Sustainability Semester Blog

A St. Lawrence University academic department blog

St. Lawrence University's Sustainability Semester is an off-campus living-learning program located 5 miles from the SLU campus where students create community together with the goals of living sustainably in a renovated farm house, growing and preserving their own food and building both theoretical and practical knowledge pertaining to sustainability. The students take four classes together on site, all focused on aspects of sustainability and travel to Boston for a 2 week urban sustainability component. They cook and share meals together, bake bread, do farm and house chores, engage in projects including wood working, maple sugaring, soap making, and other crafts, and work with community members involved in homesteading, farming, green building and more. This blog is written by the students participating in the Sustainability Semester and gives a snap shot of their reflections and experiences.


Ben Swimm, Homesteader-in-Residence If you have passed by our farm in the past few weeks, you may have noticed a new addition to the landscape. I notice it from the top of the hill that overlooks the farm from Route 68, and it is just as easily spotted from the end of the driveway. Maybe it’s just... read full story
Caeleigh WarburtonSustainability Semester Internship BlogSeptember 1, 2014 What I have come to value most about my education at St. Lawrence is the diversity of perspectives that I have had the fortune to experience.  As a student with a strong focus on environmental themes, I have had the... read full story
By: Jamie Oriol As the Sustainability Semester came to an end and students parted, all heading off to their exciting summer internships, I found myself settling in for a summer in the North Country.  Staying at the Sustainability House, I prepared myself for a summer of both research,... read full story
Someone once told me, speaking about Boston, that “A city is just an artificial dwelling system for the animal called Homo Sapiens.” This summer, I worked at the Emerald Necklace Conservancy in Boston. I lived in Jamaica Plain, a neighborhood just outside of Boston. And I saw much more than an... read full story
By Heron Hetzler What lives in your backyard?  The answer to this question was at the heart of my internship this past summer.  I worked for Nature Up North (NUN), an environmental education organization based out of St. Lawrence University.  Their goal is to bring an awareness and... read full story
Lizzy Gendell and David Smith May 27, 2014 This is one of many questions that we are asked on a weekly basis as we communicate with people on campus, friends at other universities, and family at home.  Perhaps our families have a little more insight as to what this semester has been like for... read full story
  Summer time is ramping up! Our Sustainability Semester saw evidence of this after meeting with several small businesses in the North Country. As days get longer with prolific sunshine, businesses like the Bennett’s Bittersweet Farm and Scott Shipley’s Northern Lights Energy have the ability... read full story
By Margaret MacDonald and Lanika Sanders Our time spent in Boston necessarily brought to light observations of nature represented in an urban setting. Through a tour of The Fens Back Bay Park, morning jaunts across Boston Commons, and a whale watch, the dichotomy between city and rural living... read full story
By: Kaitlyn Lawrence and David Smith Ever thought fast food and local food could go together? Well it can in Massachusetts. Over the past two weeks the Sustainability Semester experienced organizations trying to sustain themselves in ways that enhance quality of life and the environment. Clover... read full story
Myles Trainer and Caeleigh Warburton May 19, 2014 The first Sunday morning in May we left our farmhouse in the North Country to begin a new chapter of the Sustainability Semester: The Urban Component.  With eleven of us squeezed in the van, we made our way south through the Adirondacks and... read full story
By Jamie Oriol and Lanika Sanders On Monday, the countdown began. With packing lists in hand and visions of green rooftops filling our minds, the final preparation for our trip to Boston has commenced! As eager as we are to hit the road, however, the past week’s bustle has demanded our attention.... read full story
By Sean Morrissey and Lizzy Gendell Today we decided that this week’s blog would look a little different. Instead of updating you on the good ole shenanigans we are getting in to over at the house (which is the usual array of new and unique experiences –planting seedlings, writing forestry plans,... read full story