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A Culture of Care >> Read Smith’s plans for the fall 2021 semester.

Sustainable Futures

Two students in the Summer Precollege Sustainable Futures program

Sustaining Positivity in an Age of Climate Anxiety

How do activists, organizers, change agents and everyday individuals who value the health of environmental systems maintain their work? It can be difficult enough to sustain positivity in so-called normal times, let alone during a global pandemic, during politically turbulent times, and during frequent reminders of a climate crisis. Join like-minded individuals who believe in the possibility of positive change and want to come together to shape a different tomorrow.

Program Dates for 2021

Remote: June 28–July 9

Program Details

Remote Program

Remote (only)
Via Zoom

June 28–July 9, 2021

Classes Monday–Friday

10 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

See curriculum.

Sustainable Futures Tuition

Tuition for one course online: $1,975
Tuition if enrolled in another course online during the session: $3,150

See the Apply to Summer Programs webpage for more details.



The Sustainable Futures: Sustaining Positivity in an Age of Climate Anxiety program provides students with opportunities to hear from and engage with a variety of people working toward environmentally just and sustainable futures—farmers, activists, artists and naturalists. By analyzing existing systems and attitudes that have contributed to global climate crises, by participating in socially and environmentally focused work, and by developing skills to cultivate healthier human-nature relationships, we aim to inspire and educate students to act within their own communities toward sustainable futures.

Please note: Additional synchronous class times may be scheduled. These additional times will be scheduled at the instructor’s discretion and with student availability in mind.



Through a series of guest lectures and discussions with farmers, activists, educator and artists, as well as through our own discussions, reading and writings, we will consider “sustainability” beyond the sustainability of environmental and human systems to include the sustainability of our work, of our hope for the future, of our commitment to creating positive change.


Ethan Myers

Ethan currently teaches humanities at The Hartsbrook School and works in the writing center at Amherst College. For 12 years he taught literature and composition at several colleges and universities in Massachusetts, including Smith College. He has also worked as a whitewater river guide and outdoor educator, and published in the fields of environmental policy and English. His ideal classroom is a river or a hiking trail, his ideal textbook the land itself.

Ethan earned a bachelor’s degree from Guilford College, where he studied geology and environmental studies, and a master’s in English and American studies from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. When he’s not in the classroom or reading student essays, Ethan is most likely wandering the forests of western Massachusetts with his family.