Yesterday we gathered again at the Unity College Centre for the Performing Arts for a semester showcase of student achievement — the Unity College Student Conference. Photography, sculpture, poster sessions, oral and video presentations, multimedia demonstrations, and more served as testament to the work of this past fall. We in the Sustainability Office served as judges for the “Sustainability Award” offered by the academic Center for Sustainability & Global Change, and I was impressed by the diversity of nominees.
As President Mulkey reminded us at the conference award ceremony, so much of what we’re doing at Unity College is exemplary of a trans-disciplinary approach to sustainability science and studies, even if we haven’t yet been thinking of our academic work in precisely those terms. The Student Conference highlights an important effort to broaden our community’s conception of sustainability. We’re not exclusively concerned with recycling and turning off the lights; we’re addressing the social, financial, and natural resource implications of environmental and other problems. Our office is thinking carefully about how to develop the campus infrastructure – the built, educational, and administrative resources – to offer great opportunities for sustainability education.
So I’m thrilled to see that a photo exhibit exploring New England fisheries was nominated for the conference Sustainability Award alongside a poster on carbon tax policies and a multimedia project on building energy performance. Several works nominated in other categories and a few that weren’t nominated at all emphasized multiple facets of sustainability in sophisticated and nuanced ways. Congratulations to all of our students for your good work. And special kudos to Jeanne, Tim, and Daniel, Sustainability Award winners for your Long Creek Watershed Contaminant Study. See other nominees in the slide show below, and view the full list of award winners here.