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Sustainability Calendar

This calendar contains not only Sustainability's events, but many events around campus that may be of interest.

Academic Year Calendar

Why Did Americans Stop Eating Locally?

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September 11, 2014 7:00 PM  – 9:00 PM
Sills Hall, Smith Auditorium

In his talk Matthew Booker will explore why urban Americans radically changed their diets in the twentieth century. Tracing the American diet from local oysters to long distance burgers, he will suggest ways we can learn from this history as we rethink today's and tomorrow's food.

Matthew Booker is an associate professor of History at North Carolina State University, and a specialist in Environmental History and Western North American History.

For more information on this event, please see the website.

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Author Pope Brock: "Another Fine Mess: Life on Tomorrow's Moon"

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September 18, 2014 4:30 PM  – 5:30 PM
Visual Arts Center, Beam Classroom

Pope Brock will speak on his current book project, Another Fine Mess: Life on Tomorrow's Moon, which imagines what might happen on the moon in the mid-to-late 21st century if the schemes various governments, corporations, and obsessed individuals have for it all come true.

Brock is also the author of Charlatan: America's Most Dangerous Huckster, the Man Who Pursued Him, and the Age of Flimflam (Crown, 2008), an account of the improbable career of John Brinkley, the most successful quack in U.S. history, and Indiana Gothic (Doubleday/Nan Talese). His work has appeared in GQ, Rolling Stone, Esquire, Talk, The New Yorker, London Independent, Life, People, and the London Sunday Times Magazine.

Brock received his BA from Harvard University and his MFA from New York University School of the Arts.  He is currently on the faculty of the MFA Program in Writing at the University of Nebraska.

Brock's lecture will be followed by a reception in the Visual Arts Center "Fishbowl."

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Careers in the Locavore Economy

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September 25, 2014 7:00 PM  – 8:30 PM
Moulton Union, Main Lounge

There is more to the locavore movement than farmer's markets on the green! Maine is an incubator of entrepreneurial opportunities connected to the food economy, and Bowdoin alumni are playing an active role in its success. Come learn about their work, challenges and areas of growth. Panelists include representatives from the fishing industry, craft beer movement, international tea import start-up, and the role that foundations are playing in supporting local food initiatives. Refreshments will follow.

This will be a moderated discussion with plenty of time for questions and informal conversation over refreshments.The panelists are:

Jay Espy, '79 executive director of the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation. Based in Brunswick, the foundation focuses on the environment, animal welfare, and human well-being, primarily in Maine.

Before joining the Sewall Foundation, Espy served as president of Maine Coast Heritage Trust, a statewide land conservation organization. During his tenure, the Trust accelerated its land protection efforts along Maine's entire coast by conserving more than 125,000 acres and establishing the Maine Land Trust Network, which helps build capacity of local land trusts throughout Maine. Jay has an A.B. in Economics from Bowdoin and master's degrees in business and environmental studies from Yale's School of Management and its School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Sara Holby, '08 founder Ajiri Tea, Kenya

After graduating from Bowdoin College in May 2008, Sara Holby headed to Kisii, in western Kenya, to volunteer for a health-related non-governmental organization (NGO). When funding ran short for the NGO Sara worked with local women (and her sister and Mom), to found Ajiri tea, a non-profit that directly benefits local women, farmers and aids orphans. Ajiri Tea also supports Ajiri Foundation which together form a sustainable trade cycle to educate orphans in Western Kenya. Sarah was an ES/History major, who went to Kenya after graduation with a Global Citizen Grant from Bowdoin's McKeen Center. In her senior year, Sara was a co-president of the Outing Club.

Sean Sullivan, '08, executive director, Maine Brewers' Guild, and Co-founder, Buoy Local

The Maine Brewers' Guild is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and protecting the craft beer industry in Maine. The guild's mission is to keep Maine in the forefront of the craft beer revolution by offering high quality and creative diversity for the customer. Buoy Local is a community-minded technology company based in Portland, ME with a mission to help consumers spend locally and grow greater Portland's economy. The company offers a single, community-based, 'open loop' gift card that enables consumers to buy locally from their favorite independent stores and businesses in the Portland region. Sean was an Art History major at Bowdoin.

