Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 73.16
Liaison Ryan Ihrke
Submission Date July 29, 2011
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.0

Green Mountain College
Tier2-6: Sustainability Events

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.25 / 0.25 Ryan Ihrke
Director of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution hold major events related to sustainability, such as conferences, speaker series, or symposia, that have students as the intended audience?:

A brief description of the event(s):

Convocation held during September and the Benson Lecture held during Earth Week almost always have a sustainability/environmental related theme. Recent speakers include environmental writer and activist Rick Bass as the 2011 Benson lecturer and environmental activist and community organizer Ms. Lois Gibbs as the 2009 convocation speaker.

October 27, 2010: “Invasive Pull Campus Clean-Up Initiative” welcomed volunteers to go on a hike to help pull invasive species in the area and discuss the threat of invasive plants.

November 2010: Carbon Offsets Presentation - the Campus Sustainability Council brought three carbon offsets providers to GMC to discuss their initiatives. Feedback was solicited from students to ensure that GMC offsets purchases coincided with the goals of the entire community.

December 2010: Movie & Discussion – “Gasland” - Narrator Josh Fox encounters EPA whistle-blowers, congressmen, world recognized scientists, and some of the most inspiring and heart-wrenching stories of ordinary Americans fighting against fossil fuel giants for environmental justice. Film was followed by a nation-wide interactive panel discussion.

February 01, 2011. Dr. Ted Auch, Post-doctoral researcher in sustainable agriculture. Dr. Auch presented his research, "The Circuitous Path of Carbon, Nitrogen, and Phosphorus From Atmosphere to Agriculture."

February 09, 2011: Presentation and Discussion with Dr. Alan Betts. Participants discussed what climate change means for Vermonters and how they can act together to create a future for Poultney that is abundant and prosperous!

April 06, 2011: Free Film Showing and Conversation. "A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash," produced and directed by award-winning European journalists and filmmakers Basil Gelpke and Ray McCormack, tells the story of how our civilization’s addiction to oil puts it on a collision course with geology.

April 19, 2011: “The Greenhorns” Movie Screening. The Greenhorns documentary film explores the lives of America's young farming community - its spirit, practices, and needs. Event was followed by group discussion.

April 27th, 2011: Beehive Collective Presentation and discussion. The Beehive Collective’s mission is to cross-pollinate the grassroots, by creating collaborative, anti-copyright images that can be used as educational and organizing tools. Students were exposed to the realities of energy production and consumption through intricate art work.

May 05, 2011: Farm to School Workshop. Farm to School enthusiasts from Bennington, Addison, and Rutland counties came to celebrate the rapidly emerging Farm to School programs and initiatives in our region. The event consisted of multiple workshops, all aimed at strengthening the vitality of Vermont’s regional food system and the quality of food in public schools.

Fall 2009

The Fall semester was marked with speakers including author Alan Weisman (The World Without Us), visiting artists including J. Henry Fair and Ken Morgan; and guest lecturers including Mark McPeek of Dartmouth and U.S. Congressman Steve Israel.

November 16th, 2010, Claire Sandrock, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, spoke about Dairy Sheep Production in North America.

On November 17, 2008, Green Mountain College hosted a public forum on "The Future of Energy in Vermont." The forum was sponsored by the DEEP Scholars. Panelists included David Dunn from Central Vermont Power Service Cow Power program; Jeffrey Wennberg from Vermont Community Wind; David McElwee from Entergy Vermont Yankee and Dan Brown from Foxfire Solar Energy Company. GMC Prof. Steven Letendre (management & environmental studies) introduced the panel.

November 20, 2010, Mark McPeek, an evolutionary biologist from Dartmouth University, presented two talks on how past climate change influenced the biota we see today. He spoke to Prof. Mike Blust’s (biology) "Winged World" class at 10 a.m. and gave a public presentation at 4 p.m.

