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Events Calendar for rsenr

Thursday, April 17, 2014

RSENR Doctoral Proposal Seminar & Defense: Lucia Orantes

Time: 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
Location: Aiken 103
Description: Assessing Source-Sink Dynamics of the Chagas Disease Vector, Triatoma dimidiata, in high-risk communities in Guatemala

By Lucia C. Orantes

Seminar: 9:00 am, Aiken 103
Defense: 10:00 am, Aiken 103

Kimberly Wallin, Associate Research Professor, RSENR, Advisor
Sara Helms Cahan, Associate Professor, Department of Biology, Advisor
Donna Rizzo, Professor, School of Engineering, Committee Chair
Leslie Morrissey, Associate Professor, RSENR, Committee Member

This research aims to understand the small-scale distribution and migration of Triatoma dimidiata, a vector of Chagas disease, within two towns from Jutiapa, Guatemala. Triatoma dimidiata is the main vector of the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi in Central America, where the number of communities at risk of infection is steadily increasing. Currently, most control efforts focus on eliminating the vector from households through the use of insecticides; however, T. dimidiata is capable of living in both domestic and sylvatic environments. This variation in habitat quality may allow populations to behave as a source-sink system, where outdoor habitats are reservoirs, and indoor habitats are colonization sinks. Consistent with this hypothesis, T. dimidiata is likely to re-infest sprayed houses within the same year of treatment.

I will integrate the use of high-throughput genetic data and geospatial tools to test whether source-sink dynamics can explain spatial and temporal patterns of infestation within the towns of El Chaperno and El Carrizal in Guatemala. To understand the spatial movement patterns of the vector, I will quantify genetic connectivity of individuals within each town and detect any clustering patterns that can indicate domestic reservoirs. To assess the relative importance of external migration versus local colonization, I will look at the population genetics of re-infesting populations after seasonal migration and pesticide fumigation. This work will increase the understanding of source-sink dynamics of T. dimidiata, assess the impact of migrants in domiciliary environments, and quantify the effectiveness of fumigation in vector populations.

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RSENR Forest Service seminar: Alex Royo

Time: 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Location: Aiken 311
Description: Fire, Gaps, and Deer: The Roles of Multiple Interacting Disturbances in Eastern Hardwood Forests.
Presented by Alex Royo, Research Ecologist, Northern Research Station, USDA Forest Service.

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Amy Dickman lectures in WFB 283 class

Time: 8:30 a.m. to 9:20 a.m.
Location: Aiken 112
Description: Aiken 112

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Friday Field Walk with Levi Old and Laura Yayac

Time: 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Location: Bule Water, Blue Bin
Description: Join students, faculty, and friends of UVM's Field Naturalist and Ecological Planning programs for Friday adventures. Walks depart from main lobby of Jeffords Hall. To receive email updates, reserve a spot, or get more info, contact Levi at Locations and times subject to change.

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Gund Tea: Subhrendu Pattanayak

Time: 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Location: Gund Conference Room
Description: Gund Conference Room
Johnson House
617 Main Street

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RSENR PhD proposal seminar & defense: Sarah Pears

Time: 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Location: Aiken 311
Description: Forest regeneration and biodiversity following wind disturbance and salvage harvest in northern forests

By Sarah Pears

Seminar: 3:00 pm, Aiken 311
Defense: 4:00 pm, Aiken 311


Kimberly Wallin, Associate Research Professor, RSENR, Advisor
Donna Rizzo, Professor, School of Engineering, Committee Chair
Carol Adair, Assistant Professor, RSENR
Jon Erickson, Professor, RSENR

