COA Volume 2 | Number 2
The College of the Atlantic Magazine
COVER: “Afternoon” by JoAnne Carpenter, COA faculty member in art and art history. 2006, oil on canvas, 46” x 42”
BACK COVER: “Cows in Vermont: Landscape III” by Coltere Savidge ’06, oil on canvas, 18” x 24,” was first shown in his senior project exhibit, “Portraits of Cows: A Study in Oils.” Savidge, who is currently working in Vermont, says that through his portraits of cows in the Vermont landscape, “I am constantly returned to my home in Vermont, and to the people whose lives revolve around such animals. . . . Cows, that support families by providing milk and beef, take on human qualities on the canvas and further connect me to the Vermont landscape.”
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR The house I live in was built as a restaurant, and some say speakeasy, overlooking the Penobscot River as it opens onto Penobscot Bay. From time to time, earlier residents come back to see the river from our porch again, maybe pick some blueberries and reveal another story or two. A few weeks ago, the granddaughter of the first owner, now in her 80s, came to show us some old photographs. She spoke about the food her grandfather served, how he could buy all the produce he needed from local farmers. For milk, he could rely on the cows that grazed on the fields leading down to the river. Today, that pasture has grown into a tall spruce forest, and the summer restaurant has become a year-round home whose pantry, I must confess, is no longer supplied by Stockton Springs farms. Economics and convenience have streamlined our lives. It means that even in winter, someone like me can buy tomatoes and spinach on my way home from work and have a fresh salad for dinner. At what price? The last issue of COA Magazine included an article about Beech Hill Farm with this statement: “despite transportation costs, organic food from California is cheaper: the scale is larger and wages are lower.” In this issue, in an article about the work of Kerri Sands ’02 in helping local farms with their business plans, Loie Hayes ’79 writes, “Without working farms, rural communities wither.” Underlying just about everything else in these pages—Elsie Flemings ’07 writing about her climate change work, the menacing happenings in the novel excerpt contributed by Tawanda Chaibkwa ’06, certainly the story about the work of Deb Soule ’81, growing and preparing medicinal herbs through Avena Botanicals, and the inspiring letter from our new president, David Hales—is the question of how we will choose to balance the dissonance implied by these two statements.
Photo by Bill Carpenter
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 the expertise, breadth, values and practical experience necessary to achieve individual fulfillment and to help solve problems that challenge communities everywhere.
Donna Gold Stockton Springs September, 2006
The College of the Atlantic Magazine Volume 2 | Number 2
Letter from the president ~ p. 2
David Hales talks about human ecology
Inquiring Eyes ~ p. 6 Journal excerpts from the Watson year of Sarah Drummond ’05
COA EDITORIAL BOARD
John Anderson Sarah Barrett ’08 Richard J. Borden Noreen Hogan ’91 Jennifer Hughes Michelle Lawrence ’09 EDITORIAL CONSULTANT
Exaltation Moments ~ p. 10 A conversation with David Hales by Kelly Dickson, MPhil ’97
Bill Carpenter ALUMNI CONSULTANTS
Shawn Keeley ’00 Jill Barlow-Kelley COP Y E D I TOR
One Last Homework Assignment ~ p. 12
Jeffrey Sachs instructs COA’s ’06 graduates
An Education for the 21st Century ~ p. 14
Mahan Graphics PRINTING BY
JS McCarthy Printers, Augusta, Maine
Don Straus’ engagement with human ecology
Following Her Joy ~ p. 16 Deb Soule ’81 and Avena Botanicals by Donna Gold
Appropriate Scale ~ p. 20 Kerri Sands ’02 helps preserve farmers, farms and their communities by Loie Hayes ’79
Classic Stillness ~ p. 24 The paintings of JoAnne Carpenter
Making decisions in the best interest of the institution ~ p. 27 A COA oral history interview with Millard Dority
departments COA Beat ........................................p. 3 Class Notes ......................................p. 36 Faculty & Community Notes........p. 40 Remembering ................................p. 43
David Hales President Kenneth Hill Academic Dean, Associate Dean for Academic Services John Anderson Associate Dean for Advanced Studies David Feldman Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Andrew Griffiths Administrative Dean Sarah Luke Associate Dean for Student Life Karen Waldron Associate Dean for Faculty BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Samuel M. Hamill, Jr. Chairman Elizabeth D. Hodder Vice Chair Casey Mallinckrodt Vice Chair Ronald E. Beard Secretary Leslie C. Brewer Treasurer TRUSTEES
Baobabs in Heaven ~ p. 30 Poetry ~ p. 34 by Sarah Mercedes Boucher, MPhil ’06
Graduation Reflection ~ p. 44 by Salahaldin Hussein ’06
Novel excerpt by Tawanda Chabikwa ’06
Edward McC. Blair, Sr. Life Trustee Eliot Coleman
Kelly Dickson, MPhil ’97 Alice Eno David H. Fischer William G. Foulke, Jr. Timothy Fuller, ’03 James M. Gower Life Trustee George B. E. Hambleton Charles E. Hewett Sherry F. Huber John N. Kelly Trustee Emeritus Philip B. Kunhardt III ’77 Elizabeth & Peter Loring Susan Storey Lyman Life Trustee Suzanne Folds McCullagh Sarah A. McDaniel ’93 Stephen G. Milliken Philip S. J. Moriarty Phyllis Anina Moriarty William V. P. Newlin Daniel Pierce Helen Porter Cathy L. Ramsdell ’78 Trustee Emeritus John Reeves John Rivers Hamilton (Tony) Robinson, Jr. Walter Robinson, M.D. Henry D. Sharpe, Jr. Life Trustee Clyde E. Shorey, Jr. Life Trustee Donald B. Straus Life Trustee Cody van Heerden John Wilmerding
COA is published twice each year for the College of the Atlantic community. Please direct correspondence to: COA Magazine College of the Atlantic 105 Eden Street Bar Harbor, Maine 04609 Phone: (207) 288-5015 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
www.coa.edu This publication is printed on recycled paper. Chlorine free, acid free manufacturing process.
LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
Photo by David Camburn
College of the Atlantic is a small but essential element of a global network of thought and action focused on the relationships among humans and with the environment. Since these relationships can be sustainable, we have an obligation to ensure that they are. Human ecology studies the interactions of four “worlds”—the natural world, the social or cultural world of humans, the virtual world that permeates our lives, and the world of the imagination. This issue of COA Magazine highlights the coherence and importance of that focus, as does the 2006 meeting of the Society for Human Ecology, which we will host this October. Of these four realms, it is the ultimately the natural world—the land and water and air and the creatures inhabiting them—that determines what it means to be human. We are bound, all of us, to the earth by its gravity. We are warmed by the sun, and we respond to its rays both spiritually and physically. We share delight in the aroma of honeysuckle and stand in awe at the power of a thunderstorm. We develop perspective from experiencing the wild, a sense of time and eternity by observing the surf. We take a deep breath in wonder at the beauty of the sunset, the iridescence of a butterfly’s wing, or the majesty of Lake Superior. Other treasures help to define what it means to be human. There are wondrous works of art, literary masterpieces, musical miracles, stunning architectural achievements; there are testimonies to the indomitability of the human spirit like the Magna Carta or the United States Constitution. Beneath all of these there is a common bond, made up of experience common to all humans: together, we share this one planet. The natural world is the crucible in which the meaning of humanity is formed, cherished and preserved. Its common experiences generate in us the differences that make us alike, establishing a bond reaching through time and across generations. In the twenty-first century, human actions have become a force of global proportions. What we endanger with our domination of nature and our unwise consumption is not just natural systems, or future economic productivity. We endanger the basis of our common humanity. That is why the study of human ecology is so critically important. The right to choose the nature of our own lives is the most important of human rights. The children of the future cannot choose the impossible or dream the unimaginable. In this very real sense, the physical reality of nature is linked to the spiritual reality of our humanity. Human ecology seeks to understand the consequences of our actions and choices—and create the capacity for making choices responsibly. Robert Kennedy paraphrased George Bernard Shaw to say, “There are those that look at things the way they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?” Human ecology, as taught at College of the Atlantic, considers the investigation of both questions to be our quest. ~ David Hales, COA president
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U.S.News & World Report and Princeton Review proclaim COA’s Great Value
College of the Atlantic soared in the 2007 college rankings. US News & World Report’s 2007 Survey of Best Colleges called COA one of the best educational values in the United States and placed COA #2 on their list for both small classes and international presence, since 17 percent of COA students hail from outside the United States. Princeton Review’s 2007 Best 361 Colleges also designated College of the Atlantic as one of America’s “Best Value” colleges, and has placed College of the Atlantic among the top schools in several essential categories. It is #8 in both the category of “Discussions Encouraged” and “Professors Make Themselves Accessible.” Perhaps most essential, both popular college guides are recognizing COA for its generous support of student financial needs without compromising its outstanding academics. Princeton Review also ranked COA as #5 in the nation for “Gay Community Accepted,” and in the top twenty for both “Most Beautiful Campus” and “Best Campus Food.” College of the Atlantic announces
Steven K. Katona Chair in Marine Science
Dr. Sean Todd
In a class on intertidal biology, faculty member Dr. Helen Hess works with student Henry Steinberg ’06 to demonstrate methods of ecological censusing. Photo by Toby Hollis
Seventeen percent of COA’s students hail from outside the United States, making COA #2 in the nation for a global presence.
In just a matter of months, COA has a new faculty chair: the Steven K. Katona Chair in Marine Studies. Established to honor founding faculty member, founding Allied Whale director and outgoing president Steven Katona, PhD, last February COA trustees voted to raise $1.5 million to create the chair. As of June 6, the chair has been fully funded thanks to the extraordinary outreach efforts of trustees and staff and the contributions of all trustees as well as staff, faculty, alumni, students and the many others whose lives have been touched by Katona’s work as a scientist, teacher and COA leader. “This chair is a great tribute to Steve for all his accomplishments and contributions to the college,” says Daniel Pierce, the College of the Atlantic trustee who took charge of the fundraising efforts for the chair. “Steve touched many people and the support for the chair came from all trustees, as well as the many friends of Steve who wanted to participate.” This summer, the college announced that Sean Todd, PhD, faculty member in marine mammalogy, biology and oceanography will not only hold the Steven K. Katona Chair in Marine Studies, but will also take over the directorship of Allied Whale.
Photo courtesy of COA
Reflections from a U.S. Delegate to the U.N. Commission on Sustainable Development By Elsie Flemings ’07
n early May 2006, I was asked to represent youth as an official delegate on the United States delegation to the Fourteenth United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. I was chosen in part through my work with SustainUS, a national youth organization committed to sustainable development, which has a Maine chapter housed at College of the Atlantic. For a week, I participated in U.S. delegation meetings, attended commission meetings, reported on events, and even sat in the “U.S. Chair” during negotiations. I worked closely with the U.S. delegates, aiming both to share with them the youths’ work on sustainable development and to represent their policies to the world. My participation as a youth delegate was an exciting development for the youth sustainability movement, as the U.S. had not accepted a youth representative on their delegation to the CSD since 2002. I worked with amazing people—committed, smart, kind people who work hard on sustainability issues in their various positions in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development and other offices. I met government representatives helping to build windmills for farms on the Great Plains and others working to provide communities in Guatemala with clean, safe, efficient cookstoves. I was grateful for the experience and for the opportunity to represent U.S. youth. While I appreciate my time at the CSD, I left New York deeply saddened with our country’s limited actions in moving towards sustainable development. Frustratingly, the U.S. focused primarily on promoting sustainable development through aid programs to the world’s poor. They did not address either the inequitable global economic system against which poor countries (and poorer parts of rich countries) are struggling, or the responsibility of rich countries to reassess our own energy use and development patterns. In addition, 4 | COA
Elsie Flemings, the U.S. youth delegate for the U.S. delegation to the U.N. Commission on Sustainable Development commission, pins a "windmill of change" on the lapel of the head of the U.S. government delegation, Jonathan Margolis. The pin represents a commitment to renewable energy.
even our aid programs have been substantially cut in the last six years and the delegation emphasized the difficulties in achieving more, such as more alternative energy development. As a delegation, we also shied away from addressing climate change directly, although this issue was supposed to be a central theme for the negotiations. With our wealth, knowledge and inspiring numbers of committed individuals, the U.S. could be a leader in promoting sustainable development here and abroad. But we are falling far short of what is needed in terms of resource allocation and policy-making to effectively confront the challenges that we face as a global society today. While real sustainable development and climate action may threaten certain industries and interests, it will not hurt the economy; in fact, urgent action in sustainability is needed to ensure economic stability. We need only look at economic challenges facing our communities today to see the deep interconnections between a sustainable environment and a healthy economy. Climate change—caused by human-induced greenhouse gas emissions—is negatively impacting our economies in a number of ways, from a loss of lobsters in the Maine oceans to disaster relief needs in New Orleans and Florida. Sustainable development is, in fact, good for our economy. If we prioritize the research, development and production of alternative energy sources, energy-efficient technologies and innovative transportation, construction and land-use policies, we not only reduce our dependence on polluting fossil fuels, but we can also create new, local, clean jobs and reduce the price of energy.
