COA Volume 5 | Number 2
The College of the Atlantic Magazine
College of the Atlantic enriches the liberal arts tradition through a distinctive educational philosophy—human ecology. A human ecological perspective integrates knowledge from all academic disciplines and from personal experience to investigate—and ultimately improve—the relationships between human beings and our social and natural communities. The human ecological perspective guides all aspects of education, research, activism, and interactions among the college’s students, faculty, staff, and trustees. The College of the Atlantic community encourages, prepares, and expects students to gain expertise, breadth, values, and practical experience necessary to achieve individual fulfillment and to help solve problems that challenge communities everywhere.
Cover: (Anchor) Undo Disaster by Annabel Linquist ’00, 36” x 60,” silkscreen, latex, china marker, graphite and oil stick on canvas, 2010. (See full story on pages 19–21.) Back Cover: Skip by Meryl Mekeel ‘09, 36” x 34,” digital photograph, 2009. H.G.“Skip” Brack was photographed by Mekeel in his Hulls Cove Tool Barn as part of her senior project, Environmental Portrait Photography.
Printed on recycled paper with vegetable-based inks on equipment using 100% wind-generated power.
Letter from the Editor Back in September I visited Annabel Linquist ’00 in her Manhattan studio at the fringe of the old warehouse district in Chelsea. It was one of those late summer days when it is hard to tell the difference between mugginess and grimy rain, but Annabel’s studio was light and white, with high ceilings that comfortably accommodated her large paintings. As we stood surrounded by images of dark green rainbow-like arches, hot air balloons and diving masks—human attempts to explore the heights and depths of life—Annabel cocked her head and said, “I had my heart broken…” I wanted to reach out to this young woman, dwarfed by her artwork, by the very painting that is now on the cover of this magazine, but she was still talking. “I realized he had touched some essential part of me, something I needed to understand.” Annabel was not speaking of protecting herself or burying her sorrow—no. With amazing courage and clarity, she was talking about sending those diving bells deep within herself to examine the wounds, knowing that with enough attention she would learn what this relationship and its lesions had to teach her, and could use that knowledge to transform herself—and in the process create objects of wonder and mystery. A few weeks later, I talked with Emily Troutman ’01. She had recently been in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, among people who have endured a decade of civil war. Upon returning to her home state of Maryland, she found that dear friends had lost their baby and had their house robbed—on the very same night. “I needed to find a way to transform my anger,” she said to me. And so she began writing and thinking, and came to the concept for a video that won her a “Citizen Ambassador” role at the United Nations (page 60). Underlying this issue of COA are numerous efforts at transformation, large and small, personal and public. The focus is on food systems, on how we produce and distribute and obtain and alter the very subsistence of our lives. If ever there were an area needing transformation, it would be this one. And our alumni—Nell Newman ’87 among them—already have begun. Through Nell’s work, the sacred tents of our supermarket chains, not to mention the coffee urns of the McDonald’s franchises in New England, have now found space for organic foods. It is a cloudy fall night as I sit at my desk in Turrets wondering what it is that allows our students to move into the world with eyes so wide open that they see not only what is, but what could be. As I stare out the window, pondering the question, the wind shifts, the clouds break up and the full moon rides high in the sky, rippling its reflection in the tide below. Is it the ever-changing beauty of this coastal spot in Maine? Is it our students, who arrive already engaged and curious? Or is it the education offered at College of the Atlantic? I imagine it is some sort of synergy of the above—these bright minds active in a place of nature, where the fundamentals of existence are spread out around them. Here, within the beauty and tragedy that is life, these creative, thoughtful students are encouraged to develop the tools they will need to move out into the world, and trained to hone their own clarity, courage and concern so that they can push beyond the expected, personally and professionally, and transform their lives and those around them.
Donna Gold Editor, COA
Photo by Bill Carpenter.
The College of the Atlantic Magazine
Letter from the President
COA Beat Articles
Notes from a Watson Journey Mackenzie Delta
Marine Mammal Conference
Waterbird Society: Seabird Habitats on Great Duck Island
Volume 5 | Number 2
Heather Albert-Knopp ’99 Richard Borden Oliver Bruce ’10 Dianne Clendaniel Jennifer Hughes Danielle Meier ’08 Matt Shaw ’11 Rebecca Hope Woods
By Brett Ciccotelli ’09
Lessons from White Earth
In Search of the Amazing Mr. Forbush
Oral History: Pam Parvin ’93
Psychic Alchemist: Selections from the Holy Map Series
By Johannah Berstein ’83
By Sean Todd, Steven K. Katona Chair in Marine Sciences
By Jenny George ’02 By Annabal Linquist ’00
Fiction: Almost Like Flying Prologue: The Boy Named Davy, Utica, New York: 1943-46
By Marni Berger ’09
Jill Barlow-Kelley Dianne Clendaniel
Rebecca Hope Woods
JS McCarthy Printers Augusta, Maine COA ADMINISTRATION
David Hales President
Andrew Griffiths Administrative Dean
Sarah Baker Dean of Admission
Kenneth Hill Academic Dean
Lynn Boulger Dean of Development
Sarah Luke Associate Dean of Student Life
Ken Cline Associate Dean for Faculty
Sean Todd Associate Dean for Advanced Studies BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Feed the World Sustainable Farming and Food Systems at COA and Around the World
William G. Foulke, Jr. Chairman
Leslie C. Brewer Treasurer
Elizabeth D. Hodder Co-Vice Chair
Ronald E. Beard Secretary
Casey Mallinckrodt Co-Vice Chair
by Heather Albert-Knopp ’99
Digging In: A photo essay of four alumni-owned Maine farms by Matt McInnis ’09
Edward McC. Blair Life Trustee T. A. Cox
William V. P. Newlin Life Trustee
James M. Gower Life Trustee
Planting Peace, Bringing it Home
George B. E. Hambleton
Samuel M. Hamill, Jr. Life Trustee
Ian Illuminato ’06 researches nanoparticles in our foods
Beech Hill Farm Remembers a Decade by Eliza Worrick, COA intern
Charles E. Hewett Sherry F. Huber Trustee Emeritus
Susan Storey Lyman Life Trustee
Donor Profile: Environmentalist Horace “Hoddy” Hildreth, Jr.
Annual Report FY 2008–2009
Q&A with Emily Troutman ’01
Human Ecology Essay Revisited A Human Ecologist’s Journey
By Cory Whitney ’03
Cathy L. Ramsdell ’78 Trustee Emeritus John Reeves Life Trustee Henry L.P. Schmelzer
James A. Lewicki
Hamilton Robinson, Jr.
John N. Kelly Life Trustee Philip B. Kunhardt III ’77
Class, Faculty and Community Notes
Philip S. J. Moriarty
Amy Yeager Geier
Organics for the Masses: Nell Newman ’87
Technology’s Trojan Horse
Phyllis Anina Moriarty
Henry D. Sharpe, Jr. Life Trustee Clyde E. Shorey, Jr. Life Trustee William N. Thorndike
Suzanne Folds McCullagh
Cody van Heerden
Sarah A. McDaniel ’93
John Wilmerding Trustee Emeritus
Jay McNally ’84
COA is published twice each year for the College of the Atlantic community. Please send ideas, letters and submissions (we are always looking for short stories, poetry and especially revisits to human ecology essays) to: COA Magazine College of the Atlantic 105 Eden Street, Bar Harbor, ME 04609
Letter from the President In September, COA convened Food for Thought, Time for Action, a major international conference on the sustainability of food systems around the world. In October, COA students and faculty were omnipresent at the international Society for Marine Mammalogy conference, with twenty peer-reviewed presentations. In December, COA will send a fully accredited delegation of two faculty members and fifteen students to participate in the Copenhagen negotiations on climate change. This winter, our largest contingent ever will participate in our term-long concentrated course of study in the Yucatan peninsula. And, on October 23, one of our alumni, Emily Troutman ’01, was introduced to the General Assembly of the United Nations as one of five UN Citizen Ambassadors. David Hales. Photo by David Camburn.
Our “home” campus is on an island off the coast of Maine, but more than ever, our “classroom” is the world.
That doesn’t mean that our world doesn’t include our immediate vicinity. Our work with the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce is literally changing the way energy is used on the island. Through our connection with the social entrepreneurship enterprise, Ashoka U, we will be working even more with the Mount Desert Island community to make this corner of Maine as sustainable as possible. Our Geographic Information Systems laboratory remains the reference system for all the governments on the island, and was at the core of the work of Acadia National Park and the National Park Service in addressing the wasteful light pollution that threatens to steal the beauty of the night sky from our children. In the process of balancing our budget in difficult economic times, we still contributed more than $23 million to the economy of Hancock County, funds that ultimately assist a state struggling with the loss of jobs. It goes without saying that the experiences inherent in a College of the Atlantic education transform the lives of our students, preparing them for responsible roles in a changing and challenging world. We are also influencing the world in the broadest sense. We do not have a climate problem, a water problem, a biodiversity problem, a human rights problem. We have a problem. The challenges that we face are based in the way we humans have organized ourselves to occupy, manipulate and exploit our habitat and our planet. As I have said before, I believe that by the end of this century, we will live in a world that is sustainable, peaceful and just, or we will live in a world that is unstable, violent and insecure. To move with purpose and intention to a more sustainable future, we must understand the relationships among humans and the systems we have created, as well as understand the nature of change in those systems. We must strategically project the implications of what we learn and develop the skills and wisdom to make effective choices among practical alternatives. This is the study and practice of human ecology and this is the mission of College of the Atlantic. Progressive educational institutions—exemplified by College of the Atlantic—will be the crucible in which both individual and societal responses to this challenge are shaped. In this issue of COA, you’ll be introduced in a very personal way to many of the items I mentioned above, to other actions we’re taking and to the people who are leading them. Keep following their stories at our newly redesigned website: www.coa.edu.
David Hales, COA President
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COA is a Changemaker Campus And we’re not the only ones saying it! By Samantha Haskell ’10 and Donna Gold College of the Atlantic has been named a “changemaker campus” by Ashoka, the Among those looking into the three-year planning for COA as a Changemaker Campus world’s largest netare, from left to right, Samantha Haskell ’10, work of social enAshoka U staff member Neela Rajendra, Kate trepreneurs, whose Christian ’10 and Joslyn Richardson ’12. founder, Bill DrayPhoto by Bob Karetsky of Ashoka U. ton, was called “the godfather of the social entrepreneur movement” by The New York Times. This global nonprofit fostering social, environmental and economic change recently launched Ashoka U to work with five college campuses a year— including COA. In October, some thirty students, faculty, staff and local community members spent a weekend brainstorming what COA and Ashoka could focus on during their three-year collaboration to make both Mount Desert Island and COA more sustainable socially, economically, and environmentally. By Sunday, Ashoka’s project coordinator Lennon Flowers could hardly contain her delight in the college.
Through directed conversations about regional issues, resources and long-term visions, the group decided upon three goals: Better coordinating COA’s many applied sustainability classes Solidifying avenues of connection between the COA campus and the MDI community Spreading Social Economic and Environmental Development (or SEED) to other colleges Noah Hodgetts ’10 is the COA project manager. He’ll be working with Jay Friedlander, the Sharpe-McNally Chair in Green and Socially Responsible Business, and Kate Macko, Sustainable Business Program administrator, to promote intermediate goals, such as looking into how COA teaches sustainability, inventorying applied learning opportunities on MDI, increasing food systems education on campus and undertaking community agriculture education and support projects.
“The fundamental principles shared by many of today’s leading social entrepreneurs—humility, empathy, creativity, and a commitment to a brighter future—are built into the College of the Atlantic lifestyle, appearing in everything from the campus cafeteria to the dorm waste facilities, and especially in the people who call COA home,” she said. “COA students arrive inspired—they are ready to act in a way that is revolutionary, intentioned and impactful.”
Ashoka U is in its second year of working with colleges and universities. This year’s other partner schools are Babson College, University of Colorado at Boulder, The New School and Tulane University. These schools will also connect with last year’s partner universities: Cornell, George Mason, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Maryland. According to Lennon, despite COA being the smallest school Ashoka U has worked with, it had the largest planning meeting of any of the ten schools, and the only one attended by people from the local community.
New Carbon Offsets Purchased
COA funding a truck stop electrification program
And COA plans three more faculty hires
College of the Atlantic has been NetZero for carbon emissions since 2007. What emissions we can’t reduce or avoid, we offset. This year, COA offsets support truck stop electrification through Carbonfund.org, providing electricity to drivers at truck stops to eliminate engine idling.
In 2008, concern over the troubled economy caused COA to suspend three of five faculty searches. This fall, a higherthan-expected bottom line has encouraged the college to reopen two of the three suspended searches.
Long-haul truck drivers must take a ten-hour rest period for every eleven hours on the road. Typically, drivers idle their trucks during those hours; the engines heat or cool the cab and power appliances and electronics. But idling produces carbon dioxide, contributing to climate change. By providing electric outlets for truckers to plug in, the earth is spared the emissions from about a gallon of diesel an hour.
Nishanta Rajakaruna ’94, or Nishi, who five years ago took the late Craig Greene’s position as faculty member in botany—and in 2008 left for a stronger research position— has realized his heart is with COA and its students. He has decided to return and will officially begin in the fall of 2010. COA is also searching for an anthropologist, the Allan Stone Chair in Visual Arts and the Chair in Sustainable Food Systems.
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Notes from a Watson Journey By Brett Ciccotelli ’09 Brett Ciccotelli calls his Watson journey, Change Along the Banks: Explorations in River Deltas and Coastal Wetlands. He is currently in Italy, and plans to continue his pursuit of rivers and their people in Mexico, Bangladesh and Egypt. We will hear from our other two Watson Fellows, Nick Jenei ’09 and Michael Keller ’09, in the spring issue of COA. The endless sunshine of seventy Arctic summers and the harsh winds of seventy Arctic winters have darkened and wrinkled her face and grayed her long dark hair. Seventy years of happiness and hardships are etched into her skin. Yet for her age, her five-foot frame is incredibly agile, her arms still strong, and her hands quick with a knife. On the eastern shore of the Mackenzie Delta, Alice is at home. On a good day her husband John and friends bring six or more large fish to her table every three hours—from early morning until midnight. And with skill acquired from her ancestors, and honed on countless white and coney fish, she cleans and prepares each one for drying. She hangs the fillets on bare wooden beams in the smokehouse, or outside to dry under the unending light of twenty-four hour days. While she works, Alice laughs easily, smiles often, and talks fondly about the times when dozens of families would come to this spot in the summer to amass dry fish stores for the long winter. Today many of the fish Alice smokes are sold in town, a reality that troubles her. She worries that too few people still have the desire to fish in the bush, or even know how to do it. She remembers the long marches through the snow with dog teams from her childhood—marches where both man and dog were fueled by fish dried during the short Arctic summer. But, she says, times change and these fillets are worth twenty dollars a piece in town, so she chases away any jays, ravens, or weasels that get too close to the drying fish. When enough fish have been smoked, the weather turns foul, or Alice is ready to return for the weekend’s bingo tournament in town, John packs up the fish, rifles and dogs and helps Alice into the boat. The forty-kilometer trip back to Inuvik, in the Northwest Territories, takes nearly two hours—during which time the boat passes a handful of other bush camps. The camps are built from old school buses, logs, scrapwood, storage trailers, or Hudson Bay Company trading posts. Like many of the twenty-five thousand lakes in the Mackenzie Delta, these camps are perched on banks nearly three meters above the surface of the muddy river. The beaches are covered in large tracks from errant grizzly bears and wolves. Ducks, geese, swans, eagles, loons, gulls, cranes and mosquitoes continually fly overhead. The delta is Canada’s largest, and the second largest delta in the Arctic. It has been growing along the southern coast of the Arctic Ocean since the retreat of the last continental glacier nearly ten thousand years ago. Its muddy depths are made from the deposition of the eroding Rocky Mountains and the soils of northern Canada. The delta is still growing; thick mud and sediments create and wash away new banks every day. Hidden beneath this mud are natural gas deposits and mammoth tusks. Since the river rises drastically in spring and fall, there are almost no permanent docks along the banks. Instead, many of the boats in town are tied to one another in nautical knots that end with one boat lashed to a small branch driven lightly into the mud. When Alice’s boat arrives, its berth is no different. After docking, they locate someone with a driver’s license and a few minutes to spare and soon Alice, John, and the week’s bounty of fish are loaded into their truck and on their way home. Unlike the log cabin and canvas tents of the bush, their home in town is a prefabricated aluminum apartment joined to dozens of others and raised on stilts above the permanently frozen soil. Looking west over the delta. The East Channel of the Mackenzie River is visible in the bottom left corner. The haze over the delta is from large fires in the nearby Yukon Territory. All photos taken by Brett Ciccotelli ’09. 4 | COA
The city of Inuvik sits on the eastern edge of the expansive Mackenzie Delta. It was built in the 1950s when the only other major settlement in the region
was constantly threatened with flooding. Its construction was also fueled by the need for a permanent settlement to act as a gateway to the Arctic’s rich mineral and petrol resources and a physical mark of Canadian sovereignty above the Arctic Circle. When not in camp eating fresh fish and caribou, much of Alice and John’s food, like most in Inuvik, comes frozen, canned, processed, overripe, over-priced and from far to the south, symptoms of the communities’ remoteness and of the cultural assimilation policies of the not-so-distant past: policies that forced southern culture, religion and behavior on the northern aboriginals. Today there are movements afoot to help the residents of Inuvik enjoy a fresh and healthier diet. Nearly ten years On one of the many lakes scattered in the delta on a trip for drinking water. ago, an indoor community garden opened in the town’s old hockey rink. It provides plots for citizens to take advantage of endless summer days to grow their own produce. Meanwhile nonprofit groups advocate for healthy northern diets through outreach and education. Alice’s relationship to her drinking water is also different in town. In the bush John obtains fresh drinking water directly from nearby lakes; in town it must pass from the tap through a water filter to remove some of the abundant heavy metals that come north with other industrial air pollutants. The proximity of the town’s waste water treatment, labeled on maps as the “sewage lagoon,” reinforces the need for personal water treatment. Inuvik is also troubled by an overabundance of youth gangs that roam the town’s few streets—streets that, at least in summer, are home to a few dozen friendly homeless residents struggling with drug and alcohol abuse. And yet, Inuvik is still a community with incredible pride and generosity. It sits in a region familiar with change and challenges—defined by seasonal, rather than daily sunsets and sunrises, blistering winters and blinding summers, abundance and scarcity. With global climate change and new pressures for its mineral and fuel resources, the town and delta have an uncertain future. The millions of migrating waterfowl, hundreds of fish species, scores of marine mammals, moose, wolves, bears, caribou herds and uncountable insects that depend on the delta need to be recognized as resources more valuable than the gas and oil locked beneath it; and the thousands of northern people and their communities around the delta and Arctic coast need to be recognized and respected as more than tools for national sovereignty.
Alice hard at work preparing fillets and hanging them to dry. COA | 5
Extraordinary COA Presence at Marine Mammal Conference At the 2009 Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals in October—the quintessential professional gathering on marine mammals worldwide with 2,500 attendees—twenty presentations came from COA (ten from research conducted at the Edward McC. Blair Mount Desert Rock Research Station). While it might be typical for a large-sized institution to contribute five or ten abstracts, COA’s level of scientific productivity by faculty, alumni, staff and students is downright extraordinary. Even more exceptional is that eight of these presentations come from current students or recent graduates—and six are senior authors—two as first-year students! With hours spent underwater and traveling great distances, whales are a hard study. Thanks, however, to photographic identifications in Allied Whale’s North Atlantic Humpback Whale Catalog, it’s possible to follow individual whales year after year. As the whales mate and calve, researchers can study entire families, piecing together social structure, habits and travels, thereby aiding conservation. Three COA student papers focused on migrations: While most humpbacks that breed in the West Indies migrate to the North Atlantic to feed, some go to Iceland. Or do they? As a first-year student, Virginia Brooks ’12 looked into the migrations of humpbacks feeding off Iceland to see if they’re more likely to breed in the Cape Verde Islands or the West Indies. Adrianna Beaudette ’11 looked into why whales stop off in Bermuda, midway in their migration from the Gulf of Maine to the West Indies.
Dominique Walk ’09 used GIS to map whale entanglement risks as a way of finding a holistic approach to the management of whales and fisheries, mapping both lobster gear positions and concurrent sightings of whales. So who are these devoted researchers? Brooks, Scurci, Beaudette, Walk, Howes and Colby Moore, MPhil ’09 are the senior authors who did their work while at COA. Elizabeth Morrell ’12, Solomon Spigel ’12 and Jacqueline Bort, MPhil ’11 are contributing authors to other papers. Sherri Eldridge, a Hancock County special student, received honorable mention in the “most innovative study” award for examining connections between whale and elephant sensory perception, based on her final project for Todd’s 2008 Marine Mammals and Sound class. Also presenting were faculty researchers Sean Todd and Chris Petersen, faculty member in biology; Allied Whale researchers Judy Allen and Rosemary Seton; and many alumni: Jessica Damon ’99, Dan DenDanto ’91, Julianne Kearney ’06, Christine Mahaffey, MPhil ’06, Robin Sewall ’06, Toby Stephenson ’98, Peter Stevick ’81, Greg Stone ’82 and Courtney Vashro ’99. Additionally, Steve Katona, former COA president and Allied Whale founder, was singled out as an early force behind international collaboration, and Allen, now COA registrar, and Stevick ’81 were mentioned as outstanding organizers and researchers. Also present were members of Todd’s Marine Mammals class. Todd reported that many of his colleagues commented on how progressive COA was in sending students to a professional conference. One esteemed scientist was heard to say something along the lines of, “How come it’s always COA that comes up with these great ideas?”
Kathryn Scurci ’11 studied the whales of Labrador using the photographic catalog. She found thirty-seven individual whales that had been consistently seen in Labrador—indicating that these whales tend to be quite loyal to their feeding grounds. Two other papers involved senior project investigations into whale entanglements with fishing gear, generating strong interest at the conference from federal and state managers, according to Sean Todd, Director of Allied Whale and the Steven K. Katona Chair in Marine Sciences: While most research focuses on deadly entanglements, Laura Howes ’09 studied photographic evidence of entanglement scars on living whales in the Gulf of Maine and Greenland (with a much smaller lobster fishery), to see how frequently they may be caught in fishing gear. Concludes Howes, “humpback whales may be becoming entangled in gear far more than is considered sustainable.” 6 | COA
Over forty College of the Atlantic students, alumni, staff and faculty attended the 18th Biennial Conference of the Biology of Marine Mammals in Quebec City in October 2009. A portion of that group is photographed here. Photo by Paula Olson.
It’s Getting Crowded in Here! Density, nesting and other investigations into seabird habitats on Great Duck Island Each summer, with guidance from John Anderson, the William H. Drury, Jr. Chair in Evolution, Ecology and Natural History, a group of students head about a dozen miles over the Atlantic Ocean to Great Duck Island. For six weeks they live in an old light keeper’s house, now the Alice Eno Research Station, with the hills of Mount Desert Island as a distant backdrop. Each student develops a research topic, a thesis, and a strategy to prove the thesis. Frequently, the work is strong enough to be accepted by the annual Waterbird Society Meetings. This year, Anderson and four students will be presenting at the meetings; two of them, Anna Perry ’10, a Goldwater Scholar, and Gregory Smith ’10, received travel awards to attend. Studying the nesting habits of burrowing seabirds can be frustrating. Frequently, the burrows seem occupied—but are not, threatening to skew research statistics. Anna Perry ’10 studied the spatial distribution of occupied Leach’s storm petrel burrows on Great Duck, the largest petrel colony in the eastern United States. By listening for call responses, using infrared video and other techniques, she determined which burrows were occupied—and found that just because one burrow was being used, it didn’t mean its neighbor was. Yet location might be a reasonable predictor, because the highest burrow occupancy rates occurred along the forest edge. With this work, Perry was able to enhance the protocols used by future census takers. Renee McManus ’12 looked into the nesting density of black guillemots to see whether density impacts behavior. She thought density would breed relaxation. By observing the nests daily, alternating between high and low density areas, she found that while density made a significant difference, her thesis got it wrong. Much like in human cities, the higher the density, the more the birds fought over territory. Aspen Reese (’12) examined the nesting habits of herring gulls. Like the great black-backed gulls, herring gulls concentrate their nests in vegetated meadows and shoreline granite jumbles, with nearly two-thirds preferring rocks. Wondering why, she looked into three possible variables: the survival rate of chicks, territoriality, and the presence of great black-backed gulls. She found that the chicks nesting on the rocks had a much higher rate of survival, and that the presence of black-backed gulls didn’t seem to matter. By going over records from the past decade, she also found that gulls do prefer boulders, possibly for the protection they offer from bald eagles and other predators.
Herring and black-backed gulls with their chicks on Great Duck Island. Photo by John Rivers.
The high density of nests and the fidelity with which these seabirds return to the same area over their long lives makes them optimum carriers of parasites. Gregory Smith ’10 researched the parasitic impact on herring and great black-backed gull nestlings. He found that the chicks in the vegetated areas were more likely to have mites than those nesting on rocks. While he couldn’t make a clear connection between mite infestation and survival, he did find that the ten-day survival rate of chicks raised on the rocks was higher than those raised in the vegetation. Anderson’s paper, co-authored with Reese, questions the accepted history of bird populations in the Gulf of Maine. Most conservationists assume, they write, that “prior to intensive hunting and egging by the descendants of European colonists in the nineteenth century, the region supported an extensive and highly diverse avifauna.” To restore this diversity, conservationists have focused on gull control. Yet Anderson and Reese are finding that other predators—bald eagles and American mink—are devastating seabird colonies. They suggest that, rather than being the vast productive seabird paradise depicted in some discussions, significant portions of the Gulf of Maine may have been relatively free of any breeding seabirds prior to European intervention, and the densely populated islands that had been exploited by the millinery trade were the unforeseen product of predator control and land-use practices by settlers. The two conclude that a deeper look into the historical record might indicate a more complex conservation management strategy.
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it’s very hard to
Nearly every month, College of the Atlantic receives a new national accolade. Yes, we’re being noticed for our deep concern with sustainability, but our unique academic approach gets plenty of attention, as you can see...
Princeton Review’s Best 371 Colleges: #3 in nation for “Most Politically Active Students” #11 in nation for “Class Discussions Encouraged” Only about 15 percent of four-year colleges in the United States and two Canadian colleges have been chosen for the 2010 volume. COA is also noted for its strong financial aid, great food and lack of competitive athletics—though it might be one of the few schools in the nation where students frequently finish out the day with a game of cricket. The narrative offers these additional comments: “Students eagerly sing the praises of their professors: ‘an eclectic and brilliant group of people’ who are ‘extremely accessible.’”
Sustainability: Princeton Review’s Best 371 Colleges: One of only nine colleges on the Green Honor Roll for the second year in a row.
Sierra Magazine: #5 in nation on its list of “Cool Schools.” They write: “At Maine’s College of the Atlantic conserving energy is simply an unobtrusive part of campus life.”
US News and World Reports: #3 in nation for global diversity #6 in nation for small classes The National Survey of Student Engagement, or NSSE: Again, COA stands with the top 10 percent of the 643 participating colleges and universities (among them Bennington, Bryn Mawr, Evergreen, Northeastern, Pepperdine, Simon’s Rock and Tufts). This survey is considered to be the most comprehensive assessment of effective practices in higher education. Ashoka, the world’s largest network of social entrepreneurs, chooses COA as one of five “changemaker campuses,” this in its second year of working with colleges and universities.
The New England Board of Higher Education awards COA its Robert J. McKenna Award for Program Excellence, praising COA’s major in human ecology. “This approach challenges traditional attitudes and practices and encourages students to think and act comprehensively on a daily basis,” writes Michael Thomas, president and CEO of NEBHE.
Sustainability: Sustainable Endowments Institute releases its College Sustainability Report Card, giving COA its highest designation: Overall College Sustainability Leader, one of twenty-six in the US and Canada. COA is the only college in Maine to achieve this status.
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The Rock— COA Will Rebuild College of the Atlantic’s Edward McC. Blair Marine Research Station on Mount Desert Rock sits twenty-five miles out to sea, making it the point of land farthest east in the nation. It has been a key scientific station for COA and Allied Whale researchers, as well as for numerous scientists seeking to understand offshore life within the Gulf of Maine. In August 2008, the boathouse was rebuilt. One year later, on August 23, 2009, storm surges from Hurricane Bill swept onto the island, destroying the boathouse and the ground floor of a nearby shed containing a workshop and classroom. The six-foot surge also pushed through the keeper’s house, though that damage is not structural. Fortunately, all scientists and students had been evacuated and the seventy-foot lighthouse, with its four-feet-thick walls, still stands. COA is now raising funds for reconstruction. Before and After Top row left to right: View of research station before Hurricane Bill and two images showing the “bite“ the hurricane took out of the generator shed, which may have protected the light keeper’s house. Bottom row left to right: Boathouse before Bill and afterward. A crew composed of scientists deeply connected to Allied Whale went out to survey the damage and clean what they could. Here they are in what had been the boathouse: Toby Stephenson ’98, Courtney Vashro ’99, Dan DenDanto ’91, Scott Swann ’86, MPhil ’95, faculty member Sean Todd, Yoko Bowen ’10 and Peter Stevick ’81. Photos courtesy of Allied Whale.
COA Hosts Sustainable Food Systems COnference Stay tuned for 2010 conference
More than 180 COA community members, farmers, fishermen and other practitioners from as close as Bar Harbor and as far away as Germany, Mexico, Venezuela and Alaska converged in early October for the college’s first Food for Thought, Time for Action conference, funded by the Partridge Foundation. With the aim of envisioning more sustainable food, farming and fisheries for the twenty-first century, speakers and discussions covered a range of topics including local to international policy, current Maine issues, community-based food marketing and distribution, sustainable nutrition, and food sovereignty. Keynote speakers Raj Patel (author of Stuffed and Starved) and Marion Nestle (NYU professor and author of Food Politics and What to Eat) gave provocative lectures that painted a dynamic and alternately troubling and hopeful picture of the current food system, from food industry nutrition labeling to the World Bank’s structural adjustment policies. COA’s transatlantic partners from the University of Kassel in Germany and the Organic Research Centre in the United Kingdom shared invaluable perspectives from overseas, and Maine Farmland Trust curated a Food for Thought, Time for Action art exhibit in COA’s Ethel H. Blum Gallery. Participants also attended hands-on workshops including sampling heirloom apple varieties at Beech Hill Farm, exploring year-round growing at Four Season Farm owned by former trustee Eliot Coleman and Barbara Damrosch, and learning meat preparation techniques with chef Cassady Pappas from Havana, one of the restaurants owned by Michael Boland ’94. Presenters Abe Noe-Hays ’00 (center, tan jacket) offers his workshop, Comand participants left the conference with new connections, post: What goes around, comes around. Behind him are Stacie ideas for action in different arenas, and visions of more sus- Brimmage ’08, Christiaan Van Heerden ’09, Leland Moore ’10, tainable and democratic food systems. A second conference sustainability consultant Craig Ten Broeck and Juan Olmedo ’12. Photo copyright Noreen Hogan ’91. is being planned for 2010. ~Heather Albert-Knopp ’99 COA | 9
Lessons from White Earth By Johannah Bernstein ’83 Seen from a helicopter hovering above, one can immediately understand why the Inuit refer to Greenland as Kalaallit Nunaat, or White Earth. On Greenland’s west coast, two hundred and fifty kilometers north of the Arctic Circle, the Ilulissat Glacier seems untouched and indeed untouchable by humans. But the map—and one’s eyes—tells only half the story. The two-million-year-old Greenland icecap, more than two kilometers thick and covering 80 percent of the island, is melting at a dangerous pace. The visuals are stunning. The fifty-six kilometer Ilulissat Icefjord, a United Nations World Heritage Site, is filled with enormous craggy bergs, some towering over one hundred meters high. Occasional pools of emeraldblue water are a reminder that the floating ice pack abounds with marine resources that live in a complex but delicate food web.
ual climate change alarm in the ears of thousands of climate scientists around the world. Unfortunately, the Greenland ice sheet is not on the agenda of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. And since the signing of the Kyoto Protocol, carbon emissions have actually accelerated from 1.3 percent per year in the 1990s, to a staggering 3.3 percent per year from 2000 to 2006.
This trajectory has propelled humanity into the worstcase scenario envisioned by the Nobel prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. For many key parameters (global mean surface temperature, sealevel rise, ocean and ice sheet dynamics), the climate system has moved beyond patterns of natural variability. Many of the world’s leading atmospheric scientists now caution that key impacts of global warming, such as sea level rise and loss of summer Arctic I ponder what the Kyoto Protocol sea ice, are happening much sooner and more would have looked like had it been severely than scientists had estimated only a drafted by a group of Inuit elders. few years ago.
The landscape has an eerily primordial, almost prehistoric feeling. As the helicopter descends, I feel like I have landed directly from the moon to the sea floor. It might have been the bitter cold, but many of us aboard are moved to tears. And yet the reality is so paradoxical. Ilulissat—like portions of the North and South poles— is among the most precarious of climate hot spots on the planet, warming at nearly twice the global average rate. In these regions, the effects of exponentially rising greenhouse gas emissions are concentrated in outsized proportions, like the icebergs that thunder daily from the Ilulissat Glacier through the Icefjord on their way to Disko Bay. The noise itself serves as a contin-
“That sea water tasted absolutely alive and sweet, like the best oyster you can imagine,” notes the photographer. 10 | COA
Since we are nowhere near properly positioned to transition to a global, carbon-free energy path, there is a significant possibility that many of these trends will accelerate, leading to an increasing risk of abrupt or irreversible climatic shifts. Yet current climate negotiations are being carried out on the basis of outdated climate science. The key challenge is to ensure that the ever-widening gulf between science and politics is bridged decisively. Weaker targets for the year 2020 increase the risk of crossing irreversible tipping points. This will make the task of meeting 2050 targets not only impossible, but ultimately a moot exercise in reckless number crunching. During our boat trip to the old coastal village Oqaatsut in western Greenland, I learn that the Inuit of the region believe that their cosmos was ruled by no one; and that they do not believe in the concept of dominion over nature. They believe that the earth is alive and that humans are connected with the earth’s system in a harmonious relationship, one that must be continually renewed and revered, as anirniq—spirit and soul—is present in all beings, both sentient and non-sentient. This underpins their solemn moral duty to respect all life forms. Yet now, for the first time in their social history, the Inuit’s cosmos is ruled by those—white men—whose profligate excesses have
resulted in dangerous interference with the global climate system and with the ecosystem upon which the Inuit livelihood depends. Frozen ice is the lifeblood of the Inuit. They have demonstrated a remarkable ability to live in harmony with a hostile physical environment. But the increasingly unreliable ice conditions are affecting the Inuit’s capacity to hunt for food and to sustain their traditional livelihoods. I ponder what the Kyoto Protocol would have looked like had it been drafted by a group of Inuit elders. Just as we need to elevate the new climate science, so too must we draw deep from the ancient wisdom of the Inuit. But this requires a radically different form of political leadership, one that is based on an ability and willingness to balance competing interests in a way that respects planetary boundaries and which bridges new science with ancient wisdom. Instead, the international community is only negotiating that which is politically viable as opposed to what nature requires and what new science informs. Meanwhile the Greenland ice sheet may collapse within a century. Forging a new climate deal grounded in the most authoritative science and principles of equity will require deeper modes of cooperation and new forms of innovation and ingenuity. How ironic that we have come so
close to answering the question of whether we humans are alone in the universe, but are moving so very far from being able to sustain the conditions necessary for actually keeping our species alive. We need a new collective mindset, a deep and radical change of soul and heart, and perhaps a new mental map; one that repositions humanity in a different relationship with the greater earth community, and which recognises that in the midst of this magnificent diversity of life forms, there is common destiny.
Johannah Bernstein is an international environmental lawyer with law degrees from Oxford University and the Osgoode Hall Law School in Canada. She advises governments, international organizations, NGOs and the private sector on global sustainability issues. All images on these pages are of Disko Bay in Greenland, by photographer Rick Amado (email@example.com). Of the photo with Johannah Bernstein left, he writes, “Did Johannah tell you we ate the ‘ice baby?’ Water thousands of years old, what a trip. It was excellent: straight, clean and uncomplicated. A bit ‘dry’ even. Jo and I also went for a swim, OK a dip.” COA | 11
Copenhagen’s COA Delegation UNFCCC meetings include official COA delegation + one official delegate When the decisive United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change opens in Copenhagen this December, COA will be there—with its own delegation. Attending will be at least fifteen students—from Finland, New Zealand, Peru, St. Lucia and the United States—along with faculty members Ken Cline (environmental law) and Doreen Stabinsky (international relations). The group will be doing what they can to energize youth participation and learn about international negotiations. The commitment period for the current UN treaty on climate change, commonly known as the Kyoto Protocol, is ending. It is likely that the agreement signed in Copenhagen will guide climate change action made The delegation, in part. Top from left: Lindsay Britton ’11, Richard Van by nations around the world for the coming decade— Kampen ’12, Lauren Nutter ’10, Emily Postman ’12, Taj Schottland ’10, which is why the COA students find it essential to be Noah Hodgetts ’10, Geena Berry ’10. Bottom: Juan Soriano ’10, Annick present. The COA group may well be the most preBickson ’12, Neil Oculi ’11, Oliver Bruce ’10, Brooke Welty ’11, Samuli pared of all youths attending the convention. They’ve Sinisalo ’12, faculty member Ken Cline. Photo by Donna Gold. been studying the issues since January, alerting each other daily to articles and position papers. This fall, they are each taking two classes directly related to the convention: The Road to Copenhagen which they designed with Stabinsky, and Cline’s Advanced International Environmental Law. This commitment is a trend: COA students have been at every one of the past five climate change meetings. While most of the students will be part of a massive global youth network, Neil Oculi ’11 of St. Lucia (more on page 32) will be one of the lobbied. He will be a voting participant as a member of his nation’s official delegation. What motivates them? “I spent my summers visiting my grandmother in the highlands of the Huaylas Valley. The Andes have some of the most beautiful snowcapped mountains in South America. But every time I visit, I witness the consequences of environmental degradation. Not only are the glaciers melting but also the fruits from my grandma’s orchard are not the same because an abnormal proliferation of mosquitoes is damaging crops and forcing farmers to use pesticides. The frogs that once fed on the mosquitoes disappeared a few years ago; their extinction has been attributed to the shortening of hibernation periods as a result of a rise in temperature.” Juan Soriano ’10, Lima, Peru “The environment is one of the most demanding challenges my generation will face. That is why the presence of youth in the conference is so crucial; it is our generation and the ones after us who face the consequences of decisions made now. Youth have to step up to the challenge, show that we care and push the agenda of sustainable development.” Samuli Sinisalo ’12, Tampere, Finland 12 | COA
“It does no good to sit on the sidelines and hope that the United States’ position on climate change is a good one. I plan on reminding those in power that their decisions will have long and irreversible effects on generations to come.” Taj Schottland ’10, Putney, Vermont This is one of the most monumental global environmental meetings to date. As an activist, I must bear witness to and learn from the event. Besides, the decision-makers need to understand that we, as students, need a strong treaty. We are among the ones who will inherit this world from those making decisions and we would like to have a say at this pivotal meeting.” Brooke Welty ’11, Portland, Maine “Our generation must be given a voice, because the decisions we make today will shape tomorrow’s world. I can’t imagine placing my energy elsewhere this December.” Lauren Nutter ’10, Uxbridge, Massachusetts “I am going so I will be able to say to my grandkids that I put up a front and was there.” Oliver Bruce ’10, Rotorua, New Zealand
In Search of the Amazing Mr. Forbush By Sean Todd, Steven K. Katona Chair in Marine Sciences Sometime back in the 1970s, I saw a film called The Amazing Mr. Forbush, starring a young John Hurt and Hayley Mills. The hero, a flamboyant and lackadaisical graduate student, reluctantly travels to Antarctica at the behest of his graduate advisor to census penguins. In this portrayal of Isolated Human Battling Against the Elements, Hurt goes slowly mad and eventually believes himself King of the Rookery, addressing his flock daily and even declaring war upon the predatory Skuas. I knew there and then, at the tender age of ten, in front of my black and white television, that Antarctica was where I needed to go, a place with which I identified. Fast forward thirty-five years or so. I stand in a stark, monochromatic environment, my visibility varying from five to fifty feet within the space of seconds. I am on Half Moon Island, in Antarctica. It is the middle of the Austral summer. A blizzard has arisen with almost no warning and instantaneous fury. The wind, now a sustained forty knots, blows snow with such force that each flake feels like a nail driven into my cheeks. Around me, two-hundred-pound Antarctic fur seals tuck down for the storm, their mournful howls sounding like ghosts within the violent noise of the gale. Soon, the blanketing snow makes it difficult to tell the recumbent seals from rocks. Behind me, a blue whale jawbone over twenty feet long is draped casually over the landscape, a remnant of leviathans the size of which we haven’t seen on this planet for a century—the direct result of decades of whaling. Ahead, at ten-yard intervals, is a slow, undulating line of flags that I have set to help me and the dozen suffering ecotourists I am leading find our way
back to the landing site. We move from flag to flag, staying close, leaving no stragglers, mindful of the fur seals. We are not actually in any danger. I have a compass, Sean Todd uses a sextant to measure the size of a GPS and radio connected tabular iceberg, over six to my colleagues who are miles long. Photo by Chris Srigley. never farther away than half All other photos by Sean Todd. a mile or so. Our clothing, far evolved from the days of Ernest Shackleton or Otto Nordenskjöld, keeps us basically warm but the abundant layers hinder rapid movement. At the landing site is all the survival gear we could need. There is even a nearby research station somewhere through that blizzard melee. Morale is high. Antarctica is throwing herself at us, though perhaps at only a tenth of the force she could use during the polar winter, and we persist. We make it back to the landing site to find the calm seas whipped into an aggressive, soaking chop. After all the passengers are safely on our mother ship, the MV Minerva, I launch myself into the Zodiac, waves crashing violently over her stern. We bounce and toss our way back to the larger vessel. The captain has turned the ship to offer some lee from the storm; even so, the waves at the gantry are six to eight feet high, which means our landing platform oscillates between four feet above and four feet below us every five seconds or so. One by one we jump to safety. Two of us remain in the Zodiac to prevent it from flipping
Clockwise from left: A pair of gentoo penguin chicks in Paradise Bay, a chinstrap penguin, an Adelie penguin and a king penguin. COA | 13
the driving force was the profit motive. With me aboard, the ship has gained more than a biologist; it also has a human ecologist. Only within human ecology can one fully appreciate the tension of landscape, natural history, human history, politics, governance, resource exploitation, human spirit, and sheer audacity that resides in Antarctica; manipulatively, I use my opportunities as a lecturer aboard Minerva to stress that lesson to my captive audience!
Once the whales were rendered down, whalers would leave the bones on the beach. Because there is no significant bacterial activity due to the cold, these bones have lasted over ninety years.
The ecological equivalent of a Serengeti lion, this eleven-foot leopard seal scans the water for such easy prey as a penguin.
in the wind as it is hoisted to the deck. By the time I reach the bridge the winds have escalated to hurricane force, and yet there is the congratulatory air of a team that has pulled off a difficult landing. Exhausted and relieved, I return to my cabin to marvel at how a human ecologist came to be here. This is my third season in Antarctica, a luxury afforded by my sabbatical. I am part of an expedition team aboard an ecotourism vessel. For the cost of a couple of lectures and Zodiac driving skills, I have free board and passage to study the southern humpback whales that come here to feed every summer. There is a density of life here, despite the hostility of the environment to human physiology. This density attracted the first whalers and sealers to come south, and now justifies my presence here. By photographing and identifying individual humpback whales, I can contribute to the process of assessing the recovering population after a hundred years of whaling. Arguably, it was the drive to exploit these populations as resources that motivated countries to sponsor the explorers of the so-called heroic age. There was some nationalistic pride too, but there’s little doubt that 14 | COA
Shortly after the storm I sit on a beach on South Georgia, a sub-Antarctic island where the great whales were slaughtered by the hundred thousands back in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Across the bay lies the abandoned community of Grytviken, probably the largest whaling station on South Georgia. These stations that thrived in the 1920s are now ghost towns. Indeed, they feel haunted. By one interpretation, whalers were mass murderers, slaughtering stocks to the point of extinction. In another view, they are heroes, pitting themselves against the ultimate challenge of elements and leviathan. It is difficult for me to resolve these two views. Within twenty feet of me lies a huddled trio of massive southern elephant seals, each maybe ten feet long. Ahead is a small group of king penguins. They appear unaware of me, or at least unconcerned by my presence. The biologist in me marvels that I can be in such close proximity to these animals, so much in their environment. Half a day later I go to St. Andrews Bay, one of the largest king penguin colonies in the world; later I sit in my Zodiac breathing in the foul halitosis of a ten-foot leopard seal, an animal quite capable of taking my own life, but for now much more interested in the penguin he is inhaling for lunch. The sights, sounds and stenches of these moments are overwhelming, the experiences stirring. As a biologist I am at a loss to explain my inspiration. As a human ecologist, I am better equipped to understand that connection. To study Antarctica effectively one has to turn to human ecology. Nowhere is one’s ecological footprint so apparent. The governance of Antarctica is a marvelous experiment that has lasted over fifty years—an entire continent essentially run by committee. Environmental concerns, not economical, are prime considerations. The politics between the countries that are members of the committee are fascinating, convoluted and sometimes downright sinister. It is here that you see the definitive and observable effects of climate change—even in the eight years that I have been visiting this place, I see evidence of glacial retreat. Finally, there is the paradox of life (both human and “other”) in such a harsh climate. I am only here in the relatively mild summer, and yet there have been times when I have been challenged close to my own limits. I would describe those moments as extremely rewarding—even, perhaps, fun. One can only marvel at the persistence of human spirit in the story of Antarctica; that self-sacrificing, undaunted drive of the early explorers. What inspired Capt. Lawrence Oates to sacrifice himself to a storm so his starved team-
Above: The king penguin colony at St. Andrews. Below right: Photo-identifying Southern Ocean humpback whales (inset: A humpback whale calf spy-hops to investigate the author’s boat. Even thought this is only the calf’s first year of life, its snout is already heavily parasitized.).
mates could eat his food? How did Shackleton get his entire stranded team back safely? What happens to one’s mind when one is stuck in the middle of a frozen ocean with no hope of rescue? The story of Antarctic exploration is a testament to everything that is good—and in the case of exploitation, bad—about being human. If it is within us as a species to answer these personal challenges, then surely we can muster the courage and will to save the world in crisis today. I was originally attracted to Antarctica by the juxtaposition of brutal environment and persistence of life. Nowhere have I seen such stark beauty and stunning landscape. One quickly exhausts oneself of superlatives. Part of Antarctica’s draw is its fantastic and prolific fauna. Yet also I find myself inspired to write about Antarctica entirely outside the realm of science. As I move further away from my discipline-based training, I move closer towards the comfort of human ecology. Within that framework, I choose to end this account not with science, but a verse from Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Prometheus Unbound, used by Sir Ralph Vaughan Williams in his account of Scott’s doomed expedition to the South Pole, Sinfonia Antarctica. In no better way can one place the human into Antarctica.
To suffer woes which Hope thinks infinite; To forgive wrongs darker than death or night; To defy Power, which seems omnipotent; To love, and bear; to hope till Hope creates From its own wreck the thing it contemplates; Neither to change, nor falter, nor repent; This, like thy glory, Titan, is to be Good, great and joyous, beautiful and free; This is alone Life, Joy, Empire, and Victory.
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Oral History Pam Parvin, now a counselor in Bar Harbor, was the heart and soul of Take-ABreak for twenty years. She is often thought of as COA’s first cook, but actually she was the third, coming on when six weeks into the second year, cook #2 quit. Pam was twenty-three at the time, a single mother with a young child. And while at first she worked with fellow cook Jerry Smith, covering breakfast, lunch and dinner between them (and sharing child care as well), when he moved on after three years, she was on her own. Eventually, she began taking classes at COA, graduating after thirteen years. A portion of our talk follows. Donna Gold: So, COA was vegetarian at the time, was that what you were asked to do? Pam Parvin: I was a vegetarian and so it was Frances Moore Lappé and Diet for a Small Planet and all that. Everybody was pretty interested in being low on the food chain. I’m pretty sure it was an All College Meeting decision. I can’t imagine getting away with making any kind of a unilateral decision at COA. DG: Did you try to be organic? PP: That was not so big a deal then. We did have a kitchen garden at the college, way, way before there was a Beech Hill Farm. I remember starting to hire work-study students and figuring out what to plant. The gardens at school were organic, but you couldn’t buy all-organic food. DG: Where did you have to go to get your food? PP: We did a lot of sourcing ourselves. We would go buy frozen blueberries from somebody. We would go buy honey from somebody. Then we started the food co-op. For a time, Jerry and I—and this got traded off—would drive to Boston and go to Chelsea market and buy food. We were young and we thought that was a fun thing to do—driving through downtown Boston in a twenty-foot truck. DG: And was the food always homemade? PP: It was my style. My mother was a fabulous cook. I learned to cook when I was a little, tiny kid. And I was into whole wheat and honey and whatever. We made our own yogurt and our own bread and we made pancakes and there would be muffins and stuff all day. You could have as much as you wanted. Dinner was family style. DG: Early students remember that so fondly. Bringing the big pots to the table and everybody just digging in. Did you sit with them? PP: Yes, usually. And kids would come in and say, “Can I make myself hot chocolate?” or “Can I have tea?” or “Can I sit in here?” There were a lot of people feeling like they 16 | COA
were free to come into the kitchen to talk or get something: “I wasn’t here at lunchtime, can I make myself a sandwich?” I provided a pretty warm and friendly atmosphere, so people were in and out all the time. DG: Did you talk to the students about their classes? PP: Yes. I ended up doing a lot of informal advising before there was an advising system. I think I’m a good nurturer and people would come in and be unsure about things and need somebody to talk to, just the way they would talk to other people at school. COA was very open to talking about these things because it wasn’t cemented: people were really searching. You were supposed to be self-directed and when you have to be self-directed you flounder a little. That’s a good thing because you learn a lot. So, people did a lot of talking to each other and other people, trying to get some bearings. …I think we all felt responsible for each other. And people got to know each other pretty well, because All College Meeting could take all day—or half a day, anyway. Were we going to have recycled toilet paper or not? Those things went on for years. And they had to be reinvented because they were a part of the education. There could be a new crop of students who felt that something had to be different, and we would talk about it all over again. That was part of people’s growing up, to have a voice and an opinion. DG: You were on personnel committee, right? PP: I was. I co-chaired it for a while. I loved being on it—it was the hardest thing I think I ever did in my whole life— having to gather everybody’s opinion and having to talk to people about their shortcomings. And lots of decisions that were made in personnel were tough. DG: Do you think the committee system is worth the energy it takes? PP: I do. I really do. I was on admission committee; I was on the compensation committee. I didn’t have a BA yet, but that didn’t matter to people. COA was more or less egalitarian. If you were good at something people recog-
Photo by Donna Gold.
Pam Parvin ’93
nized that and you got a lot of credit for it. They thought I was a good mentor. I helped start the advising system, which I loved. For ten years, from like ’81 to ’91, I got this little, tiny stipend to be advising coordinator. Whatever you were willing to volunteer to do, people would say, “OK, you can do that.” So, you could get a tremendous amount of experience because people trusted you and if you were willing to fledge or flap your wings, people would say, “OK, we’ll support you while you do that.” You couldn’t ask for a better place to kind of grow up. I felt very grateful. DG: It does seem like committees are part of the education—learning how to think about systems. PP: I think so. Look how successful COA grads are, how they learn to think. I’m really impressed by what people do. It’s not so much the knowledge they learned, but the system thinking, the thinking outside the box, how to work with other people. That’s huge. COA people really have to learn to work with each other. To take people’s ideas in and figure out how to move forward with that. That’s huge in life. DG: When did you start attending classes for credit? PP: The first one was fall 1980. It took me to 1993 to finish my degree. But I did it. I got a lot of support. When I had my personnel reviews, people were like, “Go, go, go. Do it, do it, do it!” I got my master’s degree in 1996. DG: Thirteen years for your BA and three for your master’s! Had you had any college before? PP: I had three semesters of college at Bard … my mother was sick and ended up dying and I dropped out of college because I had no financial support.
DG: Tell me about cooking after the fire— PP: We were doing Take-A-Break out of Turrets’ teenyweeny kitchen. It was outrageous. We still baked bread— one of my work-study students was a great bread baker— and we made soup: one big pot of soup every day. And we baked muffins if we could. We had one little, teeny refrigerator and we did a lot of shopping in what was Don’s Shop ’n’ Save at that point. There was no room for too many big orders. But it was fun because we’d serve in the beautiful Turrets room. DG: And everybody would eat around the table? PP: Or take something with them or whatever. Wander around. One of the things we used to have to do was go with a great dish bin and wander all over campus looking for our silverware and bowls and things. Although they probably still do that now. DG: Absolutely! Were you working at the time of the fire? PP: No, we had the summers off. I lost all my recipes in the fire. People lost everything. People lost research, people lost books, people lost a lot in their lives. But it was pretty amazing how people rallied. It’s like, OK, we’re having school in September, how are we going to do this? People really pitched together, and those are the kind of things, I’m going to tear up … you know, when Dick Davis died … when your community is devastated … when those kinds of things happen to the community—and they happen in everybody’s family and everybody’s community—you pull together. You need each other. DG: Those were difficult times, and yet COA survived. Which is amazing, because it was such a fledgling school— PP: Yes. So strong in some ways, fragile in others. We had tremendous trustees over time. And I think that all the contributors have known that somehow it was really special even if it was floundering sometimes. DG: Tell me about the leftovers. Was that your idea to serve leftovers at a reduced price? Or was it just natural? PP: Pretty natural. And it gave people more than one thing to eat. Then we could be cooking ahead for the next day. Otherwise, how would you ever know how much to make? What would you do with leftovers? People were happy for a lesser-priced meal. It made total sense to me. DG: COA has been noted for its really good food—
Students serve themselves soup at Take-A-Break’s temporary quarters in what is now Turrets’ George Putnam Seminar Room. Photo courtesy of College of the Atlantic Archives and Special Collections.
PP: I know! I was the first to be on the list! 1992: #2 in the country. That was my fifteen minutes of fame. I thought it was pretty funny because here we are, this teeny-weeny school. But it’s nice to have that as a legacy.
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Poetry By Jenny George ’02
Vision Last night, in the deeper hours, I found myself watched over by the large, single eye of a cow which hung above my bed, its veins rich and elaborate as a chandelier. The eye’s seeing graced me in violet. I felt visited. I felt seen into the very stations of my bones—the kind of seeing which has no purpose beyond its own canny radiance. The eye was grand and shocking and not altogether unwelcome. It tinged my sleep with a quality of vividness, like dreaming under a wakeful star, or a jellyfish streaming through night’s wavy suspension. Between breaths, the bed’s feathers rustled noiselessly. Outside, other windows in other houses glowed with their own living dreams…
Ears The pig is already dead. It hangs from the ankle, slumped as light through a heavy curtain. Draped onto the slab. One ear folded like a lily under the ample head, pressed nearly in half, silent origami. The other ear, large as a trumpet flower, turned open as if to receive the sound of some distant thing approaching— a train through fall fields, an insect in forgotten rafters droning its thin scarves of sound. The one ear bent shut, weighted under the pig’s last greatness. The other, supple horn, listens outward, catches that final echo of birth, squeal of the gate hinge, first bells of tomorrow.
Jenny George ’02 received an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 2004. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she helps run the Seasons Fund for Social Transformation, a Buddhist-based foundation that supports the integration of social justice work and contemplative practice. This fall she was a Rona Jaffe Fellow at the Vermont Studio Center, and spent a month there as a resident writer.
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Selections from the Holy Map series
Annabel Linquist ’00
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Diving Bell by Annabel Linquist ’00, 60” x 72,” silkscreen, latex, china marker, graphite, oil stick on canvas, 2010.
In many ways, Annabel Linquist (better known at COA as Anna Linquist) had no choice but to become an artist. People would talk to her about their lives and she would respond with symbols and words—images that still come to her and that she still can’t turn off. “I’m really, really intuitive,” she says. Now, in addition to her own work, she paints what she calls psychic portraits—commissions that become guideposts for people’s lives, composed of layers of paint, symbols and words built through Linquist’s intuition. The layering sometimes buries the images, or maybe only part of a word shows through. This approach—along with her integrity, passion and delight in life—has brought Linquist extraordinary recognition. In July, Jessica Latham of Vanity Fair wrote about her in her blog. In August, Linquist was written up in Elle under “Chic Week.” Then there’s the music she creates. And the installations—such as a magical, protective fort. Keep following her at www.iloveannabel.com.
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“I had my heart broken and I realized that people with whom we share the deepest connections can become mirrors through which we can find the portal between our outer worlds and our inner worlds—that when we’re most raw and vulnerable we can tap into those places that we want to emerge. These people are creating a feedback loop—they’re opening up a trapdoor to see parts of our insides that we haven’t been aware of. That’s why I like the idea of the diving bell being the central character. And it doesn’t have to be the devastation of a breakup. Every regular relationship has some kind of emotional trauma programmed in and everyone has their own stories that take them inside themselves because the human condition is not a balanced system.”
Annabel Linquist ’00
Previous page: Superfix Anchor by Annabel Linquist ’00, 24” x 18,” silkscreen, latex, china marker, graphite, oil stick on canvas. This page, clockwise from top left: Holographic Ram (Random Access Memory), 30” x 40,” silkscreen, latex, china marker, graphite, oil stick on canvas; Holy Magic, 60” x 72,” silkscreen, latex, china marker, graphite, oil stick on canvas; photo of Linquist in her studio by Erin Kornfeld for Elle magazine, courtesy of Annabel Linquist. COA | 21
Almost Like Flying Prologue : The Boy Named Davy, Utica, New York : 1943-46 By Marni Berger ’09 “Sometimes,” Davy Cohen mouthed each syllable to the living room ceiling, lying on his back, his eyes squinted and teary. “Sometimes the color of my eyes is black.” Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? the radio tinned forth, interrupting his thoughts. Although he already knew, Davy, who took most things literally, pondered the answer to this mechanical question. He rested his hands behind his head and attempted to peel his eyes so far back that he could imagine his oversized lashes tangling with the hairs from his eyebrows. He focused to increase the intervals between each blink as he absorbed the evil cackles of The Shadow, his favorite radio show. In the late winter after school, the home on Utica’s Bleecker Street grew dark before dinnertime, so that real shadows threw themselves across the furniture, exciting Davy’s imagination. He preferred to stretch his eyes wider than normal while lying in the dark to improve his night vision. During the first few minutes of each session, he could see almost nothing, but eventually objects would pop into appearance as if by magic: usually first was the old menorah on the top of the bookshelf, probably because it glinted gold; then to the right of the menorah stood a picture of his parents, Krejci and Bene, curled together professionally within a copper frame. Today he saw the frame first. Then his father’s home sewing machine, a forgotten coffee mug, a pen, old notebooks, prayer books, a copy of Frankenstein, the ceiling fan with its five blades—not four!—as his mother preferred, etc. He pulled his eyelids together as he reached a maximum interval of fifty-two seconds. When he sat upright and a tear spilled onto his wrist, he knew it wasn’t because he was sad. He knew about tear ducts and biology: how tears don’t make sadness, sadness makes tears. The neighbor boys didn’t know this. Davy was a gifted student. Still he couldn’t help but feel a little crazy when he watched the wet drop disappear behind the pores in his skin. He decided to remove the pen from the shelf and practice writing. He understood that distraction would be useful for this project and The Shadow wasn’t enough. He wanted, although he half-believed it impossible, to achieve his goal today. He wrote on several pieces of paper as the tears spilled down the edges of his arms, practicing his cursive, his print; he made periods into spirals. “Davy rules the world. Davy Cohen. Daaaaavy.” Usually after The Shadow he would run to the bathroom mirror to see how large his pupils had expanded. His goal was for them to increase to the size of his irises, so that he could tell the neighbor boys that sometimes the color of his eyes was black. He could prove it to them by show22 | COA
ing them; his best friend Jules usually arrived exactly two minutes after The Shadow ended so they could discuss the events of the show together—this allowed his pupils very little time to shrink. He already knew he could get a dollar from each boy. He knew their weakness because it was his weakness: love for all things weird. But today, only half-way through The Shadow, Davy’s will weakened and his doubts began to spread with the shadows in the room. He knew the pupil experiment would never really work, that he could never make his irises that black. There could never be enough shadows, even in Utica. And he could never have enough strength to leave his eyelids apart for longer than fifty-two seconds, not only because of the tears, but also because he was afraid mosquitoes might descend upon them, even in winter. And so he would try to throw the thoughts of black irises from his mind to brace himself against possible disappointment. Directly above the radio, a light switch popped into appearance. Should he turn it on? But still…. Krejci flicked on the light. “Turn off the radio.” The old man pulled his seven-year-old son onto the sofa by his armpits. “It is time for lessons. Do you know what your last name means?” Davy stared at his father like a stranger, rubbing the hairs of his eyebrows although he knew they were probably straight. The abruptness of the moment had made him awkward. When he felt his eyebrows, a few hairs fell out, which made him feel strangely lonely. His father worked so hard at the tailor shop that they met only during dinnertime. Today he was home early. “No, Krejci,” Davy responded. Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of men? The cackle ran through the boy’s mind with an exciting thrill; despite the awkwardness, he grinned. The Shadow knows. “Davy. Call me Daddy.” The old man pulled a mug to his lips and squinted. Davy tilted his head into his father’s neck and inhaled the smell of coffee. The old man thumped the mug onto the glass table over a cardboard coaster and continued his speech. “Cohen means priest. Our family is of the priests of Levi.” Davy had learned this definition from Hebrew school, but now recognized today to be the day that his father would to teach him what it truly meant. “We are the chosen ones.” The Shadow knows. His pupils were surely the normal size by now. His mind would not focus. The radio show hadn’t even ended. Who knows?
