Award-winning writer-conservationist-activist Terry Tempest Williams cast a quiet spell on members of the Wesleyan and greater Middletown communities during a reading and book-signing reception at Memorial Chapel on March 1, at the invitation of Wesleyan’s College of the Environment.
On Feb. 28, students in ENVS201/soph seminar greeted guest speaker Rachel Sayet, an anthropologist/educator from the Mohegan Tribe, who spoke about revitalizing traditional foodways in New England and beyond. ENVS201, taught by COE Director Barry Chernoff and assistant professor of environmental studies Helen Poulos, introduces students to critical methods for conducting research on environmental issues, as a primer for performing research in the ENVS major.
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.
Schistosomiasis (a disease caused by parasitic worms) affects 200 to 300 million people worldwide. On December 3, the COE welcomed evolutionary biologist Dr. Armand Kuris of University of California, Santa Barbara to campus, for a discussion about his research on the disease in Kenya and Senegal. Dr. Kuris’s work has shown that transmission control through predation on snail intermediate hosts may be necessary to achieve elimination of schistosomiasis in Africa.
On October 26, 2018, foundation advisors David and Ford Schumann and foundation trustee Timothy Crowley joined COE Director Barry Chernoff, the Robert F. Schumann Professor of Environmental Studies, and Antonio Machado-Allison, the Menakka and Essel Bailey ’66 Distinguished Visiting Scholar in the COE, on a tour of Wesleyan University’s student-run Long Lane Farm.
On October 13, 2018, Wesleyan U and Middletown communities came together to celebrate the season at Pumpkin Fest, our annual fall festival held at Wesleyan’s student-run Long Lane Farm. More than 400 attendees enjoyed farm tours, produce and baked goods for sale, kid-friendly crafts, local vendors, free veggie burgers and apple cider, a pie-eating contest, musical performances, and more. The annual event is cosponsored by the COE.
Each year, our Where on Earth Are We Going? symposium focuses on a topic of critical environmental importance, bringing to Wesleyan the people who are at the forefronts of these issues. The theme of our 2018 symposium reflected the focus of the COE’s 2018-19 Think Tank: how humans relate to and value the non-human part of the world. This year’s event featured presentations by College of the Environment faculty Justine Quijada, assistant professor, Depart. of Religion (“Is Animism Good to Think With?”), and Fred Cohan, professor, Depart. of Biology (“Motivating Environmentalism through Our Visceral Fears of Infections”).