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Center for

Environment & Society

President's Climate Action Committee

The Committee’s mission is to help the College meet its obligation to the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment. (ACUPCC). Here is a look at some of the committee’s past accomplishments and on-going projects:

  • In the Summer of 2007, WC President Tipson joined with leaders of more than 300 other institutions of higher learning in the US in signing the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment.
  • Additionally, Chestertown’s Mayor Margo Bailey signed the U.S. Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement.
  • In Summer of 2007, the Center for Environment & Society received grants from the Town Creek Foundation, the Shared Earth Foundation, and the Chesapeake Bay Trust in order to assist the College and the Town in their efforts to meet these climate commitments.
  • The Board of Visitor’s and Governor’s adopted a campus wide green building policy, pledging that all new construction and renovation be built to LEED Silver standards.
  • In Fall of 2007, CES hired a Climate Action Coordinator and a Research Associate to oversee the management of the climate action plans being drawn up by the College and the town.
  • Washington College has undertaken numerous actions in its effort to reduce its carbon footprint. Among these are: establishing a Sustainability Committee, made up of students, faculty, staff, and members of the local community; adopting Energy Star procurement policies; ramping up the campus recycling program from a student-run program to one that is now fully integrated into the regular administration and maintenance of the College; replacing production of paper materials with online alternatives; promoting the use of ink-reducing and paper-saving printer settings and paper reduction software; using bulk condiment dispensers instead of single-serving packages in dining operations; replacing all incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent ones; and, incorporating materials management information into new employee and student orientation programs. The President’s Climate Action Committee held an energy audit of the Alumni House to create a model for energy saving across campus.
  • CES has completed an inventory of the College’s greenhouse gas emissions for the past five years.
  • CES is currently assisting Chestertown, Betterton, and the Kent County government in their efforts to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
  • As part of the overall climate effort, CES has provided images and data regarding the tree canopies in Chestertown (including the College), Betterton, Rock Hall and Millington. For each of these towns, CES has produced Community Forest Master Plans which assist them with tree planting and maintenance. During the past three years, more than 1,000 trees have been planted in these four municipalities, with at least 170 planted on the College’s campus. Read more about the urban greening program.
  • CES created a greening tool kit that can be used by other local municipalities on the Eastern Shore in order to help the region achieve a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (see chestertowngoesgreen.com).

Committee Members

Mitchell Reiss, College President

Dr. John Seidel, Director of the Center for Environment & Society, Professor of Anthropology and Environmental Studies

Briggs Cunningham, Climate Action Coordinator

Michael Hardesty ’05, Chesapeake Semester Program Coordinator, Center for Environment & Society

Dr. Anne Marteel-Parish, Professor of Chemistry

Dr. Leslie Sherman, Professor of Chemistry and Environmental Studies

Dr. Brian Scott, Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies

Dr. Mindy Reynolds, Assistant Professor of Biology

Stewart Bruce, GIS Program Coordinator

Reid Raudenbush, Director of Physical Plant

Laura Johnstone Wilson, Director of Campus Events

Darnell Parker, Director of Multicultural Affairs

Chris Cerino, Vice President, Sultana Projects

Jenifer Emley, Office Coordinator, Center for Environment & Society