“David.” “Chosen whats?” “People.” “By who?” “By God.” “For what?” “For love.” “Oh.” Davy yawned, not out of nonchalance, but out of a strange fear of his father that inspired clumsiness in all his body parts, including his mouth. He watched the steam ripple from the coffee mug. Krejci took the yawn as a sign of nonchalance. He pressed harder. “You must practice for two hours each day after school. Be a good boy.” The old man matched dry lips to dry paper with a kiss and passed his old prayer book to his young son. “You read English. Now read Hebrew.” “Yes, Krejci.” “It is God who brought me to America.” Krejci closed his eyes for an extended blink, soaking in the loneliness of a father whose child does not understand him. He sighed and sweetened his tone. “I will teach you. Coffee?”
neighbor boys, especially Jules whose calls from the front door were often suppressed by Bene: “Julesy, Davy’s practicing. Why don’t you practice, Julesy? Never mind. Now go. Be a good boy.” Sometimes she would give him a slice of cantaloupe. In the following days, Davy began to fear that Jules came only for the cantaloupe. For several nights, to relieve the fear of the cracking friendship and the anxiety of missing boyhood adventures, Davy escaped through the window as he had in the past to climb a tree with Julesy and the boys, ride down the hill inside a tire, scale the bottom of the water tower, or taste the stem of a pipe that Jules had found behind the synagogue. At first the thrill of adventure overrode the guilt of deceit, but soon the guilt of deceit overrode the thrill of adventure and eventually Jules became replaced as best friend by Krejci; and the old night visits faded into a single window apology in which a yo-yo was thrown down toward Jules with a note attached: “sorry” scrawled on one side and “Jules rules the world” printed carefully on the other.
Day after day, father and son knelt head to head, staring at the same book, at the same page, lips moving around the same “fire” detail from “earth/air/fire/water” by George Benington ’82 and Diane Wiencke, consonants, troupigment inkjet prints, oil, encaustic, mixed media book, 2009. bling out the same possible vowels, both wearing homemade yarmulkes. Some days they Davy closed his teeth around a fingernail. “No.” touched each other’s hands to keep from touching the pages in their excitement, in case the oil from their skin “You are tired. Don’t bite your fingers. Drink.” would scar God’s significance. This kind of consideration Davy pressed the ceramic lip to his mouth, tasted the bitwas usually reserved for the Torah, but Krejci considered ter liquid, and flinched. his prayer book just as sacred. Sometimes, under the pretense of protecting the book, they held hands, which “Kiss it.” made Krejci’s heart swell. The little boy would push the “Okay.” Davy wiped the dribble of coffee from his lips old man’s veins while stumbling in prayer, imagining a before inhaling the smell of crinkled paper and aged control over the flow of his father’s blood, curious about leather. He placed the book to his mouth. the tiny balloons that symbolized the old man’s existence: “We begin.” God’s balloons. God’s chosen balloons. And so it happened that at the age of seven, Davy CoAfter the first three weeks of lessons, their intimacy inhen, who took most things literally, began Hebrew lescreased when the two took to never speaking anything to sons with his overworked father. The first few weeks his each other but Hebrew. Since the little boy knew only a mind traveled to The Shadow, the size of his pupils, the few prayers, their code grew even more codified, someCOA | 23
thing even Bene could not understand: the blessing over wine came to mean, “Let’s study now;” the blessing over bread meant, “Let’s take a bathroom break,” and the first few lines of the joyful song, Ein Keloheinu אין כאלהינוcame to mean, “I love you, Krejci;” Adon Olam אדוֹן עֹולםmeant, “I love you, too.” By together recognizing God as their Lord—Krejci for the second time and Davy for the first— they seemed to recognize God as each other. Their first languages differed, the father’s Hungarian and the lucky son’s English, and so their previous detachment toward each other’s lives seemed now obviously excused by a third language’s inability to reach a first language. How could a Hungarian-rooted man understand an American boy? But their second languages matched: the gift that God had chosen for the chosen ones. Over the next few years, Krejci began to revert to long hours at the tailor shop, trusting in Davy’s religious zeal and patriarchal love. At the age of seven, Davy had memorized The Lord’s Prayer in Hebrew, and recited it often. He also memorized many of the Psalms, his favorite being Number 29: “Attribute to the Lord all glory and power.” At this age, Davy’s signature outfit consisted of a tallis, yarmulke, jeans and brown sneakers. At eight, he maintained the previous outfit, but had graduated to black slacks and shiny dress shoes that Krejci had proudly created for him from an old pair of his own shoes. It was at this age that Davy’s favorite lyrical prayer from the previous year, Ein Keloheinu אין כאלהינו was replaced with his repetitive and sober recitation of Kol Nidre כל נדרי, a prayer recited in the synagogue at the beginning of the evening service on Yom Kippur כיפור יום, the Day of Atonement. It is written in Aramaic, not Hebrew and so that is how Davy intoned it. At the age of nine, Davy refused to leave the house without Krejci’s old prayer book and never walked home from school without first visiting the synagogue to consult with the rabbi. Was he a good Jew? Was he devout? Most importantly: Was he orthodox? Of course his parents were, but still…. The rabbi would respond with a smile, but would add another task that would, as Davy saw it, bring him further along in his quest to become the most chosen of the chosen ones. At ten, Davy began to miss school. He could be found sitting on a hard bench, unblinkingly staring at the locked doors that protected the Torah, tears falling onto his wrists. Childishly, he supposed that if he kept his eyes open long enough, God would pop into appearance like the images in the dark room during those late afternoons listening to The Shadow. When Krejci was interrupted from precious hours of work at the tailor shop by Davy’s annoyed school principal, only to find the boy crying in the synagogue, he immediately broke their language pact. He grabbed Davy’s wrist, yanked him from the bench. “David,” he whined. Together they marched from the sacred room of worship 24 | COA
and into the rabbi’s office. The two old men stared at each other as tears spilled from Davy’s down-tilted head. “Look at him,” Krejci accused the rabbi. “Are you his father?” “But tears don’t always come from sadness,” Davy protested. “What are these?” screeched Krejci, oblivious to Davy’s comment and attempting to pull the tears as evidence from the child’s face. The rabbi stared, horrified. “Krejci, I thought the boy came by your permission.” Krejci moved his gaze to Davy, wisps of hair rising in distress from the edges of his yarmulke. “Davy, I am your father.” “Yes, Daddy.” On the ride home Krejci said, “Davy, you are an emotional boy. We must help you with that.” Davy’s prescription for obsessive thoughts by Dr. Marshall, the boy’s lifelong physician, was three laps around Bleecker Street, four if the thoughts did not ease from three. The boy had too much energy. On the day of Davy’s prescription, Dr. Marshall comforted Krejci and Bene: “Not to worry,” he smiled. “It’s his age, you know.” It was on this day, after Dr. Marshall took his hat and coat to leave, pressing a cigarette between his lips to relieve his own distress as soon as the screen door slammed, that father and son communicated something clearly other than Hebrew. Davy looked up at his father and timidly asked him for two things: the first was a request to change his name and the second was to become something other than a Jew. Old Krejci pressed his fingers to his eyebrows and sighed. “What do you want?” “I want to become the fastest runner in the state of New York.”
Marni Berger grew up in Oxford, Ohio and attended the wonderful McGuffey Foundation School where, in second grade, she became obsessed with writing. For her college years, she studied poetry, fiction and nonfiction at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina and College of the Atlantic. She now lives in New York City and is working on an MFA in nonfiction writing at Columbia University’s School of the Arts. Berger began her multi-generational novel Almost Like Flying in Bill Carpenter’s Starting Your Novel class and and completed it in subsequent tutorials, as well as in a residency with Karen Waldron.
Feed the World Sustainable Farming and Food Systems at COA and Around the World By Heather Albert-Knopp ’99, Food Systems Administrator It’s ten years now since I graduated from COA. During that time I’ve had the good fortune to work in the dynamic and expansive field of farming and food systems. I’ve organized campaigns against genetic engineering in agriculture, started a regional farm-to-school program, labored on farms and worked with food pantries. Everywhere this work takes me, I find human ecologists. In the world of food systems, COA folks are plowing a long, deep furrow: we run farms, farm stands and farmers’ markets; we develop innovative compost systems; we work to ensure that all people have access to wholesome food; we preserve working farmland and working waterfronts; we lobby and create policy; we organize fishermen and farmers; we teach kids about where food comes from; we are researchers; we develop innovative food businesses; we help new farmers hit the ground running; we shine a light on holistic nutrition; we are restaurateurs and run inspiring food service programs; we build local and international collaborations. But what is a food system? To wrap your head around the concept and why it might be a natural fit for human ecologists, first imagine yourself standing in a farm field—maybe it’s a field of grass-fed beef in Vermont, or salad greens in California, wheat in North Dakota, corn in Iowa, or a small milpa on Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. (Or perhaps you’re standing on a coffee plantation, a groundfish boat off the Maine coast, in a dairy barn, or even a confinement hog operation—wow, we get our food from so many sources!) Take a step back from that field or barn or boat, and try to imagine the markets, processes, policies, ecological systems, cultural and social forces that help to determine not only what is grown there, but ultimately where that food goes. Who works this land, how did she* come to be here and is she able to support herself as a farmer? What prices will she get for her crops this year, how are those prices determined, and will they begin to bring her out of debt? Is the wheat ground into flour at the mill down the road and baked into a loaf at the local bakery, or is it exported to Egypt or Japan? Will the corn be hand made into tortillas, or transformed into the corn syrup that is helping to fuel our national obesity epidemic, or will it feed cows in a confined animal feeding operation and return to the atmosphere in the form of methane gas, contributing to global climate change? And how did all that food get from wherever it came from, across skies, seas and land, to end up in the grocery store and ultimately on your dinner plate? How much of our current food system is sustainable? More important, what would it take for it all to be sustainable? This is not just a question of whether organic farms yield as much per acre as conventional farms (they can, and do); it is also a question of whether food distribution systems can be made to benefit all, regardless of income; whether small-scale growers can regain access to land and a viable market share; whether local, national and global policies can support the little guys. And perhaps the question we should be asking of ourselves as citizens and of people in positions of power is: How can we afford not to have sustainable farms and food systems? We’re addicted to cheap food—at what cost to our health, our communities and our future? This edition of COA highlights some of the many COA alumni and students who are growing a more sustainable food system from the ground up. Here’s to a bountiful harvest! Sustainable Food Systems Administrator Heather Albert-Knopp ’99 is helping COA launch its Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems program. She organized the first annual Food for Thought, Time for Action conference and is assisting with the burgeoning Trans-Atlantic Partnership with the Organic Research Centre, Elm Farm in the United Kingdom and the University of Kassel’s Faculty of Organic Agricultural Sciences in Germany. *Given our choice of pronouns, we are using “she” because women produce between 60 and 80 percent of the food in most developing countries. Photo by Matt McInnis ’09.
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A photo essay of four alumni-owned Maine farms By Matt McInnis ’09
Carding Brook Farm Location: Brooklin, Maine Owners: Jennifer Schroth ’84 and Jonathan Ellsworth ’87 Years operating this farm: 19 Production: Mixed vegetables and salad greens, with a farm-based farm stand and greens sold to regional restaurants. Acres in vegetables: 3 Biggest struggle: The work is never done! There is always more to do and a better way to do it and more money is always needed.
Jennifer Schroth, sons Walker and Nolan and John Ellsworth with their dog Poppy. Above: John Ellsworth. Inset: Walker Ellsworth.
Greatest joy: Being on the coast of Maine, working outside. Success: Keeping our land in the family for fifty years and three generations. Do you see your work in a global perspective? Definitely. We stumbled upon farming in the 1980s, when it was not a cool thing to do; everyone was into business. Then farmer’s markets got to be hot and people got into food and farming meant something to other people as well. People wanted to come here—that was one reason we started the farm stand. We’ve had a lot of school kids come; [COA anthropologist] Elmer Beal brings a class here every year. Kids don’t get a chance to go to farms, even Maine kids. 26 | COA
Thirty Acre Farm Location: Whitefield, Maine Owner: Jane (Herndon) Frost ’06 Years operating this farm: 5 Production: A little bit of everything. We bought land that was mostly wooded, so we started out doing a lot of pigs—organic pork; pigs will root out the rocks and twigs; and goats—to chew down the vegetation. We sell mixed vegetables and fermented foods: sauerkraut, kimchee, ginger carrots, and ruby kraut with red cabbage. Acres in vegetables: 3 Biggest struggle: It’s always changing. Right now, having the infrastructure. We’re lacking buildings and machinery and trying to pay for everything we need has been a big struggle. Greatest Joy: I just love having the two-year-old go out and help, having our family right there, seeing everything growing and making everything look good. Successes: Fermented foods. We can never seem to make enough to keep up with orders. Do you see this work in a global perspective? Originally, yes, but now it’s so intense, I just try to focus on what needs to be done, day by day.
Right: Jane and Simon Frost stand in a cabbage patch with sons Otis (with fiddle) and Will and their dog Isi. Below, Jane and Will watch their pigs nurse.
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Mandala Farm Location: Gouldsboro, Maine Owners: Eugenio Bertin ’97 and Sarah Faull ’98 Years in farming: 10; 8 on Mandala Farm Production: Vegetables, flowers, berries, meat birds, laying hens, goats, one dairy cow, beef cattle, pork. Acres in vegetables: 3.5 Why farming? I was heading toward land planning or law; Sarah was doing research at Harvard. We came to Maine to work at H.O.M.E. Co-op for two weeks and stayed two years. We thought it was our responsibility to effect change; being at H.O.M.E. changed our perspective. We wanted to begin with stewardship of the land. Biggest struggle: The weather. Economics. Greatest joys: Nurturing and tending to the animals, seeing things grow—that magic and wonder. And seeing how people grow when they’re exposed to what we do. Is farming a mission? If it were, we’d have given up by now. It’s our life’s work to try to improve the soil and provide food for the local community, to be available to our neighbor for a dozen eggs or a scoop of manure.
Left: Genio Bertin and Sarah Faull. Below: Farmhand Saras Yerlig ’11 picks heirloom tomatoes.
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Stoneset Farm Location: Brooklin, Maine Owner: Clara (Poland) Rutenbeck ’01 Years operating this farm: 10 Production: Organic wild blueberries. We harvested and sold 12,000 pounds of blueberries this year and Above: Nathan and Clara Rutenbeck with daughters Margaret and Eleanor in front of their barn. Top: Farmhands sort and package blueberries. grew veggies for ourselves and the market. In the past we’ve raised all sorts of animals and vegetables; while we’re working ourselves back up to that, we’re taking a step back to catch our breath and analyze what has and hasn’t been working. Acres: 30 in blueberries, half-acre in vegetables Why farming: I’ve always wanted to be a farmer. Mostly, I’m too stubborn to work a regular job. Biggest struggle: Money. Charging what the food is worth and balancing that with the belief that good food should be a human right. Greatest joys: My family. Feeding people. Taking care of a piece of land that will be in our family in perpetuity—being part of this landscape. Do you see this work in a global perspective? I see farming in a global perspective. I have great hope that the good work small farmers do will soon be recognized around the world.
Matt McInnis ’09 is an independent photographer freelancing for The New York Times. For more images and contact information, visit www.MattMcInnis.com. COA | 29
Organics for the Masses Nell Newman ’87 By Donna Gold
“Oh dear, my husband’s come in—I have to get off to feed forests she’d roam with her dogs, along with the streams Winnie,” Newman says, sounding just a bit distracted and she fished. Formal schooling was not so successful. As the discomfited. But she doesn’t get off, not just yet. daughter of actors Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, Newman’s education was peripatetic. She’d be in Holly“You see,” she says as a door squeaks behind her, “we have wood one year and back at the family home in Connectithis very old chicken, and when she molts, she stops eating cut the next. Knowing she’d be there only briefly, Newman and drinking. She’s a white leghorn named Winnie and leg- says that her teachers let her slide. By the time she dropped horns aren’t selected for much other than egg production— out of high school she had been at a dozen schools. Eventuit’s very unnerving and a miracle she’s made it this far. In ally, she got a GED at New York University. Then she tried the old days you would just let your chicken die. We tube out college: University of Bridgeport, Fairfield University, feed her, but it takes the two of us.” I know it’s my turn to Boise State, Hampshire College. They were either too big speak, but I’m too busy trying to imagine tube feeding a or too unguided. squirming chicken. Newman fills in the silence, “My friends who COA at the time was not just are farmers look at me askance small, it was tiny. Newman transand say, ‘You do what!?’ Like ferred to COA in 1983, just after I’m completely out of my mind. a fire demolished the old Kaelber But I like to take care of my aniHall which had been the central mals.” As the footsteps in the administrative and classroom background grow louder, Newbuilding. Enrollment had plumman rushes off the phone, prommeted. For Newman, this was ising to call again. not a problem. COA was “small and manageable.” Twenty minutes later, she’s back, laughing that her friends also tell “COA was probably the only her they want to be reincarnated school I could have graduated as one of her chickens. Birds from,” she says. “I got such perhave always been important to Newman, though mostly the sonalized attention to help me crawl through things I had birds she focused on were the kind that view chickens as, no background in. I would have been lost at a big school; I well, bird food. “When I was seven years old, I discovered needed more guidance. Butch Rommel and Bill Drury were that the peregrine falcon was going extinct due to DDT.” my mentors, along with [faculty member in writing] Anne She went on to care for falcons, ferrets, dogs and other ani- Kozak, who taught me how to write, bless her soul. They mals, eventually becoming a falconer. Her most important were incredible professors. Butch was difficult, a taskmasschooling as a child seems to have been the Connecticut ter, but he focused 110 percent. His office hours were at 30 | COA
All photos by Nikki Brooks Photography.
Nell Newman, president of the nation’s most well-known and popular organic food company, Newman’s Own® Organics: The Second Generation®, still sounds like the quintessential College of the Atlantic student. Twenty-two years after graduation, she’s funny, energetic, hugely enthusiastic—and very much an individual. It’s summer, and we are speaking coast-to-coast on the phone, just about to get down to the serious topics of organic food and socially responsible business—but having too great a time over stories about COA friends, especially John Long ’86, whom Newman describes as “utterly brilliant” (and the class clown—he’s now a professor of animal physiology at Vassar), Eddie Monat ’88 (a.k.a Diver Ed), as well as various mentors and professors, including former biology faculty members Sentiel “Butch” Rommel and the late Bill Drury. Then a bit of a racket crops up in the background and Newman stops the conversation.
Worms, Germs and Sperms: Celebrating Our Shared Past and Common Future Commencement speech from Steven K. Katona, former COA president, June 6, 2009 Thank you everyone, and my special thanks to the class of 2009 for inviting me to speak. I hope you know how deeply Susie and I appreciate your invitation. I’m thrilled to be here today, to see the college thriving and to help celebrate the class of 2009. I have a wonderful story to tell, and hope I do it as well as it deserves and as well as the degree candidates told their stories during the presentation of senior projects yesterday. Maverick cells Five months after I retired from the college in 2006, I was diagnosed with leukemia. A genetic mutation in one of my immune system’s B-cells had ruined its control system, allowing it to reproduce endlessly and populate my immune system with white blood cells that didn’t do their jobs as well as normal cells and also were more liable to future mutations. What was I to think of these maverick cells? I didn’t hate them. How could I? They were genetically identical to the rest of me, except for one mutation. But they weren’t lovable either, since their selfishness threatened an early end to my days. So they had to go, and chemotherapy here at Mt. Desert Island Hospital during the first half of 2007 appeared to accomplish that. Nevertheless, my physicians at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston thought that any cells missed by the chemotherapy would cause further trouble in several years and they suggested that the only chance for real cure was a stem cell transplant, a procedure itself not without risk. Susie and I elected to roll those dice, and the search began for a perfect donor—someone whose seven key genes of the major histocompatability complex were identical to mine. Those genes make proteins displayed on the surfaces of all your cells that identify them as part of ‘self.’ T-cells of the immune system will attack and kill any cells whose surfaces display ‘nonself’ proteins, so the better the match, the higher the likelihood that the donee won’t reject the transplant and the lower the likelihood that T-cells produced by the donor’s stem cells will attack the donee.
The odds of finding a perfectly matched donor are about one in one hundred thousand—some five thousand times worse than the twenty-to-one odds against the worst horse in today’s Belmont Stakes winning the race, but about two hundred times better than for winning the Maine state lottery. Of the six million people listed in the national registry of bone marrow and stem cell donors, twenty-two were perfect matches for me, but twenty-one couldn’t be found or couldn’t donate. The remaining person, a 59-year-old woman, agreed to be a donor. Transplants are highly choreographed. On my end, following four days of chemotherapy to kill the stem cells that made my blood and immune system, at 7 pm on January 30, 2008, a courier brought to my room at Brigham and Women’s Hospital a plastic bag filled with what looked like raspberry sorbet. By hour’s end, my donor’s cheerfully-colored stem cells had flowed by catheter into me, and my life as a chimera had begun. I can’t begin to thank all the people who helped Susie and me through the subsequent months of masks and gloves, avoidance of germs, dirt, sun, plants, animals and public places. But all has worked out happily. I feel great and am probably cured, though I’ll be on medications for a long time to suppress my new immune system from attacking the rest of me as ‘nonself.’ Only after a year passes does the hospital facilitate communication between donor and donee, and only if both parties want to make contact. We did. My donor told me that she gave a blood sample fifteen years ago during a donor drive for a member of her synagogue who was ill, but she wasn’t a match. Fourteen years later, the registry called her on my beLeft: B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia; Below: Healthy white blood cells seen under a microscope, photo by Bob J. Galindo.
half, and a good thing, too, as she was very near the 60-year age limit for donors. So during the four days while my stem cells were being killed, she received daily shots to stimulate her stem cell production, and then gave blood from which stem cells were harvested in a continuous flow process during two four-hour sessions. She reported no pain besides a mild rib ache caused by bone marrow stimulation from the shots. On May 13, 2009 Susie and I travelled to New York to meet her and attend services at her synagogue, where the rabbi introduced me to the congregation, acknowledged my donor’s contribution to keeping me alive, and quoted from the Talmud that he who saves a single life saves the entire world. President Obama quoted from the Koran during his speech in Cairo on Wednesday, that whoever saves a person it is as if he has saved all mankind. I don’t think I’m worth the accounting given in either scripture, but I’m glad to be saved anyway. Capping all was the revelation that my donor’s name is Susan Rose Newman. My wife, with whom I’ve shared the past forty-five years, is Susan. My mother was Rose. And my donor has made me a new man. I thank her for all she did. Her gift enabled me to be here today and helped inspire this talk. Our enchantment with opposites Four years ago at your convocation, on September 7, 2005, I welcomed the class of 2009 with a talk about the rhythms of our lives, finishing with the thought that our human lives are part of a giant chorus sung by countless singers, a huge, pulsing, polyrhythmic symphony connecting everything— the electromagnetic vibrations of atoms and photons, the precession of Earth’s axis, the slosh of tides and pounding of storm waves, the swoosh of charged particles down earth’s magnetic lines of force, the dance of the northern lights, the ponderous movements of crustal plates, the advance and retreat of glaciers and the more delicate rhythms of life: the calls of frogs and crickets, the flash rates of fireflies, the spawning of corals, the transoceanic calls of blue whales, the awful and wonderful noise of our own cultures… and the hope that by coming to know ourselves and some of our fellow choristers better we could improve the quality of our lines in this Earthsong. Today, I’ll try to complete that talk, first highlighting a major obstacle frustrating that hope and then suggesting a better way to get where we need to go. The obstacle stems from our enchantment with opposites. Maybe our bilateral symmetry is to blame, defining left and right, front and back, but leaving us mainly adjectives to describe things in between. Whatever the reason, we like to po-
larize things like mass and energy, wave and particle, human and non-human, mind and body, self and non-self, each and othPurkinje neurons: These cells are some of the er, good and largest neurons in the human brain. In humans, Purkinje cells are affected in a variety of bad, male and diseases ranging from toxic exposure (alcohol, lithium), to autoimmune diseases and to genetic female, black mutations (spinocerebellar ataxias, autism) and and white, neurodegenerative diseases that are not thought strong and to have a known genetic basis (cerebellar type of multiple system atrophy, sporadic ataxias). weak, and so Image courtesy of Annie Cavanagh, Wellcome on. In fact, Images. few things are entirely one or the other, and having some of both is a pretty good place to be. I want to focus on the ‘self–nonself’ continuum that we refer to more commonly as ‘each’ and ‘other.’ Those words— ‘each’ and ‘other’—contain a tension that both nourishes and confounds nearly every aspect of our lives. Indeed the meaning of human ecology is embedded in those two words and their implicit relationships. Ancient cooperation We’re here thanks to an ancient and strikingly creative resolution of the ‘each-other’ problem. Sometime between two billion and three and a half billion years ago a large, primitive bacterial cell engulfed a smaller type of bacteria as food. Or perhaps the smaller species had invaded the larger one as a parasite. Maybe that predation or parasitism had been going on for millions of years, but on this occasion the smaller cell stayed alive inside the larger one, probably because it happened to perform a useful function, such as metabolizing a waste product or generating oxygen, reproducing in synchrony with its host. Over time the two coevolved, became increasingly mutually dependent and eventually could not live apart. They had shed their ‘each–other’ distinction, gaining increased success by living together as one organism, though both retained their own DNA and continued to reproduce in synchrony. It probably took a series of colonizations by different bacteria to make the complex nucleated cells that form every plant, animal and fungus that has ever lived, including us. The ancient colonizers are still with us as organelles inside all our cells: mitochondria that provide chemical power
for all cell processes; chloroplasts that use sunlight to make the carbohydrates that power nearly all the food webs in the biosphere and also produce the oxygen we breathe; centrioles, which form the filamentous skeletons of cells and the spindle that transports chromosomes during cell division, thereby driving sexual recombination and genome diversity. In any case, our earliest singlecelled common ancestors, dumb as they were, quickly learned the advantages that come with taking care of both ‘each and other.’ That ancient cooperation underlies everything we see today. Now, billions of years later, we are still constantly engaged in each– other decisions at every level, starting from conception where each sperm competed against others to fertilize the egg. Yet under some conditions sperm seem to cooperate physiologically or behaviorally to increase the efficiency of fertilization or out-compete rival males. For example, sperms of the promiscuous European wood mouse hook together in little trains of five to one hundred sperms that swim faster than a single sperm could, probably to outrace sperms of rival males. Once conception occurs, the lucky sperm immediately begins cooperating with the egg, first by shedding its tail, which contains all its mitochondria, thereby ceding descent of all the embryo’s mitochondria to the maternal line. Once the sperm’s head penetrates the egg’s nucleus, the ‘each–other’ distinction between the two gametes dissolves; their separate sets of chromosomes and the genes they carry become part of an organized, collaborative, self-regulating genome, in our case a web of perhaps thirty thousand genes and a large, but still unknown number of control regions. But ‘each–other’ battles can still occur at the genetic level, for example if a mutation destroys a gene’s control region allowing that cell line to grow at the expense of other cells and the body as a whole, as happened in me. We call that condition ‘cancer.’ ‘Each–other’ mistakes at this level cause about two hundred different types of cancer in humans. Cellular decisionmaking At a slightly larger scale, the B-cells and T-cells of our immune system ceaselessly patrol our tissues to destroy any virus, microbe or chemical recognized as ‘other.’ But immune cells make mistakes, too, sometimes attacking our own tis-
English wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus)
sues in one of the one hundred and forty or so autoimmune diseases that have been described. The three trillion cells of our nervous system are also busy with ‘each–other’ decisions. Bathed at every moment with information from every sense, our neurons compete and negotiate about what to notice and store, what associations to attach, what feelings or memories to inhibit and what to retrieve. Each helps form detailed tableaux of information, such that a sound, a breath of wind, a scent, or the taste of a petite madeleine dunked in tea might suddenly recreate a whole scene—or not. If certain neuronal pathways grow dominant, obsession, compulsion, tics or other deviations from harmonious nervous integration may ensue. Other neurons effectively blur the distinction between each and other in a remarkable way. Mirror neurons are nerves that fire not only when we move, but also when we observe other people performing a movement. By mimicking the nervous activity ongoing in others, mirror neurons apparently help us imitate, learn and perfect the observed Pyramidal neurons actions. Mirror neurons probably forming a network also stimulate the empathy we feel in the brain. Image courtesy of Dr. when we see people or animals in Jonathan Clarke, distress, essentially recreating their Wellcome Images. emotional state within us. Other social facilitation that apparently does not involve mirror neurons may also merge feelings of each and other. The
als who cooperated over other less-cooperative groups. The idea went nowhere until the 1970s and ’80s when studies of social insects, especially ants and bees, as well as theoThe ‘each–other’ story gets even more interesting when orretical advances in game theory, led the way to showing ganisms interact. Commencement seemed like a good time how important cooperation is throughout the animal, funto discuss this thanks to the similarity between the words gal, plant and microbial kingdoms, and also began to reveal ‘commencement’ and ‘commensal.’ Both share the Latin some of its genetic, physiologic and behavioral bases. We root com- ‘together,’ but our ceremony derives from L. colearned that cooperation—whether unconsciously mediated minitiare ‘to initiate,’ and was originally for initiating priests; by chemical communication or consciously nurtured—unwhereas commensal, which literally means ‘eating at the derlies countless interactions that enable life as we know same table,’ derives from the Latin word for table, mensa. it to exist. Mutualism between nitrogen-fixing bacteria and Commencements legumes powers have so far only many of our food included our specrops—peas, cies, but combeans, peanuts, mensalism typilentils, carob and cally involves two many others— or more species, as well as plants for example barcrucial to ecosysnacles that grow tem function, enon whales, remohancing soil ferras that hitchhike tility at the same on sharks and eat time. We’ve been particles dropped amazed to learn from the sharks’ that 90 percent of meals, or clownall plants obtain fish like Nemo their mineral nugaining protection trients from symby living among biotic relationa sea anemone’s ships with soil venomous tentafungi. Ninety percles. In commencent also depend sal relationships Nurse shark with remora close to gills in Palau. Photo by David Burdick, courtesy of on the insects and NOAA’s Coral Kingdom Collection. one organism mammals that benefits and the have coevolved other is neither significantly benefitted nor harmed. You to pollinate them. Bacteria living in the intestines of earthmight think of it as tolerance or even ecological welfare. worms digest cellulose in the fragments of dead plants that the worms ingest, nourishing themselves, the worms and Evolutionary symbiosis the soil that receives their rich castings. In the ocean, tropiOver time, many relationships that likely began as commencal coral reefs—our planet’s most biodiverse ecosystems— sal—or possibly predatory or parasitic—have evolved to bewould not exist without nourishment from their endosymcome more mutually beneficial. Our growing awareness of biotic algae. that trend sheds refreshing light on the ‘each–other’ relationship, which Western society has usually interpreted as comSo cooperation is key, and life slowly works toward achievpetitive. Thus competition between individuals was Daring it. Given time, even pathogens evolve to be less harmful win’s mechanism for evolution through natural selection— to their hosts, working their way toward more commensal the survival of the fittest. Even though Darwin included fasor even mutually beneficial relationships. The communities cinating examples of coevolution, the competitive paradigm of bacteria, fungi and ciliate protozoans that digest cellulose remained essentially unchallenged until some scientists in in the rumens or intestines of cows, horses and every other the 1950s and ’60s began to ask whether evolution might animal that eats shoots and leaves likely made that journey, also work at the group level by favoring groups of individuas did the bacteria that produce Vitamin K in our intestines. contagiousness of yawning and the tired feeling that accompanies it is a familiar example.
