Clarkson University: A Leader In Sustainability
Re-published via GreenRegister.com with permission from Clarkson University.
Mark Bayer wanted to pursue two seemingly unrelated areas of study in college: civil engineering and sustainable design.
Officials at other schools he applied to âlooked at him funnyâ when told them of his plans. But at Clarkson University, Bayer found his niche. Four years later, he is about to graduate with bachelor of science degree in a civil engineering and minor in sustainable energy systems.
Bayer is embarking on a masterâs degree project that will study energy use in two of Clarksonâs Woodstock Village apartment buildings soon to be renovated into sustainable âsmart dorms.â
âIt has positioned me well. I know buildings, how theyâre designed, how theyâre constructed, but also how they operate when it comes to the energy they consume,â said Bayer. âIt was a program I felt allowed me the flexibility to pursue my energy-related interests while still getting a civil engineering degree. Itâs kind of an unconventional pairing.â
Clarkson has been recognized for its âunconventional pairingsâ: its knack for incorporating a sustainability curriculum into its education and research, allowing students like Bayer to thrive. The Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) has given Clarkson a silver rating for its initiatives.
The University excelled in the education and research ranking, where it scored 71 of a possible 100 points. Of 11 comparison schools in New York state, only Ithaca College and Columbia University had higher scores in that category. And of nine schools in the northeast â the universities of New Hampshire and Massachusetts, Amherst, Tufts, Princeton, Cornell, Columbia and Boston, only Columbia scored higher.
A video about Clarksonâs innovative âenergy from food wasteâ program
Clarkson has had a strong reputation for environmentally oriented research and academics for years, according to Susan Powers, the Jean â79 and Robert â79 Spence Professor in Sustainable Environmental Systems and associate director for sustainability in the Institute for a Sustainable Environment.
âOur recent STARS silver rating reflects our continuing commitment to incorporate sustainability into Clarksonâs way-of-life,â said Powers. âWe have been able to excel because of the campus-wide belief that sustainability research and education is a priority.â
Academic programs such as the major in environmental science & policy, minor in sustainable energy systems and Clarksonâs Adirondack Semester factored into the ranking, Powers said, while lessons in sustainability have also been weaved into other classes and majors across campus. Clarksonâs sustainability themed clubs, such as ECO and the construction of a greenhouse featuring research on growing food in cost-effective ways during the winter, were also major factors in the rating.
Tiyi Brewster â13, an environmental science and policy major, has tried to take advantage of as many of those opportunities as possible. As a freshman, she got involved in ECO and spearheaded a âTake it or Leave it Programâ that encouraged students to donate items they would otherwise throw away at the end of the semester; ECO then donated those items to charity.
Brewster first found out about ECO in her freshman year.
âIt resonated with me. They were like-minded souls,â she said. âI enjoyed our time thinking about how we can bring environmental issues to the Clarkson campus.â
Brewster has cultivated her passion in the environment during her Clarkson career. She traveled to Ecuador with the Engineers Without Borders program in order to create a âconstructed wetlandâ that filters polluted water. She also participated in Clarksonâs Adirondack Semester, which is open to students with a desire to immerse themselves in environmental studies against the backdrop of the Adirondack Park.
âItâs something that has to be integrated into every part of your life to make it work,â Brewster said of sustainability. âItâs a lifelong search, a lifelong pursuit.â
Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the worldâs pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.
Image Credit: Clarkson University