ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES PROGRAM NEWSLETTER
OCTOBER 27, 2008
In this issue:
** ES EVENTS: ES Colloquium: “Mercury Exposure in Terrestrial Birds”, FILM — Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai (meet the filmmakers!)
** ES PROGRAM NEWS: Poll: What gets YOU out to events?
** ALSO ON CAMPUS: Bike trip to the farmers market, Pumpkin carving, and two lectures pertaining to China’s Three Gorges Dam
** MELLON INTERNSHIP STIPEND: Environmental Studies Jan plan Internship Stipends
** JOBS & INTERNSHIPS: Cascadia Consulting Group, Environment Maine
** ES EVENTS:
“Mercury Exposure in Terrestrial Birds”
Scott Friedman, ’00 Environmental Scientist and Ecotoxicologist
7:00 p.m. In Olin 1
Scott received a Bachelors degree in biology in 2000 from Colby and a Masters degree, also in biology, in 2007 from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. Prior to starting graduate school, he worked for the Bronx Zoo as a Wild Animal Keeper. Currently Scott is working for a consulting firm in Massachusetts, Coneco Engineers and Scientists.
Mercury is a persistent global pollutant and is known to have adverse effects on humans and wildlife. Traditionally, research on mercury pollution has concentrated on fish and fish-eating species. From 1930 to1950, the South River in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia was polluted with mercury by an industrial source. We recently showed that terrestrial foraging songbirds nesting along the South River are also at risk of bioaccumulating mercury. To accomplish this, we compared the blood mercury levels of songbirds caught within 50 m of the contaminated South River to aquatic foraging birds and a reference population. Finding that terrestrial feeding songbirds were also accumulating mercury was novel and warranted the question: through which prey items were terrestrial birds accumulating mercury? To determine this, we studied the diets of Carolina wrens, house wrens, and eastern bluebirds, nesting along the South River and at the reference sites. To ascertain their diet we used the ligature method to collect prey items gathered by adults and delivered to their nestlings. The diets of all three species consisted primarily of spiders, caterpillars, crickets, and beetles. All three species ate diets consisting of approximately 25% spider biomass. Spiders, being predators, sit atop food chains and thus potentially biomagnify mercury. Consistent with this hypothesis, we found that the majority of the mercury ingested by wrens and bluebirds came from spiders. The extent to which point source mercury in this river is transferred to adjacent terrestrial food webs through biological or hydrological processes was unknown until our recent discovery. Our findings have implications for the health of unstudied terrestrial ecosystems bordering mercury-contaminated rivers worldwide.
(ES 401 credit)
**Scott is willing to talk with students interested in a career as an environmental consultant. If you are interested and available tomorrow at 4:00 for this informal discussion, let me know and I will arrange this with him.**
"Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai" is a brand-new film that tells the compelling story of Wangari Maathai, 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Winner and founder of the Green Belt Movement in Kenya. Through the simple act of planting trees, Maathai sparked a powerful movement to protect the environment, women's rights, and democracy in Africa.
SEE THE FILM AND TALK TO THE FILM MAKERS!
Thursday, October 30 at 7:00 pm
Ostrove Auditorium, Diamond
Sponsored by the Integrated Studies Program, Environmental Studies Program, and the Goldfarb Center.
(ES 401 credit)
** ES PROGRAM NEWS:
Poll: What gets YOU out to events?
Students, we need your input. As you know our program hosts many events each semester. Occasionally students will tell faculty or me following an event... Oh I wish I knew about it. And we would like to do our best to be sure you know about what is going on. Typically we advertise events in the following ways: on posters around campus, many emails from me, this newsletter, using the Colby calendar, encouragement from faculty, and general announcements. Which of these tactics or others do you feel are the best way for us to be getting folks on campus to know about our events. Please send me your thoughts and thanks in advance for the help.
** ALSO ON CAMPUS:
Last Bike Trip to the Farmers' Market
This Thursday is the last (for now) bike trip to the Waterville Farmers' Market. Stock up on jams, potatoes, soaps, veggies and lots of squash before the winter arrives. The farmers also sell an assortment of pumpkins - just in time for Halloween!
Meet 4:15pm in Pulver.
This Wednesday in Foss Dining hall from 5:30 to 7:30 there will be pumpkin carving of the kakai pumpkins that the Organic Garden grew this summer, currently on display in Foss. The seeds will then be collected and roasted by Foss and the carved pumpkins will be lit up and put on display this Friday, Halloween's Eve! Come by for a good time Wednesday night.
Two lectures pertaining to China’s Three Gorges Dam Tuesday, 10/28.
First, Desiree Tullos will present her research entitled “Environmental Impact assessments, Science, and Policy: China’s Three Gorges Project.”
