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Science & Mathematics Feature News

Inside the Ant Chamber

Fri, 11/12/2021 - 11:02am
A visit to a Bi Hall lab affords an up-close encounter with an extremely social cohort of insects.

Solar Project Brings Middlebury College Closer to 100 Percent Renewable Energy Goal

Sun, 10/10/2021 - 11:30am

Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., joined representatives from Middlebury College, Encore Renewable Energy, Green Mountain Power (GMP), the state of Vermont, and the town of Middlebury on October 12 to break ground on a new five-megawatt solar project in Middlebury that will provide the College with about 30 percent of its total electricity usage. The collaborative partnership will help the College reach its climate goals while expanding local, renewable energy production in Vermont. Middlebury College will buy 100 percent of the electricity generated at the site as part of its ambitious Energy2028 initiative, which calls for the College's ...

Middlebury Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa Inducts 12 New Members

Fri, 10/08/2021 - 1:50pm

Twelve Middlebury undergraduates were elected to Phi Beta Kappa in a ceremony over Fall Family Weekend. The fall 2021 inductees qualified to be Phi Beta Kappa members based on work completed over the past six semesters. A second induction ceremony for the Class of 2021 will take place in May 2022 for students whose eligibility is based on work completed over the past eight semesters. Phi Beta Kappa, founded in 1776, is the nation's oldest academic honor society. The Middlebury College chapter, the Beta chapter of Vermont, was established in 1868 and is the 13th oldest Phi Beta Kappa chapter in existence. The new inductees: Matthew ...

Middlebury Welcomes 44 New Faculty for Fall Semester

Mon, 09/13/2021 - 4:10pm

Middlebury welcomes nine new tenure-track faculty members this fall, representing expertise in a broad range of academic disciplines, including Black studies, history, biology, global health, studio art, chemistry, biochemistry, geology, and English and American literatures. "I am delighted to be welcoming such a diverse and talented group of scholars to our community," said Sujata Moorti, vice president of academic affairs and dean of the faculty. "As part of our larger institutional commitment to preparing students to address the world's most challenging problems, we have hired faculty whose expertise allows us to ...

Largest Anaerobic Digester in the Northeast Begins Production of Renewable Energy

Tue, 07/20/2021 - 10:22pm

Representatives from Middlebury College, Vanguard Renewables, Vermont Gas Systems (VGS), Goodrich Family Farm, and the state of Vermont-including Vermont Governor Phil Scott and Lieutenant Governor Molly Gray-celebrated the start of gas production at the largest anaerobic digester in the Northeast on July 21 at an event on the dairy farm in Salisbury, Vermont. The anaerobic digester-built, owned, and operated by Vanguard Renewables-can recycle daily more than 180 tons of unavoidable food and beverage waste from manufacturers, retailers, and distributors, and 100 tons of dairy manure into renewable natural gas (RNG). The Goodrichs' ...

College Will Establish The Prism Center for Queer and Trans Life at Middlebury

Mon, 06/28/2021 - 1:42pm

President Laurie Patton and Chief Diversity Officer Miguel Fernndez sent the following message to the Middlebury community on Monday, June 28, 2021. Dear Middlebury Community, We write today, at the close of Pride Month, with an exciting announcement. As you may remember from previous communications, we commissioned a presidential task force in 2020 to study the possibilities for the establishment of a new LGBTQIA+ resource center. We asked the task force to conduct their work in the context of issues of concern to the Middlebury LGBTQIA+ community, and with a view toward other centers and programming at comparable institutions. ...

Faculty and Staff Authors for 2020

Wed, 06/16/2021 - 3:06pm

The following Middlebury faculty and staff members published books in 2020: Molly Anderson , Colin R. Anderson, Carolin Callenius, Gustavo Ferreira, Harriet Friedmann, Tirso Gonzales, Benedikt Haerlin, Jack A. Heinemann, Hans R. Herren, Angelika Hilbeck, Bernard Hubert, Anita Idel, Marcia Ishii-Eiteman, Marie de Lattre-Gasquet, Roger Leakey, Lim Li Ching, Ivette Perfecto, Marta G. Rivera-Ferre, eds. Transformation of Our Food Systems: The Making of a Paradigm Shift. Germany: Zukunftsstiftung Landwirtschaft and Switzerland: Biovision, 2020. Molly Anderson , Tamar Mayer, eds. Food Insecurity: A Matter of Justice, Sovereignty ...