The process is at work in me, too, as my new immune system and the rest of my tissues get over their ‘each–other’ hangups and hopefully learn to play together as nicely as our ancient bacterial ancestors did several billion years ago. When individuals interact, attention to both ‘each’ and ‘other’ can also accelerate the evolution of intelligence and consciousness. Any animal smart enough to recognize the individuals it frequently encounters, and to remember how they behave, has the potential to evolve mutualistic behavior based on reciprocal altruism—even when no genetic relationship exists. Encouragement of mutually beneficial (and perhaps physically enjoyable) acts enabled cleaning symbioses to evolve between different species of fish, or between birds and turtles, iguanas, land tortoises, crocodiles and some mammals. Cleaners glean parasites from their clients; and clients presumably recognize and shun cleaners who cheat by eating scales, tearing off skin or drinking blood. Reciprocal altruism occurs in mammals, too, especially in bats, cetaceans, and primates. Who would have predicted that male vampire bats would be exemplars of
Long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas)
kindness, regurgitating blood to feed nearby, genetically unrelated males, with good expectation that another day those males will feed them when they are hungry? Whales, dolphins and primates not only demonstrate such direct reciprocity, but also indirect reciprocity, in which helpful acts are repaid not just by the direct recipient, but also by others. Frequent repetition of such behaviors strengthens the webs of reciprocity that bind these societies together to the point that pilot whales, white-sided dolphins, sperm whales and others routinely put themselves in harm’s way to assist schoolmates in difficulty, including genetically unrelated individuals. Reciprocity is so strong in these species that they often extend help across species lines, including to humans in distress. Of course the continuing dichotomy between ‘each’ and ‘other’ also ensures that the mental development supporting reciprocity has a darker side, stimulating increasingly sophis-
ticated ways to favor self over others. We and our primate relatives are astonishingly good at cheating and concealing our deceptions even from ourselves. We are also skilled at detecting and remembering cheating in others—you might even say too skilled, as we nurse grudges, prejudices, slights and offenses so long that we encumber many generations in antipathies and even blood feuds. So for us as for all mammals, genetic relatedness and reciprocity are the two factors that have always been central to social organization, and both have fostered ‘eaches’ and ‘others’ of varying scale: nuclear family, extended family, matriarchy, patriarchy and tribe for kinship; gender, cohort, school, community, race, religion, class, caste and dozens of others for reciprocity. Both organize our personal behavior and that of our societies in powerful ways, involving us in numerous webs of mutual obligation and expectation, binding us together in some cases, while separating us in others. Kinships But a third factor offers nearly unlimited power to create and extend meaningful relationships between people of all kinds. In 1968, beautiful color photos of Earth taken from space united people everywhere by showing our shared home in its entirety for the first time. Those photos and Rachel Carson’s writings gave birth to the environmental movement, and we’ve spent the following four decades studying our planet in ever greater detail. We still don’t know how many species live on earth—estimates range from five million to one hundred million—but since only two million have been described scientifically so far, it’s no surprise that new discoveries abound wherever we look closely: new species, genera, families and sometimes higher orders of life; complex communities of organisms living their entire lives hundreds of feet up in the canopy of redwood trees or thousands of feet under the sea where metallic, sulfurous brines spurt from Earth’s mantle into the ocean. We find organisms so bizarre that they might have sprung from pages written by Frank Herbert or William Kotzwinkle: luminescent vampire squids, sea squirts that trap fish, more than six hundred plants that attract and trap prey, giant tube worms with no mouth, digestive system or anus whose bright red hemoglobin- Adult Riftia pachyptila tube worms in situ. filled plumes ab- Image courtesy of Monika Bright.
sorb hydrogen sulfide so that the billions of bacteria packed in their tissues can gain energy by oxidizing it to crystals of elemental sulfur while releasing carbon compounds to nourish the worms. But despite such enormous diversity, we’ve discovered the remarkable genetic kinship we share not just with chimpanzees, our closest relatives with whom we share some 98 percent of our genes, but with all of this remarkable life. It is startling. Half of the metabolic enzymes found in the bacterium E. coli are present in all living organisms including us. The genes that regulate patterns of body development and segmentation are identical in fruit flies, mice and people, and probably descended unchanged from our common ancestors in Precambrian seas 590 million years E. coli bacteria ago or more. What’s more, our relatives have a lot of practical things to teach us if we listen and look carefully. We’ve learned from bats how to echolocate; from barnacles and mussels how to make better glues for surgery, dentistry and industry; from cockleburs how to make Velcro; from desert beetles how to collect water from fog more efficiently; from sharks how to make swimsuits that win Olympic medals; from humpback whale flippers how to build more efficient blades for wind turbines, and that’s just the short list. I can attest to the practical benefits of biodiversity as the two immunosuppressant medicines keeping me in good health both come from soil organisms, Tacrolimus from the bacterium Streptomyces tsukubaensis, isolated by Japanese scientists from soil in their country, Rapamune from the bacterium Streptomyces hygroscopicus, found in soil on one of the most isolated islands in the world, Rapa Nui (Easter Island). Nature is learning a bit from watching us, too. YouTube is replete with dogs and cats that skateboard, dogs that surf, cats that take care of crows, chimps and gorillas that sign, parrots that talk, elephants that paint, a hippo who tries to save an impala from a crocodile and dolphins who blow and play with bubble rings. What might have been the role of such innovations in our own evolution and where might these novelties lead given enough space, time and relaxation from the everyday demands of survival? We don’t know, but in general all species deserve the time and space to achieve their own biological potential just as we have.
As we begin to understand how some of our fellow species tick, not just physiologically and ecologically, but also how they sense the world, what emotions they have, and what their intellectual life might be, we find still more commonality. We find that feelings such as excitement, anticipation, fear, pain, joy, guilt and something that looks a lot like love appear to be more widespread in the animal kingdom than we previously wished to admit. We don’t yet know how many of our fellow species have enough brainpower and leisure to think in abstract terms about the world and their place in it—though we’re pretty sure some do—but we certainly do it more frequently and deeply than any of our fellow travelers, and with surprising results, too. Travelers drifting in time Coming from a naive past that was largely ethnocentric, anthropocentric and terracentric, we’ve invented ever-more sophisticated instruments for looking outward. It has been humbling. Go count all the sand grains on all the beaches in our world (about 7.5 x 10E17 [quintillion]) and when you get through, the number of stars in the known universe will still be a hundred times larger. Think of it, one hundred stars for every grain of sand. And who knows how many planets circle them, and how many possibilities there are for life of some kind to have evolved. One can only marvel at the scope and grandeur of this celestial play and the likely insignificance of our role. Still, it’s the only role we get, so even if we are merely travelers drifting in time on a droplet from the most recent cosmic sneeze, and even if we never contact any of the other intelligent life forms that must exist somewhere out there, we still want to play our role well and get a good review for our performance, and that will require clearer understanding of our part, a lot more rehearsal time and far-seeing direction. Even if you never felt particularly close to an E. coli, fruit fly or mouse, new insights show how closely each of us is related to every other human alive. If the single origin theory is correct, and genetic evidence Normal male 46,XY human karyotype. strongly supports Photo courtesy of Wessex Reg. Genetit, all human mitoics Centre, Wellcome Images. chondria descend from a single female, a Mitochondrial Eve, who lived about 160,000 years ago; and all men inherited our Y chromosomes from a Y-chromosomal Adam who lived about sixty
thousand years ago. Our human ancestors all lived in Africa until approximately seventy thousand years ago, when about one hundred and fifty people are thought to have migrated from what is now Ethiopia, across the mouth of the Red Sea and onto the Arabian Peninsula. From there they gradually spread to populate the rest of the world. Think of it, the entire human population outside of Africa may originally have descended from one small, restless group of African wanderers, who must have been fairly closely related genetically and culturally. About three thousand generations have passed since then, and most of the human variety that we see today must have evolved during that time. Those three thousand generations haven’t always been a smooth trip. Volcanoes, ice ages, droughts, plagues, lions, crocodiles and a thousand other extrinsic challenges, pests and annoyances challenged us, but altogether we’ve had the chance to grow up in a garden that is beautiful, prolific and for the most part hospitable. Our journey has brought out the worst and best in us. Thanks to advances in technology, health and food production, the human population has increased very quickly during recent centuries and is now on the way to seven billion. Our worldwide activities and effects are so pervasive that the fate of nearly all species, domestic or wild, now depends on us. In essence, we’ve brought nearly every species from a state of wildness to commensalism—feeding at our table through our tolerance for them or whatever habitats we leave for them. But lately we’ve begun to feel the resulting ecological pushback and to realize its seriousness and extent: land-use changes and deforestation at a planetary scale, destruction of natural habitats, rivers that don’t carry water anymore, climate change, ocean acidification, increasing sea level, massive extinction of species, reduction of ecosystem services and the deterioration of human health as pathogens and parasites co-adapted with their wild hosts suddenly spread to a brand new host—us—causing zoonotic diseases such as AIDS, West Nile virus, Dengue fever, Ebola and many other hemorrhagic fevers. As a result of all this, we have become the major source of our own morbidity and mortality, either directly by killing each other through fighting and wars or indirectly by failing to curb mortality attributable to poverty and ignorance, for example infant and maternal mortality, water-borne illness and malaria. Paraphrasing the Talking Heads, “You may ask yourself, well…. how did we get here?” How could we leave such a trail of carnage and destruction in our wake? It was easy. We only did it to others. On the other hand, as advances allowed some of us to devote more time to study, play and experimentation, we’ve
developed a most astonishing range of skills and achievements, pushing the envelope of what it means to be human. We’ve learned to fly, visit the moon and nearby planets, map the universe and see traces of its beginning, manipulate individual photons and atoms, convert matter to energy through nuclear fission, share information and ideas instantly around the world, compute at blinding speed, help the blind to see, repair and transplant genes and organs, map genomes, and even create primitive life itself. This too is the short list. Repairing Earth And now it is time to put skills like these to use in the largest and most-far reaching human project ever intentionally undertaken: repairing Earth. It is time to put the garden back together again. It won’t be mitochondrial Eve’s or Y-chromosomal Adam’s garden, for it will lack the giant ground The Great Auk (Alca impennis) sloth, the moas (ten species of flightless birds endemic to New Zealand, one of which weighed more than five hundred pounds), the dodo, Stellar’s sea cow, the great auk, the passenger pigeon, Tasmanian wolf, Yangtze River dolphin and other species of animals and plants whose extinction at our hands cannot be reversed. But the sooner we start, the more complete the garden will be. The project will require multi-generational dedication, patience and a sense of collaboration with all our human and non-human partners, for they will also have lots of work to do. Among other things we will: •
Reduce the human population down to perhaps three billion people over the coming five to ten generations by benign and voluntary means, through education, empowerment of women and an appropriate system of incentives/disincentives and alternatives to personal reproduction. That number is one-half billion less than existed in 1968 when we first saw Earth from space and when Paul Ehrlich published The Population Bomb.
Reduce our individual and societal impacts on the environment by learning to use resources equitably and sustainably—or not at all.
Replace climate- and habitat-destructive methods of power generation with renewable energy from the sun, wind, waves, geothermal and other sustainable sources.
Retreat from areas that are not needed by our decreasing population, thereby releasing large areas to nature. Areas of land and sea restored to wildness will repay our debt to the natural communities so fundamental to our own evolution and will guarantee a robust future for the ecosystem services on which we all depend.
Of course in the near-term we must also succeed with reforms of health care, education, financial oversight, international debt, arms control and environmental regulation, but failure to achieve the longer-term goals will overwhelm these gains with unthinkable consequences. On the other hand, if we and generations to come focus steadfastly on rebuilding the garden, we will eliminate poverty, grow healthy people and communities, and eliminate war and all the waste it entails, as there will be much more to share and much less to fight about. Competition, self defense and even aggression will always have their roles, but in the end, our individual and collective success will depend on how well we share, whether it be space for nature, individual opportunity, information, energy, water, or stem cells. And the key to sharing is cultivating the sense of relationship and common purpose. We’ve routinely highlighted the differences that create cultural and biological diversity, but now we must also celebrate the interdependency and close relationships between all people and all life on earth. Honoring those relationships is the only path to a beneficial future. Long ago in Vedic times, Indra ruled the gods. From his court in the clouds above Mt. Meru, he defended gods and men against the forces of evil, commanded thunder and storms and brought water to the earth. Atop his court, a marvelous net stretched to infinity in all directions. At each intersection of the net lay a brilliant jewel, and the infinity
105 eden street bar harbor, me 04609 www.coa.edu
of jewels sparkled like stars in the heavens, each jewel catching and reflecting the reflections of all the others— and the reflections of those reflections—merging each and other, past and present, here and there. Indra’s net surely extends to Earth, where all living things Bronze statue of Indra, Vedic are its jewels, endlessly regod of weather and war, and flecting and echoing the king of the Gods. Photo from New World Encyclopedia. shared history of all life and all people, not only those alive today, but all who have gone before, because they still live in us—in our genes, cells, emotions, memories and cultures. In that spirit, let congratulations shine on the class of 2009, from your many boosters here in the tent and those cheering from afar, and also from countless long-dead ancestors of all kinds. Those ancestors could not have known that their efforts would ultimately produce you. Most weren’t put together in ways that enable such a concept—or any concept—but you, and all of us, are nonetheless in their debt, because though you worked hard for a quarter-century to get to this milestone, they’ve been working for you for several billion years. There is no better way to honor their contributions and our shared past than by creating a better common future. Your work toward that goal already sparkles through Indra’s net. Dr. Steven K. Katona was one of the four founding faculty members of College of the Atlantic, and the founder of Allied Whale. In 1993, he became COA’s fourth president, serving until his retirement in 2006. He is now a Senior Adjunct Scientist at the New England Aquarium and a consultant on ocean health, climate change and the marine environment.
a local diner from five or six until nine a.m. At the end of the term, we went to the Smithsonian for a month—it was an incredible opportunity. We did more as undergrads than other schools did—and never used pickled cats.” Newman barely takes a breath as she explains that most college classes dissect pre-killed animals such as frogs, fetal pigs and cats. COA wouldn’t do that—and still doesn’t. Instead, Newman and her classmates dissected roadkill, beached marine mammals and gulls. Because there weren’t always texts available for these animals, students learned by exploring, sometimes writing their own dissection manuals. It was her fascination with birds—and the frustrations of conserving them—that drove Newman to Newman’s Own Organics. At the time, she had been working as fundraiser for the Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group. The raptors she was helping to protect— bald eagles and peregrine falcons— had become endangered from the chemicals used by industrial agriculture, particularly the pesticide DDT. As Newman struggled to raise funds for the organization, she watched her father seemingly rake money into his Newman’s Own Foundation, simply by selling his line of foods. Aha, she thought, Why not try something similar? Similar, but organic.
beans. She buys her strawberries from the first unionized strawberry grower in California. But when she was looking to create organic Fig Newmans, she ran up against a quirk of the organic trade. It was the mid-1990s, and she was unable to find organic figs. Then she looked among conventional figs and found someone growing acres of them organically. Acres—but because no one was interested in organic figs, they were sold as conventional fruits. Could organics feed the world? Yes, insists Newman, “organic farms can produce the same amount as conventional farms—but how would you know for sure until you test it?” What she’d like to see is “equal funding over equal time for organic techniques.” So much money is put into chemicals and herbicides, she says, and hardly any funding goes into organic concepts such as crop rotation and buffer zones. At the very least, more research would help people trust organic methods more. Newman herself has a staff person focused on food safety issues, such as E. coli runoff from cattle. That, she notes, “is a reflection of how cattle are farmed. Cattle raised on grass have acidic stomachs. They don’t get the E. coli bacteria,” and so their manure isn’t harmful to vegetables.
Within a dozen years of grocery stores finding shelf space for NewThere was her father to contend man’s Own Organics, organic foods with, however. According to the have driven a wedge into the marNewman’s Own Organics legend, ketplace. Today, even rural Maine organic did not always equal delisupermarkets carry their own orcious in the Newman household. It ganic line, something unthinkable meant heavy, whole grain muffins when Newman was shopping those and bland nut loaves—Woodward’s stores as a COA student. “I’m glad attempt to keep the family healthy. to have been a part of that change,” Just raising the concept of an organshe says. “What I wanted was for ic food line to her father required a organic food to be more for the bit of creativity. masses, supporting an environmental concept and a form of agriculture, without asking people to change their whole And so, like a good COA graduate, Newman focused on perspective and the kinds of food they ate.” the doing rather than the telling. She volunteered to make a Thanksgiving dinner, not mentioning that it was going to be Her business hunch has paid off. Royalties from Newman’s entirely organic. The plan worked. Newman and her busi- Own Organics go to the Newman’s Own Foundation, ness partner, childhood friend Peter Meehan, were granted which to date has donated more than $265 million dollars a year’s worth of seed money—to be repaid. This was 1993, to educational and charitable organizations worldwide (of just six years after Newman finished COA. which COA, gratefully, has been one). They decided to further woo her father with his favorite snack food, making an organic, white flour pretzel. “There was no way in hell my dad was going to eat a whole grain flour pretzel,” says Newman. Today, Newman’s Own produces thirteen kinds of pretzels, from twisted to straight, white flour to whole grain. There are also chocolates that are not only organic but made with shade-grown cacao
Newman was in Maine just recently. She came to Portland to visit a McDonald’s restaurant. Yes, McDonald’s. Newman’s concept of organics for the masses has been accepted by some six hundred New England and northern New York golden-arch franchises, which now carry Newman’s Own Organics coffee. Fair Trade at McDonald’s: If that’s not organics for all, what is? COA | 31
Planting Peace, Bringing it Home Neil Oculi ’11, Zimmerman Cardona ’11 and Andrew Louw ’11 create an ambitious Davis Project for Peace: reforestation, community involvement, student leadership, media attention Cardona, who hails from Belize, Louw of South Africa and Oculi wonder how to frame the tree-planting request. One official has already told them, “Farmers have caused the problem of reforestation,” so it’s the farmers who will need to resolve it. But Stephen Best, a farmer and chair of the Mabouya Valley Fair-Trade Farmer’s Association, warned them that it wouldn’t be easy to persuade farmers to plant trees—even though meeting a twenty-foot forested setback from the riverbank is a requirement for the fair trade certification most farmers work under.
Neil Oculi ’11and Zimmerman Cardona ’11 plant the first tree. All photos courtesy of the Propagating Peace project.
June 17 dawns oddly cold and rainy for three COA thirdyear students who are in St. Lucia, a Caribbean Island just south of Martinique. Neil Oculi (whom you first read about in the Copenhagen article on page 12), Zimmerman Cardona and Andrew Louw think about staying in, but they have a schedule to keep—not to mention promises: to themselves, to the Kathryn W. Davis Projects for Peace and to various supporters in St. Lucia, Oculi’s home. The three are recipients of a $10,000 grant from Projects for Peace to plant a thousand trees along the banks of one of the island’s many rivers to prevent soil run-off in a heavily used agricultural area in the Fond D’Or watershed. The trio, all United World College graduates and COA Davis Scholars, want to be certain their project, Propagating Peace, won’t just make a difference for the ten weeks of their grant; and they don’t just want to plant the thousand trees, or even the additional 2,500 they obtain thanks to the strength of their outreach. They want to plant firm roots in St. Lucian society to be sure that the work will be carried on by those who live in the region. So the group has planned numerous meetings with the farmers and youth who will be caring for the trees. Oculi was born and raised in the Mabouya River Valley of eastern St. Lucia, where the project is centered. It’s a region that once belonged to a large agricultural corporation but is now divided into small banana-growing farms supporting some thirteen communities and about 7,500 people. As they ready themselves for the meeting on this rainy day, 32 | COA
Next to tourism, bananas are the largest contributor to St. Lucia’s gross national product. But the Lucian plantations are tiny compared to those in other nations that market to Chiquita, Dole and other large food producers. With the entire island the size of just one banana plantation in Ecuador, fair trade offers a means of getting beyond economies of scale; yet Lucians are concerned about the restrictions, such as maintaining yields if they reduce fertilizer use. Meanwhile, rich valley topsoil washes into the river during flash floods, pig waste upriver pollutes the wash water downriver, fertilizer contamination decreases the biodiversity of river and coastal ecosystems—including coral reefs—and invasive plants, pests and diseases threaten economic productivity and public health. And so, a bit wet, the trio meets with a group of farmers; Neil Oculi does the talking: Neil: [Smiling] The reason we’re here is to work with you. We need to figure out ways to prevent you from losing soil. We know that every time there is heavy rain the river bank keeps eroding. Farmer Joseph: That is true—I am losing my land every day. Look over there— Neil: Yeah, I know. For this reason we will work with you to stabilize the river bank, we will also work with students and plant trees. Farmer Joseph: What tree you planting? Neil: Well we have to plant the best trees to do the job. Farmer Joseph: What trees you planting? Neil: We will be planting both tree crops and mahogany. Farmer Joseph: I want mangoes. Breadfruit. Oranges. Not mahogany.
Neil: I see. But if we want to hold up the soil, we have to use mahogany too. Farmer Joseph: OK, OK, OK. But I want more tree crops. Everyone will have to plant trees, man. I think it is a good idea and everyone will do it. Farmer Joseph’s wife: You can only speak for yourself; you know how difficult some of these farmers are. “She was right,” Oculi says later. “Our message had nothing to do with fair trade certification or even environmental degradation. We had to explain to the farmers that they are losing land which results in a loss of yields.” Mahogany, while a good soil stabilizer, is not a farm crop. If the farmers are going to take the time to plant and care for trees, they want them Crouched on the top of a riverbank eroded during a flash flood, Andrew Louw ’11 wonders how many tons of soil are washed to the ocean. to bear harvestable fruits like mango, wax apple or avocado—but these trees are more expenThese facilitators, who receive expenses and a small stisive. The COA students suggest a compromise: for every pend, are given a week’s training in food security, biofour fruit trees, they’ll supply one forest tree. That idea is diversity loss, environmental degradation, the impact of well received. these issues on their communities—and what they can do In late June, a family emergency takes Louw back to South Africa, leaving Cardona and Oculi, both graduates of the Simon Bolivar agricultural UWC in Venezuela, with the day-to-day work. Through email and Skype, the three continue to meet. Louw drafts reports, adding input to the workshops and the blog. The others begin their quest for youth leaders to carry on the project after the students leave. By early July, the St. Lucia Social Development Fund has stepped in as a partner, thanks in part to a proposal Louw drafts. Another organization offers funding for the group’s outreach efforts, allowing Cardona and Oculi to expand their student group to thirty-five, with seven youth facilitators spread throughout the Mabouya Valley. “It is the ripple effect of education that can change behavior in a society,” says Cardona.
locally to counter these global forces. Cardona offers another slogan: “If we think local and act locally, we may have a chance of fixing the global issues.” Meanwhile the three add notes to their blog, Propagating Peace: July 5 Going through the valley to find our facilitators was like a breath of fresh air. The very diverse communities provide such a great classroom for both Zimm and I to learn: for me, catching up with old friends and using past experience as my workbook. A lot of my learning is derived from explaining to Zimm as we cruise around the valley. It feels good to be home. I love the valley. It seems that I am almost at a stage of self actualization for a brief moment. But then I quickly get back to the reality that there is a lot more work to be done. So as we arrive home I tell Zimm, Oye Zimm, action points, man. At about six p.m. we take a walk down the road to Dernière Rivière with our little notebooks to continue planning. More partners step in. The Ministry of Forestry decides to give the group its trees, freeing up money to purchase fruit trees at four dollars a piece. Then the Ministry of Agriculture reduces the price to $1.50: More trees, more riverbank protection, greater community outreach. On July 11, the first four hundred trees come in and are distributed for planting among the farmers of the Grand Ravine River. Oculi and Cardona plant the first tree—an exciting moment after all their hard work. But Oculi is cauCOA | 33
tious: “The process of propagating peace requires partnerships among many stakeholders. Ownership of the project by the farmers and the rest of the community is vital to the success of the project.” Over the next seven weeks, more trees are added, more farmers engaged. Oculi and Cardona appear on television and in the newspapers. The leveraging of Katherine W. Davis’ original $10,000 grant has multiplied the capacity far beyond the group’s expectations. As they get ready to leave St. Lucia, Cardona writes: …The river is being stabilized, farmers are engaging and embracing the project, the youth are happy to have participated. We purchased five hundred more trees so that farmers can continue planting trees after we leave. A lot Proud planter. was achieved, but I can still see that more continuous work has to be done. The survival of the trees is important, and success can only be achieved in the long run. It is a race that has to be continued to preserve soil, protect water resources and ensure the economic and social health of people in the valley. Our project is not simply an environmental initiative: it is an endeavor in holistic implementation of applied human ecology. The project’s impact will be felt long after we’re gone: creating jobs, ensuring food security, improving education— all leading to happier, healthier communities in the valley. To read more about Propagating Peace, visit http://propagatingpeace.wordpress.com, the project blog from which this article is drawn. ~ DG
Recent Alumni Global Food Work In her introductory essay to this section, Heather Albert-Knopp ’99 writes that everywhere she goes in the world of food systems, she finds COA involvement. This is true both locally and globally. On this page and the next are recent alumni already applying their human ecological degrees to the wider world. Ashlesha Khadse ’08 is working in India for La Via Campesina. This organization is a large international grassroots movement of peasants, small‑ and medium‑sized producers, landless people, rural women, indigenous people, rural youth and agricultural workers who are involved in creating a peasant and family farm based alternative food and agriculture model that respects Ashlesha Khadse ’08 kneels in the front row cultural, ecological and social diversity. Writes Khadse, “My work here is with a yellow shirt. Surrounding her are politito provide technical support to the grassroots movements in India, Nepal, cal leaders and staff from La Via Campesina at a meeting in Selingue, Mali. Bangladesh, Sri Lanka … that are already working to change the model of agriculture and development. They get together to make the political decisions ... and then I work with them to make sure that their plans are being carried out.” For his senior project, Bonface Omudi ’09 interviewed members of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, or MOFGA, to try to understand what elements of that organization could be applied in his homeland of western Kenya “to assist farmers in organizing themselves and making food production as equally successful there” as in Maine. Industrial agriculture, he writes, has “continuously undermined the potential for agricultural self-sufficiency, especially the comparative advantage for food production in western Kenya.” A graduate of the Simon Bolivar United World College of Venezuela where he studied agricultural science, Omudi is pictured here working with a group of beekeepers in the Mexican town of Temax, Yucatan. These beekeepers, all women, are promoting apiculture as a technique of sustainable agriculture. 34 | COA
Bonface Omudi ’09, left, stands with some of the beekeepers with whom he worked.
Technology’s Trojan Horse Ian Illuminato ’06 researches nanoparticles in our foods Nanoparticles are beyond small. If you were a nanoparticle and happened to try to snuggle up to a red blood cell, that cell would be seven miles long. At least that’s what Ian Illuminato ’06 says, and he might know. As a health and environment campaigner at Friends of the Earth, his days are spent researching nanotechnology.
And the use of nanoparticles is not limited to food products. According to the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars nanotechnology inventory database, there are more than a thousand products on the market, employing different types of nanoparticles, including common household products such as refrigerators, water filters, make-up and toys impregnated with antimicrobial nanosilver. Since what goes into our food and household products also goes into the environment, these potent antibacterial nanomaterials could disrupt the functioning of beneficial bacteria in our bodies and beyond. Illuminato worries that they can inadvertently cause the development of more virulent harmful bacteria.
Despite their size—one-10,000th the diameter of a human hair—nanoparticles are extremely powerful. In foods, they can enhance flavor and color, or serve as potent nutritional additives. A chocolate nutritional drink mix created for toddlers, for instance, uses a nano additive to make the iron more available to small bodies. Nanoparticles are advertised as having the potential to reduce fat, carbohydrates and calories and increase fiber, protein and vitamins—turn- In researching the presence of nanoparticles in food, Iling junk foods into veritable health options. luminato found that at least one hundred food products— possibly as many as six hundred—contain nanoparticles. By In this brave new world of food processing, there’s no tell- next year, researchers estimate that sales of nano foods will ing what such particles can’t do, at least according to their be worth almost six billion dollars. Currently, the United promoters. In agriculture, nanoparticles in soil additives can States does not regulate nanotechnology and manufacturers make fertilizers more potent and alter pesticides to respond are still not required to identify nanoparticle ingredients on to specific conditions or targets. In packaging, antibodies at- product labels, conduct nano-specific safety tests, or submit tached to fluorescent nanoparticles can detect chemicals or their products for approval prior to sale. food-borne pathogens, or coat surfaces with antimicrobial and antifungal properties. The issue has not been lost on the Obama administration. In September, thanks to a legal petition submitted by Friends At a time when every public doorway is adorned with hand of the Earth and the International Center for Technology sanitizers, when obesity has become rampant, couldn’t this Assessment, the Environmental Protection Agency agreed be a good thing? to look into the possible health and environmental risks of some nanomaterials, realizing that we still know too little Ah, but how much do we know? That’s the question Illumiabout whether such particles may persist and accumulate in nato asks. Nanoparticles can also be more chemically reacunusual and potentially harmful ways. tive and bioactive than other particles. Their very small size allows nanoparticles increased access to our bodies, so they For more information about Ian’s nanotechnology camare more likely than larger particles to enter cells, tissues paign, visit http://www.foe.org/healthy-people/nanotechand organs and may present great toxicity risks for human nology-campaign. health and the environment. Because the immune system also operates at the nanoscale, these particles might also compromise our immune system response, Illuminato says.
Ian Illuminato ’06.
Photo by Nick Berning of Friends of the Earth.
During his internship with Greenpeace Italy, Ian Illuminato ’06 helped lead a movement against genetically engineered crops in Europe. His senior project, “Liberated Activism: Emerging New Directions,” focused on less traditional means of activism, such as eco-art and radical performance. He also has worked for Greenpeace International and the United Nations Environmental Program in Italy and currently works closely with the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. His published reports include “Nano and Biocidal Silver: Extreme Germ Killers Present a Growing Threat to Public Health,” “Nanotechnology in Food and Agriculture: Out of the Laboratory and On To Our Plates” and “Human Ecology and Childhood: An Adult Connection.” His writing has appeared in the Journal of Nanoparticle Research and the European Journal of Oncology and he has been quoted in numerous media outlets including The New York Times, Scientific American, BusinessWeek and Reuters. COA | 35
COA Celebrates 10 Years of Farming By Eliza Worrick, COA intern In the spring of 1999, alumni Barbarina Heyerdahl ’88 and Aaron Heyerdahl ’87 moved to Vermont, selling to COA the farm that had formed Barbarina’s senior project. During the decade since, Beech Hill Farm has been shaped into a place where COA students pursue academic endeavors, and the college, the island’s public schools, local residents, visitors—and even some users of the island’s food pantries—obtain organic food. With the installation of a wind turbine by the Practicum in Residential Windpower class last spring, the farm is also something of a showcase for alternative energy. From local to global Thanks to a grant that supported Alyson Harris ’09 in building a greenhouse for her senior project, the farm is expanding its greens and cold-hardy produce. Paired with the purchase of a walk-in cooler on campus, the college can now serve farm produce into November and as early as March. “In terms of financial sustainability, that could be a big help,” says farm manager Alyssa Mack, who started at the farm last February.
