As part of a Delicate Balance project, the Sustainability Office and campus volunteers opened and sorted all the landfill bags on campus for three days this semester. It was a messy but illuminating process. These “waste audits” began in 2012 to measure progress toward the goal outlined in the Sustainability 2020 plan to get 99% of recyclable, reusable and compostable material out of the landfill bags at GMC. The data collected will help the Sustainability Office decide the most important steps to take to achieve this goal. The graphic shows progress the campus has made, and opportunities to save even more waste from the landfill. The poster, created by Carl Diethelm ’17, states “If all compostable, recyclable and reusable electronic waste were eliminated, GMC could prevent the annual equivalent CO2 emissions of burning 338 gallons of gasoline or 3,201 pounds of coal.”
Tom Fredericks ‘19 is working with prof. Jim Harding (Dean of Faculty, natural resource management), on an independent study related to investment strategies—principally on stocks and stock options. As part of his investigation, Tom and a GMC team competed in the “Think or Swim Investment Challenge” sponsored by TD Ameritrade. This is a month-long competition in which 3-4 person teams, made up entirely of college students, are each given $500,000 in a virtual brokerage account. Over the following four weeks, teams invested in stocks, bonds, and options and tried to increase the value of the account. The competition began on Monday, Oct. 10 and concluded on Friday, Nov. 4. This is the second year that a team from Green Mountain College has competed in this challenge—last year, the GMC team led by Swe Oo ’16 finished 33rd out of 641 teams. This year, Tom’s team (GreenMtn Investing), including Marjuk Ahmed ‘17 and Ben Webb ‘19, was one of 726 from all across the United States. At the end of the competition, GreenMtn Investing finished 13th (in the top 2% of all teams), turning the $500,000 investment into $633,874.75 for a monthly return of 26.77%. “It is a credit to Tom to lead his team to 13th place finish against teams from some of the largest universities in the country,” Jim Harding said.
With the December holidays approaching, the Green Mountain College Wellness Center is hosting a public nutrition workshop titled “Avoiding the Freshman 15 and Holiday Weight Gain: Eating for Health” on Thursday, Dec. 15 from 4-6 p.m. The workshop will be led by Nutritional Life Coach Kacie Winston-Shelvey. The program begins at 4 p.m. in the Booth Lounge (Withey Hall) for an informational lecture. At 5 p.m. we will move to the GMC dining hall where Kacie will help us put together a nutritious and calorie appropriate meal from the offerings for dinner that evening. The workshop is open to all GMC students/faculty/staff and to the public. For the public the lecture is free, the cost of joining the group for dinner in the dining hall will be $8.25. Contact the GMC Wellness Center at (802) 287-8376 with any questions
Where Dragons Roam is an art exhibition by Eben Schumacher, a graduating artist at Green Mountain College. Come to the opening on Friday, Dec. 9 from 5-7 p.m. at the Feick Fine Arts Center. The exhibition contains ceramic sculptures and oil paintings, as well as drawings, writing and music that together form a detailed and cohesive account of a fantastical world in which dragons have lived and evolved for ages. Pushing the limits of the media used, the work creates a visual, tactile, and conceptual experience that redefines the fantasy genre, utilizing an emphasis on narrative and scientific observation while simultaneously pushing the boundaries of the imagination. The exhibition will be on display until Dec. 20th. For more information, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Come and learn about the zero wasting mission, and some practical tools to help minimize your impact. Design your own recycling bin or compost container for your dorm. Grab a reusable towel, eat some free “zero wasting” cookies and bring your own jar to get some free apple cider vinegar! Wednesday, Dec. 7 – 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Join Christin Ross’s Urban Ecology class will be in the East Room on Thursday, Dec 8 at noon to discuss and describe their field research in New York City and Chicago, and how we utilized a multidisciplinary approach to understanding how urban areas are social-ecological systems. Learn some ways history, politics, social governance, and natural resources influence urban ecosystems. An Urban Ecology course will be offered next semester!
Shannon Westlake, a student in GMC‘s Master of Science in Environmental Studies program, has accepted a Ph.D. Fellowship through Mississippi State University in Human Dimensions of Fisheries and Wildlife. In this position she will support ongoing studies, including one funded by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, and concurrently develop her own research into the human dimensions of wildlife and environmental conservation. This fellowship will allow her to continue the work she started at GMC for her master’s thesis project, aptly named Project Pollinator. This project focused on connecting citizens and the environment by increasing awareness of the link between pollinator species and healthy food sources. The project fostered collaboration between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, non-profit organizations, and local citizens within an urban community in order to build awareness and encourage involvement for pollinator conservation. Instructors Teresa Coker and Dianna Gielstra have guided Shannon in her research work at GMC.
Green Mountain College’s holistic approach to sustainability education was the focus of a paper recently published in the International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education (Volume 17, Issue 6). Titled “When the informal is the formal, the implicit is the explicit,” the peer-reviewed paper was authored by a team of researchers from Texas State, Oklahoma State, and Kansas State and documents the power of a GMC education. The paper was based on a qualitative study conducted at GMC involving 55 students who participated in focus group interviews. The study findings include: “Students articulate that the most valuable gains that manifest at GMC are a variety of new capacities for science literacy, anthropological appreciation, the triple bottom line, a sense of place, systems, empathic decision-making and reasoning, interdisciplinary collaboration, and practical techniques supporting self-sufficiency.”
Students in prof. Matt Osborn’s “Riots and Popular Protests” class will be making their final presentations over the next two weeks in Booth Lounge. All sessions are from 1-2:15 p.m. and are open to the community.
Tuesday, December 6:
• Yesmeen Najeebi. Mossadegh and Madness: Public Reaction to the 1953 Iranian Coup
• Madalyn Zdon. “God’s Army” and it’s Opposition in England during the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
• Christopher Baughman. One Black Nation: the Pyrrhic Victory of Haitian Independence
Friday, December 9:
• Darian Closson. Southampton Insurrection: Resistance to Slavery in Antebellum United States
• Luc Burns. Cyber Wars: Protest in the 21st Century
• Lauren Letendre. The Boston Tea Party and The Sons of Liberty
Tuesday, December 13:
• Will Cowling. The Long Wait for Tomorrow: Irish Protest Movements in the Formation of a Sovereign Nation
• Chloe Bertera. Rebecca’s Daughters: When Men Needed a Woman’s Touch to Cause Chaos
• Kelly McKeown. “Bringing the War Home”: the Weathermen and the Radical Leftists of the 1960’s
Friday, December 16:
• Daniel Schmidt. The Time An Army Attacked Its Own Veterans: The 1932 Bonus March On Washington D.C.
• Ethan Cooper. Football Hooliganism: How The Crowd Used Sports as an Expression of Public Opinion
• Tucker Peters. Protest Against Democracy: Mussolini’s March on Rome
Up-to-date research drawing from Dr. Dennis Charney’s synthesis on resiliency will be presented by Thanh Nguyen, Biopsychology ’17. Friday, Dec. 9 from 11-12 p.m. in the Dickgeisser classroom, Griswold Library. Using an empirical-based pluralistic model of psychiatric disease, Thanh’s talk explores multiple factors that contribute to resiliency in major depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. The philosophy underlying this approach is that the Decartes’ split between the mind and the brain as well as the computer-brain functional analog needs to be discarded and replaced by non-reducible empirical-based multidisciplinary research (molecular biology, neural circuitry, personality psychology, social and political environment).