Smita Ruzicka Named Vice President for Student Affairs

Wed, 06/09/2021 - 2:46pm

Middlebury President Laurie Patton has announced that Smita Ruzicka has been named the next vice president for student affairs at Middlebury, starting on August 2. A collaborative leader with in-depth experience in many aspects of student life, Ruzicka was selected after a competitive national search led by a committee including faculty, staff, and students. Patton said Ruzicka's wide-ranging experience in mental health counseling, career development, and student crisis management; her passion for collaboration; and her commitment to equity and inclusion distinguished her as the top candidate. She succeeds Baishakhi Taylor, who ...

Middlebury College Invites Local Organizations to Submit Projects for Collaboration with Faculty, Students

Wed, 04/21/2021 - 3:43pm

Middlebury College's Center for Community Engagement (CCE) has created a new website that aims to boost collaboration between organizations with ties to their local communities and faculty and their students. The site- Middlebury Liberal Arts in Action (MLAA)-allows nonprofits, schools, state offices, and businesses to submit proposed projects . Faculty, in turn, search the submissions and identify collaborators for community learning components of their courses. Faculty can also submit details about their classes , research programs, and the type of projects they seek. Topics range from the environment and ...

Middlebury Explores Agroforestry to Diversify College Farmland

Fri, 04/16/2021 - 1:15pm

A group of Middlebury College students and a faculty member have begun researching how to transform two large tracts of College-owned farmland into agroforestry landscapes that include trees, shrubs, crops, and possibly livestock. The yearlong initiative is part of the New Perennials Project , led by Scholar in Residence Bill Vitek and previously announced in 2019. Marc Lapin, College lands conservation and management specialist at Middlebury College, is leading the project. Three students are participating this semester: Clark Devoto '23 is working on the project as an independent study, and Willow Galusha '22 and Ella Roelofs ...

Join the Virtual Capitol Hill Lobby Day for Ocean Climate Action on April 14.

Wed, 04/07/2021 - 1:53pm

Middlebury's Center for the Blue Economy ( CBE ) in Monterey, California, invites all Middlebury students, staff, alumni, and friends to join a virtual lobbying effort for ocean climate action on Wednesday, April 14, via Zoom. Participants, who will be organized by state coalitions, will join fellow citizens eager to see far-reaching policy progress on ocean climate issues. "We have an unusual opportunity on April 14 to make our voices heard by members of Congress and their staff who shape policy," said CBE Director Jason Scorse at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies . "As new climate laws are written, we want ...

Middlebury Junior Wins Barry Goldwater Scholarship

Wed, 04/07/2021 - 1:30pm

Ben Morris '22, a molecular biology and biochemistry major from Watertown, Massachusetts, has been named a 2021 Goldwater Scholar by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation . The highly selective scholarship is awarded to sophomores and juniors planning research-focused careers in natural sciences, engineering, or mathematics who were nominated by their home institutions. This year, 410 students received the award from an estimated pool of 5,000 candidates. "The Goldwater Scholarship supports the next generation of outstanding researchers in math, science, and engineering," said Lisa Gates, ...

Climate Change Webinar to Focus on Sustainable Energy Transition in Vermont

Mon, 04/05/2021 - 11:29am

On Tuesday, April 13, the Middlebury College Franklin Environmental Center will sponsor a public webinar, "Climate Solutions for Vermont," on behalf of " Solve Climate By 2030 ," a global teach-in designed to accelerate local solutions to climate change. The Vermont webinar is one of more than 100 events in 50 countries, 47 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. It will feature the work of Middlebury students and their community partners for an environmental studies course for seniors. The students are collaborating with local organizations to address current sustainability issues in the region and elsewhere. "Vermont ...

