Brandon Gowdy '10

The Journey to Awareness
Brandon Gowdy didn’t always care about the natural world. Originally from Ellington, Conn., the Green Mountain College senior moved after high school with his family to Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. Both areas have rich ecosystems and dense natural diversity – places ripe for developing a love of the natural world - but Brandon had his eyes inward. “I was centered in myself,” he says. “I hadn’t learned to pay attention to the people and things around me.”

Then, while attending a community college, Brandon got involved at the Northwoods Stewarship Center near his home teaching children about the environment. This work piqued his interest – and he decided to focus his studies on environmental issues. When he came to GMC, he got a trial by fire in a semester-long block course on ecosystems service evaluation. It was his turning point as a student. “It was a huge collaborative research effort,” he says. “I got comfortable working in groups and it got me engaged in what this school has to offer.”

A trip to Brazil over the summer opened Brandon’s eyes to the United States’ influence on other countries. He saw some of its gaudy, more ambiguous capitalist traits reflected back at him, and realized that the country has a long way to go when it comes to environmental sustainability.

Working closely with Professors Mark Dailey and Jim Graves has developed Brandon’s abilities as a student and mentor. He has pursued independent studies and presented a workshop on riverine ecosystem management to fall 2009 Images of Nature classes. In the future, Brandon hopes to attend graduate school with an eye on the policies that shape environmental decisions.

So what is sustainability? Brandon wonders that often. His work has been on the frontline of the conflict over what ‘sustainable’ means and how this meaning should be applied. One thing he does know is that the U.S. is not getting it right, saying, “Here we are parading around saying this is how it should be done, but we’re not really achieving the same objectives in our own country,” he says. “It’s the pot calling the kettle black.”

By Ryan Dixon '11

Front Page


Women's Soccer
Wednesday, 10/14
at Southern Vermont College,
4 p.m.

Saturday, 10/17
at Castleton State College,
4 p.m.

Men's Soccer
Wednesday, 10/14
at Norwich University, 3 p.m.

Saturday, 10/17
at Castleton State College, 4 p.m.

Women's Volleyball
Wednesday, 10/14
at SUNY Cobleskill, 7 p.m.

Saturday, 10/17
at Lyndon State College, 4 p.m.

Cross-Country
Saturday, 10/17
GMC Invitational, 11 a.m.

Golf
Wednesday, 10/14
at Franklin Pierce University,
Shattuck Golf Club, 11:30 a.m.

Saturday, 10/17
GMC Invitational,
Lake St. Catherine Country Club, 11 a.m.

More on GMC Athletics


WEEK AT A GLANCE


WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 14
GreenMAP Road Bike Ride
Meet at 5 p.m., Brennan Circle

Massage Therapy & Reflexology
11 a.m. - 8 p.m., Wellness Center

Fitness Swim
11 a.m. - 1 p.m., Waldron Pool

Faculty Colloquium:
Vance Jackson

12 - 1 p.m., Terrace 124

Yoga
1 - 2:30 p.m., Bogue Movement Studio

Academic Skills Workshop:
Writing

3 - 4 p.m., Griswold Library Room 2

GRE Study Session
4 - 5 p.m., Griswold Library Room 2

Community Swim
6 - 8 p.m., Waldron Pool

Shakti Tribal Belly Dance (advanced)
6:30 - 7:30 p.m., Bogue Movement Studio

Spanish Study Group
6:30 - 7 p.m., Calhoun Learning Center

Talk: Prof. Tom Williams
7 p.m., Terrace 124

Tribal Dance (beginners)
7:30 - 8:30 p.m., Bogue Movement Studio

Meditation
8:30 - 9 p.m., Bogue Movement Studio

Talent Show
9 p.m., The Gorge

Statistics Study Group
10 - 11 p.m., Calhoun Learning Center

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 15
Fitness Swim
7:30 - 9 a.m., Waldron Pool

Yoga
12:15 - 1 p.m., Bogue Movement Studio

Massage Therapy & Reflexology
1:30 - 8 p.m., Wellness Center

Community Swim
6 - 8 p.m., Waldron Pool

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16
Compassionate Communication Workshop
8:30 - 10:30 a.m., The Gorge

Fitness Swim
11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Waldron Pool

Meditation
2:15 - 2:45 p.m., Chapel

Community Swim
6 - 8 p.m., Waldron Pool

Bullet Proof Marshmallows
9 p.m., The Gorge

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 17
Admissions Fall Open House
All day, various locations

Yoga
1 - 2 p.m., Bogue Movement Studio

Presentation: Vermont Institute of Natural Science
1 - 3 p.m., The Gorge

Welsh Harvest Festival
4 p.m., Cerridwen Farm

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 18
Community Swim
6 - 8 p.m., Waldron Pool

Spanish Study Group
9 - 10 p.m., Calhoun Learning Center



If you have news, announcements, or events to publicize in the GMC Journal, please e-mail materials to gmcjournal@greenmtn.edu or send through campus mail to the Communications Office, Richardson House. All materials subject to editorial approval by the College Communications Office.