- About UVM
- Student Life
An urban forest might sound as far-fetched as a rural subway. But New York City already has more than five million trees, and these create a canopy that shades 24 percent of the city according to a 2006 study by the US Forest Service and UVM's Spatial Analysis Laboratory. While not a moose-filled wilderness, New York's urban forest exists now: cooling city streets, soaking up rainfall and carbon, reducing pollution that triggers asthma, and making twiggy homes for New Yorkers' beloved birds. Still more trees are needed. Which is why a dozen UVM students at the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources are speaking by videoconference to Fiona Watt, New York City's chief of forestry. Together, they're looking for places to put a million new trees.
A group of prominent speakers will discuss "Carbon, People and Vermont's Ecosystems," at the Vermont Monitoring Cooperative's 18th Annual Meeting at the University of Vermont on Monday, October 27th.
On a hushed October morning, when leaves have ripened to the fall, who hasn't stood under a flaming maple and wondered why it goes red? Though Robert Frost might have imagined something more poetic, tree physiologists will tell you the answer is anthocyanin. This is the pigment that leaves produce in autumn, creating the bright displays of red and purple foliage that draw thousands of wistful tourists (and their wallets) to New England. But chemistry is not cause. "We know the basic biochemical reasons (leaves go red)," says US Forest Service researcher Paul Schaberg — under stress, leaf sugars are converted to anthocyanin — "but the ecology and exact mechanisms are still unknown." Why does a maple go yellow one year and red the next? Are cold nights the trigger? Does the red color serve to deter insect pests? "There are dozens of competing theories," he says. Which is why he and his intern, UVM forestry student Will Young '10, are peering up into a sugar maple outside the Forest Service Research Station on Spear Street. Below the tree, they've installed a tarp-covered freezer, festooned with blue wires and silver tubes that run up into the branches. Inside the tubes, antifreeze flows to selected twigs and keeps them colder than the surrounding branches.
Governor Jim Douglas and UVM President Daniel Mark Fogel have formally adopted the Vermont Climate Collaborative framework, which will guide Vermont's effort to address climate change and further develop the green tech economy. At a charter signing at the Statehouse on Oct. 1, Governor Douglas called the Collaborative a signature partnership that brings together the state's higher education institutions, businesses, legislators and nonprofit organizations to allow the state to forge ahead with confidence in protecting and enhancing Vermont's quality of life.
At the cusp of the new Millennium, a delegation of some of the world's most innovative thinkers traveled to India to meet with the Dalai Lama at his residence in the foothills of the Himalayas. Stephanie Kaza, professor in the Environmental Program and a scholar of Buddhist environmental thought, was among the group that endeavored to bring a synthesis of diverse disciplines to address the world's most critical problems.
Darrion Willis and Reggie Carter are among 17 incoming freshmen spending six weeks at the Summer Enrichment Scholars Program aimed at familiarizing students with campus before they start in the fall. Willis and Carter, academically accomplished students who beat the odds and are attending UVM in the fall, know they can rely on each other and their shared life experiences if they need someone to talk to while adjusting to their new surroundings. Their bond is one of many that have already been forged during the first few weeks of the six-week Summer Enrichment Scholars Program (SESP) that includes 15 other students from various ethnic, racial, and multi-racial backgrounds, first-generation college-bound students and students from families with limited income. The goal of SESP, sponsored by the ALANA Student Center, is to improve retention by helping students form relationships, introducing them to the campus and surrounding community, acclimating them to a rigorous academic environment, and preparing them for the cultural and climate challenges they’ll confront in the fall. First generation Vermonters, who face their own kinds of challenges at UVM, are also a target group of the program. Students take a three-credit (usually math or English) course and a one-credit psychology course. They also work at the university in various areas such as the Department of Residential Life or the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources.
The University of Vermont's Robert Costanza is featured in a new BBC documentary series Nature, Inc, that explores the economic value of biodiversity. The first installments of the program will begin airing on BBC World News on Friday, June 13th and will continue five times a week for six weeks. Later installments will continue through 2010. "Nature Inc. takes its lead from the University of Vermont's Robert Costanza and other environmental economists who have worked out that nature's services are worth more than the economies of all the countries of the world combined," a release from the producer announced. Costanza, director of UVM's Gund Institute for Ecological Economics, achieved world fame for his 1997 paper in Nature that placed the total value of global "ecosystem services"—like pollination, soil formation and clean water—at about $33 trillion.
The Office of Community-University Partnerships and Service-Learning held its CUPS Annual Recognition Reception on April 29 to recognize faculty, students and community partners who excelled in creating community-based learning opportunities that both enhance student learning and meet community needs. Outstanding Service-Learning Faculty Award Winner, Matthew Kolan, was recognized for his work in managing a senior capstone course in natural resources called "Environmental Problem Solving," which engages students in team-based projects around environmental issues in the community.
Richard Watts pulls a plug out of a weatherproof socket. He rolls up the green extension cord. Then he yanks the other end out of a socket in the bumper of a car and tosses the cord in the trunk. "It's all charged," he says. "Ready to go?" It's the right question. Sure, I'm ready to go on a drive in this nifty rechargeable Toyota Prius. But his question also applies more broadly to a new generation of plug-in hybrid electric cars like this one. Are they ready to go in cold and hilly Vermont? And, once they leave the lab and hit the showroom in 2010, how will they affect air pollution, the power grid, and consumer pocketbooks? Watts, a researcher at UVM's Transportation Research Center, and Paul Hines, assistant professor of engineering, are launching a study to find out.
Jennifer Jenkins, research assistant professor in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, has been named science advisor to the Vermont Climate Collaborative. The Vermont Climate Collaborative, a partnership of Vermont’s government, academic, and private sectors, was created in late 2007 at the recommendation of the Governor’s Commission on Climate Change, a group convened by Vermont governor Jim Douglas to develop strategies for reducing the state’s greenhouse gas emissions.
When Ethan Bond-Watts '09 first encountered glass blowing as a 15-year-old Champlain Valley Union High School student, the pull was intense. "Finding glass that was so hot, so dangerous, so immediate — it's the same reason young people are attracted to snowboarding, that instant gratification," he says. "The ability to experiment, to fail, to drop stuff on the floor and go back in and scoop out some more glass immediately and make ten pieces in a day…" A decade later, he's still hooked. Bond-Watts has meshed a glass blowing apprenticeship with a college education and passionate focus on his work to make a quick start on a career as an artist. Though he has another year remaining at UVM, he'll help members of the Class of 2008 leave their mark on the university. The graduating seniors have commissioned Bond-Watts to create a glass sculpture that will hang in the Davis Center.
An animal track is more than a mark in mud or snow that says a fox or flock of turkeys passed by. It's a lens into a shadowed world of animal intentions. The single strike of claw and toepad can summon a vast ecological narrative for those with skill to read what's there. But to get to this elevated state requires a whole lot of what trackers call "dirt time." Which is why Matt Kolan leaps like a giant wool-clad claymation weasel along a snowy roadside in Cambridge, Vermont. "This is a lope," he says to a group of graduate students in his course, Place-Based Landscape Analysis. He gets down on all fours, butt up and head down. He again charges forward through the snow, his boots deftly coming forward to land in the mark where his mittens just were. "A lope means that all its feet are on the ground only once per stride," he says. Kolan, who graduated from UVM's Field Naturalist program, is a doctoral student in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources. He's had a lot of dirt time. And now he's trying to help his students understand who made a line of glinting gray depressions that run in staggered pairs across the pale blue snow.
