Spring semester wound down quickly, highlighted by induction of a strong NU contingent at the VT Sigma Xi Induction Dinner, before coming to a close with a large crew at graduation; 10 Seniors and four faculty marched in parade. My CT River course followed immediately, again this year with Chris Koteas co-teaching, and it was a great success – great students, colleagues, weather and water. Things have moved quickly since then, with our grant writer/manager Karen Andrésen moving on to read for the Vermont Bar (4 years with no law school required) we ramped up a search for her replacement. Karen and I finished our collaboration of eight years with >220 grant proposals requesting a total above $22M, and over $11M received in funding over that time. Not too shabby.
In early June a group of us went off to Portland, ME for a Campus Compact Institute, our inclusion stemming from a small grant we have received from the Davis Educational Foundation in a program called Campuses for Environmental Stewardship. I was joined by Tom Roberge (Outdoor Education), Matt Lutz (Architecture) and Tara Kulkarni (Civil and Environmental Engineering), and we focused for two days on our project to develop educational experiential activities to go into a flood-resistant park being developed by the Town of Northfield and numerous community partners. All four of us are incorporating integrated Service-Learning modules in our courses this fall, and I’ll share details as they unfold.
I’m off to Norman, OK with Amy Woodbury Tease next week for the Undergraduate Research Program Director’s meeting. Amy and I were both participants in Posters on the Hill this year in Washington, DC, where a Norwich student, Hannah Bell, was one of 60 students selected nationally to present her work in the Rayburn Building. I will stay in OK for another few days for the CUR Annual Business Meeting, finishing up the first of my two-year term as Chair of the At-Large Division. Hopefully, our time will be very productive, with task forces make substantial progress on our goals.
Last week I got invited by former student, Molly Seaberg (actually a grand-student), to speak to Carla Lewis’s grade school class in Fayston, and as always it was a hoot. The kids followed up after I left with contributions to an online book called If You Find a Rock, and Carla wrote a short blurb about the visit. Right now my plans call for a quick trip to Italy in July, working with Sergio Rocchi to finish up chapters for the Springer book in the Advances in Volcanology series. Costs are high, but the my productivity rate is really high when I’m isolated away from the busy-ness of the office.