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ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES PROGRAM COLBY COLLEGE YEAR 2 REPORT TO THE ANDREW W. MELLON FOUNDATION
The program is also becoming a leadership force on the campus. Three faculty and three students from the ES have been appointed to the Environmental Advisory Group (EAG), a committee formed this year by the President to advise him on "campus greening" and issues of environmental stewardship. Two members of the Environmental Studies program have been elected to chair the Interdisciplinary Studies Division for two consecutive three-year periods. Environmental Studies faculty members were instrumental in developing many aspects of our all-college Spring Undergraduate Research Symposium that showcases student research. The keynote speaker had an Environmental Science background and spent much of his time on campus with Environmental Studies students. (This year's speaker, Gus Speth, is the Dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.)
The Environmental Studies Coordinator
As noted in the report for Year 1, the members of the Environmental Studies Coordinator Search Committee were very pleased to announce the appointment of Sharon Anglin Treat on March 7, 2000. Ms. Treat received her JD degree with honors from Georgetown University. Her background includes several years as a Maine State Senator specializing in environmental legislation. She has also taught environmental law and has represented public interest environmental advocacy groups. She combines wonderful academic credentials with an extensive knowledge of the environmental policy community in the New England area.
The presence of the Environmental Studies Coordinator, supported by the Mellon Foundation grant, has been a tremendous asset to the program. Just as we had hoped, Ms. Treat has helped the program to build a stronger sense of community among our Environmental Studies alumni and our current faculty and students. She has been very effective in setting up a popular lecture series, an in enhancing both the ES career services program, and a heavily-used internship program. The interns and research assistants report valuable experiences that have advanced their skills and interest in the study of the environment. She has also played a key role in designing and implementing the new ES web site and in forging connections between Colby and other educational institutions in the state that are also seeking to play a leadership role in producing environmentally sensitive campuses. These activities have significantly strengthened our program and students have responded very favorably to these program enhancements.
Coordinator's Activities Campus Greening: With significant input from Ms. Treat and the ES faculty, Colby's administration agreed to establish the EAG, a campus greening advisory committee composed of faculty, staff, and students and is broadly representative of the campus. Three of the four faculty positions and three of the four student positions on the committee are filled by persons affiliated with the Environmental Studies program. In addition, we now have seniors in the ES senior seminar doing campus greening projects that will culminate with presentations to this advisory committee.
Ms. Treat and her ES colleague Professor Karen Barnhardt served on the planning committee for the 21st Century Campus Conference, in Bar Harbor, Maine. This conference brought together all the major education institutions in the state to share ideas on how best to make the campuses more environmentally sustainable. Colby had the largest contingent among colleges attending with our students, faculty and staff all represented. The Colby Environmental Studies Program was a co-sponsor of the event.
Career Opportunities: ES Coordinator Treat worked closely with Career Services staff throughout the year to provide information about career options and opportunities for internships and jobs in the environmental field. Activities included:
Newsletter: Ms. Treat and Professor Tietenberg prepared an informative ES Newsletter for distribution at the beginning of the Fall 2001 semester, reconnecting with students, faculty and alumni and providing reports on faculty and students accomplishments and activity occurring within the Mellon Foundation program (see Attachment 2: Fall 2001 ES Newsletter).
Website and Electronic Networking: Ms. Treat worked with the Communications Department to develop a new Environmental Studies website that is much more interactive and useful. Thanks to Karen Oh, Colby's Website Coordinator, and Sharon Treat, the site is attractive and easy to use, and is a primary source of career and event information. The site has a page devoted to career information, with links to Career Services, environmental job search engines and organizational websites. Information on the Mellon Internships and essays written by recipients of these internships are also posted, with an archive of back issues of the weekly newsletter. The website is also linked to related academic departments, the Environmental Advisory Group web page, and the Colby Outdoors page of the Admissions website. It also has information about ES Program faculty, speakers and events of interest, and the student advisory committee. It has served as a useful source of information for prospective students as well as our current students and faculty.
Alumni Relations: Ms Treat has been coordinating with Alumni Relations to identify Colby alumni currently working in the environmental field as well as Environmental Studies alumni who are interested in a continuing relationship with the program by returning as speakers, offering internships and providing mentoring. An annual newsletter is emailed to interested ES alumni, and this summer the newsletter was posted on the revised ES website. Several alumni visited campus this year to speak to students about their experiences working in the environmental field, and alumni have also been an excellent source of internship opportunities.
