Divesting: Carleton’s time is now

Carletonian - Fri, 02/14/2020 - 12:36am

Carleton is committed to a sustainable future, and the College’s website says so:

“Carleton’s official colors might be maize and blue, but look around campus and you’ll be seeing green.”

The College has made great strides toward its 2011 commitment to be carbon-free by 2050. Several halls on campus have Leadership in Environmental Energy and Design (LEED) certifications, we’re partially wind-powered, and most recently, Carleton installed its geothermal well system, which aims for a 35–40 percent decrease in carbon emissions from the College’s central plant. Whereas these actions all indicate an impressive momentum toward a fossil-free Carleton, there exists a weak link in the chain: our endowment. There is a national momentum building on college campuses in favor of removing fossil fuel from endowments. This act is called divesting, and it is specifically targeted toward the top-200 fossil fuel companies. This figure is composed of the top 100 coal companies and the top 100 natural gas and oil companies worldwide. These rankings are based on emissions potential from companies’ reported reserves. The number of institutions making firm commitments to divest is increasing, and some of them are quite similar to Carleton. On May 4, 2019, several Carleton alumni noted in The Carletonian that “College of the Atlantic, Warren Wilson, Northland, Pitzer, Lewis and Clark, Whitman, and most recently Middlebury” had all made such commitments. Last fall, Smith college joined the list, and our neighbors at St. Olaf are pushing for a similar shift, and so have larger institutions, including Syracuse University, and recently, Georgetown University. This past month, the student body presidents of Big 10 universities unanimously passed a resolution calling upon their institutions to take the same action. For years, Divest Carleton has sought a similar commitment from our Board of Trustees: a freeze on new fossil fuel investments in Carleton’s portfolio and divestment from direct ownership and from any commingled funds that include fossil-fuel public equities and corporate bonds. It is our firm belief that the time to take such action has never been better

The Carleton endowment consists of several main types of investment, the most accessible of which is our direct holdings. Namely, this portion of the endowment entails a more straightforward relationship between investors and firms. In 2015, the Carleton Responsible Investment Committee highlighted that fossil fuels composed approximately 3.2% of the direct holdings or 0.54% of the total endowment at the time. That number has since dropped to zero, meaning that Carleton currently does not possess direct holdings in fossil fuels. This marks great progress. Regrettably, though, there is a critical factor that inhibits Divest Carleton from recognizing the direct holdings as being clean: we are aware of no commitment made by the trustees to not reinvest in fossil fuels.

Carleton students currently matriculate from 42 countries and all 50 states. As anthropogenic climate issues proliferate both domestically and internationally, it stands to reason that many Carls’ homes may already be facing the negative consequences. As a whole, the fossil fuel industry has engaged in egregious behaviors, which range from negligence toward indigenous peoples in the path of their pipelines to active efforts to suppress the truth about climate. In effect, profits from the fossil fuel industry are blood money. Divest Carleton finds that the financial support of these harmful corporations contradicts the conscientiousness and global engagement that Carleton stands for. The college mission explains that our institution seeks to “prepare its graduates to become citizens and leaders, capable of finding inventive solutions to local, national, and global challenges.” Our investment portfolio ought to walk the talk.

When reflecting on the history of college investments, it is noteworthy that Carleton hesitated to completely divest from apartheid-era South African companies. In reflecting on the collapsing apartheid regime, divestment is seen as having been effective. Divest Carleton believes that our institution still has the option to help lead the fossil fuel divestment movement, not to simply follow. We suspect that fossil fuel companies are unlikely to be the only blue-chip stock in our direct holdings, indicated by their small percentage of the 2015 endowment.
We foresee divestment being particularly influential for two reasons: cumulative economic impact and public image. With respect to cumulative economic impact, states that 1,184 institutions are currently committed to divestment. While the effect of Carleton divesting is small in isolation, it is far more imposing when attached to a movement of this magnitude. As for public image, it is our belief that investment condones the behavior of a firm. It is thus a very strong vehicle for societal change. As arguably the most imminent threat to our future, climate change is now more serious than it ever has been. Divest Carleton finds that committing to not reinvest in the top 200 fossil fuel companies is necessary for Carleton to best serve its role as an environmental leader, and as a steward of our futures.

Thus, we call upon the Board of Trustees to make a firm commitment to not reinvest in the fossil fuel industry as part of Carleton’s direct holdings – a commitment is all that is needed to make these clean. Additionally, Divest Carleton believes a similar commitment ought to be made in the comingled funds portion of our endowment. Having grown up in Minnesota and knowing of Carleton for the majority of my life, it is my personal belief that continued negligence toward these commitments highly misrepresents the role of environmental leadership Carleton advertises and holds in the public eye.

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Categories: Colleges

Men’s Basketball: Knights stumble at Saint Mary’s

Carletonian - Fri, 02/14/2020 - 12:33am

The Carleton College men’s basketball team shot a season low 33 percent from the field and fell 74-55 at Saint Mary’s University on Wednesday evening. The setback put the Knights’ hopes of making the playoffs put on life support as they trail both Gustavus Adolphus College and St. Olaf College by two games with only games remaining on the Carleton schedule.

Alex Battist led the Knights (9-14, 6-10 MIAC) with 14 points, while Isaac Tessier scored 11 points and matched his career-high of four steals.

Saint Mary’s (12-10, 9-8 MIAC) inched closer to securing the first MIAC Playoff bid in program history thanks a quick start. The Cardinals never trailed and raced out to a 20-4 lead with 11:58 remaining in the first half.

The Knights entered intermission trailing 42-30 but opened the second half with a mini 5-0 run that brought the gap down to seven points at 42-35 with 16:15 on the clock. The Cardinals responded with a 16-0 run and maintained at least a 14-point lead the rest of the way.

