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Experience necessary


Dillon park

peas, thank you

[ table of contents ] Paul Smith’s College

Summer 2011

On the cover: imageS by

[ DEPARTMENTS ] To Our Readers


Faculty & Staff Notes


Shore Lines








Our Adirondacks


Alumni Life


Class Notes


How To


Parting Shot


Write to Sequel: PSC Alumni Office P.O. Box 265 Paul Smiths, NY 12970-0265 Fax: (518) 327-6267 E-mail:



Sequel | Summer 2011



6 Shore lines A legend passes ... the VIC is bustling ... a big grant helps us fight invasive species ... and more. 12 Hiding out Prof. Eric Holmlund finds solitude in a hidden cabin a stone's throw from campus. 14 Hot type Is climate change affecting the Adirondacks? An excerpt from "Deep Future," Prof. Curt Stager's new book published this spring. 16 Disaster master When the going gets tough, Mike Dietrich '74 shows up. The

one-time U.S. Forest Service fire chief was incident commander on the Station Fire, Southern California's biggest wildfire ever.


President John W. Mills, Ph.D. Managing Editor Kenneth Aaron Director of Communications and Marketing Institutional Advancement Staff F. Raymond Agnew Vice President for Institutional Advancement


Renee Burslem Major Gifts and Planned Giving Officer


Mary L. McLean Director of Advancement Services Andrea Wilcox Assistant to the Vice President Contributors Nancie Battaglia Bob Bennett Joe Dadey Damian Dovarganes Sarah Longley

Pat Hendrick Craig Milewski Lee Ann Sporn Curt Stager Jim Tucker

DESIGN Maria M. Stoodley Printing Service Press Connecticut / Scott Smith ’77 Wethersfield, Conn. Trustees of Paul Smith’s College


21 Get experienced Our faculty have done it all. And our students benefit from their experience. Read our profs' stories in their own words. 34 Easy peasy S. Jill Zagrobelny '11 shows how to grow and use your own pea greens.

E. Philip Saunders, Chairman Paul F. Ciminelli, Treasurer Caroline D. Lussi ’60, Secretary Stuart H. Angert Paul E. Avery Paul M. Cantwell Jr. Thad Collum Patricia Keane Dowden Anthony L. Johnson Pieter V.C. Litchfield Edward J. McAree John A. Paganelli Lee Quaintance Thomas Rosol ’74 James L. Sonneborn Nora Sullivan Daniel D. Tessoni Katharine H. Welling

Trustees Emeriti Donald O. Benjamin ’56 Ralph Blum ’54 Richard C. Cattani ‘64 John T. Dillon ’58 William B. Hale Calista L. Harder John W. Herold ’65 M. Curtiss Hopkins ’48 Frank M. Hutchins Sheila Hutt Charles L. Ritchie Jr.

Honorary Trustee Stirling Tomkins Jr.

Printed on recycled paper.

Published by the Office of Institutional Advancement.

Sequel | Summer 2011


[ to our readers ]

Celebrating our own P

aul’s back. This spring, we unveiled a bronze statue of Apollos “Paul” Smith himself on campus. He’s holding court outside of the Phelps Smith Administration Building, finger thrust in the air, sitting on a granite bench. It looks like he’s waiting for somebody to take a seat so he can start spinning another yarn. His statue is larger than lifesize, which, come to think of it, is appropriate. Paul’s been dead for nearly 100 years now, but he still has a deep presence around here. His entrepreneurial spirit…his practical bent…his deep connection to these woods, lakes and rivers…we wouldn’t be Paul Smith’s College without Paul Smith. But there aren’t a lot of physical reminders of Paul around campus. So it’s fitting that this beautiful work of art donated by Harlan Crow adorns our entrance, greeting everybody who shows up on campus. Kind of like how Paul greeted so many people to the

Adirondacks back in the day. These days, we rely on our faculty to pass along to our students the traits that Paul was famous for. And while we try to celebrate our own in every issue of Sequel, there’s even more emphasis on it in this issue. We’ve turned a good chunk of the magazine over to those faculty this time around, so they can tell us in their own words how their own experiences are shaping those legacies. So whether it’s Chef Sarah Longley talking about how her time in a test kitchen has shaped her work with students, or Prof. Lee Ann Sporn discussing her innovative work with DNA taken straight from Lower St. Regis Lake, or an excerpt from Curt Stager’s major new book on climate change, “Deep Future,” this Sequel makes it obvious: We wouldn’t be Paul Smith’s College without them, either.

Kenneth Aaron | Director of Communications

Thank you! Your support is critical to providing scholarships and improving student services and technology – and when we asked for your help, you came through. Your generosity counts. And we are grateful. For more information on how you can give, call Renee Burslem at (518) 327-6259.



Sequel | Summer 2011

[ FACULTY & STAFF NOTES] FORESTRY AND NATURAL RESOURCES Joe Dadey, assistant professor, received his Ph.D. from SUNY-ESF in December 2010. His dissertation was titled “Perspective-Taking and its Implications for Best Practices in Collaborative Governance: The Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan Process.” Joseph Orefice, assistant

professor, has gained entry to the University of New Hampshire, where he will work toward a Ph.D. in natural resources and earth systems studies. His research will focus on silvopasture and other agroforestry systems. David Patrick, assistant

professor, co-conducted an online seminar for the New York State Department of Transportation, as well as the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation: “Effects of New York State Roadways on Amphibians and Reptiles.” He also co-produced a white paper in conjunction with the presentation aimed at road managers and engineers.

Additionally, Patrick, director of the Adirondack All-Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI), launched Project Leapfrog, a project designed to engage citizen-scientists in monitoring amphibian populations in the Adirondacks. He also organized the student awards for the 2011 International Congress for Conservation Biology, the largest gathering of professional conservation biologists in the world. Patrick also helped the Adirondack Research Consortium develop its own student awards program, which was unveiled at its annual conference in Lake Placid. Randall Swanson, associate

professor, attended the Bartlett Tree Foundation’s annual meeting in Charlotte, N.C. Paul Smith’s is one of 28 schools to receive a $2,000 annual scholarship from the foundation.


professor, has earned a master’s degree in gastronomy from the University of Adelaide (Australia).

“Autumn in the Bog,” a painting by Prof. Lee Ann Sporn displayed at an on-campus exhibit this spring.

SCIENCE, LIBERAL ARTS AND BUSINESS Celia Evans, professor, delivered

a presentation on snowshoe hares at the Northeast Natural History Conference; additionally, seven students from her general ecology class presented research on the habitat characteristics of redback salamanders. Janet Mihuc, associate professor,

presented a poster at the Northeast Natural History Conference: “Project Silkmoth: Seeking Moth Sightings in Northern New York.” She also presented “Occurrence of Skipper Butterfly Species in the Northern Adirondacks” at the Adirondack Research Consortium’s annual meeting, as well as a talk about Project Silkmoth at The Wild Center. Mihuc also taught a session for fifth graders, “It’s a Bug’s World,” at the Day of Science Exploration at Clinton Community College. Lee Ann Sporn, assistant professor, displayed original paintings at an exhibition called “Out of Season”; the show was organized by students in the Culinary and Hospitality Practicum.

Students from Prof. Celia Evans’ general ecology class went to Albany, N.Y., to present at the Northeastern Natural History Conference.

OTHER FACULTY AND STAFF Tom Huber, director of TRIOStudent Support Services, published “Cordwood Masonry: It’s for the Birds!” in Continental Cord-

wood Conference Papers 2011. The article detailed Huber’s construction of a greenhouse/chicken coop using cordwood masonry. Virginia McAleese, director of

the academic success center, and Loralyn Taylor, registrar and

director of institutional research, presented “Beyond Retention: Enhancing Student Success” at the annual meeting of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Taylor also presented an online seminar, “Comprehensive Student Success: Results and Return on Investment,” to representatives from more than 20 colleges and universities. Additionally, Taylor; Tom Huber; Richard Nelson, provost; and Phil Taylor, dean of the School of Science, Liberal Arts and Business, presented “Successful Enterprise Level Software Implementation Using Change Management Theory” at the Educause Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference. Courtney Walton, academic skills coordinator for TRIO-Student Support Services, and Jeff S. Walton, assistant professor and men’s soccer coach, presented “Teaching Beneath the Surface: Reaching Unmotivated First-Generation and Low-Income College Students in the Classroom” at the Teaching Academic Survival Skills annual conference in March.

PHOTO BY celia evans

Sequel | Summer 2011


[ shore lines] Remembering Mr. Purchase


ne of the best-remembered figures of Paul Smith’s hospitality program, Harry Purchase, died April 9 in Florida. He was 86. Purchase, who worked at the college as head of the hotel department from 195768 and again from 1971 into the 1980s, demanded professionalism of his students; in a history of the college, he and another dean said, “Industry can hire all the labor it wants off the streets for the minimum wage. What they want from us are future managers.” Purchase worked hard to shape them. Many recalled the Friday-afternoon seminars that Purchase organized and his insistence that students not only arrive in business attire but also that they be there on time, lest they be locked out. “Mr. Purchase taught us that a true gentleman owns a tuxedo and learns to play bridge,” one former student, Peter J. Biegel ’79, wrote in an email. “I have never forgotten that.” Purchase saw to it that students got an experience here that mirrored what they’d find in the real world: He established the practicum at the Hotel Saranac, orchestrated more than 300 students who worked at the 1980 Winter Olympics and shipped Paul Smith’s students to work at the Kentucky Derby and Walt Disney World. His industry connections were legendary, too: When he picked up the phone on behalf of a student, good things would happen. “He kept very close track of the alumni that he knew, and he would funnel employees to them,” said Donald O. Benjamin ’56, an emeritus trustee of Paul Smith’s. “He represented the industry well – his manners, his dress, his professionalism. He never showed a weak side. He was always professional. He set the standard.” – kenneth aaron

Postcards from Yellowstone D

eb Dutcher, our career services coordinator, works with dozens of alums every year on job placement – but they’re not all in locations as glorious as Yellowstone, and they don’t all send photos as cool as these. She passed along this note from Michael Keator ’77, a district ranger with the National Park Service: “I attribute many of my successes to Paul Smith’s College,” Keator notes. “I try each year to hire someone from Paul Smith’s.” We reached Keator by phone as he helped manage the aerial effort to fight wildfires in Arizona. “Anybody I ever hired from Paul Smith’s has been great,” he says. “They’re dedicated, enthusiastic and professional. They’re all knowledgeable when they come out of school, but they’re just hungry for more information, too.” – KA LEFT: Michael Keator with President Barack Obama. ABOVE: Keator at Yellowstone.


Governor speaks to Class of ’11


hen Gov. David A. Paterson took the dais at the college’s 64th commencement exercises this May, he said he knew his place. “When you speak at a graduation, you’re kind of like the body at an old Irish wake,” he said. “They need you to have the event, but you’re not expected to say very much.” Despite that, Paterson delivered a thoughtful speech exhorting the 245 members of the Class of 2011 to fight through obstacles and hold the lessons of their time at Paul Smith’s dear as they move on. “It really is the art of not forgetting where you came from and being willing to give back,” said Paterson, who delivered his remarks as a steady rain fell outside the tent

where the ceremony was held. Paterson, who is blind, served from 2008 to 2010 as New York’s 55th governor. He was first elected to public office in 1985, and ultimately became minority leader of the New York State Senate before being elected lieutenant governor in 2007. In 2008, he became New York’s first black governor.