The importance of buying local can’t be stressed enough, says Albert-Knopp (see page 25). “Local foods are often fresher and better tasting, and we can use our dollars to directly support farmers and keep money circulating in the local community.” Working with the United Kingdom’s Organic Research Centre-Elm Farm and the University of Kassel’s Faculty of Organic Agricultural Sciences in Germany as part of COA’s new Trans-Atlantic Partnership in Sustainable Food Systems, the three institutions hope to strengthen education and understanding of global food systems. Sharing the harvest
Local food is celebrated—but costly. The farm’s Share the Harvest program extends high-quality, organic produce to those struggling to make ends meet. Coordinated by Healthy Acadia and COA, and supported by the Bingham Program, Share the Harvest offers vouchers to twenty income-eligible individuals each growing season. These work like gift certificates, encouraging folks to come to the farm where they can see firsthand where their food is grown. (Donations to Beech Hill Farm has also built strong relationships with the the program can be made payable to Beech Hill Farm, with local public school system. When Heather Albert-Knopp ’99 Share the Harvest in the memo line and mailed to COA). served as the farm-to-school coordinator for Healthy Acadia, she helped to connect Beech Hill with local schools. This Eliza Worrick, a communications student at Clark Univercontinuing connection was featured on The Martha Stewart sity in Worcester, Massachusetts, interned last summer in COA’s public relations department. Show last January.
COA’s wind turbine, product of Practicum in Wind Energy class from last spring, can be seen through a field of flowers at Beech Hill Farm. Photo by Eliza Worrick. 36 | COA
ful, while at the same time my daughter graduated from high school and is startIn August, Bar- ing at Green Mountain College. Most bara Dole Acos- importantly, I continue to dance, play ta (’75) was on and meditate as much as possible.” Mount Desert Island and offered COA a New Eng- 1988 land premiere of Kim (Robertson) Guazapa: Yesterday’s Enemies, a film Chater illusabout the change in El Salvador, where trated A World a member of the revolutionary party, Without Ice, Nothe Farabundo Martí National Liberabel Peace Prize tion Front, or FMLN, is now president. winner Henry Acosta’s husband, Francisco Acosta, Pollock’s latest book, introduced by Al a native of Guazapa, which suffered Gore. The book is published by Penheavy bombings during the civil war guin Group. against the FMLN, is featured in the film. Their children helped with trans1989 lations. Valerie Giles had a gallery showing this fall of drawings at Danese on West 1977 24th Street in New York City. Hugh MacArthur returned to campus in June to celebrate 1990 the graduation of his This June, Peter Moon daughter Maggie Macreturned to campus to Arthur-McKay ’09. celebrate the graduation of stepdaughter Lauren Broomall ’09. 1985
old New Zealand peace activists. Film rights to her book, A Bonfire in My Mouth, were bought by an American producer. She is active in local politics and serves on the board of trustees of a local high school, the board of the Coconut Free Press Trust, and as a director of the Awaawaroa Bay Eco-Village. She says, “My greatest joy still is to walk on our local palm beach with my children and my Swedish vallhund and give thanks that we live in such a beautiful part of the world. Kia ora!”
Susi Newborn is currently working as Climate Change Campaign coordinator in New Zealand with Oxfam. This past year she produced and directed Kit & Maynie: Tea, Scones & Nuclear Disarmament (www.kitandmaynie.com), a documentary about two ninety-year-
In July, Josh Winer was awarded a Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowship. Examples of his photographic work and current projects are available at www.joshwiner.com. On August 6, he and Dawn Lamendola (’92) had their first child, Griffin Maxwell Winer. Weighing in at 6 pounds, 12 ounces and 21 inches long, Griffin is happy, healthy and growing like a weed!
“I dropped out of the nine-to-five work world five years ago to figure out how to live in a different way. Still working on it!” writes Peter Heller. “This has been a very busy year as my non-profit consulting and film producing businesses have grown a bit more success-
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1991 Louise Tremblay and Neil Anderson welcomed Karl Embden AndersonTremblay, born on February 25. They soon hope to have him accompanying them on their North Carolina country bike rambles. Wherever he treks, Karl carries a bit of Maine because his middle name is that of the pond where his family has a cottage. Louise has started a new job at the art center in Carrboro, North Carolina, coordinating programs for children and families. She would enjoy hearing from COA types who are visiting or wishing to perform in the area.
1992 Mark Tully has joined a Playback Theatre troupe in Providence, Rhode Island. Playback Theatre is a global network of troupes that use improvisational forms to “play back” stories told from the audience, depicting the salient psychic and emotional content of the tales. It is employed to help seniors, immigrants, prisoners, youth and the general public explore deeply personal and social dynamics. Mark thanks all of his human ecologist peers COA | 37
for the many years of tolerating, affirming, insisting, threatening and pleading with him to Just join a damn theater troupe already!
1993 Dan Farrenkopf and Eamonn Hutton ’05 returned to campus last spring to install a memorial to Jesse Tucker ’95 in the Turrets Seaside Garden. The planting beds of the garden were designed and reconstructed by Hutton as his senior project; the concrete garden fountain was refinished by Lunaform, the company Farrenkopf cofounded with Phid Lawless. Jesse, a landscape architect, died in a car accident in 2006. He had worked on the garden and especially the fountain area as a student. Sarah (Cole) McDaniel is happy to announce the opening of her solo law practice, Maine Land Law, LLC, PA in Gorham, Maine. She’d love to hear from other COA alumni lawyers who have taken a similar path. If you have legal questions about land you own in Maine (boundary disputes, rights-ofway, permitting issues, etc.) she encourages you to contact her at Sarah. McDaniel@MaineLandLaw.com.
1994 Nishanta Rajakaruna, former and incoming faculty member in botany at COA, currently assistant professor at San Jose State University in the Department of Biological Sciences, is first author with R.S. Boyd, on “Advances in serpentine geoecology: A retrospective” published this year in Northeastern Naturalist 16 (5): 1-7. For a second publication see Tanner Harris ’06.
1999 Calamity, a poetry chapbook written by Josie Sigler was published by Proem Press and University of South38 | COA
Inspired by Alumni Franklin Jacoby ’12 Interested in the limitations of science »» Studies biology, philosophy of nature and Wittgenstein »» Spent the summer cataloguing nesting patterns of gulls on Great Duck Island »» Writing tutor »» Currently conducting an independent study on the history of the philosophy of science »» Wrote a profile of COA for Sierra Magazine Franklin says that COA alumnae Margaret Youngs ’96, Alana Beard ’03 and Marjo Whittlesey ’05 were all instrumental in his decision to apply to COA. Our alumni are our best resource for identifying prospective students. Who are you inspiring? Let me know. Sarah Haughn, Office of Admission, 207-288-2944, ext. 330, firstname.lastname@example.org
ern California. It is part of a longer collection called The Cowgirl Letters, a series of letters between Calamity Jane and Annie Oakley. It is available from Proem Press’s website, proempress.com/publications.htm. A second book, Living Must Bury, is the winner of the 2010 Motherwell Prize, and is forthcoming from Fence Books. Josie is currently a Wallis Annenberg Fellow at USC and at work on her dissertation, “Toward a Queer Narratology of Trauma.” Josie and her partner Jennifer got hitched this year—about four hours after it became illegal in California. She writes: “We still feel enormous resistance to an institution founded on inequality, one that awards privileges to some while denying rights to the most vulnerable members of our communities. But we figured that since the state was no longer sponsoring our mar-
riage, we could be another thorn in its side. And there’s nothing we love more than that. Except each other.”
2000 Chelsea Mooser completed her PhD in biological chemistry at the University of California Los Angeles. She is researching breast cancer and recently wrote for The Women’s International Perspective, www.thewip.net: “Weighing the Risks and Benefits of Hormone Replacement Therapy.”
2001 In October, Ben Macko married Kate Caivano, daughter of Helen ’80 and former faculty member Roc Caivano. A week later, Kate started at COA as Sustainable Business Program administrator (see page 3). Leah Stetson ’01, MPhil ’06 recently bought her first home in Raymond, Maine, surrounded by ponds and lakes. In addition to her continued work in wetland science and policy with the nonprofit organization, Association of State Wetland Managers, Leah volunteers with local land trusts and is constructing a vernal pool mapping study for the Town of Windham. In early June she taught fourth graders how to build eco-friendly fairy houses at Black Brook Preserve in Windham. She writes “strange wetlands” for the ASWM blog, www.aswm.org/wordpress. On September 4, in the presence of family and friends, Jordan Posamentier and Maria Skorobogatov ’03 tied the knot in Lafayette, California.
2002 “Things are as crazy and hectic as ever, but proceeding forward nonetheless,” writes Nicole D’Avis. “I was promoted
class notes in July to program director at a youth development non-profit in Boston, Sociedad Latina, where I’ve been working for the past six years (and hosted Tom Rush ’07 as an intern a few years back— more COA interns are always welcome). This February, Mark Anderson and I were married in Oaxaca, Mexico. Thanks to COA for starting my appreciation of Mexico! Now we’re trying our best to buy a house around Roslindale, Boston. Guests are always welcome; hopefully by the time this prints we’ll be living in our new home!”
boring cow dairy. Growing fungi inside Anti-nationalist, Anti-militarist, Femicheese has become an obsession! nist Mobilization in Serbia.’” The presentation was part of a panel on Civil In late February, Allison Rogers Furbish Society, Social Movements and Politics and husband, Shawn, expect their first of Discontent. Conference participants child. “We’re very excited and a little included CEU graduates and current terrified, but looking forward to bring- students, and scholars from other uniing a new little human ecologist into versities in North America and Europe. the world in 2010!” she says. Meanwhile, Allison continues managing media relations and traveling around the 2008 country for King Arthur Flour in Nor- Chris Aaront is serving as a coastal rewich, Vermont, and writing for the lo- source management Peace Corps volcal Upper Valley Life magazine. unteer in the Philippines. Nathaniel Keller returned to campus this June to celebrate the graduation of his brother Michael Keller ’09. Like Nat, Michael went from graduation to a year abroad on a Watson Fellowship. Nat is in his second year at University of Maryland School of Law.
Large-scale, ocean-inspired installation sculptures are the latest art world niche of Blakeney Sanford. Her three Southern California shows this past summer consisted of pieces created using epoxy resin, fiberglass, 2006 and rebar. You can see more of her work at Tanner Harris is first author on an article he published with Nishanta Rawww.blakeneysanford.com. jakaruna ’94, “Adiantum viridimontanum, Aspidotis densa, Minuartia 2003 marcescens, and Symphyotrichum Rhiannon: Additional Serpentine EnErin Enberg came back demics from Eastern North America” to campus to celebrate in Northeastern Naturalist 16 (5): 111the graduation of sister 120 published by Humboldt Field ReKelly Enberg ’09. search Institute. Tim Fuller recently moved to Belfast, Jessica Glynn graduMaine to build membership and coorated from City Unidinate public affairs for Maine Farmversity of New York land Trust, a statewide organization School of Law on working to keep Maine’s farms farmMay 15; she took the ing. Tim is also working with Maine New York Bar Exam Farmland Trust’s art gallery which cuat the end of July. rated the Food For Thought, Time for (Also in the photoAction exhibit in COA’s Blum Gallery graph is Santiago Salinas ’05.) this fall.
In April, Dustin Eirdosh moved off Mount Desert Island and across the country to southwestern Washington State to be the creamery manager at Willapa Hills, where he is making mold-ripened (blue) cheeses from a flock of eighty dairy sheep and a neigh-
On June 7 Sarah Helene Barrett and Jose Juan Perez Orozco ’09 were married in COA’s Beatrix Farrand Gardens by faculty member in biology Suzanne Morse, Jose’s academic advisor (who threatened that there would be no wedding without a senior project!). The two are now heading to Gainesville, Florida where Jose has taken a position as an Organic Certification Coordinator at Florida Certified Organic Growers, a nonprofit that helps certify small organic farmers throughout the region. Sarah writes that she will continue to study and work in alternative healing and education as she and Jose “work together to build strong, healthy communities.”
2009 “I’ve been monitoring water quality, grant writing, filling out permit applications, organizing and conducting surveys of local flora and fauna,” writes Sarah Drerup. She is excited to have started her AmeriCorps position with the Monday Creek Restoration Project in New Straitsville, Ohio. “It’s been a great experience so far and I think it’s going to be a great year!”
In June, Maria Lis Baiocchi presented a paper at the Fifth Central European University Graduate Conference in Social Sciences. “My paper was based on my master’s thesis work; it was titled ‘The Activist Self: Collective Identity in wedding.
Virve Hirsmaki and Ben Smith (’07) have announced their engagement. The two are planning on a January
(Class years in parentheses refer to alumni who did not graduate from COA.) COA | 39
Have you seen COA’s
Our grants manager, new website? Tom Adelman, reports that COA recently reThose who aren’t able to come ceived a $10,000 grant to campus on a regular basis may appreciate viewing many of the from the Quimby Family lectures and presentations made Foundation to support by students, faculty and guest scholarships for the colspeakers. lege’s high school introduction proThanks to Zach Soares ’00, COA’s gram, Islands Through Time. COA and site provides access to recorded other Maine colleges will be receiving lectures and events through Vima portion of a $20 million grant for eo, YouTube and iTunesU. Zach’s work on sustainability that the Univertalents as an sity of Maine Orono received from the audio and National Science Foundation’s Experivideo editor mental Program to Stimulate Competiextend to tive Research, the EPSCoR program. the student COA is in its second year of funding video spotlights on the from the Long Cove Foundation for a homepage of the new website. collaborative program between COA and the Penobscot East Research Center. Additionally, the first installment Go to www.coa.edu/videos of a five-year grant from the Margaret to learn more. A. Cargill Foundation will be used to help send COA students to the United Nations Framework Convention on History, presented a paper on the HisClimate Change in Copenhagen in De- tory of Natural History at the second cember (see page 12). meeting of the Human Ecology Section of the Ecological Society of America Judy Allen, former director of informain Albuquerque, New Mexico. At the tion services, is now COA’s registrar. meetings, Jacqueline Gill ’05, who is She took the position upon the retirefinishing her PhD in paleoecology at ment of former registrar David Baldthe University of Wisconsin, Madison, win. Judy began working at COA in presented a paper in the section on 1978 as a research assistant to former paleoecology, debunking the idea that President Steve Katona, who was then the Pleistocene extinctions were due director of Allied Whale. In 1988, she to a comet strike and Yasmin Lucero became the first director of computer ’99, who is doing post-doctoral work services at the college. The new direcat NOAA/NMFS in Seattle, presented tor of information services is Pamela on her work in fisheries. With John Mitchell, our longtime phone, network at those meetings were Rich Borden, and email guru. faculty member in psychology and the Allied Whale recently received the fol- Rachel Carson Chair in Human Ecollowing grants: $15,500 from the Ces- ogy, Stephen Ressel, faculty memtone Foundation for the marine mam- ber in biology and Don Cass, faculty mal stranding program, and nearly member in chemistry. Rich and John $100,000 from the John H. Prescott were members of the founding group Marine Mammal Stranding and Health of ESA’s Human Ecology Section at Grant Program for the maintenance and last year’s annual meeting. Also, John enhancement of the Marine Mammal was elected to the Board of the NatuStranding Response Program (MMSRP) ral History Network. While out west, of Maine’s Mid-Coast/Downeast re- John, Rich and Steve attended a threegion. The grant helps COA run the na- day meeting of the Eco League coltionally recognized stranding response lege consortium in La Plata, Colorado with faculty representatives of all five program. Eco League colleges (the others are John Anderson, the William H. Drury Northland, Prescott, Alaska Pacific and Chair in Evolution, Ecology and Natural Green Mountain). Plans were made to 40 | COA
offer a joint field-oriented course next summer, based at COA. Nancy Andrews and Dru Colbert visited Clark Lawrence ’92 at Galezza Castle in Bologna, Italy where he offers reading retreats, with the hopes of bringing future COA classes to this magical place. They are looking to create a class in museum study, art history and contemporary art. Nancy was also busy screening her new film, On a Phantom Limb, at the San Francisco International Film Festival, Maine International Film Festival (both in Waterville and Bar Harbor), the 14 Karat Cabaret at the Evergreen House in Baltimore, Maryland and at COA. She has begun work on her next film, which has the working title The Eyes are Behind the Ears. After learning about interconnections among biogeochemical cycles at the Ecological Society of America meetings in August, Don Cass writes, “Did you know that it may have been a nickel deficiency which limited methane production and allowed oxygen to build up on earth? That people are trying to figure out if there will be enough nitrogen around to absorb our increasing CO2? That the nitrogen cycle may respond to warmer temperatures? Or that as northern snows melt due to planetary warming, the ground may actually get colder?” He spent some time exploring Albuquerque with architect Sue Freed ’80 and then headed to Santa Fe to catch up with Larry Clendenin, former COA admissions director, and his wife Casey. Secretary of the Interior Kenneth Salazar and Senator Susan Collins met at the college’s Straus Seminar Room, on the second floor of Turrets along with the acting head of the National Park Service and Maine conservation leaders working on creative ways to protect the Maine Woods, including Ken Cline, Associate Dean for Faculty and faculty member in public policy and environmental law, Sherry Huber, COA trustee and Ted Koffman, former long-
faculty & community notes time staff member, now head of Maine Audubon. Ken was invited because of his work with the Sierra Club and Keeping Maine’s Forests as Forests task force. Writes Ken, “I chose the room so that the Secretary could look out on Frenchman Bay during the meeting and see that Maine is a national treasure.”
cause the event is ephemeral, I plan to direct video and photographic documentation that can become lasting works in their own right.” This piece explores themes of the human connection to the sea.
John Cooper, faculty member in music, was a guest artist at University of Maine Farmington and guest speaker at the Bagaduce Music Youth Composer’s Competition Awards Ceremony, and performed at the Bar Harbor Jazz FesFrom left to right in the photo are Alec tival in August. He also taught at the Giffen, director of Maine State Forest Jazz Intensives Summer Camp held at Service, Alan Hutchinson of Forest COA in August. Society of Maine, Woolfe Tone of the Following the successful erection of a Trust for Public Land, Karen Woodsum wind turbine at Beech Hill Farm, Anna of the Maine Sierra Club, United States Demeo, lecturer in physics and engiSenator Susan Collins, Eleanor Kinney, neering, spoke about “Wind Power for president of the National Resources Your Home or Business” at the Green Council of Maine, Kenneth Salazar, & Lean Lecture Series in Southwest Secretary of the Interior, Rosaire PelHarbor. letier, liaison to Gov. John Baldacci of Maine, Ted Koffman, former Summer Dave Feldman, faculty member in Programs director at COA, now head math and physics, served on the sciof Maine Audubon, Eric Stirling, owner entific committee of the International of West Branch Pond Camps, Sherry Conference on Economic Science Huber of the Maine Tree Foundation with Heterogeneous Interacting Agents and COA trustee, and Ken Cline. 2009 (ESHIA/WEHIA 2009) in Beijing, China in June. He co-organized the During her spring 2009 weeklong Beijing Workshop on Fronsabbatical, Dru Coltiers in Complex Systems: Complex Sobert, faculty member cial Networks and Urban Dynamics in in art and design, comJuly, sponsored by the Institute of Theopleted research and deretical Physics of the Chinese Academy velopment on Flotsam, of Sciences and the Santa Fe Institute, a performance instalwhere he delivered a lecture titled “Inlation piece that pretroduction to Analysis of Complex Netmiered October 17. The piece includes works: Challenges and Opportunities.” sculptural objects and a shadow play. Feldman also wrote a review of the It is part of a series of site-specific pertext Complex and Adaptive Dynamical formance/installation events focused Systems: A Primer by Claudius Gros for on the landscape, history and folklore the July issue of Physics Today. of Mount Desert Island which began with Graupel, a visual opera on ice The Sustainable Business Program rethat premiered on frozen Somes Pond. ceived an important endorsement this Her interest in these works, she writes, summer, says Jay Friedlander, Sharpe“is to create situations that respond to McNally Chair in Green and Socially the ephemeral passing of seasons, call Responsible Business: a Davis Foundaattention to the phenomenal, invoke tion grant of $144,000 over two years. a sense of mystery,” and involve local Jay was also interviewed for an article community members at all stages. “Be- in Newsweek, and was instrumental
in getting COA into the Ashoka U program (see page 3). Carrie Graham, who served as the interpreter at the George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History last summer and is now acting facilities manager, reports on the great success of the museum. “We kicked off the season with the opening of the Grierson exhibit on June 28, which included live music and wonderful stories about Stan Grierson told by his friends and family. Interim director Scott Swann ’86, MPhil ’93 and summer staff Addams Samuel ’11 and I have worked hard to enhance and promote the museum with improvements to exhibits and signage, reorganization of the gift shop, new educational programs and improved community visibility. With a bit of help from the summer’s bad weather, we had more than 3,300 visitors in July and August.” In addition to being a keynote presenter at the Society of Human Ecology conference in Manchester, England, last July, David Hales, COA president, was a panelist at the President’s Roundtable at Greening Higher Education: Saving the Planet and Saving Money: A New England Leadership Forum sponsored by the New England Board of Higher Education in Boston last May. He also was a panelist on Providing Actionable Foresight in an Age of Irreversible “Tipping Points” at the Energy and Environment Strategic Foresight Laboratory: Turbulence and Systemic Vulnerabilities in Washington, D.C. last April. In October he participated in a Water Planet Dialog sponsored by The Aspen Institute’s Energy and Environment Program in partnership with Alexandra Cousteau and Blue Legacy International. David is now also a “Planet Panelist” for the Washington Post. He joins other national experts in an ongoing conversation about climate issues on the paper’s website: http://views. washingtonpost.com/climate-change/ panelists/david_hales/ Dean of Student Life Sarah Luke and former Coordinator of International Student Services Rae Barter have had their proposal approved to present at COA | 41
the NAFSA Association of International Educators bi-regional conference in Springfield, Massachusetts this November. Their talk is titled “Aren’t International Students Already Studying Abroad? Thoughts on Home Context and Third Country Experiences” focusing on the benefits and challenges of international students studying abroad while at colleges in the United States. Rae has moved on to a job as International Advisor at the University of Connecticut and Kylee Allen now holds her position at COA. To inaugurate the college’s TransAtlantic Partnership, Suzanne Morse, faculty member in biology and the Elizabeth Battles Newlin Chair in Botany, guided an intense four-week course, Our Daily Bread: Following Grains through the Food System, in collaboration with Roger Hitchings and other staff at the Organic Research Centre, Elm Farm, United Kingdom. The first part of the course focused on wheat production and use in the UK, with comparisons to Germany and the United States. The course included seven students from COA and four students from the University of Kassel, located in Witzenhausen, Germany. With four to six hours of class work, field trips to local organic farms and research centers, ending with a oneweek intensive on food quality assessment with Professor Angelika Ploeger of Kassel, the group barely had time to break bread. Says Suzanne, “the students have had amazing endurance in and outside of the classroom, and continue to cook and bake with great enthusiasm and talent!” Bonnie Tai, faculty member in educational studies, missed commencement for the first time in a decade to present at the annual meeting of the Jean Piaget Society in Park City, Utah as part of a symposium on the development of the teaching-research methodology based on critical exploration, a clini42 | COA
cal interviewing method pioneered by Bärbel Inhelder, Jean Piaget and their collaborators. The method, honoring the individual and social construction of understanding through facilitated interactions between the learner and the phenomenon under study, was applied as a teaching approach by Bonnie’s mentor, Eleanor Duckworth. Bonnie also convened the second annual meeting of the Critical Exploration in Teacher Education group at Harvard. This was followed by an end-of-grant celebration in Portland with other members of the local school union’s service-learning leadership team. As evaluation consultant to Healthy Acadia in partnership with the Child and Family Opportunities and Union River Healthy Communities, Bonnie also presented the findings of a Food Stamp (now Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) Nutrition Education project. This year’s common theme is “Grow Food Everywhere!”—at childcare centers, in schools or in ornamental planters. Davis Taylor, faculty member in economics, joined with Sean Todd faculty member in biology, Associate Dean for Advanced Studies and the Steven K. Katona Chair in Marine Studies and Natalie Springuel ’91, marine extension associate of Maine Sea Grant, on a fifteenday trip to Newfoundland and Labrador, the culmination of the course This Marvelous, Terrible Place: the Human Ecology of Newfoundland. Students studied the ecological, economic, social and cultural implications of dramatic changes in Newfoundland’s fisheries. Always emphasizing experiential education, Davis joined the students in the traditional “swim with the ’bergs” in the chilly waters of Labrador. Taking a break from sustainability, Craig Ten Broeck, COA’s sustainability consultant, thru-hiked the 483-mile Colorado Trail that runs through the Colorado Rocky Mountains from Denver to Durango. That’s thirty-eight days of almost endless mountain scenery. Water was never in short supply as
Colorado had heavy rainfall in June—a record amount since sometime in the 1880s. Much of the hiking was above 12,000 feet elevation where the air is “thin.” Craig, too is now thin, having lost ten pounds!
International Human Ecology Conference in Manchester, UK Rich Borden served as cochair during this multi-organization conference sponsored by the Society for Human Ecology, the Commonwealth Human Ecology Council, the German Society for Human Ecology, the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment and other professional associations. The theme of the conference, held June 29 through July 3, was Human Ecology for an Urbanising World. Rich gave a keynote address on “The Future of Human Ecology” and another presentation in the Human Ecology and Philosophy symposium on “Metaphors of change: the ecology of figurative language.” David Hales’ keynote presentation was titled “The Importance of Human Ecology Education.” Among the other COA participants were Jay Friedlander, who presented three talks and chaired a session. In a special session on Applied Human Ecology, Rich, Ken Cline, Jay Friedlander and Samantha Haskell ’10 offered an hour-long historical overview of the activities of COA’s Center for Applied Human Ecology, or CAHE, and how it is now moving in the direction of green and sustainable business: “College-Community Collaboration as a Model for Applied Human Ecology.”
The photo above shows Ian Douglas, of the University of Manchester, a coconvener of the meeting, along with Rich, Samantha, Ken and Jay.
In Memoriam Photo by Jen Hughes.
Rashmi Sharad Bhure ’09 January 8, 1987– August 2009 Like many COA students, Rashmi Bhure arrived on campus with a vision for a better world, and was exploring paths to conceptualize and realize that world. Her professors praised her curiosity and sincerity, her thoughtful comments and interactions in class. Her friends were cheered by her smile, her warmth, her caring. I got to know Rashmi directly as a student when she took my calculus class in her second year. She spent several terms in India, beginning with a residency she called “Approaches to Emotion in Ancient Indian and Western Psychology,” seeking to understand and synthesize Eastern and Western approaches to emotion, the mind, and the self. This was a transformative experience that helped her make sense of her COA education. After interning with various self-help and microfinance organizations, she completed her senior project, “The Microfinance movement: Studies in India,” and received her BA in July. Rashmi was a kind and gentle student who was acutely aware that she straddled religious and cultural worlds. She patiently lived in this superposition: humble, curious and delicate. Rashmi had remarkable grace, not only in her physical comportment but in the way she strove to make a path through a world that for her was too often difficult and frightening. It is impossible to make sense of Rashmi’s untimely death. We cannot fully know the forces that breathe life and love into an otherwise still earth. But we do know that it is right to dedicate our time on earth to nourish those forces so that their light burns a little more brightly. Dave Feldman Faculty member in math and physics
Marion Stocking June 4, 1922– May 12, 2009 Marion Stocking was a renowned professor of English at Beloit College specializing in the Romantic Movement with great expertise on Byron and Shelley. She was also a longtime faculty associate and a great friend and supporter of COA. A Mainer at heart, she began her teaching career at the University of Maine Orono, became a registered Maine guide and finally settled in Lamoine for her retirement. She was the editor of the Beloit Poetry Journal for its entire existence. Her exquisite judge of emergent talent supported the early careers of a good number of American poets. The loss makes me think of Yeats’ lines in “To a Child Dancing in the Wind”: ...the best labourer dead / and all the sheaves to bind. Bill Carpenter Faculty member in literature and creative writing
Shane Wyatt Davis (’93) May 14, 1970–April 16, 2009 Shane Davis was an unusually gifted writer who attended COA in the early nineties. I worked with Shane closely and I remember being frequently astonished at the precocity of his talent and his sheer personal intensity. I looked back over my narrative evaluations and found these sentences: His poems find their way immediately into the darkest corner around and illuminate it with an extraordinary frankness and clarity, never forgetting the linguistic and musical excitement that poetry must have. His work communicates like a superconductor, without any loss in the transmission between experience and artifact. Rereading these narratives brings back the meetings I’d have with Shane. Though not a large person physically, his intellectual presence would more than fill my tiny office of the time. We are made better teachers by students like Shane, who place such demands on themselves that our own standards must be sharpened in response. We all saw more clearly in the light of his ferocious self-examination. Bill Carpenter Faculty member in literature and creative writing
Theodore Sizer June 23, 1932–October 21, 2009 In the winter of 1970, when we were plotting, scheming, dreaming about what COA might be, we called on Ted Sizer, the brilliant young man who was dean of Harvard’s Graduate School of Education and later formed the Coalition of Essential Schools. Several of us would make visits to Ted in his office at Harvard, to get his reactions to our plans for COA. Ted later joined the board of trustees. From the beginning we thought that each student at COA should play an active role in shaping her/his program. And we also felt that students should be actively involved in the decision-making process affecting the directions the college would take. But as we grew closer to actually opening our doors to the initial class, I began to wonder if such student involvement would work. Was it a naïve notion? It certainly didn’t reflect my own experiences at Harvard, where I had been a student, and later Ted’s associate dean. At one of our meetings I expressed some doubts. Ted Sizer looked over at me and said, quite gently, “What’s the matter Kaelber, are you losing your nerve?” That did it! And we didn’t. Though several years my junior, Ted Sizer was/is one of my heroes. He had an abundance of good sense, integrity, compassion and humor. Ed Kaelber College of the Atlantic founding president COA | 43
Photo courtesy of Horace Hildreth, Jr.
