Trinity One students at the Koffler Centre - they are on the dock looking at invertebrates
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Student Experience


Whether you have an original research idea and are looking for capstone courses, or you just want to learn more about the environment, there is something for every student within Trinity College and the wider U of T community. Use the blue menu items to explore what current students are up to in the classroom, in their communities and beyond, and have a scroll down this page to see featured student work.

As part of our goal to increase awareness and understanding of complex sustainability issues, we are developing additional opportunities for experiential and embodied learning. By visiting successful sustainability organizations, students witness first-hand the intersection of their classroom knowledge with real-life environmental sustainability challenges. Learn more about some of our initiatives:

Sustaining Conversations Series  |  Trinity One Program   |  Food Systems Lab  |  Ethics, Society & Law Program

Sustaining Conversations Series

Trinity’s Integrated Sustainability Initiative launched a new series – Sustaining Conversation. The first two guests were journalist and best-selling author Linda McQuaig and Archbishop Mark MacDonald. Through the Sustaining Conversations Series, students and faculty have the opportunity to engage with leaders in sustainability across a variety of spheres.

Learn more about the Sustaining Conversations Series

On March 31, 2022, Prof. Stephen Scharper, Director of the Trinity’s Integrated Sustainability Initiative, sat down with guest speaker Linda McQuaig to discuss the intersections among media representation, corporate power, and the environmental crisis.

Journalist and best-selling author Linda McQuaig has been a rare voice of dissent within the mainstream media. Since 2002, she has written an op-ed column in the Toronto Star, challenging the prevailing economic dogma and championing a more equal and inclusive society. Winner of a National Newspaper Award for investigative reporting, she has probed the business dealings of powerful moguls, including Conrad Black, who publicly called for her to be “horsewhipped.” McQuaig is the author of eight national best-sellers, including Shooting the Hippo: Death by Deficit and Other Canadian Myths, which was selected one of the 25 most influential books of the past 25 years by the Literary Review of Canada. Her latest book is The Sport & Prey of Capitalists: How the Rich Are Stealing Canada’s Public Wealth.

On March 24, 2022, Prof. Stephen Scharper sat down with guest speaker Archbishop Mark MacDonald to discuss the intersections among sustainability, faith, and ongoing reconciliation in the Canadian context. Chloe Kapanen, Integrated Sustainability Initiative Intern and member of Environmental Students’ Union, served as respondent.

The Most Rev. Mark MacDonald is the National Indigenous Anglican Archbishop for the Anglican Church of Canada as well as the North American President for the World Council of Churches. Archbishop Mark MacDonald has published several works on multiculturalism and Evangelism, sacral connections between faith and environment, and Indigenous youth ministries.


Trinity One Program

Taking classroom learning into the field – students in the Butterfield Environment & Sustainability stream of the Margaret MacMillan Trinity One Program, accompanied by Trinity alumni George and Martha Butterfield, learn from regenerative agriculture experts at the New Farm in Creemore! Students were introduced to a real-life interdisciplinary case study on soil science, sustainable farming practices and political lobbying that led to the recent Sustainable Agriculture Strategy. This outdoor excursion is part of TRN140: Ethics, Humans & Nature and TRN141: Environmental Science & Pathways to Sustainability and taught by Emily Gilbert and Nicole Spiegelaar, respectively. Below: view a few photos from the New Farm excursion: October 17, 2023. Photos by Emily Gilbert.

  • Trinity One students visit the New Farm

Pictured below (left) are Margaret MacMillan Trinity One Program students and graduates on a recent trip to The New Farm, a regenerative organic farm located in Creemore, Ontario. You can also read more about how Trinity One students took classroom learning into the field.

During a field trip to U of T’s Koffler Scientific Reserve (KSR), students in the Butterfield Environment & Sustainability Stream of the Margaret MacMillan Trinity One program had the opportunity to experience first-hand the work of a Conservation Biologist (see photos below: right).

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Trinity Food Systems Lab

Students can also get involved with the Trinity Food Systems Lab (previously known as the Trinity Sustainable Food Systems Research Group or SFSRG) , which includes students and faculty who are focused on research, action, and learning to realize ecologically sound and socially just food systems. Learn more about the Food Systems Lab’s research and projects. Pictured below: raised garden beds at St. Hilda’s College, July 2022: fruits (tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, zucchini, peppers) that have started to form and later growing stages of plants (peppers, peas, cucumbers, carrots). View more photos.

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Ethics, Society & Law Program

Sustainability Speaker Series

As part of Trinity’s Integrated Sustainability Initiative, sustainability studies is being integrated into the College’s academic programs to help equip students with tools to address one of the globe’s most pressing challenges. Trinity’s Ethics, Society & Law Program hosted a new Sustainability Speaker Series focused on the ethics, socio-political context, and the legal environment of sustainability issues.

The Series is organized by the TRN312 “Sustainability Issues in Ethics, Society and Law” course, which is taught by Professor Nicole Spiegelaar, Associate Director of the Trinity’s Integrated Sustainability Initiative, and is co-sponsored by the Trinity’s Integrated Sustainability Initiative and the Ethics, Society & Law Students’ Association. Recent guest speakers included: Darcy Lindberg (Addressing Sustainability Issues with Indigenous Legal Orders); Spotting (and Communicating) a Fake: Debunking the Recycling Myth with Environmental Defence; and Dayna Scott (A Feminist Political Economy of Pollution: Advancing Analytics and Ethics on Toxics and Gender). Click poster on right to view or click here for more information.

Featured Student Work in TRN312: Communicating Knowledge Creatively

The addition of TRN312: Sustainability Issues in Ethics, Society & Law, marks a shift within the Ethics, Society & Law program and embodies the philosophies of the Integrated Sustainability Initiative. Taught by our Associate Director, Professor Nicole Spiegelaar, this course allows students to delve headfirst into issues of environmental justice. Students are encouraged to think creatively about communicating sustainability issues to the broader public by translating academic knowledge as well as political and legal discourse. See below for featured student work.

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