Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 7.25.37 PMResources on Sustainability:

The Mass Art Neighborhood: Cross into the Fenway, visit the Muddy River and see one of the “jewels” of the “Emerald Necklace.”

The Muddy River Restoration Project

The eastern and northern buildings of the MassArt campus are only a few hundred feet west of the Muddy River, a waterway integral to Frederick Law Olmstead’s “Emerald Necklace,” a comprehensive plan for park design and water control which he began to design in the late 1870s.

Check out the webpage to learn how parts of the Muddy River long covered by concrete are being restored to “daylight”—this project is the reason for all of the construction on the Fenway heading north to Brookline Ave.

The “Emerald Necklace” starts at the Public Garden/Boston Common, and winds its way all the way through to Franklin Park. Mass Art is very close to many of the parks of the Emerald Necklace. See this website for information and a map.


Get on the 39 Bus, heading west, and visit:

 The Arnold Arboretum

The word “arboretum” means “a collection of trees.” The Arnold Arboretum is a collection of trees—and many other plants—in a park which open to the public, from sunrise to sundown, 365 days of the year. (Frederick Law Olmstead designed the Arboretum as a link in the “Emerald Necklace.”) A department of Harvard University, the Arboretum supports specialist research into the plant kingdom, collects plants and trees from all around the world, and holds tours and lectures for the public. You can download an app from the website which enables you to take self-guided tours and get detailed information about the plants you see.

What is climate change?

Yale Project on Climate Change Communication: Bridging Science and Society
If scientists have ever-stronger evidence for climate change, why are Americans not listening and acting? This site presents research on why this gap between evidence and action exists, and also proposes “visions of a sustainable world and practical strategies to achieve them” to end the impasse. Because the Project’s aim is to figure out better ways to communicate information on climate change, this site is also an excellent resource for information on the science of climate change. Click on the tab, “What Can I Do?” for information on climate science, how to reduce your own carbon footprint, how to become a citizen scientist activist, and how to take political action. Includes links to relevant articles in the media, articles, and videos of presentations.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

The UN Environment Program and the World Meterological Organization established the IPCC to provide “a clear scientific view on the current state of knowledge in climate change and its potential environmental and social-economic impacts.” This site is directed more at policy makers than a general audience, but it does present information about developments across the globe. Check out their “News and Outreach” tab for useful information.

Sustainability and the arts

The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts (CSPA)
The CSPA is a “think tank for sustainability” for artists working in a range of practices, including performance. Based in the UK, but with an international range, the CSPA publishes its own quarterly and research reports, and aggregates information about conference, new books, and educational programs on topics on sustainability and the arts.

What is the “anthropocene”?

Richard Monastersky “Anthropocene: The Human Age” Nature-News Feature, 11 March 2015.

See link.

The term “anthropocene” is a proposed new division of geological time, intended to characterize the inseparability of geological transformation from human action. While the word “anthropocene” is used in the arts and humanities, it is still a controversial term within the field of geology. This article, from the authoritative scientific publication, Nature, reviews the controversies around the adoption of the term and examines the arguments for when and how the “anthropocene” began.

Check out the article, as the events proposed as the “beginning” of the anthropocene may surprise you.

Jane Marsching, Sustainability Faculty Fellow

Jane Marsching is a Professor in Studio Foundation and a Faculty Fellow in Sustainability Studies. She coedited and contributed an essay to:
Far Field: Digital Culture, Climate Change, and the Poles. Edited by Jane Marsching and Andrea Polli. (Bristol and Chicago, 2012), in the Library.
The North and South Poles have historically been remote and inaccessible, yet the effects of climate change on these regions have an impact on the entire planet. Far Field presents the work of artists who are using new digital technologies to communicate information on the environment of the Poles. Working across artistic and academic disciplines, these artists use technology to collapse distance and convey information. Extensively illustrated, Far Field provokes us to think about our distance from the North and South Poles, and the climate changes underway there, in a new way.

