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Edward B. Fiske Selects Eckerd College as One of Top Ten Environmental Studies Schools in the Nation

posted on 07/29/2010

Eckerd College has been selected as one of the top ten environmental studies schools in the nation by Edward B. Fiske, former education editor of the New York Times and author of the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2011. Eckerd College is the only Florida institution to receive this recognition.

For inclusion on this list, Eckerd first had to make the Fiske Guide to Colleges, which features 300 of the nation's "best and most interesting" colleges and universities. Other schools on the top-ten list of environmental studies schools include Colby College, College of the Atlantic, University of California at Davis, University of Colorado at Boulder, Dartmouth College, Evergreen State College, University of North Carolina at Asheville, Tulane University, and the University of Washington.

During his 17 years at The New York Times, the author realized that college-bound students and their families needed better information on which to base their educational choices. His assessment resulted in the independently-produced Fiske Guide to Colleges. He is the co-author, along with Bruce G. Hammond, of The Fiske Guide to Nailing the SAT, Fiske What to do When for College, and The Fiske Guide to Getting into the Right College.

Sustainability at Eckerd College
Starting with its popular Environmental Studies major that consistently graduates enough students to qualify as one of the College's top three majors, Eckerd's sustainability efforts are noteworthy and plentiful. A comprehensive list of activities and projects can be found on Eckerd's Sustainability at Eckerd College webpage.

During the 2009-10 academic year, Eckerd College released its Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Mitigation Action Plan. The primary goal of the GHG mitigation strategy is to reduce Eckerd College's emissions of gases that contribute to climate change through a variety of strategies, ranging from conservation actions and behavior change.

This past January, a proposal for a sustainable vegetable garden evolved into a joint partnership between a group of students and Bon Appetit, Eckerd's dining services vendor, resulting in the Eckerd College Community Garden.

For the second year in a row, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Kip Curtis constructed his classroom around the Edible Peace Patch Garden, a cooperative effort between the Environmental Studies program and nearby Lakewood Elementary School to help Eckerd students turn their interest in growing organic food into an innovative approach to elementary science education.

And, this spring, an innovative solar collector was installed in front of Galbraith Marine Science Laboratory for field trials of a similar unit in a health clinic in Lesotho (southern Africa). This demonstration pilot project, developed by MIT students Matt Orosz and Amy Mueller, features a small, self-contained and inexpensive system to generate electricity and hot water.

More examples of Eckerd's sustainability efforts include: ridesharing opportunities for the campus community through Zipride.com; the reusable EcoClamshell to-go container; the Yellow Community Bike program designed six years ago to increase bicycle use on campus and decrease automobile traffic; the hands-on, student-run recycling program; the Visions of Nature / Voices of Nature Environmental Film Festival; Iota Complex, a residence hall for which Eckerd is seeking LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification; facilities vendor UNICCO's GreenClean green products approach; Bon Appetit's Circle of Responsibility and Eat Local Challenge programs that aptly match Eckerd's environmental ambitions.

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