Older Events

Public Informational Meeting: Commercial-Scale Composting – Benefits, Issues, Opportunities

Missed this event? Check it out online here!

Thursday, December 1, 2011 6:30 PM: Center for the Advancement of Public Action, Bennington College, One College Drive, Bennington, Vermont

Agricultural and food wastes represent valuable resources that can be put to productive use through various types of composting facilities and operations. At the same time, commercial- scale composting facilities need to be properly sited and controlled to avoid negative impacts to the environment and surrounding land uses. Each of the speakers has extensive knowledge and experience with issues common to composting projects. There will be ample time for questions following the presentations.

Speakers include Tom Gilbert, Executive Director of the Highfields Center for Composting in Hardwick, Vermont, Robert Spencer, AICP, Environmental Consultant and Contributing Editor to BioCycle Magazine, and Carey Hengstenberg, Environmental Analyst Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation.

Biomass Review Panel

Monday, October 10; 4:10-6pm

Dickinson 212

As part of Law, Citizenship, and Environmental Project Review (taught by visiting faculty member Elisabeth Goodman), Bennington will be hosting a guest panel to discuss elements of the Pownal biomass facility project. Anyone interested is welcome to attend!

Guests will be Bill Moomaw,  director of the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy at the Fletcher School of Tufts University.  His work and research over the past two decades have focused on stratospheric ozone, climate, energy, forests, water, and sustainable development. He has served as a lead author or coordinating lead author for four Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports and is coordinating lead author of the IPCC special report “Renewable Energy and Climate Change” due out this year. He was also a member of the Technical Steering Committee that published new forest management recommendations based on ecosystem services for Massachusetts. He has advised corporations, governments, and the World Bank on climate, energy, and forest issues. He graduated from Williams in 1959, earned his Ph.D. at M.I.T., and taught in the Williams chemistry department from 1964 to 1990.

Our panel will include Tela Zasloff, citizen activist, and Ron Turbin, a selectman of the Town of Williamstown and local attorney.

Richard Heinberg, Post-Carbon Institute

6:30 PM, October 22, Tishman Lecture Hall

Richard Heinberg, the Senior Fellow in Residence at the Post Carbon Institute, will discuss the energy dependence of the current economy and the opportunities to be found in an increasingly energy-limited world. Meet and Greet event with Richard Heinberg at 5pm in the CAPA Lounge, and President Elizabeth Coleman will also be signing on to the President’s Climate Commitment at that time!

Student Garden Work Party

Date and Time: Sunday, May 15, 2:00-4:00 PM

Location: Student Garden (down by the Observatory)

First work day of the season!  We will be raising beds, making signs and trellises, doing some planting and lots of other things.  Come participate in making this year’s student garden a success.

RSVP and Share the event with others through Facebook

Cheeses of Vermont Taste Workshop

Monday, May 16, 2011, 8:30 PM, East Academic Center

Come and sample some of Vermont’s finest cheeses.  Reservations must be made in advance.  Contact Reeve at jandrew<at>bennington.edu to reserve a spot.


Cigarette Butt Clean-up: April 18, 20 and 23 at 1:00-2:00 pm, meet at the flagpole

Cigarette butts are highly harmful to the natural environment.  They pollute groundwater and, because they are made of plastics and fiberglass, never decompose.  If you have some spare time, please come help this project, sponsored by the Bennington College House Eco-Reps.

Landscape Drawing Workshop: Wednesday, April 20th, 2:00-4:00 pm, VAPA B210

Mary Lum has invited the College community into her classroom for a special Earth Week landscape drawing workshop.

Vegetarian Cook-Off: Wednesday, April 20, 6:30- 7:30 pm, Down Commons

Show off your skills in the kitchen! Sign up in Commons for the vegetarian cook-off. Staff, students and faculty are encouraged to sign up! There are only 9 spots open in the cook-off. Judging is at 6:30 pm in Commons.

Earth Day Events: Friday, April 22, 2011

Bird Walk with Casey Taylor: Friday, April 22, 9:00- 10:00 am

Environmental Studies Junior Fellow, Casey Taylor invites the College community to take a nice morning walk while Casey teaches you about the birds that we see on campus every day.  Meet at the flagpole at 9:00 am.