This could be the tipping point. If some climate scientists are right, in the next 10 years we will either start to decrease world-wide carbon emissions or global warming will go over an ecological cliff where changes to the planet—rising seas, mass extinctions, agricultural failures and extreme weather—begin to spiral wildly. So what’s a graduate student to do? For Valerie Esposito and Samir Doshi part of the answer is Focus the Nation. These two doctoral candidates in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources have been the lead organizers at UVM for Focus the Nation, a national “teach-in” on global warming solutions that will be held Thursday, January 31 at more than 1700 universities and other places.
In Springfield, Mo., college students are about to see quite vividly how much energy they consume. Piles of coal will be on display in proportion to what's needed each day to power their dorms, computers, and dining halls. At Radford University in Virginia, students may stumble upon a mock fight between a windmill and a smokestack (costumes courtesy of the campus Green Team). At the University of Vermont in Burlington, audience members will be encouraged to bike or walk to a one-woman show in which the fictional first lady calls for a boycott against sex until the nation starts a serious dialogue about climate change. The creative tactics are designed to draw students into a series of events this coming week known as Focus the Nation: Global Warming Solutions for America.
Flowing across the roof of New England — from coastal Maine, into New Hampshire’s White Mountains, Vermont’s northern Green Mountains and through the Adirondacks of New York — the 26-million-acre Northern Forest has been a source of pride for decades. Its re-growth from two centuries of over-cutting tells a hopeful story of natural recovery and good management. But not all is well in the woods. Since at least the 1980s, concerns and unanswered questions about job loss, invasive species, sprawl, climate change, ecological decline, population growth and real estate speculation have cast a dark shadow. In an ambitious response, the Northeastern States Research Cooperative was created in 2001.
Focus the Nation, on January 31, 2008, promises to be the largest “teach-in” in US history. So far, it has mobilized students at more than 1300 colleges in 50 states to plan classes and workshops exploring solutions to global warming. Students at the University of Vermont, with support from many faculty and staff, have developed one of the country’s most ambitious agendas for the event. They’ve expanded their program beyond the one-day national teach-in to include dozens of events over six days. “We’re standing up to say to the whole nation, ‘Now is the time for action; climate change is the issue of our generation—and we can solve it,’” said Valerie Esposito, a UVM graduate student and one of the organizers, “We can’t afford to wait.”
Mercury is a mystery. Or at least it’s a devilishly complex toxic substance that can be found in many forms: air-borne particles, vapor, or caught in the liquid matrix of rain and snow. It can be bound to soil, absorbed in leaves, processed by bacteria or trapped in the fatty tissue of birds and people. And how it moves in a forest canopy, from dry air to leaves and ground — and back again — is poorly understood. Which is why I’m standing 72 feet off the ground with Mim Pendleton and Sean Lawson from the Vermont Monitoring Cooperative.
Surely, the Norwegian Nobel Committee didn’t notify Al Gore by email. But that’s how UVM’s Jennifer Jenkins learned of her share. “I am delighted that the enormous team work of the IPCC has earned recognition with the Nobel Peace Prize,” wrote Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, on Oct. 15, “This makes you and your colleagues a Nobel laureate.”
The Sustainable Endowments Institute has ranked UVM among the top six schools nationally for green practices and policies, giving the school an overall grade of A- in its just released College Sustainability Report Card.
Climate change in Vermont's forests — past, present and future — will be the focus of the Vermont Monitoring Cooperative's 15th Annual Meeting on Oct. 29 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Billings Center's North Lounge.
Saleem Ali imagines that the Siachen Glacier, perched on the war-wracked border between India and Pakistan, can be turned into a shared “peace park,” helping to build trust and diplomatic connections between these countries. And he’s doing more than just imagining: he’s helped shape meetings, planned for later this year between the two governments, to seriously consider the idea.
From the September/October 2007 issue of SEED magazine
From the book, "Visionaries of the 20th Century--A Resurgence Anthology"
Robert Manning's latest book is a critical hit that sums up decades of careful thinking about using and managing public recreation areas
Peter Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline: the Art and Practice of the Learning Organization, will open the First Annual Community Congress on Integrative Solutions to be held Monday, Sept. 24, and Saturday, Sept. 29, in the Grand Maple Ballroom of the Dudley H. Davis Center. The congress is sponsored by the Leading by Design Task Force. This two-day event will consider ways UVM might be transformed in the decades ahead, as the university’s Leading By Design project prepares a major grant proposal aimed at making UVM a global leader in sustainable design and integrated environmental problem solving.
The wood shavings smell like bread dough. They fly off the lathe, covering Ralph Tursini’s arms in pale yellow confetti. Tursini again pushes a long steel chisel into the spinning block of black cherry, inward and down. In response, a circle seems to move outward, like a slow-motion ripple in a pool of wood. He’s turning a humble bowl.
Don DeHayes, dean of the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, presented an overview of the pressing need for renovation in Aiken and the promise of this long-planned “greening” of the building.
Peace parks can work. Not just for managing cross-boundary wilderness areas, as occurs in the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park at the US/Canadian border, but as a powerful tool of diplomacy in war zones around the world. That is the conclusion of the forthcoming book, Peace Parks: Conservation and Conflict Resolution, edited by Saleem Ali, associate professor at the University of Vermont, and published by the MIT Press.
A conversation with the new head of the Student Government Association
Community land trusts are expanding explosively and facing growing complexities with few resources. A pilot UVM program is putting students in position to help.
The New York venue for Live Earth screened a short film inspired by an essay written by UVM student Michelle Gardner-Quinn days before her death last October. Gardner-Quinn’s personal essay was part of an assignment in Professor Cecilia Danks’ environmental studies course.
HINESBURG -- "Oh!" Noah Perlut exclaims. A living scrap of brown and yellow flashes into the cool dawn air from a hayfield on the old O'Neil farm. Perlut advances carefully, peering through the hip-high grass, then kneels to mark a bobolink nest abandoned for a moment by the startled bird. Six eggs nestle like little brown nuts in a cup of dried grass. The air above the undulating field is alive with bobolinks, soaring, swooping, filling the morning with their song and the "sheer exuberance of the breeding season," Perlut says.
From a canoe in the Winooski River, Paul Bierman, professor of geology, is trying to impress a practical truth upon eight undergraduates paddling nearby. He points up a fifty-foot-high mud-and-rock embankment that rises from the river’s edge. The students — the first participants in a new UVM Watershed Field Camp24 — crane their necks to look at several tidy bungalows perched at the top.
Daniel Mark Fogel, president of the University of Vermont, has signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, putting UVM among a vanguard of colleges and universities that have pledged to sharply reduce and eventually eliminate their institutions’ global warming emissions and to accelerate research and educational efforts designed to equip society to re-stabilize the earth’s climate.
On June 21 the University of Vermont (UVM) Extension unveiled a green certification program targeted to a transportation sector that carries more travelers each year than the airlines, or Amtrak and commuter rail combined: the motorcoach industry. The program is the first in the commercial transportation sector to recognize and encourage, via an official certification program, excellence in environmental performance and practice.
