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Environmental Studies 50 Archive

Welcome to the Environmental Studies 50 data base. Environmental Studies 50 is a culminating experience of the Environmental Studies Major at Dartmouth College.

Students working together in groups will formulate and justify policy measures that they think would be appropriate to deal with a local environmental problem. The purposes of this coordinating course are to (1) give students an opportunity to see how the disciplinary knowledge acquired in their various courses and departmental major programs can be integrated in a synthetic manner; (2) provide a forum for an in-depth evaluation of a significant environmental policy problem; and (3) give students the experience of working as a project team toward the solution of a real-world problem. Considerable field work may be involved, and the final examination will consist of a public presentation and defense of student-generated policy recommendations.

Spring 2013: Research and Recommendations Pertaining to the Management of the Second College Grant

Full Report

(1.47 MB)

Supervising Faculty: Rich Howarth

 

Spring 2012: Suggestions for a More Sustainable Dartmouth: A Discussion of Material Flows on Campus

Full Report

(2.61 MB)

Supervising Faculty: Doug Bolger

 

Spring 2011: A Toolkit for Building Sustainability at Dartmouth

Full Report

(4.36 MB)

Supervising Faculty: Doug Bolger

 

Spring 2010: Our Big Green Future: From Rhetoric to Realization: Bridges to Sustainability at Dartmouth College

Full Report

(5.29 MB)

Supervising Faculty: Chris Sneddon

 

Fall 2009: Our Big Green Future: Achieving Carbon Neutrality at Dartmouth College (ENVS 80)

Full Report

(21.05 MB)

Supervising Faculty: Karolina Kawiaka

In this class, students prioritized the recommendations made in ENVS 50 (S09) and selected a project to research and develop and work towards implementing on the Dartmouth campus.

Spring 2009: Our Big Green Future: Steps Toward Carbon Neutrality at Dartmouth College

Full Report

(10.8 MB)

Supervising Faculty: Karolina Kawiaka

In the coming decades Dartmouth College will have to face the dual crises of global warming and peak oil. By weaning the institution off of fossil fuels as quickly as possible, both issues can be addressed. This report recommends a multi-phase approach in order to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The first phase tackles the energy demand on campus; the second phases looks at alternative ways of producing energy-in lieu of burning heating oil at the central heating plant, as is currently practiced. It is recommended that the two phases, though distinct, occur simultaneously.

Spring 2008: Regional Planning and Sustainable Transportation in the Upper Connecticut River Valley

Full Report
(1.25 MB)

Supervising Faculty: Chris Sneddon

This report examines the relationship between regional planning and sustainable transportation in the Upper Connecticut River Valley, with regard to the associated environmental and socioeconomic impacts. It proposes increased interactions between structural elements and more even dispersal of resources in order to promote the efficiency of planning structures in this area; a key weakness is revealed in the lack of coordination between planning entities.Public transport and alternative modes of transportation in the Upper Valley are found to be decentralized and haphazard, and it is suggested that employer and town-based TDM programs would have a significant effect in promoting sustainability efforts. The environmental impacts of road salting were found to be a particularly critical issue requiring further study.

Spring 2007: Rethinking Traditional Landscape and Open Space: Hanover and Hartford

Full Report
(6.6 MB)

Supervising Faculty: Doug Bolger

This report investigates the issues surrounding exurban sprawl in Hanover, New Hampshire and Hartford, Vermont. It examines historical land-use, agricultural change, affordable housing, water quality, wildlife habitat fragmentation, land-use regulation, community values and local government structures, and concludes with several recommendations, including:

  • Conduct comprehensive land valuation and Cost of Community Services studies to determine the relative importance of open space and agricultural lands and their economic viability
  • Implement policies promoting clustered development along existing roads, especially in rural areas
  • Establish a comprehensive GIS database to provide concrete data regarding rural growth

Spring 2006: Sustainable Energy Futures: The Potential for Wood Chip Energy at Dartmouth College and the Surrounding Region

Full Report
(5.14 MB)

Supervising Faculty: Rich Howarth

This report examines the viability of wood chip energy generation in New England from a variety of perspectives and aims to explain and assess: the science and technology behind wood chip technology and the current and potential supply of wood chips in relation to the New England forest industry (with an emphasis on sustainably harvested chips). It also examines several local and regional case studies that illustrate the pros and cons of wood chip energy for utilities, schools, and municipal buildings.

