November 29, 2017
Welcome to the seventh edition of the Environmental Center (EC) Digest for the 2017-2018 academic year! Every two weeks, this little gem of digital media will arrive in your inbox.

Scroll down to learn about Environmental Center events and happenings and to explore community events, initiatives, as well as job and internship postings  focused on environmental, social justice and sustain ability...  and of course, our ever-anticipated (and always wordy) introductory musings. Ready, set, go:
In the Shadow of Loss, the Need to Train Community Builders

During this time of celebration and cheer, other thoughts have been weighing heavily. Earlier this month, our community was rocked by the tragic loss of several of its members to suicide. These incidents fall on the heels of far too many prior occurrences which have compounded into a sad statistic: mountainous regions like ours suffer nearly twice the rate of suicide compared to our non-topographically rich neighbors. In my efforts to best equip myself to support our fellow community members and struggling students, I read two recent articles published by the National Geographic and the Mountain Journal that shed light on the sources of this suffering.

While elevation and seasonality are not things any mountain dweller can easily mitigate, my eye lingered on the research pointing to the 'poor quality of relationships' present in mountain communities, especially for our 20-something youth. Here, though, there is hope and the opportunity for social transformation stemming from a source that is near and dear to my heart - social sustainability. Many of the core tenets of sustainability put forward values  and frameworks that emphasize restoring the connection of people and place. This underscores the need for strong relationships that emphasize Universal Responsibility. It is a challenge to commit to and connect with our communities, to take responsibility for something larger than ourselves. I have been particularly intrigued by Facing the Future's 8 Big Ideas as a way of structuring the value systems of sustainable societies.

Here at the EC, in addition to tackling environmental sustainability projects, we are also in the business of cultivating students to become engaged community members and environmental leaders. To this end, over the past several weeks, Marty and I have set aside a portion of our Fridays to hash out the EC's Core Learning Outcomes - what every student will have learned upon completing their Environmental Center experience. In addition to 'developing a deep understanding of one's personal values and ethics', 'developing core professional skills', and 'developing the knowledge and tools to affect social and environmental change', we also have a mandate that students will ' understand the value of, and know how to cultivate, a rich, authentic, CommunityGiven the recent tragedies in our community, I find some solace  knowing that Environmental Center students are equipped with the skills and motivation to buck the trends reported by National Geographic.

Our deepest condolences to all who are suffering from a loss associated with suicide.

Here is a short list of resources for our community:
  • FLC Counseling Center, M-F 8-12 and 1-5, Noble Hall Rm 260: 970-247-7212
  • Local Crisis Hotline (Axis Services) - (24 hrs): 970-247-5245
  • Colorado Crisis and Support Line (24hrs): 844-493-TALK (8255)
  • Heartbeat Durango - Local support group for those who have had lost a loved one to suicide. For information call or text 970-403-4103 or call 970-749-1673.
  • Project Semicolon

Rachel Landis, Coordinator

Environmental Center HappeningsECHappenings
Don't Miss Our Durango Premiere of Chasing Coral Next Tuesday, Dec. 5th!

Once again, REEL promises an evening of incredible cinematography, powerful conversation, and inspired action. This year our event features the award-winning documentary, Chasing Coral. Watch crews  set out on an ocean adventure to discover why the reefs are disappearing and reveal this underwater mystery to the world. The beauty of the underwater world is not to be missed on the big screen!
All proceeds from the screening benefit the Environmental Center's work: cultivating tomorrow's environmental leaders through advancing campus and regional sustainability today.
When:  December 5th. Doors open at 6 p.m. and screening begins at 7  p.m.
Where: Vallecito Room, Fort Lewis College Student Union
Cost: $12 advance suggested donation and $15 at the door. Tickets include an amazing, ethical dinner and a movie! Tickets can be purchased at or Maria's Bookshop beginning Nov. 10.
For More Information: Visit the Environmental Center at Fort Lewis College on Facebook or email Rachel at

Watch the Official Trailer to see what this award winning film is all about.
More EC and FLC Happenings
Coupon Book Sales are Available NOW at the EC! Get Yours Today!

