Putting out this issue of Colby highlighted for me some of the practical applications of what we teach and how we teach it at Colby. My duties included editing Julia Stowe’s piece on Jason Klein ’97. Klein and his family foundation stepped in where the Mellon Foundation left off, providing resources for student research and internships in environmental studies. Those opportunities propelled environmental studies majors who, as alumni, used those critically important experiences as a springboard to important work in their field. From clean-energy outreach for the Natural Resources Council of Maine (Amanda Theberge ’08) to producing climate-change data discussed on Capitol Hill (Kevin Fritze ’07), these young alumni are working to bring about real change in crucial areas.
From that story it was on to the feature by Doug Rooks ’76 on the growth of wind power in Maine. It’s an industry replete with Colbians. Matt Kearns ’93 oversees wind-farm developer First Wind’s northeast operations. Rob Gramlich ’91 monitors the big picture from a wind-power trade group in Washington, D.C. Reed & Reed, the preeminent wind turbine construction company in New England, is its own Colby reunion, from CEO Jackson Parker ’76 to co-owner Tom Reed ’87 to a burly young guy who was part of the crew erecting a wind turbine on Stetson Mountain in eastern Maine in December. He introduced himself as Gardiner Parker ’09. His role in bringing wind power to Maine? He pointed to the top of the 260-foot tower, where another crew member helped a crane operator ease massive rotors into place. “Usually I’m up there,” Parker said.
You can’t get much more practical than that.
I’d also like to point you to the Viewpoint essay by Ayaz Khan Achakzai ’09, a magna cum laude economics and mathematical sciences double major. Achakzai is from Pakistan. He is a member of the Pashtun ethnic group, and he now lives in Islamabad. He got in touch a few months back with an idea for the magazine. After some back and forth, the essay in this issue emerged. Achakzai thinks it vital that Colby readers, and others, understand the roots of the conflict in Pakistan and Afghanistan. I learned a lot about the region and its history from his essay. I recommend it.
Gerry Boyle ’78, P’06