EnviroLunch Series

The EnviroLunch Series is a bi-weekly gathering for students, faculty, and staff to learn about current environmental topics and innovative practices…. From how to raise backyard chickens and cutting edge faculty research to the effects of climate change on Maine’s wildlife and student leadership experiences… Come join us for lunch and more!

All are welcome to attend. Participants can go to Commons (say “EnviroLunch” at the door) and bring their lunch to NC rm 221. No RSVP necessary. Sponsored by the Office of Sustainability and the Environmental Studies program.



Coming soon!



FALL 2014

Sept 11
Innovative technology meets the traditional New England dairy farm
Dan Bell and Greg Williams, Agri-Cycle Energy

Sept 25
Student Stories from the Field (part I)
Environmental Activism in Local Communities: Fighting Tar Sands in South Portland – Jordan Becker
Ranching and Holistic Management at The Nature Conservancy’s Zapata Ranch – Caroline Caldwell
Fundraising Development at the Safe Water Network – Becky Culp

Oct 9
Green Building and the Passive House Standard, the future of cold climate construction in North America
Matt O’Malia, Architect and owner of G-O Logics.

Nov 6
From Death Strip to Lifeline: The Ecological Transformation of Germany’s Cold War Border
Sonja Pieck, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies

Nov 20
Student Stories from the Field (part II)
Cities at the Forefront of a Sustainable Future – Philip Dube
Wildlife Care at Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm – Tommy Fitzgerald
A State Park Summer – Sarah Stanley

Dec 4
ENVR. 417 project presentations:
What Makes a Meaningful Carbon Offset?
The True Cost of Energy
Removing Barriers to Recycling at Bates


Jan 30
Student Stories from the Field (part I):

Growing Organic Food and Communities – Megan Lubetkin ‘16
As an Agricultural Leadership Apprentice at “The Farm,” a program of the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps, farmer-videographer-photographer Megan Lubetkin ’16 raised not only produce and livestock, but also awareness of the Farm’s programs.

Behind the Scenes of Environmental Education and Campaigns – Nicole Danser ‘15
Nicole spent her summer learning how to run a successful and educational NGO, focusing on the strategies environmental campaigns use today as well as their success rate.

Feb 13
Light bulbs 101: “An inquiry into the physics, aesthetics and practicality of light sources”
John Smedley, Professor of Physics

Feb 27
Student Stories from the Field (part II):

Municipal Divestment in the Pacific Northwest –  Hally Bert ‘14
Over the last year sustainability-minded municipalities have been embracing and exploring the idea of fossil fuel divestment, I will share the complexities of the movement and the cooperation that is taking place in the Pacific Northwest.

TBA – Akachukwu Obi ‘15

TBA – Zuhayr Reaz ‘16

Mar 13
Bee Keeping: What it takes to get going in beekeeping and to have an apiary
Carol Cottrill, President, Maine State Beekeepers Association

Mar 27

May 1
Stanton Environmental Award Banquet               



Sept 12

Bates Dining: A National Leader in Sustainability
Cheryl Lacy, Director of Dining

Long recognized for its sustainable practices, Bates Dining recently went from a 2-star to a 3-star Green Restaurant Association rating. The improved rating puts Bates in rarefied company; only five other U.S. colleges or universities boast 3-star ratings, and Bates is the only one in Maine. Join us to learn more about the cutting edge initiatives Dining has implemented.

Sept 26

Vermicomposting: Learn how to use a worm bin for indoor food composting
Bridgette Bartlett, Lots to Gardens

Turn your food scraps into nutrient-rich soil with the help of worms!  A worm bin is a great way to compost in an office, home, or apartment. As a bonus you can also grow your own worms for fishing and/or create your own garden fertilizer. Come learn how to set up and maintain a worm bin.

Oct 10

Exploring Sámi Reindeer Herding in Northern Norway
Allie Balter ‘14, Otis Fellow

Imagine spending two months living with a Sámi reindeer herding family in Arctic Norway. Allie will share her experience participating in the family’s herding practices and observing how their traditional relationship to the land is being overrun by a modern lifestyle.

Oct 24

Student Stories from the Field part I:

Summer at the E-Waste Warehouse – Rebecca Culp ‘15
This summer, Becky worked for the Lower East Side Ecology Center, where she spent time sorting electronic waste and organizing a vintage “prop shop” at their E-Waste Warehouse in Brooklyn.

Mindfulness in Farming: My Summer at Nezinscot – Ashleen O’Brien ‘15
Ashleen spent the summer living and working on a small family farm, which reshaped her conception of what it means to be political and how she looks at living on earth.

Water Economics and Innovation – Brittany Reid ‘15
A presentation on the many aspects of water pricing, water policy, and water industry clusters within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Nov 7

Student Stories from the Field part II:

Protecting endangered shorebirds– Sarah Mae Silverberg ‘15
Sarah worked for the Rhode Island Nature Conservancy to protect plovers and terns.

