Just a heads up to everyone –

We have finally gotten support to open a farmers market on campus – CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!? Having inexpensive, fresh, local produce will be an incredible asset to the university community. This is a trial run, so we need to show our support and purchase produce on this day so that the farmers will be encouraged to return to umbc

Look out for the events of EcoFest 2010 – which will be posted very soon

But, for now, the farmers market will premiere on Wednesday 21 in or around the Commons from 11-2

Congratulations to all the people who have been supporting nutrition and environmental advocacy for the past few years. Without your foundation we could have never had the chance.


Food is very related to environmental issues from how, where, and who aspects of how it’s grown, processed, distributed and sold. The Baltimore School Food Project is the Blackboard community that establishes a connection between UMBC and the Baltimore City Public Schools(BCPS) nutrition program. The BCPS has recently begun an organic farm in Catonsville. They have opportunities for volunteering, research and internships on a wide range of topics from bee keeping, science, ecology and nutrition education, and alternative construction. There are greenhouses, goats, composting, art, history, and a ton of other topics being adressed by the project.

Here on campus the Baltimore School Food Project is also supporting Students for Environmental Awareness(SEA) in our sustainable food efforts. We also are working with Chartwells (our campus’s dining contractor) in order to bring a farmer’s market, composting, and better food and produce to campus.
We are working on a prove-it SGA grant to start a community garden on campus. We’ll be growing heirloom organic species, half of the plots will contribute to Chartwells who will serve our produce in featured meals available right on campus and the other half will be available with plots for research, courses, groups, and anyone in the UMBC community interested in taking part. It will also be a gathering place and will host regular workshops and events.
Students can visit https://umbcsea.wordpress.com to find out more about SEA.
One quick and easy way to get involved is joining SEA as we volunteer on the farm in Catonsville and promote sustainable food on campus. At http://umbcgarden.blogspot.com students, professors, and staff- anyone really- can sign on as supporters of the community garden proposal and undergarduate students can vote in the spring for our grant proposal. Also, individuals can keep potted plants or buy better food- of organic heirloom species in order to preserve biodiversity, and protect water and land by not using chemically toxic fertilizers and pesticides. Also, buying from local farmers and boycotting fast food and cutting back on the amount of eat we eat leaves a gentler mark on the enviornment and natural resources.
Spending more time considering what we in, where it comes from, and how nutritious and safe it is will greatly improve our well-being and health. The student organization UMBC Vegetarians, the SGA department of Health and Well-being, the SGA Department of Environmental Affairs, and Prof. Belasco’s course on Food are further resources.
SGA Department of Environmental Affairs is currently working on establishing compost on campus. contact mhall13@umbc.edu to find out more.

Thanks for your interest and feel free to let me know if you have any more questions

Congratulations to our new elected officers!
President: Mary Norell
Vice President: Brandon Cottom
Secretary: Kyria Giordano
Treasurer: Meron Tesfaye & Elysabeth Stuehrmann
Advocacy: Jon Cleary
Educational Outreach: Laura Bartlock
Service: Doug Stull
Campus Sustainability: Maddy Hall & Kim Haines
Group Development: Max Tucker
Monday, Dec 14, Noon, Commons 318- bring food instead of meeting we’ll be eating =)
Friday, Dec 18th- End of the year party, 8:30pm:
-Black light party- wear a white t-shirt, bring highlighters & markers to write on them with
-Theme: Polka Dots, bring twister, theme related or other food/drink to share (tell us what you are bringing in your rspv)
-Email reply RSPV to get the location & contact # to call (walker apt)
-Celebrate the Graduation of Fawn Marie Golden, Bryan Perry & Tanvi Gadhia
-Celebrate SEAAAAAA!!!!