Come one, come all to pick up this year's edition of the Be Local Coupon Book! 

These books feature great coupons to many of Durango's awesome independent and locally owned businesses. These make for great holiday gifts, employee appreciation gestures, and creative date ideas!

Cost: $25 each - a portion of the proceeds go to the Environmental Center

Purchase Options: Remember, it's first come first serve, so act fast!
Books can be purchased in-person with cash or check, or online.
All purchases can be picked up at the EC office, Student Union room 145.

Questions or more information, contact Marty Pool, EC Assistant Coordinator, at
Environmental Center Garden Volunteer Gratitude party next Thursday

Holy cow! What an amazing garden season! Many thanks to every one of you who came out over the spring, summer, and fall to lend a hand and help with a harvest! All told, our little garden:
  • 377 lbs of produce grown by students 
  • 993 portions of veggies provided to campus diners!
  • 125 lbs of CO2e prevented from entering the atmosphere
  • 9 classes hosted
  • 1029 volunteer hours spend loving on our veggies and soil!

As an extension of our gratitude, we welcome anyone who volunteered in the garden, orchard, food forest and greenhouse to join us for a Thank You Gathering featuring a locally-sourced, vegetarian lunch. 

When: Thursday, 12/7 from 1 - 2:30 p.m.
Where: Student Union Senate Chambers
RSVP: Please RSVP to Paula Pletnikoff at by Tuesday 12/5 so we can get a head count for food.
JAVA BANDITS: The EC's Most Wanted

PUBLIC NOTICE: It has come to the attention of the authorities at the Fort Lewis College Environmental Center that certain criminal elements of the beverage containing species have begun to engage in heinous acts of larceny and violence. 

They are contributing to the production of massive amounts of waste and fraud, and are likely even stealing YOUR MONEY, dear citizen. It has been determined that the use of disposable cups on the Fort Lewis campus is at least 78 cups per student, per month. In total, this creates paper waste equivalent to 273 thousand paper cups a month. This is mortifying, and is a grave addition to the waste at the college. 

WE, THE STUDENTS AND CITIZENS OF FORT LEWIS COLLEGE, CAN ACT to put an end to this menace, by the use of personal reusable mugs. In addition to this, it is estimated that the savings that a student can gain from the use of their own mug can save them more than one hundred dollars a year. THEREFORE, THE AUTHORITIES AT THE FORT LEWIS COLLEGE ENVIRONMENTAL CENTER HEARTILY ENCOURAGE THE PURCHASE AND USE OF A PERSONAL MUG.
From the Blog: Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling in Your Daily Life

By Tatyana Trujillo, Energy Impact
"Reduce, reuse, recycle" has been one of my mottos, it is branded in my mind and is a part of my daily life now. I haven't always been this conscious though, my family did the standard recycling, composting, and was conscious on reusing items. But we didn't fully understand the impact it had. Once I began doing my own research on these issues, I started to understand how important it is to continue these habits on my own . . . Read More
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Community Events & Opportunities
Local LocalHappenings
Events and Happenings in our Local Community
Don't Miss the Last Green Drinks of the Year!

November's presenters are Local First, Citizen's Climate Lobby, and the La Plata County Economic Development Alliance
Noel Night: "Durango's Christmas Party"

"Look Local First" this holiday season!

Noel Night was started in 2002 as a response to the Missionary Ridge Fire and the impact it had on our local, independent businesses, and since has grown to become a local holiday favorite that brings our community together.
Every December, Local First and its partners present Noel Night, and encourage you, your family, and your friends to shop locally this holiday season.  Find the most unique and economically beneficial gift here in La Plata County!  Enjoy special offers, live music and entertainment, specially festive events, and treats crafted just for you.
When:  Friday, Dec. 1, 10 a.m. - 9 p.m 
Where:  Downtown Durango
For more information, visit
Take MSI's Survey about Water Quality in the Animas River Watershed
MSI and partners are monitoring the river on a regular basis, and we want to make sure you're hearing about updates in a way that is accessible and engaging to you. This survey will also help MSI and other educators to design relevant and effective educational tools.