Two Middlebury Seniors Receive Watson Fellowships

Mon, 03/29/2021 - 10:28am

Two Middlebury seniors have been named to the 53rd class of Thomas J. Watson Fellows. Divya Gudur and Nora Peachin, both members of the Class of 2021, will embark on a year of self-designed travel study, joining students from 41 private colleges and universities across the United States. Watson fellows receive $36,000 for 12 months of travel and college-loan assistance as needed. Gudur '21, an environmental chemistry major and global health minor who grew up in India and the United States, will pursue a project titled "Community Organizing for Clean Air," which will take her to South Korea, Mongolia, Chile, and Australia. At each of ...

Whiskey*, with a Twist

Fri, 02/26/2021 - 10:06am
What does it mean to create a line of craft spirits that hews tightly to sustainability practices? Will Drucker '08.5 thought he'd try and find out.

Nan Jenks-Jay Receives AASHE Lifetime Achievement Award

Sun, 01/24/2021 - 5:56pm

Nan Jenks-Jay, former Middlebury dean of Environmental Affairs and a pioneer in her field, has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from international organization AASHE, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. Bill McKibben, author and Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury, nominated Jenks-Jay for the honor with additional support from colleagues at Middlebury as well as other institutions and partner organizations across the country. She received the award at a virtual ceremony in December. "It is wonderful that Nan is being recognized for her sustainability work ...

Middlebury Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa Inducts 11 New Members

Mon, 10/19/2020 - 1:58pm

In a ceremony held at the Kirk Center on October 2, with several students and their families connecting remotely, the Middlebury chapter of Phi Beta Kappa inducted 11 new members from the Class of 2021. Jane D. Chaplin, the James L. Armstrong Professor of Classics and president of the Middlebury chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, welcomed students to the gathering. Fellow officers Katy Smith Abbott, associate professor of the history of art and architecture; Elizabeth Morrison, associate professor of religion; and Susan K. Watson (assistant secretary), the Benjamin F. Wissler Professor of Physics, all participated in the election ceremony. ...

Middlebury Welcomes 33 New Faculty

Mon, 10/12/2020 - 5:28pm

Middlebury College welcomes 33 new faculty members this fall, including 13 in tenure-track positions. The new teachers and researchers participated in orientation sessions that were conducted weekly throughout August via Zoom. As a group, they represent 19 academic disciplines. "Middlebury is fortunate to be able to hire some of the best faculty emerging in their fields," said Sujata Moorti, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty. "They come from a wide array of institutions and offer expertise in research topics ranging from ethnic violence in India to pain processing in the spinal cord. "We are ...

When the Stars Align

Fri, 09/11/2020 - 9:56am
An art history major and an observatory manager team up to create an exhibit for the ages.

Professor Jeff Munroe to Lead 5-Year National Science Foundation Project

Thu, 08/27/2020 - 5:08pm

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a major five-year grant to a research team led by Jeff Munroe, the Philip Battell Stewart and Sarah Frances Cowles Stewart Professor of Geology. Six scientists representing five different institutions will study how mineral dust from deserts in the southwestern U.S. is transported through the atmosphere to locations hundreds of miles away and the impacts of the exported dust on a variety of environmental and health issues. The team will focus their work on the small particles of weathered rock and soil that are picked up in one place by the wind, transported through the ...

Grant Will Support Multi-Year Climate Action Project

Fri, 08/14/2020 - 9:13am

A generous grant from the Erol Foundation will support a new initiative at Middlebury College aimed at providing educational opportunities related to climate and sustainability. The Climate Action Capacity Project ( CACP ) will, among other things, provide paid fellowships for Middlebury undergraduates from various backgrounds and disciplines the opportunity to engage in collaborative thinking and skill development on how to confront the climate crisis in meaningful ways. "The Climate Action Fellowship program will offer students from across campus a chance to develop their ideas and creativity around climate with excellent support and ...

The Art of Discovery

Thu, 07/16/2020 - 10:53am
How a middle school documentary about climate change, as well as four other short films, tells a story larger than any of the individual parts.

