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Skidmore College
Environmental Studies and Sciences


Spring Events 2011

Wednesday, March 9th 7 pm Tang Payne Room "At the Water's Edge: Understanding Environmentally Important Processes at Aqueous Surfaces" a talk by Dr. Geraldine Richmond, Professor of Chemistry, University of Oregon.

Although the special properties of water have been valued and appreciated for centuries, as scientists we continue to be perplexed by the molecular make-up of water in all its forms. Equally perplexing is the surface of water, a surface that is involved in some of most important reactions in our atmosphere, a surface that can sculpt the landscape as it flows past rocks and soils, a surface that can break down the strongest of metals, and a surface across which essential nutrients and ions are constantly exchanged in life-sustaining processes in our bodies. This talk will focus on recent studies of the intriguing behavior of water surfaces when in contact with molecules of importance in our environment. Part of the Distinguished Scientist Lecture Series sponsored by Skidmore-Union ADVANCE Network Dean of Faculty, Department of Chemistry.

Thursday, March 10, “Truck Farm” Davis Auditorium, 8:00 PM

What if every urban center had its own Truck Farm traveling from school to school teaching kids about how fun farming and healthy food can be, engaging them in thinking about where food comes from and getting them excited about growing food themselves? This film is about a 1986 Dodge pickup with a mini-farm planted in the truck bed. Co-Sponsors: The Environmental Action Club, SNAC, FAT (Film Appreciation Troupe), and Sustainable Skidmore. Visit:

Friday, March 11th, 10:10 am-11:05 am Emerson Auditorium "What’s The Fracking Fuss? Hydraulic Fracturing for Natural Gas" by Katherine Nadeau, Water & Natural Resources Program Director, Environmental Advocates of New York.

Katherine led the campaign for the passage of the Hudson Valley Community Preservation Act and was instrumental in garnering support for The Great Lakes Compact. She currently works on protecting and restoring the Great Lakes, and on water quality issues including monitoring water pollution permits and issues related to gas drilling in New York.  She will speak to the ES105 class about “fracking” in upstate New York and the implications for groundwater sources as well as current legislation on this issue. We are opening her presentation up to any members of the ES community. Katherine will also be staying for lunch—-if you are interested in joining her, please reply to For more info see:

Thursday, March 24 ”The Farmer & The Horse” Davis Auditorium, 8:00 PM followed by a panel discussion.
From award-winning journalist Jared Flesher comes "The Farmer and the Horse", a film that digs into difficult questions about sustainability, self-sufficiency, and why we do the work we do. Flesher’s film goes beyond the usual platitudes of smiling organic farmers talking about the good life. Farming is hard work—especially if you don’t use  a tractor. The Farmer and the Horse is a film every young farmer should see. So should everyone who cares about land use, the environment, and good food. Film followed by a discussion with filmmaker Jared Flesher, Skidmore Student Anna Graves who organized a Farming Spring Break trip this semester, and local young farmer Michael Kilpatrick. Co-Sponsors: The Environmental Action Club, SNAC, FAT (Film Appreciation Troupe), and Sustainable Skidmore. For more info see:   Refreshments will be served!

Friday, March 25
  3:30 PM Dana 285 ES Advising Session for students considering the ES Major/Minor.

Tuesday, April 5th, 5:30 PM Tang Museum, "Unstable Ground" Gallery Talk and Reception with Nicholas Liu-Sontag '11, and Karen Kellogg, Associate Professor.
Landscapes are central to our identities, yet our physical world often changes so gradually that its transformations rarely register in our consciousness. Only through snapshots in time can we witness the magnitude of landscape’s change and the dynamics of its manipulation and control.  Unstable Ground pairs two complementary projects that highlight “then-and-now” changes at various locations in the Saratoga Lake watershed. The contrasting images visually reveal how dramatic landscape changes define our surroundings and challenge us to wrestle with the complex relationships between humanity and nature.

