UNH Sustainability for Today & Tomorrow

As a public university and a national leader in sustainability, we believe we have a unique role, and we would say obligation, to play in advancing sustainability – by being a role model for other universities and organizations through our own practices, through the generation of cutting-edge knowledge, by acting as a catalyst and convener, to support the advancement of sustainability in our local and regional communities, and helping cultivate the next generation of bold, courageous and capable sustainability leaders through our educational programs.

It is widely recognized that this decade (2020-2030) is pivotally important in terms of action on the climate crisis, and more broadly, the urgency to achieve each of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals which consider all aspects of a sustainable future, including dignity for all people and ecological integrity in all places.

We could not do this work without our generous supporters and champions of sustainability who have been critical in helping to advance our work. 


Students share the impact sustainability education and experiences have made on their lives and future careers.


Contact Kathryn Jerome to discuss your gift.

Josephine A. Lamprey (1940-2023): UNH Sustainability Champion

"I'm just the biggest champion there is of the university; I think it's a best-kept secret in the United States."
- Jo Lamprey

“Jo’s vision and generosity have allowed me to take the climate science I’ve been working on and share that with communities and states across the region. 
Her philanthropy has really made a huge difference in allowing me to spread my wings … and make a difference in the way people frame and act on the climate crisis.” 
- Cameron Wake

Read the UNH Today story on Jo Lamprey's Support

To say that Jo has played a transformational role at the UNH Sustainability Institute over the last 12 years is an understatement.

In life, Jo was a trailblazer and a changemaker. Lamprey joined the family energy business after a successful leadership career in health consulting in 2000. She was struck by the sobering science that a large portion of the country’s greenhouse gas, one of the main drivers of the climate change crisis, was coming from the residential oil sector. Jo saw the situation as both an opportunity and a challenge and set on a strategy to grow the business without feeding the problem. The company was so successful in promoting greater energy efficiency that it was the first in New England to be named an Energy Star Retail Partner in 2008.

Jo first connected with the University of New Hampshire when she helped organize an event featuring UNH Sustainability Institute Executive Director, Dr. Tom Kelly and Research Professor, Dr. Cameron Wake in 2007 called “This Old Planet Needs a Friend.” It was the start of Jo’s engagement with the university and in particular, with the Sustainability Institute. Inspired by what she had learned from UNH sustainability experts, in 2011 she established the Josephine A. Lamprey Professorship in Climate and Sustainability, which was held by Dr. Wake from 2011-2023. It is a hybrid model for engaged research and community engagement, the kind of innovative approaches that are called for in addressing complex sustainability challenges. Over the years, she grew her support for the Institute, including for the Summer Sustainability Fellows program and other general operating initiatives. Her involvement has paved the way and inspired other major gifts in support of sustainability at UNH, such as for The Thomas W. Hass Professorship in Sustainable Food Systems.

Jo’s philanthropic support has been especially significant because while she wanted to support one of UNH’s key focal areas – climate and energy – she also fully embraced the integrated nature of sustainability and understood that issues of climate and energy are indivisible with issues of biodiversity, culture and food systems. Her support has allowed UNH to advance programs and activities that reflect the interconnected issues of sustainability and has been pivotal on many levels. It is notable that she chose to support UNH, even though this isn’t her alma mater, because of the significance of UNH’s work in sustainability for the state, the region and the world. Jo will be deeply missed and always remembered.

The Sorensen Family: Supporting the Next Generation & Our Communities

Bella headshot

The Sorensen Family Endowment has been providing extraordinary real-world experiences for UNH students since 2019. Each year, their gift supports a Sustainability Fellowship – helping students graduate with critical sustainability skills and in turn, helping host organizations to meaningfully enhance their sustainability practices. During the summer of 2023, UNH student Bella Dziak '24, (Community and Environmental Planning and Sustainability, minor in Business Administration) documented the lives of young fishermen and women in southern Maine and New Hampshire who are involved in ground fishing, crabbing, and lobstering. Bella captured the essence of the working waterfronts in northern New England, with a focus on fishing ports in York, Kittery, Portsmouth, Rye, and Seabrook/Hampton Harbor. Bella produced media in the form of photos and short videos that are shared on all social media platforms and the New England Young Fishermen's Alliance's developing website. Bella gained knowledge about the diversity and dynamic nature of the small boat fishing industry and the culture and heritage connected to the commercial fishing industry. The project now serves as a template for other organizations looking to enhance their mission through storytelling. 

Watch bella's final presentation and reflections 

Thomas W. Haas: Advancing Equity & Sustainability

The Thomas W. Haas Professorship of Sustainable Food Systems is a fully funded professorship which aims to advance sustainable agriculture, food choices, nutrition, and economic and social well-being on and off campus. It provides resources to a faculty member to focus on long-term network design and planning for the New Hampshire and New England food systems. Building upon her previous 1.5-year term as Haas Professor, Karen A. Spiller works to deepen UNH’s participation in the Food Solutions New England 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge; develop new and strengthen existing relationships and collaborations on campus and across the state; and share her expertise with UNH faculty, staff, students, and beyond.
Read the UNH Today story on the Haas Professorship