At Saint Michael’s you can study the relationship of humanity to the natural world through a range of different academic programs, including environmental science, environmental studies, and biology (which has an ecology/conservation biology track). The introductory courses for all of these programs are well-coordinated so that you can make a final decision about your major once you arrive on campus and take a few courses. You may want to pursue a more science based program such as environmental science or biology, or a more interdisciplinary study of the environment through our environmental studies program. All of these majors require students to complete a senior capstone project, and encourage a practicum such as an internship or research project on or off campus. Check out our SMC website for details on the programs.
The Farm at Saint Michael's College began as an idea in 2008 and has blossomed into a two-acre farm with two 26x72 foot hoop houses, a fruit and berry orchard, raised beds, and 12 – 30x30 foot low-till, deep bed vegetable production field plots. The Farm hosts weekly garden work sessions, a weekly community luncheon during the summer and early fall, and is used by several courses a semester as living laboratory and outdoor classroom. Countless other events and student groups access the food grown by student gardeners or utilize the space in the garden for their own programming.
Inspired by our botanists, teachers and children’s-literature scholars, a special area of the Saint Michael’s campus is devoted to our Teaching Gardens, which really is a collection of four gardens. A children’s literature garden called Books in Bloom features plants from favorite story books. Next door, flora native to our region of Vermont can be studied up close in our Native Plants of Vermont garden. The Arboretum is our term for the impressive variety of trees planted all over campus. And, finally, Just a stone’s throw away is an altogether different kind of garden: movable words, artistically etched on pieces of stone scattered upon a bed of pebbles, allow passers-by to create their own poetry in our Word Garden, the newest creation in this charming corner of a beautiful campus.
Adjacent to campus is a natural area of over 400 acres which we use for education, exploration and reflection. The area borders the Winooski River and is therefore an important component of the watershed that drains into Lake Champlain. Saint Michael’s is undertaking an ecological restoration of the habitat, which has had been used for agriculture for decades. The area provides an ideal outdoor classroom for courses in environmental science and studies, biology, and all disciplines that benefit from a connection to nature and the environment. Faculty and students are involved in long-term research studies in the Natural Area, and it is a popular site for field trips and close encounters with nature.
First Year Students' Go Green Welcome Kits
Since 2008, we have provided a snazzy Green Welcome package for every first-year student. The package is placed in the dorm rooms by the amazing RA staff of the first year Residence Halls. This kit includes "tools" to help each first year student get started on the pathway to green living, such as reusable mugs, information about recycling on campus, and the SMC Go Green Guide.