PHOTOS BY kenneth aaron

INSET: Gov. David A. Paterson. RIGHT: A happy grad gives the thumbs-up after finishing college.


Sequel | Summer 2011

– KA

Business by the byte


magine you’re running a sneaker company. You’re facing competition from across the globe, including managers trained at places such as Seton Hall, New York University and other top schools. Think you can give them a run for their money? If you’re in Prof. Brendan Gnall’s Strategic Planning and Policy class, you do. Every year. Gnall’s classes routinely participate and excel in the Business Strategy Game, an online simulation that pits teams from colleges around the

world against each other. The game calls on them to account for dozens of factors that determine whether their companies will be high-steppers, or fall flat. Each class here fields several teams in the competition. “This game is realistic,” says Gnall, who had a long career at Xerox and other multinational corporations before teaching at Paul Smith’s. “It simulates the kind of decisions you have to make. It gets you in deep on financial decisions, it gets you into decisions on stock, on

dividends, on repurchasing, do you take out short-term loans, long-term loans, how do you pay them back, what’s the effect on shareholder equity. You live and die based on how well you make those decisions.” Teams in Gnall’s classes routinely wind up in the top 100, which is calculated every week. To see more about the simulation, go here: – KA

Cooking at the VIC


ust shy of six months after the college took over the VIC from the Adirondack Park Agency, the center opened its doors again with a full slate of scheduled events: concerts, a farmers market every Friday until Sept. 23, the Adirondack Plein Air Festival on Friday, Aug. 19, and more. While the trails at the VIC have remained open since the college assumed operations of the site, the visitors’ building has been closed until now. The college is working with Brian “Mac” McDonnell and McDonnell’s Adirondack Challenges (MAC’s) to manage the site on a day-to-day basis. “This is just the start of what we’ll be doing at the VIC,” McDonnell said. “It’s important that we not only continue the educational programs the VIC has been traditionally known for, but also expand our offerings. We’re

looking forward to offering interpretive and recreational activities, art exhibits, live music, and more to make the VIC an even more valuable resource for both local residents and visitors to the Adirondacks.” McDonnell said the VIC has hired four full-time and three part-time workers. The Adirondack Park Institute, a not-for-profit organization that has long supported the VIC, will continue in that role. Volunteers are needed for a range of activities at the VIC, including helping at the Butterfly House, trail maintenance, greeting visitors, and more. For more information, please call the VIC at (518) 327-6241 or email Karen Potts at Hours: Seven days a week until Labor Day, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Fall/ winter hours TBA. (Trails are open year-round.) – kA

Brian McDonnell (right) and Sarah Keyes, an interpretive naturalist at the VIC, stand on a platform overlooking a marsh at the nature center. kenneth aaron

Get your Sequel 24/7


lthough most of you, no doubt, encase your Sequels in acid-free boxes in order to preserve them for posterity, it’s come to our attention that some people might prefer a way to page through our archives online. That day has arrived. You can access complete back issues of Sequel dating to 2007 at A handful of our other publications are at that site, also. – KA Sequel | Summer 2011


[ shore lines] Comings and goings


ranks of the college’s leadership have gone through some significant changes over the past year – here’s a quick rundown on some of the new (or familiar) faces involved.

New deans Both the School of Forestry and Natural Resources and the School of Hospitality, Resort and Culinary Management have new deans. After serving as interim forestry dean since last summer, Jeff Walton (left) was given the job on a permanent basis this spring. Walton has taught at Paul Smith’s since 2006. He has a Ph.D. in remote sensing and urban forestry from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse. James Miller was named Sodexo Dean of the hospitality and culinary school last summer; before arriving in the Adirondacks, Miller was director of corporate and professional training at Massasoit Community College in Brockton, Mass. Miller’s post has been endowed with a $1 million, 10-year pledge from Sodexo Inc.

New vice presidents Two new vice presidents joined the college over the past year. F. Raymond Agnew (right) began as vice president for institutional advancement in April. He came here after serving 12 years at Glens Falls Hospital, where he was vice president for community affairs. James Buyea was named vice president for information technology, joining Paul Smith’s last fall. He had been IT director at the Utica School of Commerce for nine years before that.

Four goodbyes This spring, a century’s worth of experience took its leave from Paul Smith’s College – which, considering that the college itself is 65 years old, is saying something. Jack Burke ’78, the vice president for business and finance; Brenda Bush, an administrative assistant in admissions; and Profs. Kirk Peterson and Ruth Smith all retired from the college after long careers. (Kirk and Ruth mentioned that former students and other friends can still reach them at their college email addresses, and rsmith@ – KA


Sequel | Summer 2011


Food + view = win

Megan Frank, supervisor at the St. Regis Café, stands in the new set of sliding glass doors that provide access to the deck.


on’t just sit there and look at the lake. Eat something! This summer, the student-run St. Regis Café got a makeover that has led (finally) to outdoor dining on the deck overlooking Lower St. Regis Lake. The $75,000 project, which added doors leading to the deck, also included the addition of a bar, air conditioning and reconfigured storage and prep areas in the kitchen. “We did it first and foremost to ensure that the student learning experience replicated a regular service restaurant as closely as possible,” says Jim Miller, dean of the School of Hospitality, Resort and Culinary Management. While the bar currently lacks a liquor license, Miller says that someday, he hopes that residents on the lake may pull their boats up to the dock outside the Joan Weill Student Center, have a glass of wine and a meal or cup of coffee and a homemade dessert while sitting outside. The St. Regis Café features lunch and dinner prepared and served by students. It is open during the fall and spring semesters and summer. To make a reservation, call (518) 327-6355. – KA

Go away, we don’t want you


$224,000 federal grant is helping the college’s Watershed Stewardship Program make invasive species even less welcome in the North Country. The award, from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, is allowing the program to nearly quadruple the size of its workforce this summer and add Old Forge to the list of areas that are protected by stewards. Starting Memorial Day weekend, boaters at more than a dozen lakes in and near the Adirondacks began encountering stewards hired by Paul Smith’s College. Those stewards help boaters inspect their vessels for aquatic invasive species, such as Eurasian watermilfoil and spiny waterflea, and teach them how to clean their boats to make sure invasives don’t travel from lake to lake. “In most cases, you can never truly eradicate invasives once you get them – you can just manage them,” said Eric Holmlund, director of the Watershed Stewardship Program, which is part of

the college’s Adirondack Watershed Institute. “That’s why we must emphasize preventing the transport of aquatic invasives in the first place. This grant gives us a big boost in trying to keep unaffected waters clean, and teaching people how they can inspect and clean their own boats before they ever get to a boat launch.” The program will grow to 27 stewards this summer, up from seven last year. They’ll help the college protect three major recreational areas: Saratoga Lake; the Lake Placid, Saranac Lake and Tupper KENNETH AARON Lake region; and the Fulton Chain of Lakes in the Old Forge area. – KA A watershed steward works with a boater.

SPRING sports roundup STRIDERS – It was a banner year for both snow and the Paul Smith’s College snowshoers, as 15 students qualified for the U.S. Snowshoe Nationals in Cable, Wis. One of those racers, Ben Palladino, earned a spot on the U.S. National Snowshoe Team with his second-place finish overall. The first-year student from Tully will hit the road with the national team in January to go to Italy, where they will join 6,000 other snowshoers in the world’s biggest snowshoe race, La Ciaspolada. Palladino was named an All-American

based on his results at the Nationals as well. The college’s top woman finisher at the national event was Cathy Pedtke, who finished second in the 20-24 age class in the 10-kilometer race. Additionally, for the eighth time since 2001, the Striders won the International Snowshoe Championships in Lewiston, Maine. MEN’S BASKETBALL – A pair of wins against NCAA Div. III opponents highlighted the men’s basketball season, which closed with a 6-17 record. The cagers went on the road to beat Plymouth State College and Green Mountain College, both of which play in Div. III. Coach Joe Akey said that several players will return to the team next season, adding needed experience – 9 of the 12 players on the roster this year were first-year students. One of the players who won’t be back, senior Jeff Moore, closed out his career by playing in 100 consecutive games. Moore logged more than 500 rebounds and 500 points in his collegiate career. When next season tips off, Paul Smith’s will join the LEFT: Chris Fernandez faces an opponent from Clinton Community College. RIGHT: A member of the woodsmen’s team during Winter Carnival.

Yankee Small College Conference, which is part of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association. WOODSMEN’S TEAM – Another year, and another Smittie has won the Stihl Timbersports Northeast Collegiate Challenge. Schuyler “Hambone” VanAuken bested the competition at the event, held in April at SUNYCobleskill. He’ll be traveling to the national collegiate championship this summer in Oregon; look for the competition to be shown on ESPN2 in September. The event was held alongside the annual Spring Meet, at which Paul Smith’s men’s, women’s and jack-and-jill squads placed second in their respective categories. The men’s #2 team finished third. ROCK CLIMBING – The newly formed rock-climbing team traveled to four events, and Paul Smith’s students dominated the leaderboard at all of them – including several first-place finishes across various categories of competition. NORDIC SKIING – A solid season for the college’s cross-country skiers was capped by appearances of two Paul Smith’s racers at the U.S. Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association’s national championships. Matt Piper and Annie Jardin

Rand Snyder sprints during the Jingle Bell Snowshoe Race, held in December at the VIC.

each made return visits to the event, held in Sun Valley, Idaho; it was Piper’s third trip and Jardin’s second. Piper earned All-American designation following his eighth-place finish in the 15-kilometer freestyle race – the second Nordic skier from Paul Smith’s to earn the distinction. – jim tucker

photos by pat hendrick

XC coming to the Adks


hey’re coming from across the country for cross country. In fall 2011 and 2012, Paul Smith’s will co-host the United States Collegiate Athletic Association’s cross country national championships, bringing 150 athletes and 20 institutions to the Adirondacks. The college bid for the competition with the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid. This year's races, scheduled for Friday, Nov. 11, will be held at the Olympic Sports Complex at Mt. Van Hoevenberg. “I think it’s great to pull people to this part of the country,” said Jim Tucker, director of athletics for Paul Smith’s and coach of the men’s and women’s cross-country teams. Tucker noted that the Olympic loop has held the state high school cross-country championships twice. The collegiate competition consists of one 8-kilometer men’s race and a 5-6 kilometer women’s race. The Bobcat runners will be looking to improve on a solid showing last fall: The women finished third at the competition, held in Concord, N.H., and the men finished fourth. – ka PAT HENDRICK

Sequel | Summer 2011




dominique biondi '10 helps the gulf spring back to life By BOB BENNETT


most of the winter, Dominique Biondi ’10 woke up at 5 or 6 a.m. and combed the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico, looking for signs of life.

