Environmental Policy Writing in Wyoming

The Environmental Policy Writing Program is designed for: Political Science, Professional Writing, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies students. The goal of this program is that you will develop an understanding of the variety of modes in which policy writing about environmental affairs is conducted. This program will provide you with perspective to analyze policy issues that distinct part of the United States face and how these issues are different from Pittsburgh and/or your hometown. You will have the opportunity to meet with local policy writers, local community members and agencies and the national park service. On the first part of the program, you will spend time in southern Wyoming in Laramie and Cheyenne. During the last few days, you will travel south to Estes Park, Colorado near Rocky Mountain National Park. This 2-week, 3-credit program course will help you develop professional writing skills and you will walk away with a portfolio of policy writings. 

What You'll Accomplish: 

As an engaged and active participant in this program, you will have the opportunity to develop:

  • A portfolio of public policy writings with a specific focus on environmental issues
  • Comparative knowledge of the environmental challenges faced by distinct parts of the United States


Laramie, Wyoming: 

Laramie is the county seat of Albany County in Wyoming. It has a population of approximately 31,000 residents. It is located in Southeastern Wyoming along the Laramie River. It was one of the iconic western towns with a rich history. Laramie Valley was once home to fur-trappers, the Overland Trail that connected Wyoming to the West Coast and the Union Pacific Railroad that connected it to the East Coast. There was once a large Native American population that called the Laramie Valley and nearby Medicine Bow Mountains/National Forest home. Laramie was the first town in Wyoming to hold an election in 1870 where a female resident became the first woman to cast a legal vote in a general election. Today, it is home to the University of Wyoming, WyoTech, and a branch of Laramie County Community College. Laramie Regional Airport. It is also very well known for its abundance of outdoor recreational activities, hiking and more. Laramie sits on the plains between the two mountain ranges of Snowy Range and Laramie Range at an elevation of about 7,165 feet above sea level. Laramie has long, cold, dry winters and short, warm, somewhat wetter summers. Average temperature in July and August is 78-80 degrees and low temperature 48-50 degrees.


Cheyenne, Wyoming

Cheyenne is the capital of Wyoming and the most populated city at almost 60,000. The city was established where the Union Pacific Railroad crossed crow Creek. The construction of the railroad brought new hope, prosperity and jobs to the region.  The state capitol was built starting in 1886. Before the formal government was established the Wyoming Stock Growers Association acted as an interim government for the Wyoming Territory. Many of the established Wyoming Stock Growers Association rules and regulations would go on to become state laws. Cheyenne is located about 50 miles east of Laramie. Cheyenne, is similar to the rest of Wyoming in terms of climate. Moderately long winters, but relatively dry. The greatest amount of snowfall is typically march to April. The average high temperature in July is 80 degrees and average low temperature is 56 degrees.


Estes Park, Colorado

Estes Park is a small town in northern Colorado about 90 miles north of Denver and 90 miles from Cheyenne, Wyoming. It is located at the base of Rock Mountain National Park and is the Eastern entrance to the park. The population is around 6,400. It is well known for amazing wildlife, and hiking trails through high peaks, and dense forests. It is well known for its array of wildlife including a local herd of Elk that live and graze right around the town. Estes Park is at an elevation of 7,522 feet on the front range of the Rocky Mountains. The average high temperature in the summer is 80 degrees and average low temperature in the low 50s.



Where You'll Live: 

In Laramie, Wyoming students will live on campus at the University of Wyoming. You will live in double-occupancy dorms in the heart of the campus. During your time here in Laramie, you will have access to a variety of campus buildings including the cafeteria. You will meet for your classes on campus, a short walk from your accommodations. Campus is also very centrally located and a short walk to the main street in town with restaurants, coffee shops and shopping.

  • Double-occupancy
  • Shared dormitory bathrooms
  • Bedding, bed linens
  • Tables or desks and chairs
  • Dresser, wardrobe or closet
  • Wi-Fi

In Cheyenne, Wyoming students will stay in a hotel in the city center. The hotel will be double-occupancy with typical amenities. There are no meals provided during this part of the program. The hotel is centrally located and is walkable to everything in town including restaurants, cafes and local shops

  • Double-occupancy hotel rooms
  • En-Suite bathroom
  • Small workspace
  • Hotel reception area
  • breakfast included daily
  • Wi-Fi
  • Central location and walkable to city center

In Estes Park, Colorado you will stay in a hotel in the near the town center. The hotel will be double-occupancy with typical amenities. There are no meals provided during this part of the program. The hotel is centrally located and is walkable to everything in town including restaurants, cafes and local shops. You are also very close to a bus stop that will take you right into the heart of Rocky Mountain National Park.