Donor Profile: Environmentalist
Horace “Hoddy” Hildreth, Jr. By Donna Gold
Horace “Hoddy” Hildreth, Jr. is known in Maine for his conservation leadership, his love of islands and his deep interest in alternative sources of energy. What may not be as well known is his connection to College of the Atlantic. Though he and his wife, the artist Alison “Wooly” Hildreth, spend their summers on the island of Vinalhaven, in Penobscot Bay, and live three hours from the college, in Falmouth, Maine, Hildreth served on COA’s board of trustees for seven years. That was between 1994 and 2001. But as is the case with so many COA trustees, stepping off the board did not mean stepping away from the college. This spring, when COA students—with the help of a couple of faculty members— raised a wind turbine at Beech Hill Farm, Hildreth was one of the three donors (with former board chair and current trustee Sam Hamill, Jr. and social and environmental investor William Osborn) who made it possible. A year before that, when COA hired Jay Friedlander as the Sharpe-McNally Chair in Green and Socially Responsible Business, the college got a substantial boost from the Hildreth Family Fund. “Ed Kaelber got me involved,” says Hildreth. Though they didn’t know each other, “he knew of me, and just called up and said he wanted to come see me.” Not long after, Hildreth’s name was added to COA’s board of trustees. Hildreth smiles at the impact of COA founding president Kaelber’s persuasiveness, but in many ways Kaelber just opened a door that the longtime environmentalist easily walked through. “The concept of the college interested me a lot, it was certainly unique,” says Hildreth. “The education that was offered struck me as being more imaginative and creative than I was aware of being offered at other colleges—I really liked COA’s approach to food, to all the little things that are not generally part of an education in another kind of a college. And at that time I was not aware of any other college that had the same kind of attitude toward education and the environment—the atmosphere seemed different to me than what you’d find in other small New England colleges.” The timing was good, too. Hildreth had just stepped down as president and chief executive officer of the media-fo44 | COA
cused Diversified Communications. Recently, with Hildreth remaining as board chair, the company has taken an interest in alternative energy. The son of the late Gov. Horace Hildreth, Hoddy Hildreth’s service on boards looks like a comprehensive list of regional environmental organizations: Conservation Law Foundation, Davis Conservation Foundation, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Maine Community Foundation, Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, the Nature Conservancy’s Maine chapter, not to mention his extensive board leadership of the Island Institute. While a lifelong love of Maine and its woods and oceans set the stage for Hildreth’s environmentalism, it was a firsthand view of what can happen without regulation that brought him into environmental law before the field was even known. As a prominent Portland lawyer, he found himself lobbying in Augusta for Maine’s paper companies. “It got to be obvious that they were playing fast and loose with the environment—with the woods,” Hildreth says. He stopped lobbying on those issues and soon ran for a seat in the Maine State Senate. In just two short years, from 1966-1968, he chaired the Natural Resources and the Legislative Research committees and wrote the first wetlands control law, the Site Location of Development law, and the legislation that—despite the flood of paper company lobbyists attempting to prevent it—in 1971 became the Land Use Regulatory Commission, or LURC, to oversee development in Maine’s unorganized townships. Hildreth’s interest in wind power connects his environmentalism, love of islands and dedication to island communities. To support affordable electricity costs on Vinalhaven and North Haven, Diversified Communications helped fund the Fox Islands Wind Project. About a month after COA’s turbine was raised at Beech Hill Farm, ground was broken for the first of three turbines on Vinalhaven. Wielding a shovel along with Hildreth, Maine Gov. John Baldacci and a half dozen or so others was Maine Congresswoman Chellie Pingree ’77. Somehow, this shared effort with a COA alumna, whose home lies just across the Fox Island Thorofare from his beloved Vinalhaven, brings Hildreth’s interests full circle.
College of the Atlantic annual report Fiscal Year 2008–2009
From the Administrative Dean Despite the global financial crisis, College of the Atlantic was able to achieve a balanced operating budget for the second year in a row. Considering the larger conditions of the world, COA currently is in a healthy fiscal state with many positive indicators for the coming year. As the economic crisis loomed last year, COA, like most of the nation’s colleges and universities, began to make adjustments to both short- and longer-term financial plans. Our endowment did drop, although less precipitously than most. With the general sense of concern across the nation, we experienced a dramatic slowdown in our annual giving. While we were worried about the economic plight of many of our students and their families, few of them left school or sought additional financial aid; that concern is a lingering one as unemployment has continued to rise and can be expected to last for some time.
Because of the belt-tightening measures that we did adopt, we ended last fiscal year (FY09) with an operating surplus, as shown in the accompanying table. We also had savings in the construction projects, as we completed the new student housing without dipping into its contingency. In planning the current fiscal year (FY10), we are anticipating another balanced budget, but only with allocations of the prior year surplus and keeping a portion of the construction savings as an operating contingency. Our overall fund balances remain healthy. Our net assets totaled $37 million on June 30, 2009, the end of last fiscal year. While our endowment had dropped from $17 million to $14 million with the stock market decline, it has recovered over $2 million in the fall of 2009. Audited financial statements are available upon request.
Photo by Sarah Barrett ’08.
In response to these issues, we engaged the college community in open discussions about the budget. With already tight budgets, we cut back discretionary spending even further. We suspended the search for three new faculty members, and we left open a few positions as vacancies arose. We realized that short-term measures were important, but that the effects of the economic slowdown would be felt for several years. Most importantly, we felt that we could not cut back on current programs and services. Unlike many other colleges, we did not have layoffs, furloughs, or cuts in programs, and we have filled one faculty position and are currently engaged in the searches for three other faculty members (see page 3).
Andy Griffiths, Administrative Dean
COA | 45
Financial Summary (Rounded to the nearest $1,000)
FY 2008–2009 Actual
FY 2009–2010 Budgeted
Tuition and Fees Less COA Student Financial Aid Less Davis Foundation Financial Aid Net Tuition After Financial Aid Annual Fund Contributions Endowment Allocation to Operations Government Grants Other Restricted Gifts and Grants Student Housing and Dining Summer Programs Beech Hill Farm Other Less Contingencies
9,331,000 (3,307,000) (1,725,000) 4,299,000 990,000 700,000 414,000 2,633,000 1,137,000 466,000 217,000 265,000 n/a
9,410,000 (3,760,000) (1,890,000) 3,760,000 1,100,000 875,000 391,000 3,120,000 1,165,000 380,000 200,000 230,000 (250,000)
3,180,000 464,000 468,000 1,132,000 1,702,000 1,161,000 729,000 402,000 964,000 212,000 389,000
3,473,000 530,000 360,000 1,172,000 1,709,000 1,080,000 685,000 420,000 1,200,000 205,000 437,000
318,000 (300,000) 18,000
(300,000) 300,000 —
Unrestricted Plant and Equipment Endowment Restricted Gifts Invested with the Endowment Other Temporarily Restricted
1,212,000 11,788,000 14,292,000 2,968,000 6,638,000
1,212,000 11,300,000 16,000,000 3,200,000 6,000,000
Total Fund Balances
Operating Expenses Instruction and Student Activity Student Housing and Dining Summer Programs and Museum General Administration Payroll Taxes and Fringe Benefits Development and Admissions Buildings and Grounds Interest Grants, Research and Projects Beech Hill Farm Capital Activity Total Expenditures Net Operating Surplus Before Transfers (loss) Transfer from FY09 to FY10 Net Operating Surplus After Transfers (loss) Fund Balances (end of year)
MAKE A DIFFERENCE. College of the Atlantic welcomes gifts of all kinds to support our work of educating
s tudents to make a difference throughout the world. Please consider including the college in your annual giving. Equally important, to ensure COA’s future, consider becoming part of our planned giving program. Bequests, charitable gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts and other similar programs help the college while also offering you income tax benefits. Visit www.coa.edu/support or call the development office at 207-288-5015.
46 | COA
From the Dean of Development Part of my job—the most meaningful part—requires me to bear witness to some remarkable moments in the lives of students and donors. This week, I had the poignant pleasure to give the “report” included below to a friend of the college. First, a little background. The author of the report is Gloria Kahamba, a second-year student from Tanzania. The “Sam” to whom her letter is addressed is Sam Hamill, Jr., a life trustee and a warm and deeply caring man. He started a scholarship to support a full COA education for one student from Africa’s Great Lakes (that’s Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Kenya). He decided to do this for at least two reasons. The two I am aware of are: 1) He has long been inspired by the Davis United World College Scholarship Program that Shelby and Gale Davis created (davisuwcscholars.org); and 2) He is a close friend of Davis Scholar Patrick Uwihoreye ’06, who walked out of Rwanda alone when he was thirteen, believing his entire village and family were killed in the ethnic fighting. Patrick helped Sam set up the scholarship, worked with schools in the region to identify potential recruits, helped develop the criteria for selection, personally read the applications and interviewed candidates. Gloria Kahamba was chosen. Gloria just finished her first year, and sent this letter to her benefactor. Hello Sam, It’s my hope that you are fine. I am good and had a wonderful summer. I was at home for two months and was so happy to see my family and friends again. They were really excited to hear about my life and studies at COA, and were glad that my first year went well. So far, I have enjoyed COA and I don’t regret being here. It’s not easy to find a school with a community as caring and kind as that of COA. I am also happy that I gained more knowledge from the classes I have taken during my first year and have been able to maintain good grades throughout the year. I am planning to focus on science and health courses because I am interested in pursuing medicine as my future field of career. There are also classes in other areas of study that really interest me like piano which I took in the spring. It felt so good to know that I could also play a piano! I hope that I will work even harder in my second year and the years to come. I am so grateful for your generosity and the step that you took to provide a student from the Great Lakes of Africa with this scholarship. I pray that God may fill you with more kindness, happiness, and good health. I wish you a happy and wonderful fall. Thank you, Gloria. In the pages that follow you’ll find our annual report, with giving for the year. You will read lists of names of individuals, corporations and foundations that have donated time and talent, made a planned gift, established endowment accounts, supported the annual fund. Behind every name is a story. That story is their relationship with COA. It’s my joy and privilege to honor them all. And thank each and every one. We hold your story dear. Your story makes ours possible.
Photo by Donna Gold.
Lynn Boulger, Dean of Development COA | 47
Annual Giving for fiscal year July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2009. With deep gratitude and appreciation we acknowledge the generosity of our alumni, trustees, staff, faculty and friends. THE CHAMPLAIN SOCIETY (TCS) PRESIDENT’S CIRCLE: $25,000+ Anonymous Mr. Edward McC. Blair T. A. Cox *Mrs. Philip Geyelin Mr. Samuel Hamill, Jr. Rebecca and Steve Milliken Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton Robinson, Jr. Ms. Abby Rowe (’98)/Rowe Family Fndn FOUNDER (TCS): $10,000–24,999 Mr. and Mrs. Robert M. Bass Estate of Amos and Alice Eno Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund Barbara McLeod and David Hales Mr. and Mrs. Horace Hildreth/Seal Bay II Fund of the Maine Community Fndn Mr. and Mrs. Melville Hodder Mrs. Marcia MacKinnon Maine Community Foundation Margaret A. Cargill Foundation Jennifer Reynolds and Jay McNally ’84 Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Pierce James Dyke and Helen Porter Mr. and Mrs. George Putnam Elwood R. Quesada Educational Foundation Mr. and Mrs. Clyde E. Shorey, Jr. Mr. William P. Stewart Mrs. Donald B. Straus Mr. and Mrs. William N. Thorndike, Jr. Mr. and Mrs. William Wister, Jr./ Margaret Dorrance Strawbridge Fndn PATHFINDER (TCS): $5,000–9,999 Anonymous (five) Mrs. Charlotte Bordeaux Estate of Alida D. M. Camp Mr. William P. Carey Mrs. Bernard Cough Mr. and Mrs. David H. Fischer Mr. and Mrs. William G. Foulke, Jr. Mr. and Mrs. Richard Habermann Mr. and Mrs. John N. Kelly Mr. and Mrs. Peter Loring Mrs. Louis C. Madeira Ms. Casey Mallinckrodt Mr. and Mrs. Clement E. McGillicuddy/ The Fiddlehead Fund Mr. and Mrs. Gerrish Milliken/ The Gerrish Milliken Foundation Mr. Roger Milliken Mr. and Mrs. Philip S. J. Moriarty Mr. and Mrs. William V. P. Newlin Mr. and Mrs. C. W. Eliot Paine/The Puffin Fund of Maine Community Foundation Mr. and Mrs. John P. Reeves Mr. David Rockefeller, Sr./ David Rockefeller Fund, Inc. Amy and Hartley Rogers/Rogers Family Fndn Julia Merck and Hans Utsch DISCOVERER (TCS): $2,000–4,999 Mr. and Mrs. William Bartovics Ron Beard and Sandi Read Joan S. Blaine Mr. and Mrs. Leslie C. Brewer/ ABL Fund of the Maine Community Fndn Mr. Frederick Cabot/ Paul & Virginia Cabot Charitable Trust
Linda K. and John H. Carman Ms. Sally Crock Mr. and Mrs. Charles Dickey, Jr. Drs. Elizabeth ten Grotenhuis and Merton Flemings Jane and Philip H. Grantham, Sr./ Curtis Hall Foundation Susan Dowling and Andrew Griffiths Mr. and Mrs. Paul J. Growald/ Growald Community Fund Mr. and Mrs. George B. E. Hambleton Lynn and Jeff Horowitz/ Rosengarten-Horowitz Fund Ms. Sherry Huber Sonja Johanson ’95 and Richard Gordet Ms. Leslie Jones ’91 Mr. and Mrs. Grant G. McCullagh Laura Ellis and David Milliken Mr. and Mrs. G. Marshall Moriarty Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin R. Neilson/ The Cressida Fund Mr. and Mrs. Peter A. Nitze Mrs. Patricia G. Norris Renaissance Charitable Foundation, Inc. Mr. and Mrs. John R. Robinson/ The Widgeon Point Charitable Fndn Dr. Richard G. Rockefeller/ The Philanthropic Collaborative Peter and Lucy Bell Sellers Mr. and Mrs. John P. Grace Shethar Mr. and Mrs. Winthrop Short State Street Corporation The Swan Agency – Insurance Nick and Joan Thorndike Kathy Bonk and Marc S. Tucker Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Weg Ms. Katherine Weinstock ’81 The Winky Foundation EXPLORER (TCS): $1,500–1,999 Bar Harbor Bank & Trust Mr. and Mrs. Peter Blanchard III Lynn Boulger and Tim Garrity Mr. Charles Butt Mr. and Mrs. Louis W. Cabot Susanna Porter and James Clark Barbara Damrosch and Eliot Coleman Ruth M. and Tristram C. Colket Philip and Tina DeNormandie Mrs. F. Eugene Dixon Mr. and Mrs. William Dohmen Mrs. George Dwight Mr. and Mrs. William C. Eacho III/ The Eacho Family Foundation *Mrs. Ellen H. Emery Dianna and Ben Emory/Ocean Ledges Fund of Maine Community Foundation Mr. David Fogg Mr. and Mrs. Will Gardiner Dr. and Mrs. Philip Geier Patricia and Cyrus Hagge Mrs. Penelope Harris Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hinckley Mr. and Mrs. Edward C. Johnson III Susan Lerner and Steven Katona Mr. Arthur J. Keller/Schwab Charitable Fund Ms. Joanne Kemmerer ’02 Mr. and Mrs. Robert P. Kogod Margi and Philip Kunhardt III ’77 Mrs. Anthony Lapham
Mr. and Mrs. Edward Lipkin Ms. Pamela Manice Sarah A. McDaniel ’93 Mrs. John P. McGrath Mr. Charles E. Merrill, Jr. Mr. and Mrs. A. Fenner Milton Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson E. Peters Mr. and Mrs. Richard Pierson Mrs. Eben W. Pyne Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell P. Rales/ The Mitchell P. Rales Family Foundation Mr. and Mrs. William M. Rudolf Mr. and Mrs. Robert L. Shafer/ Ayco Charitable Foundation Mrs. Nina Strawbridge Ms. Caren Sturges Jack Ledbetter and Helen Tyson Cody and Christiaan van Heerden ’09 Rodman and Susan Ward Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Wishcamper/ Joe & Carol Wishcamper Fund of Maine Community Foundation Ms. Christine Witham FRIENDS: $1–1,499 Anonymous Mr. Christopher Aberle Dr. and Mrs. Murray Abramsky Acadia Senior College Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Adelman Barbara Clark and Charles Adler AIG Matching Grants Program Ms. Heather Albert-Knopp ’99 Dr. and Mrs. Raymond Alie Ms. Judith Allen Carolyn Snell ’06 and Victor Amarilla ’05 Heather and Richard Ames Mrs. Diane Anderson John and Karen Anderson Mr. John K. Anderson Mr. and Mrs. Schofield Andrews III Kristofer and Genevieve Angle ’00 Ms. Jennifer L. Atkinson ’03 Atwater Kent Foundation, Inc. Ms. Rosemarie Avenia ’86 Wendy Knickerbocker and David Avery ’84 Ms. Lelania Prior Avila ’92 Ms. Jennifer Aylesworth ’94 Mary Dohna ’80 and Wells Bacon ’80 Mr. Alan L. Baker/The Ellsworth American Sarah and David Baker Tina and Bill Baker Bridgette Chace Kelly Ball Bar Harbor Lobster Bakes Bar Harbor Motel Bar Harbor Savings & Loan Steven Barkan and Barbara Tennent Richard and Rosemary Barnhart Mr. H. B. Beach Allison Martin ’88 and Elmer Beal, Jr. Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Beal, Sr. Drs. Wesley and Terrie Beamer Ms. Katie M. Bell Mr. and Mrs. William E. Benjamin II/ William E. II and Maura Benjamin Fund of Maine Community Foundation Sean ’08 and Heather ’08 Berg Jason Bernad, MD ’94 Ms. Lyn Berzinis Ms. Nancy Marshall Bickel
* Those donors with asterisks have since passed on; ( ) Donors with parenthesis around their years are alumni who are not COA graduates. 48 | COA
annual report Mr. John O. Biderman ’77 Mr. and Mrs. Robert J. Bird Mr. Edward McC. Blair, Jr. Hon. and Mrs. Robert O. Blake Mr. Jerry Bley (’78) Ms. Edith Blomberg Sharon Teitelbaum & Jonathan Bockian Ms. Sally Boisvert ’04 Dierdre Swords and Michael Boland ’94 Mr. Dennis Bracale ’88 Ms. Virginia Brennan Ms. Teisha Broetzman ’88 Mr. and Mrs. Ordway P. Burden/ The Florence V. Burden Foundation Charles and Barbara Burton II Becky ’81 and Skip ’83 Buyers-Basso Mr. Henry Cabot III ’97 Roc and Helen Caivano ’80 Ms. Julie MacLeod Cameron ’78 Margaret A. Cargill Foundation Ms. Frances Carlin Bill Carpenter and Donna Gold Barbara and Vinson Carter Suzanne Taylor and Don Cass Mr. and Mrs. Robert Cawley Mr. Erin Chalmers ’00 Lucy Hull and E. Barton Chapin Mr. David Chiang Ms. Taj Chibnik ’95 Ms. Diana Choksey ’05 Mrs. Katherine Kaufer Christoffel Ms. Cecily Clark Ms. Katherine Clark ’91 Ms. Kim Clark Hannah S. Sistare and Timothy B. Clark Steve Redgate and Dianne Clendaniel Jan Coates Ms. Tammis Coffin ’87 Mr. and Mrs. Elliot Cohen Ms. Barbara Cole Pancho Cole ’81 Ms. Nancy Coleman Dr. Darron Collins ’92 Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Colson Dick Atlee and Sarah Corson Sean and Georgia Cosgrove Ms. Judith Cox Jennifer ’93 and Kevin ’93 Crandall Mr. Stefan Cushman Mrs. Rose Cutler Ms. Patricia D’Angelo ’92 Mr. Adam Dau ’01 Jane and Stan Davis Ms. Norah Davis Ms. E. Nicole D’Avis ’02 Mrs. Edwin Deans Mr. John Deans ’07 Rose and Steve Demers ’80 Anthony and Milja DeMuro Holly Devaul ’84 Mrs. Joanne Devlin Mr. Robert Dick Janet Redfield and Scott Dickerson ’95 Whit and Closey Dickey Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, Upper Valley Region George and Kelly Dickson, MPhil ’97 Angela DiPerri ’01 Prof. and Mrs. Arthur Dole Martha and Stephen Dolley Margaret Donnellon Janet Anker and Charles Donnelly Mr. Millard Dority Wendy and Michael Downey
Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Dreier Mr. and Mrs. John Dreier Mrs. Mary Drury Jay and Mary Durost Mr. Alden Eaton Mr. Joseph Edes ’83 Ms. Carol Emmons Carol and Jackson Eno Joel and Arline Epstein Mr. Richard Epstein ’84 Mrs. Bertha Erb Mr. and Mrs. Charles Erhart John and Therese Erianne Gordon Iver and Dorothy Brewer Erikson Fund of the Greater Worcester Community Foundation Deb Evans ’82 and Ron Schaaf Mrs. Lucretia Evans Tony and Sarah Everdell Morris Feibusch and Ann Hughey Mr. and Mrs. Edgar Felton Sam and Elise Felton Mr. and Mrs. Nathaniel Fenton Thomas and Carroll Fernald Mr. Gabriel Finkelstein ’07 The First Ms. Cynthia Jordan Fisher ’80 John and Marie Fitzgerald Rep. Elsie Flemings ’07 Mr. and Mrs. William M.G. Fletcher Ms. Hannah Fogg ’99 Mrs. Margery Forbes Cherie and Chad Ford Ms. Arianne Fosdick ’00 Dr. and Mrs. Richard Fox Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Fox Mrs. Ruth Fraley Ms. Jamie Frank ’04 Mr. and Mrs. W. West Frazier IV Ms. Susan Freed ’80 Ms. Glenon Friedmann ’86 Mr. David Furholmen Galyn’s Galley Ms. Carla Ganiel Mr. and Mrs. Jon Geiger Ms. Laurie Geiger Ms. Helen Geils Steve and Katie George Ms. Nadine Gerdts (’76) Ms. Susan Getze Ms. Anne Giardina Mr. Jackson Gillman ’78 Ms. Lauren Gilson ’88 Dr. and Mrs. Donald Glotzer Mrs. Hope Goddard Mr. and Mrs. Paul Golas Gerda Paumgarten and Larry Goldfarb Mrs. Laura Arm Goldstein Mr. and Mrs. John Good Mr. and Mrs. Robert Goodman Bruce Mazlish and Neva Goodwin Ms. Abigail Goodyear ’81 Ms. Elizabeth Gorer Nina ’78 and Jonathan ’78 Gormley Dr. and Mrs. Robert Gossart Fr. James Gower Mr. and Mrs. John Gower Mr. P. Heeth Grantham ’94 Graycote Inn Ms. Linda Gregory ’89 Ms. Katherine Griffin ’00 Ms. Mary Griffin ’97 Mr. Joseph Grigas Ms. Nikole Grimes ’96
Ms. Grace Christina Grinager ’07 Emma Rearick ’08 and Jay Guarneri ’06 Mr. and Mrs. Michael Gumpert Ms. Elizabeth Gustavson ’94 Therese Caffery and Laurence Guttmacher Ms. Elizabeth Gwinn ’01 Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Hailperin Barney and Christie Hallowell Margaret Justice and William Hammer Ms. M. Rebecca Hancock ’97 Mr. and Mrs. Edson Harris Mr. Tanner Brook Harris ’06 Ms. Holly Hartley Ms. Sonja Hartmann ’88 Mr. and Mrs. Charles Harwood Ann and John Hassett Charlie and Nancy Hatfield Larry and Patty Hayes Ms. Lois Hayes ’79 Atsuko Watabe ’93 and Bruce Hazam ’92 Ms. Katherine Hazard ’76 Michael Zwirko ’01 and Erin Heacock ’04 Ms. Mary Heffernon Eric (’74) and Kate Henry Mr. Jim Herget Katie J. Hester ’98 Dr. Josephine Todrank Heth ’76 Charles and Jackie Hewett Ingrid and Ken Hill Ms. Barbara Hilli Dr. Leonard Hirsh Robert Thomson and Lucy Hodder Ms. Margaret Hoffman ’97 Tom and Eda Holl ’05 Mr. and Mrs. David Hollenbeck Lisa ’80 and Bob ’79 Holley Ms. Betsey Holtzmann Homewood Benefits Ms. Rosamond Hooper-Hamersley Dr. and Mrs. William Horner Ms. Kathryn Hough ’95 Ms. Jean Howell Ms. Jennifer Hughes Ms. Jane Hultberg Ms. Kathryn Hunninen ’03 Mr. and Mrs. Charles Huntington Ms. Evelyn Mae Hurwich ’80 Mr. and Mrs. John Inch, Jr. Ms. Susan B. Inches ’79 Island Realty Mr. Orton Jackson, Jr. Mr. John Jacob ’81 Alison and Joplin James ’84 Mr. William Janes Margaret and Peter Jeffery ’84 Mr. Andres Jennings ’08 Ms. Catherine Johnson ’74 Ms. Laura Johnson Chris and Kitty Jones Ms. Constance Jordan Jordan-Fernald Mr. and Mrs. H. Lee Judd Ann Sewall and Edward Kaelber Mr. and Mrs. William Kales Mr. and Mrs. David Kane Ms. Esther Karkal ’83 Steve and Ali Kassels Bob and Ellie Kates Mr. Michael Kattner ’95 Mr. John Kauffmann Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Keller Jill and Bobby Kelley Mr. and Mrs. James Kellogg Kent-Lucas Foundation, Incorporated COA | 49
David and Dawn Kersula Mr. Michael Kersula ’09 Mr. David Kessner Carl Ketchum and Lorraine Stratis Barbara and Steven Kiel Neil King and Diana King Ms. Tonia Kittelson Bethany and Zack Klyver (’05) Ms. Aleda Koehn Mr. and Mrs. Ted Koffman Ms. Anne Kozak Mr. and Mrs. Michael Kremin Jeffrey A. Kugel, PhD, MD Mrs. Philip Kunhardt, Jr. Mr. Ross La Haye Ms. Jude Lamb ’00 Dr. and Mrs. David Lebwohl Kathryn Harmon ’94 and Rob Ledo ’91 Dr. and Mrs. Leung Lee Ms. Alice Leeds ’76 Ms. Caroline Leonard ’01 Ms. Alice Levey ’81 Mr. Aaron Jonah Lewis ’05 Larry and Lois Libby Jessie Greenbaum ’89 and Philip Lichtenstein ’92 Mr. James Lindenthal Ms. Abigail Littlefield ’83 Dr. John Long, Jr. ’86 Ms. Maria Vanegas Long ’84 Dr. and Mrs. Ralph Longsworth Mr. and Mrs. William Lord II Reba and Wendell Luke, Jr. Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Lukens Ms. Mayo Lynam Machias Savings Bank Mr. James MacLeod Meg and Miles Maiden ’86 Ms. Marion Layton Mann Mr. and Mrs. George Marcus Rob Marshall ’87 Mr. Erik Hilson Martin ’98 Steven Callahan and Kathleen Massimini ’82 Mrs. Anne Mazlish
Ms. Donna McFarland Mr. J. R. McGregor Ms. Lauren McKean ’83 Ms. Lenorah McKee *Mrs. Donald McLean Mr. Clifton McPherson III ’84 Ms. Jeanne McPherson MDI YMCA Robert J. and Jane H. Meade Marvin and Jean Messex Ms. Pamela Meyer Mr. Jeffrey Miller ’92 Mr. and Mrs. Keith Miller Sen. and Mrs. George Mitchell Mr. Frank Mocejunas Mr. Peter Moon ’90 Mr. and Mrs. David Moore Mrs. Lorraine Morong Chase ’00 and Sarah ’02 Morrill Diane Blum and Bud Motzkin Mr. Andrew Moulton ’04 Dr. Frank Moya Mr. and Mrs. John Moyer Ms. Anne Mulholland Ms. Anna Murphy Mr. Sean Murphy Dr. Victoria Murphy Dave and Mary Nahs Mr. and Mrs. Robert Nathane, Jr. Rolando and Alexandra Negoita Mr. John Newhall Mr. and Mrs. Robert Nicholas III Mrs. A. Corkran Nimick Ms. Elizabeth Nixon ’99 Merideth C. Norris, D.O. and Family Mrs. Elizabeth Higgins Null Mr. and Mrs. J.D. Nyhart Ms. Hope Olmstead Hannah and Judd Olshan ’92 Mr. W. Kent Olson Mr. Benoni Outerbridge ’84 Ms. Rosetta Packer Carey Donovan and Arthur Paine Ms. Kaitlin Palmer ’08
Ms. Pamela Parvin ’93 Dr. and Mrs. Lewis Patrie Mr. Robert Patterson, Jr. Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Paul Mr. Peter Pavicevic ’07 Tobin ’95 and Valerie (’96) Peacock Mr. and Mrs. Robert Pennington Richard and Elizabeth Perez Shoshana Perry ’83 Mr. Gordon Peters Ms. Meghan Pew ’99 Susan Erickson and Bruce Phillips ’78 Mr. Chester Pierce Edward and Frances Pinkham Thomas and Patricia Pinkham Mr. Andrew Pixley ’01 Ms. Carole Plenty Shiva Polefka ’01 Ms. Frances Pollitt ’77 Ms. Brianne Press Jordan ’02 Ms. Susan Priest-Pierce ’77 Ms. Sheila Sonne Pulling Ms. Quintana Ramirez ’03 Ms. Cathy Ramsdell ’78 Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Rappaport Mr. and Mrs. Fred C. Rea Mr. and Mrs. Peter H. Reckseit Doug and Anita Repp Mr. Andrew Rice Stephen and Emmie Rick John and Carol Rivers Dr. Jennifer Roberts ’94 Drs. Paul and Ann Rochmis Mr. and Mrs. David Rockefeller, Jr. Dr. and Mrs. Steven C. Rockefeller Ms. Sydney Roberts Rockefeller Hilda and Thomas Roderick Ronald and Patricia Rogers Allison Rogers Furbish ’04 Eric ’87 and Kelly Roos Mr. W. David Rosenmiller ’84 Dr. and Mrs. Richard R. Rosenthal Drs. Pamela Jensen and Stephen Ross Mr. and Mrs. Max Rothal
Nothern Lights Society The Northern Lights Society celebrates the philanthropists who have offered planned gifts to COA. Though the most well-known planned gift is a bequest, others choose charitable gift annuities, remainder trusts, or gifts of real estate or other personal property. George Hambleton has made a planned gift through a life insurance policy. “I wish I could give even more to this wonderful organization which has given me so much through participation with its great board of trustees, enthusiastic and gifted faculty and staff, and inspiring students. An insurance policy gift to College of the Atlantic is a convenient way to give a little more than might otherwise be convenient,” says George. Thank you to George and thanks to all the members of the Northern Lights Society! *Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Bahrt Mr. Edward McC. Blair Mr. Robert Blum Lynn Boulger and Tim Garrity Leslie and Barbara Brewer *Mrs. Frederic E. Camp Ker Cleary ’84 Mrs. Shelby Cullom Davis Norah D. Davis Fran Day Ilene F. Elowitch *Mrs. Amos Eno Gordon J. and Dorothy B. Erikson 50 | COA
Vicki Evers *Sherry P. Geyelin *Henry and Sunny Guthrie Barbara E. McLeod and David F. Hales George B.E. Hambleton Samuel Hamill, Jr. *Mr. and Mrs. John Howard Drs. Pamela Jensen and Stephen Ross Ann Sewall and Edward Kaelber John M. Kauffmann Sarah A. McDaniel ’93 *Mr. David McGiffert Mr. and Mrs. Philip S. J. Moriarty
*Mrs. Barbara Piel Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton Robinson, Jr. *Dr. Elizabeth Russell *Mrs. Robert Ryle *Mr. Charles Sawyer Mr. and Mrs. Clyde E. Shorey, Jr. *Mr. and Mrs. Henry H. Smith *Mr. Donald Straus Stuart Dickey Summer *Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Thomas *Mr. Charles Tyson *Mr. and Mrs. James H. Wakelin III
annual report Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Rothstein Ms. Elizabeth Rousek Ayers ’95 Mr. and Mrs. William Russell Mr. and Mrs. William B. Russell Ms. Kerri Sands ’02 Mr. Daniel Sangeap ’90 Dave and Mary Savidge Ms. Margaret Scheid ’85 Ms. Judith Schenk ’80 Cynthia Livingston and Henry Schmelzer Ryder ’97 and Amy ’97 Scott Mr. and Mrs. Hans Seeberger Ms. Ellen Seh (’76) Tim and Frances Sellers Roland and Dottie Seymour Ms. Kate Sheely ’07 Dr. and Mrs. Dennis Shubert Ms. Carol Silverman Richard ’88 and Lilea ’90 Simis Mr. Mark Simonds ’81 John and Fran Sims Katharine Homans and Patterson Sims Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Smith Mr. and Mrs. R. Charles Snyder Ms. Harriet Soares Ms. Amanda Spector ’08 Lynne and Mike Staggs ’97 Bruce and Susan Stedman Andrea Perry ’95 and Toby Stephenson ’98 Ms. Leah C. Stetson, BA ’01, MPhil ’06 Stewart Brecher Architects Ms. Marie Stivers *Ms. Marion Stocking Ms. Dorie Stolley ’88 Carol and Sid Strickland Susan Shaw and Cynthia Stroud Mrs. Kathryn Suminsby Ms. Joan Swann Mr. Gilbert Sward Sweatt Foundation Dr. Davis Taylor Ms. Katrin Hyman Tchana ’83 Ms. Karla Tegzes Mr. Craig Ten Broeck Mr. John Thorndike Mrs. Day Thorpe Ms. Ellen Reid Thurman T. Michael Toole Elena Tuhy-Walters ’90 and Carl Walters Ms. Katharine Turok Mr. Frank Twohill ’80 Patrick and Mary Ann Tynan Sarah Tyson ’96 Mr. and Mrs. David Vail Ms. Katrina Van Dusen Tony and Mandie Victor Mr. John Viele (’77) Abbe F. Vogels ’01 Elizabeth and Tom Volkmann ’90/ United Way of Central New Mexico Mrs. Jeptha Wade Richard Hilliard and Karen Waldron Stacy Hankin and Ben Walters ’81 Lee and Laurie Ward Mrs. Cecile Watson Ms. Joan Weber Mrs. Constance Weeks Diane Metzger and Edward Weisberg Ms. Maria Weisenberg ’81 Ms. Jean McHugh Weiss ’81 Mary E. Welch Bradford and Alice Wellman Mr. and Mrs. Scott Weymouth Mr. and Mrs. Harold White III Mr. Douglas Williams
Raymond and Laurie Williams Williams Family Foundation Ms. Nellie Wilson ’04 Janey Winchell ’82 Dawn Lamendola (’92) and Josh Winer ’91 Mr. David Winship ’77 Ms. Betsy Wisch ’83 Tom and Loretta Witt Sue Woehrlin ’80 Ms. Rebecca Hope Woods Ms. Jingran Xiao (’86) Mr. Robert Young (’86) Mr. and Mrs. Louis Zawislak Mrs. Jane Zirnkilton Lori Hunt and Mark Zuckerman
For Colin Capers Ms. Mary Heffernon
GIFTS IN MEMORIAM For Peter G. Barton Ms. Patricia Barton
For Elizabeth Hodder Dr. and Mrs. Philip Geier
For Mary Cantwell Mr. Chris Aaront ’08 For Rebecca Clark ’96 See Scholarship Gifts For Herbert M. Elliott Wendy Rodger and Henry Elliott (’73) For Craig Greene Allison Martin ’88 and Elmer Beal Patricia Honea-Fleming & Richard Borden Dr. James Kellam ’96 For James Ripley Hooper Ms. Rosamond Hooper-Hamersley For John A. Hultberg Ms. Anne M. Kozak For Catherine Keras Mr. and Mrs. Michael Kremin For James J. Keras, Sr. Lynn Boulger and Tim Garrity For Alfred Spiller Kidwell Mr. and Mrs. John Merrill For Philip Levin Ms. Isobel Bertman Mr. and Mrs. E. James Cole Ms. Marlene Dickinson Mr. and Mrs. Robert L. Mayer Mrs. Ruth Salinger
For Sally Morong Chetwynd Mrs. Lorraine Morong For William G. Foulke, Jr. Dr. and Mrs. Philip Geier For Rowen Gorman ’07 Mrs. Constance Weeks For George B.E. Hambleton Mr. William Carey For Samuel M. Hamill, Jr. Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Wishcamper
For Russell Holway Anonymous For Steven K. Katona John and Karen Anderson Dr. and Mrs. Melville P. Cote George and Kelly Dickson, MPhil ’97 Mr. Millard Dority Mr. and Mrs. David Fischer Jonathan ’78 and Nina ’78 Gormley Mr. and Mrs. George B. E. Hambleton Charles and Jackie Hewett Ms. Jean Hoekwater ’80 Mrs. Michael Huber Jordan’s Restaurant Ann Sewall and Edward G. Kaelber Shawn ’00 and Sarah ’05 Keeley Ms. Casey Mallinckrodt Sarah A. McDaniel ’93 Mr. and Mrs. Gerrish Milliken Michael (’93) and Mollie ’92 Phemister Susan Erickson and Bruce Phillips ’78 Ms. Cathy L. Ramsdell ’78 Dr. Jennifer Rock ’93 Cynthia Livingston and Henry Schmelzer Mr. and Mrs. Richard F. Sullivan Elena Tuhy-Walters ’90 and Carl Walters For Pat Krevans Ms. Rachel Krevans
For Dr. Edward J. Meade, Jr. Robert J. and Jane H. Meade
For Stephen Milliken Mr. Orton Jackson, Jr.