For a few of the New York City high schoolers surveying it, the rural landscape of Shelburne Farms was like something from a movie. If the University of Vermont has its way, more people like them will find themselves venturing afield. Hoping to diversify the racial and cultural mix of students in its environmental programs, the college hosted a group of inner-city students last month, giving them a taste of life far from the city.
The Land Stewardship Program (LANDS) is an innovative nine-week internship training program for college undergraduates, with a passion for the environment and land conservation. A collaborative program between the University of Vermont’s Rubenstein School of the Environment & Natural Resources (RSENR) and the Student Conservation Association (SCA) will be piloted this summer 2007.
This is supposed to be a trip in search of small songbirds that nest down low in the grass: savannah sparrows — streaky brown birds with a yellowish eyebrow stripe — and bobolinks — black birds that look like they’re wearing a tuxedo backward and sound like the emphatic beeping of R2D2. Instead, in a wet hayfield behind Jim Maille’s dairy farm on Dorset Street, in the strange blue-and-pink gloom of the pre-dawn, ornithologist Allan Strong peers at the sky, watching a tiny cloud of black specks rocketing north. Did you see that?” he says to his post-doctoral student, Noah Perlut. “What?” says Perlut. “Brant,” he says.
New Jersey may bring to mind dense cities, neon boardwalks, and jokes about the turnpike. But it also is known for the watery quiet of the Pine Barrens, fine beaches, and choice farmland. In New Jersey, like elsewhere, conversion of open land for development has often been justified in economic terms: new jobs, more taxes. But what is the value—the economic value—of a bog, a salt marsh, or an urban park? On May 21, 2007, the New York Times featured a new report by Robert Costanza and his colleagues at the University of Vermont’s Gund Institute for Ecological Economics that answers this question for New Jersey in precise terms.
Collaboration with UVM focused on health of lake biodiversity
Historically, people lived in lowlands. Except for logging and some agricultural uses, mountains were mostly left to the birds. But in recent decades, mountain regions in many parts of the world—including Vermont—have faced growing development pressures from recreation and tourism uses such as vacation homes and ski areas.
Faculty, staff, students and community and business members crowded the North Lounge of Billings on April 30 to participate in a three-hour, brainstorming session of "Envisioning UVM of the Future: UVM 2020." The event initiated a phase of planning that will culminate in a major grant proposal to the Lewis Foundation, aimed at making UVM a global leader in sustainable design and integrated, environmental problem solving. The planning grant proposal was written by Dean Don DeHayes and Robert Costanza, director of the Gund Institute.
“New England’s alpine ecosystems are extremely rugged and extremely fragile,” says Rick Paradis, the students’ instructor in Comparative Mountain Systems Natural History and Conservation. Paradis, a faculty member in the Environmental Program and director of UVM’s Natural Areas Center, brought the students here for one of four field trips that form the heart of the course.
The work of John Todd, research professor in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, will be featured in Vermont Public Television’s new show, “ReGeneration,” Wednesday, April 18, at 7:30 p.m.
Kesha Ram, an Honors College junior from California, was named a Truman Scholar for the coming year. She is the first Truman winner at UVM since 1995, according to Abu Rizvi.
River deltas disappearing in India, polar bears drowning, Vermont’s maple sugar season evaporating, Greenland’s glaciers sloughing off into the sea — the headlines are full of news not about the theory of global warming, but about its real effects. For EarthWeek, faculty, staff and students are planning a climate change teach-in (see Climate Change38 for a complete schedule) — to have their own real effects on reducing the problems and causes of climate change.
UVM’s EarthWeek events will include a benefit concert featuring Jazz Mandolin Project for the environmentally focused nonprofit Michelle’s Earth Foundation40 to commemorate the Earth and one of its own, Michelle Gardner-Quinn. The benefit concert, Earthfest: A Tribute to Michelle, will be held on Saturday, April 21, on Redstone Campus, beginning at 1 p.m. Donations and profits from food vendors and merchandise will go to the foundation.
A group of students in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources is holding a forum on “UVM and Climate Change: A Call to Action,” Wednesday, April 18, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Billings.
Everyone’s talking about Earth — its vulnerabilities, its victimization at the hands of its most dangerous species and its future. Some among the species have been caretaking and interpreting Earth for the rest of us for a long time. Many believe the time has come for all of us to listen and to act more personally. Cami Davis, lecturer in art, is among them.
Mary Watzin, professor in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources and director of the Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory, was named the 2007 Vermont Campus Compact Campus Engaged Scholar Award. The award honors one faculty member in Vermont for making community engagement an integral part of their teaching and research and recognizes the innovative or important use of knowledge for the public good.
Jerome Ringo has made a habit of leading African-Americans into new realms. He was the first African-American ranger at the world’s largest Boy Scout camp, the only African-American delegate to the Kyoto global warming treaty negotiations, and, in 2005, he was selected as chairman of the National Wildlife Federation, the first African-American in US history to lead a major conservation organization. Now he’s working on bringing more people of color—“ and just more people, period” he said—into the battle against climate change.
An interview with the key note speaker for the Aiken Lecture Series on April 5, 2007.
The Office of Community-University Partnerships and Service-Learning (CUPS), in collaboration with the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, and the Master of Public Administration program, has been awarded a Learn & Serve America innovation grant to pursue community-based research in collaboration with three community partners.
(From the USDA CSREES Winter 2007 Multicultural Scholars Program Newsletter) The Rubenstein School is a model for diversity initiatives in training within the natural resources and the environment domain. The framework that The Rubenstein School uses in developing their diversity initiatives to train students, from traditionally underrepresented groups, at the postsecondary levels is one that can be replicated across the country.
John Todd, biological explorer and ecological designer, believes that the future of the human race lies in harnessing the powers and processes of nature. Todd is the inventor of Eco Machines -- miniature ecosystems that use the natural abilities of bacteria, plants and animals to turn toxic sewage and industrial waste into food, fuel, clean water and commercial crops. Todd says, "We substitute nature's wisdom for heavy duty engineering, chemicals and massive amounts of energy."
A sleek new bus eases around the snowbank and into its stop at the University of Vermont's Royall Tyler Theater. Every 21 minutes, this Redstone Route shuttle stops here to pick up students on its loop around campus. But unlike buses in most cities around the world, this is not a noisy vehicle spewing a black cloud of diesel smoke. It sounds quiet and there is no smell from the tailpipe. Its secret? The bus runs on compressed natural gas, one of two CNG vehicles purchased by the university for its Campus Area Transportation System and put into regular service, Tuesday, Feb. 20.
Jerry Franklin, a world-leading expert on old-growth forests and sustainable forestry, will speak at the University of Vermont's Ira Allen Chapel on Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 12:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Franklin's mission is clear: to "cut the best deal I can for forests and trees in a world that’s dominated by humans."
When Catherine Donnelly, professor of nutrition and food sciences was seeking a coach for her daughter Lauren, a nationally ranked ice dancer, she wanted an educator who inspired students to love the sport and reach its upper levels. In some cases, parents move across the country to find such an instructor. Fortunately for Donnelly, Patricia Stokowski, associate professor in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, was just one building away in the Aiken Center.
Abigail Kimbell, a 1974 graduate from the University of Vermont and former St. Albans resident, will become the first woman to head the U.S. Forest Service. She will oversee 191 million acres of national forests with a staff of 30,000 employees and a nearly $5 billion budget. Kimbell holds a degree in forest management from the School of Natural Resources (now the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources).
