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From current plans to future guidelines, Middlebury is committed to sustainable practices.

<p>Middlebury President Laurie Patton has joined fellow higher education leaders in signing a call to action to confront the impact of global climate change.</p>

Middlebury Joins “Call to Action for Accelerating Equitable and Just Climate Solutions”

Posted on February 27, 2019

President Laurie Patton is a signatory on the statement written by higher education leaders calling for unprecedented action to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

Student Team Wins Department of Energy Competition

Posted on April 24, 2018

Zach Berzolla ’18 led the winter term class whose work took a first place prize in the DOE's ‘Race to Zero.’ 

Reusable Container Program

The reusable container program (called go/to-go) in the dining halls is designed to reduce waste while still promoting a safe, healthy, and convenient to-go meal option when you are not able to take your meal in the Dining Hall. Please limit use of the container to one trip through the line or salad bar per visit. 

<p>Jeffrey Ou '19 explains his proposed keycard energy management system to Tom McGinn, a Middlebury College staff engineer.</p>

Interns Look at Transforming Middlebury's Energy Systems

Posted on February 7, 2018

The winter term internships were the first phase of a new endeavor called the Sustainability Solutions Lab.

Middlebury College Lands

As owner of several thousand acres of land in the Champlain Valley and Green Mountains, Middlebury College is committed to exemplary land stewardship. The College’s Land Stewardship Initiative established seven Guiding Principles that inform our use of land:


· The College recognizes the importance of applying principles of environmental sustainability to the stewardship of its lands.

· Land stewardship involves fiscally responsible decision-making.

Middlebury Places Second in Higher Ed Sustainability Ranking

Posted on December 13, 2017

AASHE recognizes Middlebury as a top achiever among baccalaureate institutions.

<p>Volunteers at The Knoll recently constructed a meditative labyrinth, located adjacent to the College's gardens.</p>

Building a Labyrinth

Posted on October 3, 2017

A new short video highlights the recent construction of a meditative labyrinth adjacent to the College gardens.

<p>Members of the "vertical dance company" Bandaloop from a 2004 performance on the library at Middlebury College. Photo: Bob Handelman</p>

Vertical Dance Company Bandaloop Will Kick Off Mahaney Center's 25th Anniversary Celebration

Posted on September 12, 2017

The spectacular aerial dancers return to Middlebury September 13-16 for performances, workshops, and master classes.

<p>Students practice slicing fresh, raw salmon for a soba lunch they helped prepare at a local farm in Tenryu-mura Japan.</p>

Service Learning Trip Takes Students to Urban and Rural Japan

Posted on August 10, 2017

The four-week immersion course was a joint project of the College and International Christian University, which hosts Middlebury’s School in Japan.

<p>Students from Middlebury's School of the Environment spent a week in Washington, D.C. this summer, engaging with communication, policy, and leadership at the federal level.</p>

School of the Environment Visits D.C. for a ‘Policy Master Class’

Posted on August 3, 2017

Students traveled to the capital for a busy week of meetings with federal policy and communication experts.

<p>Since 2008 when Middlebury's biomass plant was built, use of fuel oil at Middlebury has dropped from about 2.1 million gallons a year to 600,000 gallons in 2015 and 185,000 gallons in 2016 (when natural gas became available in Middlebury).</p>

New Report Traces Middlebury's Challenging Path to Carbon Neutrality

Posted on May 31, 2017

The account includes the major initiatives behind the effort as well as a look ahead.

President’s House Wins Award for Energy Efficiency

Posted on February 7, 2017

Renovation project increases sustainability and retains historic character.

Middlebury Ranks Fifth Nationally for Sustainability

Posted on January 4, 2017

AASHE's 2016 Sustainable Campus Index recognizes top-performing colleges and universities.

Middlebury Reaches 2016 Carbon Neutrality Goal

Posted on December 8, 2016

Biomass plant and land preservation help push Middlebury past target in an ambitious multiyear effort.

Innovative Strategies Towards a Low-Carbon Society in Japan

Monday, October 24, 2016 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm

Robert A. Jones '59 Conference Room

Dr. Gregory Trencher, Visiting Assistant Professor in Environmental Science and Policy at Clark University, will discuss Innovative Strategies towards a Low-Carbon Society in Japan.

The lecture will showcase innovative policy and technological measures in Japan’s planned transition to a low-carbon, sustainable society, focusing on 2 key initiatives: The Kashiwa-no-ha Smart City, near Tokyo, and the vision for a hydrogen economy. He will briefly discuss Fukushima’s impact on energy policy and CO2 emissions.

Dr. Trencher holds a Ph.D. in Sustainability Science from the University of Tokyo and an M.A. in Environmental Studies from Sophia University. His current interests include energy efficiency and retrofitting policies for existing buildings and smart city initiatives in Japan and China.

The Japanese Studies Department, the East Asian Studies Program, the Environmental Studies Program, the Franklin Environmental Center and the Japanese Club.

Campus Tree Tour & Planting

Friday, October 7, 2016 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm

Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest

Meet on the front porch of the Franklin Environmental Center (FEC) for the very popular Campus Tree Tour led by passionate Middlebury horticulturalist and tree expert Tim Parsons. This year, FEC is focusing on the theme Urban Innovations, Sustainable Solutions, which will include exploring connections between urban and rural. As part of the tour, Tim will explain why he manages our rural Vermont campus as an urban forest. Stick around after the tour for a tree planting, complete with hot cider and fresh local donuts. Bring your willingness to learn about and to get a little dirty.

The Fire Inside: Place, Passion and the Primacy of Nature (A Contemplative, Ecological Documentary Short)

Friday, September 23, 2016 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm

Robison Concert Hall, Mahaney Center for the Arts

The Fire Inside is a 35-minute documentary that asks provocative questions and offers thoughtful perspectives on our relationship to the natural world and the ecological crises we face today. What is nature? And what is the human experience of that world? In the everyday push of our modern lives what connections have been lost and what remain? This film follows a small, diverse group on a contemplative retreat as they explore the wildness about them and the passion for place within.

After the screening, a panel discussion will take place with Middlebury faculty members Rebecca Kneale Gould, Marc Lapin and Michelle McCauley and Tim Lilburn, a faculty member from University of Victoria.

ENVS 0401 Senior Seminar Presentations: Howard E. Woodin ES Colloquium Series

Thursday, December 8, 2016 - 12:30pm to 1:20pm

Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest, Orchard Room

Environmental Studies students will present their Senior Seminar projects.

If Perpetual is not Forever: Emerging Challenges and Opportunities in Land Conservation: Howard E. Woodin ES Colloquium Series

Thursday, November 17, 2016 - 12:30pm to 1:20pm

Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest, Orchard Room

Jessica E. Jay, Land Conservation Attorney and Law Professor

As the use of perpetual conservation easements to protect private property continues to grow in popularity, so grow the challenges and opportunities associated with these perpetually binding promises. Today’s conservation community faces significant challenges to the durability and flexibility of perpetual conservation easements as a result of changing conditions, landscapes, climate, and public interests. Conservationists will need to look to new frontiers for answers and opportunities to respond to these changes and challenges, and to shape our protected landscapes going forward.

A Scientist's View of Climate Change as a Moral Issue: Howard E. Woodin ES Colloquium Series

Thursday, November 10, 2016 - 12:30pm to 1:20pm

Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest, Orchard Room

Curt Stager, Author, Educator, Scientist

Scientific explanations of global warming are important sources of information, but the world faith community is also providing inspiration to address its impacts on the planet, the poor, and future generations as a moral issue. Pope Francis has recently called pollution a sin and welcomed non-religious scientists as "precious allies" in the struggle to care for Creation. In that role of "precious ally" Curt Stager will explore some of the long-term effects of global warming and our place in nature from a scientific perspective, and also show how the pope's encyclical reinforces the science with a call for better stewardship of the planet and its inhabitants.

America's Snake: The Rise and Fall of the Timber Rattlesnake: Howard E. Woodin ES Colloquium Series

Thursday, November 3, 2016 - 12:30pm to 1:20pm

Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest, Orchard Room

Ted Levin, Nature writer, recipient of the 2004 Burroughs Award

During this talk Ted will be discussing his most recent book America’s Snake: The Rise and Fall of the Timber Rattlesnake. This is a book about love—but also about fear, danger, and a long history of misunderstanding. It tells the story of the much-maligned timber rattlesnake, one of the most iconic animals in the American landscape, feared and hunted relentlessly since Pilgrim times and now the focus of sustained—and often contentious—conservation efforts on the part of both working scientists and obsessed, dedicated amateurs.

Farmworker Food Security in the Northern Borderlands: Howard E. Woodin ES Colloquium Series

Thursday, October 27, 2016 - 12:30pm to 1:20pm

Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest, Orchard Room

Teresa Mares, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of Vermont

This talk examines household food access among Latino/a dairy workers in Vermont, the majority of whom have migrated in recent years from central and southern Mexico. As a border state with an active presence of Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, many of the same fears, anxieties, and dangers that are connected to the southern border are reproduced in the state of Vermont; with significant consequences for food security, diet-related health, and the overall well-being of migrant workers.

Targeting Big Polluters: Understanding Activism against the Fossil Fuel Industry: Howard E. Woodin ES Colloquium Series

Thursday, October 20, 2016 - 12:30pm to 1:20pm

Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest, Orchard Room

Johannes Urpelainen, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Columbia University

For centuries, fossil fuels have played a central role in human development and the growth of the industrial society. Coal, oil, and natural gas have fueled the world economy, enabling rapid industrialization. However, fossil fuels carry a high environmental cost. In less than a decade, activism against the fossil fuel industry has exploded both in the United States and elsewhere.

The Science of Climate Change Communication: Bridging Research and Practice: Howard E. Woodin ES Colloquium Series

Thursday, October 13, 2016 - 12:30pm to 1:20pm

Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest, Orchard Room

Matthew C. Nisbet, Associate Professor of Communication at Northeastern University

Nisbet reviews research insights and evidence-based strategies that experts and advocates can use to effectively communicate with the public and policymakers about climate change and energy-related issues.

Forest Fragmentation: A Fuzzy Look at a Clear-Cut Problem: Howard E. Woodin ES Colloquium Series

Thursday, October 6, 2016 - 12:30pm to 1:20pm

Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest, Orchard Room

Amy Frazier, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, Oklahoma State University

Forest fragmentation is an on-going threat in forest communities, especially in the Eastern U.S. where the prevailing pattern of dispersed, low intensity development penetrates intact forest, increasing the amount of wildland urban interface (WUI). 

What is Safe? Howard E. Woodin ES Colloquium Series

Thursday, September 29, 2016 - 12:30pm to 1:20pm

Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest, Orchard Room

In this Fall’s core faculty colloquium, we will examine the concept of “safety” from a number of perspectives. How do we translate the abstract concept of safety into actual, on-the-ground policy? How helpful are broadly accepted parameters (such as EPA limits) if these limits have more to do with what is technically "achievable" than with what is actually healthy? And is safety for me the same as safety for you? How do concepts of "environmental safety" get shaped and mitigated by geography, race, class, gender and culture?

Soil and forest resources in Sub-Saharan Africa: Howard E. Woodin ES Colloquium Series

Thursday, September 15, 2016 - 12:30pm to 1:02pm

Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest, Orchard Room

Julia Berazneva, Assistant Professor of Economics, Middlebury College

In this talk Professor Berazneva will present several of her projects that study soil and forest resources. In one we investigate the effects of changes in agricultural practices on maize yields and soil carbon sequestration in Kenya; and in the other, we examine the links between deforestation, malaria, and child health in Nigeria.

President's House Earns LEED Platinum Certification

Posted on July 26, 2016

The U.S. Green Buildings Council awarded the recently renovated building its highest ranking.

<p>Diane Munroe has won the 2016 Engaged Educator Award from Vermont Campus Compact.</p>

Diane Munroe Wins Vermont Engaged Educator Award

Posted on May 16, 2016

Munroe honored for her work connecting Middlebury students and faculty with community partners around the state.