Current Initiatives: Focus Skidmore
Focus Skidmore is an educational program surrounding climate change solutions and is part of a national "teach-in".
2010 Focus Skidmore Events
Focus Skidmore is an event series that is part of a nationwide discussion surrounding climate change and climate change action. Our goal this year is to highlight both international efforts, particularly with regard to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen December 7–18 as well as the global impacts of climate change. Please click here to learn more about the UN Climate Change Conference.
- Early Screening of Segments of the Documentary Sun Come Up and Discussion with Filmmaker Jennifer Redfearn, Thursday, February 4 at 7 p.m. in
Sun Come Up is a character-driven documentary following the relocation of some of the world’s first climate refugees, the Carteret Islanders, a community living on a remote island chain 50 miles off the coast of Papua New Guinea. The islanders are among the first to organize a community-wide evacuation as a result of climate change. Skidmore will host an advance screening of this film followed by a discussion with filmmaker Jennifer Redfearn. To learn more about this documentary, please click here. This event is co-sponsored by Environmental Studies, the Office of Student Diversity Programs, the Office of Intercultural Studies, Sustainable Skidmore, and the Environmental Action Club.
- The ReadNex Poetry Squad, Saturday Feb 6, 3:30 p.m. in the Spa
In the midst of social disparity and issues that continue to permeate the culture, the ReadNex Poetry Squad have issued open invitations to all to step outside the prescribed lifestyle matrix and embark on a journey toward progress and greater consciousness with a focus on youth. Embracing the eternal tradition of conveying knowledge orally, ReadNex continues to uplift communities with their universal message and sound influenced by Hip-Hop, Soul, Latin and Caribbean music.
- Lucy Van Hook, debriefing Copenhagen from the Ground, Monday, February 15 at 7 p.m.
in Davis Auditorium
Lucy Van Hook, an independent carbon consultant, is currently managing the Carbon Quantification Project at the Maine Housing Authority and has been since its inception in January 2008. Lucy has studied the ecology of climate change since 2000. She is part of a technical team that is developing a weatherization methodology to measure, monitor, and sell the carbon emissions avoided from weatherizing single family and multi-family dwellings. The larger scope of the Carbon Project includes the development of a project document that will allow housing finance agencies (HFAs) to quantify and sell carbon emission reductions from solar thermal installations and energy efficiency measures in the housing projects they sponsor. Lucy oversees the participation of the state HFAs that have joined the program during the development stage and will continue to do so as other interested agencies join. Lucy, a Maine-certified energy auditor, received her B.A. in biology and environmental studies from Bowdoin College.
Through her work, she will be attending the Copenhagen Climate Change conference and will offer the Skidmore community a look inside the conference from the perspective of a young person working in the climate change field.
- UN Ambassador's Club Teleconference, Thursday, February 18 at 7 p.m. in Gannett Auditorium
The Ambassador's Club at the United Nations, started by Ambassador Kamal from Pakistan, is "a 'virtual' program of interactive outreach, linking a voluntary association of Ambassadors and senior international civil servants at the United Nations with students and executives in the United States." Join Ambassador Kamal and Jonas Pasztor, director of the Secretary-General's Climate Change Support Team, for a robust discussion about the outcome of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference and any relevant policy implications. Please click here to learn more about the Ambassador's Club at the United Nations.
Thanks to the efforts of the Skidmore IT Department, in particular Academic Technologies and Media Services, we will be using Skidmore's new Tandberg mobile videoconferencing system to help lower the carbon footprint of this event by reducing the travel needs of our speakers. Please contact Ben Harwood at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions regarding the system. This is event is co-sponsored or supported by the Environmental Studies Program, Sustainable Skidmore, the Environmental Action Club, and the International Affairs program.
2009 Focus Skidmore Events
- Global Warming Solutions Webcast and Panel Discussion
The National Teach-in for Global Warming Solutions hosted a webcast featuring speakers focusing on climate change action from various perspectives. A panel discussion followed the webcast featuring Skidmore's own climate action experts. Please click here to learn more about the National Teach-in for Global Warming Solutions.
The panel included:
- Rebecca Drago, student, vice president of the Environmental Action Club
- Karen Kellogg, director of Environmental Studies Program
- Jim Kennelly, director of the International Affairs program and associate professor and associate chair of the Department of Management and Business.
- Rik Scarce, associate professor of sociology
- Bob Turner, associate professor of government
- Green House Gas Inventory: Commuting/Travel and Environmental Attitude and Awareness Survey
Those that participated in the survey were entered into a raffle.
- Reusable Mug Pledge
At all of the Focus Skidmore events there were opportunities to pledge to use a reusable mug at the Spa, Burgess Cafe, and Murray-Aikins Atrium Cafe. The first 350 pledge participants received a coupon for a free reusable mug. Please visit www.350.org for more information on the 350 organization. Thank you to Dining Services and Green Mountain Coffee for sponsoring our reusable mug initiative!!
- Recyclemania Kickoff
Skidmore participated in Recyclemania, a nationwide recycling competition for the first year.
- Screening of the documentary The Renewal Project
"Across the nation, people of faith are standing up for the environment. Evangelical Christians are fighting mountaintop removal, a coal mining process that is decimating Appalachia. Muslims are supporting sustainable farming. Jews are helping children experience the bond between nature and spirituality. Interfaith Power and Light is mobilizing people of all faiths in a religious response to global warming.
For the first time, the combined energy of these diverse activists is the driving force behind a feature-length documentary, titled Renewal. Veteran film producers Marty Ostrow and Terry Kay Rockefeller have crisscrossed the country to capture these exciting stories of people whose passion and deep moral commitment are making a difference in a time of grave ecological threats.
The Renewal Project has been designed to make the documentary and its inspiring stories available to people and organizations who want to be a part of this growing movement to protect life on our planet and reverse the damage that humans have done to the environment." Click here to learn more about the Renewal Project. Thank you to the the Environmental Action Club and the Interfaith Council for sponsoring this event.
- Climate Change: Causes, Consequences, and Policy Responses by William Schlesinger,
president of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
William H. Schlesinger is president of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and is committed to bridging the divide between science and policy. He has testified before U.S. House and Senate committees on a range of environmental issues including desert habitat preservation, global climate change, and most recently on carbon sequestration. Currently he serves on the boards of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Southern Environmental Law Center, and Terrapass LLC.
In his lecture, Schlesinger reviewed what is known about the scientific basis of climate change, what evidence exists that climate change is already with us, and what the impacts of global warming may be for the upstate New York area during the remainder of this century. He discussed the relative merits of some of the proposed alternatives to fossil fuels as well as his thoughts on appropriate actions of the new administration in the first 100 days. Please click here to learn more about Schlesinger and the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies.
Thank you to the Biology Department, the Chemistry Department, the Dean of Faculty's Office, the Geosciences Department, the Government Department, the Environmental Studies Program, the Environmental Action Club, and Speaker's Bureau for sponsoring this event.