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Editorial StaffJanuary 30, 20233min
The Center for Religion and the Human at IU Bloomington announces Professor of Religion and Science in Society Mary-Jane Rubenstein’s Worlds Without End: The Many Lives of the Multiverse (Colombia University Press, 2014) as winner of the third annual Iris Book Award. Jurors for the Iris Book Award praised Worlds Without End as “a delightful tour of a topic that was once esoteric, but now is hovering on the edges of science fact: that we do not exist in a universe, but rather in a multiverse,” and called the book “a fascinating and entertaining exploration of the history of an idea that just…

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Steve ScarpaDecember 10, 20229min
With pride in their accomplishments and hopes for a bright future, fifteen students celebrated their initiation into the Connecticut Gamma Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at a ceremony held on December 7 in the McKelvey Room at the Office of Admission. In order to be inducted into the nation’s oldest scholastic honor society, students must be nominated by the department of their major, have completed their general education expectations, and must have a grade point average of 93 or above. “For students elected in the fall, it is an especially exacting selection process because admittance is based on a student’s…

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Editorial StaffDecember 7, 20224min
Over the past century, forests across the western United States have become vulnerable to catastrophic wildfires due to climate change. Overall, forest management activities for lowering wildfire risk appear to help, but little is known about how these activities influence forest water availability and water cycling, important indicators of drought. This is the key question that Environmental Studies Professor Helen Mills Poulos and her research team at Northern Arizona University, led by Temuulen Tsagaan Sankey, will attempt to address in a new NASA-funded research project. Poulos and her research team received a $597,000 grant from NASA in November to study…

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Amy AlbertOctober 17, 20226min
Krishna Winston, Marcus L. Taft Professor of German Language and Literature, Emerita, and Professor, College of the Environment, Emerita, was recognized with the Tom ODell Distinguished Service Award by the Rockfall Foundation at a ceremony held Thursday, October 6. The award, which recognizes long-term accomplishments in environmental conservation and preservation, was given for Winston's many years of advocacy for the environment in Middletown. Winston's formal service to the City began in 1989 when she was appointed to the task force that designed Middletown's recycling program. When mandatory recycling began in Connecticut two years later, she became the chair of Middletown's…

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Steve ScarpaApril 4, 20227min
It isn’t often that watching late night comedy would be considered preparation for an environmental studies senior capstone project, but that turned out to the case for Belle Brown ‘22. Regular viewing of John Oliver’s commentary on environmental issues helped inform Brown’s upcoming stand-up comedy set about the absurdities of the Monsanto Company. “Belle decided to do the comedy act as her capstone project as a way of presenting research about policy and politics related to big-agriculture in a format that might be more accessible to people. I just saw a preview, and it is hilarious as well as informative,”…

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Rachel Wachman '24January 5, 20225min
When not teaching classes on agriculture, sustainability, and the environment, visiting assistant professor of environmental studies Rosemary Ostfeld ’10, MA ’12 can be found working on her sustainable food and farming startup Healthy PlanEat. Healthy PlanEat, based in Lyme, Conn., allows farmers who grow food in sustainable ways to sell their crops directly to both individuals and wholesale customers using an app and aims to increase access to healthy, local, and sustainably grown food. In November, Healthy PlanEat received a $52,000 grant through the Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP) run by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). According to…

Lauren RubensteinSeptember 28, 20202min
As organisms evolve over time, changes in size—both miniaturization and gigantism—are a major theme. In fish, which are the specialty of Barry Chernoff, the Robert Schumann Professor of Environmental Studies, Professor of Biology and of Earth & Environmental Sciences, miniaturization happens in many lineages, though it’s not very common. Evolutionary biology has long held that this miniaturization is often accompanied by developmental simplification or paedomorphisis (becoming sexually mature while appearing juvenile-like). Last March, just before the pandemic began, Chernoff and students in his Tropical Ecology course (ENVS/Bio/E&ES 306) took a trip to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich.,…

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Olivia DrakeFebruary 3, 20201min
Rosemary Ostfeld '10, visiting assistant professor of environmental studies, is developing a smartphone app to re-energize the connection between communities and local farms so people can purchase healthy and sustainable food options. Called "Healthy PlanEat," the app will allow patrons to order food from local organic farms. Ostfeld launched her Kickstarter in January, and she's hoping to raise $40,000 by Feb. 15. The idea has also appeared in The Hartford Courant, The Day, and The Middletown Press.

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Lauren RubensteinJanuary 16, 20202min
In this recurring feature in The Wesleyan Connection, we highlight some of the latest news stories about Wesleyan and our alumni. Wesleyan in the News 1. The Washington Post: "How One College Is Helping Students Get Engaged in Elections—and, No, It’s Not Political" President Michael Roth writes about Wesleyan's initiative to engage students meaningfully in work in the public sphere ahead of the 2020 elections, and calls on other colleges and universities to do the same. He writes: "Now is the time for higher education leaders to commit their institutions to find their own paths for promoting student involvement in the…

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Cynthia RockwellDecember 17, 20192min
Eleven students from CSPL 239, Startup Incubator: The Art and Science of Launching Your Idea, took turns standing before an audience of their peers and members of Middletown's Chamber of Commerce on the second floor of Main Street Market. Each offered a polished presentation detailing the need for their proposed startup, their mission, target market, and success indicators for the business, nonprofit, or community-based program they imagine. The evening was hosted through Collision-CT and the Middletown Entrepreneurs Workspace Plus (MEWS+). The course was made possible by CTNext and the Newman’s Own Foundation. Taught this year by Visiting Assistant Professor of…

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Olivia DrakeDecember 17, 20192min
Fifteen Wesleyan students who were enrolled in the Introduction to GIS course this fall learned how to apply GIS concepts and skills to solve local problems in environmental sciences. Kim Diver, associate professor of the practice of environmental sciences, taught the class and an accompanying service-learning lab component. After learning about the basic theory of Geographical Information Systems (GIS), data collection, data management, spatial analysis, visualization, and map preparation, the students were paired with a community partner or organization to assist them with an issue. On Dec. 5, the students presented the results of their projects to their community partners…

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Olivia DrakeDecember 12, 20192min
As part of the Introduction to Environmental Studies class, six students embedded themselves into the work lives of Wesleyan's Physical Plant employees to learn the inner workings of campus. Leila Henry '23, Serena Aimen '22, Tanvi Punja '22, Molly Scotti '22, Nina Criswell '22, and Mikaela Marcotullio '23 shadowed the Physical Plant workers for three-hour shifts every week throughout the fall semester. The experience concluded with performances on Dec. 5 that represented the culmination of that work. The class was taught by Helen Poulos, adjunct assistant professor of environmental studies, and the performances were curated with the help of Allison…