Colby College, Colorado State University, Purdue University and Rochester Institute of Technology have advanced to the “Final Four” round of the March Madness tournament for Environmental Studies, sponsored by Enviance and Environmental Leader.
The schools have survived two elimination rounds, including the “Sustainable 16” two weeks ago, and last week’s “Environmental Eight,” with one round of eliminations left before the competition names its national champion this Monday. That school’s environmental studies program will be declared the best in the nation.
The March Madness Tournament for Environmental Studies was designed to evaluate colleges and universities on the quality of their academic and sustainability programs, in a format similar to the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament.
To be considered, each school submitted a survey response covering topics related to curriculum, graduation rate, facilities and student retention. The submissions were evaluated by a panel of expert judges, with the combined recommendations determining the Sustainable 16. Those 16 schools were then given the chance to submit essays, photos and videos to the judges, to compete for inclusion in the Environmental Eight as well as the Final Four.
The panel includes judges from The Brattle Group, CH2M HILL, Enviance, Trinity Consultants, and Valero/California.
The tournament will award $5,000 to the winning environmental and sustainability department and will send the department chair or member of the faculty on an expense-paid trip to San Diego to attend the Enviance User Conference, April 16-20. While there, the winner will lead a panel titled “What Tomorrow’s Environmental Leaders Need to Know.”