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Jason Scorse discusses the theoretical underpinnings of economic thought that support very strong government intervention in the environmental realm, as well as the politics and messaging that the environmental community needs to win the major battles ahead.

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Jason Scorse
Associate Professor and Program Chair, International Environmental Policy

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Professor Scorse received his PhD in agricultural and resource economics from UC-Berkeley in 2005. He is currently associate professor and chair of the International Environmental Policy Program at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Dr. Scorse has consulted for numerous environmental organizations, including the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club, and he is currently the lead non-market economist for the National Ocean Economics Program. Professor Scorse is also the director of the new Center for the Blue Economy, whose goal is to educate the next generation of leaders by making the Monterey Bay Region the premier location for graduate education and research in international marine policy.

Dr. Scorse has published articles in American Economic Review, California Management Review, and for books published by the Brookings Institution and Routledge Press. His book What Environmentalists Need to Know about Economics was released in 2010. Professor Scorse also sits on the board of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Research Activities Panel and the Otter Project. In addition to his scholarly work and consulting, he is a guest contributor for Grist, Environmental Economics, and Progressive Fix.

His lecture is sponsored by the Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest, Program in Environmental Studies, Department of Economics, Rohatyn Center for International Affairs, and the Graduate School of Translation, Interpretation, and Language Education at the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

A MiddLab Project

Sustainable Television 2011

In Spring 2011, nine students enrolled in FMMC 285 Sustainable Television: Producing Environmental Media, collaborating to produce a 50-minute television program on environmental issues. Watch the entire episode below, or scroll down for individual segments:

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Full Episode: (expand to full screen to fully enjoy)

Selected Stories:

A group of students capture the activist energy of Power Shift 2011 in Washington, DC:

Can a group of kids teach you about the science of climate change?

A profile of Vergennes farmer Erik Andrus and his sustainable agriculture and energy strategies:

Where does food in Middlebury dining halls come from?

Emeritus Professor John Elder reflects on his relationship to nature and place through the words of poets:

What happens when the oil party comes to an end?

Learn how two Vermont business people installing solar panels changes their environmental impact:

How do small choices you make everyday impact your carbon footprint?

A student takes a challenge to go vegetarian for a month to learn about the environmental impact of dietary choices:

Middlebury College President Ron Liebowitz proposes some sweeping changes to reach carbon neutrality:

 

A MiddLab Project

Arsenic Contamination in Vermont’s Private Wells

Learn more about Environmental Studies at Middlebury College.

The Environmental Studies Senior Seminar (ENVS 401) is the capstone course for the Environmental Studies major. The goal of this course is to bring seniors from the various foci within the Environmental Studies major together to examine a specific topic in depth from an interdisciplinary perspective. The course follows a service-learning teaching model, which combines collaborative work with a community organization, scholarly reading, classroom discussions, and reflective writing. Topics of ENVS 401 vary from semester to semester, but focus on issues with relevance to the local region as well as the global environment. Our theme for this semester was “The Groundwater Resource: Global Concerns, Local Perspectives.”

The class split into three groups: the survey group, partnering with the Vermont Department of Health; the spatial group, partnering with the Vermont Geological Survey; and the policy group, partnering with State Senator Virginia Lyons. The goal of the survey group was to evaluate the public’s knowledge of their well water and testing recommendations in a study area in Rutland County. The goal of the spatial group was to investigate the incidence of high arsenic well test results and the relationship between bedrock and high arsenic to locate areas of concern in Vermont. The goal of the policy group was to provide our community partner with information pertinent to advancing the policy discussion regarding private well testing regulations in Vermont. We used our research to create a policy framework that the legislature worked off of in the 2010-2011 legislative season.

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As Levels in Groundwater Wells from Southwestern Vermont

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Pier LaFarge ‘11 offers policy recommendations to the Vermont Senate's committee on natural resources and energy in Montpelier on Feb. 9.

