Wildcrafter to Host Lecture & Nature Walk
Green Mountain College hosts Vermont wildcrafters Nova Kim and Les Hook for a Family Farm Forum event April 29.
Their talk, titled “Wildcrafting: Endangered Traditions and Endangered Species,” begins at 7 p.m. in the East Room of Withey Hall. It is free and open to the public. From 1 – 4 p.m., Kim and Hook plan to lead a wildcrafting walk at the Deane Nature Preserve. The day, co-sponsored by Chartwells, includes a dinner in Withey Dining Hall featuring wildcrafted items.
Nova Kim, of Osage heritage, and Les Hook, a true Vermont native raised in the vanishing mountain tradition, have more than eighty years of combined experience hunting the woods and fields for wild foods and medicines.
They have been presenters and guests at many events, including the Smithsonian Folklife Festival; Terre Madre, the Slow Food World Meeting of Food Communities in Turin, Italy; the Native Food Summit in Sante Fe, New Mexico; the Slow Food RAFT Conference for the Clambake and Maple Nations in Vermont, and others.
Kim and Hook recently joined with Executive Chef Tom Bivins of the New England Culinary Institute (NECI) as founding board members of The Wild Food Gatherers Guild & Cooperative, a non-profit. In addition to their many other activities, in April of 2008, they became the Vermont Slow Food Convivium Leaders.
GMC to Offer Secondary Ed Teaching Track
Beginning next fall, Green Mountain College will be offering a new teaching track in secondary science education.
On April 16, Vermont Department of Education representatives visited GMC to evaluate the proposal to offer the new teaching track. The committee is slated to recommend to the Vermont Standards Board for Professional Educators that GMC be approved to offer this program. The approval caps an intensive fifteen-month cooperative effort involving GMC’s Education Department, the Natural Sciences and Mathematics Department, area high school science teachers and state officials.
The new program will offer a B.A. in Biology and will qualify successful graduates to teach biology, chemistry, physics and earth/space science to public school students in grades 7-12. Students who wish to learn more about the program may contact Joel Shapiro (education) at x8298.
Speaker to Discuss Mercury Contamination
Today, April 28, Green Mountain College hosts Neil Kamman from the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation for the final talk in the spring science lecture series “From Mushrooms to Mercury.”
His talk, titled “Mercury Contamination in the Northeastern Landscape,” begins at 4 p.m. in Ackley Hall, room 334. It is free and open to the public.
Kamman is the author of 13 peer-reviewed publications on mercury, the results of which have been used to help to justify passage of mercury control legislation in Vermont and elsewhere. His work has also helped to overturn lenient federal mercury control regulations on coal-fired electric generators.
Now an environmental scientist in the water quality division of the Vermont DEC, Kamman has nearly two decades of experience working on mercury control and water quality issues. He has stewarded over $1 million in research projects addressing mercury contamination in the northeastern landscape, and currently serves as chair of the Vermont Advisory Committee on Mercury Pollution.
Kamman holds a Bachelor of Science degree in forest biology and a Master’s of Science degree in water resources, both from the University of Vermont.
Brennan Accepts Merit Award from Gov. Douglas
On April 16, Vermont Governor Jim Douglas presented Green Mountain College President John F. (Jack) Brennan with the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) Vermont State Merit Award.
The award recognizes Brennan for his leadership at GMC and for his innovative work to improve higher education opportunities in the northeast. NEBHE hosted an awards ceremony March 14 in Boston.
GMC Hosts Second Annual
Slate Valley Math Competition
Over the course of the semester, Prof. Jim Wright’s (math) calculus II class has been working on a service learning project to organize the Second Annual Slate Valley Math Competition.
This involved several competition dates throughout the winter that were cancelled due to the weather. However, for the past several weeks the calculus II students have been organizing the final competition. Jim estimates that each student spent between 15 and 20 hours working on the project.
OnWednesday, April 23, their work came to fruition when they successfully hosted the Second Annual Slate Valley Math Competition at Green Mountain College. Students from two local high schools came to participate - Poultney High School and West Rutland High School. At the end of the event it was revealed that Poultney High School won the competition.
Spring 2008 Extended Hours
for Griswold Library
Tibursious (Teep) Ssendawula, a biology major with a mathematics minor, made a presentation at the 15th annual Hudson River Undergraduate Mathematics Conference (HRUMC) held April 19 at St. Lawrence University.
Teep’s presentation (HIV/AIDS Modeling) was an overview of some of the mathematical models used to analyze the immunological and epidemiological aspects of HIV/AIDS.
“Mathematical Modeling is a great opportunity for applying mathematics in other disciplines,” said Teep. “It is interesting for me to understand through math how the human body defense system mirrors that of government’s in its defensive mechanisms.”
According to Jim Wright, Teep’s faculty sponsor, “Teep did an excellent job and he has learned quite a bit about the interplay between biology and mathematics.” They both enjoyed Jeffrey Weeks’ keynote address on “The Shape of Space.”
HRUMC is a professional mathematics conference designed primarily for undergraduate students. Union College in Schenectady will be hosting next year’s conference.
FACULTY & STAFF NOTES
GMC Farm Manager Kenneth Mulder is lead author of the cover article in the March 2008 issue of Ambio. The article, “Energy Return on Investment: Toward a Consistent Framework,” attempts to develop a consistent methodology for net energy analysis.
Provost Bill Throop has been appointed to the board of directors for the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). His nomination was unanimously approved at an April 12-13 meeting in Lexington, KY. Bill will serve a two-year term ending December 31, 2010. AASHE is a member organization of colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada working to create a sustainable future. Their mission is to promote sustainability in all sectors of higher education.