During the course of the MSES program, students can participate in two on-campus residencies – one at the beginning of each academic year. 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 a Senior Fellow of the Post Carbon Institute. He 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: Richard Heinberg
The 2015 MSES Residency Visiting Scholar will was Sandra Postel, founder of the Global Water Policy Project. Sandra lectures, writes, and consults on international water issues and in 2010 she 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, and being piloted in the Colorado River Basin.
Sandra is the author of several acclaimed books, including the award-winning Last Oasis: Facing Water Scarcity, 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.
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.
2014 Scholar in Residence: Bernd Heinrich
Heinrich’s rich body of research has dealt primarily with understanding how behavioral and physiological adaptations of animals allow them to negotiate their physical environment. The systems he has studied span temperature regulation in insects, energetics and foraging in bees, and social and foraging behavior of ravens to name just a few. He has published 18 books, many of which translate his science for the popular audience. These include Ravens in Winter, The Winter World, The Geese of a Beaver Bog, and Racing the Antelope: What Animals Can Teach Us About Running and Life (re-issued as Why We Run).
Heinrich has won much acclaim for his work, both scholarly and popular, including Guggenheim and Harvard Fellowships, the Alexander von Humboldt Senior Scientist Fellowship, the John Burroughs Medal for Nature Writing (for Mind of the Raven), where he joins other distinguished authors such as Aldo Leopold and Rachel Carson, and many more. His art has been exhibited at the Fleming Museum in Burlington and in Maine. He was elected to the National Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2004 and he is currently Professor Emeritus at the University of Vermont.
2013 Scholar in Residence: Dr. Robert Michael Pyle
Author and naturalist Dr. Robert Michael Pyle will be the scholar in residence for the Master of Science in Environmental Studies (MSES) program September 4-7, and Dr. Anthony Cortese will be the scholar in residence for the College’s Sustainable MBA program September 11-14.
Pyle is a lepidopterist (a specialist in the study of moths and butterflies) and a writer who has published twelve books and hundreds of papers, essays, stories and poems. His acclaimed 1987 book Wintergreen, describing the devastation caused by unrestrained logging in Washington’s Willapa Hills near his adopted home, was the winner of the 1987 John Burroughs Medal for Distinguished Nature Writing. His book The Thunder Tree: Lessons from an Urban Wildland, is the summer reading for first-year GMC undergraduates. The book characteristically weaves Pyle’s personal experience with observations about our relationship to nature and habitat degradation.
Pyle has also received a Guggenheim Fellowship, three Governor’s Writer Awards, a Pacific Northwest Booksellers’ Award, the Harry Nehls Award for Nature Writing, and the National Outdoor Book Award for natural history literature. In 1971, Pyle founded the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. He has a Ph.D. from the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale.
2012 Scholar in Residence: Juliet Eilperin and Andrew Light
We were honored to have husband and wife duo Juliet Eilperin and Andrew Light for our September 2012 MSES Residency.
Andrew Light is associate professor of philosophy and environmental policy, and director of the Center for Global Ethics at George Mason University. He is also a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C. A globally recognized environmental ethicist – specializing in the ethical dimensions of environmental policy, restoration ecology, and, more recently, climate change – he has authored, co-authored and edited 17 books on environmental ethics, philosophy of technology, and aesthetics, including Environmental Values (2008), Reel Arguments: Film, Philosophy and Social Criticism (Westview 2003), The Aesthetics of Everyday Life (2005), Moral and Political Reasoning in Environmental Practice (2003), Technology and the Good Life (2000), and Environmental Pragmatism (1996).
Light is also co-editor of the journal Ethics, Place, and Environment and serves on the editorial boards of Environmental Ethics, Environmental Values, Ecological Restoration, Philosophical Practice, and Theoria. He is currently finishing a book on the ethics of restoration ecology in a changing climate.
Juliet Eilperin, a born-and-bred Washingtonian, graduated in 1992 magna cum laude from Princeton University where she received a bachelor’s in Politics with a certificate in Latin American Studies. In the fall of 1992 she went to Seoul, South Korea on a Luce Scholarship, which allowed her to cover politics and economics for an English-language magazine. Returning to Washington, Ms. Eilperin wrote for Louisiana and Florida papers at States News Service and then joined Roll Call newspaper after the Republicans took control of Congress in 1994. In March 1998 she joined The Washington Post as its House of Representatives reporter, where she covered the impeachment of Bill Clinton, lobbying, legislation, and several national congressional campaigns.
