New opportunity from the Committee on Sustainability

COS has recently decided to set aside $3000 per school year from the Green Fees to support student attendance at sustainability related conferences. We have some of the brightest, most engaged students in the nation and COS believes that conferences can be a valuable way for W&M students to share what they know with others. Conferences are also a great way for our students to bring innovative ideas back to W&M and keep pushing our campus to be more sustainable. COS has already supported two undergraduates at the AASHE 2010 conference and sent one graduate student to a GreenBuild conference. All three students brought back new ideas and a renewed enthusiasm for how to apply their ideas to W&M.

COS will award up to $300 per student. The award can be applied towards conference registration, travel and lodging expenses. COS will only fund two students to attend the same conference; however, if more than two students would like to go to the same conference, they may split the award. Students must submit applications one month prior to the conference date. Upon return from the conference, students must either give a short (5 minute) presentation to the COS Steering Committee or submit a 2 page report detailing the student’s experience at the conference. COS wants to ensure that the campus benefits from students’ attendance at sustainability related conferences.

For more information and to download an application, visit

March 7th, 2011

COS announces Spring 2011 funding deadlines and office hours

It’s that time of year again-time to gear up for another round of COS Green Fees Project Proposals and Summer Research Grant Applications. The Fall 2010 round of Green Fees funding produced some really great projects and COS is excited to see what ideas the W&M community will generate this semester.

The Spring 2011 Green Fees Project Proposal deadline is Monday, March 28 at 12pm. Any student, faculty member or staff member can submit a Green Fees Project Proposal. Proposals must be related to campus sustainability. Acceptable proposals include education campaigns on sustainability related topics, funding for sustainable research, and energy efficiency facilities upgrades, to name a few. Descriptions of previously funded projects, as well as applications for Spring 2011 funding, can be found on the COS website.

The deadline for 2011 Summer Research Grant Applications is Monday, March 14 at 12pm. The Summer Research Grant is intended to provide students with an opportunity to do in-depth, creative research on a topic related to campus sustainability. The award includes a $3500 stipend for living expenses, housing on the main campus if needed and up to $1500 for research expenses. Past research topics include the campus gardens, nutrient levels in Lake Matoaka, e-recycling, and testing green roof technology. All continuing students at the College are encouraged to apply, including graduate and professional students. Applications can be found on the COS website.

If you have questions about either a Green Fees Project Proposal or a Summer Research Grant, COS is holding office hours from now until March 25 to help you out. Lauren Edmonds, a senior and co-chair of the COS Science and Technical Advisory Subcommittee, will be available from 5 to 6pm on Wednesdays in room 317 in Blow Hall. Clare Stankwitz, a senior and co-chair of the COS Programs and Education Subcommittee, will be available from 11am to 12pm on Wednesdays in the OCES lounge on the third floor of Blow Hall. I will be available on Thursdays from 3 to 4pm in my office, room 322 in Blow Hall. If you can’t attend any of these office hours, send me an email at to set up an alternate meeting time.

I’m looking forward to reading your applications this semester.

Summer Research Grants:

Green Fees Project Proposals:

February 22nd, 2011

COS update

It’s been a while since my last post, so I thought I would update everyone on what the Committee on Sustainability has been up to this fall and winter. In November, the Steering Committee voted on the Fall 2010 Green Fees projects, awarding a total of $72, 437 to eleven different projects. The projects include a composting pilot project in the dorms, a major lighting upgrade in a large Law School lecture hall, a study of microhydroelectric power in the Crim Dell, and support for Earth Day 2011, among other projects. You can view the full list of projects and read the press release at

I have also been working very hard with some COS volunteers to resurrect the EcoAmbassador program for the Spring 2011 semester. Next semester, eight students will work in six offices and departments on campus on various different projects dealing with recycling, energy use, alternative energy studies and other topics. The EcoAmbassadors will receive one academic credit for their work, but more importantly they will be able to share their discoveries with the campus community and beyond, acting as ambassadors for sustainability. Look for the press release on the EcoAmbassadors coming in January 2011.

That’s all for now. May you have a happy, safe and sustainable holiday season!

December 21st, 2010

COS Fall 2010 Green Fees Project Proposal Deadline is Oct. 8 at 5pm.

Hello everyone,

Now that school is back in session, COS is gearing up for the next round of Green Fees project funding. Last semester we funded some very exciting and successful projects, including Earth Day 2010, an Enviro Improv show, outdoor LED lights at W&M Hall, a campus herb garden, an energy competition and many more. You can check out the full list at our website.

