2012-13 Grant Recipients

Arbor Day Celebration 2013

Project Leader: Tim Parsons, Landscape Horticulturist, Facilities Services

Project Description: As part of our continuing efforts to be a certified Tree Campus, the Middlebury College community celebrates Arbor Day yearly. This year, in light of the all the recent tree vandalism plaguing the campus, the Tree Advisory Committee held a large tree celebration open to the campus. The day included a tree tour of campus, Tree-K run, tree planting, and cookout.

Breaking Through Preconceptions: MAlt Cherokee Nation

Project Leader: Emily Hoang

Project Summary: The Middlebury Alternative Break (MAlt) trip focused on fostering cultural and environmental awareness in the Smoky Blue Mountains over February break 2013. The trip had a two part focus with the second part gearing more towards environmental conservation and awareness. The trip traveled to Maryville, Tennessee and the Great Smoky Mountain National Park in North Carolina to learn about the Cherokee Indians’ history, culture and traditions, and to work with the National Parks Service in the Smoky Mountains.

Butternut Seed Orchard Project

Project Leader: Tim Parsons, College Horticulturist

Project Description: The grant funds the planting of a butternut seed orchard on land owned by Middlebury College. This is part of a long term project to grow seed of trees resistant to Butternut Canker Disease, a fungus destroying all native Butternut trees across the nation. The State of Vermont Forestry Department, the USDA Forest Service, and researchers from UVM are all collaborators in trying to save Butternut trees in Vermont, and are already growing some trees in Brandon. The trees will be used by researchers at UVM and the Forest Service, and can be used in research and classes at Middlebury as well.

Campus Sustainability Map

Project Leader: Seton Talty '14.5

Project Description: The President of the Campus Sustainability Coordinator program, Seton Talty, created a map showcasing Middlebury’s sustainability efforts with a brief description of sustainable buildings and programs on campus. The map works in conjunction with a Sustainability Tour program developed by the CSCs.

Chickens at the Farm

Project Leaders: April Dodd and Katie Michels

Project Description: MCOF constructed a chicken coop to raise chickens, both broilers and layers. Raising chickens at the Farm gives students the unique opportunity to work with animals. Currently, the Farm offers exceptional extracurricular education in vegetable farming. Expanding that education to include animals gives students a place to engage with questions of responsible eating, the meat industry, and the relationships between plants and animals in a healthy ecosystem.

College Lands Ecological Evaluation

Project Leader: Marc Lapin, Associate in Science Instruction in Environmental Studies

Project Description: The work is to document important ecological characteristics of college-owned lands at Breadloaf and in the nearby mountain area. The project documents land use and management, soils, wetlands, surface waters, natural communities, rare and uncommon species and landscape-level characteristics.

Conserving Puerto Rico’s Treasured Tropical Ecosystem

Project Leaders: Maggie Khuu and Justin Koatz

Project Description: The focus of the Middlebury Alternative Break (MAlt) trip, which occurred over February Break, aimed to  assist environmental conservation efforts in Puerto Rico’s El Yunque Rainforest, a tropical rainforest with an extraordinary diversity of flora and fauna. The rainforest is a habitat to many endemic species such as the Puerto Rican Amazon (estimated wild population of ~40 birds). Activities on our trip involved forest maintenance work and the installation of informative signs that support the Forest Service’s efforts in El Yunque National Forest to educate the thousands of tourists who visit El Yunque every year. The trip also involved working with researchers in the rainforest to learn the effects of climate change and land use in El Yunque.

How Do I Get to and from Middlebury without a Car?

Project Leader: Avery McNiff, Outreach and Communications Coordinator, Office of Sustainability Integration

Project Description:Given the relatively unintegrated transportation system in the region it is hard for students and others to understand what their options are for getting to and from campus, especially when going away for a break or other extended periods of time. This project intends to clarify these options  and to present routes visually along with time schedules and costs. We hope to help members of the college community make the best choice available for getting to destinations without the use of a personal vehicle.

Imprints of Energy

Project Leader: Ali Andrews '12.5

Project Description: Ali created three series of prints over a J-term independent study about the production and consumption of energy.  The prints employed mechanical imagery of four-cylinder engines and other energy production mechanisms paired with different images of what is consumed to both educate and challenge energy ideas.  The prints have an educational element in showing the finer details of how the energy is produced.  In addition, they pose the question of what is being consumed in the process and what is in the exhaust—what is the result? The series was displayed in MucCullough Gallery Space as part of Be Bright, Middlebury's Energy Literacy Campaign.

Lotus Ozone Cleaning

Project Leader: Kelly Trayah and Sylvia Manning, Facilities

Project Description: In our continuous venture to be greener and healthier at Middlebury College, Facilities installed an Aquios Ozone Machine. This unit electrically charges regular water and turns it into an effective cleaner and then it turns back to water. Facilities is in the process of trying one at Bicentennial Hall and the custodial team is having one of the departments test it for its cleaning abilities as compared to our current cleaning chemicals. The grant provided the funding to invest in a longer trial to see if this is our future in green cleaning.

Middlebury College Solar Decathlon 2013

Project Leader: Laura Romig '12.5


Project Description:  Middlebury College was selected to compete in the 2013 Solar Decathlon, a Department of Energy-sponsored biennial competition that challenges colleges and universities worldwide to design and build a solar-powered house. The team received a grant to begin modeling and outreach steps, develop the Solar Path and expand an education program. These elements encourage participation of the Middlebury College community in the development of “InSite,” our sustainable home. Education is a critical component of the Solar Decathlon competition and our involvement is an opportunity for students to engage directly with a real sustainable building solution.

Monitoring Potential Wildlife Corridors in Middlebury, VT

Project Leader: Janet Bering '13

Project Description: This project evolved out of a J-term class, Conservation Planning for the Town of Middlebury, which designed a GIS model to predict potential wildlife corridors within the town boundary. In order to help the Town of Middlebury Planning Commission implement preservation of these wildlife corridors, this project fielded check locations where the model predicted that wildlife utilizes and crosses. Using  wildlife camera traps - motion-activated cameras commonly used to monitor for wildlife - the group collected and synthesized this data.

Real Food Week

Project Leader: Ben Clark

Project Description: EatReal is a new student organization at Middlebury that seeks to educate the student body around food issues and advocate for the implementation of more local, sustainable food sourcing at the College. The group organized a “Real Food Week” in April 2013 that  featured a variety of programming centered around local food issues. In coordination with the dining hall, one of the events was a meal made with entirely locally sourced meat. The week will also feature a screening of "Ingredients," a film centered around the interplay between local farmers and institutions, and a panel discussion.

Students to Forward on Climate Rally

Project Leader: Laura Berry

Project Description:The group chartered a coach bus to drive 56 students from Middlebury to Washington D.C. for the Forward on Climate rally, the largest climate rally in history. Before the rally, students met with other student organizers from across the nation to strategize and share resources about fossil fuel divestment, the primary on-campus campaign nationwide. Participants contributed to public discourse on climate change and climate policy, leaving with a sense of engagement and empowerment.

Sustainability Science and Culture: a Place-based Approach

Project Leader: Maria Alessandra Woolson, Professor in Spanish & Portuguese Dept

Project Description: This proposal involves the implementation of a sustainability workshop to be carried out at the Rapa Nui National Park, on Easter Island, Chilean territory.The institutional goal of the workshop is to advance environmental stewardship, to identify research opportunities in sustainability science research and to secure the environmental-educational internships for Middlebury students.

Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest

531 College Street
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753