Category Archives: Environment

TODAY: Woodin Environmental Studies Colloquium Series

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The Woodin Environmental Studies Colloquium is back this week with a fascinating lecture titled, “Panacea or Poor Perspective? The Role of Urban Agriculture in Growing a Greener City,” given by Hamil Pearsall ‘03, Assistant Professor and Graduate Chair, Geography and Urban Studies Department, Temple University. If you’re interested in agriculture, urban development, social entrepreneurship or gardening at large, definitely don’t miss this talk. Here’s the deets:

This presentation questions the role of urban agriculture in making post-industrial cities more sustainable through a case study of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Urban agriculture lives large in the urban imaginary and plays an increasingly prominent role in discourses about the sustainable city. Often characterized by advocates as a panacea, gardening and farming seem to promise solutions to many different urban issues, such as blighted vacant lots, food insecurity, stormwater runoff, and unemployment. A single garden or urban farm can address these multiple concerns by promoting social entrepreneurship, urban beautification, urban greening, youth engagement, and local economic development opportunities. Although these objectives are related under the broader mission of “sustainability,” tensions among stakeholders over competing objectives have started to emerge, and questions of land tenure, the use of economic resources, and the long-term viability of urban agriculture shape the political discourse about the future of growing in the city and its role in promoting urban sustainability

Date: Today, November 20
Time: 12:30 -1:20 pm
Place: Orchard Hillcrest 103

Bill McKibben: The Tower of Babel and the Ivory Tower: Reflections on Reaching for the Heavens

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It goes without saying that campus celeb Bill McKibben is pretty much a genius. Almost every talk this environmentalist, best-selling author, and Schumann Distinguished Scholar at Middlebury College gives is incredibly fascinating, and absolutely worth attending; it’s really quite a privilege to have McKibben on campus. So, today, if you’re interested in college achievement culture, religious studies, biblical literature, multiculturalism, or just a good time, be sure to stop by McKibben’s talk, “The Tower of Babel and the Ivory Tower: Reflections on Reaching for the Heavens.” Here’s a quick brief on what will go down”

In this lecture, Bill McKibben will look at the story of the tower of Babel from Genesis 11, and the issues the text raises for the modern college: are there limits to what we should discover, and what are some of the early ideas about we now call multiculturalism? The Babel story–at the very end of the so-called ‘primordial Bible’–is full of intriguing hints about how all humans might approach these key questions.

Bill McKibben is an author, whose books include The End of Nature, about climate change, and The Comforting Whirlwind: God, Job, and the Scale of Creation, which is about the book of Job. He’s a regular columnist for the religious magazine Sojourners, and his work has also appeared frequently in The Christian Century, as well as Christianity Today and Books and Culture. Later in November he’ll give a plenary address at the American Academy of Religion annual meeting in San Diego, and in January he will teach a winter-term course on “Stories from the Bible.”

This lecture is sponsored by the Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life, with generous support by Cook Commons.

Date: Today, November 17
Time: 7:30 – 9 pm
Place: Dana Auditorium (in Sunderland)
Cost: fo free

Graphic Information Systems (GIS) Lecture by Andrew Hill

Geography is one of the fastest-growing and most popular majors at Middlebury. For a reason: Maps are really cool, they make life quite a lot easier, and they make this planet quite a lot more accessible. If you’re into geography, or a GIS fanatic as many Midd kids have become, be sure to check out the GIS lecture being given by Andrew Hill, a Senior Scientist at Vissuality. The session, titled “Building Dynamic Maps with CartoDB,” will demonstrate how CartoDB, a powerful cloud-based mapping platform, can be used to store, manage, and sort large data sets and combine dynamic data to create real-time maps.

Date: Today, November 5
Time: 4:30 – 5:45 pm
Place: BiHall 104

TODAY: Visiting Architecture Lecturer: Jim Cutler

Grace Episcopal Church, designed by Cutler Anderson Architects. Father of Blake Harper '15 is pastor at this church!

Grace Episcopal Church, designed by Cutler Anderson Architects. Father of Blake Harper ’15 is pastor at this church!

As we’ve been recently discussing on middbeat, place, space, and architecture can seriously impact the ways the environment, communities, social groups, individual people, and even strangers act and interact. Certainly we’ve all got ideas on how Midd’s architecture and public space ought to be tweaked so to re-vamp social life and community building, but we could certainly use advice from an expert. Enter Jim Cutler, founding principal of Cutler Anderson Architects in Bainbridge Island, Washington.

As their site explains, “Established in 1977, Cutler Anderson Architects (formerly James Cutler Architects) is internationally renowned for its environmental awareness and attention to detail. Their approach to design can be stated simply as an attempt to reveal the nature of every circumstance – the nature of the institution that we house, the nature and significance of the place in which it is located, the nature and power of the materials with which we build.”

As founder and principal of Cutler Anderson Architects, Jim Cutler, FAIA has won numerous design awards, and is known for his sensitive engagement of land and place. More, Cutler served as the Cameron Visiting Architect-in-Residence here at Middlebury in fall 2009. Today, Cutler will be speaking about his firm, his architectural work, and his theories behind space, place, and construction. Be there.