Relevant articles from the Retriever Weekly

Student wins Idea competition with plans for an on-campus produce stand called “The Green Bean”

By Chris Cook
Contributing Writer

Junior mechanical engineering major Mariano Mumpower came away with a $750 gift certificate to Amazon.com for winning November 19th’s Idea Competition Finalists Review. His idea? To bring healthy, fresh, quality, and affordable daily dining options to UMBC through a project he called “The Green Bean.” The selection was met with applause from the standing-room only crowd at The Commons Sports Zone during the two-hour event’s conclusion.

Mumpower conceptualized “The Green Bean” as a repainted, refurbished, and redesigned old school bus turned mobile organic produce stand. His presentation explained that his project would incorporate the concepts of using sustainable energy and providing seasonal menus, in addition to other things. He identified four main advantages of his idea: innovation, sustainability, benefit to the local community, and convenience. “I feel great,” he said shortly after he was announced as the winner. “I’m glad I was able to get my message across.”

He cited ice cream trucks and produce stands that are common in other countries as the main inspirations for his idea. “I like the thought of bringing produce directly to the community,” he said. He attributed the success of his project to its involvement with the health and green movements that are gaining larger followings throughout the country. “If students have just a little bit of time before class, [the Green Bean can] give students an option to have a healthy meal,” he said. He believes that students will value a healthier alternative to The Commons and a quicker alternative to the Dining Hall.

Global warming all hot air? Obama pushes full speed ahead at Copenhagen summit

By Courtney Ring
Senior Staff Writer

The escalating Internet hubbub over the e-mails released from Great Britain’s Climate Research Unit in East Anglia has been matched by near silence in the mass media. Why is that? Is it because these e-mails have the potential to force us to rethink the entire global warming scenario in several different ways?

The first thing to think about is the information on which the global warming platform is founded. The research from the Climate Research Unit was one of the four major sources relied on by the pivotal United Nations report dealing with man-caused global warming. If that information proves to be faulty, it calls into question the conclusions of the rest of the report. Tellingly, the e-mails mention frustration at not finding evidence for global warming to back up the predictions of models. One e-mail reads, “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.

The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.” Usually, when the data isn’t there, it’s standard procedure to allow that the theory might be wrong-not automatically assume that the problem resides in the data.

The second thing to reconsider would be the policy response of the United States and the rest of the world. The timing of the documents’ release comes just before the December 9 United Nations summit on global warming in Copenhagen, a summit that hoped to secure promises for sweeping cuts in carbon emissions.

This move promises to be highly expensive, making it particularly onerous for economies struggling to shake off the torpor of recession. Before agreeing to anything, representatives from the countries involved would do well to take a hard look at whether or not they’re potentially hurting their industries for the sake of tilting at windmills.

Third, we would have to re-think how the information about the global warming theory was disseminated. The e-mails hint at tampering with data, including requests to delete e-mails about the United Nations report, threats to keep a dissenting report out of a paper even if “we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is” and to put pressure on journals to keep dissenting voices out of accredited journals. The defense offered has been that scientists, according to Dr.Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University, “speak in a language they understand and is often foreign to the outside world.” Agreed, but how difficult is it to understand the following e-mail, sent after one journal published several articles by dissenters: “I think we have to stop considering “Climate Research” as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal. We would also need to consider what we tell or request of our more reasonable colleagues who currently sit on the editorial board.”

With so much money involved and the sweeping social changes envisioned by proponents of this theory, the facts had better be correct! But if people are not allowed to test the facts for themselves, and to dispute the conclusions, then there’s no way of telling what course of action is actually appropriate, potentially wasting time and resources.

This leads back to the original question: Why aren’t more people in positions of power publicly investigating this issue to find out the truth? President Obama is still planning to appear at the Copenhagen Summit to promise heavy cuts in carbon emissions. The situation is a bit like being on a high-speed train headed for a tall trestle over a fast-flowing river. Someone has raised a red flag to indicate danger on the tracks ahead. So, why aren’t more people slowing the train down in order to see what’s actually happening on the tracks before proceeding? As a society, are we so wedded to this theory that we can no longer step back and consider the facts objectively?

