University of Vermont

Center for Research on Vermont

Center for Research on Vermont Awards Index

Center for Research on Vermont

Spring 2012 Seminar Series

Watch all the seminars on the web at

January 31- “Digitizing Historical Vermont Films: New Life for Old Films” Billings North, UVM  7:30 pm

Paul Carnahan, Librarian, Leahy Library, Vermont Historical Society
Fred Pond, Reference Librarian, Dana Medical Libary, UVM

Dorothy Thompson's Farm Work is War Work (1942) promotes work on Vermont farms to coming of age teenagers, with an agenda to support the war effort.  A Town Solves a Problem (1947) is a U.S. Army production depicting a typical town meeting in day in Pittsford, a more subtle message to post war countries on shared governance. Betsy Ross Bread (1952) and People Make It Happen (1975) are representative of promotion of Vermont industries, showcasing a Montpelier bakery and an Essex Junction IBM plant. Presenters will encourage discussion from attendees on the value of films in researching Vermont history.

February 8- “The Road Not Taken: The Green Mountain Parkway Decision as a 'Tipping Point' in the History of Northern New England”. Billings North Lounge, UVM  7:30 pm

Frank Bryan, the John G. McCullough Professor of Political Science, UVM

Professor Bryan will present findings related to his study of Vermont's rejection (by a popular referendum) of a New Deal proposal to build a "skyline drive-like"  highway along the Green Mountains from Massachusetts to Canada.  Greg Guma and Bruce S. Post will provide commentary, context, and lessons that apply to current issues of development and wilderness.

Greg Guma is writer, editor and author of "The People's Republic: Vermont and the Sanders Revolution" and the historical novel, "Spirits of Desire"
Bruce S. Post is the former Director of the Office of Planning, Research and Coordination for the late Vermont Governor Richard A. Snelling

Special Series:   Vermont's Energy Future

co-sponsored by the Center of the Research on Vermont and the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics

March 14- "The End of Cheap Energy"  James Howard Kunstler, Silver Maple Room, Davis Center, UVM

James Howard Kunstler is  author of "Geography of Nowhere", "Home from Nowhere",  "The Long Emergency" and a number of other books and blogs (  A compelling and forceful truthteller, Kuntsler will lay out a vision of a world dependent on cheap energy and approaching a devastating turning point--a turning point that will return the nation to a place where community matters, where neighbors gather and people build places they value.

Co-sponsored by UVM Transportation Research Center, The Clean Energy Fund, and the Environmental Studies Program

March 21- "Public Meltdown: The Story of Vermont Yankee"  Billings North Lounge, UVM 7:30 pm

Richard Watts,  UVM Research Professor in Community Development and Applied Economics, and the Transportation Research Center

Dr Watts will be introduced by VT Attorney General William Sorrell

Dr Watts reviews the very public debate around the decision to re-license the Vermont Yankee nuclear power point in Vernon.  Dr Watts charts the evolving discourse around the plant from when it was purchased by Entergy Corporation and the Vermont Senate's 2010 vote to close the plant.  The plant's initial 40-year license expires March 21, 2012.  Dr Watts has recently completed a book by the same name.

March 28- “Diversify and Decentralize: Green Mountain Power's View of the Future”- Billings North Lounge, UVM, 7:30 pm

Mary Powell, CEO and President, Green Mountain Power

Green Mountain Power is one of the state’s largest electric utilities with a 100-plus year history in Vermont. In this talk, CEO and President Mary Powell outlines GMP’s strategic vision for their part of Vermont’s energy future – a vision that continues the company’s move towards clean energy, decentralized systems and a diversified power supply. Named CEO in 2008, Powell is one of only five female chief executives of investor-owned industrial utilities in the country.

April 4- “Clean Energy Equals Jobs”- John Dewey Lounge, Old Mill Building, UVM, 7:30 pm

David Blittersdorf, President and CEO, AllEarth Renewables
Beth Sachs, co-founder, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation

In this talk several prominent business leaders who have built successful enterprises in Vermont based on a new energy paradigm outline their visions for Vermont’s energy future and how that can lead to economic vitality, job growth and cleaner energy. Beth Sachs is the co-founder of the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation which manages electric efficiency programs around the country, employing more than 200 from offices in Burlington, New Jersey, Columbus, Ohio and Washington, DC. David Blittersdorf, a UVM graduate, President and CEO of AllEarth Renewables, a maker of solar panels and wind turbines.

April 11- “Getting to 90 Percent Renewableby 2050”- Billings North, UVM 7:30 pm

Elizabeth Miller, Commissioner, Vermont Department of Public Service
Tony Klein, Representative to Vermont House and Chair, House Natural Resources and Energy Committee

Vermont’s Governor Peter Shumlin has set an aggressive goal of getting the state to 90 percent renewable energy by 2050. In this discussion, the Governor’s point person Department of Public Service Commissioner Elizabeth Miller and Representative Tony Klein, a key legislative leader discuss this challenging task and other state energy program and policy issues. Klein (D-East Montpelier) has served ten years in the Vermont State Legislature, eight years on House Natural Resources and Energy Committee and is in his 4th year as chair. Before joining the Department in 2011, Miller was a practicing lawyer and business owner with Spink & Miller PLC in Burlington. A graduate of Yale Law School, Miller has practiced energy law in California as well as Vermont.

Last modified September 09 2013 12:52 PM