Lucy Van Hook, '06 Fisheries Program Coordinator, Maine Coast Fishermen's Association

Lucy Van Hook is the Fisheries Program Coordinator at the Maine Coast Fishermen's Association and provides support to the groundfish sector as the Sector Data Analyst. She works on projects that focus on sustaining the inshore groundfish fishermen of Maine. Projects include building a greater constituency and increasing fishermen engagement, fishing gear and monitoring research, business planning for fishermen and expanding communication and outreach efforts to build a strong foundation for the organization.

Though Lucy's fishing experience is limited to trolling for mackeral, she grew up spending time in Penobscot Bay and has spent the last ten years living in Mid-coast Maine. She graduated from Bowdoin College with a focus in biology and environmental studies and spent several years conducting field-based research in a fresh water ecosystem. Most recently, she earned her masters degree in climate science policy with a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary, sustainable approaches to building policy.

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Interested in Marine Sciences? Have lunch with Brown University Professor Jon Witman

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September 26, 2014 12:00 PM  – 1:00 PM
Adams Hall, Room 111 (Common Room)

Jon Witman will join students and faculty for an informal pizza lunch and a short video about Cashes Ledge in the Gulf of Maine-- one of the most dynamic hotspots of biodiversity in New England and the entire North Atlantic, and an area where he conducts research and collaborates on conservation efforts. Professor Witman will also share his insight into field-study based marine science programs an area particularly relevant to Bowdoin as it prepares to launch the new Marine Science Semester program next fall.

For more information, see the webpage.

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Week of Action: Screening of "Do the Math"

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September 30, 2014 8:00 PM  – 10:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

It's simple math: we can emit 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide and stay below 2C of warming - anything more than that risks catastrophe for life on earth. The only problem? Burning the fossil fuel that corporations now have in their reserves would result in emitting 2,795 gigatons of carbon dioxide five times the safe amount.

Fossil fuel companies are planning to burn it all - unless we rise up to stop them. In November 2012, Bill McKibben and 350.org hit the road to build a movement strong enough to change the terrifying math of the climate crisis. The Do the Math Tour was a massive success, with sold out shows in every corner of the country. See the film.
A week of Action has been organized by Bowdoin Climate Action and co-sponsored by the Environmental Studies Program and Department of Earth & Oceanographic Science.

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Emptying the Forests: Lecture by Nat Wheelwright

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October 2, 2014 7:30 PM  – 8:30 PM
Druckenmiller Hall, Room 016

Nathaniel T. Wheelwright is Bass Professor of Natural Science and chair of the Biology Department at Bowdoin College. With so much attention focused on how climate change will affect human well-being, we seem to have forgotten about the plight of the other 30 million species on the planet. Professor Wheelwright will highlight the staggering decline in biodiversity that has been playing out before our eyes for several decades, independent of climate change, and discuss why protecting species other than ourselves should matter to us.

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Dr. Naomi Oreskes: "How to Stop Disastrous Climate Change"

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October 3, 2014 12:30 PM  – 2:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

Naomi Oreskes is Professor of the History of Science and Affiliated Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences. She recently arrived at Harvard after spending 15 years as Professor of History and Science Studies at the University of California, San Diego, and Adjunct Professor of Geosciences at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Professor Oreskes's research focuses on the earth and environmental sciences, with a particular interest in understanding scientific consensus and dissent.

Her 2004 essay "The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change" (Science 306:1686) has been widely cited, both in the U.S. and abroad, including in the Royal Society's winning film, An Inconvenient Truth, and in Ian McEwan's novel 'Solar'. Her opinion pieces have appeared in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Times (London), Nature, Science, The New Statesman, Frankfurter Allgemeine and elsewhere. 'Issues from Tobacco to Global Warming", co-authored with Erik M. Conway, was shortlisted for the Los Angeles Time Book Prize, and received the 2011 Watson-David Prize from the History of Science Society. Organized by Bowdoin Climate Action, and co-sponsored by the Environmental Studies Program and the Department of Earth & Oceanographic Science.

A book signing and Q & A will follow this talk at Reed House.

Recent books written by Dr. Oreskes include: The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future (2014, Columbia University Press) and Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming (2010 New York: Bloomsbury Press).

