This past week, I traveled to Chicago for the New Horizons in Conservation Conference. This conference brings together researchers, environmental advocates from NGOs, and undergraduate and graduate students to discuss environmental justice and collaborate on new approaches to make environmental work more equitable. I met a wide variety of environmental activists, from community leaders fighting for clean air and green space to researchers studying invasive species. On the final day of the conference, I also got to present a pilot study about gender diversity in science education.
College of Social Studies major Emma Rose Borzekowski ’19 and philosophy and feminist, gender and sexuality studies double major Selene Canter ’19 set out over winter break to research agriculture in Cuba–to learn what farming looks like in one of the few remaining socialist states. The research trip was funded by a grant from the College of the Environment.
May Klug ’19 in April. The morning of her thesis defense. At Long Lane Farm, tending the greens. A senior music and American studies major, May volunteers 10 to 12 hours/week at the student-run farm, and was a member of last fall’s Pumpkin Fest committee (where she performed). This winter and spring she’s devoted her time to giving the summer greens a good head start. She’s particularly proud of the peas.
Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies (and Wes alum) Rosemary Ostfeld, PhD ’10 and her students from ENVS344 / Renewable Energy and Negative Emission Technologies joined with members of the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters (CTLCV) on a visit the state capitol in Hartford earlier this month. Environmental studies majors in the group included Caroline Sgaglione ’19, Catherine Xi ’21 & Maggie Humphrey ’21. While there, Ostfeld and her students discussed renewables, green technologies, and the importance of making the environment a priority with State Reps Michael Winkler & Quentin Phipps and fellow Wesleyan University alums State Senator Matthew Lesser ’08 and State Rep Mike Demicco ’80.
The research explored here, “Spectroscopic Studies of Hybrid Perovskite Solar Cells,” was undertaken as part of the College of the Environment’s Faculty-Student Research Grant Program, which provides opportunities for faculty and students to work together on research projects.
Meng-ju Renee Sher ’07 is assistant professor of physics, assistant professor of integrative sciences, and assistant professor of environmental studies at Wesleyan University. Sher received her bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan in 2007 and PhD degree from Harvard University in 2013.
Kudos to art & art history and environmental studies double-major Paul Franceschi ’19, who showcased his senior thesis work, “Frontcountry Principles,” as part of an exhibition at Zilkha Gallery here at Wesleyan, earlier this month.
Each year, our COE Think Tank brings together Wes students and faculty from across the university, plus a noted outside scholar, for a yearlong conversation on a topic of vital environmental importance. This year’s focus: how humans relate to and value the non-human part of the world. Read on to discover how our three student fellows have been exploring the topic in their work.
On February 22, the COE hosted a screening of the 2016 documentary short film Shash Jaa’: Bears Ears, followed by a Q&A with Navajo-Hopi filmmaker/director Angelo Baca. A post-showing reception featured a photo exhibit of the Bears Ears region by Fiona McLeod ’19. Shash Jaa’ details the efforts of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition against the reduction of Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument by 85 percent after President Trump’s 2017 executive order. It is a continuation of the film Into America: The Ancestors’ Land, directed by Baca & Nadine Zacharias, which examined natural resource extraction in southeastern Utah.
This past January, Nethra Pullela ’20, Liz Atalig ’21, and Jackie Duckett ’20 joined E&ES Professor Suzanne O’Connell on a journey to the center of the earth–traveling to the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) at Texas A&M University to collect data and samples for O’Connell’s “Where Was the Antarctic Oligocene Ice?” project, funded by the COE’s Faculty-Student Research Grant Program.
Six students in Barry Chernoff’s ENVS197 (Introduction to Environmental Studies) course worked side-by-side with members of Wesleyan’s Physical Plant this semester, as part of a collaborative project with Forklift Danceworks, an organization that employs performance to activate communities through a collaborative creative process. The Austin-based organization was founded by choreographer Allison Orr, a former Menakka and Essel Bailey ’66 Distinguished Visiting Scholar here at the COE, who lead the project, with help from Forlift’s assistant choreographer Gretchen LaMotte ’18.