Projects and Programs
Each semester noted guest speaker engage the community in dialogue on critical environmental issues. Invited speakers include author Terry Tempest Williams, sustainable food advocate Anna Lappe`, author and activist Bill McKibben, race and environmental scholar Carolyn Finney, and environmental health expert Sandra Steingraber.
Internships and Fellowships
The center offers competitive summer leadership fellowships that fund challenging internships arranged exclusively for Mount Holyoke students. The internships are with selected organizations and are individually arranged with sponsors to provide students with connections beyond those offered by typical internship programs. Students majoring in any field may apply.
More than 300 acres of Mount Holyoke’s 800-acre campus comprise a rural, undeveloped landscape of lakes, streams, forests, marsh, shrub wetlands, forested wetlands, and vernal pools. These habitats are home to hundreds of animal species, including beavers, otters, American eel, and coyotes. These diverse environments and life forms exist in close proximity to areas of rapid development, providing students with opportunities to study a variety of ecological processes and their responses to human activities. The center collects data on a rich array of environmental phenomena. “Curricular trail” sensors monitor weather, water flow and water quality (in Stony Brook, and Upper and Lower lakes), forest composition, and invasive species on campus. Fish and invertebrate surveys are also done. Dr. Leszek Bledzki oversees data collection and the training of students. Courses in biology, ecology, environmental science, physical geography, geology, and history have used the data sets to study subjects ranging from changes in weather patterns and water quality to biodiversity and community structure. Students have also used the center’s data for original research.
Miller Worley Environmental Leadership Lecture
This lecture, which normally occurs in the fall semester is presented by a prominent environmental leader who has contributed significantly to creating a more sustainable and just society. The topic of the lecture often relates to an annual theme that guides the Center's programming and changes from year to year.
Student-Alumnae Mentor Network
Each semester the Center recruits a group of alumnae to return to campus and connect with students developing a network in which alumnae and students can speak with one another and connect about career or graduate school opportunities, life and social choices, personal passions and concerns, and more. Alumnae-student retreats or workshops, internships, community service experiences, or summer jobs will be an eventual outcome of this network.
Student Organic Garden
With other partners the Miller Worley Center administers the cultivation of a small organic garden for on-campus use, beautification, and the study of agro-ecological principles. Each year the center funds summer interns who manage the student garden as well as offer opportunities for community engagement such as the annual Harvest Party which occurs each year at the end of the growing season.
Part Mount Holyoke tradition part Earth Day celebration, Pangy Day has come to mean food, fun, and community across the campus.
Looking to make a connection? The Center for the Environment works with social and environmental organizations in western Massachusetts, as well as area schools, to create meaningful and positive volunteer experiences for students and communities.
In an effort to encourage environmental leadership, literacy, and excellence, the Center offers access to several resource tools that enable students to deepen their academic pursuits. These resources include our MWCE library, online resource tools (Vital Signs online and E&E Publishing), and links to various social and environmental organizations.
For more information on any of these projects and programs, please contact the Miller Worley Center for the Environment.