Date: Today, October 30
Time: 1:30 – 2:30 pm
Place: BiHall Room 216
Cost: Nada

MIDDBEAT RELEASE: MCAB Fall 2015 Comedians Will Be…

Middbeat’s breakin the news, the MCAB Fall 2015 Comedians have been released! MCAB Social Co-Chairs Claudia Esteva ’15 and Nitya Mankad ’16 write in to let us know the details:

Attention Middlebury Students! On Saturday, November 22, MCAB is delighted to present comedic duo Jake and Amir from College Humor. Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfeld are the writers/actors/editors behind the Webby award winning Internet series “Jake and Amir.” The duo have released two videos a week for over four years, with each episode now averaging more than 500,000 views. As a series, “Jake and Amir” has won several awards including the Webby’s People Voice for Best Web Series in 2010 and has been named one of PCMag’s top 15 best web-only shows. Their series has also appeared on television on MTV’s “The CollegeHumor Show.” The two have recently released their first ever half hour special, “Fired” available for online streaming and in DVD form.

They will be joined by special guest Jon Rineman, who is currently the head monologue writer on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon. He has appeared as a stand-up and performer on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and tours the country performing stand-up in comedy clubs and colleges.

Jake and Amir will be performing their podcast “If I Were You.” Join our hosts as they dispense wisdom on areas of life they are qualified to talk about. Also in areas they are not qualified to talk about.

Tickets go on sale at the Box Office this Monday, November 3rd, at 6 am. They will be $12 online, and $15 at the door.

Sounds awesome, thanks MCAB! We be thur. 

Date: Tickets: November 3, Performance: November 22
Time: Tickets: 6 am, Performance: Doors open 8:30 pm, show starts at 9
Place: McCullough Social Space

REMINDER: Middlebury Geographic Submissions Due 10/31

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We want to remind you that Midd’s premier student-run publication for independent research, travel, and cartography Middlebury Geographic, is now accepting submissions for its fall issue. Middlebury Geographic is designed to capture and celebrate the stories, independent research, and worldwide initiatives of the Middlebury College student body. Middlebury Geographic attempts to reflect and reinforce the college’s tradition of international awareness, diversity and critical inquiry.

Inspired by the widely circulated National Geographic and J.B. Jackson’s Landscape magazine, Middlebury Geographic combines quality journalism with narrative photography and creative cartography, in attempt to present geographic concepts to the “intelligent layman,” rather than the specialist. Since established in the Spring of 2009, Middlebury Geographic has continued to publish two issues every academic year.  Check out past issues here.

If you are interested in writing a short or long piece, or submitting photography or maps, send them on over to [email protected]

Submissions are due by Halloween.  Big thanks to Lillie Hodges ‘15.5 & Anthea Viragh ’16.5 for the tip and for organizing this year’s publications.

Fall Family Weekend with the Mountain Club!

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Parents love the great outdoors just as much as you? You’re in luck: the Middlebury Mountain Club is hosting some awesome activities for you and your familia, and everyone’s welcome to join in on any and all. Check out the schedule below (submitted by the MMC), and be sure to get outside and take advantage of what could be one of the last not-completely-freezing fall weekends.

Pumpkin Tumble!
Saturday, October 25th 2-5pm Brooker Patio

imgresPumpkins, cheese, cider donuts, apples, cider, love and happiness. These are all things you will find this weekend at our annual Pumpkin Tumble. Bring your friends, family, dogs (no, but seriously) and smiling faces to listen to live music, eat delicious food, perhaps compete in the apple pie contest, and simply enjoy the fall spirit. Sign up for the Apple Pie Contest here. If you’re interested in volunteering (think cutting massive amounts of cheese and apples) email Robin Loewald at [email protected]

Camel’s Hump at Sunrise with Lucy, Hye-Jin!
Friday-Saturday, October 24-25

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Don’t miss the last chance to scope out some fall foliage on the top of one of Vermont’s most famous peaks! We’ll leave ADK circle at 1 PM on Friday and hike a couple miles to where we’ll stay the night. Getting up a wee bit early the next morning, we’ll summit Camel’s Hump in time to soak up the sunrise. Expect to be back on campus for dinner on Saturday. Total trip is approx. 5.5 miles, but get stoked for some elevation (a little under 3000 ft). YAY!!! Come play in the mountains with us! Sign up here!

Adirondack Hike Sampler with Katie and Jake!
Saturday-Sunday, October 25-26

unnamed-2Come explore the Adirondack fire towers with us! We’ll be leaving at 8 am on Saturday, October 25 and doing three different day hikes in the Adirondacks on this overnight trip. Saturday we’ll visit Goodnow and Vanderwhacker fire towers before camping out, and then on Sunday morning we’ll hike to OK Slip Falls before returning to Middlebury in the afternoon. We’ll get the best of both worlds: lots of time hiking, but without heavy packs. Each day hike is about 5 miles long so be excited to cover some ground and see some beautiful places! Sign up here!

