January 19, 2016                                             Spring 2016 : Issue 34
The early months of the year are good times to explore the constellation of Orion. It is one of the most prominent and easily recognizable constellations in the night sky right now and because Orion is situated above the Earth's equator, it is (I'm told) visible from every inhabitable place on earth. According to Chet Raymo in his book 365 Starry Nights, "All human cultures in every time and place have given special note in story and myth to this wonderful array of stars."

I think Carl Sagan in his beautiful piece the Pale Blue Dot expresses best the sentiment I recently felt while gazing up at Orion and contemplating that connection: 
It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known .

Thank you for checking out the Digest. We have quite an issue (opportunities, interview, blog, organizing and action), hope you enjoy and perhaps find a few moments to bundle up, step outside and listen to the stars. 

 
Ricky Green
EC Assistant Coordinator 
Illustration of Heliamphora nutans from John Muirhead Macfarlane's 1908 monograph on the genus

Alternative Spring Break

Looking for spring Break Plans?  Want to get outside, have a ton of fun, make great friends...and make a difference? If so, consider joining our Alternative Spring Break. Similar to year's past, participants on this student led experience will head out to the Colorado Plateau for five days of a homestay and service-learning experience on either Hopi or Navajo nations. Through the projects that you will work on, the places that you will visit and some well-time visits by local experts, you will learn about how water works in this amazing part of the world. Who gets it, who doesn't, why and what we can expect in the future. Following our service-project, your crew will head over to the Grand Canyon for hiking, camping, and relaxation.

Dates: March 5-13
Cost:  $150 for OP Members; $175 for non-OP Members (includes food, transportation, housing, gear and fun! The non-OP price also includes a half year OP membership)
For more information: Stop by the Environmental Center, Outdoor Pursuits, or Leadership Center or visit www.fortlewis.edu/environmentalcenter
To Apply: Complete an online application here by February 1st  


Inside Local Food Security in the Four Corners

Do you know how many days of food we have available in our grocery stores in the event that the trucks stop coming over the hill? Did you ever wonder about what a food procurement contract is and how it dictates which foods show up on your plate on a daily basis? To learn more about these topics and the inner workings of our Real Food Challenge and regional local food security, check out this great radio interview with EC Coordinator Rachel Landis on our local public station, KSUT.

Duke Jackson, 2014 Local Food Fellow, waters tire-stacked potatoes in an effort to utilize space most efficiently for maximum food production in the Environmental Center's on-campus organic garden.


Free Store
 
Stop by the Student Union every Wednesday to shop at the free store! The Free Store is a place where reusable items are given a new life and where you can participate in creating a gift economy, reduce the amount of waste sent to the landfill and find the clothes, accessories, electronics, and a variety of other things you might need, all for free. 

Last semester by shopping at the Free Store you all helped save 253,542 gallons of virtual water!

Want to donate? Bring your re-usable items by the EC in the Student Union or drop your items off at the free store table on Wednesdays.

When: Wednesdays from 11:30am - 3:00pm
For more information: contact Amaya McKenna at  akmckenna@fortlewis.edu


Recently, as an environmental studies major at Fort Lewis College, I have realized the amount of individuals that have dedicated their lives to better the environment. It is easy to forget sometimes when modern culture seems to be consumed with many things but the environment, but last Wednesday I had the opportunity to see the amplitude of the environmentally dedicated people within a small community. 

I am a volunteer at the environmental center and to thank me, the coordinator, Rachel Landis, brought me to Durango's "Green Business Roundtable". This is a monthly gathering of businesses and individuals in Durango that are dedicated to environmentally conscious actions and they have speakers to promote progressive green actions for their businesses. 

This month Linley Dixon came to speak about local compared to organic produce, which was quite an interesting topic to me, because I often have this dilemma in my personal life. She spoke about the industrialization of organic farming and how it has strayed from its original ideals by being regulated by the government. Linley farms ecologically sound food on a few acres near Durango and sells her produce to local farmers markets in the area. Supporting the local food system gives communities more security for produce, cuts back on fossil fuel emissions from transportation, and fosters support for sustainable small-scale farms. Lindley's lasting remark for the crowd was that 

if we, as a community, support small-scale farmers, they in turn will support us. 



Drawing of a Fossa by illustrator Gustav Mutzel in Brehms Tierleben.
Student Ambassador Employment Opportunity

Student Ambassadors  professionally and authentically represent Fort Lewis College to prospective students, their parents and family, as well as the guidance community.
 
The student ambassador position is a great way to build your resume, gain awesome public relations experience, and make some cash. On top of an hourly wage, the position offers a scholarship that pays HALF IN-STATE TUITION! 

When:  Application packets due by 5pm, Friday, February 19th, 2016.
For more information: contact Matthew Sheldon, mnsheldon@fortlewis.edu or 970-247-7176


Environment for the Americas + National Park Service offering dozens of paid summer internships across the country

Follow the links to find out more about the Mosaics in Science Diversity Internship Program and the Latino Heritage Internship Program. Positions range from biology and cultural resources to night sky interpretation and air quality monitoring. 

All internships are paid and include housing.


