The College of the Atlantic, founded in 1969, is a private, alternative liberal-arts college located on Mount Desert Island in Bar Harbor, Maine. It awards a bachelor's degree and a master's degree solely in the field of human ecology, though with a variety of emphases. The college is relatively small, with approximately 350 students and a full-time faculty of 25. Its curriculum includes student-directed projects, community involvement, and interdisciplinary learning.
Sustainability at COA Edit
In 2004, COA was the first campus to make a multi-year commitment to be powered entirely by renewable energy, signing a 10-year contract with Endless Energy Corporation. In 2005 it was the first school to hold a zero-waste graduation. In October 2006, COA pledged to become carbon neutral, offsetting all of its carbon emissions, including those created by visiting students; they fulfilled the pledge in December 2007 by purchasing carbon offsets for their emissions through the Climate Trust of Oregon.
New student housing is also touted as being some of the most sustainable in the northeast.
The College was founded in 1969 on the premise that education should go beyond understanding the world as it is, to enabling students to actively shape its future. It has pioneered a special interdisciplinary approach to undergraduate education - human ecology - with the view to developing the types of leaders needed by all sectors of society in addressing the compelling and growing human needs of our world. College of the Atlantic has been carbon neutral since December 19, 2007. It achieved this by reducing and avoiding its greenhouse gases emissions, and by carefully calculating all other emissions (including that of visitors to campus), which are offset. All electricity is now purchased from a low-impact hydroelectric generator in Maine, and a wind turbine powers the farmhouse on the college's outlying organic farm (which supplies some of the produce to the college's dining hall). The college has completed an energy audit, established a bicycle plan, encourages telecommuting when possible and has switched all possible incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs.
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- ↑ Private college nation's first carbon-neutral campus from Associated Press via CNN
- ↑ United Nations Environment Programme, July 23, 2009