While Carleton was struggling to put the ball in the basket, Saint Mary’s converted 48 percent of its attempts and put together a commanding 44-25 advantage on the glass.

Saint Mary’s’ Eli Cave poured in a game-high 18 points, while Kevin Gleason and Kareem Anthony-Bello scored 11 and 10 points, respectively. Raheem Anthony narrowly missed a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds.

UP NEXT FOR THE KNIGHTS: Carleton will look to regroup for a must-win game on Saturday, Feb. 15 against cross-town rival St. Olaf. With the Knights’ victory over the Oles last month, the famed Goat Trophy will be at stake. Tipoff on Senior Day is set for 1 p.m., with the women’s game to follow at approximately 3 p.m.

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Categories: Colleges

Men’s Swim and Dive: Knights turn in strong performance on day two of Minnesota Challenge

Carletonian - Fri, 02/14/2020 - 12:32am

The Carleton College men’s swimming & diving team wrapped the final day of action the Minnesota Challenge meet with one event victory and several more impressive results. This year, the men’s competition included seven MIAC schools as well as divers from the University of Minnesota (D-I).

The unscored, two-day meet serves as the final meet of the season for some squad members, while the rest of the roster uses the weekend as a final tune-up for the MIAC Championships to be held on Feb. 12-15.

“The tapered team members came into this meet and did exactly what we were hoping to see, despite the fact that they all had big event line-ups,” said Carleton head coach Andy Clark. “The determination and resolve they showed to compete was contagious for all of us. On top of that, the energy and effort they brought to each of their events was beyond inspiring.

“We always look at this first taper meet as a tone-setting one for what is possible at a taper meet, and the message this group is passing on to their teammates heading to MIAC’s is a massive positive one. Given what happened this weekend, it has heightened the excitement for what lies ahead at the MIAC’s. We had seniors in this group who have given so much over the years, so it was super emotional watching them close out their careers. It has certainly been an honor for all the coaches to work with the seniors and there is no question that they each made this program better.”

Phil Donnelly (So./Claremont, Calif./Claremont) won the 3-meter diving competition with his score of 204.00. He also took third place earlier in the day with a score of 177.20 on the 3-meter board, both figures representing season-bests for him.

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Categories: Colleges

Women’s Basketball: Knights pick up road win over Macalester

Carletonian - Fri, 02/14/2020 - 12:31am

Despite a couple late scares from host Macalester College, the Carleton College women’s basketball team stayed calm and collected down the stretch, earning a 61-53 road victory. Using a balanced scoring attack, the Knights earned their first road victory since Dec. 9.

Macalester (1-20, 0-16 MIAC) scored the game’s first three points, but that would prove to be the hosts’ lone lead in the game as Carleton (8-13, 5-11 MIAC) proceeded to clamp down on defense throughout the period and ended the first quarter with a 22-9 advantage. The Knights hit as many 3-pointers in the period as the Scots did field goals, as Carleton was 4-of-7 from beyond the arc.

Both teams were locked in a defensive struggle throughout the majority of the second quarter, with the only points of the first seven-plus minutes coming on a pair of Macalester treys. The Knights did not score until 2:26 remained in the half, when a Margie Clauss (Fy./Minneapolis, Minn./Washburn) converted a traditional three-point play that restored Carleton’s lead to double digits. The Knights managed only eight total points in the period but still entered halftime leading 30-21. During the first half, Carleton held Macalester to just 27 percent shooting, including 2-of-13 (15 percent) from 3-point range.

After intermission, Macalester outscored Carleton 11-2 during the first 3:27 of the third period and knotted the game at 32-32. However, Carleton finished the quarter on a 12-2 run, as Jill Yanai (So./Glendale, Calif./Glendale) and Anna Hughes (Jr./Glenville, Ill./New Trier) combined for all of the visitors’ points during this stretch. As a result of their efforts, Carleton led 44-34 as the teams headed into the final stanza.

Macalester opened the fourth quarter with another 11-2 scoring stretch, needing just over three minutes to pull within 46-45. Three-pointers by Yanai, Hughes, and Katie Chavez (Sr./Westminster, Colo./Holy Family) helped the Knights stay in front, but the visitors were unable to pull away and found themselves with a narrow 55-53 lead with 1:20 left to play.

The Knights shut down the Scots’ offense for the remainder of the game, however, as they forced misses on Macalester’s final three attempts. On the other end of the court, one of the top free-throw shooting teams in the nation closed out the game by going 6-for-6 from the charity stripe to clinch the 61-53 win and complete the season sweep of the Scots.

Four of Carleton’s five starters finished the game in double digits: Yanai and Samantha Cooke (Sr./St. Louis, Mo./Incarnate Word Academy) led the team with 12 points apiece, while Hughes and Chavez finished just behind, with 11 points each. Yanai also scooped up 12 rebounds to earn her third career double-double.

Macalester was led in scoring by Justine Barraza, who had a game-high 17 points. No other Scot reached double figures in scoring.

Carleton shot only 32 percent overall but connected on 10 three-pointers and made all 11 of its free throw attempts. Macalester shot 37 percent on the day but went only 4-of-23 (17 percent) from beyond the arc.

This was Carleton’s eighth victory of the season, matching the program’s highest total over the last 10 seasons. The Knights still have four games remaining in the regular season.

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Categories: Colleges

A close-up look at Carleton’s wind turbines

Carletonian - Fri, 02/14/2020 - 12:28am

When winter winds bite and your fingers freeze in the bitter cold of the Minnesota February, you can find solace in the fact that the gust of wind that just knocked the air out of your lungs is in fact powering about 40% of Carleton’s total electricity load, according to the Facilities Management’s fact sheet on the college’s wind turbines.

Carleton is the proud owner of two wind turbines, 1.65 and 1.6 megawatts respectively, that reduce the college’s CO2 emission by 1.5 million tons over its 25 year life-span, according to Facilities Management. With approximately 6.6 tons of greenhouse gases emitted per person per year and about 82% of those emissions created from burning energy to power electricity and cars, Carleton’s sustainability efforts make a real difference on campus.

