The Green Learning Community (GLC) is an intentional community of professors and first-year students dedicated to studying human relations to the environment through many ways of knowing. As a first-year student in one of our Environmental programs, you participate in this year-long experience, which integrates courses in biology, environmental issues, literature and economics. Your peers from from other majors are also welcome in the GLC, as they bring diversity and unique points of view to the community.

As you attend classes, you often find the same topic presented from different perspectives. You learn about the environment in an atmosphere where your opinions are welcomed and valued by supportive professors who foster a sense of community.

The small class sizes in the GLC allow you to receive individual attention and instruction that help develop your academic, research and communication skills:


  • Careful reading
  • Critical thinking
  • Precise writing


  • Hands-on field investigations
  • Independent research on topics of intent


  • Public speaking
  • Productive collaboration
  • Problem solving

Much of the learning you do through the GLC takes place outside the classroom. The community-building experiences begin early in the fall with a retreat to Bryant Pond where you explore your individual goals for learning while collaborating in outdoor activities like hiking, paddling and working through a ropes course. Additional field trips throughout the year take you to places like the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve, Wildlife Conservation Lands, and the Portland Trail System.

Another benefit of the GLC is that it connects you with other first-year students who share your interest in the outdoors, which can help ease the transition from high school to college.

What Students Say

I liked the fact that the GLC let me know my environmental peers so well.  I know so many people who have no idea who the other people in their major are, even in small majors.  The GLC let me get to know them really well, and learn how to work with them in a way that is effective.  As a junior, I would be confident pairing up with any of my GLC peers on a project, and know that we could get it done quickly and effectively, no matter what the topic is." 
—Sarah Cowles

What I liked most about the GLC is how every class intertwined with each other. I would learn how one topic applied to economics, environmental issues and literature which helped the topic really sink in. I also loved the field trips! It helped me make friends and made learning fun!" 
—Aurie Ingraham-Adie

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