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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…

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Olivia DrakeDecember 11, 20191min
Wildfires can transform forest ecosystems to varying degrees, depending on fire severity. While low-severity wildfires change plant community composition by killing short-statured trees and understory plants, high-severity fires result in top kill of above-ground vegetation. This variation in wildfire effects can have major impacts on post-fire vegetation composition and water stress. Helen Poulos, adjunct assistant professor of environmental studies, received a $300,000 grant from NASA on Dec. 5 to examine how forests can permanently change in response to high-severity wildfire in southeastern Arizona. (more…)

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Lauren RubensteinNovember 14, 20193min
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. Marketplace Tech: "Twitter Bans Political Ads, But Is That All Good?" Associate Professor of Government Erika Franklin Fowler, co-director of the Wesleyan Media Project, is interviewed about Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's announcement that the platform would no longer run political ads. Fowler says implementing this ban is likely to be more complicated than it sounds, and she is skeptical that it will help to reduce the impact of disinformation and improve political discourse. Fowler was…

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Katie AberbachSeptember 30, 20192min
Students in a Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems class recently stepped out of the classroom ... and into beekeeping suits. The buzzworthy hands-on experience was part of a field trip to an apiary in Norwich, Conn. "The course explores strategies to create a sustainable agriculture and food system," said Rosemary Ostfeld '10, visiting assistant professor of environmental studies, who teaches the class. Her students have already been gaining an understanding of some of the key environmental impacts associated with our agricultural system, and read Rachel Carson's seminal Silent Spring. The purpose of the field trip on Sept. 18 "was to…