[ENVS 0112]
Natural Science and the Environment

Rate This Class

Professor: Trombulak S

Value of Course / Overall Score

Not Much (3.3%
Average (16.7%)
Valuable (80%)


Friendly (3.3%)
Average (26.7%)
Competitive (70%)

Class Atmosphere

Boring (36.7%)
Average (50%)
Fascinating (13.3%)

Prep Time Needed

1-2hr (3.3%)
3-5hr (66.7%)
6-8hr (26.7%)
9-11hr (0%)
12+ hr (3.3%)

Grade Weighting

Harder (23.3%)
Average (0%)
Easier (76.7%)

Adequate Assistance

Yes (90%)
No (10%)

Would Recommend Class

Yes (83.3%)
No (16.7%)

Evaluation Comments for Trombulak S

  1. No Comment
  2. No Comment
  3. Trombulak was a nice guy, but sometimes he could be incredibly hard to read. The labs were time consuming, but my lab writing skills improved significantly with Trombulak's help. The exams were absurd and did not allow you the opportunity to effectively show your knowledge of the subject.
  4. I am not a hard science person, and I found the class to be interesting and enlightening. I thought Trombulak was a decent lecturer, though he certainly has a distinctive personality and can be a bit condescending. The tests and homework sets often asked for ridiculously specific details that I would never have even thought we needed to know. Considering how many of these there were on the final, I was pleased with my grade.
  5. In general, this class is a great overview of environmental science and provides information that every informed citizen should be aware of. Trombulak certainly knows his stuff, and wants everyone to know it. He is often very condescending and long-winded in his lectures. Especially at the beginning, very few notes need to be taken in class because he repeats himself over and over. There is very little day to day homework, which is nice....but the lab reports are extremely time consuming.
  6. This is the kind of class that creates ES majors out of people who are thinking about it, and environmentally conscious individuals from people who have never thought about it. If you drink water, eat food, and breathe air, this class matters. End of story. Take it with Trombulak, he'll challenge you to think critically about your role in a world of ecological crisis, and the basic sustainability science will be valuable for life (and believe me, he pounds it into your head - the mid term and final are extremely challenging, but work in between is extremely laid back and yet helps you retain the material). Take this class at some point in your time at Middlebury.
  7. The information in this class is very interesting, but Trombulak makes the class a unnecessarily hard and overwhelming. He does not make himself available for help outside the classroom and can be difficult when making an appointment. He makes a point of not having office hours, which is ridiculous considering Middlebury is all about student-professor interactions. His tests are so specific, it's hard to get the right answer and he barely tolerates absences. My advice, wait and take the class with another professor. Seriously. The only thing that kept me going through this class was Marc Lapin; he is so great.
  8. Trombulak makes the subjects as bland as bland can be. He strips what could be interesting into bare bone facts presented in an elementary and bland manner. Then, his tests are hard and specific and are often graded hard therefore making the class really frustrating.
  9. Trombulak is an interesting teacher, but the lab portion takes up a LOT of time. Be sure to study hard for his tests!
  10. Every Middlebury student should take this class! Eye-opening and fascinating. Trombulak is an amazing lecturer, and he makes interesting course material even more riveting.
  11. great course that everyone should take!
  12. Steve is a great lecturer, but I would definitely NOT recommend this class. As a potential ES major, this class made me change my mind and never want to take another ES course again. Having taken AP ES in high school, and having taken other science courses at Midd, I was relatively well prepared for the course, but the style of the exams and harsh and minute grading resulted in a terrible grade.
  13. Highly recommended. This course covers a lot of material, and is very work-intensive, but I found the material fascinating, and it really does cover an issue of utmost importance to our generation. Trombulak comes off as cold and arrogant, but if you make a Note: General consensus for this class seems to be that freshman love it, sophomores like it, and juniors and seniors despise it. That's the impresssion that I've got from my classmates.
  14. Steve is an excellent lecturer. He is always full of energy. The class however tends to get pretty lazy. It's a quiet class, and people don't tend to really participate, nor do they have the chance to really participate. What I mean is that this is an intro class. You will learn things about the environment, but it will all be a small survey of the material. A lot of the time, it seemed as though I wasn't really learning anything new. It seemed like the course was underlining things that I already knew. If you want to get into the course, be persistent. People will drop out because they don't want to do the science (yes, there's a lot of scientific language. It's most similar to an introductory geography course that I took. Very little science. Very little math). Let Steve know that you want to be there. If you're in the course, the first exam is mostly main ideas and such. But study! Study! And make sure you work on the lab. I personally had a lot of trouble with it. You can get help at the CTLR. Ok. So just in sum, I took the class because I wanted to find out if ENVS was really my intended major. While it was a good class, and it's good for a survey of environmental issues, I really didn't find that my question was answered. Just to reiterate, it's an introductory course.
  15. A good class for non-science people, or people looking for a class focusing in environmental policy. Trombulak makes most material interesting and relevant. I agree that lab gets a little boring, but it's only once a week, so it's survivable. I would definately recomend this class to anyone looking to fufill a science requirement.
