"Think globally, act locally"
has new meaning. When first coined four decades ago the only truly global
conception was one of war. Now every generation of students is born into a
globe seen from space, where remoteness lingers only as a memory,
wher e one can, for a price or a hitchhiker's thumb, go
anywhere, anytime. TV and satellites make us a part of every
"newsworthy" event; mutual funds and multinational
corporations make every act a global act. A world wide web of
communications gives instantaneous contact among the
family of wo/man. We now think locally, then act globally. There is
no other choice ... you do it every time you ride in a car, get on the
Internet, eat in a restaurant.
As part of curriculum renewal, now complete after two years of work, future students will find the Environmental Studies major even more encouraging of study overseas. Scheduling semesters abroad will be easier as core cours es are fewer, replaced with environmentallyrelated courses in the humanities, social and natural sciences, and international studies. Look for revamped majors and minors, plus numerous course additions in the next catalog. True to Environmental Studies, the major remains rich with interdiciplinariness and the building of perspectives, and is always a catalyst for personal growth and advocacy.
Change is a-brewing on campus. Environmental majors, minors, concentrations, courses, and seminars are popping up everywhere like mushrooms after a rain, like snowfleas in February. As of today there are eight environmental majors (including our four), five minors, and a flock of named concentrations. Meanwhile, we are nearing the end of a self-study leading to an external review by a team of environmentalists from other universities (thanks for filling out all those questionnaires!!). Where will it all lead? There is talk again of an Environmental College at UVM. Maybe we will finally get our new director. We hope it leads to more UVM students becoming better c itizens of Earth, adding knowledge and skills to advocacy and action.
Stobie Fairfield didn't just happen to end up at a zoo in Kathmandu, and she certainly didn't plan to. Like so many of our graduates, her path became known only by its walking--the way opened through the courses, experiences, and senior theses of environmental studies. Where have you been as a graduate? What lives and landscapes have you touched? Where might you go as a student, a citizen of this bluish golfball called Gaia tethered to Sol, in a galaxy among millions? Wherever you tread, don't forget that to act locally, is to act globally .... and to think first is not a bad idea.
Kit Anderson and Erik Krieg
We welcomed Kit Anderson to the Environmental
Program faculty in January. Not new to UVM, Kit earned her B.A. in Botany
and her M.A. in Geography here. She is a Ph.D candidate in Geography and
Anthropology at Louisiana Sate University where she has
been a Graduate School Fellow since 1991. She hopes to soon finish her
dissertation entitled, "Nature, Culture and Big, Old Trees: Reading the
landscapes of Guatemala's ceibas and Louisiana's live oaks." Kit is
teaching International Environmental Studies with Stephanie
Kaza, and Ethnobotany and Environmental Attitudes.
This fall the Environmental Program welcomed Dr. Eric Krieg as a lecturer. Eric recently finished his Ph.D. in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Boston University. He continues his research on environmental justice, analyzing the processes that disproportionately expose some communities to toxic hazards. He plans to conduct a statewide study of the locations of Vermont's toxic waste hazards. Eric is teaching a new course, Environmental Sociology, through the Sociology Departme nt this spring. Next year he will be with us as a half-time lecturer in a split appointment with Sociology, teaching Environmental Sociology again, and Research Methods for Laura McArthur while she is on sabbatical.
As many of you may know, after 26 years of teaching and administering in UVM's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Dr. Bill Kelly joined our faculty to advise students and teach ENVS 151, Intermediate Environmental Studies. We knew that his tenure with us would not be long, but he was handed the position as Senior Training Advisor at the Botswana Wildlife Training Institute in Botswana, Africa, beginning in late January. This opportunity was offered unexpectedly, and draws upon his pre vious work in that part of the world. We miss him!
Stephanie Kaza recently gave a talk entitled
"Spirit and Nature: The One Bright Jewel" as part of Clark University's
inaugural program for its new Environmental Studies Program. In November
she spoke at the American Academy of Religion on "Buddhist
Elements of Nature Writing." The Winter 1996 issue of Orion magazine
included a seasonal article written by her, "The Gift of the Dark Time."
