Next year’s field trip to has filled up. Cameron, Jon and Christoph will take 12 students on next year’s trip to explore the southern part of the island. Jon’s already busy updating our gear lists, chief paparazzi Christoph bought a new camera. Cameron? Well, Cameron is looking into the authoritative works on edible Icelandic weeds. We are so ready – and it’s going to be awesome!
(by C.Douglass and J. Morrison)
Building on the ENVS program’s long-term research along the Park River in Hartford, this year’s Methods in Environmental Science students have once again developed, designed, and carried out their own studies – which they presented this week. Research focused on a section of the south branch of the Park River where the CT DEEP will begin a massive re-channelization project in spring 2014 that will remove vegetation and sediment from the channel. Students’ research covered topics ranging from determining concentrations of mercury and trace metals in stream sediments to evaluating temporal changes in pH and stream discharge. On land, students compared soil organic carbon levels and invertebrate species diversity between stands of the invasive plant Japanese knotweed and within plant communities dominated by goldenrods and other native forbs.
This Friday Trinity’s Environmental Science Program hosted the 5th annual meeting of the Geological Society of Connecticut. The well-attended meeting began with a field trip to some nearby rock outcrops led by Jon Gourley and Randy Steinen, and continued with a reception in the Academic Club.
Dinner was served buffet style in Hamlin Hall and was a great success. Our guests were amazed by our old dining Hall and repeatedly inquired about the next Quidditch match. Jon and I assured them that we usually fly to class on our broomsticks. :-)
The big surprise of the meeting came early on. Some of you may know that, long, long, long ago Trinity used to have a Geology Department, housed in Boardman Hall (formerly located between Mather Hall and Austin Arts). Before moving across the country to San Diego, Richard W. Berry, taught Geology at Trinity. Dick shared a few stories from the past, recalled Trinity’s first X-ray diffractometer and marveled about our spaces in McCook. Now retired, he moved back to Connecticut and I hope we’ll see more of him on campus in the future.
After a rather brief business meeting we all moved to McCook Auditorium, where we enjoyed a lecture by Dr. Greg Walsh from the USGS on the rather complicated metamorphic rocks of western Connecticut.
Thanks to the outstanding work of our Calendar Office (Thanks Christine for putting up with me!) and Chartwell’s the meeting was a big success. It was also a lot of fun, and I am looking forward to the society’s spring field trip and next year’s meeting.
We will spend 10 days in Iceland visiting Reykjavik, Thingvellir, the Geysir geothermal field, and hiking the Laugavegur, one of the most amazing hiking trails in Iceland. Accommodations will be in tents and mountain huts. On the trip we’ll experience breathtaking landscapes, learn about geology and soak in natural hot springs. The course will meet weekly during the spring semester for discussions on Iceland’s ecology, seminar topics, course structure and trip details, and will conclude with the ten-day backpacking trip to Iceland. The trip will begin and end in Boston.Cost of the trip:
$800.00 plus the cost of airfare (currently $750.00).
Cost includes accommodation, local transportation and meals during the backpacking portion of the trip. You will cover the costs for your own food while we stay in Reykjavik at the beginning and end of the trip.
Submit a half-page statement to Prof. Christoph Geiss introducing yourself and telling us why you want to go on this trip. Sign-up is by instructor permission only.
Upon registration we require payment of $1000.00 by December 15th. This first payment is to cover the cost of airfare and local transportation and is likely not refundable. If you have to cancel the trip we will try to cancel your airline ticket and refund you any refund we receive. If you sign up for the course later than Dec. 15th we ask for your down payment within a week of sign-up, and your payment may be higher.
Full payment (airfare plus $800) is due by March 31st (check payable to Trinity ENVS).
ENVS has the tents and a limited supply of sleeping bags, sleeping pads, backpacks etc. You will need good boots, rain gear and general hiking equipment (we’ll get you a list of equipment in January)
Do I need to be in shape?
It definitely helps. You’ll be hiking for seven days with a heavy backpack over a distance of approximately 50 miles. Always remember: your instructors are twice your age and have had desk jobs for decades. So, if they can do it …
Can alumni go?
Absolutely. We might have to charge you a few bucks extra for insurance, but that’s about it… and – since you don’t have to do any work we’ll make you carry tons of extra gear.
For pictures from our last trip click here.
For additional information on the trip – follow this blog.
Will it be awesome? – absolutely!
Just as a reminder: Christoph’s exhibition of black and white photographs from Utah and Arizona has its grand opening tomorrow. Chris Guilmartin from the Calendar Office promised “southwestern-themed” food. Let’s find out what that is…
No McCookout tomorrow – artsy-fartsy grand opening instead! Wear your turtle-neck, beret, horn-rimmed glasses and artsy tweed jacket* and you are good to go.
*or your ENVS Fleece
We got the two boards a few weeks ago, but yesterday Christoph finally got around to installing the little brass plaques on our new honors board.
Just in time for homecoming, the board lists all of our presidential fellows (going back to 2003) as well as the recipients of the senior prize and the activism prize. The board has been hand-made for us by the guys at City Bench. Given the size of the board and the tiny brass plaques it will last us probably for the next 50 years. City Bench used reclaimed wood from a silver maple that stood just north of McCook Hall and had to be cut down last year. Wood from the same tree was used in the bench that sits between Jon and Christoph’s offices and the new ENVS bulletin board.
The bulletin board hangs between our two offices, while the honors board is located at the end of the hallway, so nobody can miss it during their visit to the dungeon of McCook.
After serving us well for the past ten years, our ENVS brochure received a major face lift this morning. Just in time for the major’s fair Christoph spent a couple of hours updating major and minor requirements and removing ancient faculty from our list of instructors. Along the way the brochure also got new student images, including the one shown below that proves without a doubt that our students can walk on water:
The major’s fair was a full success: over twenty students came by to ask about the ENVS major and minor. Jon, Cameron and I spent an enjoyable lunch hour in the Washington Room answering questions, promoting the major, and stealing candy from the “formal organizations” table.
Nevertheless: Cameron made out well with his delicious vegetarian sandwich from First and Last – a giant step up from his talk on Friday, where Elizabeth tried to poison him with ham.
Oh, yes, you can check out our new brochure here.
In his talk entitled “How the West was won … and then lost to an alien invasion” Cameron Douglass, our Thomas McKenna Meredith ’48 Postdoctoral Fellow in Environmental Science (longest title in the program!) talked about the invasion of riparian habitats by tamarisk, Russian olive and other alien species. His talk focused on the effectiveness of various management approaches to invasive species removal and native habitat restoration.
I spent the last week making my first video. Check it out: