Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.48
Liaison David Gibson
Submission Date March 30, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

College of the Atlantic
IN-24: Innovation A

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Rob Levin
Director of Communications
Communications
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
College of the Atlantic Thoreau Environmental Leaders Initiative

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

The College of the Atlantic Thoreau Environmental Leaders Initiative, launched in 2016 with a $40,000 faculty grant from the Henry David Thoreau Foundation, aims to cultivate effective advocates for renewable energy and climate change issues. Through speakers, workshops, and events, the Initiative provides a venue for interdisciplinary, action-oriented work, a coalescing space that is responsive to student needs, and resources for students looking to make a difference in the world.

The initiative is the result of a collaborative effort by COA Director of Energy Education Dr. Anna Demeo, physics and mathematics professor Dr. David Feldman, and Dr. Doreen Stabinsky, COA professor of global environmental politics. COA faculty members have a long history of working in an interdisciplinary, experiential manner to educate students about the environment. The Initiative enables them to weave together and strengthen these threads, which have long been a part of the fabric of the college.

The COA Thoreau Initiative combines academic preparation, experiential learning and action in international and local settings, and peer-to-peer learning and mentoring. The Initiative is comprised of three components—academic coursework, participatory environmental learning, and skill-building, networking, and mentoring opportunities.

Interdisciplinary academic coursework related to the COA Thoreau Initiative provides students with the skills and knowledge necessary to work in climate, energy, and food systems. Through the Initiative, students participate at United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conferences of the Parties and other international environmental meetings and negotiating sessions, work on local sustainable energy project on campus and in nearby towns, and work with businesses, governments, and non-governmental partners to address challenges in food systems, food justice and security, and health. Regular Thoreau workshops offer an opportunity for students to learn and practice skills essential for effective environmental advocacy while expanding their networks and connecting with others working for the environment.

The Henry David Thoreau Foundation of Somerville, Mass. is a charitable trust that propels environmental leadership across disciplines. Through scholarships and grants, they strengthen the ability of undergraduate students and professors to pursue collective study of environmental issues and promote more creative action. At the time of the award, COA was among only 20 colleges to have been given seed funding by the foundation since their founding in 1999. COA and Harvard University shared the only faculty grant awards for 2016.


Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Curriculum
Campus Engagement
Air & Climate

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
The website URL where information about the innovation is available :
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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