Dominique Biondi (orange vest) watches as workers find a tar mat on West Point Island, Ala.


Sequel | Summer 2011

Photo courtesy of BP America

The beaches have already been heavily damaged by the 5 million barrels of oil that spewed into the Gulf following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in April 2010. She wants to make sure the people cleaning it up won’t damage it further. Biondi, 23, graduated with a degree in fisheries and wildlife sciences; she joined BP’s cleanup effort

last November and worked until the spring, though she plans to head back this fall. During her months on the job, Biondi monitored efforts to restore beaches in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi, joining the ranks of thousands of people working on the biggest accidental oil spill ever. “It’s tragic, but you have to look at it as a lesson,” she says of the oil that is still


We can do this cleanup, but it’s going to go on for a long time.



LEFT PHOTO:, photo BELOW: courtesy of dominique biondi

ABOVE: A great blue heron sits on an oil boom on the Alabama Gulf Coast. RIGHT: Dominique Biondi holding a toad.

washing ashore. “It’s totally our fault. But hopefully, this leads to more regulation, more of a focus on clean energy.” In the meantime, Biondi just tries to remember that the crews are making progress every day, even as more oil continues to wash ashore. As a natural resource advisor for Matrix New World Engineering, Biondi’s job is to ensure that the beaches’ ecosystems are not further damaged by overzealous cleanup crews aggressively removing every last bit of oil. Her work begins by surveying for certain types of plants and animals that are native to the area such as beach mice and the piping plover, an endangered bird. The beach mice use sand dunes for shelter, and Biondi must make sure that workers, who are digging both by hand and with heavy equipment to remove oil, avoid the plant roots that hold those dunes together. After the survey, she oversees the digging and the sifting. A year after the disaster the beaches are still littered with quarter-sized tar balls, and once in a while, they find tar mats the size of area rugs. On one occasion, Biondi and the cleanup crew found a tar mat about ten feet in both directions and about three inches thick in one section. When the crew sliced it open, she says it was like cutting into a steak; unlike a nice T-bone, though, the middle was all dark and gooey. On that day, BP representatives happened to be there along with a photog-

rapher who snapped some pictures of their discovery. She described it as one of her most fulfilling experiences and one of the most frustrating: Fulfilling because progress had been made and documented, but frustrating because she realized more was washing up everyday. “We can do this cleanup, but it’s going to go on for a long time,” she said. She remains hopeful that it will be cleaned up one day. Biondi’s positive attitude reflects the way one of her professors, Daun Reuter, described her while she was still attending college. She said Biondi was always “very passionate, highly motivated and full of initiative.” Biondi served as a student teacher under Reuter. She remembers her as a student that “always went beyond what she needed to do” and an active class participant: “You knew Dominique was in your class,” Reuter says. Biondi graduated last May, but her passion for science started much earlier. She grew up in the Bronx, and while there wasn’t a whole lot of opportunity for exploring nature as a kid, her parents read lots of animal books, and she watched the Discovery Channel. She always wanted to work with animals, so when she found Paul Smith’s, she was grateful because she found her calling along with it.

“Not everyone does,” she says. “I wish everyone could experience that at least once in their lives.” She always knew she was “not going to have any 9-to-5 desk job and be unhappy. And finding a school in the middle of the woods, since I love animals, was a little surreal.” Biondi credits the teaching of Reuter and Prof. Jorie Favreau with inspiring her to get out and make a difference; now, she’s looking to follow in their footsteps. Her own experience teaching others has convinced her that education is her future. Biondi wants to reach people to let them know that though their lawn looks nice, those fertilizers wash into the water supply. She wants to tell people that the foods you decide to eat and clothes you decide to wear have a wider effect on the planet, that if you chop down all the trees, they can’t reproduce. “I can only honor all I have learned by passing it on,” Biondi says. She wants to do it out in the field, on-site – a lot like the hands-on experiences she had at Paul Smith’s. “If I am able to do that, I can die happy.” S Sequel | Summer 2011




Sequel | Summer 2011

Hiding Out a professor’s journey to the remote, nearby By eric holmlund


ski with one of my students, Greg,

into the Hideaway Cabin on Paul Smith’s College property in late January, blazing trail and timing the journey for a field trip the next week in the Writing on Nature and the Environment class I teach. The snow is powdery and silvery-slick: perhaps 2 feet deep, all told. We follow the tracks of someone who had walked into the woods some days ago. The trail runs on a logging road through the maples, birches and beech on the north side of Keese Mills Road, just a few miles from campus, in the back end of the VIC property. Greg and I talk about school, our families, and our skiing history as we tramp our way up the incline and around the bend, up and over a small hill that cuts us off effectively from Keese Mill Road. This sense of seclusion is somehow essential, psychologically. It centers and frees me. I focus on each step, each placement of my ski pole. I breathe rhythmically as I stride, and get into a sort of balanced, dynamic dance in relationship to the quiet forest. There is something striking and penetrating about the quiet of the Adirondack forest in winter. The ringing of one’s busy life subsides for a moment, or for long minutes, and blends into the backdrop of the forest’s frozen silence. I hear the wind, soft, like the sound of breathing, or the pulse of one’s heartbeat. In the distance, a crow, and nearby, the sharp brushstroke note of the chickadee. I listen to the sifting slough of snow falling from one branch of a balsam fir down to another. My companion is a first-year student from Albany. Greg is tall, athletic, but unused to skiing in the Adirondack backcountry. He tells me that he’s skied with his dad only a couple of times. He starts off a bit awkwardly, in front of me, breaking trail and taking short, uncertain steps. I can tell he

doesn’t trust himself on skis yet, and seems off-balance and tentative, especially when the skis begin to glide over the snow underfoot. Skiing at its best involves breaking equilibrium, inhabiting the point of balance and motion at which the ski breaks free from the ground and gains enough energy to melt the snow, reduce friction to zero, and glide across the surface. The most efficient stride is when the skier projects his body forward, beyond the balance point, to where he is committed to either moving forward or falling. Greg makes rapid progress and soon marks out long, efficient strides, placing his poles in rhythm, picking up speed. He is getting the hang of it. The person who passed before us left footprints, which now look like deep points, filled in by successive snowstorms, funnel shaped, and now that I think of it, one way. They run deeper into the forest with no return. The footprints look perhaps a week old, I guess, and are almost completely covered with new snow, but are plainly visible nonetheless. On the crest of a hill we gain a view of Jenkins Mountain a mere half-mile in front of us, looming overhead in shades of blue and grey. White snow fills the lanes between the hardwoods, while rough cliff faces stand out from the trees near the summit. The leaden sky seems to merge with the mountain: perhaps cloud eclipses the summit, but it’s not clear. It’s all of a piece. Finally, the snowy highway ends in a log landing – a circular turnabout for log loaders and semis – and we catch a glimpse of Hideway Cabin up a little hill. The small, weathered, two-story log A-frame was built by Paul Smith’s students decades

ago, and is still used primarily by them and alumni. I see a peaked roofline, unnaturally straight between the leaning trunks of maples and beech. This is where the skiing gets difficult. We leave the log road and bushwhack through the forest, down to a creek and up to the cabin. We have Hideway Cabin to ourselves, alone except for the graffitied testimonies of a hundred Paul Smith’s students from decades past, carved and ball-point-penned on the round logs of the cabin. I push open the door and see the dim interior, neat as a pin, swept clean by the last occupant. I’m cheered to see evidence of student use, and student care, if not reverence. Greg is impressed by his first trip to this remote element of the college landscape. He tells me he plans on coming again, bringing a journal and a sleeping bag. I encourage it. I look back toward Paul Smith’s. “Get out of the dorms!” I holler silently to all the students back on campus. Get into the woods! Find your Hideaway. It’s there if you look for it. Follow the logging road, the ski trail or someone’s rapidly vanishing footprints. They’re filling fast with fresh snow, and the next storm is coming. S


LEFT: Prof. Eric Holmlund in front of the Hideaway Cabin, long after the snow has melted. Holmlund is director of the Watershed Stewardship Program.

Sequel | Summer 2011


[ book excerpt]

Change coming

Curt Stager’s new book gives a glimpse today at tomorrow’s climate By Curt stager


ost of Prof. Curt Stager’s work involves the long-ago: He studies ancient samples of ice and mud to analyze climate patterns from tens of thousands of years in the past. But in his new book, “Deep Future,” Stager looks at what lies ahead. Using the past as a guide, he analyzes what climate change today may mean as much as 100,000 years out. We’re in an epoch known as the Anthropocene – the Age of Humans – and it is humans who have the power to shape what that future will look like, based on our use of fossil fuel, he writes. Take heart: People, he argues, are likely to survive, although many species probably won’t. Warming climates may even bring new opportunities to some far-northern communities that are tundra today. Eventually, though, Stager writes that temperatures will cool again thousands of years from now, bringing new upheaval. In this abridged excerpt from the book, he talks about changes we can already see, and where the Adirondacks may be headed.

It took a lot of work to convince me that the Adirondacks are warming. Not because it seemed particularly unlikely, but simply because there was little solid evidence available to support that claim until recently. Furthermore, it can be difficult to link local changes conclusively to the global greenhouse effect because the large-scale trends that it produces are slow and gentle compared to the erratic flip-flops of short-term, small-scale weather, especially up here in these mountains. It’s a shame that those who deny the existence of global warming out of stubbornness or willful ignorance so often

bear the epithet “climate skeptic” (rather than something like “naysayer” or “contrarian”) because the job of a good scientist is to maintain reasonable skepticism in the face of a story that’s long on sex appeal but short on facts. Until someone down-scales global climate change information to fit your particular piece of planet with demonstrable accuracy, you can’t really be sure whether it moves in the climatic mainstream or not. Here in the Adirondacks, though, the long-term warming trend that is now firmly documented by local weather records is already producing some clearly observable

changes in the realm of winter ice. According to one recent report, ice-out is now coming earlier to lakes throughout the northeastern states than it did a hundred years ago, though that’s not necessarily temperature at work. Snow and wind also control the fate of lake and river ice. Melting happens earlier if the ice is well insulated by a blanket of snow, and that blanket thins or thickens depending on how much snow falls, how much melts, and how much blows away. And what usually makes lake ice break up at any given moment is wind, not heat alone. In calm weather, lake ice can sit for days, rotPhoto by kenneth aaron


Sequel | Summer 2011

ting into brittle, vertically packed needles, as it waits for the first breeze to smash it against the downwind shore. A better indicator of warming is the date of freeze-up, because it is unaffected by the complicating effects of snow cover and midwinter ice thickness. Jerome Thaler’s book “Adirondack Weather” presents a centurylong record of ice cover records from Mirror Lake, an attractive body of water in downtown Lake Placid, and local librarian Judith Shea helped me to update that record by contacting a boating club that runs an annual ice-out contest there. Those data show that Mirror Lake now freezes two weeks later than it did during the early 1900s; the more erratic ice-out record, on the other hand, shows only a weak trend towards earlier dates. And at lower elevations, where temperatures are already warmer to begin with, the change is even more obvious. Lake Champlain, which occupies a long valley on the eastern border of the Adirondack Park, hasn’t frozen over at all in recent winters. Records dating back to the early 1800s show that Lake Champlain skipped its winter freeze-up only three times during the 19th century but more than two dozen times since 1950. That’s difficult to explain with anything but a warming trend. I published these and similar results with several colleagues in a recent issue of the Adirondack Journal of Environmental Studies, and when the Associated Press later interviewed some of us about the regionwide retreat of lake ice, I was amused by the public response that the article triggered. Almost all of the comments that I found posted online were negative. One writer called it “a cherry-picking promotion for the discredited global warming movement.” Another typical posting said, “Global warming can be traced primarily to the fevered ravings emitted by ecofreaks.” Having previously been accused by the environmental community of not being alarmist enough, I took these opposing comments to be a good sign for a scientist. When you’re bashed by both sides in an emotionally charged argument, it means that you’re standing in the middle where the truth probably lies. But the humor of the situation quickly faded when, just a few weeks later, three people lost their lives by falling through the ice on a local lake, and the U.S. Coast Guard

warned snowmobilers and fisherfolk that the ice on Lake Champlain has become treacherously thin.