Reflections on Nearly Three Decades Working at the EPA

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Carl R. Howard: The first US environmental statutes (the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act, were enacted in 1970 and 1972, respectively. Hazardous waste and toxic substances statutes followed in the mid-70s and 1980s. I studied the first environmental cases in law school in the early to mid-1980s and joined EPA shortly thereafter. What changes have occurred in this field over the past 30 years? What other issues have jumped to the fore? At one point cancer was a major concern for the environmental, and other, communities. It still is, but now we have a greater concern as well…
 
Bio: Mr. Howard is a New York City boy, born and bred. He escaped to beautiful Middlebury College where he graduated in 1981 (after founding the Middlebury Pranksters Ultimate Frisbee Team in 1976). Mr. Howard pursued a career in environmental law at Hofstra Law School on Long Island, graduating in 1986 when he joined the US EPA, Region 2 office back in New York City. For nearly 30 years he has prosecuted polluters and enforced hazardous waste laws and over-seen clean-up of contaminated sites. He is also a past Chair of the New York State Environmental Law Section and current Co-chair of the Global Climate Change Committee of the New York State Bar Association. Come to his talk today to learn more!
When: 12:30-1:20
WhereHillcreast: The Orchard (103)
 

Midd Geographic Now Accepting Submissions

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Midd’s premier student-run publication for independent research, travel, and cartography Middlebury Geographic, is now accepting submissions for its fall issue.  Middlebury Geographic is designed to capture and celebrate the stories, independent research, and worldwide initiatives of the Middlebury College student body. Middlebury Geographic attempts to reflect and reinforce the college’s tradition of international awareness, diversity and critical inquiry.

Inspired by the widely circulated National Geographic and J.B. Jackson’s Landscape magazine, Middlebury Geographic combines quality journalism with narrative photography and creative cartography, in attempt to present geographic concepts to the “intelligent layman,” rather than the specialist. Since established in the Spring of 2009, Middlebury Geographic has continued to publish two issues every academic year.  Check out past issues here.

If you are interested in writing a short or long piece, or submitting photography or maps, send them on over to mgATmiddleburyDOTedu.  Submissions are due by Halloween.  Big thanks to Lillie Hodges & Anthea Viragh ’15 for the tip and for organizing this year’s publications.

TODAY: Saha Global Leadership Program Virtual Info Session

Did you know: 
780 million people around the world lack access to safe drinking water.

 Water-related diseases, like diarrhea, dysentery and cholera, kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war.
The most vulnerable population are children under the age of five.
Globally, 1.3 billion people, over 18% of the world’s population, live without electricity.

That’s where Saha Global comes in:
38,108 people served
100% sustainability rate

Saha Global is an incredible non-profit based in Northern Ghana, looking for students and young professionals who:
  • Are passionate about international social justice, environmental sustainability and public health
  • Are peer leaders looking to build project management skills
  • Looking for a unique experience Northern Region, Ghana
  • Can help a rural community solve its water or electricity needs by starting a small business

Sound like you? If so, be sure to Join Kate Clopeck, Saha’s Co-Founder and Executive Director for a virtual info session on October 20th at 5pm and learn how you can make a sustainable impact during your winter or summer break by participating in their three-week Global Leadership Program in Ghana. Register for the online info session here! Read on for more info about Saha Global:

Saha Global empowers women in rural communities in northern Ghana to solve their village’s need for clean water and electricity by providing business opportunities. They do this by bringing leaders from around the world to Ghana through our Global Leadership Program where they train local women to launch profitable social enterprises such as sustainable pure water and solar energy businesses. All of the revenue from these businesses stays in the community and is managed by the women entrepreneurs. To date, Saha Global has launched 71 clean water businesses and 5 solar electricity businesses, which empower 164 women entrepreneurs who serve 38,108 people. 100% of these businesses are still in operation today.

The three week Saha Global Leadership Program in Ghana has run successfully since the Summer of 2010, and over 10 Midd students have participated. The Saha site explains the program as follows:

Young leaders who participate in Saha’s three-week Global Leadership Program will be trained to become Saha Field Representatives. Before traveling abroad, they will fundraise to cover the start-up materials needed for each community business, as well as their in-country travel expenses. Once in Ghana, they will participate in a vigorous and comprehensive training program designed and led by our Saha Global team. Groups of four will be partnered with a rural community in which they will first introduce the business concept and its particular health, social and economic benefits, and then train local women to launch either a clean water or solar business.

By the end of the three-week program, these businesses will be up and running and the women entrepreneurs will be fully in charge of all operations. Our Saha Global team will then monitor the business for the next 5 years to ensure long-term success.

For more information about Saha Global, read their story hereSaha is currently accepting applications for 2015 Winter Global Leadership Program, which takes place in Ghana from December 28th – January 20th (J-TERM), as well as their summer 2015 program. Don’t miss the online info session today! All are welcome. 

What: Virtual Info Session for Saha Global
Date: Today, October 20
Time: 5 – 6pm
Place: Online, register here