Professor Tullos is Assistant Professor of Biological and Ecological Engineering at Oregon State University, a noted hydrologist, and an expert on large dams systems around the world. This lecture will be held
on Tuesday (October 28) at 4:00pm in Diamond 122.
Next, Dai Qing will speak on “The Completion of China’s Three Gorges Project and China’s Environmental Issues.” Ms. Dai is an outspoken critic of the Three Gorges Project and author of both Yangtze! Yangtze! And The River Dragon Has Come! Her criticism of the Three Gorges Project ultimately led to her resignation from the Communist Party and a jail term of ten months following the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989 (see Wikipedia’s entry on Dai Qing for more details of her biography: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dai_Qing).
This lecture will be held on Tuesday (October 28) at 7:00 in Ostrove Auditorium.
** CAMPUS SUSTAINABILITY:
iBike group pedals to the polls
Among the 600 Colby students at the polls on Friday were fifteen members of the iBike program who pedaled down to cast their ballots. If you would like to know more about the program which allows any Colby community member to sign out a bicycle, helmet, and lock for 24 hours at no cost, email Patrick Roche <pjroche>
** MELLON INTERNSHIP STIPEND OPPORTUNITY:
Environmental Studies Jan plan Internship Stipends
The Environmental Studies Program has been awarded a grant by the Mellon Foundation to fund several environmental internship stipends annually. The amount of money available for each stipend will depend on the nature of the internship, the anticipated budget and financial needs of the applicant, and the availability of other resources including the employer's ability to provide partial compensation. Applications should be submitted via email to Beth Kopp, 208 Diamond <firstname.lastname@example.org> by November 17.
Criteria for Environmental Internship Stipends:
- Preference for ES/P majors, ES minors/concentrations
- Current seniors are eligible for January stipends only
- Internship should be related to environmental science or policy coursework
- Preference for students interning in humanitarian, not-for-profit, and governmental organizations
- Applicants must be in good academic standing
- Summer internships require a minimum of 350 hours, cannot exceed 40 hours a week and must comply with Federal wage and hour laws
- Applications should include the following:
- A written proposal describing the organization sponsoring the internship, the internship responsibilities, and the relationship of the internship to environmental science or policy coursework and to your future career goals;
- A letter of recommendation from a Colby faculty member;
- A current resume;
- A budget proposal listing projected income (including wages, stipends, family contribution, gifts and other) and projected expenses (including transportation, housing, utilities, food, and other); and
- A letter or other communication from the sponsoring organization confirming the internship.
Proposals will be evaluated based on the criteria above. Successful applicants will be awarded their stipends pending their agreement to the terms of the award.
If you have questions, email me <beth.kopp> or stop by Diamond 208. Check out these past Mellon recipients: http://www.colby.edu/environ/beyond/intern/
** JOBS AND INTERNSHIPS:
Project Assistant, Cascadia Consulting Group
Cascadia Consulting Group is a recognized leader in environmental management consulting. Founded in Seattle in 1993, Cascadia is a professional firm specializing in climate change, water resource management, conservation finance, outreach & social marketing, and solid waste management consulting throughout the country. Cascadia is a collaborative and fast-paced work environment that received the 2007 Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility.
This entry-level consulting position joins an existing team in support of developing and implementing creative solutions to twenty-first century environmental challenges for businesses, public and private organizations, and public environmental agencies at the state, local, and federal levels.
Primary job responsibilities for this position include:
• Providing support for environmental policy-related projects on a variety of topics ranging from climate change to watershed issues.
• Conducting quantitative analyses, including development and use of spreadsheets and databases.
• Identifying and investigating new proposal opportunities.
• Assisting with the writing, production, and overall execution of proposals and research summaries.
• Participating in out-of-the-office field work conducting surveys, outreach, and/or waste or recycling sorting.
• Conducting thorough internet-based scientific and policy-related research and analysis.
• Using MS Word, MS Excel, and PowerPoint to create and deliver professional and informative presentations.
• Supporting all aspects of teleconference, meeting, and training preparation and facilitation - organizing and coordinating logistics; preparing meeting agendas, mailings, summaries, and background materials; and staffing information tables.
• Perform related administrative duties as required.
Ideal candidates will possess the following:
• An undergraduate degree, preferably with coursework in quantitative methods (e.g., economics, mathematics) and/or environmental studies (e.g., ecology, environmental science/policy, geology, geography).
• Strong critical thinking and research skills, including demonstrated capabilities in systems thinking and quantitative analysis.
• Demonstrated clear and concise writing skills.
• Excellent verbal communication skills and effective interpersonal skills.
• Skilled in using spreadsheets, databases, and Microsoft Office programs. Arc GIS experience highly desired.
• An abiding interest in sustainability, green building, waste management, policy, and related environmental issues, particularly as demonstrated by coursework, internships, volunteer and/or work experience.