Bike Ride with Tim Schroder: Friday, April 22, 12:00-1:00 pm

Bennington College Earth Science faculty, Tim Schroeder, invites the College community for a noon time campus bike ride. Bikes for this event can be reserved through Crossett Library. Meet at the flagpole at noon.

Tree Walk with Kerry Woods: Friday, April 20, 12:00-1:00 pm

Bennington College Biology faculty, Kerry Woods invites the College community to take a noon walk through campus. Kerry will be pointing out the different tree species while you enjoy an afternoon walk. Meet at the flagpole at noon.

Sowing the Seeds of a Fair Farm Bill: Friday, April 22, 11:00 am-2:00 pm, Down Commons

This is an awareness building campaign to inform consumers about the chance to change policy on how food is grown, processed and distributed, and who has access to healthy food through the market infrastructure in the United States.  Sowing the Seeds events are being coordinated by the Food and Water Watch, an organization dedicated to making sure that what we consume is produced affordably, safely and sustainably.

Information from Food & Water Watch about the Farm Bill will be available, and we will be signing petitions to send to our representatives in Washington.  Casey Taylor, the environmental studies fellow, will be there to inform people of the politics of the farm bill.  Nutritionist Maddie Sobel who practices in Bennington is also coming to give information about nutrition, local farms, and wellness.  Snacks will be available, and donations are always appreciated!

Earth Hour: Friday, April 22, 9:00-10:00 pm, Commons Lawn

To celebrate Earth Day, Bennington College is holding an Earth Hour.  The idea of the Earth Hour is to “Power Down” campus, and spend just a short while enjoying life sans electricity.  This is a time for us to come together on the lawn for dancing, poetry readings, music and food. So turn off your lights, computers and power strips and join us!

ToApril 8, 2011 –  Science Workshop: Garrett van Ryzin, Columbia University

Environmental Lifecycle Assessment Using the Economic Input-Output Analysis

Bennington College, Dickinson Science Building 225

In managing environmental choices – whether business, governmental or personal decisions – one often needs to assess the environmental impact of “micro activities”. For example, are paper grocery bags less damaging to the environment than plastic bags? How much carbon is emitted in producing a half gallon of orange juice? (Important for the emerging trend of carbon-labeling consumer goods.) Is a gallon of bio-fuel really less carbon intensive than a gallon of fossil fuel? Lifecycle analysis (LCA) is a tool for answering such questions. It seeks to determine the environmental impact a product over its entire lifecycle, from sourcing of inputs, to production, to use and then disposal. In this talk, I will discuss one such approach for lifecycle assessment based on the concept of economic input-output (EIO) analysis, due originally to economist and Nobel laureate Wassily Leontief. The approach replaces tedious mapping and measuring of the entire lifecycle processes of a product with an aggregate assessment of only those industry sectors which provide direct inputs to the product.  All are welcome and snacks will be provided.

April 30, 2011 Southern Vermont Beginning Farmers Summit

Bennington College Dean Carriage Barn, 10am-12pm

The Southern Vermont Beginning Farmers Summit is a free event for young and beginning farmers (both practicing and aspiring) who are located in Southern Vermont and surrounding areas. The event is centered around discussing and workshopping through issues facing beginning farmers, including but not limited to: accessing capital, accessing land/land tenure, and using federal funding programs. Additionally, we will discuss the potential for creating a local coalition of young and beginning farmers. We will use the power, and resources of the group to come up with new ideas, give feedback, and make connections. There will be a potluck lunch following the summit. Please bring a dish to share and your own plate/utensils.


Contact Dana Wolfson at dwolfson<at>bennington.edu for more information.

March 9, 2011 Biomass Energy in Vermont: Furthering the discussion of our community’s energy future

A panel discussion moderated by Valerie Imbruce, Director of the Bennington College Environmental Studies Program

Nov. 17 Rabbi Michael Cohen,  “The Environment as a Bridge to Peace in the Middle East

Nov. 15, 7pm.  Film Screening “A Sea Change.” Discussion with filmmakers to follow. http://www.aseachange.net/

Sept. 30 Woodworth Lecture in the Sciences

Wallace S. Broecker, “What must we do to combat global warming?”

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