Sierra Magazine: Explore, enjoy and protect the planet.
By Avital Andrews
4: University of California at Davis
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Cornell University
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Davis, California

SCORE: 782.74 | STUDENTS: 32,653

Last year's "Cool Schools" winner, an agricultural-education powerhouse, churns out research that helps shape California's water laws and push new farming practices into the mainstream. Its West Village, a neighborhood for students and staff, is America's biggest planned zero-net-energy community. UC Davis's climate action plan has already cut campus emissions to below year-2000 levels. Recycling, composting, and reuse divert more than 60% of would-be trash from landfills, and the Aggies aim to lift that percentage to 100 by 2020. In the photo above, freshman Julia Wasielewski fills junior Soo Lee's bag with local produce at the on-campus farmers' market, a weekly event during fall and spring quarters.

Photo courtesy of Karin Higgins/UC Davis



Cool Schools 2013

The Top 10
The Complete Rankings

Do Green Schools Matter?
The Measure of an Education
The Liberal Arts Get Schooled
Students' Aha Moments
Solar Decathlon
Virtues of Virtual Learning
Filthy Lucre
Divestment: The Math
Training for a Trade