Expected annual salary range is in the low to mid-30s, depending on experience. Compensation is competitive within the environmental arena. Benefits include health insurance, 401K, transportation assistance, and generous vacation. For the right candidate, this position has opportunities for growth and progressively increasing project responsibility.
Please submit a resume, cover letter, and writing sample to apply.
Environmental Fellowship, Environment Maine
We all want clean air, clean water and open spaces. But it takes independent research and tough-minded advocacy to win concrete results for our environment, especially when powerful interests stand in the way of environmental progress. That's the idea behind Environment Maine. We focus on protecting Maine's air, water and open spaces. We speak out and take action at the local, state and national levels to improve the quality of our environment and our lives.
Environment Maine is hiring people for our Fellowship Program. We’re part of a nationwide network of similar state-based environmental groups that are also hiring. If you’re interested in a position in another state, you can apply through Environment Maine.
Fellowship Program: 2008 – 2010 Job Description
We’re hiring recent college graduates to help win campaigns with Environment Maine or one of our partner groups. By working together, our network’s efforts to pass renewable energy standards in the states has already resulted in decreasing global warming pollution – the equivalent of taking 1.5 million cars off the road. We have protected pristine wilderness areas across the country, including 4 million acres of forests in Arizona and convinced the state to designate three key areas protected in Michigan. We have protected countless waterways, including designating 45 waterways for Clean Water Act protections in New Jersey and passing an ocean protection bill in California. And, we’ve passed renewable energy standards in Congress.
Environment Maine Fellows will get a chance to work with some of the top environmental advocates and organizers in the country, and will have an immediate impact on a critical environmental issue. The Fellowship Program gives recent college graduates the training and experience to assume leadership roles in the environmental movement for the long term.
The Fellowship Program positions include, but are not limited to:
Issue Associate: As an issue associate, you’ll master your issue area and build the kind of powerful support it takes to make your voice heard and change public policy. Responsibilities include: researching and writing reports, developing and coordinating campaigns, preparing legislative testimony, building statewide and national coalitions, organizing media events, raising funds, and meeting with elected officials.
Field Associate: As a field associate, you’ll build and demonstrate support for proposals at the state or federal level to ensure that decision-makers hear from and pay attention to the public. You must quickly master the basics of a variety of issues, and then reach out to individuals, media outlets and organizations to build visibility and gain their support.
Issue associates and field associates may work on any of the following issues: global warming, energy policy, clean air and water, preserving our open spaces, and more. Each associate takes on the critical role of building the organization by canvassing at various times during the year and running a citizen outreach office during the summer.
We are looking for recent college graduates who care about the environment and are driven to preserve it for the future. We look for strong leadership skills, academic excellence, problem solving ability, and top-notch written and verbal skills. We value experience with campus and activist groups.
Training and Experience
A key part of the Environment Maine mission is to train leaders who are capable of organizing and winning results for the environment. Immediately following an intensive training, fellows are trusted with significant responsibilities in their jobs. The training lasts 10 days, is fully paid, and starts in mid-August in Boston. Four additional trainings take place during the rest of the year. Training topics include skills and political strategy; and topics are covered in a mix of lectures, classroom briefings and discussions, role-plays and in-the-field training. Throughout the year, you gain valuable skills and experience in both making your voice heard on the issues and in building an organization through grant-writing, canvassing, recruiting and managing staff, and directing campaigns.
Fellowship candidates are considered for positions with Environment Maine and our network of state environment group offices across the country. If you are interested only in particular locations, you will be asked to identify those locations during the interview process. If you are offered a fellowship position, you are guaranteed placement in one of your desired locations. In most cases, final placement, including location and position, occurs during the August training in Boston.
Salary & benefits
As a recent graduate, you will earn $23,750 in your first year and $24,250 in your second year. Salary for experienced candidates is commensurate with relevant professional experience and/or advanced degrees. You will be eligible to opt in to our group health plan, and will accrue two weeks paid vacation over the course of your first year, three weeks in your second year and will be eligible to apply for college loan assistance. In your second year, you will also be eligible to participate in our 401(k) plan.
Our network of environmental groups is currently hiring for positions in: Phoenix, AZ; Los Angeles, CA; Sacramento, CA; San Francisco, CA; Santa Barbara, CA; Denver, CO; Hartford, CT; Washington, DC; Tallahassee, FL; Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; Portland, ME; Boston, MA; Ann Arbor, MI; Trenton, NJ; Baltimore, MD; Concord, NH; Albuquerque, NM; Raleigh, NC; Columbus, OH; Portland, OR; Providence, RI; Austin, TX; Seattle, WA; Philadelphia, PA; Madison, WI
How to apply
Fill out our online application form. Please contact Recruitment Director Maria Schweitzer with any questions: Jobs@EnvironmentMaine.org.