Sustainable Projects—Art and Design Will be taught in the Art Ed department in S16
Sustainable art and design focuses on how to leave our future more just, healthy, and environmentally stable than it is today. Through careful consideration of materials, life cycles, subjects, audiences, economies, and many other aspects of daily life, we will imagine and make projects that address significant issues resulting from environmental impacts on human and animal societies. Open to students from all departments, this course focuses on developing projects in an interdisciplinary studio setting that address issues of sustainability on our campus, in our city, and in the larger global context. Practice methodologies such as field research, collaboration, and charrette, proposal, and brief presentation forms are introduced through a series of assignments leading up to a half semester independent project. Through readings, field trips, studio visits, and critique, the course examines revolutionary projects in sustainability in design and art fields today. Open to freshmen through juniors, this class allows students to work in the medium of their choice while focusing on research and development in the area of sustainability.

Jamie Wicks, Environmental Health and Safety, Facilities, Mass Art
Jamieson Wicks
Assistant Director of Sustainability/Environmental Health & Safety (617 879 7939) Tower 536
Jamie Wicks is responsible for ensuring that all environmental and occupational health laws that apply to the college are properly followed (i.e. hazardous waste disposal, “Right-To-Know”, etc.) This office provides safety training, respirator fit-testing, air quality investigations, ergonomics assessments, and is available for safety advice whenever needed. Jamie also manages the college’s recycling program, sustainability efforts, and elevator maintenance and repairs.


MassArt’s own RESTORE! See link

Other options:

Extras for Creative Reuse
20 Wheeler Street, Suite 301, Lynne MA 01902
For thirty-four years Extras for Creative Reuse, a non-profit organization, has made reusable, recycled, and surplus material available to teachers for use in the classroom. Students (bring your id) can purchase a cart full of materials for $25, sign on as a day shopper for a different rate, or purchase a yearly membership to make more frequent visits—check the web site for details.


Save that Stuff, Inc. is a commercial waste management and recycling company, based in Charlestown, with the goal to “Reduce/Reuse/Recycle” materials. Save that Stuff has made recycled materials available to Mass Art students. Send an email to requesting an appointment, or to inquire about materials that are currently available. Send an email to requesting an appointment, or to inquire about materials that are currently available.


Habitat for Humanity Greater Boston ReStore
1580 VFW Parkway, West Roxbury, MA
This is one of a national group of stores run by Habitat for Humanity

Godine Library
Research Guides

  • Art and the Environment
    Information on books on climate change, sustainable practice in fashion and design, and contemporary art projects.
  • Seeds of Knowledge: Sustainability Books & Posters
    “Seeds of Knowledge” was a Spring 2015 exhibition produced by Jane Marsching and Christy Chow (Sustainability Initiative Committee) and Greg Wallace, Gabrielle Reed, and other Librarians. Consult this link for artist’s books, photographer’s books, and other information. Ask a librarian to consult a collection of posters on sustainability held by the Library.

How to find Library Research Guides.

Go to the Library Home Page.
Look to the right side and find the heading “Quick Links.”
Click on “Research Guides.”


The Colleges of the Fenway (COF)
The COF is a collaboration among MassArt and five neighboring colleges, all within walking distance of each other in the Fenway neighborhood. One of the initiatives of the COF is the Center for Sustainability and the Environment, which is developing a Minor in Sustainability. The Minor “encourages students to explore connections between their specific, career-directed studies to issues of the natural world, finite resources, and social justice.” While official approval for the Minor is pending at MassArt, students can register for courses which would comprise the Minor, as well as fulfilling their undergraduate requirements at MassArt.

For current information about the status of the Minor, and any other questions, contact Professor Joanne Lukitsh,


The Center for Sustainability and the Environment supports programming, including lectures, and a month of activities during April, including the Muddy River Symposium and the annual Muddy River Cleanup. MassArt students are encouraged to participate in all of these activities. Starting in 2014 the Center began to award “Mini-Grants” to support student research in subjects pertinent to issues of sustainability and the environment.

MassArt’s ReStore won the 2014 award, and also received an award for outstanding presentation at the April 2015 Muddy River Symposium. See this link for details about the application and deadline. If you have questions, email