On Earth Day 2017, Dartmouth adopted a new set of sustainability goals in six operational categories and released the Our Green Future report, a roadmap to improving campus sustainability. The report calls for assessments, measurement, and the development of standards in a number of areas. In keeping with Dartmouth's mission, President Hanlon and the Task Force members recognized the opportunity to connect these recommendations with our teaching and learning. Specifically, the Dartmouth Sustainability Office is forming a Sustainability Corps of student analysts who will work in the Office of Sustainability to prioritize and then conduct measurement and assessment studies recommended by the task force report.
The Sustainability Corps will consist of teams of students with track records in academic research and established relationships with faculty and staff on campus through work in the Sustainability Office or similar program. Teams will be trained in quantitative analysis and will focus on projects within a specific operational area that advance Dartmouth towards its goals. They will learn how to gather data and build the relationships necessary to successfully complete their project. They will also provide feedback on recommendations along the way to ensure recommendations are both ambitious and achievable given campus constraints.
To coordinate and manage this program, the Sustainability Office is excited to welcome a new staff member to our team. Marcus Welker will be joining the team this July as the new Sustainability Corps Program Manager. The Corps Program Manager will mentor & train student analysts and support their work to conduct measurement and assessment studies recommended by the task force report in collaboration with faculty, staff, and alumni experts. The Corps Program Manager will also establish and maintain relationships with collaborators in key focus areas, ensure high quality deliverables, and present these deliverables to key implementers on campus. Finally, they will be responsible for the college’s sustainability accounting such as carbon accounting, greenhouse gas emissions accounting, resource inventories, and annual reporting to assess our progress towards goals in energy, food, water and waste systems and in sustainability planning.
Before he arrives on campus, Marcus took a minute to share some more about his background and interests with us:
What are you currently working on and where? Where have you previously worked?
I currently work as the Data Manager for Sustainability in the Sustainability@BU program at Boston University in Boston, MA. Previously, I was the Sustainability Projects Coordinator in the Center for Sustainability Education at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA. At BU and Dickinson, I have worked with students to evaluate the Institutions’ performance through the lens of sustainability and worked with their administrations to improve educational opportunities and operational performance and to reduce the institutions’ greenhouse gas footprints.
What have you studied?
I wanted to be a marine biologist since my family traveled to the Monterey Bay Aquarium when I was 12 years old. I focused my studies on the connections between humans and the environment, specifically marine and freshwater ecosystems, and climate change. Most recently, I worked on Atlantic salmon restoration in Lake Champlain while attaining my Master of Science degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Dartmouth College in 2015.
What gets you excited about sustainability at Dartmouth and specifically the new Sustainability Corps Programs?
I am excited about managing the Sustainability Corps Program because it will give me the unique opportunity to manage a group of incredibly talented Dartmouth students with the specific charge to understand the current performance of the College and recommend improvements to the administration. Dartmouth is a leader in higher education, however as the Our Green Future report notes, Dartmouth has room to grow when it comes to measuring, analyzing, and publicly reporting on sustainability-related metrics. I intend to make that happen. My plan for the Corps is to complete a thorough inventory of Dartmouth’s greenhouse gas footprint by the end of year one and continue to do so annually.
What do you like to do for fun?
For fun, I love hiking, biking, swimming, playing Ultimate frisbee, keeping bees, and cooking and spending time with family and friends.