Spring 2010

On January 28,2010, students and community members were invited to a Home Energy Efficiency Volunteer Training Session. The session, which was held on campus, sought to train the residents of the Rutland Region to help their neighbors make their homes more energy efficient through the Vermont Community Energy Mobilization Project. Local volunteers were trained to conduct free home visits designed to help residents learn about energy saving opportunities in their homes. Volunteers installed energy saving products (such as compact fluorescent light bulbs and low-flow shower-heads), assisted in identifying inefficient uses of energy in the home, and provided information resources available to help residents make energy-efficiency improvements.

On February 15, 2010, Environmental activist Dave Cooper from Lexington, Kentucky explained human rights issues associated with Mountaintop Removal in Appalachia. In Virginia, West Virginia and eastern Kentucky, coal companies blast as much as 600 feet off the top of mountains, then dump the rock and debris into mountain streams. Mountaintop removal mining increases flooding, contaminates drinking water supplies, cracks foundations of nearby homes, and showers towns with dust and noise from blasting.

On February 16, 2010, a plenary discussion focused on the prospects of biodiesel in Vermont and the greater Rutland area. Panelists included Heather Darby of UVM Agricultural Extension, Scott Gordon of Green Technologies, Netaka White of the Vermont Sustainable Job Fund, and Kenneth Mulder, GMC Farm Manager and Research Associate. The plenary and the discussions that followed were intended to jump-start the cultivation of oilseed crops and the use of renewable liquid fuels in this region of Vermont. Technical know-how, funding sources, and opportunities for collaboration were discussed. The plenary was sponsored by Prudent Fuels, Inc. and the GMC Family Farm Forum.

On February 16, 2010, Brian Donahue, associate professor of American Environmental Studies at Brandeis University, presented a lecture entitled "Wildlands, Woodlands, and Farmlands: Natural Infrastructure and Sustainability in New England." Donahue is an award-winning environmental history scholar, earning the George Perkins Marsh Prize for the Best Book in Environmental History for his 2004 work, The Great Meadow: Farmers and the Land in Colonial Concord. He is also the author of Reclaiming the Commons: Community Farms and Forests in a New England Town. His talk was sponsored by the GMC Family Farm Forum and the history program.

On February 19,2010, Green Mountain College hosted a screening of the award-winning documentary Food Fight: Revolution Never Tasted So Good, by Chris Taylor. The film "is a fascinating look at how American agricultural policy and food culture developed in the 20th century, and how the California food movement has created a counter-revolution against big agribusiness." Following the film, there was a discussion with the filmmakers. The event was sponsored by the Green Mountain College Family Farm Forum, the GMC Voices of Community Film Fest and Rutland Area Farm & Food Link (RAFFL).

In April 2010, Tseming Yang, professor of law and director of the VLS/Sun Yat-Sen University Partnership for Environmental Law in China Program, kicked off the Pre-Law Speaker Series with a talk entitled “Globalization and Global Environmental Rights.”

The spring 2010 Colloquium Series featured many professors and their research findings related to sustainability.

Dr. Andrew Duffin spoke on March 24, 2010. His discussion focused on the question of environment and history ii two distinct regions of the American West: The Palouse region of Washington and Idaho, and the Yaak Valley in northwestern Montana. In each, the commodification of nature has resulted in a dramatic alteration of the landscape. Dr. Duffin explored the extent to which these unique landscapes have been irretrievably lost, and the steps that have been taken to restore them

Dr. Steve Fesmire on April 7, 2010 provided a presentation to the community that explored some eastern and western intellectual resources for conceiving interrelatedness, and briefly explained the notion of ecological imagination. Fesmire concluded his discussion with some aims for contemporary moral education if it is to contribute to greater environmental responsibility.

Professor Phillip Ackerman-Leist on May 5, 2010 discussed his year long sabbatical research and writing project that culminated in the publication of his book, Up Tunket Road; The Education of a Modern Homesteader.

The website URL where information about the event(s) are available:

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