According to the Department of Energy, wind turbines convert wind energy into electricity by capitalizing on the aerodynamic force from the rotor blades as the difference in pressure on the sides of a blade simultaneously causes lift and drag. Since the lift is stronger than the drag, the rotor, connected to a generator, begins to spin, producing electricity.

Carleton’s first wind turbine was erected in 2004 and its second was built in 2011. The turbine costs $1.8 million, which Carleton is covering using college funds and a Minnesota Department of Commerce $150,000 grant. Xcel Energy Company buys the turbines’ energy at 3.3 cents per kilowatt-hour for all energy produced, with the 1.65 megawatt turbine producing 5,000,000 kilowatt-hours a year.

The second turbine was financed through a grant provided by alumni Richard and Laurie Kracum (both ’76).

According to Martha Larson, Carleton’s Manager of Campus Energy and Sustainability, plans to build more wind turbines are not in the near future.

“A lot will change with renewable energy when battery technology becomes truly commercially viable, when it becomes safe enough and small enough and affordable enough to be used en masse,” explained Larson. “For us, that would mean when the turbines are producing a lot of energy at night, which is when our loads are the lowest and we don’t need it all, instead of selling it back for this really cheap wholesale rate, we would store it in batteries and use it the next day when we need it. We’re keeping an eye on battery technology and energy storage technology of all types in general.”

“If such technology was available, then the college would only be faced with the siting issue, not the economic issue,” said Larson. Since wind turbines need to be close enough to the school to be tied into the electrical grid but far enough away that they are not close to a road or house, finding a location for the massive structure requires some creativity. Larson explains that the only available place would be in the Arboretum, which is not a truly available space as the college wants to maintain the natural environment and not install a huge, man-made object.

As for non-wind turbine related future plans, Larson said, “an obvious first step would be with energy conservation. We want to get LED lights in and upgrade mechanical equipment and controls.”

After conservation, Larson wants to focus on how to make more green energy.

“We have a 10 year old Climate Action Plan and we ended up doing very different things than we thought we might do. We’re working on what those next 10 years will look like now and our hope is that that can be a whole campus conversation, not just a Sustainability Office conversation. Since the last 10 years looked so different than we thought they would in 2010, we’re really trying to figure out how to plan for the next 10 years. I can’t wait to have those conversations and ask the campus what they want to see.”

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Categories: Colleges

Carleton students engage with the community through Food Recovery Network initiative

Carletonian - Fri, 02/14/2020 - 12:27am

When it comes to the environment, there are some solutions that just make sense—and usually, they stem from problems that don’t. Food waste and food insecurity are two such issues that walk hand in hand. The USDA estimates that 30-40 percent of the US food supply, or about 133 billion pounds of food, gets wasted every year. And it’s not just food that gets wasted.

According to the World Resources Institute, if food waste were its own country, it would rank third in greenhouse gas emissions, behind only China and the United States. Meanwhile, food insecurity continues worldwide; in the United States alone, over 10 percent (14.3 million) of households were food insecure at some point during 2018. For these families, worrying about the environmental impact of their food or even its nutritional value is a luxury that they cannot afford. Often, they can barely afford food at all.

In 2011, four students at the University of Maryland, College Park wondered if they could use these issues to fix each other. They noticed that their dining halls were throwing out food at the end of every meal, so they began saving this food from the trash can and instead bringing it to organizations that feed people. Thus, Food Recovery Network (FRN) was born.

A couple of years later, Carleton students began looking for ways to do the same thing. In 2013, Shira Kaufman ’16 ran a dining hall waste audit; in a recent email, she shared her findings that “plenty of good food was going to waste every day while many people in Northfield and Faribault did not know where their next meal was coming from.”

But in an October 2013 Carletonian article, Kaufman was quoted saying that starting a Carleton chapter of FRN would involve “lots of really tricky logistics that would rely heavily on students to be there right after meals.” Kaufman said that the program works at “mostly big schools in cities where they can quickly get the food to points where it can be distributed,” and would be much harder in a place like Northfield. According to the article, Kaufman decided not to partner with FRN and instead was looking into other organizations that reduce food waste.

Flash forward to 2020. Northfield now hosts not one but two FRN chapters, one at Carleton and one at St. Olaf. Carleton’s chapter is one of the oldest and most robust of FRN’s 230 chapters across the country. It was the first in Minnesota at its founding in January 2014—by Kaufman herself.

So how did FRN take off at Carleton in the end? It turns out that students were willing to show up and put in the work, after all. When Kaufman began recovering food six years ago, she said, “I had a lot of my friends roped in to help with recoveries and transporting the food at the very beginning, but by the end of the year we had a pretty large network of volunteers.”

Kaufman and her team also coordinated with community partners and with Bon Appétit manager Katie McKenna to get the program rolling. McKenna agreed that students were the driving force behind the organization: “I helped and coordinated,” she said, “but Kaufman did all the heavy lifting!” And Kaufman’s hard work has been mutually beneficial for Bon Appétit. FRN reports the amount of food they recover to the food service and if Bon Appétit sees that they are over-producing, they respond by reducing the amount of food they prepare in the first place.

And the extra food that is still inevitably left over at the end of the night? “Beside the obvious benefit of reducing waste,” McKenna said, “it is a great feeling to know that the food that would have been put into the compost bin is going to feed people who need it.”

Today, Carleton’s FRN chapter is run by eight Program Directors (PDs) and, in the 2019 fall trimester, 73 active volunteers, half of whom participated five or more times over the course of the ten-week term. Some volunteers recover from the Language and Dining Center (LDC) and Burton dining halls six nights a week, and others are campus drivers who transport and distribute the healthy, locally-sourced meals to six community partners: the Faribault Adult Education Center, the Greenvale Community School, the Area Learning Center (a non-traditional youth education program), the Key Youth Center, St. Dominic’s Church for its Spanish Mass, and of course, Northfield’s Food Shelf.