Durango/ La Plata County Chapter of the Citizen's Climate Lobby

A contingent of community members has formed to start a chapter of the Citizen's Climate Lobby in Durango. CCL's missions is to build the political will for a livable world and empower individuals to have breakthroughs in exercising their personal and political power. 

Susan Secord, coordinator for Colorado CCL, and Chris Hoffman, an active member of Boulder CCL, will be in town on Sat. February 20th to host a volunteer training and orientation workshop. 

At this workshop, you will learn about the profound difference we make when we empower and inspire our members of Congress to action. You will learn how to become an effective advocate for climate solutions.  You will learn about our methodology for developing relationships with members of Congress and the local media.

"Most impressive is the work of the Citizens' Climate Lobby...  If you want to join the fight to save the planet, to save creation for your grandchildren, there is no more effective step you could take than becoming an active member of this group."
Dr. James Hansen, former Director, NASA Goddard 

When: Saturday, February 20th, 12pm potluck 1pm-4pm training
Where: TBD
For more information: contact Andrew,  durango@citizensclimatelobby.org


Montezuma School to Farm Seeks Executive Director

Founded in 2009, the Montezuma School to Farm Project mission is to unite our local agricultural heritage with our growing future by engaging students at the crossroads of sustainable agriculture, resource conservation, health and economics through experiential education opportunities in outdoor garden classrooms, farm field trips, youth farmer apprenticeship programs and summer farm camps. 

Reporting to the Mancos Conservation District governing Board of Directors, the Executive Director (ED) will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for 10 staff, programs, expansion, finances and execution of its mission. S/he will initially develop deep knowledge of field, core programs, operations, budget and strategic plans. 

Find out more about this exciting position here. 


Tell your story on the Gold King spill

Tom Schillaci, a filmaker in Silverton, who has been working on a documentary about mine remediation in the Animas River Basin is looking for community members to share their opinions on the spill. 

Learn more about the project in this Durango Herald article


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 students 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.

If you are interested RSVP to Nancy Stoffer at stoffer_n@fortlewis.edu.
Take Action Bibliophila
Happy New Year All! I hope you managed to slow down over the holidays. So many things to think about. Good and bad. Some of the troubling matters get categorized into spheres such as Social Injustice, Economic Inequality, and Environmental Degradation. In the end, the causes for these issues are so interrelated. Greed brings Poverty which begets Violence which breeds indifference, and so on. With enough attention, some of these concerns can eventually be turned a round and corrected. Must be



Environmental Degradation is different in that at some point, nothing else matters.  No Surprise, the business of Oil and Gas certainly did not slow down over the holidays. Mid-December, Congress lifted a long standing ban on exporting crude oil. This action will most certainly lead to an increase of oil production in the United States. Riding the ban's coattails,  Tesoro-Savage, an "oil by rail" terminal, is planned for a site in Vancouver, Washington. If this terminal is built, then for decades, up to 360,000 barrels of crude will be exported daily. 

Ironically, the Paris Climate Agreement was being lauded as a significant step in the right direction at practically the same time. What's going on? For a little more background on this, go to the Newsweek  piece written on it. Credoaction has provided a petition that covers all of this and gives you an opportunity to be heard

Now, that we have touched on the crude oil export, let's take a look at the ongoing, long going, disaster in Los Angeles. IN CASE YOU HAVEN"T HEARD, there is a methane gas leak going on. 50 tons per hour turns out to be analogous to adding 7 million additional cars to the carbon footprint DAILY! There is no safety valve in place and they did not need to have one. It has been going on for 3 months already and SoCalGas is stating that they won't be able to stop the leak for another 2 months. The Guardian has provided some good insight on the SoCalGas debacle. Consider putting your name on another Credoaction petition   calling for the Administration and the EPA to take action as they had done with the BP Gulf Oil Spill. 


Imagine a world without automobiles, traffic lights, and interstate highways. Or the words commuter and parking. For a nation that prides itself on the freedom of movement and the long weekend, this seems nearly impossible. 

In Down the Asphalt Path, Clay McShane examines the uniquely American relation between automobility and urbanization. Writing at the cutting edge of urban and technological history, McShane focuses on how new transportation systems - most important, the private automobile - and new concepts of the city redefined each other in modern America. We swiftly motor across the country from Boston to New York to Milwaukee to Los Angeles and the suburbs in between as McShane chronicles the urban embrace of the automobile. 

McShane begins with mid-nineteenth century municipal bans on horseless carriages, a response to public fears of accidents and pollution. After cities redesigned roads to encourage new forms of transport, especially trolley cars, light carriages, and bicycles, the bans disappeared in the 1890s. With the advent of the automobile, metropolitan elites quickly and permanently established cars as status symbols. Down the Asphalt Path also explains the escapist appeal of the motor car to many Americans constrained by traditional social values. 

This book includes more than thirty photographs detailing the transformation of urban transportation. They bring to life chapters on modes of travel before the trolley; the push for parks, parkways, and suburbanization; the car in popular culture; and the battle for traffic safety and regulation. McShane's analysis of gender relations in the rise of automobility - in particular, definitions of gender in terms of mechanical skill and of driving as male power - is both timely and innovative. 

Wonderfully readable, this book will be a treasure for readers of urban history, popular culture, and technology - as well as car buffs.