Unique Environmental Immersion Program Offers Students Sustainable Living and Learning Experience

Choate Rosemary Hall’s Kohler Environmental Center is the 24/7 home to students in a unique, year-long Environmental Immersion Program. Residing and eating at the Center while taking environmentally focused science and humanities classes there, students literally take control of their own environment. Designed by Robert A. M. Stern and situated on a previously unused campus tract including fields and wetlands, the Kohler Center’s dormitory space for up to twenty students, classrooms, laboratories, and greenhouse are intended to achieve net-zero energy use, offering students a hands-on experience in environmentally sustainable living and learning. The LEED Platinum building also made the cut for exhibition at the World Architecture Festival 2013. The Center serves as an umbrella for an expanding range of intensive student research and university study partnerships and a sustainable community garden project is also under way. Immersion Program coursework offers multiple and consciously interdisciplinary perspectives—literary, artistic, and economic as well as scientific—on the challenges of “understanding and preserving our natural environment.” Associate Head Kathleen Lyons Wallace sees the Kohler Environmental Center as an expression of Choate Rosemary Hall’s “resolve and belief that this sort of education is really important.”

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