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Multiple Stable States: Theory and Evidence

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October 9, 2014 4:00 PM  – 5:00 PM
Druckenmiller Hall, Room 020

One of the most vexing problems in ecology is how distinctly different communities, such as mussel beds and seaweed stands that occur on rocky shores in Maine, can occur in the same ecosystem. These communities often persist for long periods, yet small, temporary shifts in environmental conditions can cause an unexpected tipping of the system and one type of community may be replaced by another. How can alternative communities be both persistent and yet so susceptible? The theory of these systems, known as multiple stable states, is well understood, but whether multiple stable states actually exist in nature has remained a hotly debated subject and, not surprisingly, definitive examples continue to be elusive. The past decade has seen resurgent interest in the topic because of large-scale changes in the species composition of many ecosystems around the globe and the extent to which anthropogenic activities and climate change may underlie these sudden shifts. The occurrence of multiple stable states has implications for how we manage ecosystems and our basic understanding of the roles of historical and contemporary processes in determining patterns of organismal distribution and abundance. I will present the results from the past 18 years of an ongoing project investigating whether rockweed stands and mussel beds represent alternative community states in sheltered bays of the Gulf of Maine.

Dr. Steve Dungeon is Professor of Biology, at the California State University, Northridge.  He received his PhD from the University of Maine in 1992. His research interests focus on the unique biological features of clonal algae and invertebrates, the evolution of life history and morphological traits and how these traits influence the dynamics of the communities in which they live. The temperate rocky intertidal zone is the experimental system used to explore these concepts.

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Book Release Celebration - David Collings "Stolen Future, Broken Present: The Human Significance of Climate Change"

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October 22, 2014 4:15 PM  – 5:15 PM
Moulton Union, Main Lounge

Join us for a discussion and reception celebrating the release of Bowdoin Professor of English David Collings' new book, Stolen Future, Broken Present: The Human Significance of Climate Change, moderated by Collin Roesler, Associate Professor of Earth and Oceanographic Science at Bowdoin.

In Stolen Future, Collings argues that we are virtually out of time to prevent severe, irreversible climate change - with a devastating effect on how we think about the future.

Nearly everything we do, Collings says, is premised on the assumption that the world we know will endure into the future and provide a sustaining context for our activities. But today the future of a viable biosphere, and thus the purpose of our present activities, is put into question. A disappearing future leads to a broken present, a strange incoherence in the feel of everyday life.

We thus face the unprecedented challenge of salvaging a basis for our lives today. That basis may be found in our capacity to assume an infinite responsibility for ecological disaster. By owning disaster and accepting our small place within the inhuman forces of the biosphere, we may discover how to live with responsibility and serenity whatever may come.

David Collings teaches courses in British Romanticism, critical theory, sexuality and gender, and environmental studies. He is the author of Wordsworthian Errancies: The Poetics of Cultural Dismemberment (1994) and Monstrous Society: Reciprocity, Discipline, and the Political Uncanny, c. 1780-1848 (2009), among others.

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Jay Turner: "Unplugged: Toward an Environmental History of Batteries and a Culture of Mobility"

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November 10, 2014 4:00 PM  – 5:30 PM
Searles Science Building, Room 315

Today, batteries are seen as essential to a new generation of environmentally friendly technologies, such as electric cars and renewable energy systems. But the role of batteries in modern life is not new, nor are such claims of sustainability straightforward. By examining the history of batteries, this project aims to shift discussions of sustainability toward the human and environmental dimensions of industrial materials and material flows. In doing so, this project explores an under-addressed set of social, political, and environmental factors related to the life cycles of metals and chemicals important to batteries and, by extension, the modern consumer economy. Join us as Jay Turner presents "Unplugged: Toward an Environmental History of Batteries and a Culture of Mobility."

Jay Turner is associate professor of environmental studies at Wellesley College and reseacher on the recent history of U.S. environmental politics and policy, including public lands, climate change, and science and technology.

Free and open to the public.

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Bowdoin Marine Science Semester Dinner Info Session

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November 13, 2014 6:00 PM  – 7:30 PM
Table by the windows on the Chamberlain side

Bowdoin will be offering a new Marine Science Semester, Fall 2015.  Join Sarah, Dash and Dave Carlon for dinner at Thorne Thursday Nov 13 between 6-7:30 at a table by the windows (Chamberlain Hall side of the dining room).