The process to receive funding is the same as last semester. All faculty, staff and students with ideas for projects related to sustainability are encouraged to apply. Applicants must submit a cover sheet, which can be found on our website below, and a thorough description of the project, which is discussed on the cover sheet. I strongly encourage applicants to discuss their project ideas with me first. I can help answer questions and troubleshoot with your proposals. More information and the cover sheet can be found at The deadline to submit proposals is October 8, 2010 at 5pm.

I’m looking forward to seeing all the great new ideas from you this semester!

September 9th, 2010

Weekend Update

From the past few days…

  • The Mason School of Business’s Undergraduate program’s Do One Thing (DOT) Campaign on Facebook has reached over 500 fans and over 200 DOTs posted, according to Undergraduate program director Chris Adkins. Add yours today!
  • COS launched the Eco-Ambassador program on Saturday with a marathon kickoff & training event, graciously hosted by Larry Smith in the Commons Cafeteria. 7 departments & offices across campus are hosting students working to create their own sustainability projects and implement them in each office. From Modern Languages to Landscape & Grounds, you’ll be seeing new ideas in daily sustainability practices popping up all over campus!
  • COS also has announced its request for proposals for the Fall 2009 Green Fee projects! Anyone on campus can submit a proposal for improving any aspect of campus sustainability, funded by the student green fee. Look over the requirements and start working on a proposal of your own!

September 21st, 2009


Hello and welcome to Hark Upon the Green, the blog covering every aspect of sustainability at the College of William and Mary! My name is Phil Zapfel, and as the College’s Sustainability Fellow for 2009-2010, I’ll be your guide to all of the fantastic sustainability work happening right now at W&M.

A bit of background on myself (also conveniently located, for future reference, on the “About” page above): Originally from Loudoun County, Virginia, I am a recent graduate of the College, class of 2009. My undergraduate time at W&M ¬†was spent working on larger and larger sustainability projects with the Student Environmental Action Coalition, the Environmental Science & Policy Program (though I was actually an English major, believe it or not!), and the Committee on Sustainability. After graduating in May, I was lucky enough to be offered the first full-time position dedicated to sustainability in the College’s history, and as I’m sure you can tell, I graciously accepted.

My position of Sustainability Fellow is unique in that there is little to no precedent for the position at William and Mary. With the Committee on Sustainability only a year old, the College is still settling into its role as overseeing and supporting sustainability initiatives here on campus. As such, part of my job is to define my own role in the College’s administration. This task is, quite predictably, both empowering and intimidating.

There are a few tasks I know I’ll be handling: organizing and taking minutes for the Committee on Sustainability’s Steering Committee, preparing press releases on our numerous accomplishments, providing content for W&M’s sustainability website, keeping up a blog (!), and coordinating and supporting many of the amazing faculty, staff, and student initiatives popping up in every corner of campus. But there’s plenty of work to be done, and I’m looking to establish a project or two of my own over the next year. I’m sure you’ll be hearing from me when I’ve got a few ideas.

Enough about me. There’s been quite a bit going on with sustainability at W&M over the summer. Some highlights:

  • The Mason School of Business’s new building, Miller Hall, was completed earlier this month. The building is a candidate for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification, the second-highest possible certification available! The certification (whether it’s Gold or Silver, one step below) should be finalized around October.
  • W&M received a 90/99 on the Princeton Review Green Rating — up from an 84 last year!
  • Do you remember hearing about the Student Green Fee enacted in the spring of 2008? The fee, which raise over $200,000 a year for sustainability initiatives, allow for four student research grants every summer, and its first batch of researchers has just recently finished their work. Connor Horne studied local and organic food purchasing options for the College, Margaret Challand measured the quality of the campus’s storm water runoff, and Tyler Koontz and Judi Sclafani proposed efficient and money-saving changes to the College’s recycling and waste programs. You’ll be hearing more about them soon, from me, W&M news, and others!
  • W&M redesigned their sustainability website to be more helpful, comprehensive, and intuitive. Yours truly is providing content for the site, and Jennifer Sekula in the Law Library is serving as our webmaster. Check the site often for more in-depth coverage of the news, events, and projects I’ll be highlighting here.
So what’s on our plate this year? First of all, you can always find out for yourself by volunteering to serve on the Committee! All students, faculty, and staff are welcome to join. Please, email me if you have any questions!
In the next few weeks, the Committee on Sustainability be launching a new internship program, publishing sustainability audits of our academics and transportation, releasing our first official greenhouse gas inventory, and placing stickers & signs around campus to encourage sustainable personal practices. We’re quite busy, but we’ve always got room for new ideas and new people. I’m here as your personal contact into the world of sustainability at William and Mary, so don’t hold back: tell me what you think, and let me know if you’re looking to get involved in any way.
Until next time!

August 24th, 2009


Welcome to Hark Upon the Green! This blog is a shared space for members of the sustainability community at William & Mary to write about sustainability topics on and beyond.

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