College of the Atlantic students use a Solar Pathfinder to determine photovoltaic power potential in different areas of campus. Students are very involved with COA's sustainability initiatives, often through their academics.College of the Atlantic students use a Solar Pathfinder to determine photovoltaic power potential in different areas of campus. Students are very involved with COA's sustainability initiatives, often through their academics.

The guide cites COA’s central focus on interdisciplinary, experiential study of the interactions between humans and the environment, along with a strong community commitment to sustainability. Generations of students, taking advantage of COA’s participatory governance system, have developed and implemented policies and practices for greening the school’s operations, including fossil fuel divestment, policies on meat procurement, paper purchasing, zero waste, and eliminating containerized water.

Students learning about ecology field work in Acadia National Park is a common occurrence in many courses at COA. Each year, two students are chosen to spend their summer break interning with the National Park through the COA Acadia Scholars program.Students learning about ecology field work in Acadia National Park is a common occurrence in many courses at COA. Each year, two students are chosen to spend their summer break interning with the National Park through the COA Acadia Scholars program.

“I’m pleased to see COA again recognized by the Princeton Review for our sustainability work, but the credit really needs to go to our students, who have taken a leadership role in steering our campus operations toward a greener horizon,” said COA president Dr. Darron Collins ’92. “Our students are driven to create positive change in the world, and we can really see that work happening both here on campus and in the wider world.”

Among the College’s many green distinctions noted by Princeton Review: COA became the first carbon-neutral college in 2007; COA owns and stewards 300 acres of forest and farmland, which provide research and educational opportunities for students and faculty; and the college’s hands-on curriculum involves students in implementing COA’s commitment to become a fossil fuel-free campus by 2030—already COA classes have participated in energy audits and have researched, sited, and installed solar photovoltaic arrays on campus.

Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Chair in Earth Systems and GeoSciences Dr. Sarah Hall teaches Geology of Mount Desert Island in Acadia National Park. Just a short walk from campus, the park gives students access to 158 miles of hiking trails, 45 miles of carriage roads, and 7 peaks over 1,000 feet.Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Chair in Earth Systems and GeoSciences Dr. Sarah Hall teaches Geology of Mount Desert Island in Acadia National Park. Just a short walk from campus, the park gives students access to 158 miles of hiking trails, 45 miles of carriage roads, and 7 peaks over 1,000 feet.

COA also made The Princeton Review’s new “Top 50 Green Colleges” ranking list in the guide, coming in #1 on the list. The 2018 Princeton Review Guide to 399 Green Colleges and Top 50 Green Colleges list may be accessed online at princetonreview.com/green-guide.

“We strongly recommend College of the Atlantic and the other fine colleges in this guide to the many environmentally minded students who seek to study and live at green colleges,” said Princeton Review Editor-in-Chief Robert Franek.

Franek noted that college applicants and their parents are increasingly concerned about the environment and sustainability issues. Among nearly 11,000 teens and parents The Princeton Review surveyed earlier this year for its 2018 “College Hopes & Worries Survey,” 63% overall said having information about a college’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the school.” The full survey report is at princetonreview.com/college-hopes-worries.

The Princeton Review chose the schools for this ninth annual edition of its “green guide” based on data from the company’s 2017-18 survey of hundreds of four-year colleges concerning the schools’ commitments to the environment and sustainability.

COA hosts many opportunities for students to learn traditional camping skills throughout the academic year. Above, the COA traditional skills group hikes through Maine's north country guide while at a workshop with COA alumna and Maine guide Alexandra Conover Bennett '72.COA hosts many opportunities for students to learn traditional camping skills throughout the academic year. Above, the COA traditional skills group hikes through Maine's north country guide while at a workshop with COA alumna and Maine guide Alexandra Conover Bennett '72.

College of the Atlantic is premised on the belief that education should go beyond understanding the world as it is to enabling students to actively shape the future. COA is a leader in experiential learning and environmental stewardship, and was named the #1 Green College in the U.S. by The Princeton Review in 2016, 2017, and 2018, and by the Sierra Club in 2016 and 2017. Dr. Susan Letcher frequently uses the flora of College of the Atlantic's campus to teach botany. According to Sierra's Cool Schools rankings, at least 75 percent of COA's faculty are engaged in sustainability research, while more than 35 percent of the classes offered are related to environmentalism.Dr. Susan Letcher frequently uses the flora of College of the Atlantic's campus to teach botany. According to Sierra's Cool Schools rankings, at least 75 percent of COA's faculty are engaged in sustainability research, while more than 35 percent of the classes offered are related to environmentalism. Every COA student designs their own major in human ecology—which integrates knowledge from across academic disciplines and seeks to understand and improve the relationships between humans and their natural, built, and social environments—and sets their own path toward a degree. Learn more at coa.edu.

The Princeton Review is a leading test preparation, tutoring, and college admission services company headquartered in New York, NY. The company is a subsidiary of ST Unitas, a global education technology company. The company is not affiliated with Princeton University.