Sustainability is also a deep moral imperative. Groups from the Appalachian Mountains—whose family members are sick, whose water is poisoned and whose land is being destroyed by strip coal mining practices—came to the CSD to make an urgent request for a change in our energy production and consumption. These citizens make a strong case for reducing our dependence on the extractive, unsustainable fossil fuel industries and ensuring accountability among those industries producing the coal and oil on which we still rely. Countries throughout the world and communities here at home have taken strong steps towards climate action and sustainable development. Our nation should learn from these successes. As highlighted at the CSD, a full 30 percent of Sweden’s electricity supply currently comes from renewable energy sources and Sweden has made a commitment to 100 percent renewable energy by 2020. Denmark has already reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 14 percent since 1990 and plans to bring that number to 21 percent by 2012. Here in the U.S., the city of Seattle along with six college campuses—including College of the Atlantic—are already using 100 percent renewable energy for their electricity supply. Nearly 300 campuses in North America have set strong carbon reduction targets and over 250 cities have made the commitment to meet the reduction targets set out in the Kyoto Protocol, an international climate treaty. The U.S. should be making those commitments as a nation. Instead, our country’s greenhouse gas
emissions were 15.8 percent higher in 2005 than in 1990 and they continue to rise. As climate change increasingly threatens our earth and communities worldwide, it is an urgent moral and economic imperative that we do better. We have brilliant, committed individuals serving in the U.S. government who could effectively help to make these and other changes if we as American citizens demand that our administration make sustainability a national priority. If our current leaders don’t make those necessary changes, we must elect leaders who will. I have been proud to represent youth working for sustainability and I have been proud to know many of my government’s civil and foreign servants who are committed to sustainable development. I want to be proud of my country and to say to my children that our nation worked effectively with the international community to implement forward-looking policies to protect our earth, to enhance our economies and to ensure greater social justice. If we continue to work and organize at all levels—from the local to the global—I am convinced we can make that happen. It’s up to us. Elsie Flemings ’07 is focused on policy and political economy at the domestic and international levels. In 2006, she received the John Dreier Award from COA for “leadership in building community spirit both oncampus and in the college’s surrounding communities.” For more information on the youth sustainability movement, see www.itsgettinghotinhere.org.
Fastest Collegiate Toboggan Team in the Nation COA’s First Athletic Title
At least we think it’s our first. Last February, COA fielded five teams in the three-person division of the National Toboggan Championships at the Camden Snow Bowl, challenging Unity College to a head-to-head competition. “Planck’s Constant,” a COA team, won. Since no other colleges participated, COA holds the title for the fastest collegiate toboggan team in the nation. In honor of the victory and our outgoing president, the winning toboggan was renamed “The Big Katona.”
Inquiring Eyes Before the invention of photography, artists were essential members of exploratory expeditions. They recorded new landscapes, documented new species, and provided vicarious glimpses of newly “discovered” or colonized areas to the people of their home countries. Their work strongly influenced their viewers’ perception and consequent treatment of the lands they depicted. The goal of my Watson year was to research the work of several such artists in island environments and explore the natural history and culture of these areas by creating my
Journal excerpts from the year Sarah Drummond ’05 spent revisiting islands explored by early naturalists on a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship. own artwork on site in the same places. My travels were an eye-opening experience in every way! I went from the comedy and cacophony of a penguin colony in Argentine Patagonia to the verdant volcanic mountains of Tahiti; from the lush fern forests of New Zealand to the aromatic eucalypt woods of South Australia. I spent time with penguins, kiwis, kangaroos and flying foxes in addition to many inspiring and welcoming human hosts. Traveling through such different environments and experiencing diverse cultures for an entire year made me believe that while the era of vast uncharted spaces on the map may be gone, the human voyage of discovery is far from over. The traveling painter is no longer the sole purveyor of images from distant continents, but can still urge audiences to open their eyes to the beauty of this extraordinary world and the importance of understanding it by offering a fresh perspective.
– Sarah Drummond ’05
SEPTEMBER 1, 2005 Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina It was a crystalline day without a single cloud— tranquila, the boat operator said, and perfect for going on the water. Ushuaia receded into the low hazy light and azure shadows of a breath-taking landscape. Apart from the town, only the occasional glimpse of a road and one small estancia gave any hint that the shore was inhabited. Despite the noise of the catamaran, I could sense the space and stillness surrounding us. It was an easier silence than that of the high mountains, where I felt I ought to ask the peaks’ permission before breaking the quiet by taking a step. There are moments on this journey when where I am and who came here before are brought home to me forcefully, and this was one of them. It was extraordinary enough to be sailing the Beagle Channel in 2005; what it must have been like 200 years ago when its namesake ship carrying Charles Darwin passed through is astounding to imagine.
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Sarah Drummond ’05 is currently back home in Colorado taking stock of her life, wondering what comes next, and writing about her research and adventures. She hopes eventually to create a book from her Watson experience.
OCTOBER 20, 2005 Punta Tombo (research station and breeding colony of half a million Magellanic penguins), Argentina These penguins are endowed with an exorbitant amount of personality and charm. When curious or worried, they rapidly turn their heads from left to right like a Hindu dancer, gazing at the passerby from different angles. Sometimes they are inquisitive to the point of being a nuisance: in the canyon this afternoon Alan and I were tailed by a male nicknamed Dopey who waddled incautiously within a few inches of us while we were working with other birds. Dopey is single and evidently doesn’t have enough to occupy his time, for he repeatedly sidled up behind Alan, who was crouched down checking for eggs with his head practically inside a burrow, and gave Alan’s sleeves a few good tugs. Penguins have been known to untie our shoelaces, and once another under-employed male pulled a pencil and piece of Kleenex out of Kara’s pocket! She drew the line when he started to make off with the data notebook, however. JANUARY 25, 2006 Gump Marine Research Station Moorea, French Polynesia I originally came to town to buy a few food items but forgot that stores in Moorea observe the French custom of closing from noon to 2 pm and so had to wait. It was still raining when the doors to the market reopened, but by the time I finished inside the storm had moved on or poured itself out. The oceanographic research vessel, a white schooner, returned to Cook’s Bay yesterday and was anchored just east of Gump Station. The humid mist blurred its outline and almost obscured it altogether, until it looked like a ghostly echo of the ships that once used this harbor, before the lorikeets disappeared and the bulbuls arrived . . . when the only way to avoid mosquitos was to stay over salt water and pray they weren’t carrying anything too nasty—and when someone who could translate the evidence of their eyes onto paper held a singular place in the world and a great responsibility. MARCH 3, 2006 Tokoeka Kiwi Sanctuary, South Island, New Zealand Keas and kakas, intelligent forest parrots with a devilish sense of humor, rattled around in the trees outside and woke me in the early morning with their loud, persistent voices. A group of them remained when we got up, sounding as though they were guffawing and exchanging rude comments on the humans below. “Little s&*%s tried to pull my tent down” grumbled Joe. But a
couple allowed us to approach within a few feet with our cameras and one even seemed inclined to show off, flying back and forth between two perches on a dead log as if to be sure we got the full benefit of its crimson underwings. In Maori legend, the kaka stole these bright feathers from the parakeet and hides them under its wings to hide the evidence of its crime. APRIL 11, 2006 Kangaroo Island, South Australia Most people outside Australia have seen pictures of kangaroos but hear nothing about their behavior. And it’s absolutely fascinating! Kangaroos are unique in every way—there is nothing to compare them to even remotely in the northern hemisphere. The early Dutch explorers and even the aboriginal people thousands of years earlier must have doubted their senses when they got their first look at Australia's flora and fauna. Even now I have to rub my eyes! These western gray kangaroos are highly social, and members of the “mob” spend a lot of time grooming each other with their delicate front hands. The mothers grab their yearling joeys by the shoulders to clean their faces, reminiscent of a human parent collaring a recalcitrant child. I can almost hear the dialog: “But I don’t want my ears washed, Mom!”
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GRANT LAUNCHES KATHRYN W. DAVIS RESIDENCE VILLAGE Shelby Cullom Davis Foundation begins sustainable housing project fundraising drive with $2.5 million challenge grant
COA The College of the Atlantic Magazine
ust three issues into its life, COA Magazine received a Circle of Excellence Award from CASE, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. In the 2006 judging, COA received the Silver Award in Magazine Publishing Improvement. This follows upon an Award of Distinction from The Communicator Awards, received in 2005. Thanks go to the team at
Photo by Donna Gold
ince 2001, College of the Atlantic has had a dream of creating a student residence village on Frenchman Bay. Thanks to a challenge pledge from the Shelby Cullom Davis Foundation, honoring Kathryn W. Davis, that dream is becoming a plan. This $2.5 million gift will cover nearly half the cost of constructing the Kathryn W. Davis Student Residence Village. It also takes a distinctly human ecological approach to architecture, combining sustainable materials and innovations with a genuine community approach to dorm life. Created as three individual structures, each with two adjoining units, the houses will include kitchens and common living, recreation and study areas. Once the village is complete, it will raise the percentage of students living on campus to nearly 50 percent. The village is being designed by noted environmental architects Bruce Coldham and Tom Hartman of Coldham Architects, and will include innovative social, cultural and environmental elements. The Davis Residence Village will mingle students from Maine to Montenegro. “We all know that cross-cultural understanding begins with friendship,” said Shelby M.C. Davis when he announced the gift in his mother’s honor. “At the Kathryn W.
Kathryn W. Davis at her home in Northeast Harbor.
Davis Residence Village, there will be many opportunities for deepened connections as students make meals together and discuss everything from their favorite music to the fate of the world.” Equally compelling is the unusual environmental sophistication of these buildings, among the most ecologically sensitive of any college dormitory—even producing a portion of their own energy. To have an environmentally advanced building be part of an academic institution means that each innovation will become part of the COA education.
COA Volum e2 | Numb er 1
Mahan Graphics: David Perry, Linda Delorme and Michael Mahan, and to the many COA helpers who contribute to the magazine. These include Laura Johnson, interim development director, for her continued support, our editorial board for its wisdom, and especially our valiant proofreaders, Jennifer Hughes, Carla Ganiel and Sarah Baker. But most especially, thanks go to Bill Carpenter, the magazine’s unheralded in-house advisor, cheerleader and proofreader. – Donna Gold The Co llege of the
COA hosts its largest international conference: Reconciling Humans and Nature
hen William Ginn ’74 offers the first keynote address for the Society for Human Ecology (SHE) on the evening of October 18, 2006, he will be welcoming the largest international conference ever to come to College of the Atlantic, so large that there will be six simultaneous sessions ongoing at all times. “Interdisciplinary Integration and Practice: Reconciling Humans and Nature,” the XIV International Conference of the Society for Human Ecology, is a four-day conference bringing 200 individual presenters from five continents to COA to explore concepts of human ecology. Rich Borden and John Anderson, COA faculty members in psychology and zoology, are co-chairs of the conference. The most important aspect of the gathering, says Borden, “is that people are coming from around the world to explore and share their ideas of human ecology.” Borden is the executive director of SHE; Anderson currently serves as its president. Covering issues from philosophy and education to the interrelation of music and nature, “the discussions will fully reflect COA’s mission and concerns,” adds Borden. With many sessions organized as roundtable discussions, “the conference will give plenty of time to actual dialog,” says Anderson, who is also COA’s associate dean for advanced studies. Among the keynote presenters will be renowned architect and designer William McDonough, recognized by Time magazine as a “Hero for the Planet” in 1999, and coauthor, with German chemist Dr. Michael Braungart, of Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things. McDonough will be joined by Elizabeth Grossman, author of High Tech Trash: Digital Devices, Hidden Toxics, and Human Health, among other books. In a recent review of her latest book, the Chicago Tribune wrote that we depend on writers like Elizabeth Grossman, “to shake us awake, dispel the fever dream of consumerism and reveal the true cost of our love for technology and our obsession with machines and disposable goods.”
There are four other keynote speakers. Ginn is a businessman-turned-conservationist who has helped The Nature Conservancy protect more than 1.5 million forested acres through dozens of innovative deals. He currently directs the Global Forest Partnership. Trained as a geographer, Robert Kates has participated in interdisciplinary programs addressing environment and development around the world, including the World Hunger Program at Brown University. He is a Distinguished Scientist at Clark University and a faculty associate at COA. Among other honors and duties, Kates, a MacArthur Fellow, is also executive editor of Environment magazine. His current research is on long-term trends and values, attitudes and beliefs affecting a sustainability transition.