Progressively higher temperatures will reduce the duration and thickness of snow and ice cover in the northern United States, perhaps enough to make low-lying Lake Champlain totally ice-free but probably not enough to prevent the highest of the upland lakes from freezing in midwinter. The tips of the tallest Adirondack peaks might still turn white for a few months each year, and the skiing and snowmobiling industries might hang on longer here than in much of the rest of the Northeast, perhaps well into the twenty-second century and beyond. And one bothersome regional pollution problem may finally be solved when our fossil fuel consumption finally trails off. Coal-fired power plants and internal combustion engines will stop dumping so much acid rain here. Lucky us. If Adirondack forests once more become botanical equivalents of the Blue Ridge and Smokies as a result of moderate-scale warming, they won’t do it very quickly. Existing trees will take centuries to die of old age and to make room for different ones as the region slowly warms, and southern trees won’t move up here any faster than their seeds can. Then as now, the most abrupt changes will probably be caused not by climate change but by forestry practices, fires, and imported pests. Already, we’re losing our beeches to fungal infections as we’ve previously lost chestnuts and elms to foreign blights, and invasive emerald ash borers are just beginning to threaten ash trees all over North America. This also applies to animals, as well; white nose syndrome is rapidly decimating our local bat populations, yellow perch and golden shiners are driving native trout from our upland lakes, and imported zebra mussels are replacing native mussels in lowland waters.

The factor that will play the most important role in determining the fate of future wild lands will, of course, be us. We’re the ones who introduce “invasive” alien species to their new territories, and people of the future will surely continue to help invaders spread into new territories whether by accident or design. And although strong, strictly


ABOVE: Stager (right) takes an ice sample out of Lower St. Regis Lake as two students assist.

enforced laws can keep forested islands like the Adirondacks afloat in a sea of development, not everyone wants to keep them that way, so there’s no telling what the next century’s legislative decisions might bring. Major reversals of what people can and cannot do with wild areas could easily cause more rapid and devastating changes than Anthropocene climate alone is likely to produce. Will our descendants love the landscapes of the deep future as much as we love them now when the vegetation changes and the mountains and lakes hold less snow and ice in winter? Even the fanciest computer models can’t tell us that. Seemingly wild places like the Adirondacks are already quite different from what they were in centuries past because of fires, logging, settlement, pollution, overhunting, invasive species, and disease. But most of us don’t complain much about such things; we like our home territories pretty much as we first encountered them, whatever the pedigree. We can only hope that later generations feel the same way about the artificially warmer landscapes that will await them as the Anthropocene continues to unfold. S

» From "Deep Future" by Curt Stager.

Copyright © 2011 by the author and reprinted by permission of Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press LLC. Sequel | Summer 2011


Master of

disaster mike dietrich

Mike Dietrich ’74 stands in the Angeles National Forest in California, where the Station Fire burned in 2009. Dietrich was incident commander for the blaze, one of the largest in the state’s history.

Age: 57 Now living in: Azusa, Calif. Hometown: North Tonawanda, N.Y. Family: son Paul, 32; daughter Erin, 31; 1 grandson Education: Paul Smith’s College, A.A.S., pre-professional forestry, 1974; University of Montana, B.S., forest management, 1976 Hobbies: "Some woodworking, some hiking, some bike riding, and there is always some wine tasting." Last book read: “Wilderness Warrior,” Douglas Brinkley What I’d do for a living if I weren’t staring down disasters: Loaded question! I would be doing consulting and helping those folks who have to deal with preparing for the “next” disaster. It’s all about relationships, partnerships and working together at all levels – citizens, elected officials, public sector and the private sector.


Sequel | Summer 2011

[Q & A] INTERVIEW By Kenneth Aaron | Director of Communications


hen something bad happens, Mike Dietrich ’74 is a good guy to have around. Dietrich, who retired as a U. S. Forest Service fire chief in 2009, has led the response to one of Southern California’s biggest forest fires ever, managed incidents including Hurricane Katrina and the space shuttle Columbia disaster, and served on the Gulf oil spill as an advisor. After three decades in the field, Dietrich is developing a large-scale disaster plan at one of the country’s largest electric utilities, and talking to Sequel about preventing chaos from taking control. You’ve put yourself in some tricky spots. What keeps you coming back? The sense of doing something good for other people. The sense of accomplishment. On any incident, there’s a beginning point – you bring the resources, the strategy, the tactics into place – and over time, there’s a result. Reduced property damage, or keeping fires from homes, or recognizing ecological benefit from fire. You get to see the results of your work immediately. Most of your career was spent working with forest fires. Do they each have their own personality? Yes. It’s partly based on physical components like wind and topography. But social components also come into it, like the media. Two years ago, I was the incident commander on the Station Fire, the largest in Los Angeles County history. Being right in the heart of the L.A. Basin, that took on a life of its own. There was great personal tragedy, unparalleled fire behavior, evacuations, threats to homes and infrastructure such as communications and the electrical grid, national and international press, the cost. You’re still dealing with that fire. Any incident has four fronts. There’s the incident itself – the fire, the hurricane, the tornado. There’s community and public relations. There’s the politics; you can look at any large-scale disaster and watch that happening. Sometimes the event ends long before the politics begins. And the last front is, “Who’s paying?” Certain fronts never go out. The Station Fire is still under review. How was it handled? Did we make the right decisions? Why weren’t there

fire engines in certain places? The scrutiny that goes on after the fires, the investigations, the whole legal tenor, have really changed since I started. Two firefighters died fighting the Station Fire. Do you second guess yourself when tragedy strikes? In the back of your mind, you always wonder if things could have been done differently. It’s human nature. Did you make the decision based on the information you had at the time? There’s never a perfect answer. You’re never going to make a perfect decision. Because if you do, it’s too late. Sometimes, homes burn even if you make informed decisions. What was the hardest fire you’ve had to handle? Probably the most difficult one to deal with was the Esperanza (Calif.) fire, with the deaths of five firefighters. Fire fighting is relatively formulaic. But the human side of the event – the families, the immediate effects, the notifications, the memorials, the ongoing investigations … This will be the fifth anniversary of Esperanza, and that one is still extremely difficult. From a complexity standpoint, the Station Fire was most difficult because of the rapid fire spread, potentially burning into 10,000 homes. You have to focus on something like that, and not put firefighters into harm’s way. That can be a very difficult decision to make. The fire may destroy homes and affect people’s lives. But maybe there are places where people should not have put homes to begin with. How did you get into this line of work? I thought I was going to count trees

and survey property lines. Then it took a turn. I primarily got involved with fire from the prescribed fire side of things. I became a burn boss, as they call it, a prescribed fire manager, using fire as a tool to reforest and address the ecological aspects. And then my career evolved. If you’re going to use fire, you have to put it out, too. You’ve responded to a wide range of calamities. What do they have in common when it comes to managing them? People need help. They’re overloaded. They’re beyond their capacities to handle incidents within their normal systems. You need to bring some level of order to the chaos. The Incident Command System (ICS) establishes roles that don’t diminish anybody’s jurisdiction or legal authority, but gets everybody working on the same plan toward a common goal. Public information and safety, operations, planning, logistics and finance are all covered. ICS is a very good system to manage just about any event, and not necessarily an emergency incident, either. My daughter used it for her wedding. I was finance. Of course. Is there anything you still carry with you from your days at Paul Smith’s? It’s all about relationships. How well you work with other people. You have to have a sense of humor. I enjoyed my time learning from Mr. Hoyt, suspenders and all. The professors I remember are Gould Hoyt, George Peroni and Mike Kudish. And I remember helping to build the Forestry Club Cabin – I can even remember which rock I held in place for the fireplace. S

Portrait: Damian Dovarganes

Sequel | Summer 2011





black bear & red fox campsites


ince opening in 2006, more than 9,000 people have come to John Dillon Park. The 200-acre park, named for former International Paper alum John Dillon ’58, is fully accessible – meaning that people in wheelchairs or with any other physical limitation can enjoy time in the outdoors. Dillon Park, which is outside of Long Lake, is open until Labor Day and is free for either day use or overnight camping; to make an overnight reservation, email





Sequel | Summer 2011





1 The extra-long top to this picnic table, which was built by park staff, lets wheelchair users slide right up. 2 Some of the park’s lean-tos are completely wheelchair accessible. This one isn’t, but the tree stump and railing make it easier for people to pull themselves up onto the platform. 3

Campers can use this chain-andpulley system to raise and lower a lantern.

4 The latches on these food lockers kept bears out, but made them hard for people with disabilities to use; park staff changed the handles to make them easier to open.

through the park. The trails are no steeper than an 8 percent grade, making it easier for wheelchairs or people with limited mobility to make their way around.

5 Jeff Bellaire, one of two students working at the park this summer, carries a load of firewood to a campsite. Firewood is provided free of charge to all campers.

7 These logs were installed to stop wheelchairs from rolling off the gravel surface and into the woods.


Sarah McKenney, the other student worker, tamps down a rough spot on a portion of the three miles of trail that wind

8 The lean-tos throughout Dillon were built both deeper and taller than traditional Adirondack lean-tos, so wheelchair users can maneuver inside them more easily. Sequel | Summer 2011



Good things in store


ack in 2002, Ames, the chain that sold everything from tube socks to TVs, went bankrupt and closed its Saranac Lake store. And people around here have been waiting for a replacement ever since. They’re finally about to get one – and a group of seven Paul Smith’s students can take a little of the credit when it opens. Those seniors did consulting work for the Saranac Lake Community Store as part of their college-career-culminating capstone project. Portions of the 100-pageplus document they created for the store are likely to be adopted by management. The seven students – Sarah Ammack, Catherine Fuller, Alexandra Garry, Max Krueger, Leydi Nuñez, Jennifer Riley and Nicole Thompson, all majoring in business management and entrepreneurial studies – got a lesson not just in the basics of opening a store, but also in the power of community ownership.


