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Environmental Stewardship Division

"The purpose of the Dartmouth Outing Club shall be to further... the educational objectives of Dartmouth College and its principle of community, by stimulating an appreciation of nature and environmental stewardship..." (emphasis added). 

Mission

The mission of the Environmental Stewardship Division (ESD) of the DOC is to foster a culture of environmental stewardship within the club.

Vision

The ESD honors the DOC's long history as an environmental advocate in the Dartmouth Community. Through collaboration with student-leaders within the DOC, as well as the Outdoor Programs Office, we strive to align the DOC's institutional processes with environmental values and keep environmental stewardship at the forefront of general club consciousness.

Values

  • Environmental Responsibility
  • Deep appreciation for the out-of-doors
  • Equity & Social Responsibility
  • A sense of place
  • Quantitative results and measurement of impacts

How to get involved

The ESD typically has a small formal member body and takes new members through an application cycle that occurs a few terms of the year, usually when members have graduated or are on off terms. To engage with us, you can find at one of our DOC events on campus, or you can email us at DOC.Environmental.Stewardship@Dartmouth.edu.

Specific Initiatives

Used Gear Sale

Each fall since 2018, the ESD has run the Used Gear Sale to help counteract the significant barrier to getting outside presented by lack of access to affordable outdoor gear. We collect most of the gear from the Dartmouth community from late spring into early fall. By providing Dartmouth students of all years and ability levels the opportunity to purchase outdoor gear at a discounted price, this sale helps make outdoor activities more accessible.

Stewardship Activities

In accordance with the DOC constitution, the ESD encourages DOC members to take care of the places they frequent primarily through stewardship activities. We understand stewardship as hands-on maintenance of natural spaces or infrastructure that provide direct access to wilderness or a space to practice the activity of a given DOC sub-club. A few examples of stewardship activities are clean-ups of outdoor spaces and trail work on mountain biking or hiking trails; a more extensive list can be found here.

Sense of Place Reflections

The DOC's ability to go on multi-day, and sometimes international break trips between terms is an incredible privilege and opportunity that many Dartmouth students take advantage of each year. Unlike local day-long and weekend trips, which are often in places leaders know well, break trips are usually to places less familiar to leaders and trippees. Therefore, leaders often lack a strong sense of place (knowledge about a place's human history, geography, flora, and fauna – you can find a longer definition here).

The ESD facilitates reflection activities for DOC members going on break trips so we can be more intentional visitors to the places we visit, both to make the most of these carbon-intensive trips and to be respectful of and connect to the places where we recreate. Before break trips each term, we hold these reflection activities and assist leaders in learning about the place they are visiting.

If you'd like to develop a sense of place for somewhere you live or are visiting, try looking for local information including news, historical documents, art, ecological field guides, geologic maps, etc., many of which can be found easily online.

Termly Fund 

Using its endowment, the ESD is able to give up to $1000 per term to student groups and other organizations for projects that are aligned with the club's mission and vision. The funds can be distributed across multiple applicants or given entirely to one applicant.

Past funded projects include a pop-up activism workshop by alumnus Adelaida Tamayo and an Earth Day sculpture made of old bike parts by Dartmouth Bikes.

Reducing the carbon footprint of the DOC

Mallory Byrd '19 conducted a DOC-wide carbon audit of the club's activities, focusing primarily on emissions from break trip air travel, which is consistently our largest output. The results of her work made clear the need to significantly decrease the DOC's emissions, especially as a club that benefits so greatly from and professes to care for the natural world. Recognizing the inherent value in these trips, we have instituted several measures to counteract, curtail, and contextualize our emissions. We team up with the nonprofit organization COVER to help weatherize homes in the Upper Valley and decrease household energy consumption. To actually reduce our own emissions and develop a deeper sense of place with the region we call home during our four years at Dartmouth, we encourage local break trips to places like local cabins and trails, the Second College Grant, and Acadia National Park. Finally, we work to make the most of our carbon-intensive trips through efforts like stewardship initiatives and Sense of Place trainings for break trip leaders.

 

Last Updated: 9/22/20