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Previous Programs


Fall 2017

Ecological History of the Adirondacks

Bill Pfitsch, Faculty-in-Residence
Associate Professor of Biology
315-859-4717
wpfitsch@hamilton.edu

Mountains are places where natural and human influences on the composition of ecological communities are particularly strong. This place-based course will focus on the natural and human history of the Adirondack forest landscape. We will study ecological concepts and historical literature and explore local ecological systems to relate what we find today to changes since the last glaciation, since European colonization, and to potential changes in the future. Students will apply mapping skills and forest and stream sampling techniques to investigate the consequences of historical resource and land use practices for existing ecological communities. Insights gained will inform in-depth consideration of critical conservation issues that will shape the Adirondack landscape in the future. No prerequisites, but students who have received credit for Introductory Biology may apply credit toward their Biology concentration or minor.  SYLLABUS

Fall 2017 Participants

Participant Internships Independent Capstone project
Noelle Connors ’19
Math and Environmental Studies
Essex Farm,
Adirondack Explorer
"Pastures and Hayfields: An Assessment of Soil and Plant Community Health at Essex Farm"
Christina Florakis ’19
Cognitive Science
Keene Central School, Point Positive, Inc. & Forever Wild Beverage Co., Swallotwail Studio "Our Place: An Analytical and Poetic Take on 'Native Americanness,' 'Greek Americanness,' and Culture"
Chris Hart ’19
Biology
Adirondack Research,
Essex Farm
"Spatial Patterns of Lichen and Moss Abundance in the Dynamic Fir-Wave Forest"
Margaret Horne ’19
Environmental Studies
Adirondack Farm-to-School Initiative, Keene Central School “Teaching Food Waste at Keene Central School—6th Grade Classroom"
Laura Kwasnoski ’18
Biology
Point Positive, Inc.,
The W!LD Center
"Raptors, Rodenticides, and the Adirondacks"
AJ Lodge ’18
Environmental Studies
Adirondack Mountain Club, Paul Smith's College “The Impact of Topography and Placement on Nitrogen Saturation in the High Peaks Region of the Adirondacks”
Mary Lundin ’19
Biology
Adirondack Research, Adirondack Mountain Club “A Comparison of Alpine Plant Composition at the Bog at Lake Tear of the Clouds and on the Summit of Mount Marcy over a 97-year-period”
Nick Pace ’19
Environmental Studies
Adirondack Mountain Club, Barkeater Trails Alliance “Comparative Analysis of EPF Investments in Hamilton and Suffolk Counties”
 
Kaitlyn Thayer ’19
Environmental Studies (Food Studies focus)
Essex Farm, Adirondack Council, Mountain Tomboy Baking “Carrot Tops and Brussel Stalks: A Guide to Reimagining Food Waste in the Kitchen”
Susanna Yee ’19
Biology
Adirondack Health, North Country SPCA “Ticks In the Adirondacks: Factors That Affect Tick Density and Mouse Populations”

 

Fall 2016

Humanity’s Global Impact and the Adirondacks

Seth Major, Faculty-in-Residence
Professor of Physics
315-859-4919
smajor@hamilton.edu

College 370: Intensive Seminar

Has climate change affected you? The Adirondacks? Could and should we do anything about it? This course will introduce physical ideas such as energy and thermodynamics and apply them to climate change.

The developed world’s impact on the earth’s environment has moved from purely local effects shared with many species to potentially transformational effects on a global scale. The seminar starts with an introduction, with readings, discussion and critical analysis to the physical basis of energy, thermodynamics, and climate change. Through measurement and simple model building, the seminar will develop methods to study impacts of human activity from a global perspective. Introducing tools to assess environmental impact, including life cycle assessment and carbon and ecological footprint analysis, will allow us to use global considerations to inform local projects. The focus of the semester is to apply global thinking to local solutions through foundational principles.

Students have the opportunity to complete a capstone project studying specific aspects of the above questions and issues. For example, does it make sense (economically and for the climate) to install residential solar panels in the Adirondacks?  SYLLABUS

Fall 2016 Participants

Participant Internships Independent Capstone project
Jack Anderson ’18
Environmental Studies
Essex Farm,
Rivermede Farm & Market
“The Rebirth of the Adirondack Small Farm: Rivermede”
Sarah Magee ’18
Environmental Studies
Point Positive, Inc.,
The W!LD Center
“Chasing Sunbeams: A Case Study of Rural Solar”
Niyati (Nanu) Mehta ’18
Neuroscience
Mountain Tomboy Baking,
North Country SPCA
“The Impact of Wilderness and Nature on Happiness”
Anna Mowat ’18
Physics and Environmental Studies
Adirondack Research, Richert Environmental, LLC “Energy Efficiency Rating and Suggestions for Residential Structures”
John Pikus ’17
Physics
Adirondack Research,
Keene Central School
“Statistical Mechanics of Black Holes”
 
Natalie Poremba ’18
Environmental Studies
Adirondack Research,
Essex Farm
“Sustainable Recreation in the Adirondack Park”
Alexa Rosella ’18
Biology
Adirondack Research,
Fledging Crow Vegetables
“Effects of soil microbial diversity on radish and clover biomass”

Fall 2015

Wilderness, Culture, Science: Reading the Adirondacks

Onno Oerlemans, Faculty-in-Residence
Professor of English and Creative Writing
315-859-4378
ooerlema@hamilton.edu

College 370: Intensive Seminar

The place we know as the “Adirondacks” is produced by a process of reading and inscribing across multiple disciplines and perspectives, past and present — a process that is as much intellectual as it is experiential. Actual legal texts such as the New York State Constitution and the APA Act have defined what the Adirondack Park is and how it is regulated. Texts by 19th-century writers such as Emerson, Cooper and Colvin helped frame understandings of a vast local wilderness that could yield spiritual, cultural and material rewards. The writings of contemporary scientists and naturalists such as Jerry Jenkins, Curt Stager and Ed Kanze deepen and complicate our sense of wilderness and place. Likewise, the works of contemporary authors such as Russell Banks and E. L. Doctorow have used the Adirondacks as a setting that reflects both intensely local and deeply national themes.

In this Intensive Seminar, students will examine a collection of these social, political, scientific and literary texts in situ for their ability to transform the Adirondack landscape both conceptually and physically. Students will also produce their own critical and creative writing to explore how their visions can help define and further transform this complex resource.  SYLLABUS

Fall 2015 Participants

Participant Internships
Isabelle Bradford ’16
Art
Asgaard Farm & Dairy
Mace Chasm Farm
North Country Creamery
Amelia Denney ’17
Neuroscience and
Hispanic Studies
Adirondack Health
Fledging Crow Vegetables
Mountain Tomboy Baking
The Nature Conservancy
Wildlands Network
Kianee De Jesus ’17
Literature and Creative Writing
Fledging Crow Vegetables
North Country SPCA
Annie Emanuels ’16
Biology
Adirondack Mountain Club
The Nature Conservancy
Julia Ferguson ’16
Comparative Literature
North Country Public Radio
Ianthe Lekometros ’16
Environmental Studies
 
Adirondack Wildlife Refuge
Asgaard Farm & Dairy
Essex Farm
Sugar House Creamery
Alexa Merriam ’17
Literature and Creative Writing
 
Adirondack Council
Taryn Ruf ’17
Women's Studies and
Literature and Creative Writing
Keene Valley Library
Mace Chasm Farm
North Country Creamery
Rachael Wilkin ’16
Anthropology
Adirondack Wildlife Refuge
Essex Farm

Contact Information


Janelle A. Schwartz, Ph.D.

General Director
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