It may not be easy being green, but students from Michigan State University believe it is the way forward for universities worldwide.
In New Zealand last week, 28 first-year students from the university took part in a two-week study abroad programme hosted by Massey’s Sustainability Group, chaired by Dr Allanah Ryan, a senior lecturer in the School of People, Environment and Planning.
During their time at Massey, the students visited its farms, had lectures on New Zealand agricultural practices, food culture and environmental record. They also visited the New Zealand Wildlife Centre and Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre.
The exchange stemmed from a longstanding relationship between Massey Professor in Agricultural Business Hamish Gow and Michigan Residential Initiative on the Study of the Environment director Professor Laurie Thorp.
Professor Thorp’s award-winning programme allows students a specialisation in sustainability studies alongside their major. The course has been developed to provide quantifiable sustainability skills to prospective employers. It currently has 60 students enrolled in the first year. She has also developed the on-campus Student Organic Farm, which sells food to three campus dining halls and external buyers.