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COVID-19 Updates, Restrictions, Cancellations - More information


Sustainable Futures: Farming, Justice and the Environment

July 19–August 1, 2020

Students at a farmer's market

Learn from farmers, activists, artists and naturalists in this two-week residential program. We will analyze contributing factors to the climate crisis, engage in socially and environmentally focused work and develop skills to cultivate human-nature relationships. You will be inspired and educated to act within your own community toward a sustainable future Accepting young women entering grades 9, 10, 11, 12 in fall 2020.

Important COVID-19 Information

At this time we are preparing to run the 2020 Precollege Programs on the Smith College campus. We will update this site and reach out to all applicants if anything changes.


Where Food, Justice and the Environment Intersect

The Farming, Justice and the Environment 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.

During our two-week intensive course, students will visit several local farms, including a no-till farm and the third CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm in the country; they will hear from local organizers and activists; they will study art and design that offer opportunities for re-envisioning human-nature relationships; finally, they will begin to learn to read the landscapes of the Connecticut River Valley, considering the ways in which observation and understanding of the environment contribute to sustainable futures. In addition to formal classroom instruction, students will spend significant time out of doors and in nature; students should be prepared for a wide range of activities from the classroom to the built environment, from museums to farms, forests and the mountains of Western Massachusetts.

Our Faculty

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.

Sustainable Futures Tuition: $3,385

  • Tuition covers room, board and all academic costs, including books, classroom field trips, etc.
  • Tuition includes the nonrefundable deposit.

Program Schedule

Sunday, July 19, 2020
3-5 p.m. Registration
5-6 p.m. Parent Q&A
TBD Residential orientation
Monday, July 20, 2020
9 a.m. Classes begin
Saturday, August 1, 2020
9-11 a.m. Departure

A Typical Day

7-8:30 a.m. Breakfast
9-11:45 a.m. Morning classes or an off-campus field trip
Noon-1 p.m. Lunch
1-4 p.m. Afternoon classes or an off-campus field trip
5:30-7 p.m. Dinner
7-10 p.m. Fun house activities that change daily
11 p.m. Quiet hours
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