MIDDLEBURY, Vt.?Don't let the thermometer fool you; there's plenty to love about January in Vermont, and several Middlebury College organizations want to prove just how important the cold winter weather is to the world's fast-changing climate. From Sunday, Jan. 15, through Friday, Jan. 20, the Sunday Night Group, a student environmental group, and more than 15 other campus organizations will sponsor "Get Outside Week."
The series of events is designed to celebrate winter while it lasts by offering awareness-raising lectures on climate change, as well as inspired outdoor activities such as winter camping, outdoor survival training and sledding competitions. All events and lectures are free and open to the public and will be held outdoors at Middlebury College on Battell Beach, the area behind Battell Hall off College Street (Route 125).
"Get Outside Week" will kick off at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 15, with a lecture by Middlebury College Scholar in Residence in Environmental Studies Bill McKibben. Students will also begin building a tent city where they will live for the week with at least one member of their group being outside at all times. Throughout the week other activities will include additional lectures by Middlebury College professors, an outdoor art show by the student group Vitality of the Artistic Community Association (VACA), snowshoeing and skiing on the Trail Around Middlebury (TAM), outdoor cooking classes, collaborative snow sculpture building with a local elementary school, and sled-building contests. The week will culminate in a Middlebury Mountain Club-sponsored grand sledding finale - the Mountain Monster - on the Ralph Myhre Golf Course at the Kirk Alumni Center.
The Sunday Night Group is a campus organization that gathers weekly to discuss environmental issues-particularly those related to climate change - and various projects and campaigns for the college and the community. In addition to preparing for "Get Outside Week," the group is working on a "Two Degrees Campaign" to lower thermostats in dorms and other campus buildings at Middlebury, an initiative to help explore opportunities for investing the college's endowment in socially responsible businesses, and a project to encourage Ford Motors to adopt more socially and environmentally responsible standards.
A list of scheduled events is below. For more information about "Get Outside Week" at Middlebury, contact student organizers Lynne Zummo or Claire Polfus.
'Get Outside Week' Schedule
All events are free and open to the public and will be held outdoors at Middlebury College on Battell Beach, behind Battell Hall off College Street (Rte. 125)
Sunday, Jan. 15
4 p.m. Opening remarks by representatives of Middlebury College's Sunday Night Group, followed by the opening lecture by Middlebury College Scholar in Residence in Environmental Studies Bill McKibben, "Winter: Life Without Friction"
Monday, Jan. 16
9 a.m. Trail Around Middlebury (TAM) trek - meet at Tent City on Battell Beach, behind Battell Hall off College Street (Rte. 125)
4 p.m. Lecture by Middlebury College Associate in Science Instruction in Biology Matt Landis, "The Future of Winter: A Maple Tree's Perspective"
Tuesday, Jan. 17
4 p.m. Lecture by Middlebury College Assistant Professor of Economics Jon Isham, "A Positive Plan for a Low-Carbon Future"
Wednesday, Jan. 18
4 p.m. Lecture by Middlebury College Assistant Professor of Music Jennifer Post, "Winter Soundscapes"
8 p.m. Middlebury College student-run Vitality of the Artistic Community (VACA) outdoor art show, and display of snow sculptures made by local elementary students
Thursday, Jan. 19
4 p.m. Lecture and activity by Middlebury College Stewart Professor of English and Environmental Studies John Elder, "Snow Haiku"
Friday, Jan. 20
7:30 p.m. The Mountain Monster Sledding Event - Middlebury Mountain Club-sponsored grand finale at the Kirk Alumni Center on the Ralph Myhre Golf Course