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Knox Named Sierra Club "Cool School"

Sustainability initiatives in academics, research and campus life

Above, student Isaac Lee harvests produce in a college-operated "high tunnel."

Knox College has been named to the Sierra Club's 2014 list of "Cool Schools." Fewer than 200 of the nation's 2,000 colleges and universities submitted information required for the selection. The schools are listed on the Sierra Club website.

Highlights of Knox's sustainability-related initiatives for "Cool School" selection:

  • Classes: In addition to a formal major in Environmental Studies, Knox offers more than 30 courses that are sustainability-focused, and more than 60 that include sustainability sections. Other academic experiences that have focused on sustainability include internships, independent study and special topics courses, and individual student research programs; 26 of 41 academic departments at Knox offer at least one sustainability-related course.
  • Faculty: Out of more than 100 Knox faculty with formal research programs, 17 are engaged in sustainability-related research. Their publications include books and articles in such areas as environmental education, the link between materialistic values and environmental attitudes, and the effects of invasive species.
  • Campus Life: Sustainability is a major component of student life. New Student Orientation includes a focus on social and environmental issues around campus. Recycling captures 100% of packing materials brought to campus by students moving into residence halls. The Office of Sustainability employs work-study students as sustainability interns; their activities include collecting recyclables and promoting recycling to others on campus. In addition, the duties of Residential Assistants employed by the Office of Student Life include educating students in their residence halls about sustainability practices.

Sustainability initiatives at Knox include recycling of food and packing waste; creative re-use of old clothing by theatre students. Full-screen photos with captions and credits are available in an album at the Knox College Flickr channel.

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Printed on Monday, November 29, 2021