In the Blink of an Eye

Wed, 06/10/2020 - 10:51am
Gone in less than a minute-the middle of June 2019 to the middle of June 2020, as viewed from the rooftop of the Mittelman Observatory.

Phi Beta Kappa Elects 71 Students

Fri, 05/22/2020 - 5:23pm

The Middlebury chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the country's oldest honor society for the liberal arts, founded in 1776, has elected 71 students to its membership. Professor of Physics Susan Watson, who serves as secretary of the Middlebury chapter, said a formal induction ceremony will take place when students return at some point in the coming year for an in-person commencement. The Phi Beta Kappa prize, given to the graduating senior(s) "whose scholarly or artistic accomplishment and breadth, and contribution to the intellectual life of the community, best exemplify the society's regard for intellectual excellence," was awarded this ...

Students Assist with Mayan Language Revitalization Project

Tue, 05/19/2020 - 2:42pm

"Saqarik!" (sah-kah-REEK!) "Good morning!" So began presentations to grade schoolers in Nahual, Guatemala, given by four Middlebury students as part of a Mayan language revitalization project this past January. The project was led by Associate Professor of Luso-Hispanic Studies Brandon Baird. "The school kids would always laugh when they heard us speak in K'iche'," said senior James Finn. "A lot of the kids and just people in general see Americans and expect them to speak English, so when they heard us speaking in Spanish they were surprised. And then when they heard us speaking, you know, K'iche', it was like, 'Whoa, what's ...

Middlebury Sophomore Ming Harris-Weidner Wins Boren Scholarship

Mon, 05/18/2020 - 10:54am

Ming Harris-Weidner '22 has been named a Boren Scholar for summer 2020. A chemistry major from Missoula, Montana, Harris-Weidner is one of 217 undergraduate students to receive this year's David L. Boren Scholarship, which is presented by the Institute of International Education on behalf of the national Security Education Program. Boren scholarships are designed to help students gain international and language education in areas of the world considered critical to U.S. interests. In light of COVID-related travel restrictions, Harris-Weidner deferred her program dates to summer 2021. At that time, she will attend the ...

Middlebury Junior Receives Udall Scholarship

Fri, 05/15/2020 - 1:56pm

For the second year in a row, a Middlebury student has been selected to receive a Udall Foundation scholarship. Jacob Freedman, a junior from Worcester, Massachusetts, has been named a 2020 Udall Scholar in recognition of his passion for place-based environmental advocacy and for his work helping people to connect with nature around them, no matter where they live. As a Udall Scholar , Freedman will receive a $7,000 scholarship grant and will participate in a weeklong orientation in Tucson, Arizona, in August, where scholars will meet one another and program alumni; learn more about the Udall legacy of public service; and ...

College Celebrates Faculty and Staff Articles and Creative Works

Thu, 05/07/2020 - 11:36am

With the campus closed and social distancing in full force, Middlebury had to forgo its annual celebration of undergraduate faculty and staff articles and creative works this spring. The festive reception usually fills a good portion of the Great Hall with displays of faculty work-journal articles, book chapters, and videos. But despite the inability to gather in person, Dean of Faculty Development Jim Ralph wanted to honor the 61 Middlebury faculty and staff members whose combined efforts produced 141 different articles and creative pieces. The vast range of work, compiled in a digital catalog, covers the natural and ...

Middlebury to Host Virtual Panel as Part of National Climate Teach-In

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 10:37pm

On Tuesday, April 7, Middlebury will be Vermont's lead college for a nationwide, virtual teach-in focused on local solutions to climate change. " Solve Climate By 2030 ," a project based at Bard College, will feature simultaneous, university-led webinars in almost all 50 states plus DC, Puerto Rico and five international sites. For the Vermont webinar , Middlebury's Franklin Environmental Center will bring together statewide experts for a virtual panel, during which they will identify three ambitious but feasible reforms that could accelerate progress on transitioning toward a more sustainable and just state economy. "As the ...

