February 16, 2016 Spring 2016 : Issue 36
|Morpho menelaus didius, By: Didier Descouens - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0
I recently learned that the color in a butterfly wing can come either from a pigment in the wing scale or from the architecture of the scale itself (e.g. its grooves and ridges) which gives rise to iridescence, in which the color observed is dependent on the angle from which you view it (check out the image below to see a single wing scale).
We've been working on quite a few design and building projects at the EC recently and they may not have the same directly visible showy sheen of a butterfly wing but I think they do have an iridescence of their own in which depending on where the observer is coming from different things seem to come out.
Sim Van der Ryn, the author of the book featured in this digest, reflecting on twenty-odd years of practice working on ecological design projects points out the reams of unnecessary paperwork, compartmentalized responsibility, and friction that can come from so many players involved in today's projects (as opposed to the old master builder model).
Although it may be harder to hold and work toward a common vision with so many players bringing conflicting concerns to the table, I think it is something of great value to come together to, as he says, put together our collective dreams. But, I think it is important to remember to come open, uncritical and come to walk together on the path to understand ourselves regardless of what color the butterfly wing may at first appear to us to be. We are all still here and all here together.
This digest Randy presents a variety of important issues to get engaged with in the Take Action section, there are some valuable internship opportunities, and several exciting events coming up. Explore.
EC Assistant Coordinator
Butterfly Wing Scale, SEM Credit: KARL GAFF, SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Crickety Crunch Crickets for Lunch
Insects are eaten all around the world...
They are a
, complete protein, need only 8% of the feed and water as cows to make the same amount of protein, produce only 1% of the greenhouse gases that cows do and they're tasty! Come try some for yourself in the Student Union on Monday, February 22nd.
Where: Student Union
When: Monday, February 22nd
EC hosts February Green Drinks
When: Thursday, February 25th from 5:00pm - 6:45pm
Where: Carver Brewing Company
Roots to Shoots Workshop
When: Monday, February 29 at 12.15pm
Where: outside the Student Union
Sustainability Initiative Grant
The Sustainability Initiative Grant is now accepting applications
for campus projects that will help us collectively create a more sustainable FLC. At Fort Lewis College, we define sustainability as the collaborative action of meeting the needs of current and future generations of humans and ecosystems through conservation, regenerative use of resources, action for social justice, and attention to a vibrant economy.
The Sustainability Initiative Grant supports projects that enhance sustainability within academics and research, the physical campus and its structures, student leadership and campus culture, and planning and administration. Examples of campus sustainability efforts include introducing sustainability principles or coursework into academic requirements, creating education and outreach campaigns within housing to instruct students on how to 'green' their residence halls, adopting green purchasing programs, or improving the recycling program.
Who can apply: Anyone with a project to improve Fort Lewis College campus sustainability. Students, faculty, and staff are all eligible.
Deadline: Monday, February 29 at 5pm
Award amount: Applicants may apply for funds up to $5,000
Support the EC when you shop at City Market
If you are a City Market shopper with a rewards card, you can use your grocery shopping to support the Environmental Center at no extra cost to you!
- Click on the Enroll Now button
- Create an account
- Register your City Market Value Card and when asked what organization you would like to support, type in Environmental Center and check the appropriate dialog box.
From then on out, City Market's Community Rewards program will make a donation to the Environmental Center each time that you make a purchase. Get your groceries and support the EC in one fell swoop-it's like getting your cake and eating it, too! (food pun intended).
Its time to get your grub on
Each Wednesday this semester, Join Sodexo, the Old Fort and the Real Food Challenge for Old Fort Farms, locally-sourced meat specials at San Juan Dining
Here is a lineup of our upcoming menu options:
Local green chili brats cooked in local ale on a pretzel roll topped with kraut a side of pickled beets and oven roasted turnips
Char grilled local burger topped with grilled onions and a bacon blue cheese sauce served with buffalo style local fingerlings and local carrot slaw
2% Real and Counting!!! Help us keep up the forward progress by eating 'real' today!