You can take the survey HERE

If you have any questions about this survey or project, email Jeremy May at
Citizens Climate Lobby Monthly Meeting

Learn how you can become a Lobbyist by building the political will to encourage lawmakers in Washington to pass a Carbon Fee and Dividend Legislation.

When: Nov. 29, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Where:  The Underground at Irish Embassy Pub, 900 Main  Street,  Durango

For more information or with questions, contact Louise van Vonno at
Opportunities Opportunities
Jobs, Scholarships, Internships, and more!
Applications Available for Next Year's Farmer-In-Training Positions

Do you know anyone who wants to start farming? Do you have a sense for what great fun we have farming out here at the Old Fort? 

Applications are available now for next year's Farmer-In-Training (FIT) positions! FITs farm 2-3 days/week, learning all the basics of growing vegetables in the high desert. It's perfect for someone who has dabbled in farming but wants to get serious: the program offers classes, workshops, field trips, and the invaluable day-to-day work of growing food.  

Because our busy harvest season extends into the fall semester, we accept applications from graduating seniors and encourage other students to apply to our internship program.
Udall Scholarship for Outdoor and Environmental leaders

The Udall Foundation offers a prestigious scholarship for students seeking careers in environmental fields. Applicants should be leading change on their campus or in their community.

Up to $7,000 is awarded to 50 sophomores and juniors pursuing careers related to Tribal policy, Native health care, and the environment. Scholars get to attend the Udall Scholar Orientation in August, meeting alumni and community leaders for exceptional networking opportunities, and gain lifetime membership in a growing and active alumni network. For more information, visit us at 

Deadline: March 8, 2018.
Rocky Mountain Region Begins Hiring for 2018 Field Season

Over 900 jobs available across national forests and grasslands in  Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming.

Temporary jobs are available in a variety of exciting and rewarding occupations such as fire, trails, forestry, engineering, wildlife, recreation, fisheries, archaeology and administrative support.
Job seekers can apply for temporary jobs through USAJOBS during these time frames:
  • December 15-21, 2017: Wildland fire jobs and other early season temporary jobs
  • January 26-February 1, 2018: Recreation, fisheries, forestry, engineering, and other jobs
Temporary job opportunities are searchable online at Job seekers can apply through USAJOBS during the applicable time frames at Temporary and permanent job opportunities can also be found online at:
For more information, visit
The Alaska Center is Hiring!

The Alaska Center is seeking an enthusiastic and talented individual to serve as an Interior Organizer. This position will work to build power for salmon conservation in Alaska by educating and engaging thousands of individuals to take action and volunteer on an array of campaigns and issues. This position will also support The Alaska Center's work to elect decision makers who will stand up for clean air and water, promote solutions to climate change, and support a strong democracy.

Job Title:  Interior Organizer
Reports to : Political and Field Director
Status:  Full time
Salary:  Commensurate with experience
Location:  Fairbanks, Alaska

Find more information or apply here:
Regional & Beyond
Further Resources and Opportunities
The Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at UCSC
Each March, the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at USCS, University of California Santa Cruz, selects 20 early-undergraduate Scholars from around the country to participate in a two-year conservation mentorship program centered on the summers between academic years. 
Their goal is to serve students from groups traditionally underrepresented in conservation, across disc iplines, who can contribute to diversifying, redefining, and strengthening efforts to protect land, wildlife and water. 
This program takes place during students' summers throughout 2 years. Scholars receive a $4,000 stipend each summer and become part of the national Doris Duke Conservation Scholars network for life.
For more information, visit or contact Dr. Justin Cummings, Program Director, at
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