One hallmark of a Smith education is the opportunity for students to take concepts they’ve learned in the classroom and apply them in the real world. For students interested in sustainability, these experiences can include Smith’s Campus as Classroom program, on- and off-campus internships, research with a professor, projects in conjunction with one of Smith’s academic centers and campus jobs.
Julia Franchi Scarselli
The Jill Ker Conway Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center helped turn my sustainable olive tree startup dream into a reality. When I visited my father in the Italian Sabina region, I noticed the prevalence of family olive oil cultivation. Frequently, these groves did not generate revenue, and an increasing number were being abandoned. In the United States, there’s a demand for organic non-GMO products and an interest in food education. I saw an opportunity and wrote a business plan in my microeconomics class for a sustainable olive oil company, Libellula, which means dragonfly in Italian.
Class of 2018
Environmental science and policy and architecture double major
Campus as Classroom
Coral Reef Ed-Ventures
Coral Reef Ed-Ventures is an innovative, cooperative educational venture between Smith College and the Hol Chan Marine Reserve in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. This environmental education program began in 2000 to increase community awareness of reef system ecology and to encourage its conservation. Every summer since, an interdisciplinary team of Smith College undergraduate students develop and facilitate two environmental education camps for the island’s youth.
In addition to leading the environmental education program, the Smith students carry out coral reef and mangrove research with Smith faculty and Hol Chan Marine Reserve staff while on Ambergris Caye. Past research projects have included studies on the health of both coral reefs and mangroves. Read more about former Coral Ed-Ventures participant Sabrina Cordero ’19’s experience in an interview.
Each year the Coral Reef Ed-Ventures Program invites applications from Smith sophomores and juniors interested in participating in the eight-week summer marine environmental education and research program in San Pedro, Belize. This year the program will run from May 28-July 19, 2019. Interested in participating? Read the application information below for details on how to apply and to access the link to the online application. For more information, please contact Professor David Smith or Denise Lello. Coral Reef Ed-Ventures is sponsored by the Environmental Science and Policy Program.
NOAA College-Supported Internship Program
Smith’s Environmental Science and Policy Program and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have partnered to provide internships for Smith students since 1999. This program connects students with 10-week summer internships in conservation science, coastal ecology, resource policy and management, environmental education and science communication. Smith students have interned at numerous NOAA offices, labs and field sites across the country. Interns work side by side with NOAA scientists, policy makers and other staff to address current coastal and marine issues.
Summer internships have a flexible start date. Fellowship stipends of $4,800 are provided by the Agnes Shedd Andreae 1932 Research Internship Fund. These fellowships are for Smith College students only. NOAA posts the list of internships in early January for the following summer.
Class of 2018
Astronomy and environmental science & policy double major
Praxis stipends are designed to help students pursue opportunities that expand their education but which cannot or do not pay a summer salary. These internships help students build on their academic studies, make decisions about their careers and acquire the experiences and skills desired by employers and graduate schools.
Smith students have numerous opportunities to participate in research projects related to sustainability, with faculty, staff, outside organizations and fellow students.
Through Smith’s Student Research in Departments (STRIDE) Program, high-achieving students during their first two years are teamed up with Smith faculty as paid research assistants.
Campus as Classroom
“In the summer after my sophomore year, Emma Harnisch ’18 and I spent our days surveying and sampling Paradise Pond in pursuit of a better regime of sediment management.”
“The most interdisciplinary course I've taken at Smith was the [Critical] Design Thinking Studio. Our final project was a prototype of a new waste receptacle. After, I was hired by the sustainability office to refine, rebuild and test the new design.”
Maia Erslev ’18
“As part of a class, I conducted research on a parking lot on campus that uses permeable pavement—a sustainable adaptation effort used in response to the increased rainfall New England is experiencing as the result of climate change.”
Molly Megan '19