An anonymous donor has established an endowed scholarship in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont and named it in honor of the school's dean, Donald H. DeHayes.
The environmental and natural resources workforce in the United States, and the programs that train them, are notoriously homogeneous, leaving large segments of the nation's population underrepresented and potentially marginalized on environmental matters. Thanks to years of diversity-targeted fund raising and outreach, the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources has become a leader in addressing this societal issue. Two recent federal grants and a private gift have put the Rubenstein School over the $1 million mark in funding designed to promote multicultural diversity in the undergraduate and graduate student body at the school.
From inside Burlington’s water treatment plant, Chinese scientist Yang Bin looks out across Lake Champlain. Behind him, in holding tanks, quiet pools catch the mid-morning sun. Where the rays go down, the water is so clear that the bottom looks magnified and strangely gilded. In front of him, the lake chop is up and bits of glinting snow rush past. He is surrounded by water.
It’s hard to imagine a more receptive audience for global warming activist Laurie David than the one gathered in UVM’s packed Ira Allen Chapel on the unseasonably warm evening of Nov. 29. David, perhaps best known as the producer of the film An Inconvenient Truth, addressed a capacity crowd of more than 1,500 (even the overflow location CC Theater was standing-room only) with her talk “Stop Global Warming.”
“What’s going to have the greatest benefit for a community in the long run, a wetland or a Walmart?” asks Robert Costanza, director of UVM’s Gund Institute for Ecological Economics, who organized the five-day meeting. It's the first major step in an $813,000 project titled “Dynamic Modeling of Ecosystem Services to Promote Conservation,” funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.
Mary Watzin didn’t grow up on Lake Champlain. “But I feel like it is my lake now,” she said, having spent the last 15 years studying its waters and ways, “and I want to do everything I can to protect it.” She seems to be succeeding. Watzin, professor in the Rubenstein School and director of the Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory, received the Teddy Roosevelt Award—given to “those who have dedicated themselves to preserving Lake Champlain as precious resource,” the award citation reads—from the Lake Champlain Islands Chamber of Commerce in Isle La Motte on September 16.
Jean-Michel Cousteau, ocean explorer, filmmaker, and environmental activist, will speak and present one of his new films at the University of Vermont, Thursday, October 5, 2006, in the Ira Allen Chapel, from 5:00-6:30pm. The event is free and open to the public.
Discussing enchantment, science, paganism, and place with a wide-ranging scholar of environment and culture
Winona LaDuke, former Green Party vice-presidential candidate and member of the Mississippi Band of Anishinaabeg, will speak on “Forests for the Seventh Generation” at the University of Vermont on Tuesday, September 26, to open the annual Aiken Lecture Series. “This year’s lectures are asking: how do we—practically—get beyond the hostility that so often rises when we have differences of opinion about conservation?” said Larry Forcier, UVM professor of forest ecology and an organizer of the event.
The president of Earth Inc. smiles at the assembled board of directors. After two weeks of hard work, the completed business plan, bylaws, and mission statement sit in a stack on the large table. “We have articles of incorporation,” he says. All the vice presidents clap. Is this the start-up of a new landscaping company? A scene from a dystopian novel about the takeover of the world by a mega-corporation? Neither. It’s a class. The president is Robert Costanza, the Gordon Gund Professor of Ecological Economics, the vice presidents and board members are students from UVM and the Vermont Law School, and the Earth is now a legally recognized corporation.
UVM offered a record number of service-learning courses this past summer in communities across the globe, continuing the rapid growth of community-based learning at the university. The 11 summer courses sent students to parts of Japan, Puerto Rico, Ethiopia and the United States. With 22 such courses offered this fall and 28 in the spring, an all-time high of 63 service-learning courses will be offered during the year, according to the Community-University Partnerships and Service-Learning office.
UVM was named one of 10 "Higher Education Sustainability Stars" in the June 2006 issue of University Business in an article that praised the selected institutions for "their efforts to respect the environment and the communities that surround them in economically feasible ways."
Breathe in. The air is free. But we’d all agree it’s not worthless. So, what’s the price tag on benefits provided by nature? In 1997, the University of Vermont’s Robert Costanza and his co-authors put the answer at $33 trillion in a now-famous paper in the journal Nature. In the decade following, the science of "ecosystem services" has bloomed.
Black-eyed Susan, silver maple, grey birch, Indian grass, speckled alder: these may not seem the typical tools of an engineer. But on an overcast Friday afternoon, Maeve McBride, a doctoral candidate in civil and environmental engineering, puts them to elegant use. “These plants don’t mind getting their feet wet; some of them are true wetland species,” McBride says, standing in an oval of raw soil about the size of a small swimming pool at the bottom of the Votey parking lot near Colchester Avenue. Above her, an acre of pavement starts to darken with drizzle. Soon, rainwater will start to run across the pavement toward the dirt patch. Behind her, 12 volunteers plant the saplings and flowers in an earthen berm that forms a small barrier along the edge of the avenue and access road.
Commentary in The Rutland Herald on Thursday, June 8, 2006 by Dean Don DeHayes
Hurricane Katrina was the largest natural disaster ever to strike the United States. The US government has pledged over $100 billion to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast after this predictable tragedy. The question is: how should it be rebuilt? In an editorial published electronically June 10, 2006 in the international journal Ecological Engineering, Robert Costanza, Director of the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont, and two co-authors point out seven rules that need to be followed to restore New Orleans.
Don DeHayes, dean of the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, turned to Tom Torti, secretary of Vermont's Agency of Natural Resources, and asked "what does a Rubenstein graduate need to know, be able to do, and stand for — to be competitive in our ever-changing field?" This is a question DeHayes has been asking his faculty recently as the school continues to grow, bucking a national trend of declining enrollments in natural resource programs. But his faculty is not the only group he wants to hear from. Which is why, on May 18, he invited leaders from Vermont's Agency of Natural Resources to lunch at the Aiken Center.
New jobs can be created by developing new technologies within Vermont, but this is most likely to succeed if these technologies are connected to existing businesses and economic strengths in the region. This is a key finding of an article published by University of Vermont professors Curtis Ventriss (political science and natural resources) and Michael Gurdon (business) in the April 2006 issue of the journal Comparative Technology Transfer and Society.
The 1970’s vision of the “paperless office” now seems as naive as the 1950’s dream of nuclear power “too cheap to meter.” Just check your recycling bin. The use of email has brought a 40 percent increase in the use of paper, one study shows. The average US office worker uses over 10,000 sheets of paper each year — and that number is growing. UVM used about 27 million sheets of copier paper in 2005, according to the company that provides the university’s photocopiers. Office paper seems here to stay.But what kind of paper? As of Earth Day, April 22, 2006, the answer across campus will be: 100 percent post-consumer recycled and chlorine-free.The new policy is a tale of student activism, not with spray-painted signs, but quiet interviews. As a service-learning project for the Environmental Council, Natalia Fajardo ’06 and Taylor Lalemand ’08 researched paper purchasing patterns of departments across the university.
