One of the most compelling things about the NCAA Basketball Tournament is the periodic upsets that take place when a small, unknown school upsets a traditional powerhouse. Well, the first-ever March Madness Tournament for Environmental Studies has seen the same phenomenon take place, where Colby, an 1800-student college in small-town Maine, and Rochester Institute of Technology, located in upstate New York, have survived two rounds of the tournament to make the Final Four. Joining them, are Purdue University and Colorado State University, both of whom made the NCAA field of 64, along with our very own version March Madness.
These schools have survived two elimination rounds, including the “Sustainable 16” two weeks ago, and the “Environmental Eight,” in order to compete for the title of “National Champion.” The schools that advanced to the “Final Four,” were selected by the tournament’s expert judges based on photo, video and essay submissions sent by students and faculty, in addition to a survey detailing key aspects of each school’s program.
Congratulations to the other members of the Environmental Eight, who fell just short: Ohio State University, University of Texas-Arlington, Humboldt State and University of California-Davis. Each of these schools boast very strong environmental academic programs and came very close to making the Final Four. In fact, the difference between making the Final Four and missing it was one percentage point, giving you an indication of just how hard it was for our judges to separate the competition.
So congratulations to our Final Four, who can celebrate by cutting down the virtual nets made of 100 percent compostable fibers. We’re sure they are all excited and will spend Earth Hour (8:30-9:30 p.m. local time on Saturday) sitting in the dark and think about how their department can best utilize the grand prize of $5,000.
Who will be named National Champion on Monday? Will it be a favorite or an underdog? Tweet your prediction to @Enviance with #mmenviance in the Tweet, and follow us to find out who wins!