Stand-replacing disturbances due to severe weather have historically been rare in the Northern Forest; however, the frequency of extreme storms in the region is projected to increase. A windstorm in 2010 severely damaged trees in Chittenden County, Vermont. Forest managers salvage harvested storm-impacted stands, removing trees blown over or otherwise injured. This proposed research will quantify cumulative impacts of windstorm and salvage harvest on ecosystem services in the Northern Forest. Across a range of disturbance intensities I will quantify regeneration and factors that influence tree recruitment including coarse woody debris abundance, remnant canopy trees, and interactions between Rubus and native tree species. I will also quantify disturbance impacts to species richness and diversity of herbaceous plants and ground-dwelling invertebrates along a gradient of disturbance intensity. This biodiversity data will serve as a test of the Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis, which predicts that highest biodiversity results from moderate intensity or frequency ecosystem disruptions. I expect to find forest recovery rates highest at sites subjected to wind disturbance and moderately intense salvage harvest. Rubus species likely have allelopathic and shading impacts on native hardwood species, thus limiting their recruitment in post-disturbance vegetation. I expect biodiversity to be highest in sites where salvage harvest was moderate. I will share results and conclusions via peer-reviewed publications, professional and academic conference presentations, press releases, and public workshops for Vermont forestland managers.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

RSENR Seminar: Leadership Frameworks and Student Perspectives

Time: 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Location: Aiken 102
Description: Aiken 102

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Renewable Natural Gas Event - Turning Organic Waste into Fuel

Time: 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Location: Billings Center
Description: A Workshop by Energy Vision, Vermont Clean Cities and The UVM-TRC
April 23, 2014 – 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.;
Billings Center, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT

8:30-9:00 Registration and Refreshments
9:00-9:10 Workshop Introduction: Moving Toward a Sustainable Transportation Future - Joanna D. Underwood, President, Energy Vision & Michelle McCutcheon-Schour, Director, VTCCC
9:10-9:30 Welcoming Address
9:30-10:50 Separated Organics and Anaerobic Digestion
Guy Roberts, Chief Technology Officer, Avatar Energy
The Big Value Proposition in Anaerobic Digestion of Organic Wastes
Mike Raker, Agricultural Energy Consultants, LLC (tentative)
Making an Anaerobic Digestion Project Work in Vermont
Dan Smith, President, Integrated Energy Systems
From Dairy Manure to Renewable Natural Gas: A Case Study
10:50-11:05 Coffee and Networking
11:05-12:20 Panel 2: The Intersection of Biogas and the Vehicle Market
Owen Brady, Key Accounts, Vermont Gas
Tapping the Natural Gas Vehicle Market via Pipeline
Nathan Carr, Biomass Account Executive, quasar energy group (tentative)
Recovering and Converting Food Waste to Vehicle Fuel
Peter Vanderhoof, Director of Fleet Operations, Casella Waste
Fleet Conversion from Diesel to CNG and the Growing RNG Option
12:20-1:20pm Lunch and Networking
1:20-2:45pm Panel 3: Exploring the Economic/Policy Landscape
Alex DePillis, Senior Development Coordinator, Vermont Agency of Ag, Food and Markets
Asa S. Hopkins, Ph.D., Director of Energy Policy and Planning, Vermont Department of Public Service
Patrick Wood, President, Ag Methane Advisors
2:45-3:00pm Final Questions and Path Forward

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Tobacco-Free UVM Town Hall Meeting

Time: 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Location: Carpenter Auditorium in Given
Description: All students, faculty and staff are invited to join the Tobacco-Free UVM Town Hall Meeting on Wednesday, April 23 from 4:00 to 5:00 PM in Carpenter Auditorium (Given E131). The meeting, hosted by the Tobacco-Free UVM Steering Committee, will provide an additional opportunity, beyond the regular committee meetings, for the university community to participate in the conversation about the process for moving toward becoming a tobacco-free campus.

As communicated to the university in a memo dated March 24 of this year, UVM is in the midst of a planning process aimed at creating a tobacco-free campus environment. A broadly-representative steering committee is leading the discussion and several working groups are giving direction to the project and overseeing the details of implementation. The university is partnering with a number of external agencies and collaborating with governance groups and campus organizations as the discussion continues with the target date of January 1, 2015 in view.

Why is UVM going tobacco-free?

As a public land-grant university with an historic commitment to health, UVM seeks to provide a clean, healthy environment for the entire community. A tobacco-free campus will:

Protect people from unwanted and involuntary exposure to tobacco and passive smoke
Establish a supportive atmosphere for those trying to quit using tobacco
Create a cleaner and healthier living, learning and working environment

Multiple studies affirm that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke—including outdoor smoke.

We respect the needs of every member of the community. Pregnant women, children, those with bronchitis, respiratory problems, asthma, heart conditions and cancer are especially susceptible to serious problems as a result of passive smoke.