Crossing back and forth on logs, about 25 eighth-graders from Edmunds Middle School bash their way up Englesby Brook. “I hope I don’t fall in,” one of them shouts and then prances across the three-foot-wide current on a rickety board. These students — under the guidance of UVM watershed specialist Jurij Homziak and science teacher Don Fox — are pioneers in the Urban Watershed Education Project. This effort, started in 2004 by UVM’s Watershed Alliance, aims to increase middle schoolers’ understanding of watershed science by developing lessons that teachers can apply to their own urban waterways; these students are getting to know Englesby Brook.
Natalia Fajardo, a senior in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, has been selected through a competitive process to present her research at a spring conference in New York City. The event will be held April 27-28 at the American Museum of Natural History.
Farmer’s markets, local currency and low-power radio stations will not save the world. But Bill McKibben, a writer and environmental scholar at Middlebury College, sees them as part of a patchwork of useful responses to the quickening pace of climate change and the increasing reach of giant corporations.
Two honors students majoring in environmental studies have been awarded $5,000 Morris K. Udall Undergraduate Scholarships, a prestigious undergraduate environmental scholarship. They are the first-ever winners from UVM. Honors College junior Kesha Ram and sophomore Zachary Ewell were among 80 students from 59 colleges and universities selected by a 12-member independent review committee from an initial pool of 445 candidates.
Walter Poleman, faculty director of the new GreenHouse, has worked closely this semester with the class, NR 185 “Designing the Environmental Learning Center,” and its teacher, Steve Libby, lecturer in the Rubenstein School. Their semester-long assignment is a practical one — help develop the programming that will create a meaningful academic/residential experience and knit together the community of students who will call GreenHouse home in 2006-07.
The Vermont Green Job and Internship Fair will take place at Billings Student Center on March 15 from noon to 4:30 p.m.
The GREEN FORESTRY Education Initiative of the Rubenstein School of Environment & Natural Resources is hosting, “Identifying, Aging, Trailing, and Understanding Animal Tracks,” on February 4 from 1-4 p.m. at UVM’s Jericho Forest. The event, the first in the Rubenstein School’s “Saturday Forest Walk & Fire Series,” will be led by Matt Kolan, field naturalist and conservationist, skilled tracker and teacher. “Walking the landscape without knowing how to track is like walking through a library without knowing how to read,” said Kolan.
The Rubenstein School for Environment and Natural Resources, in conjunction with the Gund Institute of Ecological Economics, is sponsoring a seminar series titled “Beyond Environmentalism: Envisioning a Sustainable and Desirable Future.”
The University of Vermont's Eco-Reps Program has been honored with a Vermont Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence & Pollution Prevention. The award recognizes Vermonters' contributions to protecting the environment, safety and health. The Eco-Reps Program, initiated and supervised by Erica Spiegel, UVM Recycling/Solid Waste Manager, promotes environmentally responsible behavior in the residence halls, which house about 3,800 undergraduate students. For the past two years the program has been coordinated by Deb Perry, a graduate student in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources.
Three scholars have been appointed James Marsh Professors-at-Large, a new program at UVM that will bring outstanding individuals of international distinction in the arts and humanities, sciences, social sciences and applied fields to campus to invigorate the intellectual and cultural life of the university.
While the Bush Administration rejected United States participation in the Kyoto Protocol for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, a substantial number of states and localities have already adopted or are pursuing similar escalating reduction targets, according to a brief communication published in the Nov. 17 issue of the journal Nature by Brendan Fisher, a doctoral student in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, and Robert Costanza, director of the Gund Institute of Ecological Economics.
There’s a strange patch of forest outside the village of Bristol. Just east of Route 116, at the base of the Bristol Cliffs, you can suddenly leave the sea of rich hardwoods that cover most of the state — sugar maple, beech and birch — and step into vegetation found near the top of Camels Hump or far to the north in Canada. Here, a spongy half-acre of sphagnum moss grows with blueberries and Labrador tea, shaded by cold-loving black spruce trees.What is the boggy place and why is it here? Write “cold-air talus woodland” and you’ve got the answer. But, like any cheater on a test finds out, getting the answer is nothing like finding it. That’s why the eight graduate students on the Field Naturalist and Ecological Planning Program’s Oct. 28 field trip are spending the entire day trying to figure out what caused this odd bit of boreal habitat to grow on a low-elevation site in the Champlain Valley.
With most of the major events of the second day of the joint Sino-USA symposium on Ecological Complexity and Ecosystem Services at UVM out of the way, it was time for a less formal brainstorming session for the dozen or so scientists from China and their American peers. The informal dialogue at Billings, which continued over dinner at A Single Pebble, was exactly the kind of conversation university organizers of the Oct. 21-22 event, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the Chinese Academy of Science in partnership with the university, were hoping would occur. American scientists and members of the Chinese delegation, they hoped, would forge long-term collaborations and exchange innovative ideas pertaining to ecological complexity and ecosystem services that would lead to concrete initiatives from which both countries would benefit.
Michel Masozera has temporarily traded the lush slopes of his native Rwanda for the Green Mountains. Masozera, who began pursuing his Ph.D. in natural resources in August, is one of many students and faculty who have traveled long distances to study or teach at the UVM Gund Institute for Ecological Economics. Two post-doctoral students from Mexico are already working at the institute, and six more graduate students will join them in the spring when a USAID project starts. In fact, roughly half of the Gund’s 38 affiliates were born in other countries, an unusually high ratio for almost any university program, and an almost unprecedented level for Vermont.
The University of Vermont has installed a small-scale, 10 kilowatt wind turbine on its campus near the corner of Main Street and East Avenue to serve a variety of educational purposes both on and off campus. The turbine is expected to generate 3,000-5,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year, enough to power an energy-efficient home for 12 months. The project is part of the Vermont Department of Public Service (DPS) Wind Development Program, which supports the installation of small-scale turbines to demonstrate the benefits of wind energy.
Whether in Pakistan, the United States, or via international media like the British Broadcasting Company and Voice of America, Saleem Ali, assistant professor of environmental studies, energetically advocates for empirically informed, multi-factor analysis of phenomena that often inspire more rhetoric than understanding.
UVM is among the nation’s top five institutions in terms of leadership in the field of environmental sustainability because of its effective campus sustainability programs, a Cornell University survey of 28 leading institutions, including all Ivy League schools, Stanford and Duke, reported this summer.
The University of Vermont’s status as a major environmental university took another step forward today after a signing ceremony at Ira Allen Chapel gave the official imprimatur to the institution’s new green building policy, which went into effect this summer. UVM president Daniel Mark Fogel signed the two-page document during convocation ceremonies.
Twenty-three University of Vermont professors, researchers and students from across a wide range of academic disciplines will present papers at the 90th annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America (ESA) to be held jointly with the International Congress of Ecology in Montreal Aug. 7-12.
Intending to lead forestry in a revolutionary new direction, both in Vermont and nationally, the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources has been making some quiet, but bold, moves. But with the recent hiring of David Brynn, who was Addison County’s forester for 28 years, to lead a newly launched forestry education program, those moves are less quiet
The co-directors of the new Summer Integrated Media Studies Institute have a definitive answer for those wondering how the university’s fledgling program can carve out a niche among the more than 600 film and media-related courses currently offered at colleges and universities across the country.