Sequel | Summer 2011

“I went in thinking this will just be a general store, and it hit me halfway through that the Tri-Lakes has never seen a business like this,” says Fuller, who is from Paul Smiths. “We have locally owned shops, but we don’t actually have a community-owned store. I watched this go from a great idea to a point where you can reach out and touch it, almost. It’s awesome.” The store has been in the works for about five years; in the years leading up to its launch, organizers sold $500,000 worth of shares in the store. The students got involved with the project when an adviser, Prof. Diane Litynski, put them in touch with Melinda Little, president of the Community Store’s board. “They really did a very in-depth job with their project, and I was pleasantly surprised by some of the information they were able to dig up for us,” says Little, who is hoping the store opens later this summer in the former Corvo and Bella Roma restaurants on Main Street. “I was impressed with how well thought-out their approach and research was, and the suggestions that


These seniors consulted for the Saranac Lake Community Store; they’re seen here in the store’s future home on Main Street.

they made.” The group contributed ideas for everything from finding shelving to what to sell on those shelves. Occasionally, their goals shifted based on their research. Nicole Thompson, who was in charge of merchandising with Krueger, says that she started out by looking for locally made, or made in the U.S.A., items. But it quickly became apparent that would be difficult. “There’s got to be companies that are reasonably priced wholesale, and there are – but there just aren’t enough to fill a whole store,” she says. Instead, the group suggested that the store target a few niche areas for which to sell locally made goods, such as yarn and other crafting supplies. The students were able to look at the experiences of a couple of other places that have set up community stores of their own. Nuñez is confident they did their part well. “I wouldn’t have done anything differently,” Nuñez says of their work. “As we handed them the binder, I felt proud – we – KENNETH AARON did this.”

[ cover story ]

e h t t u o b It’s a

E C N E I R E P X E Our faculty find experience everywhere — and bring it back to campus


we know, you’ve

dedicated faculty. And in many

ship. We got essays that covered a

heard this before: “It’s

cases, those faculty are drawing on

lot of ground, from the kitchen to the

about the experience.” But most of

the experiences they have had, and

lab to the forest. But they all have

the time we say that, we’re referring

passing them along.

one thing in common: They highlight

to our students and the things they learn here. So often, though, our students’ experiences are shaped by our

That’s why we asked several

the dedication our faculty have to

faculty members to write about an

the concept of experiential learning,

experience they’ve had that has

something that has been a part of

shaped their teaching or scholar-

Paul Smith’s since the beginning.

Sequel | Summer 2011


Ranger tales Nancie Battaglia

ABOVE: Joe Dadey takes a turn on the zip line at the college’s ropes course. BELOW: The view from Marcy Dam.

By joe dadey


spent a lot of time in the backcountry, and a lot of what I teach students in the recreation, adventure travel and ecotourism program is taken from that experience. But some of the most lasting lessons I pass along came from a single week of the two summers I worked in the Eastern High Peaks as an assistant forest ranger, in 1989 and 1990. It was a great job. I was paid, essentially, to hike, talking with people who had come from all over to experience the Adirondacks. My job was to ensure the backcountry users stayed safe – and to


Sequel | Summer 2011

protect the backcountry itself from people who were uninformed, misguided, and sometimes malicious. I talked about things any hiker wants to know: Which peaks had the best views, where the best campsites were, how to prevent one’s pasta from becoming wallpaper paste. As far as serious human drama goes, my first year as a ranger was unremarkable. Aside from helping carry out a woman who had injured her ankle coming down Street and Nye during my first week on the job, I didn’t cover any noteworthy emergencies that summer or fall.

Until the last week of the season. Our workweek ran from Thursday to Monday and I had planned to spend part of it traipsing along the Great Range and hitting the trails in Johns Brook Valley. Thursday night, after I hunkered down beneath my tarp somewhere on Armstrong Mountain, I was summoned by radio. A young man had gone missing while hiking Giant; I needed to help look for him. At dawn, I made my way out of the woods. We searched all day with no luck, but the kid ended up coming out of the woods on his own Saturday morning, unharmed. He got lost when he went straight on a herd path where the trail doglegged left.

Even though the path soon petered out, our hiker forged ahead, ending up in the middle of nowhere without any overnight gear. Lesson 1: Stay aware of the trail, be wary of dead-end herd paths, and backtrack, if possible, when disoriented. I was back on the trail that afternoon and hiked to Marcy Dam, with plans to bid farewell to Mt. Marcy on Sunday. I had to ditch my plans again, though, when two campers showed up Sunday morning to report a woman had scalded herself badly near Avalanche Camp the night before. She had been sitting inside a lean-to, her legs splayed beside a camp stove, when another camper bumped the pot she had been tending. Hot water cascaded into her lap, and she needed to be evacuated. The Marcy Dam caretaker, Robin, joined me with a litter and we carried the woman back to the Outpost, where a truck brought her out. Lesson 2: Always set up your kitchen away from the flow of camp traffic and make sure you won’t be harmed if the pot tips and spills. At this point, I didn’t have time for a ramble up Marcy. Instead, I did my rounds, hiking to Indian Falls. When I got back to Marcy Dam, two teenage boys came running down the trail after me. They were on a school trip with a couple of teachers, 10 people in all, who had climbed Marcy earlier that day. On the way down, about a mile from the summit, one of the hikers dislocated her knee. The group stayed put and dispatched the two guys, who carried a map marked with an “X” over the group’s location. If the map was right, they were 4 miles away. It was 5 p.m., daylight was fading, and it was going to be the coldest night

of the fall so far. Robin and I quickly assembled four backpacks, two tents, a bunch of sleeping bags and pads, a couple of stoves, and a litter and some extra headlights. We headed toward Marcy in the dark with the two teens, who had already done their share of hiking for the day. Snow began to fall. The four of us took turns carrying the stretcher. Robin and I worried that the guys were becoming exhausted given the ground they had covered that day. We slowed down some but also feared hypothermia, in case we cooled down too much. Eventually, we reached a plateau and could make out the glimmer of a fire the waiting group had made. When we reached the group, we tended to the injured student, packaged her in the litter, and took her to flat ground. We set up the two tents, laid out sleeping bags – there were more people than bags, so some people shared – and made a rice dish that wasn’t too tasty but filling nonetheless. Robin and I squeezed ourselves into the same mummy bag and waited out the night, resting, not sleeping, in the open under a light snow. At dawn, we made preparations for a helicopter rescue. Everybody made it through the night, some more comfortably than others. Several inches of snow had fallen; the temperature had dropped to 19 degrees. But the morning was clear,

LEFT: Joe Dadey standing atop Marcy Dam wearing his DEC uniform.

COURTESY OF joe dadey

and we awoke to the High Peaks’ first cloaking of white. We disassembled our makeshift camp, carried the injured girl to a waiting helicopter, and then Robin and I led the group safely to the parking lot. We had helped turn what could have been a disastrous night into one that was merely inconvenient and uncomfortable. Lesson 3: Wear a knee brace if you need one. And pack enough gear and clothing to be able to survive an unplanned night out. That turned out to be a busy four days. It reaffirmed a lot of what I already knew about the backcountry: That staying safe, more than just about anything, involves preparation, awareness and common sense. Twenty years later, they’re lessons that bear repeating.

» Joe Dadey is an assistant professor in the

School of Forestry and Natural Resources. He is coordinator of the recreation, adventure travel and ecotourism program.

Sequel | Summer 2011



and Me

By sarah LONGLEY


efore I began teaching culinary arts at Paul Smith’s, I was a research and development chef for the Schwan Food Co. You may be most familiar with Schwan’s boxy yellow homedelivery trucks, but they also sell frozen food directly to supermarkets under several brand names. Those “new and improved” products you find in the freezer? That was my job. Our work in R&D varied; sometimes, we’d do variations on existing products, such as putting different toppings on a pizza. Occasionally, new products are driven by manufacturing: Schwan’s ice cream plant, for example, ran at a third of its capacity every winter, and R&D worked on ways to take up some of that slack. And sometimes, we chased the competition. When I began, for example, Stouffers had just introduced a line of crock-pot dinners. My first responsibility was to create a better crock-pot dinner and get it to market as quickly as possible. The most exciting projects involved creating something completely new – a product that should exist, but didn’t. I remember wandering around the grocery store one night, desperate for something rich and decadent, but finding nothing appealing. I didn’t want to go home and bake something myself for two reasons: I wanted my craving satisfied NOW. And, after accomplishing that, I didn’t want something big sitting around my house – not easy on the waistline! The next day, I started playing with ideas in the kitchen. I also began market research to make sure my dream product


Sequel | Summer 2011

was likely to be somebody else’s as well. My desire for something individually sized kept resonating; at the time, the trend toward portion control was just emerging, and the research supported my direction. After a few months of experimentation, my creation took shape: A trio of shot-glass-sized chocolate desserts that were to be eaten in sequence, from lighter to medium to dark, as you might taste a flight of wine. I served it to an evaluation committee, and sweetened the concept by suggesting the ice cream plant might have the right equipment to deposit the various layers of the dessert into the glasses. The committee approved further research, and my late-night craving became one of the dozens of projects being developed by the R&D team. To be honest, our work in the test kitchen sounds more glamorous than it actually was. Imagine making the same thing a dozen or more times a day for weeks or months on end, making tiny modifications to each version and meticulously recording absolutely everything. Now consider the possibility that you don’t particularly like a certain kind of food (which was how I felt about the crock-pot project). Making that day-in and day-out wasn’t my idea of a great time. Some projects would be dropped for any number of reasons along the way, while others would go into testing or, rarest of all, production. In many ways, teaching is much like developing a new product – the end result, in my job now, being a graduate. Culinary instructors teach foundational skills, such as holding a knife, upon which more complex skills are built, such as making a

sauce. Less quantifiable, though, are the skills that will serve a student in a broader sense as well as in their culinary lives, such as paying attention to details, thinking creatively to problem solve, self-discipline, patience. My time in R&D helped me develop these qualities. As I teach, my goal is to weave these less tangible skills into the physical lessons. I sometimes worry that students want to become chefs because of what they’ve seen on TV. The seemingly effortless dishes that are served up in reality shows as celebrity judges ooh and aah is far from the reality of the average chef, though. And as the profession is glamorized at a time when instant gratification is the norm, it can be a struggle to keep our pupils grounded while still encouraging them to reach for the stars. Ultimately, my dessert trio got shelved after about nine months of work. It would have required some serious modification of the factory’s production line and was deemed cost-prohibitive. But it wasn’t a waste of time, though. In R&D, today’s failure may become tomorrow’s breakthrough. Our most successful students – whether they pursue careers in the culinary arts or not – learn to adopt that mantra as their own.

» Sarah Longley is a chef in the School

of Hospitality, Resort and Culinary Management. She joined Paul Smith’s in 2008. PORTRAIT BY KENNETH AARON

RIGHT: Sarah Longley inside the kitchen at the St. Regis Café in the Joan Weill Student Center.

