Author Archives: John Byrne

Help Middlebury Win National Competition

Middlebury has been selected as a finalist in Second Nature’s Climate Leadership Awards. This national organization’s award program recognizes innovative and advanced leadership among campuses that participate in the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment.

We have entered a video highlighting our leadership in this area. Viewers have the opportunity to vote for the most innovative and groundbreaking institution daily. Voting takes place throughout April in partnership with Planet Forward.

Please take a moment to vote and help spread the word to other Midd fans.

Your support is greatly appreciated! We need your votes (due to an email problem we were informed late about the start date of the voting part of the competition).


Be Bright – Energy Survey

Help us get better at using energy.

This brief (2-3 minutes) survey by the Sustainability Integration Office will help inform us how to better approach energy conservation on campus.

Middlebury College has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2016. How we use and conserve energy plays a central role in achieving that goal, both as an institution and in our own personal habits and practices.


Apply for an Environmental Council Grant this J-term!

The Environmental Council is now requesting a second round of grant proposals for the 2012-2013 academic year. Grants range from $25- $2500 and fund projects that reflect and inspire environmental leadership and spread sustainability initiatives on and off campus.

We have found that the most successful projects are collaborative and creative– bringing together groups and individuals from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds and providing a new solution to a difficult problem. Proposals are welcome from all faculty, staff and students.

Learn more and apply at go/ec
Applications due: February 1, 2013
For more information contact:

Join in on a Farm Service Day October 27

WHERE: Evening Song Farm south of Rutland. The owners lost the entire farm last year due to Irene and are still working to rebuild their infrastructure on a new location. As winter approaches, there is a lot of work to be done and extra hands are needed. During this particular weekend, the farm needs help spreading mulch over a quarter acre of garlic and harvesting winter root crops.
Read more about the farm here:
WHEN: Saturday, October 27th. We’ll meet at ADK circle at noon, arrive at the farm by 1pm and work until we’re worn out (not past sun set).
WHO: Anyone and everyone. Invite your friends!
Please e-mail Avery McNiff of the Sustainability Integration Office at if you are interested in helping out by Wednesday, October 24, so we can arrange transportation.

Hope to see you there.

Apply to Serve on the Environmental Council

Call for Environmental Council staff members:

The Environmental Council (EC) is looking for new members for its 2012-2013 session. The EC is a standing group that has played a longstanding role in moving the sustainability agenda forward at Middlebury College. It is composed of students, faculty, and staff. It advises the College President, administers a grants program and carries out initiatives that will leverage or catalyze the efforts of other groups working toward similar goals.  Read more here and here.

This year the EC will focus in the following areas:

Food and dining
What is the feasibility of growing food for Middlebury’s dining halls in greenhouses between November and April? If a broadly defined economic analysis is applied, how can the greenhouse idea be designed to contribute to the goal of basing the College’s dining services on locally grown food?

Carbon neutrality
What is the current status of the effort to be carbon neutral by 2016? What formula should be used to calculate the net carbon impact from the College’s use of biomass as a fuel source? What could be done to offset any carbon emissions that are considered to be non-neutral?

Greening Athletics
Over the past few years, Middlebury’s athletics have implemented various green initiatives. How can we further engage athletes, coaches and spectators to incorporate sustainable practices into their athletic activities, facilities, and beyond?

The EC has approximately $25,000 available to support student, staff and faculty projects that will advance or leverage the College’s leadership in demonstrating what sustainability thinking, design and action looks like at its best. The EC  uses its grant program to stimulate such projects.

EC members will meet once a month for an hour and half as a full group. Members will also serve on one committee and committees will meet at least once a month and more as needed.

The EC will be co-chaired by Professor Nick Muller and Jack Byrne, Director of Sustainability Integration Office.

To apply, please e-mail with your name, department, and a paragraph describing your interest and motivations for serving on the council by 5 p.m. on September 26.