Burlington Bay, Lake Champlain’s most urban harbor, meets water-quality standards and boasts a diverse mix of fish and aquatic life. However, stormwater pollutants make the water unsafe for recreation in some shoreline areas, and the presence of other pollutants and invasives pose challenges for the bay’s future, unless action is taken. These and other results of a five-year, University of Vermont study of the bay’s condition were released Wednesday, May 11 at press conference at the Burlington Community Boathouse. The $1 million project, led by Mary Watzin, director of UVM’s Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory and a natural resources professor at the university, was funded by Green Mountain Power Corporation and other companies and individuals as part of an agreement with the Lake Champlain Committee and local citizen representatives related to the remediation of the Pine Street Barge Canal Superfund site.
In anticipation of late spring and summer outings, however soggy the recent weather, the view spoke with Rick Paradis, a lecturer in the Environmental Program and manager of UVM’s natural areas, about the diversity and delights of the university’s lands.From bogs to wild forests to urban parks, from Shelburne’s impressive pond to Mt. Mansfield’s summit, university-owned natural areas run the gamut. Paradis says of the collection, “If I had to hand pick sites to represent the full diversity of landscapes of habitats in Vermont, I’d come up with a list very much like our nine natural areas. But our system was not so much by design, most of these areas came to us by accident at various points.”
The messy job of sifting through dormitory trash reveals much about the habits of students. Although some of these revelations are best left unspoken, a March 7 “trash sort” by the Office of Recycling and Solid Waste revealed that many students aren’t getting the message that recycling is good for the environment, can save the university and potentially their parents some money and will bolster UVM’s reputation as the environmental university.
The University of Vermont is one of the nation's best colleges at fostering social responsibility and public service, according to The Princeton Review and Campus Compact, which joined forces to create a list of institutions featured in The Princeton Reviews forthcoming book, Colleges with a Conscience: 81 Great Schools with Outstanding Community Involvement. Also in this article: The Vermont chapter of Campus Compact, a national coalition of more than 950 colleges and university presidents committed to supporting the public purposes of higher education, held its annual gala celebrating service, service-learning and civic engagement across the state on April 5 at the Capitol Plaza in Montpelier. Gov. Jim Douglas and former Gov. Madeleine Kunin attended. At the gala, Thomas Hudspeth, professor of environmental studies, was presented with an excellence in teaching award, and the UVM-based Vermont Food, Farms, and Schools Service-learning Project was one of three recipients for a campus-community partnership award.
The large horizontal poster is push-pinned unceremoniously to a wall in Delehanty Hall, frameless, slightly off-kilter, a ripple bisecting its four color panels.It’s a matter-of-fact presentation of a decidedly un-matter-of-fact piece of student work. Created by seniors Jehanna Howe (Rubentsein School student), Elizabeth Stanley-Mann and Michala Peabody, the poster — which uses a series of historic and contemporary photos to trace the effect of human actions on Vermont’s “surficial” geology — was exhibited at the Geological Society of America annual meeting last November in Denver, where it prompted such buzz among professional geologists that geology Professor Paul Bierman (with a secondary appointment in Natural Resources), the students’ advisor, decided to help prepare the poster’s contents for submission to the society’s professional journal, GSA Today. A paper bearing the students’ names, along with Bierman’s, will appear as the cover article in the April/May issue of the prestigious journal.
America’s residential areas are expanding fast. But, despite this, scientists know little about how well fixtures of American residential life, things like standard-issue turf lawns, shade trees, marigold gardens and the inevitable evergreen “foundation plantings,” draw climate-changing carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere — a possibly significant oversight in national-scale estimates of carbon sequestration. A new $660,000, three-year National Science Foundation project led by Jennifer Jenkins, a research assistant professor at the Gund Institute of Ecological Economics, seeks to change that by quantifying carbon cycles in three Baltimore-area neighborhoods, and determining how different factors influence them.
Waking up in the middle of the night with escaped beetles crawling all over wasn’t part of the project proposal. Neither was nearly getting arrested by campus police for taking some sand, or the violent death of a lizard at the toes of a pet store frog gone wild after being re-introduced to wilderness — as wild as a college dorm with a pond, rubber plants, orchids and baby palm trees can get, anyway.Such is life in the experimental jungle of Living/Learning, where junior Gautam Muralidharan and his suitemates have built a miniature indoor ecosystem in the common area of their rooms.
Though prepared to experience anti-American sentiment during their trip to the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil in January of 2005, first-year students Kesha Ram (a Rubenstein School student), Devin Klein and Lindsey Bryan were nonetheless surprised at the disdain their international counterparts expressed for the United States. The three UVM Honors College students spent most of their time at the forum participating in the Intercontinental Youth Camp, an outdoor area where 35,000 young people from around the globe discussed social, environmental, political and economic issues. The forum, which drew more than 200,000 people including UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, was created to counter the World Economic Forum by pushing an agenda that puts social issues and environmental protection over economic interests.
The trip wasn’t going as smoothly as Zach Carson (a Rubenstein School student) had planned. It was getting dark and the senior environmental studies major was about to bed down in the back of a broken down 1997 shuttle bus in the parking lot of a K-Mart on the Pennsylvania-Ohio border. Carson had picked up the 24-foot, 17-passenger shuttle bus the day before in Detroit at the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation, which, along with the Community Transportation Association of America, agreed to sell it to him for $1 with the understanding that he’d convert it to run on biodiesel — an increasingly popular alternative fuel that combines used vegetable oil with methanol — as part of his senior project.
“Ski Area Management” has been a popular and successful course in The Rubenstein School’s recreation management concentration since the class was introduced in the 1970s, boasting such highly respected alums as Molly Mahar, marketing director at Sugarbush. But for a university located in the heart of ski country proud of its hands-on learning philosophy, there was always a certain something missing from the experience the course offered students: a ski area.
In Vermont, rural streams and rivers have lots of friends. There are the Friends of the Mad River, Friends of the Winooski River, Friends of the Ompompanoosuc River and many, many more. But what about the polluted urban waters of Chittenden County? Don’t they need boosters? Jurij Homziak, Extension assistant professor, and his colleagues are hoping to change the lonely plight of these damaged watersheds by spearheading a number of low-cost, community-based efforts to promote a sense of responsibility among community members to protect water quality.
David Anderson, professor emeritus of fishery and wildlife biology at Colorado State University, will discuss methods, models and hypotheses in empirical science in a President’s Distinguished Lecture on Nov. 19 at 3 p.m. in Carpenter Auditorium, Given Medical Building. Anderson is the 2004 recipient of The Wildlife Society’s Aldo Leopold Memorial Award and Medal in recognition of his distinguished service to wildlife conservation and his achievements in estimating wildlife population abundance. The award is the highest honor bestowed by The Wildlife Society.
William “Breck” Bowden, who has been studying Alaskan streams and their relation to the landscape since 1987, contributed to the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment released this week. The landmark four-year report from 300 scientists concludes that Arctic temperatures are rising twice as fast as the rest of the Earth, and within a century 50-60 percent of the ice will become water.
When Rebecca Witinok-Huber, a UVM wildlife biology junior and member of the swim team, is in the midst of one of the many long runs she logs in preparation for an upcoming triathlon her thoughts often drift to the children she taught in Malawi, Africa during a five-week trip there last summer. In many ways, her experience teaching children about the environment and HIV/AIDS prevention in one of the world’s poorest countries, while at the same time training for her first Ironman triathlon, typifies the way Witinok-Huber has lived her life since coming to UVM from Iowa City.
