Phone Number: 617-817-5111
Fax Number: 617-332-0037
Lowell Center for Sustainable Production
University of Massachusetts Lowell
One University Avenue
Lowell, MA 01854
Madeline Snow is Director of UMass Lowell’s EMS Service Program in the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production. She has expertise and experience in tools and approaches to promote sustainability. She has developed and audited Environmental Management Systems in public transit authority facilities, colleges, universities, and municipalities. An experienced trainer and facilitator, she has also developed guidebooks including An Environmental Management Guide for Colleges and Universities for EPA Region 1 and an Energy Management Guide for Water and Wastewater Utilities for EPA. She spent 25 years in the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection in a variety of programs, including enforcement, water quality planning, waste site cleanup, emergency response, and strategic planning. She is a member of the International Society of Sustainability Professionals. She holds a B.A. in Biology and Environmental Studies from New College of Florida and an M.P.A. from the Harvard Kennedy School.
Madeline Snow remembers the exact day that she decided to devote her life to the cause of promoting environmental quality: April 22, 1970—the first Earth Day.
During that time universities throughout the country were either apathetic about the environmental movement or downright hostile to it. But Snow remembers the excitement she felt in being part of a social movement, especially after having witnessed the apex of the Civil Rights Movement. “I wanted to be a part of something that would make a difference,” she recounts.
Snow went on to write her thesis on lakes and lake management issues in Florida. She attributes her concern for water quality—on which she focused much of her professional career—to the fact that she grew up in Boston and spent much of her time on beaches.
Today Snow focuses her efforts on fostering greater communication between individuals and organizations involved in the sustainability community. She believes that such communication enables proactive environmentalism more than anything else. If the efficiency of sustainable methods—not just their environmental benefits, but also their profitability—could be more effectively communicated to businesses, they would be much more eager to adopt them.
But Snow also sees enormous value in the public’s awareness of these issues and its demand for changes. “I remember when it was perfectly acceptable to see black smoke coming out of chimneys,” she says. She reflects on how few people were involved with the environmental movement then, and how unimaginable the extent of public involvement today would have been.
Although she is optimistic about the environmental ethic of the public, Snow constantly keeps in mind the speed with which the environment deteriorates. Such bitter realism, while depressing, keeps her motivated to keep on contributing to the movement which captured her loyalty.