Since April of 2004 she has covered the environment for the national desk, reporting on science, policy and politics in areas including climate change, oceans, and air quality. She covered the 2008 presidential race, traveling with GOP nominee John McCain and his vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, while continuing to serve as the Post’s national environmental reporter.
In the spring of 2005 she served as the youngest-ever McGraw Professor of Journalism at Princeton University, teaching political reporting to a group of undergraduate and graduate students. In the spring of 2006 Rowman & Littlefield published her first book, “Fight Club Politics: How Partisanship is Poisoning the House of Representatives,” which was featured on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and NPR’s “Fresh Air with Terry Gross.” Ms. Eilperin’s new book, “Demon Fish: Travels Through the World With Sharks,” was published by Pantheon in June, and has been featured on NPR’s “Weekend Edition Saturday” as well as in People, Smithsonian and Popular Science magazines.
2011 Scholar in Residence: Dr. Tyrone Hayes
Green Mountain College welcomes biologist and herpetologist Dr. Tyrone Hayes as this fall’s Visiting Scholar for the College’s Master of Science in Environmental Studies (MSES) program. A full professor at the University of California, Berkeley, Hayes will make several presentations during his residency at GMC September 7-10.
Hayes’ research focuses on the role of steroid hormones in amphibian development through lab and field studies in the U.S. and Africa.
While growing up in South Carolina, one of Hayes’ youthful pastimes was tracking down turtles, snakes, and toads. That fascination led him to earn a degree in organismic and evolutionary biology from Harvard University. He later received a Ph.D. in integrative biology from the University of California, Berkeley. His current work connects transformations in reed frogs to water contaminants like plastic by-products, pesticides, and synthetic hormones such as DDS. Because these compounds cannot be broken down during sewage treatment, the toxins flow into marshes and lakes.
In a National Geographic interview, Hayes commented: “This is the same water people cook and bathe with. We’ve found developmental changes in tadpoles when water contains contaminants 50 times lower than what’s allowed in U.S. drinking water. If chemicals in such low concentrations can impact amphibians, mammals may also be affected.”
2010 Scholar in Residence: Dr. Robin Kimmerer
Green Mountain College is pleased to announce that Dr. Robin Kimmerer is the 2010 Visiting Scholar for the MSES Program. Kimmerer has taught at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry since 1993, and is active in efforts to introduce the benefits of traditional ecological knowledge to the scientific community in a way that respects and protects indigenous knowledge.
She is the director of the newly established Center for Native Peoples and the Environment at ESF. The center focuses on developing connections between traditional ecological knowledge and western scientific approaches. The center is the only one of its kind in the Northeast. Her book, Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses, received the John Burroughs Medal Award.
2009 Scholar in Residence: Alan Weisman
Alan Weisman is laureate professor of journalism and Latin American Studies at the University of Arizona and author of the recent New York Times bestseller The World Without Us.
Weisman’s most recent book, The World Without Us, poses a puzzling question: What would the earth look like devoid of humans? A cadre of experts – from engineers, atmospheric scientists and art conservators to zoologists, oil refiners and religious leaders – weigh in on that question in a narrative that “ultimately drives toward a radical but persuasive solution that doesn’t depend on our demise.” Since its publication in 2007 The World Without Us has been translated into 30 languages. It was named the Best Nonfiction Book of 2007 by both Time Magazine and Entertainment Weekly and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Nonfiction.
2008 Scholar in Residence: Dan Botkin
Dan Botkin, an author and ecologist, has been a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara since 1979. He is currently Professor Emeritus, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology at UCSB. He is also president and founder of The Center for the Study of the Environment, a non-profit research and educational corporation.
The author of 12 books, Dan received the Fernow Award for Outstanding Contributions in International Forestry and the Mitchell International Prize for Sustainable Development.
2007 Scholar in Residence: Gary Paul Nabhan
Gary Paul Nabhan is an Arab-American writer, lecturer, food and farming advocate, rural lifeways folklorist, and conservationist. He is currently a research social scientist based at the Southwest Center of the University of Arizona and a consultant for several non-profits including the Renewing America’s Food Traditions (RAFT) Collaborative.
His non-fiction writing and ethnobiology projects have won many awards, including the John Burroughs Medal for Nature Writing, a MacArthur “genius” award, a Lannan Literary Award, a Pew Fellowship in Conservation and Environment and a Lifetime Acheivement Award from the Society for Conservation Biology.
2006 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.