For Donald B. Straus Allison Martin ’88 and Elmer Beal, Jr. Mr. and Mrs. John Cooper Todd and Christa Little-Siebold T.F. Gregg Charitable Fund
For Philip and Meredith Moriarty Dave and Mary Nahs
For Jeff Weisbruch Ms. Caroline Leonard ’01
For Hamilton Robinson, Jr. Ms. Nancy Marshall Bickel
GIFTS IN HONORARIUM For Foster Bartovics Ms. Marion Layton Mann For Edward McC. Blair Mr. Edward McC. Blair, Jr. Ms. Pamela G. Meyer For Lynn Boulger & Tim Garrity Merideth C. Norris, D.O. and Family For Leslie C. Brewer Gordon Iver and Dorothy Brewer Erikson Fund of the Greater Worcester Community Foundation
For Helen L. Porter Mr. and Mrs. Charles Davis
For Fae Silverman Ms. Carol Silverman MATCHING GIFTS AIG Matching Grants Program Charles Schwab Foundation Fidelity Foundation Freeport-McMoRan Foundation GE Foundation Microsoft Matching Gifts Program Milliken & Company The Boeing Company Verizon Foundation
COA | 51
GIFTS TO THORNDIKE LIBRARY Ms. Patricia Barton Mr. and Mrs. Harold G. Brack The Camden Conference Ms. Jane Hultberg Carol ’93 and Jacob ’93 Null GIFTS TO GEORGE B. DORR MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY Mrs. Bernard K. Cough Jonathan ’78 and Nina ’78 Gormley Mr. and Mrs. John Guth James Dyke and Helen Porter GIFTS TO SUMMER FIELD STUDIES PROGRAM Bar Harbor Garden Club Mr. and Mrs. Peter Blanchard III Ms. Trisha Cantwell-Keene Douglas Michael and Kimberly Childs Mr. and Mrs. Gary Churchill Ms. Alison Coluccio Ms. Angela Delvecchio ’92 Mr. and Mrs. Douglass Eberhardt Daniel Bunker and Deborah Elman Melisa Rowland and Scott Henggeler Peter Allen and Sarah Hodder James Hanscom and Erika Jeffers Antony Detre and Yvette Kovats Ms. Susan Flynn Maristany ’82 Ms. Eileen Rosen Miller Steve and Donna Moore Suzanne Morse Nicole Theodosiou Napier and Mark Napier Ms. Caroline Pryor Mr. David Rockefeller Joel Graber and Lindsay Shopland Show Stoppers, Unlimited Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Smith Zach ’00 and Autumn ’01 Soares Charles Target and Lisa Stewart Ms. Kirsten Stockman ’91 Shirng-Wern Tsaih GIFTS TO BEECH HILL FARM Mr. and Mrs. Mark Campbell Douglas Legg and Nina M. Goldman Healthy Acadia Coalition Ms. Casey Mallinckrodt Linzee Weld and Peter Milliken ’76 Rebecca and Steve Milliken Suzanne Morse The Partridge Foundation Mr. Shamsher Virk ’07 GIFTS TO UNION RIVER WATERSHED COALITION Ms. Nancy Alexander Dr. & Mrs. Robert Beekman Mr. Kenneth Cline Mr. Robert DeSimone Dr. Jane Disney Drs. Elizabeth ten Grotenhuis and Merton Flemings Dr. and Mrs. John Furth Mr. Donald Gagner Ms. Carol Tweedie Korty Ms. Susan Leland Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Morse Jim and Suzanne Owen Mr. James Pendleton Ms. Bonnie Preston Mr. William Rice Jane Rosinski and Gordon Russell 52 | COA
Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Smith Southern Maine Wetlands Conservancy Mr. Edward P. Steenstra Dan Thomassen and Bonnie Tai Ms. Barbara Witham SCHOLARSHIP GIFTS Harold Alfond Foundation Bangor Hydro-Electric Company Ms. Isobel Bertman Mr. and Mrs. E. James Cole Mr. and Mrs. Shelby M.C. Davis Ms. Marlene Dickinson Fisher Charitable Foundation Edward G. Kaelber Scholarship Fund of the Maine Community Foundation Mr. Nishad Jayasundara ’05 The Agnes M. Lindsay Trust Maine Space Grant Consortium Mr. and Mrs. Robert L. Mayer Mr. William B. McDowell ’80 Ms. Meghan Piercy ’91 S&G Foundation Mrs. Ruth Salinger Alice Blum Yoakum Scholarship Fund of the Maine Community Foundation The Great Lakes of Africa Scholarship Mr. Samuel M. Hamill, Jr. Rebecca Clark ’96 Memorial Scholarship Fund Bar Harbor Whale Watch Mr. Kenneth Cline Ms. Sally Crock GRANTS FOR SPECIAL PROJECTS Community Based Fisheries Management Long Cove Foundation, Inc. Comprehensive Academic Management System (CAMS) Davis Educational Foundation IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) National Center for Research Resources, NIH Maine Sea Grant Program University of Maine Sea Grant Program Research Fellowships Maine Space Grant Consortium Restricted Grant Margaret A. Cargill Foundation Supporting Early Success in College MELMAC Education Foundation Trans-Atlantic Partnership for Sustainable Food Systems Partridge Foundation GIFTS TO SPECIAL PROJECTS Anonymous Barrick Gold Corporation Ron Beard and Sandi Read California Native Plant Society Mr. and Mrs. John Cooper T. A. Cox James Deering Danielson Foundation Mr. and Mrs. Shelby M.C. Davis Wendy Rodger and Henry Elliott (’73) Mr. and Mrs. William Foulke, Jr. Mr. Samuel Hamill, Jr. Hancock County Fund of the Maine Community Foundation
Mr. and Mrs. Horace Hildreth Mr. and Mrs. Melville Hodder Ms. Anne Kozak Ms. Rachel Krevans Mr. and Mrs. Edward Leisenring Todd and Christa Little-Siebold Mr. Samuel Joseph Lord (’01) Machias Savings Bank Ms. Casey Mallinckrodt Jennifer Reynolds and Jay McNally ’84 Mr. and Mrs. John Merrill Mr. and Mrs. G. Marshall Moriarty Suzanne Morse Mr. and Mrs. William V. P. Newlin Lynn and Willy Osborn Ms. Cathy Ramsdell ’78 Peter and Lucy Bell Sellers Mr. Michael Senk Mr. Henry Steinberg ’06 Mrs. Donald Straus Ms. Nina Therkildsen ’05 U.S. Forest Service Peter Wayne ’83 Campus Landscape Lynn Boulger and Tim Garrity Mr. Caleb Fuller Davis ’02 Mr. and Mrs. Charles Davis Garden Club of Mount Desert Helen Porter and James Dyke Reel Pizza Kathryn W. Davis Student Residence Village Mr. and Mrs. Robert Bass Ron Beard and Sandi Read Mr. and Mrs. Leslie C. Brewer Lynn Boulger and Tim Garrity Mr. and Mrs. Roderick Cushman Margi and Philip Kunhardt III ’77 Ms. Casey Mallinckrodt Sarah A. McDaniel ’93 Rebecca and Steve Milliken Dr. Walter Robinson Mr. and Mrs. Clyde E. Shorey, Jr. Mr. John Wilmerding GIFTS TO THE SENIOR CLASS Ms. Ashley Adler ’09 Lynn Boulger and Tim Garrity Ms. Heather Candon ’99 Mr. Colin Capers ’95 Barbara and Vinson Carter Mr. Brett Ciccotelli ’09 Steve Redgate and Dianne Clendaniel Mr. Kenneth Cline Ms. Sarah Drerup ’09 Ms. Donna Gold Ms. Toria Harr ’09 Ken and Ingrid Hill Ms. Jennifer Hughes Ms. Sarah Jackson ’09 Mr. Peter Jenkins ’09 Ms. Laura Johnson Ms. Linda Mejia ’09 Mr Samuel Miller-McDonald ’09 Ms. Anna Murphy Ms. Laura Pohjola ’09 Sean and Carolyn Todd Mr. Christiaan van Heerden ’09 GIFTS TO THE ENDOWMENT Acadia Lobster Bakes LLC John and Karen Anderson Mr. and Mrs. Francis I. Blair
annual report Allan Stone Chair in the Visual Arts Carolyn Snell ’06 and Victor Amarilla ’05 Mr. and Mrs. Graham Berwind, Jr. Mr. Charles Butt Mr. and Mrs. Robert Kogod Mr. and Mrs. Edward Lipkin Mr. and Mrs. Gerrish Milliken Mrs. Allan Stone Mr. and Mrs. John Sullivan, Jr. Craig Greene Memorial Fund Allison Martin ’88 and Elmer Beal Patricia Honea-Fleming & Richard Borden Doug Rose GIS Enhancement Fund Mr. and Mrs. Clayton D. Rose William Drury Memorial Research Fund Mr. and Mrs. Robert G. Goelet Dr. Ellen Spain President’s Discretionary Benefit and Compensation Fund Anonymous Ms. Maria Lis Baiocchi ’07 Mr. Charles Fischer ’07 Dr. James Kellam ’96 Steven K. Katona Chair in Marine Studies John and Karen Anderson Dr. and Mrs. Melville P. Cote George and Kelly Dickson, MPhil ’97 Mr. Millard Dority Mr. and Mrs. David Fischer Jonathan ’78 and Nina ’78 Gormley Mr. and Mrs. George B. E. Hambleton Charles and Jackie Hewett Ms. Jean Hoekwater ’80 Mrs. Michael Huber Jordan’s Restaurant Ann Sewall and Edward G. Kaelber Shawn ’00 and Sarah ’05 Keeley Ms. Casey Mallinckrodt Sarah A. McDaniel ’93 Mr. and Mrs. Gerrish Milliken Michael (’93) and Mollie ’92 Phemister Susan Erickson and Bruce Phillips ’78 Ms. Cathy L. Ramsdell ’78 Dr. Jennifer Rock ’93 Cynthia Livingston and Henry Schmelzer Mr. and Mrs. Richard F. Sullivan Elena Tuhy-Walters ’90 and Carl Walters GIFTS TO ALLIED WHALE Abercrombie & Kent, Inc. Siobhan Agababian Steven Barkan and Barbara Tennent Ms. Jean D. Beckley Ms. Marie Berlin Ms. Gail Brahier Mr. Mark S. Brown Michele and Agnese Cestone Foundation Mr. Michael Demasi Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Dew George Gerliczy and Katherine Donaldson Ms. Shantelle Dunlap Mr. and Mrs. Richard Enstrom Ms. Julie Feldman Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Feldstein Ms. Carla Ganiel Mr. Walter H. Goodnow Mr. and Mrs. Sean Hennessey Ms. Deborah L. Jackson Dylan and Mitch Kinsella Alden Ms. Carolyn Krippen Ms. Elizabeth C. Mackey
Maine Coast Sea Vegetables Ms. Sarah Mathis Ms. Elizabeth McRoy Ms. Pamela G. Meyer Mr. Thomas J. Milton Ms. Nancy Ridenour Claire and Donald Riley Mr. and Mrs. Dennis M. Robinson, Jr. Ms. Abby Rowe (’98)/Rowe Family Fndn Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Sewall Ms. Donna Seymour Andrew and Sylvia Shatz Erik Tryggestad and Angela Smith Starline Dept. of Education Mr. and Mrs. Richard Tolar U.S. Department of Commerce/NOAA Mr. William R. Warner GIFTS IN KIND Anonymous Aquatic Adventures Ron Beard and Sandi Read Mr. Ashley Bryan Drs. Doreen Stabinsky and David Feldman Dr. and Mrs. Richard R. Fox Mr. and Mrs. Paul Fremont-Smith, Jr. Jay and Ursula Friedlander *Mrs. Philip P. Geyelin Katahdin Photogallery Susan Lerner and Steven Katona Ms. Anne M. Kozak Reba and Wendell Luke, Jr. Mr. and Mrs. James Mahoney Amy and Michael Reisman James Senter ‘88 Mr. Tom Zivkovich GIFTS OF TIME AND TALENT Mukhtar Amin ’04 Glen Berkowitz ’82 Eugenio Bertin ’97 and Sara Faull ’97 Yaniv Brandvain ’04 Ms. Pamela Bush Tawanda Chabikwa ’07 Taj Chibnik ’95 Rohan ’04 and April Mauro ’04 Chitrakar Ms. Stephanie Clement Laura Cohn ’88 Dr. Darron Collins ’92 Benjamin Cowie-Haskell ’84 Anne Czechanski ’06 Mr. Bob DeForrest ’94 Angela Delvecchio ’92 Jen DesMaisons ’93 Cerissa Desrosiers ’00 Heather Dority ’96 Nikhit D’Sa ’06 Edenbrook Motel Alex Fletcher ’07 Timothy Fuller ’03 Mr. Jon Geiger Matthew Gerald ’83 Jackson Gillman ’78 Jessica Glynn ’06 Elizabeth Gustavson ’94 Kate Hassett ’08 Ms. Susan Hersey Juan Hoffmaister ’07 Margaret Hoffman ’97 Amy Hoffmaster ’06 Noreen Hogan ’91 Mr. Charlie Jacobi Alexandra Karkruff ’06 Julianne Kearney ’06
Shawn ’00 and Sarah ’05 Keeley Mr. John Kelly Todd Kitchens ’06 Mr. R. Zackary Klyver (’05) Noah Krell ’01 Philip Kunhardt III ’77 Jeanne Lambert ’06 Virginie Lavallee-Picard ’07 Jessie Greenbaum ’89 and Phil Lichtenstein ’92 Abigail Littlefield ’83 Benjamin Macko ’01 Miles Maiden ’86 Maine Cheese Makers Mr. Michael Martin-Zboray ’95 Sarah A. McDaniel ’93 William B. McDowell ’80 Megan McOsker ’90 Greg Milne ’91 Edward Monat ’88 Peter Moon ’90 Dominic Muntanga ’04 Carol Null ’93 Rachel O’Reilly (’98) Alexa Pezzano ’00 Abbie Plaskov ’03 Jennifer Prediger ’00 Dr. Nishanta Rajakaruna ’94 Chris Read ’03 Mrs. Roxana Robinson Dr. Jennifer Rock ’93 Santiago Salinas ’05 Ms. Kerri Sands ’02 Jennifer Schroth ’84 and Jonathan Ellsworth ’87 Mihaela Senek ’05 Kate Sheely ’07 Mark Simonds ’81 Carolyn Snell ’06 Natalie Springuel ’91 St. Saviors Choir Michael Staggs ’96 Mr. William P. Stewart and Family Treenen Sturman ’02 Kate Tompkins ’08 Erik Torbeck ’94 Elena Tuhy-Walters ’90 Joanna Walls (’07) Marjolaine Whittlesey ’05 Holly Zak ’94 SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR ALUMNI DONORS Mr. Chris Aaront ’08 Ms. Ashley Adler ’09 Ms. Heather Albert-Knopp ’99 Carolyn Snell ’06 and Victor Amarilla ’05 Mukhtar Amin ’04 Kristofer and Genevieve Angle ’00 Ms. Jennifer Atkinson ’03 Ms. Rosemarie Avenia ’86 Wendy Knickerbocker and David Avery ’84 Ms. Lelania Prior Avila ’92 Ms. Jennifer Aylesworth ’94 Mary Dohna ’80 and Wells Bacon ’80 Ms. Maria Lis Baiocchi ’07 Sean ’08 and Heather ’08 Berg Mr. Glen Berkowitz ’82 Jason Bernad, MD ’94 Eugenio Bertin ’97 and Sara Faull ’97 Mr. John Biderman ’77 Mr. Jerry Bley (’78) Ms. Sally Boisvert ’04 Michael Boland ’94 COA | 53
Mr. Dennis Bracale ’88 Mr. Yaniv Brandvain ’04 Ms. Teisha Broetzman ’88 Becky ’81 and Skip ’83 Buyers-Basso Mr. Henry Cabot III ’97 Helen Caivano ’80 Ms. Julie MacLeod Cameron ’78 Ms. Heather Candon ’99 Mr. Colin Capers ’95 Mr. Tawanda Chabikwa ’07 Mr. Erin Chalmers ’00 Ms. Taj Chibnik ’95 Rohan ’04 and April Mauro ’04 Chitrakar Ms. Diana Choksey ’05 Mr. Brett Ciccotelli ’09 Ms. Katherine Clark ’91 Ms. Tammis Coffin ’87 Laura Cohn ’88 Pancho Cole ’81 Dr. Darron Collins ’92 Benjamin Cowie-Haskell ’84 Kevin ’93 and Jennifer ’93 Crandall Anne Czechanski ’06 Ms. Patricia D’Angelo ’92 Mr. Adam Dau ’01 Mr. Caleb Fuller Davis ’02 Ms. E. Nicole D’Avis ’02 Mr. John Deans ’07 Mr. Bob DeForrest ’94 Ms. Angela Delvecchio ’92 Rose and Steve Demers ’80 Jen DesMaisons ’93 Cerissa Desrosiers ’00 Holly Devaul ’84 Scott Dickerson ’95 George and Kelly Dickson, MPhil ’97 Angela DiPerri ’01 Heather Dority ’96 Mary Dohna ’80 and Wells Bacon ’80 Ms. Sarah Drerup ’09 Nikhit D’Sa ’06 Mr. Joseph Edes ’83 Henry Elliott (’73) Mr. Richard Epstein ’84 Ms. Julie Erb ’83 Deb Evans ’82 Mr. Gabriel Finkelstein ’07 Mr. Charles Fischer ’07 Ms. Cynthia Jordan Fisher ’80 Rep. Elsie Flemings ’07 Alex Fletcher ’07 Ms. Hannah Fogg ’99 Ms. Arianne Fosdick ’00 Ms. Jamie Frank ’04 Ms. Susan Freed ’80 Ms. Glenon Friedmann ’86 Timothy Fuller ’03 Mr. Matthew Gerald ’83 Ms. Nadine Gerdts (’76) Mr. Jackson Gillman ’78 Ms. Lauren Gilson ’88 Jessica Glynn ’06 Ms. Abigail Goodyear ’81 Jonathan ’78 and Nina ’78 Gormley Mr. P. Heeth Grantham ’94 Ms. Linda Gregory ’89 Ms. Katherine Griffin ’00 Ms. Mary Griffin ’97 Ms. Nikole Grimes ’96 Ms. Grace Christina Grinager ’07 Emma Rearick ’07 and Jay Guarneri ’06 Ms. Elizabeth Gustavson ’94 Ms. Elizabeth Gwinn ’01 Ms. M. Rebecca Hancock ’97 54 | COA
Why I Give I give to COA because my experiences and education at COA prepared me for the challenges of my work and personal life. A COA education creates critical thinkers, adaptable and accepting minds open to others’ needs and beliefs, the need to work with intensity and a sense of purpose, and a desire to make a contribution to the world we live in. I give to COA because I am grateful for the opportunities my education has given me and because I believe that all those who desire a COA education should be able to attend regardless of their financial situation. Margaret Hoffman ’97 Director of Marketing and Visitor Services, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay, Maine
Ms. Toria Harr ’09 Mr. Tanner Brook Harris ’06 Ms. Sonja Hartmann ’88 Ms. Kate Hassett ’08 Ms. Lois Hayes ’79 Ms. Katherine Hazard ’76 Michael Zwirko ’01 and Erin Heacock ’04 Eric Henry (’74) Ms. Katie Hester ’98 Dr. Josephine Todrank Heth ’76 Ms. Jean Hoekwater ’80 Juan Hoffmaister ’07 Ms. Margaret Hoffman ’97 Ms. Amy Hoffmaster ’06 Noreen Hogan ’91 Eda Holl ’05 Lisa ’80 and Bob ’79 Holley Ms. Kathryn Hough ’95 Ms. Kathryn Hunninen ’03 Ms. Evelyn Mae Hurwich ’80 Ms. Susan B. Inches ’79 Ms. Sarah Jackson ’09 Mr. John Jacob ’81 Joplin James ’84 Mr. Nishad Jayasundara ’05 Peter Jeffery ’84 Mr. Peter Jenkins ’09 Mr. Andres Jennings ’08 Sonja Johanson ’95 Ms. Catherine Johnson ’74 Ms. Leslie Jones ’91 Ms. Esther Karkal ’83 Ms. Alexandra Karkruff ’06 Mr. Michael Kattner ’95 Julianne Kearney ’06 Shawn ’00 and Sarah ’05 Keeley Dr. James Kellam ’96 Ms. Joanne Kemmerer ’02 Mr. Michael Kersula ’09 Mr. Todd Kitchens ’06 Zack Klyver (’05) Mr. Noah Krell ’01 Margi and Philip Kunhardt III ’77 Ms. Jude Lamb ’00 Jeanne Lambert ’06 Virginie Lavallee-Picard ’07 Kathryn Harmon ’94 and Rob Ledo ’91 Ms. Alice Leeds ’76 Ms. Caroline Leonard ’01 Ms. Alice Levey ’81 Mr. Aaron Jonah Lewis ’05 Jessie Greenbaum ’89
and Philip Lichtenstein ’92 Ms. Abigail Littlefield ’83 Dr. John Long, Jr. ’86 Ms. Maria Vanegas Long ’84 Mr. Samuel Joseph Lord (’01) Benjamin Macko ’01 Miles Maiden ’86 Ms. Susan Flynn Maristany ’82 Rob Marshall ’87 Mr. Erik Hilson Martin ’98 Mr. Michael Martin-Zboray ’95 Kathleen Massimini ’82 Sarah A. McDaniel ’93 Mr. William B. McDowell ’80 Ms. Lauren McKean ’83 Jay McNally ’84 Ms. Megan McOsker ’90 Mr. Clifton McPherson III ’84 Ms. Linda Mejia ’09 Mr. Jeffrey Miller ’92 Mr Samuel Miller-McDonald ’09 Peter Milliken ’76 Mr. Greg Milne ’91 Mr. Edward Monat ’88 Mr. Peter Moon ’90 Chase ’00 and Sarah ’02 Morrill Mr. Andrew Moulton ’04 Dominic Muntanga ’04 Ms. Elizabeth Nixon ’99 Carol ’93 and Jacob Null ’93 Hannah Olshan ’92 Ms. Rachel O’Reilly (’98) Mr. Benoni Outerbridge ’84 Ms. Kaitlin Palmer ’08 Ms. Pamela Parvin ’93 Mr. Peter Pavicevic ’07 Tobin ’95 and Valerie (’96) Peacock Shoshana Perry ’83 Ms. Meghan Pew ’99 Ms. Alexa Pezzano ’00 Michael (’93) and Mollie ’92 Phemister Bruce Phillips ’78 Ms. Meghan Piercy ’91 Mr. Andrew Pixley ’01 Ms. Abbie Plaskov ’03 Ms. Laura Pohjola ’09 Shiva Polefka ’01 Ms. Frances Pollitt ’77 Ms. Jennifer Prediger ’00 Ms. Brianne Press Jordan ’02 Ms. Susan Priest-Pierce ’77 Dr. Nishanta Rajakaruna ’94
annual report Ms. Quintana Ramirez ’03 Ms. Cathy Ramsdell ’78 Mr. Chris Read ’03 Dr. Jennifer Roberts ’94 Dr. Jennifer Rock ’93 Allison Rogers Furbish ’04 Eric Roos ’87 Mr. W. David Rosenmiller ’84 Ms. Elizabeth Rousek Ayers ’95 Ms. Abby Rowe (’98) Santiago Salinas ’05 Ms. Kerri Sands ’02 Mr. Daniel Sangeap ’90 Ms. Margaret Scheid ’85 Ms. Judith Schenk ’80 Jennifer Schroth ’84 and Jonathan Ellsworth ’87 Ryder ’97 and Amy ’97 Scott Ms. Ellen Seh (’76) Ms. Mihaela Senek ’05 James Senter ‘88 Ms. Kate Sheely ’07 Richard ’88 and Lilea ’90 Simis Mr. Mark Simonds ’81
Zach ’00 and Autumn ’01 Soares Ms. Amanda Spector ’08 Ms. Natalie Springuel ’91 Michael Staggs ’97 Mr. Henry Steinberg ’06 Andrea Perry ’95 and Toby Stephenson ’98 Ms. Leah C. Stetson, BA ’01, MPhil ’06 Ms. Kirsten Stockman ’91 Ms. Dorie Stolley ’88 Mr. Treenen Sturman ’02 Ms. Katrin Hyman Tchana ’83 Ms. Nina Therkildsen ’05 Ms. Kate Tompkins ’08 Mr. Erik Torbeck ’94 Elena Tuhy-Walters ’90 Mr. Frank Twohill ’80 Sarah Tyson ’96 Christiaan van Heerden ’09 Mr. John Viele (’77) Mr. Shamsher Virk ’07 Abbe F. Vogels ’01 Tom Volkmann ’90 Joanna Walls (’07) Ben Walters ’81
Peter Wayne ’83 Ms. Katherine Weinstock ’81 Ms. Maria Weisenberg ’81 Ms. Jean McHugh Weiss ’81 Marjolaine Whittlesey ’05 Ms. Nellie Wilson ’04 Janey Winchell ’82 Josh Winer ’91 Mr. David Winship ’77 Ms. Betsy Wisch ’83 Sue Woehrlin ’80 Ms. Jingran Xiao (’86) Mr. Robert Young (’86) Holly Zak ’94 OUR FRIENDS WHO PASSED AWAY Since July 1, 2008 Mrs. Ellen H. Emery Mrs. Philip (Sherry) Geyelin Mr. Michael Huber Mr. Philip Levin Mrs. Donald (Mona) McLean Ms. Marion Stocking
Year After Year Profile: Jeanne McPherson I was talking to Jeanne McPherson the other day. She has made a gift to COA year after year and I called to see why. I knew she was not a past parent, nor a graduate. She lives in mid-coast Maine, not exactly right around the corner. She does not come to lectures or gallery shows to see our amazing students’ work. How did she come to be such a loyal supporter of COA? Here’s the story she told me: “Years ago, you had an Elderhostel there. My room was on the third floor of The Turrets. While we were there, a great fire broke out on the campus. It is such a tribute to the people that make up COA, the care that they took making sure we were safe. Everyone went to such an extent to make us comfortable ... even though the place was on fire! I have never forgotten your kindness.” The fire that burned the old Kaelber Hall happened twenty-six years ago. Today, Jeanne is eighty-eight years old! A graduate of Bucknell University, Jeanne’s gift to us is particularly meaningful. She says, “My fifty dollars is not going to make a make a great deal of difference ... but I feel this is what I can do and I want to support you. COA is one of the places I feel deserves my support. I get a lot out of it!” She keeps tabs on the work that’s made possible by her giving. “Whenever I get the magazine, I am so impressed! It’s not just the writing. It tells you so much about the graduates and the undergraduates and the work you do.” Thank you, Jeanne! And thanks to all of those listed below who year after year give to COA. Lynn Boulger, Dean of Development
25 Years or More! Bar Harbor Bank & Trust Mr. Edward McC. Blair Mr. and Mrs. Leslie C. Brewer *Mrs. Alida D. M. Camp *Mr. and Mrs. Amos Eno Mrs. Lucretia W. Evans The First Mrs. Ruth B. Fraley Mr. and Mrs. John M. Good Fr. James Gower
Ms. Catherine B. Johnson ’74 Ann Sewall and Edward Kaelber Mrs. Louis C. Madeira Mr. Charles E. Merrill, Jr. Mr. and Mrs. Gerrish Milliken Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin R. Neilson Mr. and Mrs. William V. P. Newlin Mr. and Mrs. C. W. Eliot Paine Mrs. Eben W. Pyne
Mr. and Mrs. John P. Reeves Mr. David Rockefeller Peter and Lucy Bell Sellers Mr. and Mrs. Clyde E. Shorey, Jr. *Ms. Marion Stocking Mrs. Donald B. Straus Ms. Joan H. Swann Ms. Katherine Weinstock ’81 Mr. Douglas Williams COA | 55
20–24 Years Mrs. Diane H. Anderson Mr. and Mrs. Robert M. Bass Mr. H. B. Beach Mr. and Mrs. Elmer L. Beal, Sr. Mr. John O. Biderman ’77 Hon. and Mrs. Robert O. Blake Mr. and Mrs. Peter P. Blanchard III Mr. Jerry Bley (’78) Charles and Barbara Burton II Roc and Helen Caivano ’80 Ms. Julie MacLeod Cameron ’78 Donna Gold and William Carpenter Mr. and Mrs. Elliot Cohen Mr. and Mrs. Gerald E. Colson Dick Atlee and Sarah Corson Dr. and Mrs. Melville P. Cote Ms. Sally Crock Mr. and Mrs. Roderick H. Cushman Ms. Norah D. Davis Mr. and Mrs. Charles Dickey, Jr. Prof. and Mrs. Arthur A. Dole Carol and Jackson Eno Mr. and Mrs. Gordon I. Erikson Ms. Cynthia Jordan Fisher ’80 Dr. and Mrs. Richard R. Fox Mr. and Mrs. W. West Frazier, IV Mr. Jackson Gillman ’78 Dr. and Mrs. Donald J. Glotzer Bruce Mazlish and Neva Goodwin Jonathan ’78 and Nina ’78 Gormley Mr. and Mrs. Paul J. Growald Ms. Katherine W. Hazard ’76 Eric (’74)and Kate Henry Mr. and Mrs. Horace A. Hildreth, Jr. Mr. and Mrs. Melville Hodder Lisa ’80 and Bob ’79 Holley Ms. Betsey Holtzmann Mrs. Michael Huber Ms. Susan B. Inches ’79 Susan Lerner and Steven Katona Mr. John M. Kauffmann Mr. and Mrs. John N. Kelly Neil King and Diana King Mr. and Mrs. Robert P. Kogod Ms. Anne M. Kozak Margi and Philip Kunhardt III ’77 Dr. Eugene A. Lesser ’78 Mrs. Marcia MacKinnon Mr. J. R. McGregor Mrs. Donald McLean Mr. Roger Milliken Mr. and Mrs. G. Marshall Moriarty Mrs. Lorraine B. Morong Mrs. A. Corkran Nimick Ms. Sandra Nowicki Mrs. Elizabeth Higgins Null Mr. Benoni Outerbridge ’84 Susan Erickson and Bruce Phillips ’78 Mona and Louis Rabineau Ms. Cathy L. Ramsdell ’78 Mr. and Mrs. Owen W. Roberts Mr. and Mrs. David Rockefeller, Jr. Hilda and Thomas Roderick Ms. Ellen Seh (’76) Mr. and Mrs. Winthrop A. Short Ms. Dorie S. Stolley ’88 Mrs. Kathryn Suminsby Mr. John L. Thorndike 56 | COA
Mr. John Van Dewater Mr. John E. Viele (’77) Mrs. Jeptha Wade Stacy Hankin and Ben Walters ’81 Bradford and Alice Wellman Ms. Janey Winchell ’82 Mr. and Mrs. William Wister, Jr. Mr. David J. Witham Ms. Sue Woehrlin ’80 Mrs. Jane S. Zirnkilton
15–19 Years Dr. and Mrs. Murray Abramsky Mr. John K. Anderson Atwater Kent Foundation, Incorporated Mary Dohna ’80 and Wells ’80 Bacon Bar Harbor Motel Bar Harbor Savings & Loan Mr. and Mrs. Francis I. Blair Ms. Edith Blomberg Ms. Pamela L. Bolton ’79 Mrs. Charlotte T. Bordeaux Ms. Virginia Brennan Becky ’81 and Skip ’83 Buyers-Basso Ms. Tammis Coffin ’87 Ms. Barbara C. Cole Ruth M. and Tristram C. Colket Mr. and Mrs. S. Whitney Dickey Mrs. F. Eugene Dixon Mrs. Mary Drury *Mrs. Ellen H. Emery Mrs. Bertha E. Erb Mr. and Mrs. Charles Erhart Mr. and Mrs. William Foulke, Jr. Ms. Susan E. Freed ’80 Galyn’s Galley Ms. Laurie Geiger *Mr. and Mrs. Philip Geyelin Mrs. Hope Goddard Mr. and Mrs. Paul M. Golas Patricia and Cyrus Hagge Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Hailperin Mr. and Mrs. George B. E. Hambleton Mr. Samuel M. Hamill, Jr. Ms. Lois Hayes ’79 Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hinckley Mr. and Mrs. David M. Hollenbeck Ms. Sherry F. Huber Mr. Peter Hunt Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Huntington Alison and Joplin James ’84 Ms. Esther R. Karkal ’83 Bob and Ellie Kates Mr. and Mrs. James M. Kellogg Carl Ketchum and Lorraine Stratis Ms. Alice J. Leeds ’76 Ms. Alice Levey ’81 Mr. James R. Lindenthal Dr. John H. Long, Jr. ’86 Dr. and Mrs. Ralph C. Longsworth Mr. and Mrs. William G. Lord II Miles ’86 and Meg Maiden Maine Community Foundation Ms. Susan Flynn Maristany ’82 Steven Callahan and Kathleen Massimini ’82 Mrs. Anne A. Mazlish Mr. William B. McDowell ’80 Jennifer Reynolds and Jay McNally ’84 Ms. Jeanne McPherson