“People are coming from around the world to explore and share their ideas of human ecology.” ~ Borden Arts advocate, scholar and curator June LaCombe will focus on environmental art and perception of place. Finally, Richard Levins is an internationally-renowned ecologist and bio-mathematician working as the John Rock Professor of Population Sciences at the Harvard School of Public Health, where he has started a collaborative relationship with Cuban institutions. He is one of the most prominent authors of mathematical patterns in biological processes, making the obscure obvious by finding appropriate ways to visualize complex phenomena. The point of the conference, says Borden, is to support the growth of human ecology. “It’s about creating interactions between people.” While the conference is only open to students and formallyregistered attendees, Borden hopes that each one of the participants will go home knowing ten people they wouldn’t have otherwise met. “It’s got to be personal, the best parts of conferences are the connections. The formal sessions are what allow people to come; the informal discussions are what they take with them.” COA | 9
Exaltation Moments A CONVERSATION WITH DAVID HALES By Kelly S. Dickson, MPhil ’97
Photos by Donna Gold
azing out over the deep blue water and sky of Frenchman Bay, College of the Atlantic President David Hales observes, “It’s hard to complain about working here.” His first day on the job was July 1. Though it was a Saturday, he had an academic affairs discussion with some faculty and trustees—the first of many. “I’m continuing to get immersed in the budget and programs, and I’m delving as far as I can below the surface so I can have a better idea of how things work here,” he says as we make our way through the beautiful new flower garden behind Turrets. In jeans, I worry about soil marring his dark trousers and shiny shoes as we sit on some rough, granite steps in the July sun, but he doesn’t think twice about it. Hales moved from Washington, D.C. to Mount Desert Island with his wife Barbara McLeod and son Daniel on June 19. Some boxes still await unpacking in their new home on the Indian Point Road. Daniel, 14, will attend Mount Desert Island High School in the fall. Hales is sure his other children, Lisa, 45, Nate, 26, and Joshua, 24, will enjoy visiting MDI. “I don’t really miss anything from Washington,” he says. “We solved the Internet access issue. The cell phone doesn’t work well, which I love.” The Hales family has felt very welcomed on MDI. “The warmth and spirit of the people we’ve met has been the best thing,” he says. “Certainly it is physically beautiful. Barbara and I have had plenty of what we call ‘exaltation moments’—Ed Kaelber called them ‘giggle moments.’” I laugh, telling him my husband and I call them “We live here!” moments. McLeod gave up a job working on environmental and trade issues with the Enviromental Protection Agency to move to MDI. Despite that, Hales says she is equally ecstatic about the change. “We saw the sunrise on Cadillac on our first morning here. We’ve spent a lot of time in the park and have done a bit of canoeing and swimming.” And yet, the seemingly supremely happy Hales wasn’t originally sold on coming to COA. When the college’s search firm contacted him, he had not even heard of the school, despite the fact that he had spent much of his career working on environmental issues. In an initial interview with the presidential search committee—comprised of trustees, faculty, and a staff member, student and alumna— Hales was asked why he wanted to become COA’s president. “I’m not sure I do yet,” he responded, shocking committee members with his forthrightness. 10 | COA
concerns into development decisions. Hales has “The quandary was in some ways kind of like served as chair of the Smithsonian Institution’s falling in love,” Hales muses, looking out at the Sustainable Development Institute since 2002. sailboats moored near the college’s pier. “You “The international and multicultural dimenalways have questions that go along with the sions are critical to understanding relationships attraction. The added complication here was that I between humans and the environment,” says was more committed all along to COA making the Hales, who is devising strategies to bring the COA right choice versus making myself the choice, until educational model and human ecological perspecI was satisfied it was a good fit.” tive to developing countries, “where we can have Hales was one of three candidates invited to positive and lasting impact.” visit campus. While here, he was grilled by stu“I’d like to see COA have more of a thoughtful, dents, staff, faculty, trustees, alumni and friends of written presence in international forums—op-eds, the college. Because the orientation process was opinion articles, peer-reviewed scientific jourso intense, Hales says he had a clear understandnals,” he says. “I’d love to see our ideas extended in ing of what he was getting into. that way.” The contributions the Davis scholars “I have learned a lot in the last two months—the have made to the school are “almost immeasuralearning curve has been very consistent. But there ble,” he adds, noting the need to continue making haven’t really been any surprises. Except that COA an attractive option to stuMillard paints his toenails. You’d dents in other countries. better not print that or we’ll both While Hales has many big-picbe in trouble.” The inauguration of David F. Hales, ture goals, he is not a workaholic. Hales admits he once sported fifth president of College of the His “to do” list has some rather blue painted toenails, so I am comAtlantic, will be held Sunday, October 8 at 2 p.m. Updated quirky goals. pelled to show him the stylish information is posted on the “High on my list is exploring the turquoise on the tips of my own COA website: secret passageways in Turrets,” he toes. On a more serious note, Hales www.coa.edu/inauguration says. “And I am committed to making COA a national snakeball says he is committed to resolving power.” the college’s core challenge— Snakeball? “We invented it, so we have a leg securing a strong financial future. “We have to up,” he says. “We already have some students assure people they are investing in the future in a interested.” meaningful way and make sure when they do give Hales looks forward to the return of students to us $1 that they get $1.25 in return.” campus this fall. The exposure he’s had with them Another challenge is coming up with a valid so far has made him eager for more interactions. generalization about COA, he says. “This is an As our conversation comes to a close, Hales incredibly diverse small system built around a says he wants to make it clear that the presidency gigantic idea.” at College of the Atlantic is a collective endeavor. Hales has a strong background in both environ“In a direct sense, every time something good mental issues and international relations. Most happens it is strongly connected to Ed Kaelber, recently, he has been Counsel for Sustainability Judith Swazey, Lou Rabineau and Steve Katona and Policy to Worldwatch Institute, an independent the process they built around the concept of susresearch organization focused on energy, tainability,” he says. “Everything we do stands very resource and environmental issues. Prior to that, firmly on top of the efforts they’ve made.” he started a sustainable development and environmental consulting firm called DFH Global. His past experience also includes serving as the senior Kelly S. Dickson is the assistant editor of the Mount environmental officer of the Global Environment Desert Islander and lives in Bar Harbor with her husband Center of the United States Agency for InterGeorge. She earned a master’s degree in human ecology at COA in 1997 and serves on the college’s board of national Development under the Clinton administrustees. tration, charged with integrating environmental
I N A U G U R AT I O N
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One Last Homework Assignment from Jeffrey Sachs Jeffrey Sachs, Director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University, received an honorary master’s degree in human ecology on June 3, 2006. We thought his “homework assignment” ought to go out to the
I am thrilled to be here. I am not only feeling the excitement of the College of the Atlantic, but feeling a tremendous sense of hope. College of the Atlantic is amazing. It is unique. I like to say that the institute that I direct, Columbia University’s Earth Institute, is unique because we place sustainable development at the core of an interdisciplinary effort. But here is the College of the Atlantic, the first institution—and I believe still the only institution in this country, perhaps in the world—that has taken human ecology as its centerpiece. That concept will be ever more important in the years ahead. You are privileged, and we need you. You have a unique set of skills. I did not come naturally to this subject. I started as a pretty straightforward international finance economist, not as an ecologist. But over the last quarter century, as I tried to look at problems from an economic perspective, it became increasingly clear to me that the problems could never be solved with a narrow perspective alone, especially not an economic perspective. A broader human ecological perspective, one that understood society and its interaction with the physical environment, was essential and paramount. A few days ago, I was in the torrid heat of central tropical Africa in the midst of a drought. People are dying in large numbers there because their crops have failed, because malaria is endemic, because the relationship of the society and physical environment to depleted soils and a depleting ecosystem—where forests are being denuded as people desperately struggle to stay alive just by getting and collecting fuel wood—has put their lives at risk and put our lives on the planet at risk through the interconnectedness of instability in all parts of the world. It will require the talents, the science, the international spirit and the commitments that you’ve taken on to address and to solve these problems. I hope it is not out of place, Mr. President, for me to add one last homework assignment for all of you 12 | COA
Photo courtesy of COA
graduates. If you look at these problems carefully, in the way that you are trained to look at them, they are solvable. The most urgent one is helping our fellow brothers and sisters to stay alive in all parts of the world: those who are struggling with extreme poverty and don’t have enough to eat, those who don’t have security of clean water or access to emergency health care. The world took on some of these goals in the year 2000, before we got distracted by this horrible war that we are trapped in right now. If you look carefully, we have within our means—with the knowledge that you have—the ability to end extreme poverty by the year 2025. We have the ability to reach, by the year 2015, the Millennium Development Goal to halve extreme poverty, hunger and disease. Your assignment, as leaders of your generation, is to end extreme poverty on the planet. You can work in groups, it is open book and 2015—the target year to achieve the Millennium Development Goals—is your midterm exam. But with everything that I’ve seen— with your eloquence, with your charm, with your wit, especially with the commitments that you so clearly have and that have been imbued in you here—you have the means to do it. I want you to know your generation is up to this task; we are going to be watching you as our leaders to help bring it about. Thank you so much for welcoming me into your midst. And congratulations. Jeffrey Sachs’ most recent book is The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time. Sachs was distinguished by Time magazine in 2004 and 2005, as one of the one hundred most influential people in the world. He directs the United Nations Millennium Project and is special advisor to U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan on the Millennium Development Goals.
Cutting a Bond with the Long Trail A posthumous journal by Ned Green ’97
here is a long, memorable tradition of COA students who have been driven both to plunge themselves into the experience of wilderness and to record it in language. The late Ned Green '97 was one of those adventure poets who sought out and reveled in mountain places as far from humanity as he could get, then "brought it back," Zarathustra-like, in poems whose lines are as well-chiseled as a series of ice steps. When I heard of his 2001 climbing accident, I was chilled to think that the mountains he loved could have allowed the silencing of one of their own most eloquent and understanding voices. I hadn't thought of Ned for a while, then suddenly last week his wide smile and magnificent frostladen beard showed up at our reading table, on the cover of Cutting a Bond with the Long Trail, a compilation of Ned's wanderings and work intuitively and lovingly compiled by his mother, Clare Green. Whitman says, "who touches this book, touches a man." This goes for Cutting a Bond. Ned Green was a human ecologist who didn't just observe the cross-
connections of mind and nature; he lived them out and recorded them in devoted fidelity to the nuances of place and the wholeness of experience. "Attack the steep parts with zeal and desire," he said of the Long Trail. "You enter the trail, the trail enters you." It's clear these were not just mountains to him, but life itself. Ned was a charismatic figure in his generation of COA students, creating a circle of friends who corresponded and traveled with him after he left Bar Harbor. Now his book allows the whole community a glimpse of his energy, humor and peak-oriented vision. "I worship Mountains!" was his yearbook statement, which seems to me as good a religion as any, and his whole journey was a testament to it. Throughout the book Ned is looking down on the New England landscape from one summit after another, and the reader feels, after turning the last page, that he continues to do so now. ~ Bill Carpenter Cutting a Bond with the Long Trail can be purchased online from the Green Mountain Club. Look under books in the Green Mountain Store section of www.greenmountainclub.org
Finding new adventures, and possibly white whales Steve Katona and Susan Lerner complete round of farewells This spring, COA trustees, faculty, staff and alumni sent the former presidential couple, Steve Katona and Susie Lerner, off to new adventures with a series of farewell parties that began in April with a weekend tribute and massive reunion complete with a whale conference, party and Sunday afternoon tea. After a tearful farewell in June, the community was ready for some hilarity at the July 7 party hosted by Ev and Joan Shorey with a bevy of friends and trustees at the Asticou Inn. Enter COA drama teacher Lucy Bell Sellers directing a send-up of COA history by our own
novelist-turned-playwright Bill Carpenter, with a cast of Ahab, a.k.a. life trustee Henry Sharpe, Queequeg, played by Steve Savage ’77 complete with tattoos and harpoon, and the be-fezed founding trustee Les Brewer as Fedallah. Lost in a decades-old fog, searching for a white whale, the mariners instead find Falco, Istar and other denizens of the Allied Whale Catalog. “You can’t hunt whales with a committee,” complains Ahab—and promptly crashes into a rock in sight of an oblate seminary. Presided over by founding trustee Father Jim Gower, this seminary is peopled by nuns-in-training—trustees Sarah McDaniel ’93 and Elizabeth Hodder. “Times have changed, Captain,” declares Father Gower. “It’s two-thirds women now”—causing a distinct change in the mariners’ plans.
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AN Photo by Donna Gold
EDUCATION FOR THE 21ST CENTURY Don Straus
Don and Beth Straus at the ceremonies dedicating Turrets II as the Donald B. Straus Seminar Room. At the same time, The Turrets Great Hall became the Leslie C. Brewer Great Hall, in honor of founding trustee Les Brewer, and the Educational Studies Room became the Father James Gower Seminar Room in honor of founding trustee Father Gower.
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ongtime trustee Don Straus came to College of the Atlantic’s integrative education knowing the cost of conflict. As president of the American Arbitration Association, his work has been focused on helping to mediate adversaries at a point when anger is just about all there is. In the early 1970s, Straus was living in New York but visiting Maine. Hearing about COA, he got quite excited. “This was education for the twenty-first century,” he said recently, sitting in his home at the edge of Somes Sound. “College of the Atlantic was putting forward the concept of non-adversarial discussion. Rather than trying to say, ‘we have a theory and we’re going to show you how it works’ COA was bringing together people from all sides and all arenas”—science, society and the arts. “It’s a very different way of discussion,” Straus continued, speaking of his pleasure in finding an academic institution working so close to his life’s focus—and just down the road from the Somesville home he and his wife Beth eventually
retired to. “I didn’t see that there were many other colleges even talking about interdisciplinary education at that time. Now it’s different, now colleges are trying to do a bit of what COA has done all along.” By 1974, Straus was on COA’s board of trustees. Except for founding trustees Father Jim Gower and Leslie Brewer, Straus is COA’s longest serving board member. That Straus would get involved at the beginning of the college is no surprise. He has a history of starting things. Arbitration was not well understood in the 1940s, when, as a young man, Straus became interested in how to manage conflicts without aggression. In business, Straus said, “winning was what you did.” While that may be indispensable for corporations, Straus began to wonder whether that attitude was necessary to all areas of life. What would life look like if people tried to find solutions together, without always trying to win? An avid sailor and fearless small plane pilot, Straus inevitably pushed things to the edge. As a young man, when his parents gave him a new, dashing sports car upon receiving his MBA, Straus drove the car to the nearest airport and traded it in for a small Luscombe plane, which he promptly flew across the nation, a ten-gallon can of gas in the seat next to him, to visit the young woman with whom he had been corresponding, his soon-to-be bride, Beth Allen. At COA, it wasn’t enough for this driven man— also a trustee of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Princeton Institute for Advanced Study and chairman of Planned Parenthood Federation of America—to serve on the board, not even enough for him to chair the Academic Policy committee for thirteen years, pushing the college toward ever-increasing intellectual rigor. Straus also got involved with the students, teaching five different courses. Classes like “World Population from a Human Ecological Perspective,” “The Future of Democracy and Economics” and “Community Planning and Decision Making,” brought Straus’ extensive global experience to COA students. Former COA president Steve Katona remembers those classes well. Marked by “boldness, vision, curiosity and insight,” Katona said, they demonstrated the
breadth and depth of Straus’ “engagement with big, complex issues upon which humanity’s future depends.” Straus also co-taught classes with psychology professor Rich Borden. “Coming out of the traditional way of thinking of education, it was an inspiration working with Rich,” said Straus —much different from Straus’ own education, first at Milton Academy, then at Harvard for a B.A. and M.B.A. “I’ve thought about that difference a lot,” he said, “COA treats students as people that you could learn from as well as teach.” But COA’s focus is more than that, he added. The interdisciplinary nature of COA’s education, its concentration on human ecology as a unifying question, offers an attempt to bring together all the disciplines. There’s too much information in the world today; students can never hope to know everything. “But at COA, the focus is on getting to a basic understanding of how the knowledge came about—looking into how all the parts fit in, more than at Harvard or Yale or Princeton, at least at that time.” For Borden, working with Don went well beyond just teaching together: “He has been a wonderful mentor and friend. His insights about computer-assisted collaboration and decision making were introduced into COA’s curriculum long before anyone else was thinking that way.” The classes Straus taught were often held in the Turrets second floor seminar room, once the bedroom of Lela Emery, with its sleeping porch overlooking Frenchman Bay. In gratitude for Straus’ extensive commitment to the college, the room has been renamed the Donald B. Straus Seminar Room. The honor surprised and delighted Straus. The porch, long barred from use because of safety issues, will soon be opened to classes and meetings, even parties. Thanks to donations from Straus’ friends, the room has been outfitted with a large, hand-built table—circular, of course. At 90, a life trustee since 2001, Straus still attends board meetings. Sitting in the academic policy discussions this July, Straus said, “these were the best meetings I have ever been to—so much energy, so much commitment.” He added, “College of the Atlantic is better than I thought, but I always thought it was pretty good.” ~ Donna Gold COA | 15
Photo by Lynn Karlin
Story by Donna Gold or years, Deb Soule ’81 kept our family healthy. The pink labels of her
Avena Botanicals tinctures were fixtures in both our medicine cabinet and our refrigerator. Scraped knee? We’d dig out calendula or
hypericum oil to ease the sting and bring on healing. Cold coming on? Extra Echinacea, made with cherry syrup for spoon-licking pleasure, had its place right on the refrigerator door. Perhaps most used though, was Avena’s arnica oil for bangs and bruises, twisted ankles, dislocated fingers and sore bones of young and old. In our first aid kit, Avena’s pink labels definitely overcame the light blue of Johnson & Johnson.