'Waging Winning Campaigns' Course Teaches Students Skills as Activists and Organizers

Fri, 02/21/2020 - 2:40pm

Fifteen years ago a J-term class lit a spark that ignited a global movement. A group of students in Professor Jon Isham's 2005 class Building the New Climate Movement started what became known as the Sunday Night Group. As graduation approached, seven Sunday Night friends brainstormed how to best mobilize a social movement around climate change. They planned to move together to Montana to battle against new coal plant construction (while skiing and drinking microbrews on the side), but instead rallied with mentor Bill McKibben to hold a climate march from Ripton to Burlington, Vermont. The march led to the 2007 ...

Middlebury College Statement

Mon, 01/20/2020 - 11:07am
Statement from Middlebury College We can confirm that the Middlebury College Republicans, a registered student organization, has invited Charles Murray to speak on campus on March 31 at 4:30 pm to discuss his upcoming book, Human Diversity: The Biology of Gender, Race, and Class. The event host (Middlebury College Republicans) and their advisor, former Vermont Governor Jim Douglas, are working with Middlebury's Event Policy Committee. Many of the event details and logistics are still being discussed. Each year Middlebury hosts nearly 300 speakers who come to campus from across the country and around the world, invited either directly by the institution, by its faculty, or by its registered student organizations. Speakers discuss a variety ...

Students Turn Local Lens on Public Health Issues

Fri, 01/10/2020 - 4:59pm

"You can't focus on health if you're afraid of being evicted," said Pam Berenbaum, director of Middlebury's global health program and professor of the practice of global health. The connections between health and living conditions-housing, transportation, clean water, social stress, income, and so on-are being recognized as "more and more important, as more people are slipping through the cracks." "Take readmissions after surgery," Berenbaum continued. "People come in, they have the surgery. That's great. Then they get sent home where there aren't enough supports, they don't have adequate nutrition, their house is really ...

Conference Expands Opportunities for Women of Color Organizers

Wed, 12/04/2019 - 2:57pm

Middlebury's Feminist Resource Center at Chellis House recently hosted the inaugural Malikah Organizing Institute: Gender Justice for Women of Color. The three-day event was held at the Kirk Center. "It's a capacity-building weekend for women of color organizers," said Malikah founder Rana Abdelhamid '15. "We're interested in building safety and power for all women." The daughter of Egyptian immigrants, Abdelhamid founded Malikah as a teenager after being attacked in her Queens neighborhood by a man who tried to rip off her hijab. Rather than being intimidated, she took action. Within six months she led a self-defense class for ...

Student Joins Oratory Now and Goes on to Become a Professional Coach

Wed, 12/04/2019 - 2:01pm
Kate Hilscher '20.5, a sociology and anthropology major and linguistics minor from Boothbay Harbor, Maine, discusses how, on a whim, she joined Oratory Now , Middlebury's student public-speaking organization, and went on to become a paid public speaking professional. What is your background with Oratory Now? I joined Oratory Now in the spring of 2018 on a bit of a whim. After enjoying a workshop in one of my classes, I asked the coach, Paige Guarino '18, how she got involved. Paige immediately signed me up for the next semesters' training. Now, after two full semesters with O-Now (plus one semester abroad), and one summer internship creating Oratory Now Business Edition, I'm spending my third semester as a head coach, training coordinator, ...

Senior's Coding Work Will Enhance Popular Animation Software

Tue, 11/12/2019 - 11:29am

Hans Goudey '19.5 Animators around the world will have a new tool at their disposal thanks to Middlebury computer science major Hans Goudey '19.5. The senior Feb from Newburyport, Mass., spent the summer developing 3D modeling tools for the 3D animation toolset, Blender. Goudey's bevel tool will be included in the upcoming release of Blender, an open-source animation software used by thousands of people worldwide. Earlier this year, Goudey landed a Google Summer of Code Fellowship, which allowed him to pursue his work under the mentorship of a Google software engineer. He was working to create a better ...

