College of the Atlantic, nestled on the Maine coast between Frenchman Bay and Acadia National Par...College of the Atlantic, nestled on the Maine coast between Frenchman Bay and Acadia National Park, became the first carbon-neutral campus in 2007, and has committed to being fossil-fuel free by 2030.

Depending on how deeply you want to go into environmental studies, there are many colleges that could meet your green-minded learning needs. A great place to begin research is the Princeton Review’s annual “Guide to 399 Green Colleges.” The 9th annual version was released late last year and ranked the College of the Atlantic (COA) in Bar Harbor, Maine as the nation’s greenest institution of higher learning. Completing the Top 15, in rank order: SUNY Syracuse, University of Vermont (UVM), Dickinson College, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Colorado State, Pitzer, Cornell, Randolph College, Stanford, UC Davis, Seattle University, Santa Clara University, American University and Goucher College.

It’s no surprise that COA, established in 1969 as the first American college to focus primarily on the relationship between humans and the environment, has topped the list for three years running. With only 350 students and 35 faculty members, small classes and focused learning are the norm at COA, which has been churning out environmental leaders for five decades. It became the first carbon-neutral college in 2007 and plans to be completely rid of fossil fuels on campus by 2030.

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