Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.38
Liaison Olivia Shehan
Submission Date Nov. 13, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Wellesley College
IN-24: Innovation A

Status Score Responsible Party
1.00 / 1.00 Dorothea Von Herder
Sustainability Coordinator
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Wendy Judge Paulson ’69 Ecology of Place 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:

Website: www.wellesley.edu/Paulson

Begun in 2017, the Paulson Ecology of Place Initiative is a unique and innovative "five-year intensive effort that will transform and reshape Wellesley’s relationship with its landscape." As far as we know, Wellesley is the first school of its kind to have a program dedicated exclusively to growing student connections to their natural environment and sense of place. The mission of the Paulson Initiative is to inspire and prepare Wellesley College students across disciplines to value sense of place and connection to nature in order to enrich their academic experience, personal well-being, and community so that they engage the world with a deep eco-literacy. The Paulson Initiative is directed by Suzanne Langridge, Ph.D., and funds faculty grants, student internships, speakers, workshops, campus events, and project-based and experiential curriculum development. The Paulson Initiative also funds green-infrastructure stormwater management and sustainable landscape management and restoration, integrating this work with curricular and research opportunities to utilize the campus as a living laboratory. During our first year, we funded over 10 courses across disciplines to integrate the landscape into their teaching, which reached over 250 students. We also funded an interdisciplinary faculty group that worked with ten research students on water sustainability challenges on campus. The Paulson Initiative also has developed an active internship program connecting students on and off campus to their natural environment and sense of place, including 8 students during the first year of the program. We have also organized numerous events on campus in collaboration with students, staff, and faculty from bird watching and tree tours, to a student writing workshops with well-known writer Terry Tempest Williams, to collecting edible herbs and apples on campus for use in the dining halls, and much more. These programs were attended by over 500 students, faculty, and staff thus far.

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

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:

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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.