Beloit College Magazine

Beloit College Magazine

Summer 2010 (July 21, 2010 at 12:00 am)

Serious About Sustainability


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July 21, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Sustainability Fellows ProgramA half dozen Beloit College students are spending their summer measuring energy usage—and loss—in century-old buildings, leading classes at a local environmental center, and researching ways to extend the saleable life of locally produced food, among other projects. The work, which is being funded by a number of local, regional, and national grants, is part of a new Sustainability Fellows Program aimed at supporting sustainability efforts in the area.

“The fellows are designing and implementing projects that will help each site achieve its sustainability goals,” says Professor of Biology Yaffa Grossman, who directs the program and supervises one of the student projects. “They are also developing analysis, research, and management skills that they will use in their future careers.”

In its inaugural year, the Sustainability Fellows program features eight-week internships at five sites, a seminar, and a speaker series.

Nathan Whitley’11, who majors in ecology, evolution, and behavioral biology, is monitoring native plantings on campus as one of the fellows, focusing on the ecological services of urban plantings, such as water runoff reduction and carbon sequestration. India John’12, an environmental studies major, is working at the 721-acre Nygren Wetland Preserve near Rockton, Ill. In addition to vegetation monitoring and invasive species removal, she is coordinating marketing for the preserve’s summer camp. Jessica Buchberger’10 is interning at the Welty Environmental Center, a nonprofit environmental education organization near Beloit, where she designs and implements programs for visitors.

The college Physical Plant has taken on two fellows this summer: environmental geology major Sierra Anseeuw’11 and undeclared Grace Kellogg’13. Using sophisticated energy-auditing technology, Anseeuw and Kellogg are evaluating the efficiency of campus buildings with cornerstones dating to the 1840s.

Regina Willensky’12, a double major in economics and management and environmental studies, is serving her internship with Bushel & Peck’s, a downtown Beloit market that specializes in local, organic products. Working with farmers, vendors, and consumers, she is creating and promoting a new line of food products made from local goods.

The program is being funded in part by a five-year, $50,000 grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation, which seeded the program. Additional funding was obtained through a Thrive Grant to Bushel & Peck’s Local Market, the Natural Land Institute (owner of the Nygren Wetland preserve), and campus sources.

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