During the course of the MRSC program, students can participate in two on-campus residencies. The residencies take place at the college campus in Poultney, Vermont, and are led by Green Mountain College faculty and the featured Visiting Scholar.
The primary emphasis during the residency is to provide students opportunities to interact with one another, their faculty, and the Visiting Scholar. This helps to start relationships that are then further developed in the online environment. We encourage student and alumni involvement in the residency planning and participation.
The residency spans 4 days, and features a mixture of academic, social, and recreational sessions.
September 13-16, 2017 Residency: Jon Isham
We are pleased to announce that our 2017 Residency Visiting Scholar will be Jon Isham. Jon has been a member of the Middlebury College faculty since 1999, with a joint appointment in Economics and Environmental Studies. The co-founder of Middlebury’s Center for Social Entrepreneurship, the first of its kind in the liberal arts, he is known for designing and leading courses that emphasize hands-on learning to effect social change. Students in his 2005 “Building the New Climate Movement” went on to co-found 350.org; students in his recent social entrepreneurship courses have gone on to found Sparkfund, Sword & Plough, and other cutting-edge social enterprises. In the last few years, Jon has given keynote talks and led seminars about social entrepreneurship in the liberal arts at Hamilton College, Hampshire College, Wilfred Laurier University, Westmont College, and the College of New Jersey, among others. Jon has served on the Board of Directors of Brighter Planet (a company he co-founded with two former students), Planet Forward, Climate Counts, and St. George’s School in Newport, Rhode Island. At Middlebury, he has been elected twice to the Faculty Council and chaired the Environmental Studies Program. He has published articles in journals as diverse as Quarterly Journal of Economies, Society and Natural Resources, Rural Sociology, Economic Development and Cultural Change, World Bank Economic Review, and Vermont Law Review. Before joining the Middlebury faculty, Jon served in the Peace Corps in Benin, lead a crew at the East Bay Conservation Corps, and was a researcher and assistant project manager at the World Bank. He holds degrees from Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Maryland. In 2016-17, Jon was a Fulbright Scholar at Ashesi University College in Ghana, where he lived with his family.
2016 Scholar in Residence: Richard Heinberg
Richard Heinberg is considered one of the world’s notable advocates for a shift away from our reliance on fossil fuels.
Over the years, he has written thirteen books and countless essays as well as delivered hundreds of lectures on energy and climate issues in fourteen countries. He has been quoted and interviewed frequently for print publications such as the Associated Press, and Time Magazine, television, including Good Morning America, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Al-Jazeera, and C-Span, and radio, which includes NPR, WABC, and Air America.
Richard has also been featured in films and television documentaries and produced several animations such as, Don’t Worry, Drive On, Who Killed Economic Growth, and 300 years of Fossil Fuels in 300 Seconds.
2015 Scholar in Residence: Sandra Postel
The 2015 MRSC Residency Visiting Scholar was Sandra Postel, founder of the Global Water Policy Project. Sandra lectures, writes, and consults on international water issues and in 2010 was appointed Freshwater Fellow of the National Geographic Society, where she serves as lead water expert for the Society’s freshwater initiative.
Hailed for her “inspiring, innovative and practical approach” to promoting the preservation and sustainable use of Earth’s fresh water, Sandra is co-creator of Change the Course, the national freshwater restoration campaign undertaken by National Geographic and its partners, which is being piloted in the Colorado River Basin.
Sandra is the author of several acclaimed books, including the award-winning Last Oasis, which appears in eight languages and was the basis for a PBS television documentary. She is also author of Pillar of Sand: Can the Irrigation Miracle Last? and co-author of Rivers for Life: Managing Water for People and Nature, now appearing in five languages. Her essay “Troubled Waters” was selected for Best American Science and Nature Writing. Sandra has written scores of articles for scholarly and popular publications – from Science and Ecological Applications to Foreign Policy and Natural History. She currently hosts and writes for National Geographic’s freshwater blog platform, Water Currents.
From 2000 to 2008, Sandra was visiting senior lecturer in environmental studies at Mount Holyoke College, and served as director of the college’s Center for the Environment. She has appeared in dozens of television and radio shows nationally and internationally, as well as in some half dozen films, including the BBC’s Planet Earth and Leonardo DiCaprio’s The 11th Hour.
The recipient of several honorary degrees, Sandra is a Pew Scholar in Conservation and the Environment, and has been named one of the “Scientific American 50” for her contributions to water policy.
2015 (Spring) Scholar in Residence: Bill McKibben
Bill McKibben is an environmentalist, writer, and Visiting Scholar at Middlebury College who frequently writes about global warming, alternative energy, and the risks associated with human genetic engineering. His first book, The End of Nature, is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change. McKibben has been awarded Guggenheim and Lyndhurst Fellowships, and won the Lannan Prize for nonfiction writing in 2000. With six college students, he organized 1,400 global warming demonstrations across all 50 states on April 14, 2007. Step It Up 2007 has been described as the largest day of protest about climate change in the nation’s history.