Prof. Drew Bentley (left) with students Alexandra Ruffins (kneeling) and Maggie Doucette (right). The trio, part of the adventure education Outdoor Living Skills class, was learning about outdoor stove use and care by cooking up some tasty meals. It always tastes better outside! Photo: Nate Furman

Adventure Education Program Hosts Talks by Activist Herm Hoops
The adventure education department is pleased to announce that Herm Hoops will give two talks on Wednesday, Feb., 19 at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at GMC. His first talk, in Terrace 124, is titled “Threats to Rivers of the West.” Hoops will talk about the competing pressures to deliver drinking water, present recreation programs, and extract oil, gas and minerals, which change the character of visitor experience to western rivers. His second talk at 1:30 p.m., also in Terrace 124, is titled “The History of Inflatable Boats and How They Saved Rivers.” Hoops will discuss the family tree of modern inflatable boats, tracing how the use of surplus military pontoon bridges, assault vessels, and life rafts irrevocably changed recreation in the USA and formed the backbone of a multi-billion dollar recreation industry.

Hoops grew up on a large dairy cattle and Morgan horse farm. After attending the University of Vermont he taught vocational agriculture and forestry in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. He began running Western rivers in 1966. In 1975 he began a career with the National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Herm retired from the Dinosaur National Monument in 1996, but he has continued following his love of rivers as a guide, naturalist, historian, and a proactive advocate fighting to protect the river canyons of the Colorado Plateau.

MSFS Scholars on Campus this Week
Green Mountain College welcomes the husband-wife team Douglas Gayeton and Laura Howard Gayeton, visiting scholars for the College’s M.S. in Sustainable Food Systems (MSFS) program during the winter residency. The Gayetons will make a public presentation today from 7-8:30 p.m. in the Gorge (Withey Hall). The event is free.

Since the early 1990’s the Gayetons have created award-winning films, information artworks, websites, and branding campaigns for a variety of clients including HBO, AOL, MTV, Napster, National Geographic and PBS.

Besides founding Laloo’s, the first goat milk ice cream company in the U.S., Laura has over 20 years experience as a senior executive for The End, Palomar Pictures, and Slo Graffiti, where she pioneered the art of multilayered narrative approaches to film and video for hundreds of commercial clients. Douglas is the author of SLOW Life in a Tuscan Town, which features a preface by the Slow Food movement founder Carlo Petrini. He lectures on art, technology and sustainability, and his photographs have been printed in Time, Orion and other magazines. His work in also represented in many museums and private collections around the world.

The couple is currently at work on “The Lexicon of Sustainability,” a multimedia art project to tap into the meaning of sustainability as interpreted by thought leaders around the country. The first part of the project is “Food and farming in America.” (

They describe the Lexicon as a “. . . multiplatform project based on a simple premise: people can’t be expected to live more sustainable lives if they don’t know the most basic terms and principles that define sustainability.”

GMC faculty and students are collaborating with the Lexicon of Sustainability’s new “Project Localize,” an initiative that works with high school teachers and students to document the sustainable food initiatives at work in their home communities. Students learn about food systems in their local communities through a variety of disciplinary lenses, while also acquiring multimedia skills and sharing what they learn through traveling pop-up exhibits that they create. (

Hear the Sounds of Ireland in Patricia O’Brien Concert, Feb. 26
Musician Patricia O'Brien will be appearing at GMC on Wednesday, February 26th, offering a free performance for the campus and larger community at 7 p.m. in the Gorge. She will also be working with the students who are participating in GMC’s spring Pilgrimage to Ireland.

O’Brien plays guitar, banjo, tin whistle, and sings; her music combines the sounds of Irish traditional and American folk music. Her parents are both from Ireland and she grew up in Boston, exposed to Irish traditional tunes and songs from an early age. She was a founding member and singer/songwriter for the women's folk group Labrys, appearing with them in numerous concerts and festivals. She also performed Irish traditional music in the U.S. and Ireland with An Banna Ceoil and Agus Mise An. Presently she performs with Bradigan, a band that blends Irish, Scottish and American music.

O’Brien is also serving her second year as poet laureate for the city of Rochester N.H., and has performed for writers events throughout New Hampshire. She has released several CD’s over the years, including one solo CD.

Three Eagles Athletes Named to All-Academic Team
Seniors Tyler Lawson (Adams, Mass.), Emily Christensen (Rangeley, Maine), and Johanna Douglas (Essex, Conn.) each earned NAC All-Academic honors for their hard work in the classrooms as well as on the field.

Men's soccer participant Lawson carried a 3.77 grade point average in the fall as he continues his progression towards a degree in natural resource management. This marks Tyler's second All-Academic Team honor. Tyler worked at Bennington City Regional Planning as a GIS intern this summer. After graduation, he plans to travel the east coast of the United States and eventually work as a part of a wilderness trail group for a national park.

Women's soccer player Emily Christensen is also a two-time recipient of the NAC All-Academic Team honors. The adventure education major owns a 3.64 GPA going into her final semester at Green Mountain. Emily is currently an intern at Carrabassett Valley Academy as an Alpine Leadership Pursuits for Skiers and Snowboarders instructor, teaching kids about adventure education. She has travelled to Utah and British Columbia in the past two months backcountry skiing, and would like to be involved in wilderness preparation after graduation.

Johanna Douglas possesses a 3.99 GPA as she prepares to graduate with a degree in sustainable agriculture and food production. Last summer she was an intern at Cato Corner Farm in Colchester, Conn. and enrolled in an Eco League course studying natural and cultural interpretations of the Apostle Islands in Lake Superior. After graduation, Johanna plans to intern on a raw milk farm for one to two years, get married, and eventually operate a small-scale raw milk dairy farm.


Leslie Clarke, Toma Cernea-Novac Present Senior Art Exhibitions
Leslie Clarke and Tomas Cernea-Novac will present their senior exhibitions later this week. Leslie’s show titled “Doodle Land” will be unveiled Feb. 21 at a 5-7 p.m. reception in Surdam. Toma presents his exhibit “Corpus Absolutus” at a reception the same evening from 6-8 p.m. at the Feick Fine Arts Center. Leslie, an elementary education major from Greenwich, Conn., describes Doodle Land as a multi-media installation with the goal of “recreating the wonder filled world that can be created in the art studio.” Toma is a mixed-media artist from New York City, graduating with a self-designed degree that includes art and philosophy. This show includes paintings and installation. His artist’s statement reads in part: “Currently I find value in the process of making, and meaning comes in hindsight through reflection on the pieces created. For this reason I am less interested in making ‘objects’ of art than I am in the actual process.”

Share Your Sustainability Story
What does “sustainability” mean to you? Come share your diverse sustainability stories with the GMC community in celebration of Earth Week and challenge our notions of what it means to be sustainable. The event “Diverse Sustainability Stories” will be held Monday, April 21 from 3-5 p.m. (location to be announced). If you want to participate, please submit an abstract of what you would like to share at the event. It can be a story, an expression of culture, or an explanation of your sustainability values. Get creative! Please submit these to the sustainability office. E-mail Cheyanne Stone or Aaron Witham .

Climate Justice Winter Road Show
Join organizers from Rising Tide Vermont as we explore questions surrounding our role in the energy and climate movement on Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. in Terrace 124. Students and community members welcome! For more information, visit

Faculty Notes:

Prof. Jason Schmitt (communications studies) recently had two entries accepted in the new (2014) Encyclopedia of Social Media and Politics published by Sage Publications for Global Release. The encyclopedia explores how the rise of social media is altering politics both in the United States and in key moments, movements, and places around the world. Jason also published a column in the Huffington Post Impact blog titled “Diluting Digital Activism.” His piece explores the potential—and pitfalls—of online activism. “The risk we run is the assumption that thousands of digital approvals are orientated toward deeper knowledge on an issue, when in fact the mass outcry might be caught in a feedback loop amongst itself," Jason writes. “Truth lives in the murky water of polar thought blending and mixing. If we don't calibrate our digital voices and realize the biased nature that can pervade this amplification tool, we lose the very thing we are after: a competent and well-thought-out future.” Read the full post here

Prof. Paula Mann (theater) will be performing the lead in a staged reading of a new play by award winning playwright and Bennington College professor Sherry Kramer titled "The Bay of Fundy.” The play examines marriage, money and family values through the lens of an upper class privileged couple and their friends. The reading will be performed on Friday, Feb. 21 at the Oldcastle Theatre Company in Bennington, Vt.

Prof. Jacob Park (sustainable business) presented a paper "Rethinking the Strategy of Sustainable Employment Education and Training in U.S. Higher Education Ecosystem" at the OECD Green Skills Forum 2014: Green Skills and Innovation for Inclusive Growth in Paris on February 14. The conference agenda and its abstracts can be found here.

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-MSFS Scholars on Campus
-Trio Named to All-Academic Team
-Student Art Exhibitions

Men's Basketball
2/22, GMC at Castleton
   3 p.m.

Women's Basketball
2/22, GMC at Castleton
   1 p.m.