Tag Archives: climate

Meet the Intern

23 Mar

 

Breanna

Hi! I’m Breanna Parker ’18 and am an intern in campus sustainability at Smith College. I came to Smith from a small town in Iowa. I chose to study Environmental Science and Policy because I want to work toward a future that supports the economy, the environment and society as a whole.

Smith College is committed to the ambitious goal of being carbon neutral by 2030. To accomplish this goal, the college must reduce its carbon emissions by mitigating the direct use of fossil fuels and by increasing efficiency on campus. However, other sources of carbon emissions, such as travel by students, staff and faculty, cannot feasibly be eliminated, which is why Smith is exploring the option of carbon offsets. A carbon offset is a way to invest in renewable energy, clean technology and efficiency and receive a carbon credit toward achieving full carbon neutrality.

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Currently, I’m working to develop guidelines for Smith’s innovative carbon offset program, the Community Climate Fund. The program is a collaboration with Amherst, Hampshire and Williams Colleges and the Center for EcoTechnology. The goal of the fund is to generate carbon offsets locally in western Massachusetts with co-benefits for the community and the colleges. The research phase was launched in 2015 and now the Community Climate Fund is implementing its first project to assist local businesses and institutions invest in high-efficiency heating systems by providing funding to lower the cost of the units. The additional funding provides an incentive to those organizations to invest in new heating systems. The reduction in energy use from these high-efficiency heating systems does three things: it helps the businesses save money and be more energy efficient, and it generates a carbon offset for the Community Climate Fund, which will help Smith reach its goal of being of being carbon neutral by 2030. It is very exciting to see Smith take action both on campus and in the community to support a sustainable future.

Inside the depths of the Dewey House renovation

3 Jan

Have you ever wondered what the attic of Dewey House looks like? I hadn’t either, but nevertheless this past summer, I found out.

Gary Hartwell is a Project Manager here at Smith specializing in energy conservation projects and one August afternoon he invited me along to Dewey House to check in on the renovations taking place there. Crews diligently buzzed around the structure, which was built in 1825 and used by Smith since 1875. The work that began over the summer finished up this fall and included a slew of improvements: mechanical and electrical upgrades, re-carpeting, new windows, and foam insulation, to name a few. The slideshow below illustrates some of these modernizations and hopefully offers a glimpse into the busy world going on right behind the walls that surround you.

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Increasing building efficiency is just one step Smith is taking towards lowering our carbon footprint, thus achieving our goals outlined in the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC).

Read more about the renovation of Dewey from this article written by Eric Weld on Grécort Gate back in July and stay tuned for more sustainability highlights!

Sarah Loomis, Administrative Assistant, CEEDS