Sequel | Summer 2011



Sequel | Summer 2011

The meaning of By craig milewski

fish bones

hen I was a graduate student in South Dakota, studying the population dynamics of smallmouth bass in lakes, I used to frequent the quiet shoreline of a large wetland known as Mud Lake. Though the name doesn’t sound enticing, to an overworked graduate student, the towering cottonwoods on its edge were a shady haven on hot summer days. At the time, the writings of Aldo Leopold were a small but important part of my studies. I was impressed by the way he linked minute observations of an organism to grander issues of land use and ecological health. So when I made my weekly pilgrimage to Mud Lake, more and more, I found myself practicing those same kinds of observations. The mud flat fringing the wetland was a convenient travel corridor, not only for me and my dog, Buck, but also for others. All kinds of animal tracks were visible in the muck: raccoons, muskrats, skunks, mink, turtles, deer, great blue herons, ducks, geese, frogs, crows, grackles, and other humans, too. The human tracks, like mine, suggested somebody out for a stroll: the pace appeared contemplative, and the pauses and turns hinted at curiosity. Reading animal tracks and signs, including humans, were part of the practice. While on one of those weekly walks, I reached down and picked up a bone – a fish bone. I was surprised: I’d never seen fish swimming in this water before. How did they get here? Then I wondered whether my surprise was warranted. I found more bones, mostly vertebrae and skulls. The bone I held in my hand was an operculum, or gill cover. Some of the skulls were partially intact. All were carp and all were on the small side, which suggested the dead fish were about the same age – probably about two years old. How interesting. And why only carp? Were they the only ones to colonize this wetland or just the last to survive? I looked about the perimeter of the lake’s small basin for answers. A culvert beneath


LEFT: Craig Milewski amidst a stand of trees in the Smitty Creek Watershed near campus. ABOVE: An example of a dead carp.

the gravel road, though high and dry and distant from the wetland, was part of the puzzle. I knew that a few years prior the landscape was completely saturated – heavy precipitation filled wetlands, aquifers rose, and roads flooded and washed out. And I knew fish are quick to colonize, swimming over the surface of the land in films of standing water into the flow of rivers and streams. Large wetlands just like this one emptied torrents of water down creek channels into permanent lakes and rivers. But now the land was like a sponge drying on the kitchen counter, and what was once a wetland was turning into a mudflat. There was another clue. The sharp odor of the water’s rich productivity and the mudflats’ decomposing matter hung in the warm air. That nutrient-rich water caused a severe bloom of blue-green algae typical of lakes in intensively farmed land – but in winter, I strongly suspected that the shallow water combined with decomposing organic matter would rapidly deplete the oxygen, and fish would suffocate and die. I looked at the creamy white operculum resting in the palm of my hand, and rendered my judgment on the cause of death: winterkill. I know this explanation is likely cor-


rect, but it is very much incomplete. A complete answer would include the effects of water cycles on the wetland hydrology of this great prairie in the middle of North America, and how these wet and dry cycles are driven by the oscillations of El Niño in the far, far Pacific Ocean. Twenty-two years later, I am still inspired by Aldo Leopold, and pay homage to his claim that “the objective is to teach the student to see the land, to understand what he sees, and enjoy what he understands.” This claim includes the opportunity to honor the natural world through acts of quiet contemplation – an essential part of the experiential learning that we champion at Paul Smith’s, and an essential step toward lifelong learning. And as I am inspired by Leopold, I encourage students to be careful observers of the world around them and, wherever they go, be able to hold in the palm of their hands a small piece of the ecology of place, and to contemplate its full story.

» Craig Milewski is an associate

professor in the School of Forestry and Natural Resources. He specializes in fisheries, stream ecology and watershed management.


Sequel | Summer 2011


Out of

the mud, into the lab By LEE ANN SPORN


fall 2008, as I prepared to teach another semester of Biotechnology, I was…bored. The standard approach to this complex, technical course involved textbooks and long labs. I envied my colleagues, who were prepping courses with colorful names such as Stream Ecology and Wetlands Ecosystems; I imagined them leading adventure-seeking students into the field – Indiana Jones look-alikes wearing hip waders and brandishing sedimentcoring devices. That was the ultimate Paul Smith’s experience! And then I thought of my own students trapped inside learning about DNA, the intangible, molecular basis of life. I imagined pale, woeful students, gazing longingly out the window while surrounded by tiny plastic tubes and vials. My course was in need of a serious makeover, I decided. And deep down, I really wanted to get my hands dirty, too! About that time, my friend and colleague Curt Stager waltzed into my classroom. “What’s new with the Queen of DNA?” teased Curt, a fellow professor. “Hey, is there any DNA in mud? Why don’t you look and see?” This was no help. “You can’t bring mud into a DNA lab, silly! It’s too dirty!” I told him, imagining my shiny tools coated in Adirondack filth. But our conversation continued, ideas began to flow, and before long I had the foundation of my next Biotechnology course: mud. When my students assembled for class in the fall, I didn’t hand them a typical syllabus and course outline. Instead, I issued them a challenge we would spend the semester attacking: Could we identify animal species 28

Sequel | Summer 2011

kenneth aaron

ABOVE: Lee Ann Sporn in her laboratory in Freer Science Hall.

that lived in Lower St. Regis Lake more than a century ago simply by analyzing DNA that may remain in the mud? One of the most remarkable, aweinspiring facts about DNA is its ability to carry information. DNA stores information in its molecular structure, much like a file cabinet holds paper files and a hard drive stores bits and bytes. Each molecule of DNA contains an elaborate code, and that within that code is the identity of the organism that carries it. But dumping a file cabinet or hard drive into the sediment of Lower St. Regis Lake would probably ruin that information, and I was hopeful that we could find trace amounts of DNA in the mud. The question became whether we would be able to pull out and analyze those molecules. For all of DNA’s complexity, its basic blocks are fairly simple: just four different letters, which scientists refer to as nucleotides, make up every strand of DNA in the world. It’s the way they’re arranged that makes every organism different. We were going to become DNA archaeologists. If the technique worked, provocative questions could be addressed: When did yellow perch invade Adirondack lakes? Did we once have chestnut trees here? When did acid rain cause lakes, once teeming with life, to become fishless? The process was anything but simple, and we had no guide to follow. This was brand new stuff. But it was exciting, and we all jumped right in. We schemed, we planned, we cored, we sampled, we purified, we measured, and we cursed when things went wrong. We amplified, we cloned, we sequenced, and, best of all, we forgot we were in a class. Meeting times

became irrelevant. Students dropped by the lab at all hours. We were a team, driven by the knowledge that we were the first people to ever take on such an endeavor, and the thought of that was intoxicating. By the time we finished, our semester’s work had been distilled to a list of individual DNA sequences, each about six hundred letters long with no apparent meaning. Each strand, we hoped, held the secret identity of the organism from which it was derived. All that remained was to enter the “strings of letters” into a gigantic database containing all the sequences that science has decoded to date; if any matched, we’d know the identity of the long-since dead and decayed critters whose DNA we had unearthed. I have no doubt that what transpired during that semester, in that class, will remain the most exciting scientific experience of my career. Our hearts raced as we waited the few seconds for the matching game to take place. We were absolutely giddy when our first match was found… then another…and another. Did we get what we expected? Had the experiment worked? The seemingly random chains of letters revealed the identity of crustaceans, mollusks, insects and bivalves! While we were at first confused and disappointed that not all of our sequences yielded matches, the reason for this suddenly became clear: The database was incomplete. Which meant that our small biotech class, so far from the multi-million dollar research institutes, had outpaced science – which would just have to catch up with us! S

» Lee Ann Sporn is an assistant professor in the School of Science, Liberal Arts and Business.

[ alumni life]



Alumni Events


Calendar AUGUST

Alumni Reunion Friday-Sunday, Aug. 5-7

Nancie Battaglia

. Alumni Reunion

Paul Smith’s College Campus


Annual Alumni Association Meeting Saturday, Aug. 6

International Hotel, Motel + Restaurant Show Sat.-Tue., Nov. 12-15

Alumni Clambake Sunday, Aug. 28

Javits Center, New York City Date of alumni reception TBA

Bob’s Trees, Hagaman, N.Y.



28th Annual Spring Career Fair Thursday, March 29, 2012

Brian W. Smith ’95 Memorial Basketball Game October (exact date TBA)

Paul Smith’s College Campus For more info: Deb Dutcher, (518) 327-6082 /

Paul Smith’s College Campus

Fall Career Fair Thursday, Oct. 27


Paul Smith’s College Campus For more info: Deb Dutcher, (518) 327-6082 /

On the Road with the President Fall 2011 & Spring 2012 – Dates TBA President John W. Mills will be hosting alumni receptions in California this fall and Florida next spring – stay tuned for more info, or ask the alumni office for more information!

All dates are tentative and subject to change.

Contact Us » For additional information, please contact: Office of Alumni Relations Phone: (518) 327-6315 Email:

. Career Fair

Greg Nesbit

Sequel | Summer 2011




very year around this time, I can’t help but get a little sentimental. I’m not sure if it’s the change in weather, the graduation celebrations or all the barbeques, but they all seem to rekindle memories of Paul Smith’s. Can you remember Spring Weekend? When you walked across campus, you’d hear music pouring out of dorm windows and see students playing instruments, tossing a Frisbee

or just hanging out. You shared that bond of having all made it through another Adirondack winter, and another semester. Why keep those memories in the past? You can re-live those days every year at Reunion. The entire Alumni Association would love to see you there, from August 5-7. We’ve got some great events planned – you can see a full list at – not to mention our awards


Robert N. Isaacson ’48 is still cutting wood

at 86.

Frederick T. Cook ’49 is retired and enjoy-

ing life. He does some cross-country traveling and works at his house refinishing antique furniture. Frederick is still building toys for his grandchildren.

night, at which we’ll recognize the classes that donated the most money to the college, had the highest percentage of firsttime donors, and had the most participants at Reunion, among other things. Best of all, though, you’ll get to experience that bond that ties all of us alumni together. We know that everyone is not able to attend because of the distance, health or prior commitments. But if you can’t make it, would you consider making a gift to the Annual Fund

nition for Bill Rutherford. Ed would like if all the other “tree guys” would do the same and says that maybe someday Paul Smith’s will be able to provide a small sculpture of a leaning pine in recognition of Bill. He thinks it should be placed in an area on campus where others can also be acknowledged over time and says that gone are landmarks such as the Armpit, Snakepit, and the old gas station that was used as the bookstore, among others.


Robert V. Kramer ’53 is now semi-retired,

all of his classmates, but unfortunately he is unable to because of poor health. It is not possible for him to make it to reunions. He wishes them all good health and prosperity this year.

John W. Manz ’57 has been retired since

Raymond G. Raushi ’52 would like to see

Edward G. Henschel ’53 has reached 80

years of age with no artificial anything (except one tooth). He has been back to the college at least three times and was able to stay once for a few nights at White Pine Camp, but wasn’t able to bowl last time. He said that he always states that he wants his little bit to go to a future recog-

yet still active traveling in Asia and selling forest products to his long-time Japanese clients.