Marvin and Jean Messex Mr. and Mrs. Keith Miller Mr. Peter W. Moon ’90 Dr. Victoria T. Murphy Mr. John H. Newhall Mr. and Mrs. J.D. Nyhart Dr. and Mrs. Lewis E. Patrie Mr. Robert W. Patterson, Jr. Mr. and Mrs. Robert Pennington Shoshana Perry ’83 Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Pierce Mr. and Mrs. George Putnam Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Rappaport Dr. Richard G. Rockefeller Dr. and Mrs. Steven C. Rockefeller Ronald and Patricia Rogers Mr. W. David Rosenmiller ’84 Dr. Pamela Jensen and Dr. Stephen Ross Mr. and Mrs. Max Rothal Mr. Daniel Sangeap ’90 Ms. Margaret Scheid ’85 Mr. and Mrs. Henry D. Sharpe, Jr. Mr. Mark E. Simonds ’81 Mrs. Allan Stone Elena V. Tuhy-Walters ’90 and Carl Walters Rodman and Susan Ward Mrs. Cecile Watson Ms. Jean McHugh Weiss ’81 Mr. John Wilmerding Ms. Betsy Wisch ’83 Ms. Jingran Xiao (’86)
10–14 Years Dr. and Mrs. Raymond E. Alie Ms. Judith M. Allen John and Karen Anderson Bar Harbor Lobster Bakes Richard and Rosemary Barnhart Allison Martin ’88 and Elmer Beal, Jr. Ron Beard and Sandi Read Mr. Dennis R. Bracale ’88 Mr. and Mrs. Harold G. Brack Ms. Teisha Broetzman ’88 Ms. Frances S. Carlin Suzanne Taylor and Don Cass Mr. and Mrs. Robert W. Cawley Mrs. Katherine Kaufer Christoffel Mrs. Bernard Cough Philip and Tina DeNormandie Mrs. Joanne R. Devlin George and Kelly, MPhil ’97 Dickson Martha and Stephen Dolley Mrs. George Dwight Dianna and Ben Emory Ms. Julie A. Erb ’83 Ms. Deborah Evans ’82 Thomas and Carroll Fernald Mr. and Mrs. William M.G. Fletcher Ms. Glenon Friedmann ’86 Mr. David Furholmen Garden Club of Mount Desert Steve and Katie George Ms. Nadine Gerdts (’76) Ms. Lauren N. Gilson ’88 Drs. Alan and Wendy Gladstone Mr. and Mrs. Robert M. Goodman Mr. Walter H. Goodnow John Allgood and Abigal Goodyear ’81 Ms. Elizabeth K. Gorer
Jane and Philip H. Grantham, Sr. Ms. Linda Gregory ’89 Mr. and Mrs. John Guth Mr. and Mrs. John Michael Hancock Mrs. Penelope Harris Ms. Mary Heffernon Dr. Josephine Todrank Heth ’76 Ms. Barbara Hilli Dr. Leonard F. Hirsh Ms. Evelyn Mae Hurwich ’80 Mr. and Mrs. John J. Inch, Jr. Mr. Orton P. Jackson, Jr. Mr. William Janes Ms. Leslie L. Jones ’91 Jordan-Fernald Mr. and Mrs. William R. Kales Dr. James Kellam ’96 Ms. Aleda Koehn Mr. and Mrs. Ted Koffman Dr. and Mrs. David Lebwohl Kathryn Harmon ’94 and Rob Ledo ’91 The Agnes M. Lindsay Trust Mr. and Mrs. Edward Lipkin Ms. Abigail Littlefield ’83 Ms. Mayo Lynam Mr. James MacLeod Maine Coast Sea Vegetables Ms. Casey Mallinckrodt Rob Marshall ’87 Sarah ’93 and Jon McDaniel Ms. Donna McFarland Mr. and Mrs. Clement E. McGillicuddy Mr. Clifton McPherson III ’84 Robert J. and Jane H. Meade Mr. Jeffrey Miller ’92 Linzee Weld and Peter Milliken ’76 Mr. Frank Mocejunas Dr. Frank Moya Mr. and Mrs. John R. Moyer Mr. and Mrs. Robert C. Nicholas III Ms. Hope Olmstead Lynn and Willy Osborn Dr. and Mrs. Richard N. Pierson Ms. Frances L. Pollitt ’77 Mr. and Mrs. Fred C. Rea Drs. Paul and Ann Rochmis Ms. Sydney Roberts Rockefeller Eric ’87 and Kelly Roos Mr. and Mrs. Clayton D. Rose Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Rothstein Roland and Dottie Seymour Dr. and Mrs. Dennis L. Shubert Mr. and Mrs. Stephen R. Smith Ms. Harriet H. Soares Mike ’97 and Lynne Staggs Mr. W. P. Stewart Stewart Brecher Architects Carol and Sid Strickland Mr. and Mrs. Richard F. Sullivan Swan Agency - Insurance Dr. Davis Taylor Ms. Katrin Hyman Tchana ’83 Nick and Joan Thorndike Ms. Ellen Reid Thurman Mr. Frank Twohill ’80 Jack Ledbetter and Helen Tyson Ms. Katrina Van Dusen Mr. and Mrs. Christiaan ’09 van Heerden Tom and Elizabeth Volkmann ’90
Richard Hilliard and Karen Waldron Dr. Peter Wayne ’83 Ms. Maria T. Weisenberg ’81 Ms. Mary E. Welch Raymond and Laurie Williams Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Wishcamper Tom and Loretta Witt
5–9 Years Acadia Senior College Ms. Heather M. Albert-Knopp ’99 Mr. and Mrs. Schofield Andrews III Wendy Knickerbocker and David Avery ’84 Ms. Lelania Prior Avila ’92 Ms. Jennifer L. Aylesworth ’94 Sarah and David Baker Mr. Alan L. Baker / The Ellsworth American Bar Harbor Garden Club Bar Harbor Whale Watch Steven Barkan and Barbara Tennent Drs. Wesley and Terrie Beamer Dr. and Mrs. Robert A. Beekman Ms. Katie M. Bell Mr. and Mrs. William E. Benjamin II Mr. Glen A. Berkowitz ’82 Ms. Marie Berlin Ms. Lyn Berzinis Mr. and Mrs. Robert J. Bird Mrs. Joan S. Blaine Mr. Edward McC. Blair, Jr. Dierdre Swords and Michael Boland ’94 Patricia Honea-Fleming and Richard Borden Mr. Charles Butt Mr. and Mrs. Louis Cabot Mr. Henry B. Cabot III ’97 Mr. Colin Capers ’95 Mr. William P. Carey Linda K. and John H. Carman Barbara and Vinson Carter Michele and Agnese Cestone Foundation Mr. Erin B. Chalmers ’00 Mr. David Chiang Ms. Taj Chibnik ’95 Ms. Cecily G. Clark Ms. Katherine D. Clark ’91 Susanna Porter and James Clark Ms. Kim Clark Hannah S. Sistare and Timothy B. Clark Steve Redgate and Dianne Clendaniel Mr. Kenneth Cline Ms. Jan Coates Mr. Pancho Cole ’81 Dr. Darron Collins ’92 The Combs Family Mr. and Mrs. John Cooper Ms. Judith Cox T. A. Cox Kevin ’93 and Jennifer ’93 Crandall Mrs. Rose Cutler Jane and Stan Davis Mr. and Mrs. Shelby M.C. Davis Davis Educational Foundation Steve ’80 and Rose Demers Mr. Robert DeSimone Ms. Holly Devaul ’84 Janet Redfield and Scott Dickerson ’95 Ms. Angela DiPerri ’01 Mr. and Mrs. William Dohmen Janet Anker and Charles Donnelly
Mr. Millard Dority Wendy and Michael Downey Mr. and Mrs. William C. Eacho III The Eacho Family Foundation Mr. Alden Eaton Mr. Joseph Edes ’83 Wendy Rodger and Henry Elliott (’73) Ms. Carol B. Emmons Mr. Richard H. Epstein ’84 Sam and Elise Felton Mr. and Mrs. David Fischer Mrs. Margery Forbes Cherie and Chad Ford Ms. Carla Ganiel Mr. and Mrs. Will Gardiner Mr. and Mrs. Jon Geiger Mr. Matthew Gerald ’83 Ms. Susan Getze Ms. Anne Giardina Mr. and Mrs. Robert G. Goelet Mrs. Laura Arm Goldstein Dr. and Mrs. Robert Gossart Mr. and Mrs. John P. Gower Ms. Mary K. Griffin ’97 Susan Dowling and Andrew Griffiths Mr. and Mrs. Michael Gumpert Ms. Elizabeth Gwinn ’01 Mr. and Mrs. Richard Habermann Ms. M. Rebecca Hancock ’97 Ms. Holly Hartley Ms. Sonja Hartmann ’88 Larry and Patty Hayes Atsuko Watabe ’93 and Bruce Hazam ’92 Michael Zwirko ’01 and Erin Heacock ’04 Healthy Acadia Coalition Ms. Katie J. Hester ’98 Charles and Jackie Hewett Ms. Jean Hoekwater ’80 Ms. Margaret A. Hoffman ’97 Homewood Benefits Dr. and Mrs. William Horner Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Horowitz Ms. Jen Hughes Ms. Jane Hultberg Mr. John P. Jacob ’81 Peter ’84 and Margaret Jeffery Ms. Laura Johnson Mr. and Mrs. Edward C. Johnson III Ms. Constance Jordan Jordan’s Restaurant Mr. and Mrs. H. Lee Judd Mr. and Mrs. David H. Kane Mr. Michael Kattner ’95 Shawn ’00 and Sarah ’05 Keeley Mr. Arthur J. Keller Jill and Bobby Kelley Ms. Joanne S. Kemmerer ’02 Kent-Lucas Foundation, Incorporated Barbara and Steven Kiel Bethany and Zack Klyver (’05) Mrs. Philip Kunhardt, Jr. Mrs. Anthony Lapham Dr. and Mrs. Leung Lee Mr. and Mrs. Edward B. Leisenring Jessie Greenbaum ’89 and Philip Lichtenstein ’92 Ms. Maria Vanegas Long ’84 Mr. and Mrs. Peter Loring Mr.and Mrs. Lewis Lukens COA | 57
Machias Savings Bank Maine Space Grant Consortium Ms. Pamela Manice Mr. and Mrs. Grant G. McCullagh Ms. Lauren McKean ’83 Ms. Lenorah McKee Ms. Pamela G. Meyer Laura Ellis and David Milliken Rebecca and Steve Milliken Mr. and Mrs. A. Fenner Milton Sen. and Mrs. George J. Mitchell Mr. and Mrs. David E. Moore Mr. and Mrs. Philip S. J. Moriarty Mr. and Mrs. I. Wistar Morris III Suzanne Morse Ms. Anne M. Mulholland Ms. Anna Murphy Mr. and Mrs. Robert A. Nathane, Jr. Patricia G. Norris Carol ’93 and Jacob Null ’93 Judd and Hannah Olshan ’92 Mr. W. Kent Olson Jim and Suzanne Owen Ms. Pamela Parvin ’93 Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Paul Mr. and Mrs. Malcolm E. Peabody
Tobin ’95 and Valerie Peacock (’96) Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson E. Peters Mr. and Mrs. Jay Pierrepont Thomas and Patricia Pinkham Ms. Carole Plenty Shiva Polefka ’01 James Dyke and Helen Porter Ms. Susan Priest-Pierce ’77 Ms. Sheila Sonne Pulling Mr. and Mrs. Peter H. Reckseit Amb. and Mrs. Joseph Verner Reed Mrs. Dora L. Richardson John and Carol Rivers Dr. Jennifer Roberts ’94 Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton Robinson, Jr. Mr. and Mrs. John R. Robinson Dr. Walter Robinson Dr. Jennifer Rock ’93 Ms. Allison E. Rogers Furbish ’04 Ms. Elizabeth Rousek Ayers ’95 Mr. and Mrs. William M. Rudolf Ms. Kerri Sands ’02 David and Mary Savidge Ms. Judith Schenk ’80 Cynthia Livingston and Henry Schmelzer
Mr. and Mrs. John P. Grace Shethar Richard ’88 and Lilea ’90 Simis John and Fran Sims State Street Corporation Bruce and Susan Stedman Andrea Perry ’95 and Toby Stephenson ’98 Ms. Marie Stivers Mr. George Strawbridge, Jr. Ms. Caren Sturges Mr. Gilbert L. Sward Dan Thomassen and Bonnie Tai Mr. and Mrs. William Thorndike, Jr. Sean and Carolyn Todd Kathy Bonk and Marc Tucker University of Maine Sea Grant Program US Department of Commerce Julia Merck and Hans Utsch Mr. and Mrs. David Vail Ms. Joan Weber Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Weg Mr. and Mrs. Harold White III Dawn Lamendola ('92) and Josh Winer ’91 Mr. David B. Winship ’77 Mr. and Mrs. Louis Zawislak
Awards Each May, College of the Atlantic chooses students to receive an array of awards and scholarships that honor dear friends and former faculty members. The 2009 awards are listed in alphabetical order according to the person for whom the honor is named. The Sidney and Hazel DeMott Bahrt Scholarship honors the legacy of long-time COA friends and supporters of environmental, educational and cultural organizations. The first Bahrt Scholar is Gabby Roos ’13, who received a full, four-year scholarship to COA. The Rebecca Clark ’96 Memorial Scholarship in Marine Sciences honors the memory of our alumna who was killed by the 2005 tusnami while conducting research on sea turtle conservation in Southeast Asia. This year’s scholarship goes to Emily Argo ’10 in recognition of her enthusiasm and scholarship in the marine sciences, and for her dedication to sea turtle conservation. The Richard Slaton Davis and Norah Deakin Davis Scholarship celebrates COA’s first philosopher, Richard Slaton (“Dick”) Davis who worked on the philosophical underpinnings of human ecology until his untimely death in 1982. This year’s recipient is Franklin Jacoby ’12, who has shown an unusual ability in philosophy and its application to other areas of human ecology.
Lauren Nutter ’10.
COA awards the John C. Dreier Scholarship, honoring our former trustee and diplomat, to juniors who have shown leadership in building community spirit between COA and our surrounding communities. This year’s recipients, Leland Moore ’10 and Lauren Nutter ’10 are energetic, engaged students who inspire others with their leadership in building community spirit on campus and in connecting COA to the broader community.
Photo by Rogier van Bakel.
The Louisa R. Dreier Scholarship is given to a junior who shares Isa Dreier’s talent and joy in the arts. Sinda Karklina ’10 has ability in many areas, including drawing, video, animation, fabric arts, installation, writing and film, and has immersed herself in studies of art, exploring ideas as complex as gender and death with compassion and humor. 58 | COA
Leland Moore ’10. Photo by Donna Gold.
The W.H. Drury, Jr. Prize in Natural History honors the late ornithologist, naturalist and COA faculty member Bill Drury. It is awarded to students of field ecology, especially those who are able to incorporate the visual arts into their study of plants and animals. Andrew “Bik” Wheeler ’09, a born naturalist and conservationist who cares deeply about the Maine coast and its fauna, is this year’s recipient. The Craig Greene Memorial Scholarship is given to rising juniors or seniors who have excelled in botany and general biology, and who share our late faculty member’s passion for the world of flora. This year’s winner, Luka Negoita ’11, is irrepressibly interested in plants, committed to plant conservation, and a great field botanist. The August Heckscher Scholarship is given to two juniors whose work focuses on public lands, government or the arts in honor of the late artist, author and public servant. This year, the scholarships were given to Noah Hodgetts ’10 and Samantha Haskell ’10, both of whom have devoted great effort to working with local communities on planning and zoning committees.
Noah Hodgetts ’10
The Daniel H. Kane Award honors our late founding faculty member in law. It is given to a graduating senior for outstanding work in conservation and conservation law. Iris Lowery ’09, this year’s recipient, did exceptional work in environmental law and policy courses and shares Dan’s deep commitment to conservation. The Edward G. Kaelber Scholarship for Maine Students of Outstanding Promise honors COA’s first president by awarding an incoming freshman from Maine with a four-year scholarship. Fiona Hunter ’11, the first recipient, continues to demonstrate a high level of achievement in academic and community work. The Agnes M. Lindsay Trust Scholarship is awarded to new COA students from New England towns with fewer than five thousand residents. This year’s Lindsay Scholars are Ayla Yandow ’13 from St. George, Vermont and Terra van de Sande ’13 from Columbia, Maine. Ayla founded the environmental club at her high school and plans to pursue environmental studies. Terra worked on her high school’s organic farm and led wilderness trips in Maine’s north woods. She plans to study creative and environmental writing.
Fiona Hunter ’11. Photo by Tony Hollis.
The Eleanor Scott Mallinckrodt Prize was created by Casey Mallinckrodt to honor her mother, a landscape designer. It recognizes a student who excels in landscape architecture, and went to Andrew Louw ’11 who is passionate about landscape architecture and has the potential to become a talented designer.
The Edward J. Meade, Jr. Educational Studies Award goes to students who demonstrate innovative teaching practices and make significant contributions to education on and off campus. It was given to Jasmine Smith ’09 who has significant experience in teaching and leading activities outdoors and a deep commitment to meaningful learning in all settings. Sponsored by COA friend Charles Merrill, the annual Merrill Scholarship offers a student from the Czech Republic’s Palacky University the opportunity to spend a year at COA. This year’s Merrill Scholar is Lenka Šprtová, a second-year student in Palacky’s Ecology and Environmental Protection program. The Maurine and Robert Rothschild Scholarship Award for graduate students honors our former board members. Graduate student Jack Rodolico, who is studying local marine conservation issues and environmental journalism, received this award. The Alice Blum Yoakum Scholarship was established by our late trustee Robert Blum for students with plans to work for biodiversity and especially for the preservation of underwater species in various parts of the world. It was awarded to Sasha Paris ’10, who is committed to environmental stewardship and the preservation of marine biodiversity, and passionate about marine biology. Jasmine Smith ’09. Photo by Rogier van Bakel. COA | 59
The United Nations recently sponsored a contest in which it asked world citizens—youth in particular—to create a video answer to this question: “If you had the opportunity to speak to world leaders, what would you say?” The video created by Emily Troutman ’01 offers this message: “Every day I want you to wake up and know that you work for 6.7 billion real people, one person at a time. People with children, and dreams, and stories.” With that request, Troutman became one of five winners, the only one from the United States. She is now officially a UN Citizen Ambassador. Troutman holds a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Minnesota, but she feels her most useful work is the writing, photographs and videos she creates as a social documentarian. She currently has three videos on her website, each one focused on images of individual people. The first is the very popular President Obama Inauguration: Words for How We Feel Now. The second, Why Congo Matters, was created after a month-long visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The third is the UN video. These can be found on her blog: http://emilytroutman.blogspot.com. How do you describe what you do? I’m still really figuring it out; I think of myself primarily as an artist, but also a writer and photographer—there’s no really succinct way to describe this work—some call it journalism, but because of the creative component, artist feels right. How did you create the United Nations video? I really thought a long time about what I wanted to say when I decided to respond to the question. I had just come back from the Congo. And that week, my friends had lost their baby and their house had been robbed. I wanted to transform my anger into something that was powerful and important. I found myself writing this letter about how we can connect more with people, and with ourselves as individuals, and acknowledge our own dreams and passions—and through that engage and transform. It was a personal message, not a policy statement. What do we do with what we know? Also, I had just had the experience of producing the video Why Congo Matters, and I had been looking at the photos I took there for a long time, looking into the eyes of the people.
recognize that there’s room for open space in an intellectual conversation—and for moving parts. Academically, I studied text and photo with (former arts faculty member) Doug Barkey and performance art with Nancy Andrews and literature with Karen Waldron and Bill Carpenter. I worked on poetry and how to create an emotional message. There’s such a need to not just be open-minded, but to take on open-mindedness as a useful tool of study; not to be a relativist. What’s your next step? Over the next few years I will be working with the UN to create more messages from people on the ground. I am specifically interested in talking about the Millennium Development Goals. This will be something that I revisit over time—one person at a time.
Did COA prepare you for this work? Having the idea that the answer can be a question—I really feel that I learned that at COA. There are so many intractable problems, and COA offers this gift of letting you Photos by Emily Troutman ’01.
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Corey Whitney ’03. Photo by Anna Wissmann of IFOAM.
The Human Ecology Essay A Human Ecologist’s Journey Cory Whitney ’03
I have always felt a deep connection with the woods and coast of Maine and believe it is among the most amazing places in the world, like a giant Zen garden. I grew up as the oldest of five children in a family that has lived on the coast for at least eight generations, clinging doggedly to the traditions of rural New England. A born naturalist, I spent my summers looking for critters under logs and rocks, in tidal pools and seaweed. I learned to use a chainsaw and an axe when I was young and helped manage a small woodlot for firewood to heat our home through the long winters. This unique upbringing in the salt air, and the deciduous and evergreen forests of Maine’s rocky coast, made me fall madly in love with nature. As I transitioned roughly into adulthood, I witnessed a lot of development. Many of the coastal spaces where nature had been disappeared: fields and forests gave way to widened roads and housing. Reading E.O. Wilson and Aldo Leopold, I became explicitly aware of the failing relationship between the human-mediated and nonhuman-mediated world. It became painfully clear to me that we need to make a conscious effort as a whole earth community to heal this relationship. I transferred to College of the Atlantic in 2001 to study human ecology and get the tools necessary to help create a world where natural resources are fairly allocated and conserved. After graduating, I followed the footsteps of my forefathers and spent a few years at sea. I worked with nonprofit organizations teaching marine sciences and adventure-based outdoor education on the floating classrooms of traditional sailing vessels. I worked my way up “through the scuppers” from deckhand to captain and grew immensely from the influence of excellent shipmates, hard work, long hours and the intensity of the programs. Living at sea on traditional sailing vessels satisfied my admittedly Luddite and anti-tech ideologies. My ecological footprint was sufficiently small and I could see that my enthusiasm for life was rubbing off on my students. And yet, I felt I needed to find a way to di-
rectly work toward a more sustainable relationship between people and nature. Between watches, I read to inform and feed my vision. Books by Michael Pollan, Wendell Berry and Jared Diamond, among others, influenced me to return to the land. And so I moved from San Francisco to France two years ago to work on a small organic seed-saving farm in the foothills of the Pyrenees. Having almost no knowledge of French, I spent a lot of time in silence until I learned to speak. Contemplating that small farm under this enforced silence gave me insights into my ideal land-based life. Working in the soil and greenhouses with the plants and animals that produced my sustenance felt right. As I slowly picked up French, I talked with the farmer and his family about the challenges facing small farmers and the need for more support. Small farmers around the world are losing their land as more and more of our food is being produced in factory-like settings. With the aim to change the course of things for small farmers, I took up a role with the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) in Germany, supporting organic agriculture through capacity building and advocacy. I am now beginning a master’s course in International Sustainable Agriculture at the University of Kassel in Witzenhausen, Germany. My love affair is still strong with nature in general and particularly with Maine. I see this as a time of great consequence. On that small seed-saving farm in southern France I experienced what a harmonious relationship between people and nature looks like. We can and should realize this as a global community, but we’ll need to make some adjustments. I would like to participate in altering the paradigm under which we live as a global human community; to extend the moral community, as it were, to include other species, as it has so recently expanded to include most of us. I look forward to watching this world transform to a world in which humans truly share the planet with other species. Gesundheit.
Cory Whitney ’03 works as an ambassador between COA and the University of Kassel as part of the college’s TransAtlantic Partnership (email@example.com). COA | 61