Recently, Carleton’s FRN has also started recovering at Cub Foods and Target twice a week, taking leftover and unsellable foods to the Food Shelf. At these stores alone, volunteers recover about 2,500 pounds of food per week. PD Brendon Lin ’20 is excited about expanding in this area, because, he said, “that’s I think a pretty good indicator that we don’t feel like there’s too much more we can be doing on campus. I’d like to see us have more growth there, with working directly in the community.”

According to Erica Zweifel, interim Associate Director of the Center for Community and Civic Engagement (CCCE), FRN is certainly growing in the right direction. In February 2019, because of the influx of food from Target and Cub recovery, the Food Shelf needed more space, so the CCCE and the Sustainability Office secured a $54,000 grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to buy them a new walk-in cooler.

“I am told by our community partners that they could not maintain their level of impact in the community without the work of FRN Carleton students. I am tremendously proud of their accomplishments and the impact of their engagement,” says Zweifel.

And contrary to Kaufman’s initial worries about FRN, students seem to enjoy the time they put into the club. Justin Washington ’20, who has been volunteering as a food distributor since his freshman year, said, “I always look forward to my food recovery nights. Everyone is engaged and interesting, and the low social-pressure environment means it’s easy to quickly become pals. Besides the fun people in the network, the places I’ve delivered always greet me with smiling and grateful faces.”

Plus, with so many people involved, it doesn’t have to be a big commitment to fight food waste and food insecurity and climate change. As Lin puts it, “it’s simple and straightforward and has legitimate impact, and someone just has to do it.”

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Categories: Colleges

Energy Club installs data loggers to monitor light usage in campus bathrooms

Carletonian - Fri, 02/14/2020 - 12:25am

Energy Club recently installed occupancy and light data loggers in the bathrooms of Boliou, Davis and Nourse to audit light usage, funded jointly by the Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC) and the Sustainability Office. The information is being collected as part of a larger project to install occupancy sensors with funding from the Sustainability Revolving Fund (SRF).

Occupancy sensors turn lights on or off depending on whether an area is occupied. Several campus locations such as Watson Hall and the Complex dorms are already equipped with these sensors as a result of past Energy Club projects. The new data loggers, on the other hand, simply record when a light is on or off and whether a room is occupied.

The overall project was spurred by a visit from Xcel Energy, Carleton’s energy provider, during which auditors listed potential projects that could save the campus both money and energy. Among these was the installation of occupancy sensors in various buildings, with Bolious, Davis and Nourse named as target areas.

“Occupation sensor projects have also been done in the past, so we knew it was viable for the club,” explained club Co-president Kyra Ngai ’21.

The club then decided to gather information using data loggers to quantify the need for and potential benefits of occupancy sensors before proposing the project to the SRF, which requires that projects reduce Carleton’s greenhouse gas emissions in addition to saving money.

“These findings can help us determine how frequently lights are used in different rooms, and can bolster our proposal with solid data about how much money and energy the occupancy sensors could save,” said Co-president Sarah Allaben ’21.The club applied for funding for the data loggers from the EAC and unanimously received a grant of $1,025. The Sustainability Office covered the remainder of the cost, allowing Energy Club to purchase 10 HOBO Extended Memory Occupancy/Light Data Loggers—at $242 each—along with accessories for the loggers.

“We tried to express in the proposal how this purchase could both help with the enactment of many energy-saving projects on campus, and be a good way for students (particularly in Energy Club) to gain experience with a device commonly used in the sustainability and energy workforce,” said Allaben.

EAC Chair and Manager of Campus Sustainability Martha Larson was enthusiastic about the project, noting, “I really liked this project for how well-defined it is and how much the Energy Club members can learn from the experience of taking a project like this start-to-finish.”

“This work also supports and enhances our existing energy conservation initiatives, which helps build momentum on something that is already a stated goal of Carleton’s sustainability efforts,” she continued. “We rarely have time to sub-meter at the room level—all of our meters are at the building level. So this gives us very granular information about how effective certain energy conservation measures might be.”Two loggers have been installed in Boliou, with another two in Davis and six in Nourse. While Xcel recommended a variety of campus locations to target, Energy Club decided to start small with bathrooms.

“They are relatively small and have little, if any, ambient lighting. This makes them fairly simple when logging occupancy and light use. We figured this would be a good way to test out our new sensors and help us become more familiar with the tools,” said Allaben.

For now, the loggers are attached to the inside of the bathroom doors and are not expected to noticeably affect Carleton students or faculty using the facilities.

“They’re quite small and discreet so they shouldn’t be an obstacle for students, nor would they have a significant impact on behavior,” said Ngai. After two weeks, the data loggers will be removed and Energy Club will consider the data as they plan their proposal for occupancy sensors. The loggers themselves will become property of the Sustainability Office for future Carleton or Northfield use, though projects beyond the current one have not been planned.

“One of the EAC’s primary stipulations in approving the funds was that these loggers have a life well beyond this project,” said Larson.

In the future, energy Club hopes that the data logging methods developed through this project can be expanded throughout campus.

“This is a pilot project, so the end goal would be to expand the scope of it to other buildings on campus so that we can develop a more comprehensive profile of Carleton’s energy scene,” said Ngai.

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Categories: Colleges

February 4-11

Carletonian - Fri, 02/14/2020 - 12:22am

Tuesday, February 4

Evening: Security responded to a fire alarm. Burnt food was the reason for the alarm,

Thursday, February 6

Early Morning: Security received a call from the kitchen staff about a small grease fire that they had extinguished with a fire extinguisher. No damage occurred and Security replaced the used extinguisher with a new one. Great job, Dining Services!