2001 and is living in Seeley Lake, Mont. He is active in forest politics and the Boy Scouts of America. John was honored in 2004 as a distinguished alumnus at the University of Montana College of Forestry and Conservation. He was elected SAF Fellow in 2009. Currently, he is vice president of Area 5 Western Region for the Boy Scouts of America and was awarded the Silver Antelope for distinguished service to youth by the Boy Scouts of America Western Region in 2011.

in honor of your class year? This gift will directly support student scholarships and help open the door to the Paul Smith’s experience for somebody else. I hope to see you at the Reunion and I encourage you to support Paul Smith’s. Until then, enjoy your summer and all those BBQs! Cheers,

Tom Rosol ’74

Donald H. Robbins ’57 says that 2010 has not been a good year due to serious medical problems with him and his wife. William R. “Bill” Dabney ’59 retired to the

New Jersey shore area after 35 years of teaching science. He spends most of his time on the water fishing and teaching wine appreciation courses, organizing wine dinners and traveling to winemaking areas in Europe and South America. When you are in the area, stop in for a fish dinner and a glass of wine.

James V. Stabile ’59 has long retired from

his day job but is still writing Sunday outdoor columns for three New Jersey newspapers. He got a six-point buck on the opening day of his 60th deer season.

W. Jack Ward ’59 is a happy retired teacher

living in Williamsville, N.Y.


Arthur (Gondi) Hanig ’60 earned a B.A. degree in physical education in 1963 and taught in New York City for 36 years. He has


We want to hear from you! Email class notes to, send to PSC Alumni Office, P.O. Box 265, Paul Smiths, NY 12970, or fax to (518) 327-6267. (Pics welcome!) 30

Sequel | Summer 2011

four grandchildren and his wife, Dena, is a retired New York City speech teacher. He retired in 1996. Arthur would like to hear from the guys in the Snakepit from 1960. Edward G. Wallhagen ’60 is working

part time as the Ramah Navajo Chapter Forester in New Mexico. Alan J. Aitken ’61 hopes to make

the class of 1961’s 50th class reunion this summer. Diane E. (Shetler ’61) Aitken is now

living in Arizona. She would love to visit with former classmates and says to call her if you are in the area! Her number is (818) 4382450. You can also send her an email at Salvatore A. Cozzolino ’61 hopes to

attend his 50th Reunion this year.

Donald M. Schramm ’61 retired after 36

retired from Weyerhaeuser Wood Products in Longview, Wash. He is still touring on his bicycle big-time and wants to know if anyone would like to join him. This summer he’ll be in Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin, mostly camping. James C. Corbett ’66 is retiring from

been driving Kenworth diesels across the country for Swift Trucking out of Reserve, N.M., since October. Fred stayed with Frank while on his way to visit some relatives in Vermont. Madison M. Cannon ’65 and Dianna Allen (Jan Allen ’66's widow) visited with Frank last summer. He also chatted with William H. Snow ’66, who is still dabbling in forest products heavy equipment out of Henderson, Texas.

William B. “Bill” Botti ’62 writes that he

Stephen S. Shannon ’66 and his wife,

retired from the state of Michigan 14 years ago. He left one job and picked up two more as a forestry consultant and executive director of the Michigan Forest Association. He is still growing Christmas trees! Bill is planning to attend Reunion 2012 if he can get the time off. Floyd K. Hopper ’62 retired in 1999

after 32 years as a science teacher.

Carlton R. Johnson ’62 is sorry that he

missed Reunion last year. He attended his 50th high school reunion that was held at about the same time.

R. Kenneth Blair ’64 has been involved

in food service management of all sorts ever since graduating Paul Smith’s College in 1964. Kenneth retired on Sept. 10, 2010. Gary A. Foote ’64 had a busy year that

included taking three cruises, a two-week trip to Egypt, and another two-week trip to Tunisia. He said that the trips to Egypt and Tunisia were great. He is going to try to make it to Russia this year.

Arthur R. Birkmeyer ’65 is happy to be

Paul M. Haertel ’76 to Linda on

March 11, 2007.

Jill A. Piskorz ’96 to Scott E. Fonte ’99 on June 12, 2010.

on July 3, 2010.

Frank B. Lesniewski ’66 recently spoke with Frederick Stephens ’66. Fred has

Michael A. Rechlin ’66 recently made


John D. McLean ’02 to Trisha Wickwire

government service after 36½ years.

years with the federal Bureau of Land Management in Wyoming. He is now the land manager for Rock Springs Grazing Association. Don owns and leases 2 million acres in southwest Wyoming. It is open range land that has wildlife, sheep, wild horses, oil and gas from the historic Union Pacific Railroad Land Grant.

Trail markers

the move from southern Illinois to eastern West Virginia. He took a job as dean of the Future Generations Graduate School. The school offers a master’s degree in applied community change and conservation to an international student body of professional development workers.

BIRTHS To JaeAna and Greg Bernhardt ’93, son, Jacob Lee, on June 24, 2010. To Randalee and Daniel N. Palladino ’94, son, Nico David, on Aug. 28, 2010. To Coby and David Hunt ’95, son, Gregory John Paul, on April 20, 2010. To Amy (Horridge ’00) and Stephen Mitschke, identical twin daughters, Lauren and Claire, in January 2011.

DEATHS Richard J. Bassett ’48 on April 29 in

Chittenango, N.Y.

Charles W. Snyder ’49 on April 28 in

Syracuse, N.Y.

Claire, have been married for 45 years. He sends greetings to his Delta Alpha Phi brothers. Steve says that Paul Smith’s College will always have a special place in his heart! You can email him at

Don F. Adams ’49 on Jan. 3 in Santa

John K. Wiediger ’66 retired from Penn-

in Springville, N.Y.

Claus, Ind.

Robert S. McKillip ’52 on March 5 in

Saranac Lake.

Charles Deck ’56 on March 28, 2007,

sylvania State Parks in 2005 after 36 years. He is still enjoying every day.

Gunther B. Katz ’56 on Feb. 13 in Los

Robert J. “Bob” Casper ’67 retired on

William T. “Bill” Dugan ’57 on Dec.

June 4 after a career of nine years as an Army helicopter pilot, a few years as an air traffic controller until the strike, and 28 years of teaching English and math. Bob and his wife, Tove, plan to travel, visit the family and spend some time volunteering.

24, 2010, in Madison, Ga.

Lawrence J. Carew ’57 on May 11 in

Livingston, N.J.

Spencer Field ’57 on April 29, 2010,

in South Royalton, Vt.

William R. “Bill” Carr ’59 on April

Robert T. Escheman ’67 visited Paul

Smith’s College this past spring for the first time since the mid-1980s. He said that he had forgotten how beautiful the area is and that the campus is certainly looking different. Bob also said that the new library and student center are stunning.

11, in Niagara Falls, N.Y.

Robert C. Goodeve ’61 on July 9,

2009, in Syracuse, N.Y.

Stewart R. “Stew” Kidder ’64 on

Nov. 24, 2010, in Berne, N.Y.

Raymond T. Schabot ’64 on Dec. 10,

2010, in Kingston, N.Y.

Carroll S. (Skeels ’67) MacDowell

retired after 38 years as a flight attendant from US Airways. She is now a licensed

Angeles, Calif.


Stephen H. Bonner ’65 on March 7

in Paonia, Colo.


Sequel | Summer 2011



Trail markers DEATHS Linda J. McKibben ’66 on Sept. 28,

2009, in Rochester, N.Y.

Patricia K. Keezell ’67 on May 13,

2010, in Cary, N.C.

Frank T. Tripi ’67 on Feb. 6 in

Colorado Springs, Colo.

Gary J. Augenthaler ’72 on Aug. 25,


Allan M. Dorfman ’72 on April 1 in

Cave Creek, Arizona.

Barbara K. White ’74 on April 4 In

Lansing, N.Y.

Randall W. Tyler ’75 on Oct. 19,

2007, in Bath, N.Y.

David J. Colburn ’75 on April 16 in

Kensington, Conn.

Glenn Perry ’77 on April 29 in Hilliard,


Gregory Couture ’78 on Jan. 15 in

Lexington, S.C.

Charles H. Wohlers ’79 on Nov. 24,

2010, in Charlotte, N.C.

Stuart S. “Scott” Pickrell ’81 on

Oct. 2, 2010, in Knoxville, Tenn.

E. Donald Davis ’85 on May 8 in

Syracuse, N.Y.

Jon-Kenneth “Jake” Hayden ’03 on

Jan. 28 in Fairfield, Ohio.

Donald D. Drouin Sr., former dean, on

April 27 in Sebring, Fla.

C. Convers Goddard, trustee emeritus,

on Dec. 12, 2010, in Calistoga, Calif. Henry James “Harry” Purchase,

former faculty, on April 9, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

associate real estate broker with Warren Real Estate in Ithaca, N.Y.

would like to say “hi” to all of his classmates in the forestry program from 1973.

Michael G. Shaw ’68 retired two years

Michael S. Dalton ’74 is in his 12th year

ago from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation after 30 years of service. He is enjoying woodworking, photography and traveling.


C. Pierce Johnson ’70 was presented

with the first 40-year service award for volunteering at the NRA National Rifle and Pistol Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio, last July. A plaque was presented to Pierce at the volunteer banquet in the Camp Perry Clubhouse. The National Matches have been held at Camp Perry for over 100 years. Clarence “Chuck” Trudeau ’70 writes

of a caribou hunt in Ungava Peninsula in Quebec, Canada, that was beautiful, with nature at its best. Scott L. Rishel ’71 will retire in December,

having spent 13 years with Finch Pruyn Co. and 27 years with International Paper at mills in Corinth and Ticonderoga, N.Y. He plans on doing more fishing, canoeing, hiking (he is an Adirondack 46er, #3108W), partridge hunting, reading, and traveling with his wife, Margaret, who retired from Verizon in 2010. He has two grown children, one black lab and a yellow tabby cat. He still resides in Queensbury, N.Y., and loves the Adirondacks! Jay S. Witlen ’71 is in Fort Collins, Colo.

of 2009 after more than 32 years with the National Park Service. Since 1990, Doug served as the North Country Area fire management officer for Acadia National Park and 12 other National Park Service units in northern New England and northern New York State. Doug and his wife, Nancy, continue to reside in the coastal Downeast area of Maine where they keep busy making maple syrup and apple cider, fishing, hunting, training their new bird dog and doing anything else that strikes their fancy. Their daughter Mary is working as a seasonal park ranger at Acadia National Park while pursuing a master’s degree in photojournalism. Their son Joshua is currently in college studying business administration after completing a four-year enlistment in the United States Marine Corps, where he served as a rifleman and was deployed twice to Iraq and once to Afghanistan. Joseph H. Finan ’75 and his wife, Mary,

recently became grandparents. He is superintendent of Saratoga National Historical Park and invites all alumni to come visit!