Steve Trombulak Wins Academic Leadership Award

Wed, 11/06/2019 - 1:11pm

Professor Emeritus of Biology and Environmental Studies Steve Trombulak with fellow Hartzog Award winners (l to r) Dr. Jennifer Thomsen, David Vela, Dr. Carolyn Ward, and Chris Lehnertz. CLEMSON - Steve Trombulak, Middlebury professor emeritus of biology and environmental studies, has received the Benton H. Box Award from the Clemson University Institute for Parks in recognition of his academic and instructional leadership in the environmental field. The institute presents the annual awards program, which is named for ...

Geology Professor Explores Shipwrecks of Seneca Lake

Wed, 10/23/2019 - 12:29pm

The College's research vessel the David Folger is usually on Lake Champlain and serves as a floating classroom, where Tom Manley, assistant professor of geology, or other faculty and students hold class or do research. In the Q&A below, Manley discusses why he journeyed on the Folger to Seneca Lake , one of New York's Finger Lakes, and what contributions the Folger is making to the region. By surveying the lake, Manley is helping to accomplish two goals: the creation of an inventory of submerged cultural resources and the systematic mapping of the underwater topography of Seneca Lake. What brought you and the Folger to Seneca ...

Physics Majors Present Research at Astronomy Conference

Wed, 10/23/2019 - 10:33am

Four Middlebury students, along with undergraduates from seven other colleges and universities, presented findings from their research at the 2019 Symposium of the Keck Northeast Astronomy Consortium (KNAC). Hosted by Vassar College on October 4 and 5, the symposium was attended by more than 120 participants. Middlebury's Assistant Professor of Physics Eilat Glikman, Professor Emeritus of Physics Frank Winkler, and telescope and scientific computing specialist Jonathan Kemp attended the symposium alongside Middlebury students. "The symposium is a stimulating environment for all students of astronomy," said Kemp. "Some of the ...

Art Meets Science on the Concert Hall Stage

Tue, 10/22/2019 - 2:34pm

"One of the things I love about art," says Professor Mike Dash, "is the way in which the artist can play with our expectations to reveal ways in which our brain creates our experience of the world in ways that are not inherently natural to think about." Dash, an assistant professor of psychology who teaches a course on sensation and perception, had been helping his students understand how external stimuli shape the way we understand the world when he got a call from Middlebury's Performing Arts Series director Allison Coyne Carroll. Carroll invited Dash's class to join the world-renowned Heath Quartet on stage at Robison Hall for a private ...

Author Carolyn Finney Joins Middlebury as Scholar in Residence

Tue, 10/15/2019 - 2:33pm

The author Carolyn Finney has begun a two-year appointment as scholar in residence, the Office of Environmental Affairs announced. Finney, who wrote Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors , is also an artist, a cultural geographer, and an active voice in the climate justice movement. Sierra described Black Faces, White Spaces as a "must-read for those who hope to make the parks matter to diverse populations." Finney's creative and academic work address representation, equity, and inclusion in the current environmental moment. "As an academic and an activist, a ...

Laurie Patton Hosts New Podcast 'Midd Moment'

Mon, 10/07/2019 - 11:56am

In the very first episode of the new podcast Midd Moment , Schumann Distinguished Scholar Bill McKibben, possibly the best-known name in the fight against climate change, sets the pace. In a wide-ranging 25-minute conversation, President Laurie Patton, who hosts the podcast, engages the author and activist on topics from building social movements to the Green New Deal and many things in between. At one point in the conversation, McKibben reflects on his decades-long career as an author and journalist, to which he eventually added the credential of movement builder. "What it took me a long time to realize was that winning the ...

Sophie Charron '22 Wins Ward Prize for First-Year Writing

Wed, 10/02/2019 - 10:34am

An essay titled "I'm Not Sure How to Title This Sort of Pain," by Sophie Charron '22 won this year's Paul W. Ward '25 Memorial Prize for excellence in first-year writing. Shawna Shapiro, director of the writing and rhetoric program, presented the $500 award to Charron at a ceremony in Twilight Hall during Fall Family Weekend. Charron wrote the reflection about her experiences with cerebral palsy for a class titled "Writing to Heal" in the spring of 2019 with Senior Lecturer in Writing Mary Ellen Bertolini. "Sophie is a remarkable writer, thoughtful and analytical, whose writing is precise, exact, lucid, and graceful," ...