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Photo by Donna Gold
FOLLOWING Deb Soule ’81 and HER JOY Avena Botanicals
At about the same time we were switching from cherry-flavored echinacea to the stronger variety tinctured in alcohol, our son, Daniel Carpenter-Gold, started to dig up our comfrey for arthritis and burdock for colds, hanging the chopped roots across his bedroom like strands of unlit chili pepper lights. Prowling our fields, he’d search for a particular kind of goldenrod, then ask me detailed questions about the mint that inevitably overtakes one portion of our garden. I gave him the first herbal I ever owned, and invited him along to visit Deb Soule at Avena Botanicals, to find out how she came to be such a fine herbal provisioner. What a glorious day! In September, the purple fields of echinacea were countered by calendula’s yellow-orange. Following her garden path, we meandered beside plots of thyme, hyssop and pulsatilla, circling a pool beyond which exotic and common plants were ending their summer’s bloom. As we came closer to Soule’s homey apothecary and office, trimmed in purple and orange, Tibetan prayer flags fluttered in early fall’s aromatic breeze. The three of us sat on her porch, talking about her childhood and how she came to COA already fascinated by ways of healing. As we talked, hummingbirds and monarch butterflies hovered around the nasturtiums, fuchsia and marigolds that grew in pots and window boxes. Like a matchmaker, Soule would punctuate her talk to alert us to a bird or butterfly her flowers had lured in. “I’m completely obsessed with pollinators,” she exclaimed. When Soule was growing up in the central Maine town of South Paris, she would watch her grandmother, her father’s mother, walk in the fields and woods, gathering wild greens. This woman, said Soule, “had lost her hearing at a young age and had created a remarkable relationship with the natural world. As a young mother, she used to gather edible wild foods.” While Soule’s grandmother didn’t know about using plants for medicine, she did have an incredible respect for nature. “That was instilled in me,”
said Soule. Her other grandmother was a Christian Scientist, so Soule grew up in a household that almost never used drugs. At age 15, when a friend gave her Francis Moore Lappé’s Diet for a Small Planet, Soule began to consider the content of the food she was eating and began growing her own. A year later, she received the herbal, Common Herbs for Natural Health by Juliette de Bairacli Levy, now known as the grandmother of herbal medicine. “I started to read about dandelion, chickweed, valerian, yarrow. It was like I fell in love with these plants.” That summer, at age 16, with the encouragement of a neighbor, Soule began gardening. Soule first went off to Vermont for college, but found herself longing for a more hands-on education. Hearing about College of the Atlantic, she decided to transfer. “It was creative, progressive, environmentally-oriented, and it seemed to me, from what I read, that there was a lot more room for designing what I wanted to study.” As part of her work, Soule spent a term in Nepal at the School for International Training where she began exploring Tibetan medical systems, along with ayurvedic medicine, which is focused on using food and nourishing herbs to maintain the health of the body. Both systems have been ongoing for more than 3,000 years. Soule recalled visiting an 86-year-old man, a twenty-second-generation ayurvedic doctor, who had begun his training at age 12. She began to ask herself the questions that she continues to ask today. What do we mean by healing? What do we mean by medicine? Her senior project was an exploration of three healing modalities: reflexology, astrology and dance. What emerged for Soule was how essential herbs and food were to ayurvedic medicine, using diet to nourish the body and prevent illnesses. She also realized that gardening was her greatest joy. After graduation, she came to a decision: “I really want to make my way in the world doing what I love to do, which is growing medicinal plants and making medicine for people, being of service in some way.” But back
Photo by Lynn Karlin
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then, not only were there were almost no organic herbs on the market; there were also few herbalists with whom to study. Soule did find work on two different herbal farms, but one grew ornamental herbs, the other culinary. She kept looking. Eventually, Soule found a few mentors, among them the Vermont herbalist Adele Dawson, author of Herbs, Partners in Life: A Guide to Cooking, Gardening and Healing with Wild and Cultivated Plants. “She inspired me to grow medicinal herbs,” says Soule. Finally, she headed out to Herb Pharm, one of the first organic herbal businesses in the nation, run by Ed Smith and Sara Katz. She stayed there until, recalled Soule, “Ed said to me, ‘You have enough knowledge to help your community.’” Returning to Maine, Soule lived with a friend on some land in Rockport and started growing her own herbs, conducting her own experiments, and showing others how to make simple healing salves and tinctures. Then Soule saw that her students were having trouble finding good quality herbs to use for their tinctures. Twenty-one years 18 | COA
Photo by MaryLou Crowley
Photo by Donna Gold
Deb Soule shows Daniel Carpenter-Gold the leaf of the herb boneset growing in the gardens of Avena Botanicals.
ago, Avena Botanicals was born, originally as a mail-order business to serve people in rural areas. “I have such a strong belief in the healing power of plants that I did not feel good sending somebody off to buy some old dried herb, that we had no idea where it came from or what its quality was,” she said. “It’s amazing to me now, people say, ‘Oh yeah, I was in WalMart and I was in this drugstore—’ herbs are everywhere, and the problem, the same as with food, is that people don’t fully understand that quality herbs, like quality food are essential.” For example, she added, if some herbs are dried at temperatures above 120 degrees they lose much of their medicinal value. Moreover, each plant has a specific time of day and specific time in its life cycle when it is most potent. Herbs like lemon verbena, basil and calendula are best picked in mid to late morning, as the sun brings the plants’ volatile oils to the surface. So the herbalist wants to harvest these leaves at around 10 am rather than 4 pm. These ideas are based on information handed down through the generations. Herbalists also make other connections. The intensely rooted burdock plant inspires groundedness, said Soule, so she will often add burdock root into a medicine for a person who needs strength or grounding. “In Western life, we don’t have language like that. Ayurvedic healers have an incredibly sophisticated language about the energetics of plants, whether warming or cooling, moistening or drying.”
She’s also interested in medicinal foods, such as nettle tea. She’ll often make a nettle potato soup, or a nettle, leek and onion soup. “You just feel good,” since nettles are rich in iron and other minerals, helping to rebuild energy and strength. In spring, Soule will sauté burdock, digging it before it sends up its flower stalk. “I’ll eat a ton of parsley, because it’s filled with iron. And I could live on kale,” Soule added. Beyond offering tinctures, teas and salves, beyond giving numerous workshops and lectures, Soule is sought out as a healer. Some of her clients are very ill. Currently, she’s caring for a man suffering from lymphoma. It’s not uncommon for medical students and practicing doctors and nurses to consult with Soule over complementary health care. She even sees patients concurrently with a doctor in Augusta, Maine. That scientific studies have questioned the efficacy of certain herbs does not concern Deb Soule. Where were the herbs grown? How were they stored and prepared? Were they even using herbs or just the chemical component? she asks. “You can tweak a study to show what it wants to show. Studies are biased all the time, myself
included. I have used some herbs for twenty-five years. I know when they are useful.” But Soule hopes to look deeper into the science of her life’s work, and has begun to study with COA botanist Nishanta Rajakaruna ’94. She’s even considering graduate school, hoping to study pollination biology, clinical herbalism and medicinal plant conservation. Her first choice? COA. Avena Botanicals’ one-acre garden and apothecary are open to the public in West Rockport yearround. People can order herbs on-line at www.avenabotanicals.com or call Avena directly at 207-594-0694 or 866-282-8362. Deb Soule frequently teaches at conferences around the country. She is also working on an update of her first book, A Woman’s Book of Herbs and on her second book, as well as on a grant to distribute an herbal handbook on women’s health to college and family planning clinics around the country. She offers classes and free herb walks throughout the summer in Avena’s gardens. Come October, Deb Soule’s story will be part of the photography show, “Maine Women Living off the Land” at the college’s Ethel H. Blum Gallery.
Wise Woman Tea One of my favorite herbal teas, great for easing stress, improving digestion and enhancing vitality and well-being, and especially great for women with pre-menstrual, pre-menopausal or menopausal stress. Contains alfalfa, nettle, lady's mantle, oat seed, lemon verbena and lemon grass. Ashwaganda Root Powder stirred into warm milk (dairy or non-), mixed with a touch of honey and cardamom powder, taken daily in the morning and evening or evening only, is deeply nourishing, building and restorative. This ayurvedic herb clears the mind, strengthens the body’s vital life force, balances the hormonal system and promotes restful sleep. Great for students, teachers and all hard workers. Astragalus root, Siberian ginseng root, sacred basil and rhodiola have been found safe to use over several months or longer for enhancing the immune system and adrenal gland health. These herbs can be used as tea or tincture, but read labels carefully, as herb quality varies, especially since the herbal industry has grown. Know your herbalist like you know your local farmer. ~ Deb Soule
Photo by Donna Gold
Photo by Donna Gold
Herbal support for easing stress, enhancing memory and strengthening the immune system
appropriate scale At Farms for the Future, Kerri Sands ’02 helps preserve farmers, farms —and their communities By Loie Hayes ’79 Photos by Noah Krell ’02
What makes a rural community a vibrant place where the young adults don’t all leave for the city? Kerri Sands ’02 grew up in a small Maine town and she’s convinced that local farms are an economic and social foundation, what she calls a stable “dual root” for a healthy Maine.
erri Sands doesn’t call the farms she works with “small.” She prefers to call them “appropriate scale.” Context, or environment, is crucial in determining what is appropriate where—just as it is in any ecological, social, or economic milieu. As she talks with farmers about their dreams for the future, she thinks about the context for those aspirations: what experience and assets does the farming family already have or need to develop, what does its local community need and want, what roles does the farm play in the economy, identity and landscape of the region? Faced with the massive economies of scale that tip the U.S. food system so starkly in favor of agribusiness, Sands counters, “Maine farmers offer a different product, one that is of vastly higher freshness, taste, nutritional content and character. It’s ‘food with a face.’ ” Its place is not in the produce bins in the supermarkets, but at farm stands, in restaurants, at small local food stores, Community Supported Agriculture (through which people buy a share in a farm at the beginning of the growing season to receive weekly allotments of fresh vegetables during the summer and fall), and at various other new creative forms of urban-suburbanrural economic partnerships. As an example of the latter, Sands cites the Senior Farm Share program, a state-administered federal grant that funds $100 farm shares for low-income seniors. Sands has been passionate about farms since at least high school. Instead of heading straight to college, she took a farm apprenticeship in Ireland. “I learned from that apprenticeship that I’m not that great at growing things, but understanding the role of farms in landscape, economy and regional identity remains very important to me,” she says. Upon Sands’ return to Maine, she met COA alum Gabe McPhail ’97 of Coastal Enterprises, Inc., a community development corporation. Sands was intrigued with CEI’s work and started volunteering, staffing taste-test demonstrations of locally-produced foods
at convenience stores and other venues. She enjoyed talking with consumers and engaging them in conversations about local farms and the foods that they were producing. Hearing about COA, Sands enrolled, recognizing the aptness of human ecology to her learning style and goals. COA’s farm at Beech Hill was a clear draw. She soon became manager of the summer farm stand, relishing her position as the link between farmer and consumer, an experience further enhanced by a summer job at COA faculty member Elmer Beal’s restaurant, The Burning Tree. Sands loved seeing Beal working with local producers of everything from eggs to watermelons, and reporting to the chef on which crops were getting ready to be harvested. Years later, she points to that summer’s experience as one of the most insightful lessons she’s gleaned in her lifelong learning about farms. By the time Sands graduated, she was able to articulate the sustainable development principles that she had embraced intuitively as a child. “Human ecology is so natural to me that I forget that some people use it as a lens,” she says—as if they were putting on a pair of glasses to examine a particular kind of problem. “I never take off that lens. Being at COA helped me to talk about it and strengthened me in using it. When I go to a farmer’s home and sit in their kitchen, I have to listen to the real needs of that farmer and have them trust me. That means seeing where other people are coming from.” Sands now works with CEI as the administrator of Farms for the Future, a State of Maine program that provides team-based business planning services and implementation grants to Maine farmers. “Our program brings together a diverse team to meet with the farmers who participate in our business planning. Depending on the situation, we might have someone who knows about website development, a soap maker who’s interested in buying herbs in bulk, a soil scientist from the University of Maine, a business counselor and a land conservationist. We COA | 21
bers and find out that to sell their milk to their start with a farm tour, then we all fire ideas at each neighbors at what seems to them like a reasonable other across the table. I love being at that nexus of price, they’ve got to find a way to subsidize that multiple perspectives driving toward the same goal: price with higher profits on different products sold helping the farmer and their community. At COA, I in Portland, Camden or other wealthier areas.” had so many opportunities to practice this type of Though in Maine, organic peppers from collaboration: in classes, at all-college meeting, on California might be cheaper than those grown on internships, in my jobs. Now, when I have to argue Mount Desert Island, Sands points out that while for more funding for Farms for the Future, I feel I many large-scale agribusiness companies are now know how to switch hats and see a situation from producing an organic product line, often the land the perspective of all the people and systems that management standards are not very different from are involved.” the non-organic. Local consumers Farms for the Future helps to should look at the extra dollar link private, government and nonWhile many large-scale they might spend as an investment profit resources to assist farmers in agribusiness companies in their community’s economic exploring innovations to make are now producing an health, as the farmer will in turn their farms more efficient or ecocontribute to schools and other nomically viable. “With support organic product line, often local services, offer employment, from their tailored advisory teams, the land management and buy goods and services from farmers research and write a busistandards are not very local merchants. Explaining why ness plan, then apply for grants to different from the nonFarms for the Future likes to talk offset part of the cost of impleorganic. Local consumers about “farmer preservation” mentation. Farmers who are should look at the extra instead of “farm preservation,” awarded a grant pledge not to sell dollar they might spend as Sands asks, “What good does it do house lots or otherwise develop an investment in their comto preserve farmland if it’s not the farm property (except for agrimunity’s economic health, actually in production and providcultural purposes) for five years. as the farmer will in turn ing an income for a family?” Since many farmers are land-rich Strengthening family farms is a and cash-poor, the sale of a house contribute to schools and crucial tactic in the effort to make lot is often the ace-in-the-hole for other local services, offer sure Maine doesn’t turn into a farmers when times are tough. But employment, and buy patchwork of “Anytown USA” once prime farmland is undergoods and services from sprawl and hollowed-out small neath a house and yard, it is nearlocal merchants. towns. ly impossible to reclaim. It is our To Kerri Sands, questions about hope that the business planning nutrition, landscape, ecosystems, poverty and jobs process helps the farmer create other economic all relate to maintaining vibrant agricultural commuoptions.” nities. In Maine and many other rural communities Soaring land prices, long distances between worldwide, rural development is synonymous with population centers, a short growing season and the sustainable farming. Without working farms, rural relatively higher costs associated with smaller communities wither, the children move away, and a acreage and being on the end of the fossil fuel cargo-culture mentality flourishes that ignores local pipeline combine to make farming in Maine a resources in favor of exotic junk and junk food difficult task, but Sands sees hope in both direct-totrucked in from the metropoles. consumer sales and niche marketing. She also acknowledges that farmers statewide have to find ways to tap into the tourist and professional markets in the coastal and southern regions of the state. “A Loie Hayes ’79 is a freelance editor, writer, and now a frequent contributor to COA Magazine. small dairy in central Maine might crunch the num-
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Maine agriculture has traditionally been dominated by large-scale commodity production of potatoes, chickens and dairy cows, and to a lesser extent apples and blueberries. According to research by Russell Libby of Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, these sectors have declined significantly in the last three decades. Yet Maine’s total number of farms—roughly 7,000— has remained constant. This is mostly due to the expansion of small, diversified farms supported by the natural and organic foods markets: from yearround farm stands and Community Supported Agriculture to restaurants that buy local produce and organic milk distribution companies. Maine has the largest percentage of organic milk producers, 16 percent, in the nation. Among the farmers Kerri Sands has been able to help through Farms for the Future were former Beech Hill Farm managers Lucian and Maggie Smith, who received a grant for part of the costs of expanding their new small organic dairy farm. The Smith Family Farm in Hulls Cove is one of a number of farms that are diversifying their production and working with local land conservation groups, such as Maine Coast Heritage Trust, to mitigate the burden of high property taxes based on the land’s development potential. Land trusts, such as the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust, are becoming active in preserving farms. Other farms, such as the Morris Farm in Wiscasset, are adding educational components as another way to keep the land in production and financially viable. Since 2003, the Maine Cheese Guild, with almost twenty producers, provides another option to farmers who want to add value to their basic production. Farms for the Future is a State of Maine program administered by CEI as part of its Maine Farms Project. CEI emphasizes economic, equitable and environmentally sound community development, “3E Investing” for short. Grants target job production where appropriate, especially the hiring of low-income individuals into newly created jobs. In addition to Farms for the Future, CEI offers several other farmer support programs. One is Image Building Concepts, the brainchild of alum Gabe McPhail, who tested the concept as part of her senior project in 1997.
