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Steve ScarpaMay 2, 20224min
Every year, as Wesleyan students empty their rooms at the end of the Spring semester, they fill dumpsters with usable items – everything from clothing and room décor to small appliances. “There was still more waste generated than we like,” said Hayley Berliner, temporary sustainability director. “We want to divert as much as we can.” Debbra Goh ’24 and Annie Volker ’24, both eco-facilitators for Wesleyan Sustainability, have come up with an idea on how to lessen the waste. The duo will launch WesThrift at 284 High next fall, a free store for clothing and dorm essentials located in the…

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Steve ScarpaFebruary 25, 20226min
The panelists at Friday’s talk at Fisk Hall about the war in Ukraine were in so many ways just regular college students, studying public administration or politics, seeking ways to improve their communities and live their lives. Given recent events, no matter how much they yearn for peace, they may all end up being soldiers. “The people who are defending us are putting up a hell of a fight,” said Daria Bila, a college student speaking from Ukraine. The students joined a discussion via Zoom hosted by the Fries Center for Global Studies called "Ukraine-Russia Crisis: A Series of International…

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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…

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Olivia DrakeDecember 10, 20215min
For his efforts in creating a public understanding of complex ethical issues in health, health care, science, and technology, Anthony Ryan Hatch has been awarded a Hastings Center Fellowship. He's among only 24 new fellows elected this year from six countries and a range of disciplines, including medicine, nursing, philosophy, law, American studies, and theater. The Hastings Center is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization created from multiple disciplines, including philosophy, law, political science, and education. It's the oldest, independent, nonpartisan, interdisciplinary research institute in the world. Hatch, associate professor and chair of the science and society program, teaches, conducts research, and lectures…

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Steve ScarpaNovember 24, 20216min
(By Madi Mehta '24) A group of students came together for a unique picnic on the Alpha Delta Phi Lawn on Saturday Nov. 20. On the menu: bugs of all types.  Welcome to Wesleyan’s first-ever Bugsgiving.  Bugsgiving brought students together for tasty bug dishes prepared by Brooklyn Bugs Chef Joseph Yoon and a host of activities and presentations surrounding the benefits of entomophagy - the scientific term for eating insects.  The event was led by Megan Levan ‘22 and sponsored by the Green Fund, the College of the Environment, and the Office of Sustainability. Levan, environmental studies and South Asia…

Olivia DrakeNovember 1, 20211min
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Helen Poulos recently co-authored three new papers: “Wildfire and topography drive woody plant diversity in a Sky Island mountain range in the Southwest USA,” published in Ecology and Evolution on Oct. 5. “Choked out: Battling invasive giant cane along the Rio Grande/ Bravo Borderlands,” published in River Research and Applications on Sept. 20. And “Mixed-severity wildfire as a driver of vegetation change in an Arizona Madrean Sky Island System, USA,” written alongside Michael Freiburger ’21 and published in Fire on Oct. 20. Poulos’s research focuses on plant distribution patterns as a result of the…

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Olivia DrakeOctober 18, 20214min
During Long Lane Farm's annual Pumpkin Festival, members of the Wesleyan and Middletown communities learned about local organic farming and food politics while enjoying free veggie burgers, hot cider, vendors, live music, and various crafts, including pumpkin painting. "Pumpkin Fest is just the kind of event that provides a moment for residents and students to meet for food, music, and laughter," said farmer Elle Bixby '23. "Long Lane Farm's mission of providing a place for growing sustainable food in a community spirit is a perfect backdrop for reminding students that there is more to the Wesleyan campus than just classrooms…

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Olivia DrakeOctober 13, 20213min
In a new study linked to her 2021 high honors thesis, Sanya Bery '21 discovered that cities that house universities have a significant likelihood of adopting ambitious climate action plans. "It is clear that as plans become more ambitious, there is a higher concentration of university cities, and as plans become less ambitious there is a lower concentration of university cities," she said. "[These cities] efforts will be critical to the world’s effort to combat climate change." Bery, who majored in government and environmental studies, is currently collaborating with Mary Alice Haddad, John E. Andrus Professor of Government, on a…

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Olivia DrakeSeptember 29, 20216min
A team of researchers at Wesleyan has discovered new strains of bacteria—located on the University's campus—that may have the ability to break down microplastics and aid in the world's ongoing plastic waste crisis. Microplastics, which measure less than .20 of an inch, enter the ecosystem— and our bodies— largely through the abrasion of larger plastic pieces dumped into the environment. According to a study published in the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, the average person consumes at least 50,000 particles of microplastic a year and inhales a similar quantity. "Plastic is typically classified as a non-biodegradable substance. However, some…

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Steve ScarpaAugust 17, 20214min
Every day the workers of Wesleyan’s facilities staff labor to keep the University going in the most fundamental ways. Their work can often be invisible but without properly ventilated performance spaces, clean laboratories, and functional classrooms, just to give a few examples, the University would grind to a halt. An upcoming multidisciplinary dance project titled “WesWorks” takes the rituals and movements of their days and creates choreography that transforms the ordinary, mundane, and skillful movements of work into a performance accompanied by live, original music and stories told in the workers’ voices. The performance will take place outdoors on Andrus…

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Olivia DrakeMarch 16, 20211min
On March 15, a panel of Wesleyan faculty and staff experts discussed the importance of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine during a campus-wide webinar titled "Why Get Vaccinated?" Speakers included Dr. Thomas McLarney, medical director of Davison Health Center; Donald Oliver, Daniel Ayres Professor of Biology, professor of molecular biology and biochemistry; Ishita Mukerji, Fisk Professor of Natural Science, professor of molecular biology and biochemistry; William Johnston, John E. Andrus Professor of History; and Frederick Cohan, Huffington Foundation Professor in the College of the Environment, professor of biology. Janice Naegele, Alan M. Dachs Professor of Science, professor of biology, and Dean…

Olivia DrakeFebruary 15, 20212min
Rosemary Ostfeld '10, MA '12, visiting assistant professor of environmental studies and public policy, was named to Connecticut Magazine's 2021 "40 Under 40" list. The 32-year-old from East Lyme, Conn., is the founder of Healthy PlanEat, a new sustainable food-tech startup that helps farmers who use sustainable growing practices sell their farm-fresh goods (whether fruits or veggies, cheese or oysters) directly to local customers. Farmers using Healthy PlanEat—which enthusiastic members of the community helped start via a crowdfunding campaign—can upload inventory, set distribution options, and manage incoming orders. Customers can purchase food to pick up at the farms themselves, at…