Grad returns to
liberal arts roots:
Elaine Durr (2004)
has been hired by Elon College (North Carolina) to lead their
sustainability initiative. A certified LEEDS ("green"
building) consultant, Elaine will bring her enthusiasm and hard work
to this liberal arts school to help them meet sustainability goals
in resource and energy use across the campus. After graduating
summa cum laude in environmental science and biology, Elaine
completed her Master's degree at the University of South Carolina.
working in Environmental Education:
Aleks Forsman (2007)
appears to have found her niche in environmental education at a 4-H
center in Georgia. Aleks has recently completed her training in
herpetology (the study of reptiles and amphibians) and ornithology
(birds). From hognose snakes to alligators to gopher
tortoises, she is learning how to handle and care for them all while
educating the public. Her latest treat has been learning from
the staff how to apply operant conditioning (get our your psychology
or animal behavior textbook!) to training wounded raptors such as
red-tailed hawks to catch food in flight.
Initiatives" course offers students chance to solve environmental
A new course developed by
Dr. Cramer for Monmouth College's senior "Citizenship" requirement
gives students the opportunity to be directly involved in solving
local environmental problems. Last fall, students in the
course researched the feasibility of wind power to partially or
completely supply the College with electricity. Based in part
on their research and advocacy, the College may soon sign up to
receive nearly all of its electrical power from a new wind farm
under development by Warren County that should be up and running by
2010. Future projects include green buildings, campus-wide
expansion of recycling programs, and green/local food initiatives in
Desert Trip to
Grand Canyon and Death Valley:
Dr. Cramer will be leading
8 students on a spring break trip to the Mojave and Great Basin
deserts of Nevada and Arizona. A 3-day backpacking excursion down
into the bowels of the Grand Canyon will be the highlight of this
course while camping and day hiking in Death Valley and Zion
National Parks will showcase the diversity of desert landscapes.
Designed to give students a true wilderness experience, they will
also learn about some of the threats and challenges to managing
desert ecosystems in the United States.
Grand Canyon with a slide show.
Tom Nagawiecki (2007) entered
graduate school at the University of Idaho in the fall of 2007.
Among other things, he'll be working on a campus master plan to
reduce their carbon emissions to zero. Emily Zvolanek (2006)
completed a one-year post-baccalaureate study at Monmouth learning
and teaching others about Geographic Information Systems, or making
maps using satellite technology and ARCGIS mapping software.
Science students travel to fall Bioneers conference:
Emily, Aleks, and
Tom accompanied Dr. Cramer to an environmental conference at
Southern Illinois Univ. in Carbondale, IL. Sacrificing half of
their fall break was worth it to hear some superb speakers broadcast
via satellite to Bioneers locations all over the U.S. Speakers such
as Bill McKibben (The End of Nature), David Orr (Ecological
Literacy), Michael Ableman, Thom Hartmann, Carolyn Raffensberger
(The Precautionary Principle) and other environmental activists and
educators inspired the audience. Topics included renewable energy,
reforesting Los Angeles, energy efficient buildings, organic
farming, public relations, and more. Students also enjoyed staying
in rustic cabins in the beautiful hills of the Shawnee forest and
dining on great vegan and vegetarian meals from local producers.
Cramer enjoyed it so much this will probably become an annual event!
Changes in the
Environmental Science Major implemented fall 2004:
Environmental Science major has undergone a major curricular
overhaul. Now, students will choose from two tracks or
concentrations offered in the major, one in science and another
in policy. The science concentration offers a full
array of introductory and upper-level science courses in biology,
chemistry, physics, and math for those students interested in
applying science to solving environmental problems. For
example, a student would learn the basic chemistry and physics
necessary to alleviate groundwater pollution. Another example
would be learning the population biology and ecology essential to
constructing a management plan for an endangered species or a
commercial fisheries. The policy concentration enables
students who are more interested in the social, economic, political
and ethical issues surrounding environmental problems and their
solutions to prepare for positions in business, government and
non-profit groups. More details on the course requirements for
the new major and its concentrations can be found under the
participate in summer internships:
Alyson Gary (2004) spent a summer working at the Shedd
Aquarium in Chicago. In addition to maintaining many of the
aquaria, she recorded the first observations of captive reproduction
in an exotic fish.
Stay up all night listening to bats? That's what Elaine
Durr did one summer in Tennessee. Well, actually, a
machine did most of the listening while Elaine tried to use the
nocturnal calls to identify which species were in the area. Many eastern bats are endangered, and these efforts will help to
establish the whereabouts of these vision-impaired bug catchers.