Photo courtesy of Kerri Sands
Gabe consults with farmers at low or no cost to help them determine their unique marketing material needs, then she designs and produces prototypes for logos, product labels and packaging, brochures, magnets, business cards and farm signs. CEI also sponsors a New Americans Sustainable Agriculture Project, in partnership with Heifer International, Maine Initiatives, Maine Community Foundation and other funders. The program assists immigrants in becoming involved in Maine agriculture. The farmers market in Lewiston is now the outlet for produce from a NASAP training garden and is one of the few farmers markets in Maine able to accept EBT (formerly food stamps), which facilitates lowincome individuals’ access to fresh, locally grown farm products. Like CEI’s other farm support programs, Farms for the Future builds strong links between otherwise isolated interests: bankers have a better understanding of farm businesses, farmers better understand the needs of institutional buyers and the resources available to them for planning and investment, and business counselors understand the unique needs of farmers. Sands is pleased to note that, “Just about everyone with whom I work, on every level, wants to see plenty of healthy, sustainable food and farms in Maine.” ~ Loie Hayes ’79
JoAnne Carp What JoAnne Carpenter creates with brush and paint is not just a feast for the eyes; the heart and the mind are equally engaged. There is the purely visual pleasure: a palette that emphasizes warm tones, a sense of light and balance, the careful delineation of a face in sunlight, the compositional finesse that marks an interior with figures. Then there’s the mystery. Is that small sketch in a corner of a painting a citation from the Swiss painter Balthus? What is the connection between family photographs and a portrait of the Duke and Duchess of Urbino? Why do the figures in this canvas appear to look past each other? A narrative is implied; enigma enters, beckoning us to explore.
Self-portrait, 2002, oil on canvas, 15” x 15”
From the catalog essay by Carl Little for Classic Stillness: Recent Paintings and Watercolors. The exhibit by College of the Atlantic art and art history faculty member JoAnne Carpenter is on view at the Ethel H. Blum Gallery from August 10 through September 29, 2006. Portrait of Jan, 2000, oil on canvas, 15” x 15”
Carl Little, a member of COA’s board of advisors, is a prolific art critic and the author of The Watercolors of John Singer Sargent, Edward Hopper’s New England and most recently, Paintings of Maine: A New Collection. His second book of poems, Ocean Drinker was just published by Deerbrook Editions. Carl lives and writes on Mount Desert Island.
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The Dream, 2004, oil on canvas, 46” x 42”
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The Family, 2001, oil on canvas, 45” x 37 1/2”
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Making decisions in the best interest of the institution Millard Dority’s 36 years at COA an oral history excerpt with photos by Noreen Hogan ’91
Millard Dority is College of the Atlantic’s longestserving employee. He began working for the college before the start of its 1971 pilot program, when Millard was 17 and the college but a few months old. He has stayed to care for every inch of the college’s buildings and land, absorbing COA and its mission of human ecology over thirty-six years of devotion.
Donna Gold: What were your early impressions of College of the Atlantic? Millard Dority: I remember this place as a little kid, living in Salisbury Cove, going into town with my mother and staring out the car window seeing the seminarians skating on the front lawn, playing hockey. I knew something happened here, and I remember thinking, What is that place? There used to be a water box out on the big field. That’s how they flooded the front lawn to play hockey. Just this summer we took it out. It was like the last remnant of what I remember as being the Oblate Seminary.
DG: How did you start working here? MD: Ed Kaelber gave me two weeks’ worth of work. I was 17 and in trouble in school—I wasn’t a troublemaker, I would just question things. I was a jock, ever since I could walk, but I thought it was more important to protest the war in Vietnam than to play sports, so I quit. And I read and they didn’t, you know? Then I got this opportunity to work for the college, and Ed somehow finagled a government program to keep me on for a little while longer, and it just took. I didn’t know a thing. I didn’t even know that you had to turn the screwdriver clockwise in order to screw a screw in. Ed was just amazing. He was so inspirational. The only thing that mattered was starting the school, and he was going to do whatever it took. He wasn’t going to fail. He just was not going to fail. He had a presence and a focus that just was unbelievable. I’d never been around anyone like COA | 27
that. And he was so willing to share. I had no idea what human ecology was. I was much more interested in playing music and hanging out on the green, but when Ed started talking about Whitehead and John Dewey, I read everything I could read by those guys, and I was going, Yeah! Man, this is it. This is the way it should be. You could even separate out human ecology; the idea of interdisciplinary education just blew me away, that there is a relationship between the sciences and art. It was like, Whoa! Plus he said to me, “I don’t have time to talk about what you need to do. You need to be a selfstarter. Don’t come in to me every day and say, ‘What do you want me to do?’ You need to figure out what it is you need to do.” Then we talked about everything but buildings and grounds. . . . Lots of things shape your life: my father dying before I was born, meeting Ed Kaelber and Al Stork [COA’s first director of buildings and grounds]. Al Stork was a great teacher. He could do anything. He knew carpentry very well, but he was also a good designer. Anything that anybody else could do in metal, he could do in wood—and he was a good metalworker, too. He was a good welder. He painted well. He did everything. He could do electrical work and he could do plumbing. He was an incredible human being. 28 | COA
DG: What was it like getting ready for the first classes?
MD: We worked day and night for months, getting the fire chief to allow us to use Guy’s Cliff as an educational institution—fire doors had to be installed, the kitchen had to be retrofitted so it would meet health codes. The labs had to be outfitted. I don’t remember having a day off. We just knew it had to be ready. It was a blast!
DG: Did you participate in the all-college meetings?
MD: Ed believed in a sort of egalitarian mode of operation. I was working for Al Stork, but I would get the same memos everybody else would get. I think Ed tried to keep everybody included, but not everyone could be included. You know, do we want to fix this roof today, or do we want to sit in a meeting? Ed would say, “Make the decision in the best interest of the institution.” If you make a decision you think is in the best interest of the institution, most of the time you’re going to be right. If not, you just stand up and say, “I made a mistake,” and move on. Don’t dwell on it. Otherwise, this place wouldn’t be here.
But if Ed called a full meeting, we would all be there. I felt like a real part of the institution right from the very beginning. I don’t expect people today to understand what it felt like back then; there was total commitment. I can remember Ed saying, “Here’s the problem: We don’t have enough cash flow—I’m out there, trying to get it right now.” And everybody’s going, “Ooh, yes!”“No paychecks? The paycheck’s going to be two weeks late? Yeah! All right!” Nobody said, “Oh, my god, I hate this place.” And everybody was together. It wasn’t a faculty meeting and a staff meeting; we were always all together in the same room when announcements like that were made. I remember Ann Peach’s little money jar upstairs. It felt like a scene out of It’s a Wonderful Life. “Ann, I gotta have some money. I gotta buy some food; I have a kid.” “Well, how much do you need?” “Sixty.” “Could you get by with forty?” It was wild!
DG: Tell me about the fire. How did you hear about it?
MD: I got a call from Paul Dubois at 5:10 am on July 25th, 1983. His exact words were, “Kaelber Hall’s on fire. Don’t worry, it’s under control.” I threw on my clothes. I lived one mile away. I opened my porch, which faced east, and the sky was black. I knew immediately it wasn’t under control. It was devastating.
windows were all black, and so you’d walk in and it was this really deadened sound. I remember how devastated Walter Litten and Craig Greene were to lose all of their work. I did everything I could possibly do. I remember crawling in under a place I probably shouldn’t have been and I can remember the sun filtering down, the sort of ash falling off the charred structural beams that were above me in the crawl space, trying to find Craig’s index of the herbarium.
DG: Would you say the college was always environmentally concerned?
MD: No! There’s been a big shift at this institution. We have shifted from saving the whales to saving human beings and the earth. Nobody cared about anything but saving the whales—that’s what it felt like. I’ve always said that felt wrong, at first. But it only feels wrong now because of what we’ve all learned. Other people were trying to save other things; it just wasn’t as obvious as saving the whales. We know that saving the whales is important. Now we know that cutting asbestos board with a Skilsaw is not good. We’ve sort of evolved from saving the whales to saving the earth.
DG: You received an honorary degree at some point, didn’t you?
MD: I did. In 1994. I’m very proud of it.
