Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 63.76
Liaison Mark Youndt
Submission Date March 10, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Skidmore College
IN-27: Innovation D

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Karen Kellogg
Director of Sustainability
Dean of Faculty's Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Conservation Pedagogy

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:

Skidmore College uses the diverse ecosystems associated with the College as rigorous pedagogical tools for a variety of disciplines and learning goals. Our 155-acre North Woods, which is immediately adjacent to campus, is serving as an outdoor classroom for over 30 courses, ranging from literature to biology courses, and each course is immersing students in the complex interactions between humans and natural systems and the concepts and practices of sustainability. Numerous reports, scientific papers, books, poems, and art works and exhibitions continue to come from this engagement. Another example of an outcome or initiative within the past three years is the Skidmore Student Conservation Corps (SSCC). The SSCC partnered with other community conservation organizations to combine readings, classroom discussion, and experiential learning focused on conservation. The SSCC gave students the opportunity to learn about conservation, apply their new skills in maintaining natural environments, and develop leadership skills by conducting campus and community-based conservation workshops. Our ongoing North Words Steward program also provides another educational opportunity as our paid Stewards coordinate conservation projects and peer and community education programs during the summer and the academic year.

In 2015 we began developing a comprehensive stewardship plan for our close to 1000 forested acres that are to the north and west of campus. We are again creating opportunities for our students through this work as several are participating on a committee talking to stakeholder groups, analyzing best practices for land management, and developing recommendations about land use across our parcels. For example during the last year, one team of students, with guidance from a professor who specializes in forest ecology, conducted an analysis of the carbon sequestration potential of our forested lands and placed this ecosystem service in the larger context of an ecosystem valuation study. This study has infused our stewardship planning with how we might manage our parcels to maximize sequestration, which will also influence future greenhouse gas inventories. All of this work continues to be done in collaboration with other community organizations as we collectively have the potential to conserve a contiguous band of forested land consisting of more than 40,000 acres, connecting Saratoga Springs to the foothills of the Adirondacks. If successful, this ongoing effort will make a very significant contribution to land conservation in New York State and the northeast in general.

Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):

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 programs or initiatives is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.