Speakers: With support from the Mellon Foundation, we initiated a very successful biweekly Lunchtime Colloquia to provide a forum for faculty and student presentations. These included a mix of speakers from on and off campus. We also have a more formal lecture series. For both series, Ms. Treat was the organizer and her vast contacts made it possible to bring in an interesting array of speakers involving a variety of backgrounds
Jim Fleming, Associate Professor of Science, Technology and Society, Colby College, "Climatology: A Myth-Saturated Science."
Tiffany Michaud, Maine Program Intern for The Wilderness Society, "Wilderness, A Maine Tradition," a slide show and talk on wilderness in Maine
William R. Moomaw, Director, Tufts Institute of the Environment The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, Tufts University, Tufts "Charting a New Global Energy Trajectory: Addressing the Imperatives of Climate, the Economy and National Security"
Special Student Advising: The Environmental Studies Program has established an Environmental Studies Student Advisory Committee to serve as a sounding board and provide advice and feedback to the program faculty and staff. Initial responsibilities were to determine a long-term structure for the committee, to investigate initiating participation in an Environmental Studies honor society, to host speakers, to assist in the search for the new Environmental Policy Professor, and to provide input into the proposed new interdisciplinary major in Environmental Science.
Although we recognized that we had a problem with too many advisees per advisor, particularly when it came to assisting with internships and job placement, the Mellon grant allowed us to do something about it. Sharon Treat has taken on, as one of her primary responsibilities, providing a system of assistance to students as they seek internships and job placements. As she works closely with Career Services, she is committed to assuring that Environmental Studies students have excellent information and contacts as they seek placements in internships or careers. The feedback from students indicates that her work is very much appreciated.
Mellon Internship Stipend Awards
Colby's entire program focuses on project-based learning. Internships fit nicely into this philosophy. The Environmental Studies Department is especially grateful to the Mellon Foundation for funding that can be used to provide financial stipends to students taking environmentally-related internships that they could not otherwise afford. Recipients of funding from the Mellon Foundation grant for internships in 2000/2001 were the following four students:
Summer Research Assistantships
Summer research assistantships, funded by the Mellon Foundation grant, provided the opportunity for five students to remain on campus to work closely with faculty mentors on research projects that, otherwise, would be difficult to complete during the academic year. Student researchers and mentors in Summer 2001 were:
All of these faculty mentors are members of the Environmental Studies Advisory Committee.
List of Participating Faculty
Director: Professor Tom Tietenberg Environmental Studies Coordinator: Sharon Treat
ADVISORY COMMITTEE: Professors Elizabeth DeSombre (Environmental Studies and Government), Karen Barnhardt (Education), Catherine Bevier (Biology), F. Russell Cole (Biology), David Firmage (Biology), James Fleming (Science, Technology, and Society), Whitney King (Chemistry), David Nugent (Anthropology), Jennifer Shosa (Geology), John Talbot (Sociology), Tietenberg (Economics), Treat (Environmental Studies) and James Webb (History).
Visiting NSF-AIRE Fellow: Philip Nyhus
Last year was a significant one for the program in that Beth DeSombre, our only jointly appointed faculty member in the ES program was granted tenure. Our elation was short-lived. However, as soon thereafter she received an offer of an endowed chair at Wellesley, which she took after being granted a two-year leave of absence from Colby. We are sorry to see her go, but wish her the best in her future career.
Nancy Quirk, a Ph.D. in international environmental policy from Indiana, has accepted our offer to replace Beth during this year. We appreciate Dr. Quirk's contributions to the program.
The Environmental Studies Program is poised to become one of the focal points in Colby's future. We have tradition of leadership in the Environmental Studies community over the past several decades. We have both the curricular basis and increasing student interest to provide a solid foundation for reestablishing our position as one of the top environmental studies programs in the country. We also have the location to give us a competitive advantage. Coupling this vision with adequate resources to make the transition can help distinguish Colby nationally in the decades to come.
Colby faculty and students are grateful to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the opportunity to expand and enhance the Environmental Studies program and helping us meet the goal of strengthening the integral relationship of research and teaching within the environmental studies curriculum at the undergraduate level.BACK
ES Mellon Grant Home | Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
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