DG: So you drove up and the fire department
DG: So now, what do you see as your biggest
MD: They tried to hold me back on Eden Street
MD: It would be the campus plan, getting stu-
because they were blocking traffic. I just said, “If I have to run over you, I’m going to run over you, but I’m going.” It was a Monday morning. I went home on Thursday. It was a blur; then the reality set in. Jim Perkins (’76) and I, we went down and bought a couple of beers at nine o’clock at night, and we just sat out on the stone wall outside the admissions office, completely black. Just covered. I ruined a pair of shoes trying to save some stuff of Don and Betty Meiklejohn’s out of the basement. It just melted my soles. I’ve never seen a flashlight so restricted by blackness. It wouldn’t expand. It was completely black—everything. The
dent housing built. This student residence village is going to really show what we’re about. If we do a good job at explaining how these buildings work, then it will be phenomenal as far as the impact they will have on the earth. It’s almost unbelievable how little energy they use. And the materials are being carefully chosen to make sure that not only the people that live in the buildings are healthy, but the people building the buildings are healthy, and the people that are providing materials are healthy. So that’s it! That’s the big challenge. COA | 29
Tawanda Chabikwa ’06
baobabs in heaven BY TAWANDA CHABIKWA ’06
This chapter occurs midway through Tawanda Chabikwa’s novel-inprogress of the same name, Baobabs in Heaven. Chabikwa, a native of Zimbabwe, plans to finish the novel as his senior project. The narrator, raised rurally, now lives in the city, though his old friend Jeremiah still lives in the countryside. On a visit to Jeremiah, just before this chapter begins, the two young men had confronted a local gang. These are the “events” that are referred to in this chapter, which begins with the funeral of the man known as “Serio’s brother.” Throughout the novel, as in this chapter, the action is broken up by the stories of Ambuya, the Grandmother. ~ DG 30 | COA
here is no magic where I come from. No laughter. I do not come across bubbles of happy energy while roaming in the woods. No. There is no magic. Only fading hopes scribbled on the toilet paper of yesterday. I do not find magical mentors of
spiritual apexes nor friends to hold my hand. I let go and fall forever. My beauty is not coupled with supernatural acuteness and sensual awareness. My thoughts are damp and moist like dirty, old cloth in dark corners of the basement. We are escorting the unnecessarily expensive coffin to its last stop. The slow motion, weeping swarm follows the coffin. Dust is raised in the arid scape as the weepers traverse the few hundred feet to the other end of Serio’s compound where others of his family are buried. The ground is naked and dry like the voices of the people surrounding and supporting the coffin. The cool surfaces of tattered, tired drums are being beaten in the bored gaze of the morning light. I am glad we are almost done here. I follow at a distance. We awoke at the crack of dawn from a wakeful sleep colored by the pigments of grief. Scalding thick tea was served with large slices of thick dry bread. I burnt my tongue on the metal cup but was glad to be receiving the tea. It reminded me of how much I missed tea. I made a mental note to drink more tea when I got back to the city. Later there were speeches given by the family and friends. They were tearful and bland lies told to give an image of what a brilliant person the faithful departed was. But I sat and listened. It appears Serio’s brother had been the peacekeeper in the family, the cool headed one. The buffer. The most memorable speech was by the youngest brother of the family. He had sorrowfully described how this dead man was not just another tale of a hunter who had gone out and returned home with nothing on his back. That this was in fact the only person in the family worth a gasp. The man had broken down and cried as he talked of how close he was to his brother. To people’s surprise and shame, he began to yell about hypocrites among the mourners who came to sate their own griefs and also the hunger for gossip about the cause of the death. We all knew what he was talking about. He was then dragged from our knowing guilt by those who felt he had said enough. People had shaken their heads and sighed saying that grief does this to people. I knew he had cast light on the darker recesses of the gathering’s thoughts. The unspoken truth of the disease that had claimed the dead man remained a shadow lurking beneath our feet. One that only becomes evident
when we stoop so low as to gossip, or when the sun of our conscience is setting and the shadow grows taller. Now the ground beneath our feet on the way to the grave is carrying our many stout shadows. The soil is in large, hard clumps apart from a path made for single-file human traffic. To walk we have to raise our knees quite high to avoid stubbing a toe or falling over. Halfway to the grave we stop for a moment of silence and respect. A sweaty reverend drops an inaudible, feeble prayer. I think to myself that if that prayer is a reference letter to get into Heaven, then Serio’s brother had better get ready for warmer climates. People’s heads are bowed and there is the occasional “amen” sighed as positive reinforcement for the impotent prayer. My mind takes a stride in its own direction: Heaven is within you and all around you. These were the words from the gospel of Timothy, the one that the folks in the Vatican would pummel you with a chalice for reading. I look around myself to see if this is true. The Heaven all around me—the Village—is sad. Their faith is parched and hope is blurred from decades of listening to the same senile preacher and sleeping with the same whore in tedious alternation. The Heaven within me is a story of my childhood, far away and colorful. There is no magic here, or maybe it is just now, or times like now, when the world is as bland as the bread I was fed for breakfast.
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Tonight Ambuya is tired. She had spent the whole day asleep. Her body is not well, but her storytelling is as strong as a baobab tree. She sighs and coughs a little. Tonight there are only three of us seated around the fire: Grandfather, myself and her. This is unusual. A neighbor had passed away two days ago and was buried yesterday. So the other children are not here as they were probably not allowed to come over. My cousins are asleep. But I stayed with Grandmother. Grandfather is also here because the neighbor was a good friend of his. I do not know how he died. But Sekuru is drinking beer out of a gourd and smoking. “The story shall continue,” says Grandmother in a low tone, “life does not wait, our hearts beat till they are tired.” She glances at my grandfather who is looking into the fire quietly. He is far away. Smoke from the cigarette is swirling about his face. The hood of smoke makes him look tired and old. Ambuya pokes the embers with a stick and tosses a log into them. In a few seconds the sparks turn into flames and the three of us disappear into the past: Ambuya with her fatigue, Sekuru with his defeat and I with my imagination tree. “The Basket Weaver walked behind the large man in silence for many days. They would stop twice a day to eat. They never spoke to each other. And their eyes did not meet. They had only looked at each other once when the Basket Weaver had freed the Zindoga. The loner’s expressionless face had extended its understanding from behind dark eyes and he turned to the dark forest. Basket Weaver followed.” She coughed a little and shifted her weight. “The oracle had occasionally appeared before them in the forest. They followed her form silently. They were two men walking different journeys on the same path. Life is sometimes like that. Sometimes two different journeys can be on the same path.” I hear a sniffle and I turn to look at Grandfather. He is rubbing his eyes with his thumb and forefinger. In his left hand the dejected cigarette glows from behind a long protrusion of ash. He looks like he is shivering. “Yes, and sometimes different paths lead to the same place,” I wonder if she has noticed. “But these men were taking the same path to different places. The Basket Weaver watched in awe as the giant pushed trees over to make bridges over rivers and as he hunted animals with his bare hands. And the Zindoga observed quietly as the Weaver made reed pouches to carry water, and wove rope baskets to 32 | COA
carry food. Night and day were the same in the forest, so they slept whenever they were tired. One day they came across great danger.” I can tell that even Grandfather is listening. I lean forward tentatively. “Before them stood a large baboon. Dirty, dank clots of fur lined its pink skin. Its large nostrils flared; its bark echoed through the woods. It was almost as large as the Basket Weaver! The monster had large teeth the size of an axe blade and its eyes were so deep in the skull they could be mistaken for Never. The Weaver had heard talk of such a creature, terrible things had been said of it.” Her voice sounds distant as she continues. “Now what could they do? Two men on the same path to different places had encountered Fear. Large teeth, filthy drool, ill-odored intent and an obscure fate. But the baboon turned away and strutted into the forest displaying its calloused red buttocks. Perhaps they would meet again. As soon as it was gone, the two turned and saw the Oracle further up the path. They continued to walk.” Grandfather rises with a sigh, I hear his knees crack. “Tomorrow has come,” he mumbles gently as he leaves. “It is tomorrow, Sekuru,” I watch him and wonder if he will sleep.
After the burial, the crowd sits to eat lunch before leaving. The bull that had been slaughtered is finally to feed the masses. As Jeremiah and I sit with the men eating meager shares of meat and morsels of sadza, heads turn at the sound of shouting. We all rise and see four men emerge from behind a hut arguing angrily. Three of them surrounding one and yelling about disrespect of the dead. The fellow being chastised is lacking in remorse. He is large and proud. Something about his character is dangerously familiar. I see that he is talking about coming to pay his respects to the living as well. Serio goes to see what the problem is. As they speak, I catch Jeremiah glancing at me momentarily. It is sooner than we hoped. We go and flank Serio. “We don’t want any trouble,” he is saying. “Trouble started a long time ago, but we are just here to pay our respects like I said.”
gruesomely loud clap. The large man is staggering As the man says this, I see that he is not alone. and Jeremiah is pulling back his open palm. I jump in Almost out of nowhere I see a group of at least twenbetween two large men this time and on either side of ty men and boys of similar character. They are bearthem men are pushing each other and pulling at each ing no weapons but they are clearly looking for trouothers’ collars. The large man whistles sharply. The ble. They are talking aloud and in vulgar tones, but signal is understood and people release each other. not at anyone. I know they are just here to pick a Some are still cussing and spitting. The two large men fight. And that they have been sent. I can feel a few I am standing between are staring over my head at people looking at Jeremiah and me. More men from each other. The invader leader is heaving, and his the funeral are moving closer to us, but they still seem face has the neat dent of Jeremiah’s palm. I can see it a little confused. throbbing. A little saliva is on the cheek opposite that “I think you should leave,” Serio says feebly. of the assault. I can smell cheap cologne on him. “But we have not seen the grave,” says the leader Jeremiah stares at him steadily, with the dark look that in an obnoxious tone. makes my adrenaline run. His crew is now standing behind him. This is a “This is not over,” he says to Jeremiah. stand-off. Two groups of people facing each other. “Have a safe journey,” I say. The group I am in is clearly less accus“You city guys think you’re funny,” he tomed to this exhibit of neo-primitivism. “Yes, and sometimes turns and leaves. Besides, we are still in the funeral mode. different paths lead His army follows, leaving behind a “We must see the grave,” says the to the same place,” trail of threats and evil promises. I am leader of the group. pleased to not find the smell of fear “To piss on it,” mutters one of his I wonder if she has cronies. Bad move. noticed. “But these when I turn my nose back to the crowd of men that had stood behind us. One “What!?” This is Serio’s little brother, men were taking thing that never fails to erase fear is disthe one who had given the passionate the same path to respect. I guess I have Serio’s little speech earlier. insane brother to thank for taking a He is already advancing towards the different places.” stand. Jeremiah is given many pats on chap that had blasphemed. I can see the back. He does not respond. The events of the day that this situation could explode easily as everyone is before begin to be openly discussed. People now ask now advancing. Voices are being raised by both us to confirm the rumors. We simply say that they had sides. The comment had transformed my group from disrespected us. The dead man is forgotten. Younger, passive to primitively militant. Jeremiah is still standspunky men are psyched and hoping for a fight. ing next to Serio. I jump forward and catch his little Middle-aged men are annoyed by the disrespect brother before he gets to the leader of the mercenarexhibited by the intruders, and want to set it straight. ies. I almost laugh at how unfair a fight it would have The older men sniff their tobacco, groaning about been. Serio’s brother is small and thin. His flesh has how the times have changed. And the chief, who had been eaten away by excessive affinity for marijuana watched from a distance, remains quiet. The white and alcohol. He is yelling obscenities interjected with stubble on his head and chin looks terribly frail on his the demand that I release him. So I am sandwiched shiny skin. His cane leans against his knee as he sits. between him and the large leader guy. I can smell Everyone has forgotten him in the excitement. I watch alcohol on the breath of the flailing sibling. Other him closely, to see what remains unsaid. I watch him men step in and pull him away to the back of the dread the future. crowd. I can see that at the back of the funeral crowd, axes and hoes had miraculously materialized and Tawanda Chabikwa was educated, in part, through the were raised high. I turn to the boss guy. United World College system. At College of the Atlantic “This is a funeral, you may pay your respects some he has been a dancer and an artist, and has participated in other time.” I feel Jeremiah at my side. Serio is on the COA’s ongoing novel workshop. The accompanying other side. woodcut illustration is his. “And if we don’t?” Another bad move. In a flash, there is the unmistakable sound of a COA | 33
poetry Sarah Mercedes Boucher These poems come from the master’s thesis written by Sarah Boucher, MPhil ’06: Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Guillemot. The thesis is a scientific and poetic consideration of the guillemot written from research conducted at COA’s Alice B. Eno Research Station on Great Duck Island.
Morning Air of 48 degrees greets me in the kitchen, metal hardware of the bone stark cupboards reverberating cold to my cheeks, chill creeping in between the wall and windowframe. I move to the stove, turn on the gas and cup my hands around the kettle and flames, thinking all the while about pancakes and syrup. The thought of walking to the outhouse makes me shiver, puts goosebumps on my neck and scalp. In a hole in a piled shore a guillemot chick stirs, soft black eyes half asleep and waning against the darkness of its home, where it waits on its rock nest, still warm from yesterday’s sun and a parent’s body, for mother or father to come home with food. The chick will swallow the eel whole before falling asleep, without shivering under its dependable gray down, without thinking about the next meal.
Black Guillemots polished sleek stones skipped from a cliffy shore buoyant black and white bobbers atop dangling red worms cherry truffles with pointing hershey kiss tails, those candy coral mouths.
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I walk through your nests all piled up with the boulders while you rise as ominous white kites screaming
The first time you are pushed off a boat ramp in a dory, you squeeze the ends of the oars too hard and move them in circles above the water, the way that young chicks practice flying from the ground. After you are rocked off the cradle in all your relative newness, when you are fully suspended on sea, you feel eyes on you, boring holes into your back muscles, wondering if you will utilize them correctly in full-body strokes. Coordination is replaced by a simple faith that you are moving, as being alone in such a heavy boat causes one to wonder whether or not she can pull herself over a most ancient force in an old dory with a pair of splinter oars.
because summer was late and there is not much to show for it. Foul smelling ruddy spit pours over the rocks and I think I understand why I am such a threat when I see the backs of your babies whom you have covered up in their old straw beds like they never were. I walk slowly with my head down and my brimmed hat but you still shout at me when I get too close to your scrambling chicks and all I want to do is count the young that have made it. It is not until I can almost touch one of your bellies, heaving above me with a piercing cry, that I imagine what it is you are mourning.
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CAREER AND INTERNSHIP SERVICES Alumni: We can help! College of the Atlantic’s Office of Intership and Careers offers internships and job opportunities on the college’s website: www.coa.edu/internships. Contact Jill Barlow-Kelley, Director, at email@example.com or 207-288-5015, ext. 236 for: • Career Information and Guidance • Graduate School Information • Job Search Skills • Resume Review • Relocation Guidance • Employment Websites • Mentoring of Current Students and Other Alumni
Barbara Dole Acosta (’75) has accepted a position as program director for Virginia Teachers for Tomorrow, leading the effort to re-design a high school teacher academy program to attract local high school students to teaching. Her daughter, Margarita, 19, is a freshman at Bryn Mawr College. Gabriela, 16, is a sophomore at Blair Senior High School, Silver Spring, Maryland, in the Communication Arts Magnet. Husband Paco is launching a Latin American Commission to seek constructive solutions to regional conflicts and to such destructive initiatives as the Central America Free Trade Agreement. Check out http://www.gmu.edu/alumni/spirit/fall05/labor_love.html for more on their work. firstname.lastname@example.org. Scott Mercer ’78 and his wife Tree ran the San Francisco Marathon in late July and the Maine Marathon in October. With their son Tyler, a fifth grader, they recently visited Utah where they rented a little house on the prairie, spending their time exploring the canyons of Capitol Reef, Grande Escalante and Bryce. Tree has taught biology for twenty-five years; Scott is teaching part-time and completing the final edit on a book exploring the connections between children and the natural world. Bruce Phillips ’78 is living in Newton, Massachusetts with his wife, Susan Erickson, and his two sons, Andrew and Eric. “My professional work has me consulting to electric companies on economic and regulatory issues as well as an occasional environmental/air emission issue. We still get up to our island woods camp outside of Jackman, Maine on a regular basis, mostly when the lake is not frozen over.” “I’ve been accepted into the diagnostic medical imaging program at Austin Community College so, after nine years of making pottery, I’m changing directions,” writes Sally Swisher ’78. “School full-time almost 30 years after graduating from COA—I must be crazy! Anyway, it will be sort of funny because my son is at The Art Institute of Orange County in California, my daughter will be at UT in San Antonio and I will be at ACC here in Austin. Kids off to school, house on the market, heading back to school full-time. Big changes.” Charlie Hutchison ’81 writes that he was a visiting “expert” at Nadine Gerdts ’76 design class at Rhode Island School of Design last spring. He often speaks to Diana Cohn ’85, now a successful children’s book author. Rich Cohen (’83), who lives in Watertown, Massachusetts, was best man at his wedding five years ago. Charlie’s a godparent to Rich’s daughter, Ruby. After graduating, Ben Walters ’81 moved to Portland, Oregon to attend law school. He has remained in Oregon, working as a deputy city attorney with the City of Portland for twenty years. He and his wife Stacy Hankin have two children, Joshua, 9, and Charlotte, 6. He writes, “For multiple reasons, we chose to adopt. They are both wonderful children.” The picture is from a trip Stacy and Ben took to Wellington, New Zealand, “to find out that the rim of fire leads to significantly similar geological phenomena along the same latitudes . . . . New Zealand and Oregon have lots in common.” On March 28, the small Pacific Islands nation of Kiribati announced that it is creating the third largest marine protected area in the world, conserving an archipelago of some of the planet’s most pristine coral reefs. Greg Stone ’82, vice president for global marine programs at the New England Aquarium and his aquarium project team, were instrumental in its creation.