Another essay, "Mistaken Impressions of the Natural World," was published
in the '95/'96 issue of Antioch New England Graduate School's annual
journal, Whole Terrain.
Susan Clark continues as coordinator of Environmental Program In Communities (EPIC). Last September Susan represented EPIC at the annual conference of the North American Association for Environmental Education. She presented the talk "Sustainin g Involvement in Local Environmental Issues." Susan is now conducting extensive assessment interviews with Vermonters who have participated in EPIC in its three year history. She will complete her Masters in Natural Resource Planning at UVM this spring.
Also at the North American Association for Environmental Education conference, Tom Hudspeth presented "StudentProduced Video Programs on Environmental Heroes and Heroines Broadcast over Local Cable Access Television." The videos were produced by students in Tom's class ENVS 204 Environmental Heroes and Heroines. Tom continues to work on his book, Green Heroes and Heroines from the Green Mountain State.
Carl Reidel, Jean Richardson and Karel Samson presented at the sixteenth annual Environmental Law Conference at the Vermont Law School last November. The conference theme was "The Contract with America: Its Effects on Vermont." On January 23rd J ean, Carl, and Ned Farquhar participated in the invitational conference, New England Prospects: Environmental Regionalism in New England, sponsored by the New England Environmental Policy Center. As codirectors of the NEEPC, Carl and Jean hosted this conference held at Harvard University. Jean continues to direct EPIC and to be actively involved as one of the five Americans appointed by Clinton to the NAFTA Environmental Commission Joint Public Advisory Board.
Bill Eddy is on leave from UVM this spring. He plans to return to Nepal in May to work on future programs for the Kathmandu Zoo and to explore local fund raising possibilities. Bill hopes that his son, Cam (UVM '86), will accompany him to Nepal this May. For several years they have been hoping to make a trip together into a remote area of southwestern Tibet to circumambulate 24,000 foot Mt. Kailas. Says Bill, "Kailas is considered by the Hindus, the Buddhists, and the followers of the ancient Bon religion of Tibet to be the holiest mountain on earth and the unclimbed home of the gods. At the time of the full moon in May and June, Kailas has long loomed on the horizons of the mind as a distant goal for many pilgrims. It is a journey we would like to experience together."
When not busy with the administration and management of the University's Natural Areas, Rick Paradis instructs a variety of special topics courses for the Environmental Program and works with a number of our students interested in research related to natural areas protection and management. Several students have been involved in projects researching the effects of hiking use on the sensitive natural communities in high elevation alpine areas, and on the impacts of constructing a boardwalk in a bog ecosystem. Rick is currently teaching a natural history course of the New England region and plans to offer a similar course this summer focussed on Vermont.
McArthur is currently working on two research projects. The first,
with Valerie Chamberlain in Nutritional Sciences at UVM involves
interviewing people on food stamps, or applying for food stamps, to find
out whether this most vulnerable group of people are using the new food
labels, how much they know about the labels, and how helpful they are
Another project underway uses questionnaires to collect data on weight reduction strategies, sources of weight reduction information, and reasons for weight loss among students at UVM and at a university in California. Laura is looking forward to her sabb atical next year.
The Natural Areas
System of the University of Vermont sponsored a Land Conservation Program
during the Summer of 1995. The program consisted of a series of short
courses, workshops, and field trips for students, professionals, and
others with an interest in land conservation and stewardship. These
activities were offered during a two week period from July 17 through July
The Land Conservation Program was conceived, developed, and directed by Steve Libby, a consulting land conservationist from Richmond, Vermont, and Rick Paradis, UVM's Natural Areas Manager. Steve and Rick gauged the interest level by sending out letters of inquiry to regional land conservationists and conservation organizations. The response was overwhelmingly supportive and helpful in selecting the types of short courses and workshops to be offered.