This will be an immersion experience in marine field work, lab work, and independent research geared toward juniors and seniors- from Bowdoin and other colleges- who are interested in biology, biochemistry, chemistry, earth and oceanographic science, or environmental studies. Students will take four courses sequentially in three-to-four week modules taught at the Bowdoin Marine Laboratory and Coastal Studies Center. The module style allows for continuity of laboratory and field research.

Field experience is a central component of the BMSS and in addition to all the great local habitats in Harpswell Sound, we will offer a series of 3-4 day trips to other habitats in the Gulf of Maine (Hurricane Island, and a Gulf of Maine Oceanography Cruise on the Schooner Bowdoin) as well as a 10 day trip to Baja California Sur which will feature near-shore tropical ecosystems (rocky reefs and mangroves) and the off shore pelagic environment.

Students interested in participating Fall 2015 are encouraged see the webpage: bowdoin.edu/coastal-studies-center/courses , and to contact Dave Carlon, Director of the Coastal Studies Center for more information or with any questions. Dave can be reached by e-mail at:dcarlon@bowdoin.edu

The four courses to be offered- all at the Coastal Studies Center will be:

Biological Oceanography– Biology 2501, ES 2231. Instructor TBA.
Benthic Ecology – Biology 2502, ES 2232. David Carlon.
Marine Molecular Ecology & Evolution – Biology 2330, ES 2233. Sarah Kingston..
Writing about the Coastal Environment. ENGL 2XXX. Russ Rymer.

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Documentary Film: 'Pump'

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November 22, 2014 7:30 PM  – 9:30 PM
Visual Arts Center, Beam Classroom

Pump is a documentary film that chronicles the story of America's addiction to oil, from Standard Oil's illegal tactics to the monopoly that oil companies enjoy today. The film explains how we can end this monopoly--and win choices at the pump.

Pump explores the roots of America's dependence on oil and considers how that has affected the United States, showing ways that an open fuel market would benefit both the environment and the economy. Watch the film that crtics are calling "entertaining" (Variety), "powerful" (Huffington Post), and "well-reasoned and compelling" (LA Times). Afterward, Mark Rosenblatt from Freedom Fuel Foundation, the organization that produced Pump, will be available via skype for a question and answer session.

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Dinnertime Film and Discussion: 'Growing Local'

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February 10, 2015 6:00 PM  – 8:00 PM
Thorne Hall, Daggett Lounge

Growing Local is a short series by Maine Farmland Trust about small farms and the uncertain fate of the local food movement. The series weaves together three separate but connected stories to create a coherent narrative about local food and local farms. The goal of the project is to help fellow Mainers, and hopefully others around the country, better understand the agrarian landscape surrounding us and the important role it plays in growing community as well as food. The film makers hope to inspire viewers to actively seek out local foods for their own health, the health of their communities and that of the planet. 

We will be joined by Kristin Pierson, Apprentice, Crystal Spring Farm; Tristan Noyes, '05 GroMaine, Aroostock County, and Sarah Wiederkehr, Winterhill Farm

Join us for dinner (get dinner 'through the line' and eat in Daggett Lounge), watch the film (starting at 6:30) and participate in conversation with table mates and local farmers. Open to students with Board Plan and others at Polar Plus rates.

This event is being hosted at Bowdoin by the Environmental Studies Program, Sustainable Bowdoin, and Bowdoin Dining.

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Environmental Consulting: An Alumni Career Conversation

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February 12, 2015 7:30 PM  – 9:00 PM
Moulton Union, Lancaster Lounge

Are you curious about the broad field of environmental consulting?  Alumni from large and small consulting firms will come and share their insights, advice and experience about the numerous career paths in environmental consulting.

Our panelists are:

Matt Savard ’14 (Environmental Studies/Earth & Oceanographic Studies), Engineer II with GZA Environmental in Portland, ME.
Dan Peckham ’12 (Environmental Studies/Economics), Environmental Analyst, New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission
Liza Cohen ’08 (Self-designed Urban Studies/Built Environment) Associate, Nelson/Nygaard Consulting Associates
Patrick Coughlin ’89 (Environmental Studies/Chemistry), Principal and Senior Scientist, St. Germain Collins

This event is co-sponsored by Career Planning and the Environmental Studies Program.

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