Monthly Newsletter

This Just In!

A monthly newsletter published by the
Macalester Environmental Studies Department

October 30, 2012


Any upcoming events, job opportunities, new internships, or other environmental news received by the ES Department are included in this newsletter. More information on the items listed in This Just In! can be received by contacting the ES Department. This issue of This Just In! and archived issues can be found at:

In This Issue.... 

1.  Chasing Ice Premier
2.  Field Course in Belize
3.  7th Annual Northlands Bioneers Conference - November 10
4.  Book Reading at Common Good Books - November 28
5.  EcoPacticum
6.  Funding for Prairie Research

1.  Chasing Ice Premier

The film Chasing Ice will be premiering in Edina in November.  The film follows acclaimed environmental photographer James Balog to the Arctic where he captures time-lapse images of the world's changing glaciers in the face of climate change. You can watch the trailer and learn more at: www.chasingice.com

The producers of the film received a grant for educational purposes that lets us offer some groups tickets to the film on opening weekend with the hopes that they can help spread the word about the film.  If you are interested in attending the premier, contact the Sustainability Office at sustainability@macalester.edu.

2.  Field Course in Belize

The Institute for Sustainable International Studies (ISIS) is offering unique field courses in Belize this winter, December 26 – January 6, 2013, and next summer, June and July.  There is still time to apply for winter – the application deadline is November 1.  Their website has syllabi, other course offerings and forms.  For additional information contact Program Manager, Cynthia Reece, at creece@isisbelize.com.

3.  7th Annual Northland Bioneers Conference - November 10

The 7th Annual Northland Bioneers Conference will be held Saturday, November 10, 2012, at Macalester College, St. Paul, by Northland Sustainable Solutions.   Exciting Minnesota panelists will discuss action on the local front after rebroadcast of the following stellar plenary speeches (via DVD) from the 2012 National Bioneers Conference in San Rafael, California.

Known for deeply inspiring presentations of breakthrough solutions, the Bioneers Conference is a leading-edge forum exploring the forefront of positive change in the planet’s pressing issues, such as climate crisis and poverty. Northland Bioneers conference provides a day of international and Minnesota collaboration in restoring environmental and social sustainability.

4.  Book Reading at Common Good Books - November 28

Please join the Women’s Environmental Network (formerly Forum for Women in the Environmental Field), Common Good Books, and the Macalester Sustainability Office for a book reading by “Before the Lights Go Out” author and NYTimes columnist Maggie Koerth Baker, as well as comments from Governor Dayton’s Energy Advisor and former State Senator, Ellen Anderson, at Common Good Books in St. Paul at 7 p.m., Wednesday, November 28, 2012.  The event is free and open to the public.

Women’s Environmental Network’s members may register online for a pre-event, 6 p.m. dinner at Khyber Pass, near the corner of Snelling and Grand Avenues in St. Paul for $12/member.   The dinner is limited to 30 members and tickets will be sold on a first come/first serve basis on WEN’s website at www.fwef.org.

5.  EcoPracticum

EcoPracticum is an immersive summer environmental education program for college students and recent graduates.  Part think-tank, part action-workshop, participants live on an environmental education facility in the heart of the Catskills and get the opportunity to farm, learn from peers, and meet with the foremost experts in the field.  Participants can apply for 1 up to all 4 of the EcoPracticum units, which are:

  • Growing Enough Food:  The Role of Organic, Local Produce in the Global Food System
  • Pets, Pests, Livestock:  The Value, Role and Treatment of Animals
  • Digging and Drilling:  Using Fossil Fuels and the Hope/Hype of Renewable Energy
  • This Land is Your Land:  Natural Resource Management in an Age of (Over) Consumption

For more information and to apply online, visit www.ecopracticum.com.

6.  Funding for Prairie Research

Prairie Biotic Research (PBR) is an all-volunteer, Wisconsin nonprofit established in 2000 to foster basic biotic research in prairies and savannas.  One way they do this is through a competitive Small Grants Program that funds grants up to $1000 to individuals for the study of any grassland taxon anywhere in the USA.  They support both natural history and experimental science.  They are especially eager to support independent researchers (those lacking institutional support), but anyone having a U.S. Social Security number may apply.  Since 2002, they have awarded 136 grants worth $130,196 to people in 30 states to study insects, plants, mammals, reptiles, slime molds, mycorrhizal fungi, spiders, snails, amphibians, birds, invasive species, effects of management, and the human dimensions of conservation.  Many of these grants supported graduate student research.  In 2013, they expect to fund at least 10 grants of up to $1,000 each with the donations they have received, including some restricted by donors to support research in Iowa and Wisconsin.

To apply for a grant, visit their website (prairiebioticresearch.org) to learn more, to download their proposal form, instructions, and a sample researcher agreement form that winners of this competition must sign.  Check out the history and overview files in the Small Grants section of the website to see what sorts of proposals have won funding in the past.  Review the reports submitted by researchers of past years.  They must receive your proposal through the mail before January 6, 2013.  Those who won funding in 2012 are ineligible for this funding in 2013, but those who won funding longer ago are welcome to submit proposals to further that same work or to support a new project.

Any questions regarding this newsletter or to be removed from the mailing list, contact Ann Esson at esson@macalester.edu.