Sustainable Study Abroad Grant Recipients 2007-08
University of Otago, New Zealand
"New Zealand’s Geothermal Power – Geology and Production"
New Zealand in a world leader in geothermal power production. The country has 129 functioning geothermal sites, and it is my intention to understand the geology and operations underlying that prolific resource development. To achieve this, I will identify the geologic processes and structures that best facilitate geothermal power production. Additionally, I will review the cultural, economic, and political circumstances that have motivated the movement to geothermal resources. Hopefully these findings will be applicable to Middlebury and the United States as our communities attempt to change the landscape of American energy consumption.
Middlebury School in France
"Sustainability in Modern Parisian Architecture"
How does France emphasize sustainability in its modern architectural design? I will be exploring this question by visiting architectural sites in France, particularly in Paris, interviewing architects and professionals, and studying the current architectural news. With sustainability being such an important issue, I am investigating the ways in which French architecture implements green design concepts and sustainability. Paris has always been highly regarded for its architecture and is now in the modern world moving in a sustainable direction. My research will be presented by a visual book or poster presentation to graphically display the sustainable design.
Middlebury School in China
"Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Analysis of Chinese Factories Proximities to Local Watersheds and their Respective Impacts on Water Supplies"
I will be working with Chinese scientist Ma Jun (named to TIME Magazine’s 100 people that influence our world) and the Natural Resource Defense Council to develop GIS-based maps displaying the interactions between local watersheds and factories in Northern China. After developing the maps we will join NRDC representatives in approaching factory owners to discuss ways in which they can reduce their influence on water sources and work closely with local villages to develop methods of water preservation.
Middlebury School in Latin America
"Uruguay’s Fight for Choice: Boost the Economy or Bust the Environment?"
This project investigates the dynamism of choice in the third world by exploring how nations prioritize economic development over environmental sustainability. It focuses on Uruguay’s recent victory over Argentina in the International Court of Justice, in which Uruguay gained the right to build two cellulose burning plants in the coastal city of Fray Bentos. For Argentine environmentalists, the new factory symbolizes the ecological destruction of the shared river, Rio de la Plata, and its prized surrounding soil. For Uruguayans, however, the new port infrastructure promises hope because of the 8,000 additional jobs it will create and the chance to rebound from the 2002 economic crisis. Because it is the largest construction project in Uruguayan history, illuminating the sustainable initiatives used in the factory will offer valuable insight as to how developing countries attempt to manage their physical and financial assets while also coping with the consequences of industrialization. Finally, this grant proposal tries to answer whether or not innovative sustainable technologies can mitigate environmental harm without sacrificing economic opportunity.
Middlebury School in China
"A Comparative Study of China's Waste Abundance"
The Middlebury Sustainable Study Abroad grant affords me with the opportunity to extend my conduction of a research project, the focus of which is the environmental damage, particularly the abundance of waste, that China’s recent modernization, rapid industrialization, and massive population are giving rise to. My research begins in Hangzhou and continues on to that of the Yunnan province, located in the South of China, just above the South-East Asian country of Vietnam and to the East of Myanmar. China leaves in its wake of exponential development a vast trail of environmental deterioration; the Yunnan province is no exception to this relationship between man’s modernization and the World’s environment. The Yunnan province is currently a hot topic of environmental debate as well as the setting of China’s most successful environmental victories. I will direct my research towards the cities of Kunming and Dali, as well as the province’s northern region which encompasses “Tiger Leaping Gorge” and the Nu River valley. While in Yunnan I will seek out interviews with the NGO representatives, environmental scientists, and civilians being affected by modernizing change in their surroundings. In addition, I plan to unveil the effectiveness of the clean air policies being implemented in Kunming, the thoughts and concerns of this province’s people, as well as reveal several pressing issues that will soon surface to the public’s attention in the near future.
Click here to view the video presentations of Samuel Lazarus, Cully Cavness, and Jeremy Martin, presented as part of the International Studies Colloquium, September 19, 2008.