing and solving material handling problems; 
  • Stringer and block class pallet design using Best LoadTM

For more information visit or call (540) 231-7673



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To help you explore your interest in any of the degrees, we recommend trying some of our introductory courses:

Packaging Science

Sustainable Biomaterials


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