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Publication Date


Document Type


Study Type

ENV 312: Executive Summary


Environmental Science and Policy


Alex Barron


We sought to increase Smith student’s understanding of sustainability by designing workshops for first year students focused on water and food consumption, actions that can be taken to conserve resources, different transportation options and recycling. In the course of our project, we faced institutional resistance when trying insert a sustainability workshop into the main First Year Orientation Program. This institutional resistance led us to find specific “gateways”, places where first year students can be reached and taught about sustainability, specifically during Orientation Group Programs and during one of the six events HONS (Head of New Students) are required to host for first year students in their houses. Results from our survey showed specific knowledge gaps for the majority of students surveyed in relation to water and energy use on campus. Additionally, over half of the students surveyed were unaware Smith had pledged to become carbon neutral by 2030. Our proposed Sustainability Workshops aim to initially educate students in ways to make more personally sustainable decisions, but ultimately aim to strengthen students problem solving abilities when faced with difficult trade-offs.


©2016 Claire Shope


This project report summarizes the semester-long efforts of group members to identify a problem in sustainability; gather background information; collect data through surveys, interviews, or experiments; analyze results, and report findings to the public in an oral presentation. Each member of the group was required to submit a separate written report. This student’s report was selected by the course’s professor to represent the project.

Project group members:

Claire Shope

Areej Jahangir

Alice Huh