Early Morning: Security checked on a student that had consumed to much alcohol. This student was left in the care of friends.

Early Morning: Security responded to the report of another intoxicated student. This student needed to be transported to the hospital by ambulance to be treated for alcohol poisoning.

Early Morning: A report of a suspicious person on Bell Field caused Security to check on this person. Everything ended well. Sometimes students just like to aimlessly wander.

Early Morning: Security was called to check on an intoxicated student. While checking this intoxicated student, another intoxicated student became ill. Both students were left in the care of friends for the evening.

Sunday, February 9

Early Morning: Security transported an injured student to the hospital for treatment.

Afternoon: Security responded to a medical. All ended well.

Evening: Security responded to check on an ill student. This student needed no further assistance from Security.

Monday, February 10

Morning: Security gave out taxi vouchers so a student could go to Urgent Care.

Evening: Security provided transportation to a student needing urgent care.

Monday, February 10

Morning: Security performed a wellness check on an individual. All ended well.

Evening: Security transported two ill students to Express Care.

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Categories: Colleges

Q&A with climate justic activist, Dr. Elizabeth Hoover

Carletonian - Fri, 02/14/2020 - 12:19am

On Monday, February 17, Dr. Elizabeth Hoover will give a talk about indigenous food sovereignty as part of Climate Action Week. The Carletonian spoke with Dr. Hoover over email this past week in preparation of her presentation. Dr. Hoover is the author of two books, The River is In Us; Fighting Toxins in a Mohawk Community, and From ‘Garden Warriors’ to ‘Good Seeds;’ Indigenizing the Local Food Movement (forthcoming). Her work focuses on contemporary environmental justice issues in Native American communities, indigenous farming and subsistence revival movements, and community engaged research. Dr. Hoover is an Associate Professor of American Studies at Brown University.

What will your talk be about?

My talk is called “Eating Home in a Changing World; Environmental Food Justice in Native American Communities.” It discusses how in order for Native communities to achieve food justice (having access to healthy culturally appropriate food grown locally with care for the well-being of the land, workers, and animals) and environmental justice (the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people when it comes to the enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies), Indigenous territories need to be protected from industry, mining, petroleum as well as the unpredictable weather brought about by climate change. There is increasing convergence in many communities between environmental justice and food justice, as people work to have their environments cleaned up and to make safe food more available. Unlike in many urban environments, in rural and Indigenous communities the immediate environment is often the source of food. Both environmental justice and food justice have a place-based focus, are health related and focus on corporate dominance and system-related issues, the empowerment of community members and the development of sustainable and livable communities. Environmental justice and food justice both seek to alter power relations at the root of the social and ecological problems. In Indigenous communities, the structure of environmental injustice is often tied to notions of wrongful disruption of Indigenous food systems; much of the organizing around EJ issues in Indigenous communities is in part to protect traditional food sources.

Tribal communities are no strangers to climate change—for many tribal communities, the first major climate change resulted from events like the Trail of Tears in which Nations in the southeast like the Cherokee were marched on as part of relocation to Indian Territory in Oklahoma. Dozens of tribal Nations were moved around the country to make way for the needs of settlers, often moving to climates that were totally different from those from which they had historically fed their families. For example, when Pawnee people received back some of their heirloom seeds out of Nebraska, they wouldn’t grow in Oklahoma. The tribe had to partner with settler farms now living on their homeland in Nebraska to grow out their seeds. These types of climate changes are experienced because the movement of people has subsequently been followed by the kinds of contemporary climate challenges faced globally.

Drawing on examples of contemporary Indigenous food sovereignty projects from across the US, my presentation will discuss the ways in which Native people are working to reclaim and maintain traditional foods. In some cases this has been through efforts to “rematriate” heirloom seed varieties from institutions (i.e. bring home seeds that were collected from tribes and stored in museums and seed banks) and readapt them to their current homelands. My presentation will also look at the ways in which the food sovereignty movement and anti-extractive industry movement have come together to protect land from damaging industries (like mining and pipeline projects) that will impact traditional foods.

Can you tell me a little bit about the work you are most focused on now?

I’m currently working on a book called From Garden Warriors to Good Seeds; Indigenizing the Local Food Movement, based on about a decade’s worth of involvement with Indigenous food organizations, as well as interviews I did in 40 different communities across the country as part of a 20,000-mile, four-month road trip around the country back in 2014. The first chapter focuses on the meanings and uses of the term “food sovereignty” in the context of Native American community-based farming and gardening projects. The second chapter explores how Native American community-based farming and gardening projects are defining heirloom or heritage seeds; why maintaining and growing out these seeds is seen as so important and how terms like seed sovereignty should be defined and enacted. The third chapter looks at the role of Native American chefs, who are working to promote and elevate the traditional cuisine of their people through “gastro diplomacy” (seen in contrast to “cultural appropriation” or “culinary appropriation”), in an effort to achieve “culinary justice;” and the delicate balance between making healthy traditional foods available to their community as well as serving a broader “foodie” public. The fourth chapter, reflective of the chant “You can’t drink oil, keep it in the soil” often heard at protests against pipelines, focuses on the nexus between protecting and gaining access to traditional foods and the fight against the fossil fuel and extractive industries—highlighting foods like wild rice threatened by proposed mines and pipelines in Minnesota and Wisconsin, traditional corn planted in the path of proposed pipelines in Nebraska and New York and traditional foods gathered and brought to feed water protectors fighting to defend Standing Rock’s water supply from the Dakota Access Pipeline. The fifth and final chapter examines the successes and challenges described by the different project representatives I interviewed and their suggestions for future community-based farming and gardening projects. The conclusion will look at what all of this means for an ongoing movement in a changing world and the ways in which Indigenous people across the western hemisphere (based on what I was hearing at Indigenous corn conferences in Mexico and Belize) are addressing these challenges.

