December 15, 2015                                              Fall 2015 : Issue 33
I'm actually not the biggest fan of using quotes but it might seem otherwise to the regular reader of these digests and this digest is no different. The bird themed header art selected for this edition was inspired by the preamble to this month's Orion magazine that spent time to explore the notion that a bird's house is it's "very person" and reflect on what our impact on the Earth says about our "very person." This all started with a quote from a French historian, Jules Michelet, considering the shape of the inside of a bird's nest. 

"The house is a bird's very person. ...The result is only obtained by constantly repeated pressure of the breast. There is not one of these blades of grass that, in order to make it curve and hold the curve, has not been pressed by the birds breast, its heart..."

As the semester comes to a close, I want to thank you all for reading and being out there helping to build and shape a beautiful nest. In putting together the digests throughout the semester I couldn't help but be moved to gratitude for our community and in that way this digest is no different as well. Some highlights in this edition include: Rachel's beautiful letter of gratitude to our EC volunteers this semester, Randy's reflection on the climate talks in Paris and links to directly take some action, the featured book recommended by one of our students, and the opportunities with organizations in our community working to continue to build the beauty. Thank you all. 

Ricky Green 

EC Assistant Coordinator
Digest Editor
Quote Collector
Winter Night Bike Rider
De Jumantsubo vlakte te Susaki bij Fukagawa, Hiroshige (I), Utagawa, Uoya Eikichi, 1857

A note of Gratitude and Grace -

To Lexis, Ali, Maggie, Amaya, Zach, Camille, Kim, Josey, Chris, and Cecilia-

Throughout the course of this entire semester, the Environmental Center has been the graced recipient of your selfless volunteerism. The countless hours, ideas, and efforts you have contributed have allowed us to launch residence hall recycling programs, manage the Free Store, educate your peers, cover the campus in art, seek out data to drive food shifts, and dive into the wild world of the radio. 

All told, you have contributed the equivalent of $12,846 of human power to making this campus and the Durango community a more environmentally-responsible, ethically-driven place...and all of that in just four short months! You have provided 28% of the EC's collective staff time and contributions!...and, far beyond the numbers and statistics, you have gifted us (all of us -The EC and every life that will be touched by your work now and into the future) with something so much more valuable-your own creative life force, your dedication to a better world, your curious minds and your commitment to our community. Our volunteers are the beating heart of this place-- from Maggie's big picture questions to Lexis' challah bread gatherings to Zach's bright energy; you each have made this community warm, positive, and something so very dear to each of us.

In her poem, The Summer Day, the poet Mary Oliver asks us, "what do you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?". The generous efforts of you amazing people has inspired all of us here at the EC to answer "we will give more to the things that we love". 

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Plant the Seeds of Change Scholarship

We invite you to contribute to our Plant the Seeds of Change Scholarship. Your generous gift will fund need-based scholarships for tomorrow's Environmental Leaders. 

Our Plant the Seeds of Change Scholarship will provide need-based scholarships for Environmental Center volunteers, thus ensuring that any student who sets out to improve the environmental and social stat of our world will have access to the education, training, and support to follow that path. 

Please help us build the next generation of environmental leaders by making a tax-exempt donation to our Plant the Seeds of Change Scholarship today.

  • A gift of $10 will help fund one hour of educating 4000 college peers on actions they can take to reduce our collective water consumption by 20%.
  • A gift of $70 will fund a week of our Local Food Fellow's efforts to grow local, organic produce for our region's under-served populations.
  •  A gift of $1960 will fund a year's transformation from a concerned student into an engaged & effective leader in the environmental movement.
In honor of our donors and the seeds of change that you have helped to plant for the EC, we, in turn, will plant up a section of our garden in your name....and, come fall, invite you back to join the Environmental Center and our student staff for a potluck to celebrate the fruits of our collective efforts. Be sure to let us know your favorite vegetable, so we can plant 'er up for you!


Fort Lewis College achieves milestone with carbon emission reduction

The EC would like to share in celebrating and congratulating Fort Lewis College meeting it's goal of reducing carbon emissions by 20 percent from 2011 levels. This would not have been possible without the support, coordination, and tireless effort of so many people throughout the Fort Lewis College community. We would like to recognize specifically, Dr. Kathy Hillimire - FLC Sustainability Coordinator, FLC President Dene Thomas, Physical Plant Services, and the Campus Sustainability Council.  We are excited to celebrate this success and look forward to continue building on it in the future! 

The EC is hiring Spring Interns

The Environmental Center has three, totally-rad-incredibly-wonderful- equal-parts-fun-and-impactful internships open for the Spring 2015. Each internship is approximately 150 hours in length and available for academic credit through your sponsoring department. 

For complete job descriptions, please visit the Environmental Center's website: .
  • Real Food Challenge Internship: Work in partnership with the EC, Real Food Challenge and Sodexo to advance RFC efforts on campus.
  • Zero Waste Dining Internship: Work in partnership with the EC and Sodexo to build on existing waste studies and identify strategies to reduce food waste that align with the USDA's Food Recovery Hierarchy.
  • Alternative Spring Break Internship: Work in partnership with the EC, Outdoor Pursuits, Leadership Programs and Grand Canyon Trust to design and ultimately lead an service- and adventure-oriented alternative spring break experience on the Colorado Plateau. 

