As the existential challenge of our time, Climate change has become a central focus of the Program on Public Values. In 2017, the Program became involved in establishing a coalition of religious leaders and climate scientists in Massachusetts, the Faith-Science Alliance for Climate Leadership, in collaboration with the Woods Hole Research Center (now Woodwell Research Center) and the Archdiocese of Boston.

We continue the Climate Initiative via our faculty fellows and events, and to integrate the Climate Initiative with the Ecology Initiative and with Community and Culture. We also highlight the legacy of Frederick Law Olmsted, who was born in Hartford and influenced the design and location of Trinity College. 

Since the inception of the Climate Initiative, the Program on Public Values helped organize a forum for Connecticut gubernatorial candidates on climate at the College and held a briefing for Connecticut journalists on climate change in the state. During the academic years 2017-18 and 2018-19, the Program sponsored a weekly lunch for Trinity students and faculty concerned with climate change. In June 2019, Greenberg Center director Mark Silk presented a paper on the creation of the Faith-Science Alliance at the meeting of the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture in Cork, Ireland. In the fall semester, Professor Silk inaugurated a course on religion and climate change cross-listed in Religious Studies, Environmental Studies, and Public Policy and Law.

In 2019 and 2020, the Program for Public Values hosted the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters’ annual legislative forum, sponsored a public debate on carbon pricing, and held a symposium on the importance of forests in addressing climate change and the negative climate impacts of burning woody biomass as renewable energy, still subsidized in Connecticut as a Class I renewable similar to solar. 

As we emerge from the pandemic, the Program for Public Values will continue to facilitate interdisciplinary opportunities and events. 


Related to the Climate Initiative, and in parallel with Trinity College’s bicentennial, the College has embarked on a process to establish the campus of Trinity College as an arboretum. Previously we helped facilitate a customized public opinion survey on public and private forests in southern New England.

Events, collaborations and initiatives of our Faculty Fellows may also overlap with our Ecology Initiative.

Participating Faculty

Susan A. Masino, Ph.D.

Dr. Masino is also interested in nature and brain health – with a special focus on New England’s amazing forests. She is on the boards of the Pinchot Institute for Conservation and Aton Forest, and during 2018-2019 she was a Charles Bullard Fellow in Forest Research at Harvard University. She co-authored the seminal paper on proforestation, participated in an Institutional Review Board-approved survey on public values related to Southern New England’s forests and coauthored a major report on “Wildlands in New England.”

To combine her interests, Dr. Masino developed new courses: “The Green Mind,” “Landscape Planning for Environmental Education and Brain Health,” and, “Nature and Brain Health.” She is the faculty liaison for a new experiential certificate program at Trinity College titled Global Health and Human Ecology. She is part of the higher education working group of the Olmsted200 celebration and spearheaded a lecture series in Fall 2021 titled:“Olmsted’s Brain:” Finding Health in Urban Places and Wild Spaces.” Dr. Masino is on the Open Space Commission in Simsbury and is the State and the Hartford County Coordinator for the Old Growth Forest Network. She is also President of the CT State Grange Foundation, and Vice President of the Simsbury Grange.