The illustrations in this issue are from students who took the one credit Nature Drawing course last fall with Davis TeSelle. As always we welcome comments, suggestions, and submissions for future issues. Enjoy!
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Published by the Environmental Program at the University of Vermont, The
153 So. Prospect Street, Burlington, Vermont 05401-3595. (802) 656-4055 http://www.uvm.edu/~envprog
Feedback, submissions to: Ibit Getchell, Student Services Coordinator.
By Heather Kaplan '97 and Gioia Thompson '87
Sparked by the initiatives of assistant professor of Environmental Studies, Stephanie Kaza, this year the University officially affirmed a commitment to our campus environment with the creation of the UVM Environmental Council.
Already UVM has a reputation as an environmentally responsible institution, and in many ways deservedly so. We recycle 45% of our waste. We have kept energy costs at the same level for six years. The CUPPS program started at UVM, and has spread across the country. Over 760 students major in environmentally related fields, 9% of UVM's undergraduate population.
Yet we have many environmental challenges. For example, while we've been recycling, we have also been generating more waste every year. Energy demand continues to rise, despite efficiency measures. These and many other environmental challenges on campus require more than the efforts of a few dedicated individuals.
The inspiration to create the council developed as a result of Kaza's attending the International Campus Earth Summit held at Yale University in 1994. The conference served as a forum for students, faculty, and staff to determine how institutions of higher learning could embrace environmental sustainability. Teresa Heinz, chair of the Heinz Foundation, asserted that colleges and universities wield incredible power and yet, at least in terms of the environment, most have not wielded it well.
On her return to campus, Stephanie presented a memorandum to UVM administrators reporting on the summit and appealing for campus action. Larry Forcier, Dean of the Division of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Extension, responded positively to her suggestions. He worked with Ray Lavigne, Vice President for Administration, to fund a graduate assistantship through the School of Natural Resources for a half-time coordinator. David Punia, engineering specialist and lecturer in electrical engineering at UVM, and Grey Lee '96, recruited council members. In August, 1996, Gioia Thompson '87, was awarded the assistantship and position of council coordinator.
At its first meeting October 11, 1996 Dean Forcier described the council's mission. Our goal is to ensure that the university operates with integrity, works as an environmentally responsible and celebratory community, and visibly exists as a welcoming place, both for recruiting students and for the general citizenry.
The council's first major task will be to evaluate UVM's current environmental successes. Kaza, now co-chair of the council, states, "Our campus is way ahead of many in its energy efficiency and waste management programs. We look forward to celebrating these and many other efforts across this greening campus." The council will then recommend specific policies and processes to be implemented to improve UVM s environmental sustainability.
Meeting a second time in December, the council approved a resolution to ask the university president to sign the Talloires Declaration, a set of environmental principles signed by more than 250 university presidents worldwide. Members also approved a vision for an environmentally responsible campus, and discussed the possibility of the university buying wood products from sustainably managed forests.
The ultimate success of the council will depend on backing from the administration, students, faculty, staff, and alumni/ae. As Dean Forcier says, The council will symbolize how strongly and broadly people at UVM feel about the environment.
Your comments on ways to green up UVM would be appreciated. For further information, contact Gioia Thompson at 656-3803 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Or subscribe to email@example.com.
While the council has been gaining momentum, Gioia Thompson has worked with faculty and staff to expand ways students can contribute. Students in Steve Libby's Campus Stewardship class and Stephanie Kaza’s Radical Environmentalism are researching ways UVM could buy more local food, use more recycled paper, use fewer pesticides, receive less junk mail, and develop a sustainable energy policy. Students in the new Campus Environmental Internship Program, which links students with staff w ho need assistance, have worked on the following:
Twelve members compose the new UVM Environmental Council, which is co-chaired by Stephanie Kaza and Rich Wolbach. Other members include Ray Allen, trustee emeritus; William Ballard, the interim assistant vice president of UVM Administration and Facilities; Herb Bormann, an internationally recognized ecologist and former president of the Ecological Society of America; Peter Meyer, executive director of Vermont’s Public Service Board and a UVM alumnus; Donald Ro ss, director of UVM’s Agricultural and Environmental Testing Laboratory; Frank Sampson, chair of the Faculty Senate’s Physical Planning Committee; Deane Wang, professor in the School of Natural Resources; and three students, Mike Cro wley ENVS ’98, Patricia Rouleau ENVS ’98 and Erik Wells ‘98. Ex-officio members include Larry Forcier, Dean of the Division of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Extension; Ray Lavigne, Vice President for Administration; and Richard Streeter, formerly assistant director of the UVM physical plan t and now campus arborist.