The Sustainability Office was created in 2010 to oversee the work of the Climate Action Plan for the College. Initial work was overseen by a manager of energy and sustainability in facilities. The position grew in 2016 to include a coordinator overseeing the Sustainability Assistants (STA) program and expanding student projects, outreach, and collaboration focused on campus operations.

With national recognition for progress on carbon neutrality goals, the Environmental Advisory Committee identified a need for a whole-college approach to sustainability. In support of this recommendation, a new directorship was created as part of the office of the provost to support expansion in academic and community collaboration. The new structuring moves the director, coordinator, and students into academics, while energy management remains in facilities.

Planning our new path forward will begin with the next Climate Action Plan. This plan will continue a focus on carbon mitigation, adding new areas of academic and community investment needed to more fully tackle the climate crisis.

If you have questions that are primarily related to outreach, education, or community engagement please contact the director. If you have questions related to energy management and emissions, please contact the energy manager.

Director of Sustainability

Photo of Sarah Fortner
Sarah Fortner Bio
Director of Sustainability

Energy Manager

Photo of Robert Hanson
Robert Hanson
Manager of Campus Energy

Sustainability Assistants

The Sustainability Assistant (STA) program is a work-study peer leader position for students dedicated to advancing sustainability at Carleton. STAs work with Facilities, Grounds, Residential Life, Bon Appetit, CCCE, the Environmental Advisory Committee, and any group that would like to further incorporate sustainability into their work. STAs focus on projects related to energy conservation, land management, waste management, food systems, sustainable policies and guidelines, publicity/outreach, events, data and reporting, and research.

Applications to be a Sustainability Assistant open up during spring term along with all other peer leader positions. Information about the position can be found on the Career Center’s Handshake page.

Outreach Team

Placeholder Image
Simran Kadam ’23

Hi everyone! My name is Simran Kadam (she/her/hers) and I am a senior Environmental Studies Major with minors in Philosophy and Creative Writing. This is my third year working in the Staffice, and I am taking on the role of Sustainability Officer Manager and working on the Outreach Team. In previous years, I was heavily involved in revising Carleton’s Climate Action Plan, remodeling the Carleton Student Organic Farm, and planning Climate Action Week, in addition to a bunch of other cool projects. I am so excited to continue this important work!

Placeholder Image
Katie O’Leary ’25

Hi! My name is Katie O’Leary (she/her). I’m from Southern California and in my second year at Carleton. I plan to major in Chemistry and minor in German and Educational Studies. I worked for the Lighten Up sale this past year and I loved seeing how multiple groups from around campus and in Northfield could collaborate to divert waste and raise money for local organizations. This will be my first year as a STA and I am really excited to be a part of the team!

Placeholder Image
Elise Watt ’25

Hi! My name is Eli Watt (they/she) and I am a junior Environmental Studies major. As a member of the Food and Outreach Teams, I’m working to increase the variety of plant-based options in the dining hall, as well as advocate for ethical purchasing choices that center sustainability and farmworkers’ rights. In addition, I run the sustainability office’s website, Instagram page, and STA blog– go check them out!

Environmental Justice

Photo of Grace D. Bassekle
Grace D. Bassekle ’24

Hello! My name is Grace Bassekle (she/they) and I am a junior SOAN major. I am the sole member of the Environmental Justice team and my objective is to use storytelling to illustrate what sustainability means through an environmental justice lens. During my first year as a STA, I organized a round table series, worked on sharing individual sustainability stories, hosted an alum speaker, and wrote project proposals. I am so pleased to be a STA and excited for our future endeavors!

Waste Team

Placeholder Image
Tony Ni ’25

Hi! My name is Tony Ni (he/him). I am a member of the Class of 2025 and a potential Computer Science/Biology major. This is my first year as a STA, and I am thrilled to learn more about the numerous initiatives that are taking place around us. I look forward to collaborating with other departments to advance sustainability in the Carleton community.

Food Team- in partnership with Bon Appetit & CCCE

Placeholder Image
Elise Watt ’25

Hi! My name is Eli Watt (they/she) and I am a junior Environmental Studies major. As a member of the Food and Outreach Teams, I’m working to increase the variety of plant-based options in the dining hall, as well as advocate for ethical purchasing choices that center sustainability and farmworkers’ rights. In addition, I run the sustainability office’s website, Instagram page, and STA blog– go check them out!

Data & Energy Team

Placeholder Image
Beck Woollen ’23
Hello! My name is Beck Woollen (he/him). I’m a member of the Class of 2023 with a major in Environmental Studies and a minor in Public Policy. As a member of the Data & Energy Team, I track energy consumption for different campus buildings using Atrius Building Insights. I have also been heavily involved in updating Carleton’s Climate Action Plan, publicizing Northfield’s Zero Waste Plan, STA student management, and developing a local carbon offset project.