Energy Solutions for Homes – Nicole Brill ‘15
Nicki worked for Soluxe Energy Solutions learning how home energy audits work and spearheading the company’s social media outreach. 

Ups & Downs of Environmental Non-Profit Work: A Summer at DC Greenworks – Jeynaba Diallo ‘15
Jeyna spent the summer working at a small non-profit in Washington, DC called DC Greenworks. She’ll talk about what she learned about the struggles that come with running a non-profit organization.

Nov 21

Ocean Planning in New England – Can Fishermen and Coastal Communities Benefit from this Process?
Nick Battista, Marine Programs Director, Island institute

Dec 5

Making a dent in fossil fuels – what is it going to take?
Josh Henry, PhD, founder Maine Sustainable Energy Fund

Over the past decade renewable energies have basically reached cost parity with fossil fuels and yet it has done little to change our national dependence on fossil fuels. This talk discusses the factors holding renewables back and a new program aimed at addressing these problems in Maine.



January 31

Open-Pit Mining in Maine?
Nick Bennett, Natural Resources Council of Maine

For the first time in decades, out-of-state mining companies are considering mining for copper, zinc, and other metals in Maine. This could have huge environmental consequences for some of Maine’s most pristine and treasured natural areas. Come hear Nick Bennett, Staff Scientist at NRCM speak about the risks and impacts of open-pit mining.

February 14
EPA’s Documerica Project
Jeanethe Falvey, Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA

From 1971-1977 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hired photographers to capture images relating to the environment and everyday life in a project called “Documerica.”  The U.S. National Archives digitized more than 15,000 photographs from the series. Since then, EPA has challenged people to take updated photos in honor of Earth Day. Come see images and hear about EPA’s newest State of the Environment project.

February 28
Student Adventures from the Field:
Alison Bennett (’13), Otis Environmental Internship
Tianhen (Hank) Geng (’13), Otis Environmental Internship
Danielle Morris (’13), Feldman Environmental Internship

Alison worked as an interpretative intern at the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Massachusetts. Hank worked as a marketing intern for the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center in Holderness, New Hampshire, and Danya interned with Refugee Response in Cleveland, Ohio to develop an English language curriculum. Come hear about their summer experiences.

March 14
Solar Energy and Creative Financing at Unity
Jesse Pyles, Sustainability Coordinator, Unity College

Unity College partnered with ReVision Energy to bring a significant solar energy project to its campus in September. The 37 kW, 144-panel solar photovoltaic array is expected to produce more than 80% of the library’s previous average annual demand. Come hear about how Unity financed the project through an innovative power purchase agreement.

March 28
Portland’s first CSF – Community Supported Fishery
Justine Simon, Salt & Sea

Salt & Sea, Portland’s first community supported fishery (CSF) works with local fishermen to deliver fresh, Gulf of Maine fish to members while maintaining and promoting healthy stock levels. Modeled along the popular community supported agriculture model, CSF members prepay for their shares, and receive fish on a weekly basis throughout their membership period.


A semester-long look at climate change

January 26
Sea level rise, oceans, and fisheries
Bev Johnson, Associate Professor of Geology and Aslaug Asgeirsdottir, Associate Professor of Politics

February  9
The Earth’s surface temperature, and efforts to slow its growth
John Smedley, Professor of Physics

John will present about recent efforts to estimate the Earth’s average surface temperature with greater precision and new developments in energy science/ technology that improve reliability while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

March 1
The Psychology of Climate Change: Anxiety and resilience
Laura Sewall, Director of the Morse Mountain Conservation Area & Shortridge Coastal Center


March 15
Maine’s Oil Dependency; Biomass as a Sustainable Solution
William Strauss, PhD

Three quarters of Maine homes use #2 oil for heating. It adds up to about 300 million gallons of heating oil per year; about $720 million being exported because 78% of every dollar spent on heating oil leaves the Maine economy. Join us for a discussion of biomass as a sustainable alternative.

March 22
The Psychology of Climate Change: Anxiety and resilience
Laura Sewall, Director of the Morse Mountain Conservation Area & Shortridge Coastal Center

March 29
The Impacts of Climate Change on Maine’s Fish and Wildlife Resources
Ron Joseph, recently retired U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist

Climate change conjures up images of melting arctic ice packs and stranded polar bears. In Maine, the impacts of climate change are less dramatic but no less disturbing.  Moose, Canada lynx, eastern brook trout and many other iconic Maine species may disappear by the end of the century as global temperatures rise.

April 5
Evaluating Our Potential: From Biomass to Renewable Energy on Campus and Green Power Students from Prof Dellachiesa’s Energy Economics class present group projects