School of Earth & Sustainability

Established in 2016, the UMass School of Earth & Sustainability (SES) joins diverse academic programs, research, and outreach that share a common focus on sustainability in natural and built environments.  Currently, SES is a transdisciplinary partnership between the Departments of Earth, Geographic, and Climate Sciences; Environmental Conservation; Landscape Architecture & Regional Planning; and Stockbridge School of Agriculture, as well as the Environmental Microbiology group from the Department of Microbiology.  Together, our community includes over 120 world-class faculty, 1300 undergraduate students, 350 graduate students, as well as many research scientists, technicians, and support staff.

Collaborative Programs & Partners

The UMass School of Earth & Sustainability partners with leaders from across campus and throughout the region to advance new ideas, foster collaborations, and address real-world issues at home and abroad.  Within SES, we value student leadership and strive to create a supportive environment that promotes initiatives put forth by our undergraduate and graduate students.  Examples of our partnerships and programs include:

  • Sustainability Strategy Working Group (SSWG).  SES is helping to co-chair an effort to develop a unified vision for sustainability research, education, and engagement at UMass.  Learn more here
  • UMass Carbon Zero.  The university is embarking on the ambitious project to transition off of fossil fuels and power our campus with 100% renewable energy in the next decade.  SES is helping to lead that effort with a cross-campus team.  SES will spearhead the project's academic opportunities, referred to as UMCZ Living Lab.  Opportunities include courses, hands-on training, research projects, internships, and community engagement.  SES will coordinate activities across all academic units and maximize systemic collaboration with our facilities and physical plant team. To learn more about UMCZ and the exciting training, research, and collaborative opportunities, please visit the project website here
  • Art, Science, & Activism (ASA). A collaborative partnership with the School of Earth & Sustainability, the UMass Fine Arts Center, and MFA for Poets & Writers.  Together, we are working to create deliberate opportunities to connect artists, scientists, and changemakers. ASA hosts an annual transdisciplinary series where we reckon with climate change -- elevating awareness, recognizing climate grief, and catalyzing meaningful change-- and illuminate ecological crises through the lens of science and art.  Each series includes a performer, an author, and a science talk, followed by a culminating panel discussion that engages them together.  Past series have brought to campus the legendary composer Phillip Glass, author Amitav Ghosh, performer Miwa Matreyek, and Small Island Big Song, to name a few.  Learn more here.
  • BRiDGE Scholars Program.  Based in the School of Earth and Sustainability, BRiDGE is a student-led initiative originally supported by a Campus Climate Improvement Grant. It’s now funded by SES and its five departments. The BRiDGE Scholars Program aims to increase the representation and visibility of early-career scientists from underrepresented backgrounds making a difference in their respective fields. Find out more about BRiDGE via their website.
  • Massachusetts Envirothon.  Working with state agencies and high schools across the Commonwealth, SES supports this exciting high school program by hosting a day-long engagement event between students, environmental professionals, faculty, and agency staff.   For nearly thirty years, Envirothon has provided high school students with this unique hands-on, team-oriented problem-solving and community involvement experience that prepares young people for environmental careers and active citizenship.  Learn more.
  • Paperbark Literary Magazine.  SES serves as the home for Paperbark, an interdisciplinary magazine of creativity and sustainability founded by graduate students, faculty, and staff from within the UMass School of Earth & Sustainability as well as across campus.  Supported by SES in partnership with the UMass Libraries and the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, Paperbark aims to showcase the best sustainability work happening on campus and in the Pioneer Valley, working to support the local community around sustainability while also drawing connections to the global context. For more information and to submit your work, visit the Paperbark website.

Learn More

The School of Earth & Sustainability provides invaluable services, training, and expertise to our campus and the Commonwealth.  To gain a deeper understanding of how our partnership is making a difference to our students, faculty, the University of Massachusetts, and beyond, read more here.