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Katrina Van Dine ’82 writes that she was appointed to the newly-created position of research counsel for the Marine Affairs Institute at the Ralph R. Papitto School of Law at Roger Williams University. Katy will be responsible for managing the Sea Grant outreach component of the institute, conducting research and overseeing law student research for coastal stakeholders in Rhode Island and New England.
After living in Berlin, Germany for six months, Ellen Sullivan Sylvarnes ’83, husband Richard and daughter Sonje are relocating back to New York. “We are all trying to readjust to living here after immersing ourselves in a cold northern European winter. After graduating from COA, I studied painting in New York City and have since been shown in several galleries and museums in New York and environs. In 1998 I gave birth to my daughter and my energies have been focused on raising her and on my art.” Teny Bannick ’86 recently moved to Athens, Ohio to take a job as graduate architect with Panich and Noel Architects and to be closer to her children who have settled in Ohio and Kentucky. The picture features Remi, Teny’s youngest, now 27. She writes, “Many of you will remember Remi as a child of five.” Tammis Coffin ’87 writes, “I’m in western Massachusetts, working as a seasonal park interpreter with Mount Holyoke Range State Park. I lead nature programs, including a nature-inspired writing group. We’re now making public appearances for readings and exhibits of our work. During winter months, I’m continuing to publish contemplative nature guides, incorporating reflections on local landscapes by local writers and artists.” On April 8, Kelly and Eric Roos ’87 welcomed their first child into the world, Nicholas Alain Roos. Eric is sales manager for Morris Yachts in Bass Harbor, Maine, and Kelly is a real estate broker for the Lynam Agency in Bar Harbor. Having lived in other parts of the world since graduating, they cherish living on Mount Desert Island. email@example.com. In 1993, Lisa Hammer ’90 graduated from Harvard Divinity School with a master’s degree in theology. She is now living in Harvard, Massachusetts. She writes, “I am taking a huge break from academia to raise my four children (identical twin boys and two girls, ages five to eleven), sustaining the socio-enviro-intellectual habitat for a very vibrant family.” Brian Hoey ’90 is a post-doctoral fellow at the Alfred P. Sloan Center for the Ethnography of Everyday Life in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and looking for a longterm teaching position. When not busy researching the impact of post-industrial economic restructuring on everyday lives of working families, working on papers and drafting conference proposals on the therapeutic uses of “place” in everyday life, he and his wife, Bonnie, are even busier raising their 2-year-old daughter, Kyleigh. www.umich.edu/~bhoey. After nearly ten years as an assistant director of law for the City of Newark, Ohio, Elena Tuhy ’90 opened her own law practice in February 2006. She represents juveniles as attorney advocate, Guardian ad Litem in delinquency and dependency cases in Juvenile Court and adults in the Municipal Court in Licking County, Ohio. She says it has required a definite shift in her thinking as far as preparing cases: a difference between “seeking justice,” which is the prosecutor’s role, and “zealously representing the interests of the client,” which is the defense attorney’s role. She loves being self-employed and says she feels like she is helping people. Since serving in the Peace Corps in Senegal, Christie (Denzel) Anastasia ’92 has been living at the Point Reyes Lighthouse in California where she and her husband of eleven years (who is the lighthouse keeper) work for the National Park Service at Point Reyes National Seashore. Christie has recently completed her master’s in organization development and last year celebrated the birth of her son, Xavier Orion Anastasia, “the first baby born at the lighthouse in as long as anyone can remember,” she says. Christie specializes in sharing research information with the public for science-based decision-making. “My home is at the windiest and foggiest place on the west coast, with wind speeds clocked at 130 mph although I’ve only experienced 109 mph (and then the anemometer broke!). My son thinks the whole world is this windy and turns his face into 80 mph winds without blinking an eye. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org if anyone finds themselves in the area or in need of a coastal wilderness experience!”
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Jeff Miller ’92 (second from right in photo) writes of four COA alumni who spent a week together paddling the St. John River in northwest Maine: “Alexandra ’77 and Garrett Conover ’78 (far left) were guiding a trip on which Thomas Matthias ’86 (far right), who now lives in Santa Barbara, California and I paddled. Thomas and I didn’t know each other before the trip, but all four of us had a great time recounting COA stories and gossip, probably to the annoyance of the other six folks on the trip.” Cedar Bough (Blomberg) Saeji ’93 finished her master’s degree in Korean Studies in June, with a focus on folk arts preservation. To celebrate, Cedar and husband Karjam will “disconnect from the world” and walk to Lhasa, a three-month journey at high altitude. They’ve been given sponsorship from some great companies: Chocolate Fish, Sherpa Adventure Gear, Montrail, Lowe Alpine and Sierra Designs, and intend to publish multiple magazine articles and a book after the trek is completed in September. Her photo is called “Tibetan Winter Landscape with Yak.” Since earning a second bachelor of arts degree in biomedical communications at Rochester Institute of Technology, Jenni (Daczka) McEnerney ’93 has spent the last eight years working for the Xerox Corporation. Jenni lives in Rochester, New York with her husband and son, Jackson. Jennifer DesMaisons ’93 will be starting as the director of college counseling at The Putney School in Putney, Vermont. Heather Martin-Zboray ’93 continues to coordinate Hancock County’s Democratic Headquarters. She will be Senator Dennis Damon’s campaign manager. In the photo are John Knutson, Margaret Knutson, Heather, Phil Bailey, Beth Reynolds, Jullie Mattes, Senator Russ Feingold and Dexter Bellows at the 2006 Democratic State Convention. Mike Martin-Zboray ’95 continues to enjoy his position as assistant principal of the Conners-Emerson school in Bar Harbor. Their children, Eilon, nearly 6 and Tobiah, nearly 3 are each looking forward to new schools. Jennifer Roberts ’94 has been working with the emergency and critical care service of the Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston. She writes, “In addition to clinical work, I am responsible for teaching and mentoring residents and interns. It is a lot of work but I really do love my job and the folks I work with. Most recently I have been in touch with Heeth Grantham ’94. Dan Gottleib ’92 and I live in the same Jamaica Plains neighborhood. Periodically I see him out walking about. He insists that his brother Noah ’95 and Ed Vanderslice ’91 are there too, but I have not seen either of them so I cannot confirm or deny.” Ethan Balmer ’95 lives in Austin, Texas where he is the house lighting designer at Paramount Theatre for the Performing Arts. He writes, “Years previous, I toured with Lynyrd Skynyrd and Thirty Odd Foot Of Grunts, which was led by actor Russell Crowe. The tours and associations with celebrities have brought me to the far corners of the United States, as well as all the way to Australia for a month-long tour. Say hi to John Cooper for me.” www.ebcoaustin.com. Curry Caputo ’95 and Andrea Lani ’95 increased their family by two with the addition of Emmet and Zephyr on May 17, 2005. Curry, Andrea, 4-year-old Milo and the twins live in Whitefield, Maine in an off-the-grid house Curry built with the help of many COA alumni and friends. Curry builds custom homes and is currently working on an energy-efficient home in Gardiner. He stays connected to his true interest, botany, through the New England Wildflower Society. Andrea is on leave from her work at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Air Quality, where she writes regulations and rarely comes in contact with the actual environment. Write them at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Kelly S. Dickson, MPhil ’97, a COA trustee, has left her job at Friends of Acadia and is working as assistant editor at the Bar Harbor weekly paper, The Mount Desert Islander. Call or email her with story ideas at 207-288-0556 or email@example.com.
Chris Witt ’97 is living in Berkeley, California, with his wife, Satya, and daughter, Iris, born last winter. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California-Berkeley. In January, Chris and his family plan to move to Albuquerque, New Mexico where he has accepted a position as assistant professor in the Department of Biology and Curator of Birds at the Museum of Southwestern Biology.
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Katie Allis ’98 is living in Sevierville, Tennessee where she works at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg. “Yes, that is Ripley’s-Believe-It-Or-Not,” she writes. “And yes, it’s a large corporate company, but a good one, I think.” She has been busy with various projects, including a conservation group at the aquarium, running Earth Day festivities in the town of Gatlinburg and volunteering for the American Eagle Foundation, training birds for a Wings of America show at Dollywood. “I occasionally help with rehabilitation and release of local species: bald and golden eagles, owls and hawks.” Csilla (Wollner) Dunn (’98) is currently living in North Carolina with her husband, Matt, and sons Jacob, 2, and Zachary, born in February. She has established her own business, Paprika Designs: www.paprikadesigns.com. Jaime Duval ’00 has received her master’s of science in environmental studies from Antioch New England in Keene, New Hampshire and has been hired as a graduate program faculty member at the Teton Science Schools in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. She will begin working in early June. Serra Benson ’02 writes, “I am currently living in Ojai, California with my husband Shai. I just finished my first year teaching a kindergarten/first grade combo class at a public elementary school in Santa Paula, a mostly Latino community. I really enjoy teaching and am looking forward to another year at that school where I will probably be assigned to a straight first or second grade class.” This summer Serra and Shai will be traveling to Israel and England to visit family. Bori Kiss ’02 writes, “I have started a round-the-world sailing trip on the Schooner Maggie B, built in Nova Scotia, Canada. We left Canada on March 28, 2006, sailed to Bermuda, then to Antigua, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and now we are in Barbados about to leave for Brazil. Our website with many photos and charts is www.schoonermaggieb.net.” Julia Davis ’03 is working as a guide at a residential therapeutic treatment center for teens in western Maine. She lives in Portland when she’s not working. Through the fall, Edward Stern ’03 will be finishing up a master’s in fisheries management through Memorial University at the Marine Institute in St. John’s, Newfoundland. He writes, “Soon I head off to Alaska for my fourth fishing season with F/V Myriad, and I’m looking both for a troller and for fishery-related winter work in Newfoundland.” Ed wants all to know that the Newfoundland flipper pie is fantastic. As for the photo, he says, “I’d been in the hold an hour when Cap took that photo, -60 F with the freezer’s fan.” Lee Kuck, MPhil ’04 has moved to Austin, Texas, and lives less than a mile from the world’s largest urban bat colony: “The Mexican free-tailed bats depart nightly from my neighborhood bridge here in the Texas capital.” April Mauro ’04 and Rohan Chitrakar ’04 were married in a traditional Newari ceremony in Kathmandu, Nepal on June 29, followed by celebrations in Mont Vernon, New Hampshire on July 22. April is in her third year of Veterinary School at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Rohan recently completed his master’s degree in fine arts in film production from Boston University’s College of Communication.
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Living in Fort Collins, Colorado and attending graduate school at Colorado State University, Lindsay Parrie ’04 is finishing her work in the biology department lab of Dr. Deborah Garrity. “I will be researching the role of a gene called Tbx5 in zebrafish heart development. I’m enjoying being close to friends and family again. Fort Collins is beautiful.” firstname.lastname@example.org. After working in Bar Harbor for the summer, Aaron Lewis ’05 (photo) moved to Richmond, Virginia in September to continue playing music with his band, Special Ed and the Shortbus. He writes, “I’m pursuing rock stardom and supporting myself with performing and teaching music. I also started up an electric heavy metal/punk side project.” In October Aaron traveled to Germany with Carter Tew (’05) for the World Beard and Moustache Championships. www.specialedshortbus.com. Jessica Sharman ’05 says that she just finished her senior project and presented it as a poster in San Diego at the Marine Mammal Conference. She continues at Allied Whale as one of the co-curators of the Fin Whale Catalogue while looking into graduate schools. Janet Wise writes from the summer teachers’ program: “I am a chemistry teacher at The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science and I have taken several courses in your summer program. I took a course in webpage design one summer and in Photoshop another summer. Both were wonderful learning experiences, and I use them constantly for teaching and communicating with parents. My webpage is http://homepage.mac.com/jwise1966.”
FA C U LT Y N O T E S
Biologist John Anderson, associate dean for advanced studies, was awarded $4,000 from the Maine Space Grant Consortium to support continued microhabitat monitoring at the Alice B. Eno Research Station on Great Duck Island. These funds will assist John and two students in developing a model of the relationship between vegetative structure and nesting areas used by Leach’s storm petrels. Video and performance artist Nancy Andrews premiered her film The Haunted Camera, the last of her Ima Plume trilogy, at COA in July. She had another July showing at the Maine International Film Festival in Waterville. The movie has its New York premiere at the Museum of Modern Art in October. Rich Borden’s article on deanship which appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education last summer has been selected by the Council of Independent Colleges for their New Chief Academic Officers Workshops. Last fall, it was reprinted as a special feature in the journal, The Department Chair: A Resource for Academic Administrators. Bill Carpenter participated in the New England Association of Schools and Colleges accreditation visit to the New Hampshire Institute of Art, which is seeking first-time accreditation. His focus as a team member was on the standards of faculty and academic programs. Environmental lawyer Ken Cline presented a paper on significant values in the Union River Watershed to the Frenchman Bay Conservancy Board of Directors. For the second summer in a row, political economist Gray Cox organized a summer research seminar for the Quaker Institute for the Future. Follow their work at www.quakerinstitute.org.
