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Difference-Makers in Sustainability


If you’ve walked or run through the Glen recently and noticed new signs that pointed you to where you wanted to go, you have Hayley Berliner ’19 and Nick Pace ’19 to thank. The two environmental studies concentrators spent the summer as interns working for Brian Hansen, director of environmental protection safety and sustainability.

Glen
Kirkland Glen.

Among other projects, the students marked trails in Kirkland Glen with tree markers (see trail map), entrance and cross route signage. “We’re trying to make it more navigable,” Pace explained.

Another major project for the students was making Sustainability website updates and updating Hamilton’s energy dashboard. 

Building Energy Dashboard
Hamilton's building energy dashboard tracks real-time electrical consumption and serves as an educational tool to heighten awareness.

Steve Bellona, associate vice president for Facilities & Planning, said “Nick and Hayley did all the work in developing the storyboards. It was a big deal for me to have them work with Lucid, get trained, ask the right questions and organize the storyboards. My direction to them was to pull together a story that you as a student would want to see/read/hear, and get the dashboard on the Hamilton app,” Bellona said. 

Pace and Berliner also worked with Hamilton’s consulting forester Dr. Steven Bick to assess the health of 561 acres of forested properties. That enabled the College to get credit for 1050 metric tons of CO2 reduction. 

CLIMATE COMMITMENT

In 2007, Hamilton's 19th President Joan Hinde Stewart signed the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment, and in 2009, a Climate Action Plan was developed that calls for the College to be carbon neutral by 2050.

Sustainability at hamilton

“Summer is a busy time for everyone on campus, but with two students dedicated to working on and/or researching best sustainability practices within our sector, Hamilton is making meaningful gains toward our goals,” said Hansen. 

During the rest of their internship time Berliner and Pace explored community engagement opportunities with the greater Clinton/Kirkland region that generate carbon offsets through community tree planting. They also investigated the practical and financial viability of projects related to green roofs/rooftop gardens, green fitness equipment, and green revolving funds.  

Hansen said, “Nick and Hayley have done outstanding work this summer — just as their predecessors Emma Karsten/Olivia Shehan in 2016 and Victoria Blumenfeld in 2015 did. The purpose of this internship is to give our students real world experience for their future career interests,” he said. “It really is my privilege to work so closely with our students on this topic as we all collectively benefit.”

Pace plans to pursue a career in environmental studies after graduation. “I’m leaning more toward the policy side of things instead of science, and am interested in environmental consulting,” he said.  “This internship has given me some experience in that field because we are doing a lot of feasibility studies, and economic assessments in order to determine if it makes sense to look into a project further, and if we want to follow through with it.”

Berliner also plans to take an environmental studies path.” My work this summer has taught me a little bit about how much work must go into every project and helped me understand why it is difficult to pursue environmentally friendly solutions to many problems,” she said.

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