Student Joins Effort to Unlock Genome of the African Diaspora

Tue, 10/01/2019 - 5:36pm

Neuroscience major Megan Job's moment of bliss this past summer came while standing with lab coat on, goggles on, gloves on, contemplating taking a drill to a human skull belonging to the W. Montague Cobb Research Laboratory based at Howard University. This is a key step in the Cobb's ongoing project to unlock the genome of the African diaspora. First came some serious training from the Washington, D.C., chief medical examiner. "He was like, 'Listen guys, this is not funny. If you mess this up, there goes somebody's whole genome sequence. So take notes and make sure you do this right.' Then he taught us a strategy on how to pop the petrous ...

Geography Professor and Students Study Conservation Challenges at Ugandan National Park

Tue, 09/24/2019 - 4:48pm

Geographer Jessica L'Roe brought the rows of a spreadsheet to life for five Middlebury undergraduates this summer. The assistant professor, who teaches a course called Land and Livelihoods, took the students on an 11-day trip to Uganda, where they helped L'Roe continue a long-term research project at Kibale National Park. The students had studied the remote yet rapidly changing area in class and, for the first part of the summer, had immersed themselves in data collected during L'Roe's previous visits to the park. In August, the abstract became real as they touched down in Uganda. Just reaching the remote park required 36 ...

Major NSF Grant Will Fund Research on Marine Protected Areas

Wed, 09/18/2019 - 10:08am

Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Mez Baker-Mdard has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation's Dynamics of Integrated Socio-Environmental Systems program. The $600,000 grant will support her project, titled Socio-Ecological Feedbacks of Marine Protected Areas: Dynamics of Small-Scale Fishing Communities and Inshore Marine Ecosystems , which she will conduct in partnership with co-principal investigators Easton White from the University of Vermont and Elizabeth Fairchild from the University of New Hampshire, as well as colleagues at the Marine Sciences and Fisheries Institute in Madagascar. The ...

Middlebury Welcomes 46 New Faculty

Wed, 09/11/2019 - 10:46am

Middlebury College welcomes 46 new faculty members this fall, including eight in tenure-track positions. The new teachers and researchers arrived on campus for a two-day orientation on August 26. As a group, they represent 28 academic disciplines. The following will join Middlebury this fall as tenure-track faculty members: Cihan Artun , assistant professor of economics, comes to Middlebury from the University of Arizona, where he served as assistant professor of economics. Artun earned his PhD, MPhil, and MA in economics from Yale and his BA in economics and BS in mathematics from Boazii University. His research interests ...

Middlebury Receives Grant for New Perennials Project

Mon, 09/09/2019 - 10:28am

Middlebury College has received a $415,000 grant from the Rockefeller Family Fund for the first year of a multiyear effort aimed at dramatically changing the way people think about large-scale food production and its ecological and social impacts. The New Perennials Project, led by Middlebury Scholar in Residence Bill Vitek, features a new interdisciplinary course, guest speakers, engagement with community partners throughout the Champlain Valley, crop testing at the College farm, an annual conference, and engagement with departments and programs across campus. "The Franklin Environmental Center is thrilled to host Bill ...

Middlebury Economist Uncovers Why Employment Rates of Men with No College Experience Have Been on the Decline

Tue, 09/03/2019 - 3:12pm

In 1950, a man without any college experience was as likely to be employed as his college-educated counterpart. Not so today. In 1950, 91 percent of men with just a high school diploma or less had a job. By 2016 that number had plummeted to 78 percent (rebounding from a low of 74 percent at the depths of the Great Recession). By contrast, for men with at least one year of college the percentage employed has more or less held steady. Middlebury economist Erin Wolcott wants to know why. Some economists, she explained, argue that so-called "low-skilled" men are choosing to drop out of the economy to live on welfare payments or play ...

 

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