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campus scene

Down and dirty, yet cosmic
Prof. Kyle Nichols, landscape scientist
Art and design that jumps of the page Fox-Adler Lecturer Barry Moser
Teaching is a gift, in more ways than one David Porter takes new Tisch Professorship
Bringing the constitution into the classroom Prof. Beau Breslin wins teaching prize
Autumn greening North Woods and other eco-projects
Hispanic heritage Author Junot Diaz keynotes Raices observance
Tracing Darwinian disquietude Phi Beta Kappa talk on evolution in pop history  
Campus opens up for big weekend Celebration Weekend welcomes families and alumni    
Sportswrap Fall sports highlights

Autumn greening

projects and guided tours highlighted a North Woods community day this fall. The event was organized by Saratoga’s commissioner of finance, Ken Ivins, and Skidmore’s community relations office, along with students and faculty from environmental studies and biology. The work ranged from building stairs in a steep trail, to digging runoff channels, to placing stepping stones across streams. Lumber and other materials were donated by Saratoga’s Allerdice Building Supply.

Faculty member Sue Van Hook says, “As open green spaces disappear and as our climate warms, it becomes increasingly important to conserve our community's North Woods and the opportunities it offers to be with nature.” Kim Marsella, director of the environmental studies program, adds, “The North Woods provides significant buffering against acid rainfall for the Loughberry Lake drinking-water supply for Saratoga Springs.” And Ivins says, “Anyone who has walked in the North Woods knows that this area is a wonderful resource for the community. I’m pleased that we have local volunteers willing to help preserve this special place.”

Also this fall Skidmore took part in Leave Your Car at Home Week. The student cycling club offered free bike repairs, car-pooling was arranged, and by the end of the week more than 100 students and employees had cut more than 5,000 miles from their usual driving, sparing some two tons of carbon dioxide emissions. Erica Fuller, campus sustainability coordinator, noted that if this same group continued its reduced-driving habits for one year, they’d save 900 tons of CO2 emissions.

And student eco-reps have begun educating their peers in residence halls. The ten paid representatives, guided by Fuller, work four hours a week spreading the word about waste reduction and recycling, energy conservation, food choices, and more. Five of them are serving as peer mentors to freshmen in collaboration with the First-Year Experience. Kimball Hall’s Laura Gruberg ’11 says, “The eco-rep program is a great opportunity to take learning outside the classroom.” She says it shows Skidmore’s commitment to sustainability and also its “faith in the students to let us lead the initiative.” —SR