2010-2011 Grant Recipients

Solar Lighting for the McCullough Patio Area

Project leader: Douglas Adams (dadams@middlebury.edu)

Project description:This past year the front area of the McCullough Student Center was renovated to create an outdoor patio. This extension has been a wonderful addition to the building program. Unfortunately, once the sun goes down the space is dark and dismal. The addition of solar powered landscape lighting would greatly enhance the attractiveness and usability of the space.

Food Awareness

Project leader: Jak Knelman (jknelman@middlebury.edu)

Project description: The Residential Sustainability Coordinators (RSCs) would like to hold a school-wide viewing of Food Inc, followed by a discussion of the film, complete with local snacks and informational posters about local farms. Food issues are at the heart of social and environmental discussions, and students will benefit from any opportunity to have an open discussion about food and agriculture. Food Inc is a widely respected and comprehensive introduction to a range of key food-related issues.


Project leader: Nora Lamm (nlamm@middlebury.edu)

Project description: We intend to install the ZimRide software for the Middlebury College Community in order to improve the ride-share system, increase student mobility, and reduce carbon emissions and transportation inefficiency.

Food Sharing Project

Project leader: Helen Young (hjyoung@middlebury.edu)

Project description: We are planning to implement a plan to distribute food left over from catered events on campus to local shelters (John Graham Shelter in Vergennes and Charter House and HOPE in Middlebury, initially). Currently much of the left over food is thrown away or wasted: we will work with caterers to separate the high quality food and deliver it to those who need it in Addison County.

College Lands Ecological Evaluation

Project leader: Marc Lapin lapin@middlebury.edu

Project description: The project is a continuation of work to document important ecological and agroecological characteristics of lands and to evaluate the lands based on those characteristics at local and regional scales. The project was initiated in 2009 and a report documenting the college's landholdings in the Champlain Valley was completed in early 2010. Continuing the project will allow us to conduct field work and GIS analyses for the 3,000 acres of mountain lands (Bread Loaf and vicinity).

College Supported Agriculture

Project leaders: Bo Cleveland (rclevela@middlebury.edu)and Matthew Biette (mbiette@middlebury.edu)

Project description: We would contract for a crop/crops from a local supplier partner that would allow them to bank on a specific return for their efforts. Like a CSA we would be paying for the harvest of a specific crop/crops that dining would normally purchase though conventional channels except we would be channeling our dollars locally. Without this financial commitment, the grower partner might not plant this specific volume of a crop if it were left to the vagaries of the market/ weather / harvest. In this model we would lock in a price at delivery for a certain yield of product, most likely in pounds. We would be exposed to many risks as would our grower partner but we would be sharing those risks as well as the bounty with them.

Biomass Willow Trial - Heating Plant Internship

Project leader: Michael Moser (mmoser@middlebury.edu)

Project description: The biomass willow trial is scheduled for the week of January 10, 2011. Collection, organization, and analysis of key gasifier process data will be critical to our understanding of the gasification and combustion process of this fuel type. I am proposing to hire an engineering intern student to support this process before, during, and after the willow trial.

Interior bike rack at Davis Library for staff use

Project leader: Joseph Watson

Project description: In order to encourage staff who work in Davis Family Library to use their bicycles for commuting to and from work, we would like to install an interior bike rack. This would keep bikes out of the weather and would extend the season in which most folks would consider riding their bikes.

Awakening the Dreamer/Changing the Dream Symposium

Project leader: Maria Stadtmueller (mstadtmu@middlebury.edu)

Project description: We would like to bring to campus 4 trained facilitators from the Pachamama Alliance/Awakening the Dreamer (ATD) organization to conduct a 5-hour Changing the Dream symposium for approximately 120 people (students, faculty, staff, townspeople). This interactive symposium focuses on the root causes of our environmental problems—the "dream," as the Alliance's indigenous members have called it—our culture’s trance-like state in which we continue to destroy what we need to survive. The symposium examines how we got into this environmental crisis, what symposium members really want to protect, and where we can go from here to achieve "an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, and socially just human presence on Earth."

Middlebury Solar Decathlon

Project leader: Martin Sweeney (msweeney@middlebury.edu)

Project description: Support from the Environmental Council will grant the Middlebury College community the opportunity to participate in the construction of "Self-Reliance," a model sustainable home that will ultimately reside on campus. We are requesting that the Council provide $2,500 in funding for safety equipment to allow the student body to participate in the construction of this net-zero energy home. Education is a critical component of the Solar Decathlon competition, and the construction of our home is an opportunity for students to engage directly with a real sustainable building solution. In early April, we will organize campus-wide building events on weekends, inviting students and members of the college community to partake in construction activities.

Indoor Plants for All

Project leader: Robert J. Keren, keren@middlebury.edu

Project description: Following on the heels of the EC-funded Old Courthouse Greenification Project, this project will expand the circle to include any interested Middlebury College students, faculty, and staff. We seek to propagate 100 indoor plants of about 6 to 8 different species, and give them away free of charge to interested members of the college community: 50 to faculty and staff in April and 50 more to students in September. We will provide instructional support, including a workshop in the greenhouse in Bicentennial Hall, for people who assume ownership of a plant. And we will commission a Middlebury student to conduct a literature review of existing research about common house plants in terms of their air purification, carbon sequestration, and oxygen producing abilities.