I’m hoping to have this book completed and submitted to the University of Minnesota Press by the end of this spring.

In addition, I’m working on an advisory board at the Field Museum to re-do the North American hall (the Native American exhibits), this time in collaboration with Native communities. I have been working with the Meskwaki community, whose seeds were collected by the museum over a hundred years ago, to have some of those seeds returned as part of a project to try to sprout those seeds,and to develop an exhibit about the experience.

I am also working in the back of my head on a book about the pyropolitics of Indigenous social movements, and the ways in which tribes are reclaiming cultural uses of fire as part of cultural revitalization as well as improving the environment for traditional food systems.

What is the importance of working on the ground with communities? What challenges does that bring to research? To activism?

If you are doing work in the social science that is about a community or a group of people, you had better be working with and for that community. And if you’re working in the natural sciences there’s a good chance the work you’re doing can be useful in an applied way to communities who often can’t pay consultants to test soil, fish, air, water, etc.

The challenges that working with communities might bring include needing to adjust the time frame for research. It can sometimes take longer to carry out the research for a project when you need to make sure that the community is on board with the project design, and the ways in which the data is being collected, analyzed, and publicized.

Of the many issues that fall under the environmental justice umbrella, is there one that urgently deserves more attention?

  1. Pipelines slated to cross over wild rice beds and other sensitive habitats in Minnesota
  2. Mining project like the Back 40 mine in Wisconsin that would poison fish and wild rice habitat
  3. The current administration is working very hard to open up Bear’s Ears National Monument, a sacred landscape to several tribes, to mining and fracking
  4. The people of Flint still do not have clean water, and those who made the bureaucratic decisions to save money at the expense of the city’s residents have not been held accountable
  5. In British Columbia, members of the Wet’suwet’en Nation being torn out of the Unist’ot’en camp they have been maintaining to prevent a pipeline from ripping through their unceded territory

What advice do you have for the many up and coming environmentalists in college now?

Connect with communities and find out what they want and need done. Too often people look at a singular issue—i.e. the world needs more trees—without considering the impacts to tribal communities who rely on the land for food and have been managing the environment for eons. There was never an untouched wilderness in North America that settlers stumbled into that we should now work to return to. Indigenous people have always managed the land—through horticulture, or through fire, through redirecting water, or through encouraging some species of plants and pulling out others. I have been speaking with representatives from one tribe managing a land trust in California who is looking to return that land to the type of environment that the Spanish first encountered. A landscape managed by fire, which was abundant in native grass seeds and teeming with elk and deer. A well known national environmental organization refused to support them when they found out they would be cutting down douglas fir trees in order to do this landscape management, because it is their policy to encourage more trees not cut them down. But nobody eats fir trees. So listen to the needs of Native people trying to live on the land. But also don’t assume that ‘the environment’ only exists in wide open ‘untouched’ green spaces. There are environments worth working with and improving upon in myriad types of spaces.

How can one best support indigenous cuisine and food sovereignty? Additionally, in reading your research statement, I saw that you interviewed Native chefs—did you get to try anything particularly delicious?

One of the great perks of this project is all of the delicious food! You will often see pop-up dinners hosted by folks like the I-collective—a collective of Indigenous chefs who are working to educate people about Native issues and culture through food. Others like Sean Sherman and the Sioux Chef team; Yazzie the Chef, Loretta Barette Oden, Elena Terry and the Wild Bearies—there are many Native chefs out there who serve pop up dinners or who cater events. Buying and eating their food is an excellent way to support Native food sovereignty. Locally, Dream of Wild Health out of Hugo, Minn. works to teach Native youth out of the Twin Cities how to grow, harvest, process, cook and sell produce. You can often find their produce at farmers’ markets, and they have a great little cookbook. If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area, stop by Ohlone, Calif. for some traditional California Indian cuisine. In Minneapolis, the Gatherings Café at the Indian Center on Franklin Ave is a great place for a delicious lunch of Native food. The Toasted Sister Podcast website also has a website of Native food establishments around the country. The best way to support Indigenous cuisine is to buy from Native chefs and Native food producers.

The post Q&A with climate justic activist, Dr. Elizabeth Hoover appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges

“Trash Talk” program helps Carleton achieve a more sustainable future

Carletonian - Fri, 02/14/2020 - 12:12am

Carleton is well on its way to its goal of zero waste by 2030. In this case, “zero waste” means that 90 percent of all campus waste will be diverted to recycling or composting facilities rather than landfills, according to Carleton’s Zero Waste Task Force. The current three-stream sorting system is a step on the way to achieving that goal, but there is still room to grow.

Andrew Farias ’21, a Sustainability Assistant and Environmental Systems Fellow at the CCCE, says that continued education of the wider Carleton community on proper trash sorting is most important. He particularly emphasized the importance of recognizing the repercussions of throwing items in the wrong bin.

“A lot of these things are hand-sorted,” Farias said. “There are real people that are handling your waste. That’s not something we often think about. We think, ‘I’m throwing it away, it’s no longer my problem,’ but it’s going to become someone else’s. That’s not where the cycle ends.”

To better engage the campus in the zero waste project, in winter term of 2018 Carleton partnered with the Post Landfill Action Network (PLAN), an organization that aims to help college campuses learn to reduce their landfill waste, to put together a comprehensive assessment of campus waste practices. PLAN awarded Carleton 335 out of 542 possible points and helped to set a series of benchmarks to reach zero waste.

One of the main areas of improvement that the PLAN report identified was athletic events, where Carleton earned just 27.5 of the 50 available points. In response, the Sustainability Office launched the Trash Talk program in fall term of 2018. Student “trash talkers” stand by the three-stream disposal bins at athletic events and educate fans at the event on which bin their trash belongs in. In return, the students earn $10 per hour for the campus organization of their choosing.