Islamic religious schools are more complex and diverse than usually reported, says the UVM professor who has conducted the first wide-ranging study of Pakistani madrassahs.
In the lobby of New York City’s High School for Environmental Studies, which is housed in a turn-of-the-century art deco structure that once belonged to Fox Film Studios, remnants of an elegant past are etched into the ornate ceilings and elaborate walls. The entranceway leads to stairs and an elevator where the décor changes to that of an urban public school. On one of the walls is a display telling students about the University of Vermont. They pass it on their way up to the rooftop where trees, plants, a greenhouse and other environmental projects create an oasis above the concrete streets below.
It may be the reds, golds and yellows of maple, ash and birch that visitors to the Northern Forest “ooh and ahh” over, but it’s the backdrop of spruce spires that form the contrast in much of the woodlands that stretch from eastern Maine through New Hampshire, Vermont and northern New York. So the research community was alarmed when University of Vermont scientists documented that winter injury to red spruce (needle death from freezing) was severe in 2003 – twice as high as the highest previously measured year, 1989 – so alarmed that the Canadian Journal of Forest Research published the research in its September issue, just four months after it was submitted.
As autumn spreads its warm colors across the Northern Forest, nearly all eyes gaze upward. But scientists studying how to improve the health of the forest focus in the opposite direction, suspecting that soil calcium deficiencies are at the root of widespread problems caused by acid rain.
According to a new analysis, Robert Costanza, director of UVM’s Gund Institute for Ecological Economics, is one of the world’s top scholars, based on the number of times his published work has been referenced by other scientists in their published works.
William Maclay Architects and Planners of Waitsfield was chosen to redesign and expand the George D. Aiken Center, home to the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources. Donald DeHayes, dean of the school, announced the results of the design competition this week.
Tom Hudspeth, professor in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, was incorporating elements of service-learning into his courses long before the recent rush by universities to make the concept a key component of academic programs.
The Northeastern States Research Cooperative (NSRC), a program jointly directed by the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont and the Hubbard Brook Project of the USDA Forest Service Northeastern Research Station, today announced over $1.6 million in research grants for studies of the Northern Forest and its communities.
By boat and satellite, scientists at the Rubenstein school are seeking better and faster ways to detect and map flowerings of dangerous blue-green algae on Vermont waterways
Study into managing troublesome birds takes a turn when the shooting begins 118 Ongoing research took an unexpected turn on June 18, when Vermont Fish and Wildlife workers began shooting and trapping double-crested cormorants nesting on Lake Champlain’s state-owned Young Island, saying that other efforts have not controlled the burgeoning bird population as biologists had hoped. With federal permission, the state workers are allowed to take up to 10 percent of the troublesome colony — about 300 birds. David Capen, a research professor, lives within view of the island and studies cormorants, but was surprised by the development.
A forester's disenchantment with his discipline sparks an award winning (but controversial) book119 Thom McEvoy had reached a point in his career where he felt the need to reflect on what he’d accomplished during his more than two decades as an associate professor and extension forester in The Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources.
The University of Vermont and Vermont Law School will host some of the nation's leading environmental journalists October 25-29, 2006, when the annual Society of Environmental Journalists conference comes to Burlington, Vt. The conference is expected to draw more than 600 participants, including editors and reporters from top newspapers, radio, and television. A public program featuring national journalists and Vermont environmental experts will be held Friday, July 23, at 3:30 P.M., to mark Vermont's conference award. The public is invited to "Big Picture, Small Frame: Challenges in Environmental Journalism" at the Manor on the fifth floor of the Waterman Building (corner of South Prospect and College Streets) on the UVM green.
The Class of 2004 - the first whose diplomas read "The Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources" - heard one of their alumni tell them, "you are the next generation of 'intelligent warriors' on the environment. Each of you must contribute individually to better decisions, so that the sum of your actions begins to matter." Ann Pesiri Swanson, '79, spoke to nearly 900 graduates, family and friends at the University of Vermont Patrick Gymnasium gymnastics facility Sunday afternoon on May 23, 2004.
Imagine a greener Aiken. Innovative ideas are being investigated by faculty, staff, and students in order to create livable conditions within the George D. Aiken Center while maintaining an environmentally friendly footprint. Some of these ideas were presented by four nationally renowned architectural firms during the May 3 and 5 design competition.
U.S. Senator James M. Jeffords has secured fiscal year 2004 federal appropriations totaling $1.6 million in support of six diverse environmental and agricultural research initiatives at the University of Vermont.
Environmentally-minded University of Vermont students organized seven days of events to mark the 34th anniversary of Earth Day, the global celebration of the environmental movement that began in 1970 with a grassroots initiative organized by former Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson.
World-renowned epidemiologist and environmental author Devra Davis has long documented that daily exposure to low levels of pollution contributes to a broad spectrum of diseases and reported how industry and government have hidden information from the public. At the University of Vermont’s Carpenter Auditorium in the Given Building on Thursday, March 25 at 12:30 p.m., Davis will make a compelling case for changing public health policies.
Students in Walter Poleman’s Landscape Natural History course gather on the shore of Lake Champlain while looking for colors, shapes and disruption in the land. Poleman, 2003 Kroepsch-Maurice Excellence in Teaching Award winner believes that providing a stimulating environment is key to learning.
Picture homo economicus, that most rational of utility maximizers, strutting off to purchase a larger-screen television to replace his large-screen model. Is this — the perpetual consumption of ever-increasing amounts of market goods — the whole story? Or can economics tell us more about the world?
The University of Vermont’s Rubenstein School for Environment and Natural Resources and Vermont Law School have announced that they will offer a dual master’s degree program beginning in the fall of 2004 that combines the study of environmental science and environmental law.
Lola Aiken joins the Lola Aiken Scholars class for luncheon at The Rubenstein School of the Environment and Natural Resources on December 11, 2003.
Ralph Nader has not mellowed. And after finishing an impassioned 70-minute broadside arguing for civic education and action to counter the creeping influence of corporate power, he told a questioner at his Dec. 9 campus appearance that he has not given up the idea of running for President, either.
Behind all the new ideas planned for the university — a student center, the 800-bed University Heights dormitories, a 300,000-square-foot life sciences building, renovation of the George D. Aiken Center for Natural Resources, and more — is a five-letter word: power.
Bowden and colleagues hope 'redesigning American neighborhoods' offer economical and socially beneficial answers to the complex nationwide problem of stormwater pollution
In one form or another, conflict resolution seeps into all of Saleem Ali's work, and his first book, whichf ocuses on why indigenous communities support environmental causes in some cases of mining development but not others, is no exception.
Partnerships for the Northern Forest,” Nov. 13-14 at the Radisson Hotel in Burlington, Vermont. A combination of Northeastern States Research Cooperative (NSRC), a science-based research program, with the Northern Forest Center’s second annual Northern Forest Community Leadership Exchange, regional networking and policy development. Research presentations and sessions covering forest products, conservation, community planning and funding strategies will occur throughout the two-day event.
The first Vermont Campus Greening Conference that consisted of forums, lectures and networking was held October 23-24, 2003.
The Vermont Water Resources and Lake Studies Center and The Lake Champlain Committee hosted a workshop concerning storm water issues.