Sustainable Dinner for Feb Orientation

Project leader: Lindsey Messmore (lmessmor@middlebury.edu)

Project description: There is a void in the Feb Orientation program: in introducing new students to the Middlebury community, we forgo any introduction to Middlebury's active role in environmental sustainability. We would like to change this by incorporating a Local Foods and Environmentally Sustainable Dinner into Feb Orientation in 2011 and ideally for years to come.

MAlt Pensacola: Ecosystem Restoration post-Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Project leader: Lisa Luna (lluna@middlebury.edu)

Project description: Our MAlt group will work in the diverse and beautiful coastal ecosystem of Pensacola in Northwestern Florida to help this place recover in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. We will volunteer with Community Collaborations International to restore salt marshes, seagrass, coastal dunes, and oyster reefs that were damaged by the oil spill. We will see the effects of a man-made disaster first hand, and hope to make a difference in the health of the ecosystem.

Sustainability Protocol Curriculum Integration Pilot Project

Project leader: Jeff Stevenson (jstevens@middlebury.edu)

Project description: This project supports a Middlebury student to play a key role in a two-day workshop sponsored by the Middlebury School in Chile, Signatories of the Campus Sustentable Protocol in Chile (a commitment to make each signatory’s campus more sustainable), the Middlebury Sustainability Integration Office and the Chilean Ministry of the Environment. The student, Jonas Schoenfeld, was instrumental in helping develop and implementing the Protocol when studying abroad in Chile.

Green Weekend

Project leader: Andrew Durfee (adurfee@middlebury.edu)

Project description: We want to create Green Weekend, an event bringing athletes, students, and community members together to learn and share information about how students can live lighter on campus and on the planet. Athletes would wear green recycled-plastic laces and green Go Midd Go Green wristbands, campus organizations would set up info booths, and we would sell stainless steel water bottles to encourage the reuse of bottles in sports. Additionally, students and spectators would write personal sustainability pledges on leaf-shaped paper that would be compiled and displayed as art in a public spot on campus. We strongly believe that this event would bring the eco-minded students and the athletes together during a high profile athletic event and would result in a broad benefit for the campus community.

The Thrift Store

Project leader: Janet Rodrigues (jmrodrig@middlebury.edu)

Project description: We want to found, open, and run a campus Thrift Store. The goal of this project is to facilitate an organized flow of used goods to students and will serve the needs of an array of students on campus. It will enable easy access to recycled goods for all students committed to sustainability on campus.

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Project leaders: Abigail Borah (aborah@middlebury.edu) and Syd Schulz (sschulz@middlebury.edu)

Project description: The UNFCCC in Cancun is the 16th annual Conference of Parties (COP) among international state representatives to discuss climate change and negotiate mitigation, adaptation, technology transfer, finance, and forest policies. This conference serves as an opportunity to experience climate negotiations first hand and to engage with other young people about building an international climate movement. During the Conference of Youth (COY), I (Abigail) will be presenting a workshop on LULUCF/REDD+ forest policy to train youth delegates in lobbying on forest issues, organizing, and participating in youth forest actions during COP. Our time in Mexico will be spent building momentum around the international youth climate movement and lobbying U.S. and foreign politicians to commit to a fair, ambitious, and legally binding climate agreement.

Student-to-Staff Energy Initiative (Pilot Project)

Project leader: Sarah Simonds (ssimonds@middlebury.edu)

Project description: A student team of volunteers will conduct energy saving desk retrofits in the Student Financial Services Office, based on a program created by students at the University of Minnesota (details available online at http://www.tc.umn.edu/~aec//eesa). The project will empower staff members to understand and control their energy use, educate student volunteers and staff in the basics of energy saving, and foster a positive relationship between students and staff. This grant secures funding for a J-Term pilot project that will serve as a template for a larger Spring initiative.

Spreading Sustainability

The Environmental Council manages an innovative grant program designed to inspire environmental leadership across the campus through sustainability initiatives. Funded in its pilot year from the Environment Council's own budget, President McCardell's intrigue with the program's potential resulted in generous support for the grant program for the next three years.

Thanks to the support of the Orchard Foundation beginning in 2011, and to support from President Ron Liebowitz prior to 2011, the Environmental Council is able to provide grants to Middlebury College students, staff and faculty.

Past projects include establishing a community bike shop, studying the wind potential at the Snow Bowl, developing the organic garden, assessing the potential support for hybrid vehicles in the college fleet, creating an inventory of campus trees, and creating biodiesel fuel from waste vegetable oil generated by dining services. See lists of projects by year in the menu to the left.

If an Environmental Council grant is not quite right for a project, or if it requires more funding than an Environmental Council grant alone can provide, there are many additional sources of funding for projects, internships, and research available. Click here for a list other options.

Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest

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