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Emmie Theberge ’08
Emmie Theberge, an ES Policy and Government double major, spent her semester abroad on the Galápagos Islands. The first month was spent in mainland Ecuador where, in the Andes, the Amazon rainforest, and on the coast, she studied conservation biology and wildlife management. She then traveled to the Galápagos Islands, where she remained for three months studying environmental security, human ecology and maritime societies, and environmental economics. After returning home from her semester abroad, Emmie headed back to Mayflower Hill to spend the first half of the summer as a research assistant for ES/Government professor Liliana Andonova researching public-private partnership activity among international organizations. She was then off again, this time traveling to Australia on a Mellon Grant to work for the Environmental Economics Unit of the Victorian State Government Department of Sustainability and Environment. In the spring of 2008 Emmie interned with the Governor’s Office of Energy Independence and Security researching wind power development in Maine. Emmie continues to pursue her passion for environmental issues on campus as a student representative for the Environmental Advisory Group (EAG), the co-president of the ES Club, and as a member of the student initiative producer- consumer cooperative proposed for downtown Waterville. She is writing a government honors thesis on transboundary conservation areas and their role in conflict mediation, resolving border conflicts in particular. After leaving Colby, she plans on working for a year or two before studying environmental law.
Katie Unsworth ’10
Katie Unsworth is an ES Policy and International Studies double major. She became interested in environmental studies one summer in high school while working on a leatherback sea turtle conservation project on Matura Beach, Trinidad. At Colby, she serves as the Go-Ho Dorm President and works for the ES Program. Apart from planning environmental events and activities on campus, her main project has been to decrease food waste through the ‘Trayless Thursday’ campaign. In 2007 Katie was sent as the Colby delegate to the Lotus Live Sustainability Conference at Stanford University where she met with students from across the country to discuss campus environmental issues and create an online database of sustainability facts and a set of best practices to help other academic institutions ‘go green.’ During her junior year Katie plans on spending a semester at sea studying international environmental law. Katie is particularly interested in environmental justice issues and plans to attend law school after graduating from Colby.
Becky Lipson ’09
Becky Lipson is an ES Science major with a conservation biology concentration. Becky has always loved the outdoors, but before coming to Colby she never intended to study environmental science. Once she arrived at Colby, however, Becky was impressed by the ES Program’s interdisciplinary nature. As an ES major she been able to take courses in the fields of chemistry, anthropology, economics, mathematics, geology, and biology. Additionally one of her favorite aspects of being an ES major is being able explore Maine’s outdoors for classes such as Ecology and Ornithology. Becky has clearly used what she learns in class to better her internship and summer experiences, which have included spending her sophomore JanPlan on a sheep ranch in Montana, working at a local farm over the summer, and interning for the Sierra Club. Becky will be spending her junior spring semester abroad in Namibia working on a black rhino conservation project. Becky says that while the course requirements for the ES major can be challenging, the major does an excellent job of preparing students for graduate school and careers in the environmental field.
Kerry Whittaker ’08
Kerry Whittaker is a senior ES Science and English double major. She chose to participate in the Environmental Studies Program because of its interdisciplinary outlook, linking human issues with the natural world. Her academic background at Colby focuses mainly on conservation biology and environmental literature. As a supplement to her on-campus studies, Kerry went abroad to Baja, Mexico in 2006 through the School for Field Studies. During her abroad experience, Kerry studied coastal ecology, green sea turtle conservation, and the cultural and biological complexities of ecotourism. The Environmental Studies Program at Colby has spurred some unique internship and research opportunities for Kerry. She spent the summer of 2006 working for the Lloyd Center for Environmental Research and Education on the Southeastern coast of Massachusetts. In 2007, she received funding from Science Foundation Ireland to participate in paleobotany and atmospheric science research at University College Dublin. As a continuation of her research in Ireland, Kerry’s honors thesis at Colby deals with the effect of higher atmospheric CO2 on Maine’s conifers. Kerry’s experience with the Environmental Studies Program has exposed her to the diverse perspectives of global climate change and ecosystem dynamics while providing her with an intimate connection to the stunning natural resources of Maine. She seeks to integrate her academic experiences into her daily lifestyle with a passion for environmental activism by example. As the Head Resident of the Green Dorm, she hopes to expand her capacity for sustainable living while inspiring the same in those around her.
Professor Russell Cole
Professor Russell Cole is the Director of the Environmental Studies Program at Colby College. Now the Oak Professor of Biological Sciences at Colby, Professor Cole received his undergraduate degree at the University of Massachusetts in Zoology, followed by his Ph.D. in Biology with an emphasis in Ecology at the University of Illinois. His research expertise focuses mostly on ecology, environmental science, and conservation biology however he infuses his teaching with interdisciplinary perspectives. Specifically, Russ has worked with ecology and impacts of introduced species in Hawaii, the conservation of mammal species, and Maine lake quality in relation to watershed land use patterns. His background also deals with sustainable development, resource use, and natural history. Russ spent his recent sabbatical working on the taxonomy of ground squirrels at the United States National Museum, Smithsonian in Washington, DC. His teaching at Colby focuses heavily on project and field-based learning including January trips to Belize and Anguilla, exposing students to ecological interactions in those areas. Russ is a faculty member of the Environmental Advisory Group (EAG) and is a strong advocate for campus greening initiatives such as green buildings, local foods, and energy efficiency. Russ is very supportive of student led initiatives and enjoys working with students outside of the classroom. Russ is married to Science Librarian Suzi Cole.
Professor Gail Carlson
Gail Carlson is a Visiting Assistant Professor and Research Scientist in the Environmental Studies Program at Colby, where her specialty is the study of environmental determinants of human health. Gail is active in the community on environmental health issues, and has developed civic engagement experiences for students in the course The Environment & Human Health. Previously, they carried out community environmental health audits focused on the Colby community and Waterville. Currently, they are working to engage local residents with environmental health issues and specifically a bill in the Maine legislature, LD 2048 An Act to Protect Children’s Health and the Environment from Toxic Chemicals in Toys and Children’s Products, which proposes to close critical gaps in how we regulate toxic exposures. Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, Gail earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin, where her research focused on signal transduction in lower eukaryotes. Besides teaching science, Gail is interested in writing about science for the public. She was an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science & Mass Media Fellow at Chedd-Angier Production Company in Massachusetts, maker of the PBS series Scientific American Frontiers. Gail hopes to pursue future writing projects to further scientific and environmental literacy. Gail is married to ES Professor Philip Nyhus, and they have two children. In her spare time, she enjoys playing music with her family and venturing out into the natural splendor of Maine.