The University of Vermont launched the public phase of its $250 million comprehensive campaign over the weekend with the announcement of the largest gift in its history, a $15 million commitment from Steve (UVM, 1961) and Beverly Rubenstein of New Vernon, N.J. and their family.
After a long period of scrutiny through deconstruction — the relentless questioning of assumptions, values, language, discourses and power — Bob Manning, professor of natural resources, thought the conservation movement was in need of some reconstruction as a new century began.
Fresh from college and summers working on boats in Maine’s Casco Bay, Dick Furbush was nervous about an interview he’d lined up for a captain’s position on a UVM research vessel known as Melosira.Furbush had moved to Burlington a few months earlier in the summer of 1965 to work as a quartermaster on a ferry for the Lake Champlain Transportation Co., but had his eye on the captain’s job offered by UVM, which had just purchased the Melosira with the intention of going into the aquatic research business.
Burlington’s much talked about quality of life seems to place it on a new “top ten” list every week. Now there’s quantitative data to support the idea that life is better in Vermont’s largest city — as well as in the Green Mountain State itself.
A male black bear saunters down out of the woods and dumps over a bird feeder and starts eating the split feed. After a few weeks of this, the bear is declared a nuisance and is shot by a reluctant game warden. It's stories like these that drive the research of Associate Professor David Hirth.
The Northeastern States Research Cooperative (NSRC), jointly directed by the University of Vermont's School of Natural Resources and the Hubbard Brook Project of the USDA Forest Service Northeastern Research Station, today announced almost $1.8 million in research grants to study the Northern Forest and its communities.
Eyesore or asset? Under the direction of Professor John Todd, UVM students have created a comprehensive vision of the abandoned waterfront power station as ecological showpiece.
Environmental Program celebrates 30 years!
UVM Forestry Program spurns accreditation, fueling a national debate about the field's future.
Professor Saleem Ali's students learn how to solve environmental conflicts through Web dialogue with their counterparts at Peking University.
Matt Wilson, a faculty member whose expertise encompasses the economic and the ecological, is part of UVM's drive to create a series of courses that combines business and environmental concerns.
The University of Vermont and the Vermont Forum on Sprawl will co-host an exciting panel discussion including a screening of the “Livable Landscapes: By Chance or By Choice?" program recently aired on Vermont Public Television.
A small group of scientists will develop working models to balance the wishes of foresters and recreation enthusiasts with the need to maintain the biodiversity of ecological reserves in the vast, wild Northern Forest that stretches from Maine through Vermont and New Hampshire to New York's Adirondacks. Another cluster of university researchers will use GIS and satellite mapping to measure and predict the movement of invasive species through the forest's ecosystem. And a third team will track the changes land use has on land-forms and water quality in the streams that flow through the Northern Forest. These are just three of 18 projects totaling nearly $1.8 million in research grants for studies of the Northern Forest and its communities, the Northeastern State Research Cooperative (NSRC).
The National Wildlife Federation's Campus Ecology Project, launched a decade ago, has attracted about 100 new members a year for the past few years. In a survey of 819 colleges and universities NWF conducted in 2001, 80 percent indicated that they have some greening initiatives underway, with half the projects having started in the last five years. Two new projects solidify the university's position at the forefront of the campus green-up trend - a just completed inventory of UVM's greenhouse gas emissions comparing emissions in 1990 and 2000 and a wide-ranging assessment, called "Tracking UVM," of the university's environmental impact across a spectrum of categories.
The construction going on around the Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory at the base of College Street is a metaphor for what will be going on inside in years to come. The Rubenstein is being surrounded. Surrounded by a world-class, $14.5 million science museum unlike anything in the United States.The new ECHO at the Leahy Center For Lake Champlain museum will literally and figuratively have science at its core. For the first time, an active scientific research team will be part of and contributing to the museum's exhibits.
Is New England headed for troubled waters? Significant storms and floods may be ready to wreak havoc, according to geologists at the University of Vermont. Their study of storm and flood patterns in the Northeast over the past 13,000 years will appear in the Oct. 24 issue of the journal Nature, the world's premier information resource for biological and physical sciences. Funded by a National Science Foundation Career grant, Paul Bierman, professor of geology and natural resources, led a team of colleagues and students in a four-year project to collect and study core samples from 21 lakes in Vermont and the Adirondacks.
In most college courses, students are expected to answer questions, solve problems, come to conclusions, master the facts. Quite the opposite is true in Stephanie Kaza’s Environmental Studies courses, where students learn to ask questions, articulate complex, multi-faceted problems and suspend judgment.
Twenty first-year students were admitted to the Lola Aiken Scholars program during the 1999-2000 academic year. Three years later, 29 first-year students are eligible from this year's class. But even more impressive, "one of the things we're most pleased with is that the Lola Aiken Scholar Program has doubled the yield of strong students entering UVM's School of Natural Resources and the retention rates of these students is high," says Hirth, who teaches the Lola Aiken Honors Seminar one-credit course NR99.
When eight scientists planned their move from the University of Maryland to the University of Vermont this fall to set up the The Gund Institute for Ecological Economics, they realized that they could communicate the essence of a complicated concept such as “ecological economics” with simple everyday objects--their office furniture.
Amid the recent hoopla over the EPA's and Bush administration's plans to make it easier for power plants, oil refineries and chemical factories (major sources of acid rain nationwide) to expand without installing new pollution controls and the U.S. Senate's passing the Clean Power Act, there's an important new wrinkle to the story. A new study by researchers at the University of Vermont finds that acid rain's damage to America's forests may be much more widespread than previously believed. It may actually create conditions in trees similar to compromised immune systems in humans, setting the scenario for grave potential implications.
Shell shocked investors bouncing between stocks, bonds, and real estate are putting their money in all the wrong places, according to a paper published in Science magazine the week of August 5, co-authored by Robert Costanza, director of UVM's Gund Institute for Ecological Economics.
The University of Vermont's School of Natural Resources has received a $1 million appropriation to spur research aimed at forest management and land stewardship in the 26-million acre Northern Forest, home to one million residents, which stretches from eastern Maine through New Hampshire and Vermont to northern New York.
The University of Vermont today named Dr. William "Breck" Bowden the Robert and Genevieve Patrick Chair in Watershed Science and Planning in the university's School of Natural Resources (SNR). The endowed professorship, made possible by a $1.5 million gift from the estate of Genevieve Patrick, will provide a holistic watershed approach to study of ecosystem health that includes elements of water quality, hydrology, and land use planning.
University of Vermont students will have expanded learning, research and outreach opportunities in sustainable forestry thanks to a $230,000 donation from the Westford Forestry Foundation. The gift establishes an endowment fund in the School of Natural Resources, named for Marthe Kruse of Westford, Vermont, and her late husband, Henrik.
A $7.5 million gift from the Gund Family was given to the University of Vermont to relocate the Institute for Ecological Economics from its decade-long home at the University of Maryland. The IEE was founded to fill the growing need to integrate the study of management of "Nature's household" (ecology) and "humankind's household" (economics). At the heart of the institute is interdisciplinary study and research focused on integrating the ecological and human dimensions of the environment.
John Todd, a visionary in the field of ecological design, has been selected as one of the most important and inspiring inventors of the 20th century in a new book developed by theLemelson-MIT Program for Invention and Innovation.