Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 75.77
Liaison Ezra Small
Submission Date March 2, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Massachusetts Amherst
AC-5: Immersive Experience

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Craig Nicolson
Director of Sustainability Programs
Environmental Conservation
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution offer at least one immersive, sustainability-focused educational study program that is one week or more in length?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused immersive program(s) offered by the institution, including how each program addresses the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of sustainability:

The campus partners with Yestermorrow, a Design/Build School in Waitsfield VT. Yestermorrow offers semester-long, in-residence full immersion, credit bearing opportunities to explore interdisciplinary, whole-systems thinking. Students develop fundamental technical skills in architecture and construction through an actual design+build project.

Addresses environmental aspects by teaching students hands-on how to create environmentally responsible architecture.

Deals with economic dimensions of sustainability by exploring tradeoffs between cost and environmental benefit, and by focusing on the way non-green building practices externalize many of the environmental costs.

Addresses social dimension of sustainability through curriculum addressing sound ethical building practices and the role of technology in sustainability, and by having students form opinions and present findings on design/building practices related to sociopolitical and economic factors of accessibility. One of the three required courses in the program also address metrics of sustainability, and the challenges of measuring social dimensions.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Other info on Yestermorrow is at https://yestermorrow.org/

In addition to Yestermorrow, the Sirius EcoVillage Immersion Program in Shutesbury, Mass. is a 15 minute drive from campus and offers a unique experience to those who are interested in community living, permaculture, natural building, ecovillage life, and exploring a spiritual practice. Participants learn sustainable approaches to living and working in the material world through a hands-on work gardening and green building practicum each morning (5 days per week), sustainability classes in the afternoon, and engaging with community members and/or quiet time during the evening. Thursday nights are weekly community meetings which entail census decision making and non-violent conflict resolution strategies.


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.