Project Timeline

Sept.-Dec. 2010
Class research culminating in final report and presentation.
February 7, 2011
Testify before the Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee in support of their policy proposal
March 18, 2011
Policy unanimously passes the Senate Natural Resources Committee and is referred to the full Senate
April 6, 2011
Policy passes the full Senate and is referred to the House Committee on Fish, Wildlife, and Water Resources
April 14, 2011
Testify by phone for the House Committee on Fish, Wildlife, and Water Resources
April 29, 2011
Policy unanimously passes the House Committee on Fish, Wildlife, and Water Resources and is referred to the full House
May 3, 2011
Policy passes House with an amendment that sends it back to the Senate
May 4, 2011
Senate concurs with amendment
May 5, 2011
Bill passes both Senate and House and is awaiting signature by the Governor
May 26, 2011
Governor Shumlin vetoes the bill.
Intensive herbivory by white-tailed deer has plagued Valley Forge National Historical Park’s forests since the early 1980s. A deer management plan was enacted to reduce the size of the herd by at least 1000 deer over the next two years. The goal of my research was to model the impacts of changing levels of deer herbivory on the forests. I developed a forest model using data from a large deer exclosure erected in the park in the late 1980s. I am using the model to simulate how changes in herbivory and disturbance may affect forest composition over the next 120 years. My results suggest that changes in herbivory may be a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for restoring forests to their historical state. The finished model will serve as a tool for the park’s resource managers to use in developing long-term restoration plans.

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Meghan Blumstein
Researcher

Andrea Lloyd
Sponsor & Professor of Biology

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Although early literature of Maryland and Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay reflected the first settlers’ unbridled consumption of resources, as the twentieth centuries due to habitat loss, overfishing, and pollution, literature, specifically an emergent genre of children’s and young adult literature, demonstrated a shift from entitlement towards stewardship of the Bay’s resources. Authors of children’s and young adult literature increasingly encouraged youth, either didactically or through metaphor, to value the Bay’s resources, protect the health of the Bay, and persuade others to become stewards of a healthy Chesapeake for future generations. This presentation will examine the transformation of Chesapeake Bay literature, and explore how these children’s and young adult works color the growing environmental education movement in the Bay region.

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Laura Williams
Researcher

Daniel Brayton
Sponsor & Assistant Professor of English & American Literature

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The Indo-US 123 agreement will allow nuclear energy to become a vital part in India’s domestic energy supply. Nuclear energy could provide India 35% of its energy supply by 2050, reducing its CO2 emissions. It will substitute for the energy baseline which has been fossil-fuel based until now. India is the third highest CO2 emitter globally and the role of nuclear energy as a baseline will be vital to CO2 emission reduction goals. Foreign involvement in the Indian nuclear sector will aid the development of India’s three-stage programme, which will help to sustain its growing energy demand. In addition to providing an alternate baseline to coal, nuclear energy will increase domestic self-sustainability and reduce dependence on fossil fuels in a cost-effective manner. As a combination of multiple efforts, domestic, bi-lateral and international, the nuclear energy transition will assume an important role in India and this represents successful global environmental policy.

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Siddheshwar Singh
Researcher

Jon Isham
Sponsor & Associate Professor of Economics

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Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL). “CANDU Reactors.”

Bagchi, Indrani. The Times of India. “N-deal: Getting NSG nod may not be easy.” August 2008.

Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC). “Bhabha Atomic Research Centre: Founder: Heritage.”

Central Electricity Authority (CEA). “Government of India: Ministry of Power: Central Electricity Authority.”

Chanana, Dweep. “The Indo-US Nuclear Deal: A Post-Henry Hyde Act Analysis.” The Discomfort Zone. Planetd. 18 December 2006.

CNN-IBN. “The Big Story: NSG clears nuclear waiver for India.” September 2008.

Colors of India. “First Nuclear Power Plant in India.”

Department of Atomic Energy (DAE). “Atomic Energy Establishments in India.” DAE.

Godsberg, Alicia. Federation of American Scientists. “Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons [NPT].”

Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR). “Government of India: Department of Atomic Energy: Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research.” October 2010.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). “Stakeholder Involvement in Nuclear Issues.” September 2006.

International Monetary Fund (IMF). “SDRs per Currency unit and Currency units per SDR last five days.” October 2010.

Kiran. “Greenpeace’s India 2050 Energy Scenario.” The Indic View. Blogspot, 10 April 2007.

Lomax, Simon. Bloomberg. “India Coal Imports May Rise to 100 Million Tons on Power Demand.” May 2010.

McDermott, Matthew. Treehugger. “India’s Draft Solar Power Plan Sees 200,000 MW Installed By 2050.” June 2009.

Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF). Government of India. “India: Taking On Climate Change – Post-Copenhagen Domestic Actions.” 30 June 2010.

Neuhof, Florian. Utilities-me. “Lighting up India.” August 2010.

Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL). “Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited: A Government of India Enterprise.” October 2010.

Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL). “Plants Under Operation.” September 2010.

Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL). “Projects Under Construction.”

Nuclear Weapon Archive (NWA). “India’s Nuclear Weapons Program – Smiling Buddha: 1974.”

Page, Jeremy. The Times. “India promises 12,000% boost in nuclear capacity by 2050.” September 2009.

Press Trust of India (PTI). The Hindu. “N-deal: India says reprocessing talks will take time.” November 2009.

PRS Legislative Research (PRS). “Bill Summary: The Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill, 2010.” May 2010.

Rajesh, Y.P. Indian Express. “Nuclear deal crucial to meet India’s energy needs: Kakodkar.” July 2010.

Science Daily. “Climate Change: Halving Carbon Dioxide Emissions By 2050 Could Stabilize Global Warming.” May 2009.

United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD). “Millennium Development Goals Indicators.” June 2010.

World Nuclear Association (WNA). “Nuclear Power in France.” October 2010.

World Nuclear Association (WNA). “Nuclear Power Reactors.” October 2009.

Yahoo! Finance, India. “Indian Rupee to U.S. Dollar Exchange Rate.” October 2010.

A MiddLab Project

Monitoring Carbon Uptake on College Lands

Learn more about Biology and Environmental Studies at Middlebury College.

Middlebury College has pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by 2016. As the largest private landowner in Addison County, there is tremendous potential for land management practices to contribute to the goal of carbon neutrality. As part of an effort to understand how carbon sequestration varies among the different forest types on College-owned lands, we monitored carbon uptake in the Battell Research Forest, an old-growth hemlock forest in East Middleury, VT. As expected for an old-growth forest, the Battell Research Forest contains substantial pools of carbon in live and dead biomass. The size of the woody debris pool was substantially larger at the Battell Research Forest than in secondary forests at Breadloaf. We conclude our presentation with a proposal for how to implement an ongoing carbon monitoring protocol on College-owned forest lands.

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Terrestrial ecosystems play an integral role in the global carbon balance, potentially functioning as carbon sinks that fluctuate through time and seasonal changes. The net ecosystem exchange of these ecosystems has been heavily studied at the Harvard Forest Environmental Measurements Site (HFEMS) and has shown an increase in carbon sequestration over the past two decades. My study was conducted to analyze various impacts of the ice storm tat struck New England in December 2008 with respect to the forest carbon flux.

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Lauren Sanchez
Researcher
Professor of Environmental and Biosphere Studies
Professor of Biology

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Last January fifteen intrepid graduate students (aka Team Monterey 4) traveled to the Bajo Lempa region of El Salvador to tackle agricultural, water access, and conservation issues. Visit the Equipo Monterey blog to explore their adventures searching for illicit turtle eggs at the local markets, or designing workshops for food producers to share knowledge and potential growth strategies.

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Adele Negro
Program Directory and Language Faculty

Lucy Jodlowska
Communications and Outreach Coordinator

Robert Taggart
Logistics Coordinator

Amy Holste
Fundraising and Development Coordinator

Ryan Gonzalez
Recruitment and Applications Coordinator

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A MiddLab Project

Hope Walks into a Bar Looking for Change

Learn more about Intensive English Programs at the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

One of the presenters for TEDxMonterey was Kelley Calvert, a MIIS alumna and faculty member. Kelley spent the summer of 2009 on a cross-country road trip exploring the nation for signs of hope and change. This was no ordinary journey; she traveled via a twenty-year-old retrofitted biodiesel Jetta. This adventure has inspired her book, Hope Walks into a Bar Looking for Change, a fast-moving tale on the open road that attempts to learn if hope can emerge from change. The cross-country journey and the process of documenting her experience inspired her TEDxMonterey talk where she encouraged participants to add their hope to her online map.

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Kelley Calvert
Author, Assistant Professor & Writing Center Director

Lynn McDonald
Postgraduate Fellow in the Teaching & Learning Collaborative

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Sites DOT Middlebury: the Middlebury site network.