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Poultney, VT, United States

Green Mountain College is a coeducational private environmental liberal arts college located in Poultney, Vermont, in the USA.Green Mountain is located in the Vermont countryside, at the foot of the Taconic Mountains between the Green Mountains and Adirondacks.The college has a core set of courses known as the Environmental Liberal Arts curriculum, in environmental and natural science, writing, reading, history and philosophy. Wikipedia.

Mulder K.,Green Mountain College | Hagens N.,University of Vermont | Fisher B.,Princeton University
Ambio | Year: 2010

While various energy-producing technologies have been analyzed to assess the amount of energy returned per unit of energy invested, this type of comprehensive and comparative approach has rarely been applied to other potentially limiting inputs such as water, land, and time. We assess the connection between water and energy production and conduct a comparative analysis for estimating the energy return on water invested (EROWI) for several renewable and non-renewable energy technologies using various Life Cycle Analyses. Our results suggest that the most water-efficient, fossil-based technologies have an EROWI one to two orders of magnitude greater than the most water-efficient biomass technologies, implying that the development of biomass energy technologies in scale sufficient to be a significant source of energy may produce or exacerbate water shortages around the globe and be limited by the availability of fresh water. © Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2010. Source

Landesman W.J.,University of Maryland Center for Environmental science | Landesman W.J.,Green Mountain College | Nelson D.M.,University of Maryland Center for Environmental science | Fitzpatrick M.C.,University of Maryland Center for Environmental science
Soil Biology and Biochemistry | Year: 2014

A challenge in ecology and biogeography is to understand the drivers of the composition and distribution of biological communities. Environmental factors (especially pH) and dispersal limitation are thought to exert the primary controls on the composition of soil bacterial communities. However, quantifying their relative importance remains difficult because of analytical uncertainties. For example, the relationship between bacterial community composition and soil pH, which is often nonlinear, is typically evaluated with a linear test and without accounting for variability in rates of turnover along environmental gradients. Furthermore, potential drivers of variation in soil pH, and therefore bacterial community composition, are not commonly analyzed during microbial biogeographical studies. To address these issues we collected 700 soil samples across multiple spatial scales from beneath four late-successional tree species within 12 forests in the eastern United States. We performed high-throughput sequencing of 16S rDNA amplicons and measured soil properties thought to influence soil bacterial composition. Generalized Dissimilarity Modeling, a non-linear form of matrix regression, indicated that geographic distance and soil properties explained 77.3% of the deviance in turnover in overall bacterial community composition. However, only 2.1% of the explained deviance was attributable to geographic distance, indicating little contribution of dispersal limitation to bacterial ß-diversity across scales of ~1.7m to >1000km. Although 81.7% of the explained deviance in overall bacterial composition was attributable to soil properties, particularly soil pH, the magnitude and rate of compositional turnover varied among bacterial families across the pH gradient. The ß-diversity of three dominant families (Bradyrhizobiaceae, Hyphomicrobiaceae and Burkholderia) was explained by neither soil properties nor geographic distance. Differences in soil pH between certain tree species likely led to distinct bacterial communities at several sites. Thus, shifts in soil pH, potentially as the result of shifts in tree composition, will likely have important consequences for the composition of soil bacterial communities. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Park J.,Green Mountain College
Sustainability (United States) | Year: 2014

With the threats posed by climate change and water/natural resource shortages intensifying around the world, finding ways to meet basic human needs without exhausting our finite resource base is imperative. As a result, there has been an increasing call for higher education institutions and their leaders to design and develop sustainability-related educational and career pathways to meet these challenges. Part 1 of this article examines the three types of disruptive changes confronting higher education institutions, while Part 2 of this article (April, 2014) will explain how the challenges of disruptive change can be more effectively addressed through greater resiliency. Source

Higgs E.,University of Victoria | Falk D.A.,University of Arizona | Guerrini A.,Oregon State University | Hall M.,University of Zurich | And 6 more authors.
Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment | Year: 2014

In the face of rapid environmental and cultural change, orthodox concepts in restoration ecology such as historical fidelity are being challenged. Here we re-examine the diverse roles played by historical knowledge in restoration, and argue that these roles remain vitally important. As such, historical knowledge will be critical in shaping restoration ecology in the future. Perhaps the most crucial role in shifting from the present version of restoration ecology ("v1.0") to a newer formulation ("v2.0") is the value of historical knowledge in guiding scientific interpretation, recognizing key ecological legacies, and influencing the choices available to practitioners of ecosystem intervention under conditions of open-ended and rapid change. © The Ecological Society of America. Source

Fesmire S.,Green Mountain College
Environmental Ethics | Year: 2010

Environmental thinkers recognize that ecological thinking has a vital role to play in many wise choices and policies; yet, little theoretical attention has been given to developing an adequate philosophical psychology of the imaginative nature of such thinking. Ecological imagination is an outgrowth of our more general deliberative capacity to perceive, in light of possibilities for thinking and acting, the relationships that constitute any object. Such imagination is of a specifically ecological sort when key metaphors, images, symbols, and the like used in the ecologies shape the mental simulations we use to deliberate-i.e., when these interpretive structures shape what John Dewey calls our "dramatic rehearsals." There is an urgent practical need to cultivate ecological imagination, and an equally practical need to make theoretical sense of the imaginative dimension of ecological reflection. Source

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