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David Feldman, associate dean for academic affairs, co-directed the Complex Systems Summer School in Beijing, China, an international, interdisciplinary summer school for graduate students in physics, mathematics, biology, economics, chemistry and related fields, from July 10 through Aug. 4. The program is sponsored by the Santa Fe Institute in cooperation with The Institute of Theoretical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Zoologist Helen Hess presented the paper, “The Roles of Facultative and Obligate Cleaners on a Caribbean Coral Reef” with Max Overstrom-Coleman ’03, Alison Fundis ’03 and Chris Petersen to the Western Society of Naturalists meeting and the Bowdoin Marine Science Symposium. Marine ecologist Chris Petersen co-authored three papers for the Bulletin of the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory as well as the following 2006 papers: with George W. Kidder III and Robert L. Preston, “Energetics of Osmoregulation: II. Water flux and Osmoregulatory work in the euryhaline fish, Fundulus heteroclitus” in the Journal of Experimental Zoology. 305A:318-327, and with Kidder and Preston, “Energetics of Osmoregulation: I. Oxygen consumption by Fundulus heteroclitus” in the Journal of Experimental Zoology. 305A:309-317. Petersen also serves on the town of Bar Harbor Marine Resource Committee and continues to be an associate editor for American Naturalist. In March, COA botanist Nishanta Rajakaruna ’94 gave a talk on “Plants on Extreme Soils: Models for Studies in Evolutionary and Applied Ecology” at Colby College. Nishi is a member of the steering committee for the Callahan Mine of the Marine Environmental Research Institute in Blue Hill, Maine and an advisor to the Pine Mountain Geobotanical Preserve recently established by the Island Heritage Trust of Deer Isle, Maine. Glen Mittelhauser ’89 of the Humboldt Center and COA students Kathleen Tompkins ’08 and Peter G. Pavicevic ’07 published “Phytoremediation: An affordable green technology for the clean-up of metal contaminated sites in Sri Lanka” in Ceylon Journal of Science 35:25–39, 2006. At the Fifth International Conference on Serpentine Ecology in Siena, Italy in May, Nishi was first author with David D. Ackerly on the paper, “Understanding Community Assembly on Serpentine: A Study of Functional Traits Relating to Serpentine Tolerance” and co-authored another paper. Three other COA papers were presented there and Nishi became chief organizer of the sixth conference, to be held at COA in 2008. Nishi also helped to bring two grants to the college to pursue botanical work in and around Acadia National Park. The National Park Service funded the collaborative proposal, “Assessment of Natural Resources and Watershed Conditions in and Adjacent to Acadia National Park,” written by Vaux, Nelson, Mittelhauser ’89 and Kopp, for $49,987. Nishi also received a $5,000 L.L. Bean Acadia Research Fellowship to conduct ecological and physiological studies to inform rare plant monitoring and management protocols. Vertebrate biologist Stephen Ressel gave the paper, “Arizona Reptiles and Amphibians Revisited” to the Maine Herpetological Society and “Snakes of Maine and Beyond” to the Somes-Meynell Wildlife Sanctuary. At the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association in San Francisco last April, Bonnie Tai presented the paper: “Critical Exploration and the Learning and Teaching of Science” on the first year of the Carnegie-funded professional development project, “From Cell to System.” In June, economist Davis Taylor and Eric Dodge presented the paper, “Watersheds as Units of Analysis and Planning for Local Sustainable Economic Development: Do They Make Any Sense?” at the International Conference on Rivers and Civilization: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Major River Systems, in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
COA faculty members Rich Borden, Ken Cline and Isabel Mancinelli, along with Union River Watershed coordinator Travis Hussey ’00 and GIS director Gordon Longsworth ’90 have co-authored an article on the Center for Applied Human Ecology’s Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education-funded watershed project for the fall 2006 issue of Human Ecology Review under the title “A River Runs Through It: A College-Community Collaboration for Watershedbased Regional Planning and Education.”
CO M M U N I T Y N OT E S
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Marianna Bradley ’06 presented the poster, “The effects of ion concentrations on sperm motility in the estuarine fish, Fundulus heteroclitus,” at the Maine Biological and Medical Sciences Symposium in April, 2006 at the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory with Erica Maltz ’07, Jason Childers ’06, M. P. DeBerge, R. L. Preston, G. W. Kidder and COA marine ecology professor Chris Petersen. The Center for Human Ecology received $50,000 from the late Fitz Dixon, including $25,000 to support the GIS Lab, the Union River Watershed Coordinator, and the outreach efforts of the program. Additional fundraising for the URWC came from the Gulf of Maine Council, the Southern Maine Wetlands Conservancy, the Aldermere Foundation and Healthy Acadia. Grants writer Carla Ganiel was appointed by Governor Baldacci to serve on the Maine Commission for Community Service, the state government body charged with fostering community service and volunteerism to meet human and environmental needs in Maine. Carla will be co-chairing a task force on developing excellence and expertise in Maine’s volunteer management sector. Tanner Harris ’06, with former COA faculty member Fred Olday and biologist Nishanta Rajakaruna ’94, had a paper accepted by the Bryological and Lichenological Section of the American Bryological and Lichenological Society, “Lichens of a Peridotite Outcrop in Eastern North America: An Investigation into the Lichen-Serpentine Relation.” Tanner was also first on the paper, “Saxicolous and Terricolous Lichens of a Peridotite Outcrop in the Northeastern United States: A baseline study exploring the lichen-substrate relationship,” written with Olday and Rajakaruna and presented to the Fifth International Conference on Serpentine Ecology in Siena, Italy in May. He received a $5,000 scholarship from the Maine Space Grant Consortium, which has its funding from NASA, to continue his research on lichens of the copper- and zinccontaminated Callahan Mine in Brooksville, Maine. Working with Dorr Museum manager Lynn Havsall (photo), purchasing manager Jean T. Sylvia received a grant for $900 from Health Acadia for an inter-generational Earth Day project, “Healthy Habitats: People and Birds,” bringing children and seniors together to build bluebird houses and monitor their success. Thanks in large part to the work of Ken Hill, COA’s academic dean and the associate dean for academic services, COA received a $224,900 grant from the MELMAC Educational Foundation to improve student retention practices. Travis Hussey ’00 received a $10,000 grant from the Gulf of Maine Council for watershed monitoring and educational outreach for the Union River Watershed Coalition. Led by Kara Johnson, MPhil ’06, COA graduate students hosted the 13th annual Northeast Graduate Student Symposium at the college, with representatives from both New England and the Maritimes. Several COA students presented papers. John Anderson, associate dean for advanced studies, was the after-dinner speaker. Gordon Longsworth ’90, director of the Geographic Information Systems Laboratory, gave a presentation to the Northeast ArcInfo Regional User Group, with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection about COA’s GIS and regional planning curriculum and methodologies. The Land Use Planning class, taught by Gordon and planning and landscape design faculty member Isabel Mancinelli, made a presentation to members of Mount Desert Island’s comprehensive planning committees in response to a request from MDI Tomorrow for assistance in thinking about development issues across Mount Desert Island, Trenton and Ellsworth. For one term, students looked at the region’s economics, services, housing and transportation needs, as well as the environmental impact of proposed development. This work dovetailed with work by COA international policy faculty member Doreen Stabinsky’s Practical Activism class and the Union River Watershed Coalition.
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Together with the Marine Biology class, the Mount Desert Island Water Quality Coalition, and Mount Desert Island High School, Chris Petersen conducted clam flat surveys for the town at Hadley Point in the fall of 2005 and spring of 2006 and presented the results to the town of Bar Harbor.
COM M U N I T Y N OT E S
Nina O. Therkildsen ’05 published part of her senior project as “A Review of the Emerging Fisheries for the Sea Cucumber Cucumaria frondosa: Biology, Policy, and Future Prospects” with Chris Petersen in the SPE Beche-de-Mer Information Bulletin 23:1625 2006. www.spc.int/coastfish/News/BDM/23/index.htm. Andrew J. Thrall ’07 was first author on “Plant-Soil Relations on Serpentine Outcrops of Deer Isle, Maine in Northeastern United States” written with Nathaniel S. Pope ’07, Eva C. Dannenberg ’09, Kathleen Tompkins ’08, Peter G. Pavicevic ’07, Tanner Harris ’06 and Nishanta Rajakaruna and presented to the Fifth International Conference on Serpentine Ecology in Siena, Italy in May.
Kent Katz ’79 (1956–2006) Kent Katz ’79, PhD died in his home in Winthrop, Maine on July 29 of natural causes. A psychologist with a private practice, he was soon to be married to Jane Li from Jinan, China. He was, writes Bill Carpenter, “one of our most intelligent, outgoing, friendly, wise graduates, dedicated to self-understanding and understanding of the human mind. After the fire in 1983, when he heard that my office had been burned, he sent a large portion of his personal library in boxes to be the basis of my reconstructed office collection.” Here are remembrances from classmates:
Kent, it seems to me, was on a never-ending quest for an authentic life— whether it be traveling to India and studying Eastern philosophies, playing classical guitar, challenging the status quo, engaging in deep discussions with friends and strangers alike, telling silly jokes to children, or working with his patients on the challenges they faced in their lives. ~ Jerry Bley (’78) Kent was more than just a very close friend; he was a member of our extended family. He had an almost magical gift for understanding and communicating with children, and he was one of the most important people in both of my daughters’ lives. He made them laugh, feel important, and he listened earnestly and with empathy to their problems and questions. I was very moved following his memorial service in Augusta, when the mother of one of his patients shared this story about her son: When the boy was five, she was told that he couldn’t learn and would not be able to attend a regular school. No expert wanted to work with him. Then someone referred her to Kent. During the boy’s ten years as Kent’s client, he began to respond and progress. Her voice filled with emotion as she told me that he was now 15 and a high school student. We touched hands and smiled—signaling a mutual understanding and a shared gratitude for how much Kent had meant to our respective families. ~ Jim Frick ’78 Former trustee George Page succumbed to cancer on June 28 in Equinunk, Pennsylvania at age 71. George Page was a noted naturalist, and the host of Public Broadcasting System’s weekly “Nature” series. When the George B. Dorr Museum was dedicated in August, 2000, he gave the keynote address.
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graduation reflection Salahaldin Hussein ’06
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bout 39 years ago, my father was exiled; he could not enter our country, Palestine, and was disconnected from his roots: family, home, land and all that humans identify with. One day, my uncles decided to arrange for my old grandmother, my father’s mother, to be taken overseas to see her son, my father. After my uncles began to process her paperwork, she passed away. She could not fulfill even her last wish of seeing my father. I was very young at the time. When my mother explained to me in simple terms what had happened, I went to my father’s bedroom; he was asleep, I did not detect any signs of tears, and later concluded that he chose to sleep his misery off. Thirty-nine years, folks. Thirty-nine years of exile. Growing up, I would occasionally see a look on my father’s face that mourned a tragic loss while hoping that we—his children—will make up for it. I will not even begin to mention what my mother experienced. I share this story, brothers and sisters, for a crucial reason. You may not have realized this, but every human interaction that I have had in this supportive community helped make things a ton easier for me during similar difficult times that my father endured, such as not having been home in six years. Those interactions helped sustain confidence and determination in my route towards a spiritual, physical, mental and intellectual education. I feel compelled to give this speech because given that I grew up in conflict, I arrived at COA with my own prejudice, negative energy and anger. Somehow, these sentiments are out of my system now and have been replaced with respect, passion and confidence. This is not the magic of some divine inspiration, or one experience, but rather a product of my education here. I have seen nothing from this community but respect, and I have never witnessed any act of racism against me whatsoever. This takes me to the point which I would like to impress upon you today, and it has to do with cultural identity, race, and respect for others. Whether you come to COA to get educated, work, or teach, we do not judge you because of your race, color, appearance or language. Rather we judge you on the basis of your moral character and conscious mind. Let me tell you what I mean with a concrete example. Some people, particularly those associated with the government, when they look at me and see my beard, they see an Arab, a Middle Eastern, a Muslim, a Palestinian with a beard. They automatically label me as suspicious, a potential threat, perPhoto courtesy of COA
haps even a terrorist. But when members of the COA community look at me, they see the beard as a natural part of men, a physical trait, and a beautiful one in my opinion. So when the first group says, “Well, I think you should be careful with that beard, you look suspicious,” members in this community are more apt to say: “Salahaldin, I like you better with a mustache.” Or, “You do not quite know how to trim a beard, let me show you.” We emphasize the fact that we are all humans and a part of the human family. We have a unique model, brothers and sisters, perhaps not a perfect one, but a unique model. We need to take this unique model we have, further develop it, and share it with the world—show the people who are in a position of power and who have abused that power (wherever they are) that yes, we must bring democracy and justice to the world. Not with bombs, not by hijacking planes, not by coalition forces and militant imperialism, but rather with human ecology. That’s right, with love, humanity, passion and utmost respect. We can reach effective results when we emphasize that racial pride and national confidence are not in conflict with humanity, nobility and respect for others. My last message to you, brothers and sisters, is to make the best out of this place, believe in it, it is the opportunity of a lifetime. To the friends and families here today, I say, You have visited us many times and have seen what we do. Send talented and curious young men and women our way and tell the world about the uniqueness of our faculty, staff and students. And to my countrymates, I say, I believe we are on our way to gaining a country, to winning justice, independence, freedom and eternal peace. I only left abroad to open my mind and get educated, I fully intend to return and be a part of reconstructing our society, economy, and infrastructure. And finally, I tell my father, I very much would like to think that this place has witnessed the birth of a man you have always dreamt to have. This is my gift for you to make up for your tragic loss. Brothers and sisters, you ask me what I think, I say it all starts here, at College of the Atlantic. Thank you.
For his senior project, Salahaldin Hussein ’06 created a community computer laboratory at the Mount Desert Island YWCA. Ultimately, he hopes to get into information technology project management and bring his skills back to Palestine.
Photo courtesy of COA
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