Being in my third year here at Fort Lewis, I am becoming more aware and involved with things that are happening in our local community. This last week, I attended the Green Business Roundtable meeting for the first time. The main topic of discussion was an update on the status of the Animas River, six months after this Gold King spill in August of 2015. Living and working here in Durango when the spill happened, I observed how huge of an impact it had on our community and the attention it drew to the river. It seemed at the time that this would be the way things would remain; but as the speaker, Dan Olsen, pointed out, "attention on our town faded at the same rate of the river turning back to blue."
Being an Environmental Studies student at the Fort, this is a concept that I have seen a lot in my studies. Being a resident in this community, I have also known that our river has always been plagued with various levels of metals, but it was only after a larger outbreak, that the issue became an addressable problem. The meeting showed ways that our community would be able to begin cleanup of the mines up river and also presented the possibility of all the open mines throughout the west being cleaned up too.
The limitation that would be faced would be the financial component needed to fund the operations. Though the number proposed is large and potentially not feasible for our area to take on alone, it is exciting to know that efforts are at least being made to have a positive outcome from all that has happened. It was inspiring attending the meeting and finding out how many green businesses are invested in our community for more than just making a profit, and they are a great example to keep in mind once I am done with my degree. Always remember the importance and power the community has; and if we all come together to address a problem, it has the chance to be solved.
Campus Sustainability Team
Bamboo stem, SEM Credit: STEVE GSCHMEISSNER, SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Grub Hub will now be serving hot meals on Mondays and Fridays! Sodexo is working with the Sociology Club to get more food to more students! Basically, food that has not been eaten but would have been thrown out- gets re-purposed into new deliciousness.
Come and hang out in the Sociology Club and eat (and look at all the cool stuff) or take some food to go and eat it when it is convenient for you.
Also - in our sustainability efforts we are asking students to Bring Your Own Container/Tupperware (BYOC/T).
When: Mondays and Fridays, 11:30am - 1:30pm
Where: Reed 16
Animas Valley Grange Speaker Series: Backyard Chickens
The Animas Valley Grange will host a wide
variety of monthly talks from
February through October, beginning with "Backyard Chickens" by Julie Ott on February 17.
These free talks will be presented on the third Wednesday evening of each month at 6:30 at the Grange Hall, 7271 County Road 203 north of Durango. Programs will feature local experts on topics of interest to the community followed by a question and answer session.
Come learn some of the basics of starting your own backyard flock or get answers to questions about your existing flock. Refreshments at 6:30 with talk beginning at 6:45.
The Animas Valley Grange can now be found on Facebook.
When: the third Wednesday evening of each month at 6:30pm
Where: Grange Hall, 7271 County Road 203
For more information: contact Marie, 385-5298 or Deb at 403-3862
Four Corners Federal Land Internship
FC-FLIP connects regional college students and recent
graduates with resource managers to gain the hands on
knowledge and skills of what it means to work with or for
a federal agency. Interns participate in a rigorous
paid 11-week career-building internship
program in natural, recreation, or cultural
resource management areas.
Positions in: Timber/Forestry, Visitor Services, Mining and Engineering, GIS, Hydrology, Range Management, Natural Resource Management, Environmental Science and Education
When: May 31 - August 12, 2016
Stipend: $400/ week
Benefits: WFA Certification, AmeriCorps Ed Award
Deadline: March 15, 2016
Intern with the RRENEW Collective in Southwest Virginia
For the past six years, the RRENEW Collective has housed and supported interns for the Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards (SAMS) and other grassroots organizations in Wise County, Virginia. During that time, our interns have helped to halt a 1,200+ acre mountaintop removal mine, and successfully compel coal companies to clean up polluted creeks, and communities blanketed with coal dust. At the same time, RRENEW Collective interns have been important players in advancing a just and resilient post-coal economy for Southwest Virginia.
Currently the RRENEW Collective is seeking interns for:
- water monitoring and citizen enforcement of mining regulations
- gardening and value-added production with medicinal herbs
- mountain bike trail construction and eco-tourism advocacy
US Forest Service Public Field Trip: Hermosa Creek Special Management Area
The San Juan National Forest, Columbine Ranger District is announcing a winter over-snow travel public field trip to the Hermosa Creek Special Management Area. This trip is to allow participants to explore and discuss issues, concerns, and proposals to be addressed during the planning process for the Hermosa Creek Watershed Management Plan. Four previous summer field trips have occurred.
