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Sustainable Smith

Students collecting sap from a tree

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.

35 faculty members are engaged in sustainability research; 52% of academic departments are engaged in sustainability research; 73 courses include sustainability




Sustainability News

Prospects for a Greener Smith: An Interview with Smith's New Campus Energy Manager

Meet Matthew Pfannenstiel, Smith’s new campus energy manager. An avid hiker and outdoor recreation enthusiast, Pfannenstiel says his interest in sustainable energy is tied to his love for undeveloped spaces.

Students Test New Plan for Moving Sediment Out of Paradise Pond

The sluicing method promises to be less disturbing to the river ecosystem by allowing sediment to continue downstream instead of being disposed of on land.

Hello Hydrogen Fuel Cells, Goodbye Batteries

Producing and then disposing of lithium-ion batteries for decades and eventually centuries into the future is not sustainable, says engineering professor Denise McKahn. She is currently conducting research in her Smith lab to create hydrogen fuel cells that can be used as alternative energy and are safer for the environment.

Smith Joins National College-Based Real Food Challenge

Smith has signed onto the Real Food Challenge, making the college the 41st in the country—and the second women's college—to join the national sustainable food initiative.