Wednesday, April 6th, 8:00* PM Gannett Auditorium, "The Business of Conservation: A Conversation with Carter Roberts, President and CEO of WWF-US".
Sometimes everything becomes clear when you take the long view. For Carter Roberts, climbing mountains sparked a fundamental change in his career. “At some point during every climb I looked around, saw landscapes that were changing, and resolved to do something about it.” After graduating from business school and working for several multinational corporations, and at a time when it seemed the only jobs available in conservation were for scientists and lawyers, Carter saw another path forward. He envisioned the role markets could play in sustaining landscapes, and the possibilities for altering the basic dynamics of the most powerful force changing the planet: how the world does business. “It’s a combination of being inspired by nature, my own particular background in business and my conviction that the way to solve problems is to creatively change the way markets and businesses operate.” It all came together for Carter when he came to WWF after a distinguished career leading U.S., international and science programs at The Nature Conservancy. The combination of WWF’s global brand with its extensive reach into countries and markets around the world offers communities and businesses a new way forward. “We are at a conservation tipping point, and the very future of our planet depends on our collective response to climate change, and on our devising of more efficient ways of living that leave the planet intact,” says Carter. “Nothing else we do will ever be more important.”

Friday, April 8 Kuroda Symposium, Davis Auditorium, 7:00 p.m.
Guest Speaker Virginia Scharff. Co-Sponsors: History, American Studies, and Government Departments. For more information visit:

Monday April 11th, 7:00 PM Davis Auditorium  "Changing Chocolate: Indigenous Cooperatives in Ecuador".
Kallari Chocolate is the only world-class dark chocolate made by indigenous farmers who are 100% owners of their own line of chocolate bar. Human rights campaigns, environmental researchers, and discerning food critics have praised the Kallari line of organic gourmet bars for its merits. See the event description for more info or and please note that you must RSVP to Riley Neugebauer ( to attend this event as there will be a tasting and space is limited!

Saturday, April 16th
, North Woods Stewardship Day
Come help clean up are beloved North Woods! Work party and guided tour times TBA.

Saturday, April 23rd, Earth Day Celebration
An event featuring Skidmore clubs, tasty food, exciting activities, and environmentally oriented bands and speakers.

Tuesday April 26 8:00 PM Gannett "Black/Land: A Different American History".
A presentation by Mistinguette Smith and Danyelle O'Hara. This participatory presentation will present a different American history contextualizing the African American relationship to land and place in the U.S. Using race as a lens,presenters and participants will create new connections between their personal lives, the environment, economic development, and civic engagement policy concerns. Mistinguette Smith has been a nonprofit and philanthropic leader for more than two decades. She piloted funding partnerships for health equity in AIDS services; developed programs and policy to address the root causes of hunger that link urban and rural areas; and guided organizations through leadership transitions. She developed the Target: Hunger organizing model to measurably reduce domestic hunger. Certified as a diversity trainer by the Equity Institute and the US Department of Health and Human Services, she teaches seasoned and emerging leaders how to ask themselves, and each other, difficult questions about difference. She founded M Smith Consulting, a practice that helps social mission organizations to make, and measure, social change. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, she is a graduate of Smith College and New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service. She currently serves on the faculty of the Center for Whole Communities where she teaches advanced leadership skills to activists and philanthropists who work for environmental sustainability and social change.

Wednesday April 27 11:30 -1:00 PM Lunch with Todd Fabozzi D-Hall Test Kitchen.
Todd is an urban planner with the Capital District Regional Planning Commission (CDRPC) he will be lecturing in ES105 (10-11 Emerson) about Smart Growth and Watershed Planning. Students not in ES105 are welcome to join the class and/or meet with Todd for lunch to learn more about Smart Growth, Urban Planning and GIS.

Wednesday April 27
 5:00 PM Gannett "Inspired by Nature: Mycological Biomaterials".
Gavin McIntyre Chief Scientist & Cofounder of Ecovative Design will give a talk titled "Inspired by Nature: Mycological Biomaterials." In his talk, Gavin will discuss new principles for material design that consider the social and environmental impact rather than just the financial bottom line. He will explain how fungi can provide a solution to our world's future material needs, how the technology works, and how you can do it too. Gavin will elaborate on how Ecovative Design is currently using mycological materials to displace synthetics, and will explain what problems these materials will address in the future.

Thursday May 5th
, Permaculture Training Field Trip/Work Project, Moretown, VT.
This day long workshop offers an unparalleled opportunity to gain hands-on applied permaculture skills immersed within one of North America's most diverse permaculture research sites, Whole Systems Design Research Farm in Moretown, VT.