This trip will occur on Saturday, February 20, and will be an approximately 13-mile round-trip snowmobile ride on groomed trails in the Cascade Divide area north of Purgatory Ski Area. Topics to be discussed include where current over-snow travel is occurring, possible over-snow travel changes in the future, and current Special Use Permits that are authorized in the area.
Participants should have their own snowmobile, be physically fit, and bring their own gear to be out in a winter environment for several hours.
Details on meeting times and locations will be provided to those who sign up. Plans may be changed or cancelled depending on the weather, level of interest, or other unforeseen factors. People are also encouraged to visit other locations in the Hermosa Watershed on their own.
To sign up:
call the Field Trip Leader, Jed Botsford at 970-884-1436, or send an email to
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
What's Hop'n - Winter Workshop
If you want to learn more about growing, marketing or utilizing hops, join us for the 2016 Winter Hops Workshop. It will be held March 12th from 8:30 to 4:30 at Fort Lewis College Student Union Building. We have a great program planned and hope to see you there.
When: March 12th, 8:30am - 4:30pm
Where: Fort Lewis College Student Union Ballroom
Cost: by March 7 - $25, after March 7 and at the door: $30
| Take Action
Go FLC Environmental Center! I am so very thankful for all the folks out there fighting the good fight! Because of this, each time I consider what to offer up in this Take Action piece, I get conflicted about what to focus on. This go 'round, I am going to rattle off a number of good fights rather than rattle on about any one particular
crusade needing consideration.
Here's a little follow-up on Bee Colony Collapse
. Hear of ENTOMOVECTORING?
has a nice work-up about this ongoing research of using bees as the vehicle to deliver herbicides to our crops. It seems to have its fair share of
concerns and promises
. In case you are wondering, MONSANTO IS INTERESTED.
In our very own backyard, San Juan Citizen's Alliance,
, has long kept our well-being deep in their hearts. They put the boxing gloves on for us all the time. Did you know that we live in
area known for the
loftiest concentrations of methane pollution in the country? Catch up and consider lending a hand by checking out
the work that SJCA's has put toward fighting this abomination,
Methane Hot Spot
. While you are at it, check out some of SJCA's efforts into halting the pervasive affront to Wolf Creek Pass,
Wolf Creek Files
I have just two more battles that need some of your attention. The nation's largest National Forest, Alaska's Tongass National Forest, was about to get a break from old growth clear-cutting but now, the U.S. Forest Service has decided that it could withstand another 15 years of it. Say What? The Center for Biological Diversity, one of my old favorites, has provided us an
opportunity to speak out
Finally, the halt on uranium mining in the Grand Canyon is threatened by ongoing efforts toward cashing in on vast profits. For who? For greedy politicians and foreign-owned uranium mining companies that have no problem spoiling this sacred and unique landscape because it lies outside of their own boundaries.
is giving us a chance to engage in the good fight by providing an opportunity to be heard. FIGHT in PEACE by SIGNING ON!
Somewhere in the last century, architecture lost its soul. Modern culture developed the wealth, the power, and the technology to create structures that once seemed impossible. While the larger-than-life skyscrapers and the coldly post-modern structures of our time do inspire a detached sense of awe and wonder, very few appear to have qualities that truly move us...
When was the last time you were moved to tears by a building, or did not want to leave a building you were in because the place touched you at such a deep level? When was the last time you shivered, ecstatic, in a manmade place that tugged at something deep inside of you?
Buildings are not objects; they are organisms. Cities are not mechanical assemblies; they are ecosystems. Through ecological design, our buildings and cities can become more fully integrated with nature. Like organisms, they can produce their own energy, and consume and recycle their own wastes without polluting. Design can show use the connection between nature's cycles, the living and the built environment...
Our global crisis is also a design crisis as civilization shifts from design processes and products formed in the image of the machine to design based on the forms and processes of the intricately ordered web of life. I lay out the characteristics of the emerging integral worldview and integral design. As Gandhi said, "We must be the change we want to see." This is the essence of actively living with hope.
--Sim Van der Ryn