Farias said that educational programs like Trash Talk are important because “the waste sorting process takes a lot of time to sort through all of these bags and bags of trash. If someone is already informed ahead of time then they’re able to prevent that contamination down the line.”

While just one contaminated item in the compost or recycling will not result in the entire bag being sent to the landfill, Alex Miller, Sustainability Program Coordinator, cautions against what she calls “wishcycling,” throwing something in the recycling bin that doesn’t belong in hopes that it can be recycled.

“We have a rough 1-2 percent contamination for an entire load (like a truck full) before our load will be rejected at the transfer station or compost facility and the entire truck will be sent to the landfill. That is why proper sorting is so critical—while one individual item won’t necessarily lead to a rejected load, if enough people don’t sort properly, it can lead to an entire truck being rejected,” Miller said, adding that she lives by the general rule of “when in doubt, throw it out.”

To even further reduce waste, Farias is co-leading a pilot program set to begin spring term 2020 to replace the current disposable ones with reusable ones (the ones currently used are compostable, but no waste is even better than biodegradable waste). The tester project will be funded by the Student Projects Committee, a subdivision of CSA. If all goes well, Farias said, a condition that mostly depends on whether students return their to-go containers to Sayles or if they go missing quickly, Bon Appétit has agreed to purchase a larger quantity of the containers for a permanent replacement of the paper boxes.

Zero waste by 2030 is a lofty goal, Farias admits, but he thinks that if all of Carleton gets on board, we can take strides toward it. He said, “it may be a really daunting thing to try and deal with, but we can all make those everyday individual actions to decrease the amount of waste that we produce.”

The post “Trash Talk” program helps Carleton achieve a more sustainable future appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges

Carleton on track to meet interim emissions goal as geothermal project enters second phase

Carletonian - Fri, 02/14/2020 - 12:10am

For the first time in over a century, Carleton’s utility system received a makeover. Starting in the summer of 2019, a new geothermal energy system has been providing heating, cooling and hot water to all east campus buildings, from Anderson Hall to the Recreation Center.

The system’s implementation culminates Phase 1 of the project: constructing the East Energy Station in the basement of Anderson, converting east campus systems from steam to hot water heating and drilling three bore fields on Bell Field, the Mini Bald Spot and the Bald Spot. Phase 2 will entail updating the west campus mechanical systems, such as tunnels, pipes and radiators, as well as converting the central facilities plant from steam to hot water. By the fall of 2021, the geothermal system will heat and cool the entire campus, fully replacing a steam heating system that was installed in 1910.

Construction of the geothermal system is the hallmark of the Utility Master Plan (UMP), which was developed to replace outdated equipment and push Carleton towards its goal of net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. Carleton seems to be on track to hit its first interim goal: reducing emissions to 17,000 MTCDE (metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent) by 2020. Sustainability Program Coordinator Alex Miller reported that “for the 2019 fiscal year, our net emissions were at 17,363 MTCDE, and we expect to see a dip in our emissions when Phase 1 of the UMP is counted.” In part, this comes because the new system transitions towards relying on electricity instead of natural gas. “We’re betting on electricity as a greener source of energy,” said Miller.

The geothermal system—technically called a ground source heating and cooling system because it doesn’t draw all its energy from the earth—uses hot water to transfer heat. The ground acts as both a “sink” by storing and transporting hot and cold water, and a “source” by heating and cooling the water in the bore fields. A heat pump in the East Energy Station accumulates the heated water, cooled water, and geothermal water; from there, the pump distributes it where it is needed.

The UMP is both financially and environmentally sustainable. Construction of the geothermal system is the hallmark of the Master Plan (UMP), which was developed to replace outdated equipment and push Carleton towards its goal of net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. Carleton seems to be on track to hit its first interim goal: reducing emissions to 17,000 MTCDE (metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent) by 2020. Sustainability Program Coordinator Alex Miller reported that “for the 2019 fiscal year, our net emissions were at 17,363 MTCDE, and we expect to see a dip in our emissions when Phase 1 of the UMP is counted.” In part, this comes because the new system transitions towards relying on electricity instead of natural gas. “We’re betting on electricity as a greener source of energy,” said Miller.

Phase 1 of the UMP was completed between 2017 and 2019: constructing the East Energy Station in the basement of Anderson, converting east campus systems from steam to hot water heating and drilling three bore fields on Bell Field, the Mini Bald Spot and the Bald Spot. Phase 2, which will be underway from 2020-2021, entails updating the west campus mechanical systems, such as tunnels, pipes and radiators, as well as converting the central facilities plant from steam to hot water.

The geothermal system—technically called a ground source heating and cooling system because it doesn’t draw all its energy from the earth—uses hot water to transfer heat. The ground acts as both a “sink” by storing and transporting hot and cold water, and a “source” by heating and cooling the water in the bore fields. A heat pump in the East Energy Station accumulates the heated water, cooled water, and geothermal water; from there, the pump distributes it where it is needed. Martha Larson, the Manager of Campus Energy and Sustainability, noted that the campus is an ideal place to implement such a system: “Carleton has great geology for geothermal bore fields. It was relatively easy to drill the bores, and we have very active groundwater flow under the surface. The bore fields are therefore very good at transferring heat.”

Jordan Shapiro ’20, a geology major who has been involved with the project as a Sustainability Assistant (STA), stated, “All the buildings are in communication, working together. Instead of just producing heat and producing cooling and losing all the excess, this new system ties all the buildings together.” Larson added, “When there isn’t enough waste heat to serve the total campus heating need, the geothermal loop contributes heat from the ground, which acts like a giant thermal battery.” If that still isn’t enough, two high efficiency boilers in the East Energy Station kick in on very cold days to provide energy, and existing chillers are used to provide additional cooling on very hot days.