  16. This is a good class for non-science people looking to fulfill their requirement. The scientific aspects of the class are pretty basic, and there is a lot of focus on policy instead of just dry facts. The labs can get a little annoying, but that would probably be true for any science class.
  17. As a non-science student, I had some difficulties with this class. While labs were pretty easy, they were very time-consuming and exams were tricky. Trombulak is generally enthusiastic about the material but often presents it as if he were teaching to 6th graders. For an ES major this class would probably be interesting but it was on the boring side for me.
  18. What a wonderful professor and person!! I loved this class so much. It was very informative and a wonderful atmosphere. If you are at all interested in ES...take this class. Take is with Trombulak if you can! He is really great and really passionate. The material is interesting and so important. I loved it!
  19. Make sure you aren't trying to do too many hard classes at once. This class is methodical and it is pretty predictab;e in terms of what kind of work load you will have, especially in terms of lecture, but lecture and lab is kind of like taking two classes, and some of the material may take time to assimilate. Tests are not easy, and take this from someone who can usually do pretty well just by being in every class and paying attention. Study and study all the way along. You will get what you put into this class most of the time. And the information you will get is so valuable-- it's well worth the risk of lowering your GPA a fraction. Might be a bit challenging to take as a first semester freshman when you aren't as sure about coping with Middlebury workload. Time management will save you. Just do what Trombulak tells you and you'll do great. Also, speak up in class, even to hazard a guess. It's good for you.
  20. This was an excellent course and highlights many of the environmental issues that confront us today. The topics covered in this course were very interesting and all of great relevance. Professor Trombulak does an excellent job explaining new concepts and he is a very good lecturer. The labs are interesting, but a lot of work. This class is definitely worth taking.
  21. this course is obscene. lectures are uninteresting especially if you have any previous ES knowledge, Trombulak expects you to retain the most detailed and pointless stats and will ask you about them on homeworks and exams. Lab is miserable. Although you get outside, the write up are rediculously over the top and take forever (11+ hours) and are graded (along with everything else) with an iron fist. You get very few breaks in this class. Take it with Ryan. Hes a G.
  22. This class is really interesting and professor Trombulak's expertise in the subject really adds to the value of the material. The labs were a lot of work and most seemed pointless. There were a lot of readings, and they are all required, so I spent a lot of time every week reading for this class. Overall, this class is a lot of work, but provides and extremely thorough education in the environmental problems facing our time.
  23. I would say if you want to learn more about the environment and are willing to put in the work then definitely take this class. The topics covered are pretty broad but give you a good foundation in the field. Trombulak can come off a little angry at first but he is just very sarcastic. Get past that and you will realize he is a great teacher who really presents material in a way that is easy to understand. He is also always willing to help outside of class. Lab is HARD. Expect to spend a LOT of time on labs. Lapin is an awesome teacher but dont let his laid back attitude fool you. He expects a lot out of you. Like Trombulak though he is also always willing to help out. End of the day, I am REALLY glad I took this course!
  24. Lapin was amazing and made this class. Trombulak lectured as though we were idiots. Interesting class and Trombulak knows his stuff.
  25. This was a great class in my opinion. Trombulak is clearly into what he teaches, and is good at passing along his knowledge. The labs themselves were really fun, even if the write-ups were tedious. I highly recommend this course.
  26. Trombulak is a smart but angry man. He gets frustrated with the class often, making lectures sometimes indimidating. The lab is more work than the class, and write-ups take forever, but the material is great to know.
  27. Great class. Everyone in Middlebury should take it. Makes you think. Some long lab work at times and some frustrating lectures with Trombulak because he's a little arrogant sometimes. But at least he actually knows his stuff better than anyone else, so I guess he can be. Watch out for that first exam, study that extra two hours for it.
  28. good into to the natural sciences, Trombulak explains everything very well. Labs were pointless but we still had to do writeups.
  29. This class is incredibly valuable, when taught by Steve Trombulak. He'll challenge you to think critically about the state of environmental affairs. Steve is a no bullshit guy and he may seem mean and demanding at times, but he really just wants you to learn this stuff, and be able to retain it forever. On average, he barely gives any work. But the midterm and exam are pretty hard, and it will require studying thoroughly. But in the end, its so worth it. Two years later, I still remember an astonishing amount of the info. Take this class, but don't take it with anyone but Steve. No one will challenge you like he will.
  30. Trombulak is a very solid lecturer and knows everything inside and out. His tests were extremely difficult, often requesting very detailed information that sometimes was found only in readings. Lab reports were difficult and time-consuming; however, his expectations for labs were much more realistic. To his credit, he is very consistent and fair in grading. Trombulak?s biggest fault as an instructor was that he highly underestimated the time that would be required to complete his assignments. As a rule of thumb, I often took his time estimates and multiplied them by four to get the time it would actually take me. Despite this, I advise to take this course. While his expectations are very high, he is so dynamic and knowledgeable that his course is worth a spin for everyone, ES and non-ES majors alike.

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