Smitty Sustains

Paul Smith's College Sustainability

Our Mission

Students’ participation in a broad range of activities promotes their individual growth and enhances their understanding and awareness of others. These attributes complement the distinct educational experience of PSC to prepare students for successful living and leadership positions in their communities and careers.

The Sustainability Office’s mission is to empower students to enhance the social, economic, and environmental sustainability of Paul Smith’s College and its surrounding community.

Spring 2016 Schedule and Meeting Dates

  • Earth Week, April 18-23: Movie Marathon, Garden Workshops, and More!
  • Saturday April 23rd; Green Apple Day of Service
    • Gould’s Garden Work Party sponsored by Campus Sust Office, 9 am to 12 pm: Gould’s garden, Unlimited number of participants welcome!
    • Apple Tree Planting and Pruning sponsored by Arboriculture Club, 1pm to 3pm; Apple Orchard Near Admissions, Unlimited number of participants
    • Volunteering at Humane Shelter sponsored by Haley Drury and Jon Stetler, 9am to 12 pm: Van leaves from Student Center, 10 participant limit.
  • Sunday April 24th, Mace Chasm Farm Dinner and Tour, 2:30 pm to 7pm (Van Leaves from Post Office), Sign up for trip at the Campus Sustainability Office (Student Center). Room for 10 participants.

Meet the Team

Campus Sustainability Student Employees

Valerie Hoffman


Energy Assistant

Where are you from?

I am from Fort Plain, NY

What’s your major?

Natural Resources Sustainability

What do you like to do?

I like to compete in timber sports, hike and ski.

Favorite quote?

“Chop your own wood and it will warm you twice.” – Henry Ford

Nicole DeCarolis

FullSizeRender (2)

 Communications Assistant

Where are you from?

Rochester, NY

What’s your major?

Natural Resource Conservation & Management

What’s your year?


What do you like to do?

 Photography, Reading, Cooking, and Hiking

Favorite quote?

“It’s difficult to get a man to understand something if his salary depends on him not understanding it.” – Upton Sinclair




Danielle Simmons


Materials Manager

Where are you from?

Henderson, NY

What’s your major?

Natural Resource Conservation & Management with a minor in Environmental Communications

What’s your year?


What do you like to do?

Reading, Singing, and Kayaking

Favorite quote?

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Ghandi




Katharine Glenn

Faculty, Environmental Studies and Sustainability

Campus Sustainability Coordinator

Challenge Course Manager

What do you like to do?

Hiking, Backpacking, Hammock Laying, Paddling, gardening, and cooking!

Favorite quote?

“You cannot protect the environment unless you empower people, you inform them, and you help them understand that these resources are their own, that they must protect them.” – Wangari Maathai

It's Your Campus


From solar-panel installation to apple pressing, there are plenty of ways to join.

Get Involved

It's Our World


Learn about our comprehensive Climate Action Plan


Learn More

Leave a Legacy


Your idea can become a reality by making a Campus Sustainability Fund proposal

Submit Now

The Latest

What’s happening at the St. Regis: Mushrooms!

Several weeks ago we were able to harvest our first batch of student grown and student harvested Oyster Mushrooms. Mushroom patches were purchased with a Paul Smith’s College Campus Sustainability Fund Grant from Fungi  Everyday, twice a day, the... >>
Climb it 4 Climate

Climb it 4 Climate

Climb it 4 Climate is an unsupported thru-hike of the 46 High Peaks designed to raise funds for programming at Paul Smith’s College’s Osgood Farm, a site devoted to mindful living practices that promote change on a community level. PSC instructor Bethany... >>
A Life-Changing Internship

A Life-Changing Internship

Check out one of our Center for Campus Sustainability worker’s farewell blog for her internship at Apex Clean Energy!



Academic Research & Projects

Professor Dr. Curt Stager Adirondack Climate Research

SAMfest – Science Art and Music Festival

Professor Dr. Brett McLeod : Book, The Woodland Homestead

Partners Links

Adirondack North Country Association

The Wild Center

The Green Circle

Adirondack Farm to School Initiative

The Northern Forest Center

Adirondack Futures & Common Ground Alliance

North Country Healthy Heart Network

Cornell Cooperative Extension

Student Spotlight

Rob Calamia



Robert Calamia, junior here at Paul Smith’s College, will be heading out on May 23 to Hawaii in order to start gathering information for his capstone class next year. During his time in Hawaii, Calamia will visit the Hawaiian National Energy Laboratory and meet with staff to talk about a piece of technology that has caught his attention: Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion, or better known as OTEC. The information he’ll learn will be invaluable for his capstone, which consists of applying the feasibility of OTEC platform on oil rigs or decommissioned boats/oil platforms. Rob has also crowd funded most of the cost for the trip, but will be paying the rest out of pocket.

Brian Kohan


Brian Kohan, senior here at Paul Smith’s, has created and built a mobile aquaponics system for his capstone. The goal for Kohan’s capstone is to be able to show people a diversity of methods of growing, and maybe to inspire someone else to set up their own system. He also supplied and purchased all of the materials for his project on his own.

Brian next to his model

Kohan’s system is a growing medium that does not require soil. It also uses less water than traditional agriculture due to the filtration system. Brian has six fishes producing ammonia in the bottom tank of his model. The pebbles located in the bottom tank are where the bacteria likes to reproduce and feed, which turns the ammonia into nitrate and nitrite. The water has both forms of nitrogen already existing within it, so when the water pumps up to the upper compartment/tank, the basil plants take the nitrogen right out of the water and adds it to the bio-filter. After that occurs, the water re-circulates right back down to the lower tank. Kohan also has a vacuum-like-structure that pulls the water down to the lower tank quicker than the water can travel up to the upper container; having the vacuum within the model decreases the chance of the water overflowing if not monitored for a period of time. Brian says it is a “very hands-off system” due to the fact that he left it alone for a day and a half before and it was working just fine when he returned.


Testing the ammonia levels every other day is another crucial part of Brian’s research, and he has found that the levels of ammonia have “gone down a lot” since he first started the system; and according to Kohan, this is in fact a good thing!

In result, the fish are happier because they are living with less nitrogen pollution in their environment, and the basil are another product/yield of the system. The basil Brian is growing is even harvestable and edible!

Brian plans on using his model as an education unit for the campus, and will soon be located outside of Freer Auditorium.


Campus Sustainability Office
015 Student Center
E-mail: [email protected]
Sustainability Coordinator: Katharine Glenn