Overall, about 70 percent of the energy for heating and cooling will come from the geothermal loop, with the other 30 percent from the boilers and chillers. In mild fall and spring weather, there is enough excess heat to recycle and the geothermal system can run on its own.

Along with being environmentally efficient, the UMP is financially sustainable. Construction of the geothermal system is projected to break even by 2037 as compared to what the steam plant’s maintenance cost would have been. The new system will help the College save money after that date too, a prospect which Miller said is unheard of for facilities projects.

The new system also distributes heat more evenly. Larson pointed to Skinner Chapel as an example; the steam system heated the Chapel with a series of small, hot radiators, whereas now, heat comes from panel radiation on the walls. “I think of it as wrapping the Chapel in a nice, warm blanket instead of stoking it with a series of red-hot campfires,” said Larson.

Larson noted that there have been a few challenges to implementing and controlling the new equipment, but that the facilities office has been committed to resolving them as quickly as possible. “Faculty, staff and students are often some of our best resources,” she said, “as they engage with the new systems and let us know when something doesn’t seem quite right.”

Faculty, staff and students have also been working closely with the project. Mary Savina ’72, Charles L. Denison Professor of Geology, said that the geology department has been involved at every stage, from providing research about the geologic conditions of campus to installing monitoring cables for future study. Savina and her colleagues Dan Maxbauer and Bereket Haileab have all taught about the project in their classes, and students Taiyi Wang ’19 and Natasha Dietz ’19 both studied the geothermal system for their comps projects. Jake Gallant ’21 is currently working to analyze data from the geothermal wells.

Savina noted the importance of involving students in the process. “I see this as part of an effort to connect Carleton students with the place where they are studying for four years,” she said. “It’s somewhat unusual to have close ties between the academic mission of the college and the facilities infrastructure. We are incredibly fortunate that Martha Larson and Steve Spehn in Facilities are eager to work with students.”

The Sustainability Office hopes to keep connecting with students by giving tours of the East Energy Station during New Student Week, Reunion and Earth Day. At the same time, the Office is expanding its outreach efforts. At the Upper Midwest Association for Sustainability (UMACS) conference in September, they presented to other schools who are thinking about transitioning to a similar energy system, answering questions and getting people excited about geothermal.

“We should embrace this historic transformation that Carleton is undergoing,” Miller said. “The last time we did something like this to our utilities was in 1910. It’s amazing that we are all here on campus witnessing history in the making!”

The post Carleton on track to meet interim emissions goal as geothermal project enters second phase appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges

ArtZany: Arts Guild Gallery with St. Olaf College and Carleton College EAs

KYMN Radio - Thu, 02/13/2020 - 11:56pm

Today in the ArtZany Radio studio Paula Granquist welcomes Carleton College and St. Olaf College artists opening the new exhibit Hot, Happy Mess: The Dysfunction of Progress at the Northfield Arts Guild Gallery. Northfield Arts Guild Gallery Exhibit HOT, HAPPY MESS: THE DYSFUNCTION OF PROGRESS February 14-March 14, 2020 Every year following graduation, a

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The Weekly List – Valentines Day

KYMN Radio - Thu, 02/13/2020 - 7:00pm

This week, The Weekly List celebrates Valentines Day with a list of love songs that Rich has deemed un-corny and non-sappy enough to play on his show.

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Homeowner Testimonial: Glowing remarks for NCC team!

Northfield Construction Company - Thu, 02/13/2020 - 12:15pm
Northfield Construction had the opportunity to do an upper-level remodel in Edina, Minn. We received the following comments from the homeowners – Jason and Stefanie Meyer: “Fall of 2018 Northfield Construction Company completed a major renovation of our kitchen and upper level in Edina, Minnesota. We found Chris, Steve and their team great to work....
Categories: Businesses

NH&C to reduce staff due to budget shortfall; Local cemetery looks to City for assistance; Felony DWI’s increase prison population

KYMN Radio - Thu, 02/13/2020 - 12:02pm

By Teri Knight, News Director In January, Northfield Hospital and Clinics was looking at a major budget shortfall. President and CEO, Steve Underdahl reports that they’ve been working for several months to close a $3 million (3%) gap in the 2020 budget. With healthcare market changes, he said, they need to further reduce expenses, including

The post NH&C to reduce staff due to budget shortfall; Local cemetery looks to City for assistance; Felony DWI’s increase prison population appeared first on KYMN Radio · Northfield, MN · AM 1080 & FM 95.1.

Third Annual Smile Drive Will Collect Dental Products for Rice County – KYMN is a drop site

KYMN Radio - Thu, 02/13/2020 - 11:07am

Northfield—Tooth decay is the #1 chronic childhood illness in America and 1 in 5 U.S. children go without dental care. Many children don’t own a toothbrush or share a toothbrush with a family member. More than 40% of children have cavities by the time they reach kindergarten and children with poor oral health are three

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Valentine’s Day giveaway!

KYMN Radio - Thu, 02/13/2020 - 10:50am

Love is in the air and so are the chocolates at 95 The One! We’re giving away Russell Stover Chocolates daily on the air and on our Facebook page. If you win the chocolates, you’re automatically registered to win the Grand Prize Drawing on Friday morning at 7:30! Grand Prize includes: A one night stay

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Angelica Linder and Bill North

KYMN Radio - Thu, 02/13/2020 - 9:34am

Angelica Linder and Bill North of Friends of the Northfield Library talk about the Latin Dance Party coming up on Saturday from 6:30 – 11:00 p.m. at Armory Square.  There will be activities for children, live music, dancing, food trucks and more.  Also on Saturday, there will be a children’s reading event at Imminent Brewing

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John Fossum

KYMN Radio - Thu, 02/13/2020 - 9:26am

Rice County Attorney John Fossum discusses the drug cases that have come through as a result of the work of the Cannon River Drug Task Force as well as the various charges that can be brought for DWI offenses.

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