Environmentalist and Author Bill McKibben at “MOO”

Environmentalist and author Bill McKibben will speak about “The
Eastern Forest as a Sign for Hope” at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday,
September 4, in Dana Auditorium at Middlebury College. Focusing
on the human impact on nature, the talk is free and open to the
public on a first come, first served basis. Dana Auditorium is
on College Street.

Bill McKibben is the author of The End of Nature, The
Age of Missing Information and Hope, Human and Wild.
A former staff writer for the New Yorker, he has written
for dozens of national publications, from the New York Review
of Books and the Atlantic Monthly to Rolling Stone.

McKibben’s talk is sponsored by a student-run orientation event
called “MOO” (Middlebury Outdoor Orientation) which
leads groups of first-year students in outdoor activities during
the last three days of an orientation week that stretches from
September 1-7. The trips allow new students to develop an immediate
appreciation for Vermont’s beautiful landscape and to form friendships
in a relaxed setting. Wilderness experiences help students gain
useful outdoor skills as well.

Members of the student organization, the Middlebury College Mountain
Club, initiated “MOO” for orientation week. This year,
71 returning students will lead 280 first-year students on 35
trips. Student leaders participate in wilderness first aid training,
gather equipment for their groups, and make all other trip preparations.

According to Juliana Popper ‘98, “MOO” coordinator,
“We are thrilled that Bill McKibben accepted our invitation
to speak to the local community and to those Middlebury students
who have chosen to participate in ‘MOO.’ The evening before their
three-day outdoor experiences begin, they will be fortunate enough
to hear about the wilderness from a nationally known environmentalist
with an optimistic view about what individuals and communities
can do to restore devastated natural areas. ‘MOO’ is celebrating
its 10th anniversary this year and I think it’s a good
time to increase the environmental educational component of the

The day after McKibben’s talk, “MOO” will offer a variety
of backpacking opportunities. Most trips will explore Vermont’s
Long Trail, and one will focus on both hiking and trail maintenance.
Canoe excursions and rock climbing expeditions will take place
just across Lake Champlain in New York State’s Adirondacks. On
the Vermont side of the lake, mountain bike trips will explore
miles of dirt roads.