LED Street Light Project

The Environmental Protection Agency has had a partnership with Bennington College and Professor Susan Sgorbati for the past two years. Susan teaches a class called “Solving the Impossible”, where students look at intractable problems and develop skills to work towards solutions. The 22 students in last year’s class decided to tackle the issue of climate change and energy efficiency.

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Green Campus

Thriving in the Green Mountains and awash with trees, Bennington already looks pretty green to the casual observer. But the efforts it’s making to become a “green campus”—which includes the ambitious long-term goal of achieving complete carbon neutrality—are changing the way it uses resources from the inside out.

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Food Justice in NYC

Environmental Studies Director Valerie Imbruce was interviewed on WBAI Pacifica Radio in New York City for a segment on the City's plans to make its food system more locally sourced and accessible to low-income and immigrant communities. Imbruce's expertise on the subject stems from her extensive research on the global expansion of Chinatown's food system, which examines the demand for ethnic produce from Asian immigrants in New York City, and maps the distinct agricultural networks that have formed as a result.

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Tour the Student Garden

Get to know the flora, fine-art trellises, and dedicated keepers of the Bennington Student Garden, a two-year-old initiative powered by the student-run Bennington Sustainable Food Project.

Since filming, this project has grown to 50 active members and moved to a bigger, permanent garden plot. Among the many garden projects are a student-run food coop cart (called "Coop"), a wood-fired oven, and an herb labyrinth.

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Farm to Table

From garden to lunch in 90 seconds with Sofie Sherman-Burton '12 and Bryan Markhart '13 of the Bennington Sustainable Food Project, which aims to bring enriched, locally-sourced food to campus.

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Courses | Faculty | Sustainability Committee

If you're interested in science—or politics, or art, or philosophy, or architecture, or psychology, or writing—environmental studies might be for you.

The program on the environment at Bennington, like all areas of study, draws upon the College’s faculty to provide an interdisciplinary perspective at how environmental issues impact the natural and social worlds. How do ethics, politics, and economics overlap with environmental issues? How do aesthetic and artistic perspectives shape our relationship with nature? The core environmental questions are not only or even necessarily scientific—they are social and policy-driven and are integrated across the entire College.

Beyond the classroom, the environmental studies program supports student research and Field Work Term internships, facilitates campus-based sustainability initiatives, and works to expand relationships with local environmental consortia and other institutions. The campus Sustainability Committee, which accepts and reviews proposals for projects like the organic Student Garden, allows students to tackle environmental problems on a local scale.

A grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 2009 has supported Bennington's program on the environment. The College’s longstanding commitment to sustainability and conservation has earned Bennington a place in the Princeton Review’s first ever Guide to 286 Green Colleges, which was compiled and published in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council.