Join the conversation on April 23 as we talk about how to reach the goal of a tobacco-free campus. For more information, visit the website at

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Friday, April 25, 2014

Gund Tea: Michael Klare

Time: 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Location: Gund Conference Room
Description: Gund Conference Room
Johnson House
617 Main Street

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Friday Field Walk with Dave Barrington

Time: 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Location: Fiddleheads and Appetizers
Description: Join students, faculty, and friends of UVM's Field Naturalist and Ecological Planning programs for Friday adventures. Walks depart from main lobby of Jeffords Hall. To receive email updates, reserve a spot, or get more info, contact Levi at Locations and times subject to change.

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Monday, April 28, 2014

RSENR Master's Project Seminar & Defense: Kate Blofson

Time: 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Location: Bittersweet Conference Room
Description: Intervale Out Loud: A Place-based Oral History Project

by Kate Blofson

Seminar: 10:00 a.m., Bittersweet Conference Room
Defense: 11:00 a.m., Bittersweet Conference Room

Dr. Stephanie Kaza, Professor, RSENR, Advisor
Dr. Walter Poleman, Senior Lecturer, RSENR
Dr. Dona Brown, Professor, History, Committee Chair

Landscape analysis explores the social and ecological processes that drive landscape patterns, and is closely allied with landscape ecology and geography. UVM's PLACE (Place-based Landscape Analysis and Community Education) Program, with its roots in the Field Naturalist and Ecological Planning program, uses the framework of landscape analysis to express an integrative “story of place” using the lenses of the physical, ecological and cultural landscapes. While landscape analysis field methods address the physical and ecological landscapes, no clear methodology has emerged to support a holistic analysis of the cultural landscape and an understanding of relationships with place. Oral history is an open-ended, flexible method that engages diverse perspectives and generates rich detail and context in long-form narratives. It has produced important ecological knowledge, as well as other social benefits, for natural resource planning (Holmes and Pilkington, 2011; Colburn and Clay, 2007; Robertson and McGee, 2003). Using the rich cultural and ecological landscape of the lower Winooski intervale in Burlington, VT, as a case study, this project explored the value of oral history as a methodology in landscape analysis, with a particular focus on land use practices (including agriculture, foraging, and hunting); ecological information and site-specific stories; feelings and values about the land; and visions for its future. Oral histories produced important stories and knowledge about landscape change and natural communities in the lower Winooski intervale, as well as revealing meanings and values useful for an integrative and inclusive understanding of place.

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Friday, May 2, 2014

Friday Field Walk with Cathy Paris & Liz Thompson

Time: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Location: Spring Ephemerals
Description: Join students, faculty, and friends of UVM's Field Naturalist and Ecological Planning programs for Friday adventures. Walks depart from main lobby of Jeffords Hall. To receive email updates, reserve a spot, or get more info, contact Levi at Locations and times subject to change.

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RSENR Annual Community Celebration

Time: 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Location: Davis Cen. Silver Maple Ballroom
Description: Davis Center, Silver Maple Ballroom

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Monday, May 12, 2014

Aiken Tree Planting to Honor Ben Mohla

Time: 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Location: outside Aiken
Description: Doubtless many of you knew, or were influenced by, Benjamin Mohla. Ben was a kind, hilarious person and a phenomenal friend. To share some of the great memories he provided us with, and as a means of commemorating him, we invite you to join us in the planting a White Oak tree outside of the Aiken Center on the afternoon of May 12th, which would have been Ben’s 22nd birthday.

The tree will be planted as part of the native landscape installation for the Rubenstein School’s Greening of Aiken Project. We are hoping to raise $350 for the cost of the tree and its delivery, and $350 for a cast bronze plaque and its installation. If you are interested in contributing please send checks payable to UVM or bring cash to the address below. All donations to help make this happen are greatly appreciated.

81 Carrigan Drive
Room 220B
Burlington, VT 05401
Attn: Kathleen Wells

Any funds received in excess of the cost of the tree, delivery, and plaque will be used to support Rubenstein summer interns who will be maintaining Aiken’s landscape, in which this tree is a part of. Please spread the word to others, enjoy the rest of your semester, and we hope you can join us for this celebration of Ben’s life.

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