Job Opening in AC ENVS

ENVS Alumni & Friends:

We are accepting applications for the Coordinator of our Center for Environmental Studies!

yellow flowers at sneed prairie
Baptisia blooms at Sneed Prairie.

If you or someone you know may be interested in applying for this position, click here for more information on the job requirements and application procedures. The position will remain open until filled. Please feel welcome to contact Dr. Peter Schulze, Director of the Center for Environmental Studies, or Alex Ocañas, our current coordinator, with any thoughts or questions regarding this topic.


Our Year in Review

We can’t believe that it’s already that time again … the end of another successful school year! We want to share seven of our favorite 2016-2017 stories:

A New Addition to Our Extended Family

On August 12, 2016 William Robert Strauch was born to one of our Environmental Studies faculty, Dr. Mari Elise Ewing, and her husband Nate Strauch.

Will, named after his two grandfathers, has a contagiously friendly spirit and spreads smiles on each of his campus visits.

Dr. Mari Elise Ewing, her husband Nate Strauch, and their son William Robert Strauch. Family photo in the woods.
Photo taken on Will’s baptism day at Hell Creek on the Ewing family farm in Colorado (Thanksgiving 2016)

Sneed Prairie Field Trip Program Welcomes 10,000th Child Visitor

On Tuesday, the 4th of October, the 10,000th child visitor was welcomed to the Sneed Prairie Field Trip Program. Since the program’s beginnings in the summer of 2002, over 70 Austin College field trip leaders have led field trips for dozens of classes from more than 20 school districts. We send a huge thanks and congratulations to all that have helped us make this project a success!

AC Unplugged Includes the Cottages

For the past eight years Austin College Thinking Green has been hosting “AC Unplugged”, a month long energy saving competition that takes place among the four residence halls. This year Think extended the competition to our junior and senior students living in the cottages in hopes of yet another participatory lesson in energy conservation. Cottages that chose to participate were in competition for two awards – largest percent decrease and least amount of energy used overall. Cottage winners in each category were reimbursed for 2/3 of October’s electricity bill!
In total, there were 8 participating cottages who decreased their consumption by an average of 35% and maximum of 48% from the month of September to October. The total amount of electricity saved by cottage residents was 3,741 kWh – enough to power the average US household for 3.5 months!

We are excited about this addition to Unplugged and looking forward to how it may grow further next year.
Suggestions? If you have witnessed or participated in similar energy saving endeavors, please feel free to contact us with thoughts or suggestions. Contact

Think Hosts Trash Bash

In order to increase student awareness and engagement with campus recycling efforts, Think hosted their first ever “Trash Bash”. Various organizations designed and decorated their own recycling bins, which were then put to use in the IDEA Center.

Most Artistic (left) and Most Creative (right) recycling bins.
Most Artistic (left) and Most Creative (right) recycling bins

EPA Green Power Partnership

We have been officially recognized by the EPA as a Green Power Partner. Almost 100% of Austin College’s electricity is from renewable sources.

EPA green power partnership logo
EPA Green Power Partner

9th Annual GreenServe hosted by Think and the Service Station

students picking up trash along roadside
GreenServe volunteers collecting litter at Binkley Bike Trail
GreenServe volunteer holding a snake at the Buckner farm.
Recent ENVS graduate, Lola Alexander, at Buckner Farm

This year’s theme – on the baseball hats in the photos seen here– was “Make Earth Green Again”. We consider the event a happy success as we had approximately 194 volunteers working at 14 sites across Grayson County.

GreenServe volunteers moving rocks at Eisenhower State Park.
GreenServe “Rock Star” volunteers at Eisenhower State Park

New Alumni Connection Platforms

Just in case you didn’t already know – we have launched a new initiative to stay in touch with our ENVS alumni and friends. We have (of course) this blog, which will help us share stories with you, and a LinkedIn Page, which is used to keep our alumni contact information up to date.
If you have not already connected to our LinkedIn Page or joined our Alumni Group, please do both by following the links below.
Click HERE for the ENVS LinkedIn Page
Click HERE for the LinkedIn Alumni Group

And so another great year has come to an end.
In just a few weeks three students will begin outstanding internships at Bamberger Ranch, The Land Institute, and the Little Traverse Conservancy. These internships are made possible by a generous alumnus and partnerships between Austin College and the host organizations. We always hear great reviews from our interns and their hosts, and we look forward to hearing about this summer’s experiences!

Check back soon for more updates!