Community Greenhouse Gas Inventories

Led by Prof. Mary Ann Cunningham with assistance from Jennifer Rubbo, Director of the Environmental Cooperative at Vassar Barns (the “Coop”), Vassar’s introductory Environmental Science class completed preliminary assessments of community-level greenhouse gas emissions and sequestration for several communities in New York’s mid-Hudson River valley during the Fall semester 2020: City of Poughkeepsie, Town of Poughkeepsie, Town of Pleasant Valley, Town of Wappinger, Town of Unionvale, and Town of Lloyd. Reports and slide presentations for the above-mentioned communities are available for download. Please view the introductory slides before proceeding to the individual community assessments.

These assessments were completed to align with the New York State Climate Smart Communities checklist, PE2 Action: Community GHG Inventory. We also assessed estimated carbon sequestration in forests and other land use types, a measure that can help plan for conservation of carbon storage in the landscape. We hope this work will be useful for communities as they develop resources for climate smart community planning, and a potential catalyst for a refined inventory of greenhouse gas emissions. This was a fantastic learning experience for our students and we hope our results will be of interest to communities working toward CSC certification.

The Coop is interested to engage new students to work with Prof. Cunningham to produce Community GHG Inventories for other Hudson Valley communities, and in the process potentially refine and automate some of the analyses.