  • Double-occupancy hotel rooms
  • En-Suite bathroom
  • Small workspace
  • Hotel reception area
  • breakfast included daily
  • Wi-Fi
  • Central location and walkable to town center

We do our best to provide the most accurate information about housing and amenities but due to the nature of the locations in which we offer programs and limited availability, these items are subject to change.  Contact your program manager with any questions.


What You'll Study: 

You'll earn a total of 3 credits on the Environmental Policy Writing Program. Everyone who participates on the program will take the same course. The course is taught by local Pittsburgh faculty, but also by local guest lecturers. On this program students will have the opportunity to meet with lobbyists, policy writers, the local community and National Park Service. In these courses you will study:

  • The variety of modes in which policy writing about environmental affairs is conducted
  • Impact of environmental policy on local communities, Native American populations and national parks
  • Differences in the American West, Shale Oil fields and the coal mines of Western PA and West Virginia


If you are seeking to count these courses towards a major, minor or certificate, please meet with your academic advisor to discuss this program and what the courses will fulfill for you. Information about how the courses on this program count towards general education requirements for different schools and campuses can be found here.


Environmental Policy Writing-Wyoming (PS1681)

In this course you will learn the policy process, particularly as it relates to environmental policy-making. Students will understand and unpack the different writing items that are utilized in that policy process. Learning objectives include gaining familiarity with a variety of environmental policy issues that are important in Wyoming and Western Pennsylvania. You will also develop a foundational understanding of the relationship between space, land, the environment on our political attitudes. This class focuses on building one single cohesive portfolio of policy writing by the end of the course. The pieces in this portfolio will undergo a revision process, with feedback from both instructor and other class participants.

Your Pitt Study Abroad Contacts: 

Tim Crawford

Hi Everyone! I’m Tim, and I am the Assistant Director for Domestic Study Away Programming. I have experience running international study abroad programs and programs here at home in the United States. I was fortunate to have many experiential learning opportunities, both international and domestic, during my college career. Being from a small town in Central Pennsylvania, my experiences opened my eyes to the rest of the world and helped open my eyes to different cultures and career opportunities I’d love to help you take advantage of the numerous experiential learning opportunities here at Pitt. Outside of the office, I’m always looking for the next adventure. I love traveling, hate sitting still and love doing anything outdoors, in all seasons. Personally, I’m on a quest to visit as many national parks as possible. I’d love to talk to you more about any of our study away programs, answer any of your questions and help you find the right opportunity. Please reach me via email at timcrawford@pitt.edu

Schedule an appointment

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  • Select Pitt Global as the Care Unit.
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Your In-Country Contacts: 

Andrew Lotz, Ph.D



Andrew Lotz Ph.D. has a B.A. in Political Science and English Writing from Hope College (Holland, MI) and a Masters and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh. He currently serves as an Assistant Dean in Arts and Sciences, as well as a Lecturer and Advisor in the Department of Political Science. His work and teaching has focused on the intersection of pop culture and politics, with special attention to Manga comics and the Song of Ice and Fire series (Game of Thrones). His current interest focuses on propaganda and myth and their role in regime support. When not flipping through a Judge Dredd comic book or stacks of propaganda, Andrew enjoys hobby painting and exploring Pittsburgh.


Items Billed by Pitt

  In-State Out-of-State
Tuition $2,328 $2,528
Program Fee $671 $671
Study Away Fee $300 $300
Total Billed by Pitt $3,299 $3,499

Estimated Additional Out-of-Pocket Costs

Airfare $500
Personal Expenses $500

Remember that your lifestyle and spending choices can greatly affect the amount of money you'll need while away.  Visit our Budgeting page for more information.

The amounts above are for the 2019-2020 academic year and should be used as estimates only. Pricing for 2020-2021 will be posted and announced in the fall term.

What's Included: 

As a part of your program fee, the follow are included in the program:

  • Tuition for three credits
  • Group airport transfers
  • Housing in shared dorms or hotels in the city center
  • Academic site visits and guest speakers
  • Variety of social and cultural activities to help students learn about the local area 


When You'll Go: 

Dates for the 2020-2021 academic year will be posted in the fall!

What Else You Need to Know: 
  • This program takes place at higher elevations. Field trips/excursions may include hikes, often strenuous
  • The program will be at altitudes above 7,000 feet
  • Due to the nature of the program, the schedule is subject to change. There may be instances where a guest speaker or field excursion needs to be rescheduled. We ask for your patience and understanding in advance.
  • Remember that this is an academic program and that you should expect to invest the same amount of time and effort on this course as you would on a course at Pitt.