This summer Associate Director Jen Pagach is pioneering an Environmental Leader series, where she interviews inspirational individuals on how they "get their environment on" often while hiking the recently blazed Richard H. Goodwin Trail. During the first section of the Goodwin Trail starting in Haddam she interviewed Brian Toal, Supervising Epidemiologist in the Environmental Health Section CT DPH in charge of toxicology and hazardous substance response. While Brian's work has him dealing with emerging environmental issues all day long, he still has a host of environmental hobbies and pursuits in his free time.
As past President and trip leader with the Hartford Audubon Society, while hiking he shared his birding expertise and tips to allow us to hear and glimpse some really beautiful species through his special binoculars. In the new growth forest with streams and gentle inclines and declines, the canopy was a chorus of beautiful breeding birds. Spotted specimens included a red start, scarlet tanager, indigo bunting, acadian flycatcher and an extra special treat of a cerulean warbler!
With such beautiful birds spotted, you can see why he caught the birding bug and continues to offer tours and help with data collection even past his term as Audubon President. An avid fisherman and golfer, ultimate frisbee player and coach, member of the CT Forest and Parks Association and currently working on backpacking the Appalachian trail in New England, Brian has so much knowledge to share, and his enthusiasm is contagious. In fact, this hiking trip was inspired by him alerting us there was a prothonotary warbler in the Connecticut College Arboretum this Spring!
It was a very special treat to see and hear the bird world and forest thorough his environmental and conservation minded perspective. Through his work, hobbies and passions, he approaches, appreciates and helps the planet in very diverse yet complementary and powerful ways.
If you want to learn more or be on the bird siting list, visit https://www.hartfordaudubon.org/ and http://www.ctbirding.org/birds-birding/ct-birds-email-list/
A special new trail that spans several southern Connecticut towns was recently officially blazed and open to the public. The best part? It is named after one of our Center namesakes, the inspirational Richard H. Goodwin! In honor of this trail and the environmental leadership trail he blazed, we will be doing a blog series interviewing environmental leaders as we hike sections of the Richard H. Goodwin trail together. Our first section will feature Brian Toal, Supervising Epidemiologist in the Environmental Health Section at CT Department of Environmental Health, and Past President of the Hartford Audubon Society.
Stay tuned and be ready to be inspired.
For more information on the trail, visit www.eightmileriver.org
On a beautiful sunny May day, ten amazing Goodwin-Niering scholars became Center alums as they received their certificates and special sashes handcrafted from reclaimed materials. We are so proud of our unique yet bonded class of 2019 and look forward to seeing them share their many gifts with the world!
Sarah Bass, Ricardo Olea, Emilio Pallares, Chloe Mayhew, Johnathan Evanilla, Nate Morris, Delilah Fairclough-Stewart, Sydney Krisanda, Amelia Morrissey and Ariane Buckenmeyer show off their unique sashes and spirits.
For more information about previous GNCE conferences, visit our web site.
Clare Loughlin, a member of our GNCE class of 2018, received a Fulbright fellowship to teach English in Malaysia. She is writing about her experience at her awesomely titled blog, ClareAbouts.
This November we hosted Dr. Lori Gruen, Professor of Philosophy & Coordinator of Animal Studies at Wesleyan University, for her second Lambert Lecture for the Center. Gruen’s work lies at the intersection of ethical and political theory and practice, with a particular focus on issues that impact those often overlooked in traditional ethical investigations.
Titled "Empathy and Sanctuary: Reimagining our Relations with Other Animals", her compelling talk had the full room questioning how we do, could and should engage and relate with non-human animals. In addition to succinctly covering ethical theory, she gave an overview of some notable relation categories with case studies. Particularly enlightening was the topic of Government owned chimpanzees formerly used for lab research which are now protected, but some remain in the same caged facilities begging the question of what sanctuary could and should be.
Gruen is the author and editor of 11 books, Fellow of the Hastings Center for Bioethics, a Faculty Fellow at Tufts’ Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine’s Center for Animals and Public Policy and a member of the APA Committee for Public Philosophy. She also sits on a number of non-profit advisory boards and has become known as a bit of an archivist for chimpanzees in the US given her work documenting the history of The First 100 chimpanzees in research in the US, and the journey to sanctuary of the remaining chimpanzees in research labs, The Last 1000.
If you missed the compelling talk, do not despair, it can be accessed here.
Join us at the Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment in giving a warm and hearty welcome to the incoming class of 2021! It was a competitive application process but these twelve amazing Sophomores are the selected scholars who officially start in the program this coming Spring 2019. Enjoy the pictures and a little about their environmental passion that they will pursue in the next two and a half years in the Center. Notice the variety of interests and majors which continues to make our Center interdisciplinary and engaging!
This summer, Associate Director Jennifer Pagach had the pleasure of visiting Maya Sutton-Smith ’18, at her place of employment and residence in Stowe, Vermont. Immediately after graduating, Maya started working and living at Sage Farm Goat Dairy in a tiny home on site. Also living on site are the two sisters who conceived and started the farm. Molly, a food writer and chef and Katie a wildlife biologist decided to team up in 2007 after Molly purchased the former sheep farm.
On Wednesday, April 25th, GNCE alum Charles Van Rees (Class of 2010) returned to campus to give a talk in the Biology Seminar. Charles has just completed his PhD in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior at Tufts University. He has also just received a Fulbright grant to continue his work on bird conservation next year in Seville, Spain. Charles's dissertation research focuses on the Hawaiian gallinule (or `alae `ula), an endangered waterbird with very specific habitat preferences. The birds live in fragmented coastal wetland areas on the island of Oahu, areas that are threatened by coastal development and likely sea level rise. Charles's research uses a combination of methods--including banding and direct sighting, genetic sequencing, and GIS mapping--to try to understand the relationships among those seemingly isolated populations. One finding that he reported was the the birds seem to like to travel along freshwater pathways, such as canals and drainage ditches. Charles is also an advisory ecologist with a non-profit conservation group, Livable Hawaii Kai Hui.
The Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment at Connecticut College
a special community of students, faculty and staff that promotes student led and faculty guided interdisciplinary research on environmental issues