 

Spring 2005: Green Living at Dartmouth College: Buildings, Community, and the Environment

Executive Summary
(0.5MB)

Full Report
(3.9MB)

Supervising Faculty: Rich Howarth

While recognizing Dartmouth’s capacity to be a leader in environmental efficiency and sustainability, efforts clearly need to expand and improve. This report, a compilation of research and recommendations to support an expanded advocacy effort, examines residential halls as a means of understanding current hindrances and future capacities for “green” living spaces. Covered in depth are new dorms, specifically plans for the McLaughlin cluster, opening in fall 2006, and the green elements that were incorporated into the buildings’ design (Chapter 3). Existing residential halls are evaluated, along with programs such as ECO and SPARC, vehicles for improving student environmental awareness (Chapter 4). Research conducted with college architects, real estate officers, students, and faculty provides the foundation for a comprehensive plan for a Sustainability Center, a facility designed to promote sustainability from the people within and through the actual building with its many green technologies (Chapter 5). The report concludes with an examination of Dartmouth’s peer institutions’ commitment to environmental stewardship (Chapter 6).

 

Spring 2004: Reducing Fossil Carbon Emissions and Building Environmental Awareness at Dartmouth College

Executive Summary (0.4MB)

Full Report
(2.1MB)

Supervising Faculty: Andy Friedland

Dartmouth College must take steps to reduce its impact on the environment. We provide the college with a number of effective ways to reduce its CO2 emissions. Implementation of our recommendations would demonstrate that Dartmouth can be a leader in environmental awareness. The several options outlined in this report show that if Dartmouth makes a commitment to acting upon our recommendations, the rewards will be substantial. These rewards achieve our mission of reducing Dartmouth’s CO2 emissions and improve Dartmouth’s reputation, intellectual atmosphere and capacity as an educational institution.

 

Spring 2003: The Feasibility of Sustainability Reporting at Dartmouth College

Executive Summary (0.03MB)

Full Report
(0.7MB)

Supervising Faculty: Karen Fisher-Vanden

The specific task taken on by this course in the spring of 2003 is to evaluate the feasibility of sustainability reporting at Dartmouth. We do this by assessing the costs and benefits entailed in that reporting, reviewing the available reporting options, and assessing the costs of data collection. We then offer recommendations on what approaches Dartmouth might take to sustainability reporting. Sustainability reporting, which involves the provision of social and environmental annual reports in addition to the traditional financial one, has developed as a trend in corporate management over the past decade but has been slow to take root among colleges and universities. Dartmouth has an opportunity to establish itself as a leader in sustainability by adopting reporting in some form.

 

Spring 2001: Land Use Planning in Hanover, NH

Executive Summary (0.4MB)

Full Report
(1.4MB)

Supervising Faculty: Richard Howarth

In order to realize the goals identified in the Open Space Priorities Plan (OSPP), released in the fall of 2000 by the Hanover Conservation Commission, this report investigates land protection strategies for the town of Hanover. We concur with the long-term conservation spirit of the OSPP and present this document as a logical next phase for the preservation and management of open space in Hanover. By focusing almost exclusively on open space protection tools, this report aims to shift the documented support for open space in Hanover beyond the theoretical realm and into practical implementation. A brief introductory chapter begins the report, followed by three chapters that each comprehensively analyze a different implementation vehicle: Planning and Zoning (Chapter 2), Economic Incentives (Chapter 3), and Conservation Easements and Land Acquisitions (Chapter 4).

 

Spring 2000: Reevaluating Dartmouth's Transportation Needs

Full Report
(0.9MB)

Supervising Faculty: Richard Howarth

The Spring 2000 Environmental Studies 50 class has researched the transportation situation at Dartmouth College in order to establish its role in this environmental problem. We have determined that Dartmouth has much room for improvement in reducing the energy used and pollution produced by transportation on and around campus, especially when compared to other colleges and universities. It is our hope that the recommendations we provide will be used to change transportation policies and practices at the college. The two major areas for improvement are among commuters and within the college fleet. College policies can influence the former and directly change the latter.

Last Updated: 7/19/13