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April 21, 2010

UMBC Included in "Guide to 286 Green Colleges" by Princeton Review and U.S. Green Building Council

B. Rose Huber, UMBC
(410) 455-8117 ,

Leah Pennino, The Princeton Review
(508) 663-5133


Free Guidebook Profiles the Nation’s Most Environmentally-Responsible Colleges & Universities

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, APRIL 21, 2010 – UMBC is one of the country’s most environmentally-responsible colleges according to The Princeton Review. The nationally known education services company selected UMBC for inclusion in a unique resource it has created for college applicants - “The Princeton Review's Guide to 286 Green Colleges.”

Developed by The Princeton Review in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council, the “Guide to 286 Green Colleges” is the first, free comprehensive guidebook focused solely on institutions of higher education who have demonstrated an above average commitment to sustainability in terms of campus infrastructure, activities and initiatives.

The Princeton Review's Guide to 286 Green Colleges” looks at an institution’s commitment to building certification using USGBC’s LEED green building certification program; environmental literacy programs; formal sustainability committees; use of renewable energy resources; recycling and conservation programs, and much more.

“One of the key reasons UMBC has been successful in our efforts to be a sustainable campus and to begin to significantly reduce our impact on global climate is that so many students, faculty and staff have come together to work as partners in this effort,” said Lynne Schaefer, vice president of administration and finance. “Our students, faculty and staff are all passionately engaged, serving as wonderful role models for living a more sustainable life.”

Since UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment in 2007, UMBC has worked toward supporting green efforts in campus in a multitude of ways through the Climate Change Task Force. The group is comprised of students, faculty and staff engaged in encouraging sustainability on campus through academics and other initiatives.

The Department of Geography and Environmental Systems offers academic programs in environmental studies and environmental science including master’s and Ph.D. programs focusing on environmental systems, human geography and remote sensing technology. The campus is also the field headquarters for the Baltimore Ecosystem Study, a federally funded urban ecology project. It hosts the Center for Urban Environmental Research and Education, the U.S. Geological Survey’s regional water science center and two NASA centers that research Earth systems and monitor the Earth’s surface and atmosphere.

Other departments that have sustainability-related majors and courses include biochemistry and molecular chemistry, biological sciences, biotechnology, civil engineering, economics, geographic information systems, human context of science and technology, interdisciplinary studies, marine-estarine environmental science, philosophy, physics and public policy.

UMBC regularly participates in green activities including the annual Ecofest, Recyclemania and the National Teach-in (in 2009). Through engagement with Students for Environmental Awareness, these events have been well attended.

“Students and their parents are becoming more and more interested in learning about and attending colleges and universities that practice, teach and support environmental responsibility,” said Robert Franek, senior vice president and publisher, The Princeton Review. “According to our recent College Hope & Worries Survey, 64 percent of college applicants and their parents said having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would impact their decision to apply to or attend it. We created this guide to help them evaluate how institutions like UMBC focus on environmental responsibility so that they can make informed decisions as they move through the college assessment and application process.”

UMBC joins the ranks of outstanding universities and colleges nationwide that are leading the “green” movement through their own special programs and initiatives.

The free Guide can be downloaded at and

How the Schools Were Chosen

The Princeton Review chose the 286 schools included in the Guide based on the “Green Rating” scores the schools received in summer 2009 when The Princeton Review published Green Rating scores for 697 schools in its online college profiles and/or annual college guidebooks. The Princeton Review's “Green Rating” is a numerical score from 60 – 99 that’s based on several data points. In 2008, The Princeton Review began collaborating with USGBC to help make the Green Rating survey questions as comprehensive and inclusive as possible. Of 697 schools that The Princeton Review gave “Green Ratings” to in 2009, the 286 schools in the Guide received scores in the 80th or higher percentile. The Princeton Review does not rank the schools in this book hierarchically (1 to 286) or in any of its books based on their “Green Rating” scores.


Posted by brhuber at April 21, 2010 10:04 AM