Sunday, June 5, 2016


A week on Samsø
By Anna Demeo, PhD
Director of Energy Education and Management at College of the Atlantic

Almost two years ago I was on Samsø team-teaching a 3-course series for students from the College of the Atlantic (COA) in Maine and islanders from five Maine islands.  We worked at the Samsø Energy Academy for most of September, learning about the Samsø transition to renewable energy.  We toured the island by bike, talked with locals and spent time learning the spirit of the Samsø community.  Once we returned to Maine, participants worked on energy projects in their own communities.

Photo by Soren Hermansen

Inspired by the Samsø Energy Academy, this year COA is opening the Community Energy Center to help local residents and businesses with sustainable projects, which will reduce their use of fossil fuels while supporting the local economy.  Some of the Community Energy Center projects are building on the very same initiatives that were started in the Samsø course nearly two years ago.  These projects include: collective purchasing of home energy audits and insulation, community solar arrays and electric vehicle charging stations.

Photo by: Sig Eschholz
This week, I am happy to be back on Samsø with a new group of students from the Rethinking Energy course at COA.  We are excited to have students from Trinity Washington University in Washington, D.C. join us on Samsø to once again learn from the Samsø community.  COA is a very small, interdisciplinary college based on learning through action.  It is located on a bridged island in Maine that is also home to Acadia National Park.  Our island is about the same size as Samsø with 10,000 year-round residents and over 2 million summer visitors!
Trinity Washington University in DC is located in the heart of Washington DC and has a rich history dedicated to educating women.

My students and I will be on Samso making short documentaries about the             culture, landscape and community and  own perspectives of how our communities can learn from Samsø’s experiences.   All of the students will contribute to this blog over the next couple of weeks, sharing their insights and impressions.