University of Vermont


May 2011 Newsletter


Earth Week 2011 

Monday, April 18th kicked off a week of events, speakers, movies, art installations, and live music to celebrate Earth Week 2011. Among the main events were sunbox installations, the Farmers Market, and an Earth Week discussion with Senator Bernie Sanders. 

Sunbox installations by Craig Colorusso were displayed outside of the Davis Center from April 20th-22nd and were a favorite among students and families attended the Admitted Students Day. Each box is comprised of a different guitar sample powered by solar panels.The boxes play independently of each other creating a unique musical experience. 

(Students enjoy the music from the sunboxes outside of the Davis Center. Photo: Katherine Devine)

Despite the move inside the Davis Center due to weather on April 20th, the Farmers Market was also a great event with a series of local vendors selling samosa, baked goods and smoothies with live music pumped through solar powered amps. UVM student run clubs Feel Good and Common Ground were among the vendors as well as local Burlington vendors such as The Bakers Corner. Among the main speakers of the week, Senator Bernie Sanders spoke of Global Warming being the issue of our generation and spoke highly in support of education for the environment and research like that is being done here at UVM. Sanders spoke of growing up in rural Vermont and how nature inspires him in his daily and political life in Washington and influences his support of renewable energy, alternative transportation and local foods in Vermont. The talk was put on by the Congress to Campus Program.

Bike Users Group Rolls On 

(The Bike Users Group outside of the Bailey Howe Library helping students doctor their bikes. Photo: Katherine Devine)

The Bike Users Group (BUG) introduced the first stage of the Bike Sharing Program this semester and is scheduled to continue the program into the summer and fall after a successful start. In it's first two weeks the program saw about 100 bike trips from 17 bikes parked in three hubs at McAuley Hall, the Davis Center and Simpson.

Now that the program is up and running, with support from a variety of departments and faculty on campus, the group is working to increase its presence on campus with events such as the Doctor Your Bike Day (featured above).

The group is hoping to raise its inventory to 30 bikes by the fall and add two more hubs at Waterman and the Patrick Gym in the coming semesters. For the summer, all bikes will be parked at the Davis Center and available 24 hours at a time.

To join the Bike Sharing Program, simply log on to the Bike Users Groups lynx page with your UVM ID and password and fill out the BUG Waiver provided on the bottom left of the page under Forms.

For any questions, comments or ideas please contact Jesse Simmons.

Call for Clean Energy Fund Committee Members 

The Clean Energy Fund Committee is looking for two undergraduate and two graduate students to be part of the 2011-2012 committee beginning this September. 

The mission of the Clean Energy Fund (CEF) is to finance new clean energy projects on the UVM campus and beyond. The source of the fund is a student fee dedicated to clean energy projects; this dedicated fee ($10 per student per semester) is part of a comprehensive fee that UVM collects each semester from full-time undergraduate and graduate students.

To apply as a 2011-2012 student committee member:

  1. Please download and fill out the CEF Committee membership application, which can be found at:
  2. Completed applications should be SAVED AS a new PDF with a filename as follows: "YOUR_NAME-CEFC.pdf" (or John_Smith-CEFC.pdf). 
  3. Email application along with your academic schedule to


Office of Sustainability Internship Opportunities  

The Office of Sustainability is seeking four undergraduate interns for the 2011-2012 academic year, starting this fall. 

Office of Sustainability Communications Intern (8-10 hours per week)

This job includes contributing to the Office of Sustainability newsletter by writing articles and taking digital photographs, and assisting the Office of Sustainability staff in research and outreach tasks.  Candidates should be comfortable working independently, with strong writing and communication skills.   

Office of Sustainability Media Intern (8-10 hours per week)

This job includes editing and posting website content, digital photographs, and videos of campus sustainability related events. In addition, the intern will assist the Office of Sustainability staff in research and developing multimedia presentations such as an interactive campus sustainability map. Candidates should be comfortable working independently, with strong writing and communications skills. Must be familiar with Adobe Creative Suite programs, video editing, and other related media software. 

