Read Smith’s UPDATED plans as of August 5, 2020,
for an entirely remote fall 2020 semester.
In 1886, Florence Merriam Bailey, a student concerned about the plight of birds, started the Smith College Audubon Society and began weaving the fabric of sustainability at Smith that can now be found across all aspects of the college—in academics, operations, research and student life. Smith prepares women through active learning and societal engagement to foster and lead sustainable, just communities and to make significant and lasting contributions to address the critical issues of the times. Like Florence, students are frequently at the heart of sustainability issues on campus. You’ll find their stories throughout these pages.
Call for Submissions: Elsewhere—An Arts Afield Community Art Project
Arts Afield invites all members of the Smith community (students, alumnae, staff and faculty) to submit place-based creative work for Elsewhere, an online exhibition launching on January 4. Find more details in this document and email email@example.com with any questions.
What Makes Sustainability at Smith Special?
Use The Campus as a Classroom. Through Campus as Classroom, students can take concepts they’ve learned in class, apply them to projects on campus and see firsthand their direct impact on the Smith community. Recent projects have included research to move sediment out of Paradise Pond and the implementation of a program to save energy in science labs.
Study What You Love. Smith’s open curriculum enables students to personalize their education. More than half of its academic departments, including anthropology, economics, engineering, environmental science and policy, geosciences and landscape studies, offer courses in sustainability. In addition, students from any major can add a concentration in climate change or sustainable food.
Get an International Perspective. The college is committed to creating global citizens who participate in the communities in which they live and steward the resources that sustain them. Through course work, internships, research or a semester abroad, students learn how other countries and organizations are addressing sustainability issues and often return to apply those ideas on campus.
Eat Delicious and Nutritious Food. Local foods and sustainability efforts are a priority for Smith College dining. All 15 campus dining halls serve products from local farms whenever possible, and they compost pre- and post-consumer food waste. Many campus events are Zero Waste. Students recently led efforts for Smith to join the Real Food Challenge, a national sustainable food initiative.
Live Sustainably in Your House. Ecoreps—student sustainability leaders—help educate their housemates about sustainable living in all 35 of Smith’s residential houses and complexes. Students have initiated a number of programs, including in-house composting and an inter-house competition focused on water conservation.
Explore MacLeish Field Station. The 260-acre Ada and Archibald MacLeish Field Station is home to the Bechtel Environmental Classroom, the world’s fifth certified Living Building. The Living Building Challenge uses a stringent set of design and construction standards for environmentally friendly buildings. Students, faculty and staff conduct research and hold events, such as dance performances and art exhibits, at the liberal arts station.
Natalie Baillargeon '21 and Storm Lewis '21 receive Honorable Mention for prestigous 2020 Udall Foundation Scholarship
Two Smith College students, Natalie Baillargeon '21 and Storm Lewis '21, were named Honorable Mention recipients for the 2020 Udall Foundation Scholarship.
Larissa Holland ’20 always had a passion for the environment. In her four years at Smith, she developed the confidence and critical skills to turn her natural enthusiasm into a career fighting for climate justice.
Individual efforts matter, but to move the needle we need to change systems and policies.
Smith is on the leading edge of sustainability initiatives in college and university dining.
From solar power to ground-source heat exchange technology, Smith is forging a path to carbon neutrality.
After seeing the waste produced by students moving out at the end of the year, Emmy Longnecker ’20J, a chemistry major and environmental science and policy minor, was determined to solve the problem. She worked with staff and faculty in CEEDS to create a two-semester special studies to understand the issue and develop a solution. As a result she has created Smith Cycle—the college’s first student-designed, comprehensive move-out waste reduction program.
In the first semester of Smith's themed Year on Climate Change, relevant course offerings range from contemporary poetry to green energy policy, giving students of all academic backgrounds a chance to engage in learning about climate change and environmental sustainability.
Gabriella Della Croce ’11 and Andrea Schmid ’17 both work at the Pioneer Valley Workers Center, a collective that helps better the lives of immigrant workers in western Massachusetts.
The drilling of a geothermal test borehole began on campus near the Field House in September. This launched a unique and fascinating learning opportunity for faculty and students across campus and the first phase of a pilot project to establish a potential ground source geothermal heat exchange system for the Field House.
A summer project by Hannah Asofksy ’21 is the foundation for a new exhibit on dyes on view at the Lyman Plant House. “The Art and Science of Dyeing” explores the world of natural dyes and connects visitors with dye-making plants in the Happy Chace ’28 Garden and the Learning Garden behind Northrop-Gillett.