Emanuel Mulle ’75 is living and working

Earl S. Hitchcock Jr. ’72 writes that he

police lieutenant after serving more than 32 years for the city of Clifton, N.J. He finally got married to his wonderful wife, Linda, in March 2007. He is still an avid fisherman who fishes both fresh and saltwater. Paul would like his old friends to contact him on Facebook or at

continues to serve as president of Tri-Lakes Home Medical Equipment Inc. in Saranac Lake. There are additional offices in Malone, Massena, and Plattsburgh. of service on August 31, 2010, from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. He was a Forester III and GIS section chief. Joseph C. Hunter ’73 said that his hotel

was just voted as one of the top 25 hotels in the U.S. by They were ranked 23rd out of over 150,000 hotels.

Christopher C. Kennick ’73 is still log-

ging in Massachusetts. He occasionally gets to Maine to see his good friend, Calvin K. Innes ’73, and his wife, Marilyn. Chris

Sequel | Summer 2011

Douglas C. Jones ’74 retired at the end

He celebrated 31 years in business in February. He would love to hear from the Class of ‘71 if you are ever in Colorado.

Kurt C. Swartz ’72 retired after 34 years


at Berkshire School in Sheffield, Mass. He directs the Ritt Kellogg Mountain program, runs the school’s maple syrup production and teaches biology and forest ecology. Mike’s son, Sean, is also a Paul Smith’s College alumnus.

in South Florida.

Paul M. Haertel ’76 has retired as a

John J. Broadbin ’78 would like to

extend a warm holiday greeting to all his fellow Smitties! Michael J. Ditchfield ’79 has been teach-

ing culinary arts and hospitality management at the Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport, Pa. He also teaches Regional American Cuisine, Catering, Butchering, and Advanced Dining Room Management. Frederick W. Becker ’80 is the school dean. Mike keeps in touch with Timothy H. Eldridge ’79 and Charles A. Wise ’79,

> Michael “Mik” Mikulan ’66 wants

to host a reunion-at-Reunion of all former residents of Dorm 1, aka “The Plantation.” He writes: “My challenge to all former residents is to gather up all photos, artifacts, histories, letters of reprimand, etc., and we can put together a few hours of nostalgia. Contact me at Dorm 1 was, and will remain, a central part of PSC’s legend and legacy, and all are welcome to gather and celebrate that past experience.”

and recently heard from Michael G. “Levi” Strouss ’80. Mike has two granddaughters.

He does tree work and builds rustic furniture with his son, which he says he must have gotten from hanging out with the Stumpies. He says to stop by Trout Run sometime.


Kelly Buck ’80 bought a house in Auburn,

N.Y., and is enjoying her job as director of marketing and development at a local non-profit. Her daughter Stephanie is studying abroad near Amsterdam this spring. Margaret R. “Meg” Kenny ’81 writes that she can’t believe it has been 30 years. She doesn’t know if she can make to the Reunion weekend, but would love to hear from friends. She says that all is well here on Cape Cod! You can email her at Sheila K. (Sibley ’81) and Ian Warden ’80 write that Ian continues his land managing

at Fort Drum, N.Y., and Sheila still drives the school bus for Gouverneur, N.Y., even though the girls are all grown! She also manages her small farm raising chickens, pigs, and lambs, as well as selling turkey eggs and vegetables. All animals are humanely raised. Please contact if interested in purchasing. Elizabeth, who is 27, continues doing home health care in Watertown, N.Y. Katherine, who is 24, is still in Fresno, Calif. She received her master’s degree in forensic psychology and is now pursuing her Ph.D. Christine is 20 and is currently in Brisbane, Australia, doing a semester of study there to complete her junior year of college. She will continue at SUNY-Geneseo for her senior year. Brad L. VanPatten ’82 received his master’s

degree from St. Lawrence University in May 2010. His family is doing well and he writes that his daughters Willow and Kaya are 13 and 11.

John P. McMillin ’83 is an arborist represen-

tative/arborist with Bartlett Tree Experts in Delaware. He and his wife have a farm with three horses, two dogs, two goats, one cat and some chickens. He would love to hear from others from the Class of ‘83.

Matthew J. Brenon ’85 sends his thanks

to all who jammed with the band at Reunion last year. Lloyd Jala, Moose Mavas, and Dean VanAlstyne are all amazing musicians. Matt hopes to do it again this year.

Todd Anthony ’88 says that he is living in Wilmington, N.Y., three miles from Whiteface. It is pretty hard to get to work on a powder day. David M. Goodman ’89 has been promoted to the position of controller at the DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton in Burlington, Vt. He joined the hotel in 2001 as staff accountant and currently manages the financial aspects of the hotel and Trader Duke’s restaurant, including forecasting and budgeting. David, who graduated with a degree in hotel & restaurant management, is a native of Albany, N.Y. He is a volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America.


Laura A. Duncan ’93 graduated from Plattsburgh State with a bachelor’s degree in social work in May 2009. She is working for Adirondack Medical Center and also at Uihlein in Lake Placid. She lives in Lake Clear with her partner, Michele, when not on the Upper Lake.


Allison J. (Pastore ’02) Smith is married to Christopher Smith. She has four children, and one due on Christmas Day. She and Christopher own a photography company, Danielle J. Dorfer ’05 has been awarded the 2010 NBCC Foundation Rural Scholarship. The $3,000 scholarship is awarded to counseling students who commit to serving in rural and underserved areas upon graduation. Danielle is currently a student at SUNY-Plattsburgh pursuing a master’s degree in mental health counseling. Danielle has embraced the wilderness of her area and uses it as a therapeutic tool in her role within a community program to serve at-risk adolescents; she plans to continue serving her community as a counselor and offer services that address issues prevalent in her town, such as unemployment and addiction.

been a licensed arborist for the past 15 years living in Southbury, Conn., with two teenage kids, three dogs and two ferrets. He started as a tree climbing competitor in 2005 in Connecticut and New England.

Jennalee Bramer ’10 recently moved to Winter Park, Fla., and is looking to start her career. If there are any Paul Smith’s alums who would like a very hard-working fellow Paul Smith’s graduate to work with, please contact Jennalee at (518) 651-4744 or by emailing her at

Karin (Oosterling ’92) Sonnen says hello to the LMS girls of ‘91 and the Essex boys of ‘92 and all you soccer players in both years! Life is good at the end of the road. She is staying busy chasing her three kids, studying lichen, and catching big fish. If any of her old buddies are in Alaska, look her up!

Joshua L. Kush ’10 was hired as assistant property manager of Morgan-Monroe State Forest in Martinsville, Ind., in fall 2010. It is a division of the Department of Natural Resources for the state of Indiana. His duties are split between property management/recreation and forestry.

Brian D. Carpenter ’91 writes that he has

Sequel | Summer 2011



[1] ? Start with an envelope of sugar snap pea seeds; soak seeds overnight in water.

/ Lay down a bed of soil 3-4 inches deep. Here, Zagrobelny uses a 10-by24-inch pan. Pat the seeds into the soil; do not bury them. Spray with water until moist, then cover with a loose layer of plastic wrap or the transparent lid that came with the tray.


Adirondack growing season is achingly short. Unless, of course, you do your planting inside. S. Jill Zagrobelny ’11, a May baking and pastry arts graduate, shows how you can plant pea seeds and harvest the greens yearround to add to soups, salads and more. – Text & PHOTOS by KENNETH AARON

[4] 34

Sequel | Summer 2011

. Hey, cool! They’re growing! Look for shoots

[2] [3]

after a week, though the plants really take off around the two-week mark.

> Check in daily to make sure the peas are moist and water when necessary. The seeds should germinate in just a few days. Keep covered for 1-2 weeks (unless mold starts growing on the seeds; discard any moldy ones).


> After about three weeks, you’ll be able to harvest some greens to use in recipes. If you want full-grown peas, you’ll have to wait another month and a half. / Snip the greens from the top of the plant; they will regrow.



/ For the final step, you’ll need to convince Jill to come to your house and make a four-course lunch. (She is available for catering.) Failing that, here are two recipes using your new greens.

Spring Pea Soup with Minted Cream

Spring Pea Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

Servings: 4 Recipe from S. Jill Zagrobelny

Servings: 4 Recipe from S. Jill Zagrobelny

INGREDIENTS: C 3 tablespoons olive oil C 1 clove garlic, minced C ½ cup shallots, minced C ½ cup onion, minced C ½ cup diced celery C 2 tablespoons fresh thyme C 2 cups chicken (or vegetable) stock

SPICE BLEND: C 1 tablespoon brown sugar C 1 tablespoon kosher salt C 1 teaspoon coriander C 1 teaspoon cumin C 1 teaspoon black pepper C 1 teaspoon smoked paprika C 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder

C 8 cups frozen baby peas

C ½ teaspoon cayenne

C1  tablespoon cajun spice blend

Mix all ingredients and store in an airtight container.

(see below) C Minted cream (see below) C Pea tendrils Procedure:

Add first five ingredients to a 4-quart pot and lightly sauté until onions are translucent. Add thyme, stock and peas. Bring mixture to a boil, then quickly turn down and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and blend. Pour back into pot on low heat and add 1 tablespoon spice blend, salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and add a drizzle of minted cream and garnish with pea tendrils.

MINTED CREAM: C 1 cup heavy cream C ½ cup roughly chopped fresh mint

Heat mixture over medium heat until small bubbles form around the edge of the pot. Remove from heat and let mixture steep for at least 10 minutes. Strain and reserve for use.

INGREDIENTS: C 1 handful greens per person, washed and dried C ¼ cup toasted pecans C ½ cup snow peas, washed and trimmed C ½ cup diced mangos C Croutons C Pea tendrils C½  cup crumbled

bleu cheese

MAPLE DRESSING: C2  tablespoons apple

cider vinegar

C 2 tablespoons maple syrup C 1 tablespoon finely diced shallots C 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard C 6 tablespoons good-quality olive oil


Whisk first four ingredients until well blended, then slowly pour in the olive oil. Combine greens, pecans, peas and mangos, and add to dressing; toss with tongs and serve. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with croutons, pea tendrils and bleu cheese.

Sequel | Summer 2011


Sequel Magazine P.O. Box 265, Paul Smiths, NY 12970-0265

Non-profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Lynchburg Va Permit No. 215

Change Service Requested



Point, in



harley Thomas ‘68 dropped us a line asking if we wanted this glass slide of the old Paul Smith’s Hotel, taken from the Point, for our archives. Neil Surprenant, our resident historian, took one look and said it was a shot he’d never seen. Here’s what Thomas had to say about the slide: “My father gave me this glass slide. He passed away in 1982. He purchased it at a garage sale; I don’t know where or when, but he said it was in a box with many other items. If I recall, he said it was the only thing in the box related to Paul Smith’s. I have worked in many restaurants and owned two of my own. After I sold my last restaurant I went to work for a food distributor but was laid off because of the economy. I found the slide while cleaning out a cupboard; I had actually forgotten about it. Being laid off does have its advantages: I would not have been spring cleaning if I was working.” » Do you have a Paul Smith’s-related photo, artifact or other item with a story behind it? Share! Drop a line to

Sequel (Summer '11)  

The magazine of Paul Smith's College. Published twice yearly.

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