Office of Sustainability Student Liaison Intern (4-6 hours per week)

The Student Liaison intern is responsible for helping connect students to resources and information available through the Office of Sustainability.  The intern will help facilitate communications between the Office of Sustainability staff and student organizations.  This position requires attendance and active engagement with the student government association (SGA), and the Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Environmental Ethics (CODEEE).  The intern will also assist Office of Sustainability staff on various projects that correspond to undergraduate sustainability concerns.  

Vermont Campus Sustainability Network Communications Intern (5 hours per week)

This job includes contributing to the Vermont Campus Sustainability Network newsletter by writing articles and taking digital photographs, as well as maintaining the Vermont Campus Sustainability Network website, and assisting Office of Sustainability staff in related organizational and outreach tasks.  Candidates should be comfortable with simple web design, comfortable working independently, with strong writing and communication skills.

How to apply:

  1. Download the Office of Sustainability Internship Application, found here as a Word .docx
  2. Fill out the application and save the filename as follows: "YOUR_NAME-Intern App.pdf"
  3. Email your application to

Applications are rolling and internships are open until filled. 

Environmental Forum: Sustainability Classes and Student Research 

The last environmental forum of the year was held on April 20th, in the Davis Center, with presentations on sustainability classes and student research. The forum began with announcements from the office and affiliates.The second round of Clean Energy Fund projects are all listed on the Office of Sustainability Website and the committee is looking for new members (see above). 

First, Tim McGrath, Outreach Professional, presented on the Transportation Research Center (TRC) and its contribution to sustainability at UVM . The main objectives of the center are to act as a hub of innovation and interdisciplinary research, education and outreach on sustainable transportation system solutions. With 40 associated faculty and students from seven different colleges at UVM, the TRC works as an interdisciplinary "Matrix Center" to integrate different fields of study into one center. The TRC is also the host of the National University Transportation Center (UTC) and the Vermont Clean Cities Coalition, funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Energy and the Vermont Department of Public Service. The center has also helped to create five new courses at UVM and works with undergraduates and graduate students to conduct research. 

Next, graduate fellows Steve Posner and Anna Mika, presented on the ENVS 187: Campus Sustainability class. Starting this year, the class now has a permanent course listing in the ENVS department as a service learning class that will be taught every spring. Posner and Mika taught the class alongside Ralph Stuart and Aaron Witham, a graduate TRC fellow. This semester 21 students were enrolled the class from different fields of study to look at campus sustainability from various aspects aspects using the AASHE STARS criteria and looking at the UVM Climate Action Plan. Posner and Mika presented student work from a "Mental Map" assignment to show different  interpretations of mapping and students interpretations of sustainability. 

Undergraduate senior Winter Heath presented her Environmental Studies thesis on the Eco-Reps program at UVM. Heath's research was based off of work completed by Christina Erickson's dissertation and created her study to evaluate the strengths/weaknesses of the program as well as the the effectiveness of its marketing. The results of the study helped Heath create a guidebook for Eco-Reps to plan events and the creation of a new logo for the program. 

Another undergraduate senior, Katherine Devine also presented her Environmental Studies thesis on stormwater management at UVM. The research focused on what is being done regarding management of stormwater from policies, practices and landscape features and the opportunities for further management.

Ali Nord presented her research on Real Food at UVM. Real Food is a holistic term for food that encompasses different aspects of a "value-based food economy" such as local, organic and fair trade. During the Fall semester, Nord tracked food for one week every month at every dining hall to measure our Real Food progress using the calculator. Brennans had the best showing with 51% real food, particularly local food, compared to only 10% real food in Harris Millis Dining Hall. A high percentage of the calculations came from Fair Trade and Organic Coffee. This research is the first step in bring assessing and bringing more real food to the UVM campus.

There are no more Environmental Forum meetings this semester. Meetings will begin again starting in the in Fall. Please check the Office of Sustainability website for next meetings places and times. Have a great summer!

Announcements & Events 

Environmental Studies Honors Theses Presentation: Wednesday May 11th, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm Davis Center - The Chittenden Bank Room & 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm University Heights S1 Multipurpose Room 133. Contact Sue Bean 656-4055 for specific schedule of presentations.