Participants from Vermont and neighboring states were involved in the program. Offerings included short courses in land conservation, field biology, ecological restoration; workshops in site assessments and inventories, conservation easements, and land stewardship; and field trips to nearby natural areas and sites of other land conservation projects. Of particular interest was a workshop offered by Ian Worley titled "Land Conservation Takes to the Air." Participants were briefed on how to plan for and make the most use of flying time. Ian demonstrated the value of flying for conducting landscape resource inventories, monitoring, and other conservation activities.
By all estimates, the 1995 Summer Land Conservation Program was a success. Participants came from a variety of organizations and backgrounds. They traveled to UVM from around Vermont and four other northeastern states and successfully completed the progra m offerings of their choice. Plans are busily underway for the 1996 Summer Land Conservation Program which will again include similar short courses and workshops. A twoday conference will focus on the problems of landscape fragmentation and how to d evelop solutions through linkages and partnerships. For more information on the upcoming 1996 Program, contact Rick Paradis at The Bittersweet.
EPIC Coordinator, Susan Clark '82 and Director, Jean Richardson speak at last year's EPIC annual gathering.
EPIC program leaders are now assessing their work in all areas including the Pasture Management Outreach Program, Community Seed Grants, Rural Built Landscape, Rural Marketing Techniques, Conservation Commissions, Youth in Conservation, and Rural Leadersh ip Demonstrations. EPIC is now being reconfigured to meet the needs of communities with evaluation feedback as a guide and as funding permits. Several of the program areas are winding down, while others continue to be active.
Ongoing projects include planning for the third annual Vermont Youth Environmental Summit (VTYES!), a statewide conference organized for and by high school students to be held in May, 1996. Over two dozen citizens in Addison County are attending an EPIC leadership course this fall with a focus on empowering new local leaders. With EPIC support, a quarterly newsletter on conservation commissions continues to connect these local groups. An annual gathering for commissions is in the works. EPIC also c ontinues to offer its seed grants, but they are limited this year to support existing EPIC citizen projects.
EPIC's first three years were funded largely by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in cooperation with UVM. Kellogg extended funding for the current fourth year. EPIC Director Jean Richardson is now pursuing additional funding sources to ensure that this important program continues well into the future.
Anyone interested in learning more about EPIC is encouraged to contact Susan Clark, EPIC Coordinator, at The Bittersweet.
Colette and her golden retriever "Justice"
Colette likes the variety, flexibility, creativity, and autonomy that her job offers. Ever employing an artist's eye, she also appreciates the view from her desk chair. Her office window neatly frames a birch tree standing in the backyard of The Bitterswe et. Colette's only negative comment about her job has to do with the temperature of her office during winter:"too cold." She has never gotten used to the climate even though she was born and raised in Quebec (one of eleven children!) and has lived in Verm ont for the last thirty years.
When Colette isn't crunching numbers, answering phones, and fielding questions from students, staff, and faculty alike, she spends time at home in the company of her longtime companion, Bill, her feline companions, Felix and Minou, and her golden retriever, Justice. Her children, Linda and John, and her grandchildren, Melissa, Crystal, and Moriah, are regular visitors.
On four acres of land in Monkton, Colette has cultivated a haven that regularly attracts local and migrating wildlife. Her landscaping projects include stone walls that she built herself, a hummingbird garden, and a pond for goldfish. The goldfish eventually became a meal for a blue heron, one of the 58 bird species that Colette has observed in her yard, including a redtailed hawk that took up residence this fall.
"I always wanted to be a singer, the kind that gets to your soul with the first note." When Colette is not working outdoors, she turns her creativity to playing the piano, knitting, sewing, and painting. Colette paints what she "most likes to be in": landscapes, rural scenes, covered bridges. One of her pictures, which has captured the soul of a well known Vermont landmark, hangs in her office: a striking, soft watercolor of the Old Mill in Jericho.
What does life hold in store for Colette in five years when she's eligible for retirement? Among other things, she's planning to be an "eccentric grandmother." There's no indication that "retirement," or anything else, will slow her down or dampen her ind omitable spirit. To the contrary. About the rocking chair she received from UVM for her twentyfive years of service she says, "I'll be too busy to wear it out before I go."