Students cooking outside

What is your vision for a just and sustainable world?

Our Learning Community provides opportunities to explore and build the skills and qualities needed to create a regenerative present and future for life at all scales: personal, social, and ecological. It's a place where we explore our self, communities, and larger human and natural systems. We honor our relationships with our local communities and natural environment by getting out and exploring the woods, Lake Champlain, local food systems, campus organizations, fall foliage, and discovering peaceful places to slow down. We seek to deepen and celebrate our sense of place, fostering an atmosphere where everyone find points of connection to their community—the built environments that we inhabit, and the natural landscape that frames our lives.

Through our explorations and focus on community-building, we seek to challenge and expand commonly held understandings of sustainability while embracing both the complexity of the concept as well as its inherent simplicity. In our classes and activities, we seek to provide a space where students can grow their understanding of sustainability while intentionally deciding how they want to live, learn, and work in the world.



  • For new first-time, first-year students, our one-credit course Ecology of Place is an exploration of self, community, and larger human and natural systems. We begin within our home community located in Harris Hall and branch out across campus and into our larger community and landscapes. Within class and during Sustainability House community celebrations, students explore and practice three central themes of sustainability:
  1. Mountains, Rivers, and Lakes: Outdoor Exploration
  2. Harvest, Cook, Eat: Food Systems
  3. Reduce, Reuse, Rethink: Matter and Energy
  • Second-year Sustainability students will have the opportunity to apply to our enhanced learning experience entitled “Greenhouse.”  Students who are admitted to Greenhouse will be enrolled in the one-credit NR 16 Ecological Citizenship seminar and receive additional benefits, including priority for room selection, special programming options, and leadership opportunities. (More information about how to apply for the enhanced experience will be made available in January.)


  • Sustainability: Welcome Gathering
  • Harvest Celebration
  • Fall Hike
  • Thanksgiving Community Celebration
  • Self-Guided Exploration and Adventures (examples: learning to use the bus system to get to natural areas, farmer’s market, donating used items, buying second-hand items from areas businesses)
  • Guilds—Student-Designed, Student-Led Community Groups (examples: hiking, sewing, music, yoga, cooking, trail-running)


Locations for 2019-2020: Harris and University Heights South

Please check your housing contract for more specific location information.


Alex Boesch Alex Boesch
Area Coordinator


Leah MitalLeah Mital
Program Director


Hedy EaganHedy Eagan (at left)
Program Coordinator
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Flore Costumé (not pictured)
Program Coordinator


Walter PolemanWalter Poleman
Faculty Associate


Zac Ipsa-LandaZac Ispa-Landa
Faculty Associate


Ingrid NelsonIngrid Nelson
Faculty Associate


What excites us about Sustainability? We get to be a playful arm of the university and say "yes!" all day long to student ideas and initiatives. Join us—and help to build the type of community in which you would like to live!

First-Year Read