Bring out your cans

The EC has partnered with FLC Engineering students to build a totally awesome, Green Designed and Constructed garden & compost shed!... and we need your help to do so! 

Donate your empty, clean soda pop cans to the Environmental Center...and have them turn into our shed's roof! 

Donations accepted Monday-Friday from 9-5 p.m.

Jabiroe ooievaar (Jabiroe Mycteria), Aert Schouman, 1770

Environmental Studies | Colloquium Presentations

Fort Lewis students present the results of their semester long research projects!

12:00 - Remediation Techniques for Acid Mine Drainage in the Animas River Watershed

12:30 - Is the Animas River Really Safe? Durangatangs' Perspective vs. EPA Standards on Recreation on the River

1:00 - Evaluating Colorado's Water Policy: Recommendations for Changes in the Southwest

When: Wednesday, December 16, 12pm - 2pm
Where: Fort Lewis College, Noble 130

4CORE Job Opportunity

4CORE seeks a passionate, effective leader to manage and advance their mission to serve Southwest Colorado as the leading resource for the effective and efficient use of energy to promote and sustain vibrant local communities.

For more details and instructions to apply click here

When:  Application materials due by December 15, 2015.

Garden Education Internship

The Garden Project of Southwest Colorado, a local nonprofit who supports school and community garden programs in La Plata County and has helped develop 20 gardens since 1998, is looking for a garden education intern! 

The garden education intern will be responsible for assisting with garden education programming at one or various elementary schools within Durango School District 9-R.

School Garden Programs involve indoor & outdoor gardening activities, cooking & nutrition classes, connections to science & wellness standards, and experiential, nature-based education.

When: Applications are due January 15, 2015.
How to Apply: Complete the Garden Education Intern Application  and e.mail it to Sandhya Tillotson, Executive Director.

Environmental Stewards seeks a Program Coordinator

The Environmental Stewards Program Coordinator is responsible for the management and development of federal land management agency sites that host Environmental Stewards/AmeriCorps interns. The Coordinator will oversee the success of the ES site placement through recruitment, placement, site supervisor and individual member support, detailed reporting, and individual site retention.

For more information:  contact Michael Rendon
How to Apply: send a cover letter and resume to Lora Reynolds

Common Ground Weeklies

Common Ground is a network of facilitators trained in a bias awareness educational program that promotes cultural appreciation and combats discrimination. Facilitators provide educational  programs to our campus at events, new student orientation and in the classroom.

Common Ground is seeking staff, faculty and student to participate in the annual spring facilitator training called The Weeklies. Trainees participate in over 20 activities from the curriculum and receive training to develop and enhance facilitation skills.  

When: The Common Ground Weeklies facilitator training meets for 12 weeks from 12:15-2:15 on Thursdays starting January 21 and ends with a day-long facilitation practice segment in April.

Turning Green Degrees into Sustainable Careers

Are you studying a sustainability related discipline and wondering what you might do with your degree? Or perhaps you are planning a career change with the start of the new year. 

Check out this resource put together in part by Nurit Katz, first sustainability coordinator at UCLA, exploring green degrees and careers in the world of sustainability. 
Take Action Bibliophila

Having survived final exams, you have one last assignment to accomplish during the break. Hold on! Grin and bear me! 

A Climate agreement has been reached in Paris! It is being hailed as a major achievement by many environmentalists while others of the same tribe criticize the pact as a complete failure. George Monbiot, author, environmental activist, and journalist with The Guardian,  said it best in my mind, "By comparison to what it could have been - it is a miracle. By comparison to what it should have been - it is a disaster". Either way,  both camps heartily agreed that the most important key to any success is that carbon based fossil fuels need to stay in the ground. It is being reported that we are on target for a catastrophic increase of 6.3 degrees Fahrenheit (3.5 degrees Celsius) in global temperature as compared to that of the pre-industrial era. Currently, we are experiencing only a 1 degree Celsius increase and the effects of that are already alarming. 

I am urging you to add your name to the three petitions I could find that fall In the Keep it in the Ground/Divestment category. Here they are: 
Democracy Now has really done some in depth reporting on the climate agreement talks over the last 2 weeks. For a good follow up report concerning the terms agreed upon in the Paris Climate deal, go to the December 14th 2015 Democracy Now broadcast. Be safe. Peace!

You are making a difference

Everything you do influences thsoe around you - and everything you think and feel influences what you do. 

This practical and inspiring book show how you can live in harmony with your highest ideals.

You can find harmony with yourself by gaining mastery of your internal environment, a world within of thoughts, desires, and feelings as reals as the world outside.

You can build harmony in your relationships with family, neighbors, and colleagues by learning to love more fully than you had thought possible.

You can establish harmony with the physical environment by living your life to ensure, in every way, a bright future for all our children.

You can learn to make your life a message of hope, love, and purpose.