Here’s where you can sign on to the Maryland Student Climate Coalition group, let me know if you have any questions or want to get connected! We currently are in need for a UMBC representative, each campus has one. http://groups.google.com/group/md-student-climate-coalition?hl=en.

Elections are at Next Monday’s meeting so please come and vote! You can email nominations to becca at rreeves1@umbc.edu 

We welcome new memebers to take on leadership in our many existing positions or create new one  based on their interest.

Monday December 14th is our last meeting (noon, commons 318)- bring foods and we’ll just chill and eat.

 you can add your name of supporters at http://umbcgarden.blogspot.com for the community garden proposal

Saturday December 19th is our end of the year party. We’ll be at Eddie’s apartment in Walker probably and it’ll start around 8pm. Like last year, we ask for people to bring food and drink and good spirit to celebrate the graduation of SEA members(Tanvi Gadhia, Fawn-Marie Golden, and Bryan Perry) and just celebrate everything we’ve accomplished this year! Let me know what you would like to bring and if you are attending so i can send you the address and more information as we begin planning. This years theme is polka dots- bring twister and spotted themed foods and of course wear polka dots or be prepared to be stickered! I have finally pictures from last year’s space-cowboys themed send off so let me know if you would like me to send you those.

Seriously guys- apply to be a paid sustainability intern- it’s a great way to learn & contribute http://umbcenvironmentalaffairs.blogspot.com/ http://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=dE5xdmFhSEVZak5aLUYzZFlpa0p5blE6MA

Calling all UMBC students! Looking for a great way to get involved and give back to your community? Do you enjoy meeting new people? Would you like to learn about green technologies and the environment? Then consider volunteering at Cylburn Arboretum! Cylburn is a nature preserve and city park of 207 acres. A 10,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art, green visitor center, The Vollmer Center, is currently under construction at Cylburn and is set to open in April 2010. We need volunteers to staff the information desk, welcome visitors to Cylburn, and lead tours of the grounds and The Vollmer Center! Training will be provided for these positions and begins early next year. We are also looking for a student with web design experience to revamp our website. For more information or an application, please contact Megan Stransky, Volunteer Maryland Coordinator, at megan.stransky@cylburnassociation.org or (410) 367-2217.

The Maryland Department of the Environment is inviting you to help maintain and improve the quality of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries! Volunteers will assist MDE in monitoring the amount of nonpoint source pollution entering Maryland waterways and the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Non-point source pollution is one of Maryland’s largest environmental problems concerning waterways; it kills plants, decreases the amount of oxygen in the water, and makes the water all around less
habitable to any life form.

MDE wants you to help the Bay and its watershed by volunteering to reduce runoff pollution. This opportunity offers volunteers the chance to change how your government works for you, gives you insight into how a state enforcement agency operates, and allows volunteers to meaningfully help the Bay and its watershed.

For more information or to apply, contact Daniel Miller at 410-537-4480 or DJMiller@mde.state.md.us.

Are you headed home for Thanksgiving break? Then go through your closets and bring back your coats for refugee families in Baltimore.

What: The Refugee Youth Project (RYP) Coat Drive! We are collecting hats, scarves, gloves, and jackets in all sizes (children through adult). We are looking for anything that can be used to stay warm this winter.

Where: Donation boxes are located in all of the residentil halls (except Patapsco). There is also a donation box located in The Commons, by the pillar near the front desk.

When: NOW! Coat donations will be accepted through November 30th.

Who: Organized by the RYP student volunteers. For more information please email Yasmin Radbod at radbod1@umbc.edu.

Community Garden Prove-it Proposal:

If you’d like to see, eat from, or work on a community garden on campus, sign-up as a supporter, whether you are an undergraduate/graduate student, employee or professor, etc please help spread the word & generate support: http://umbcgarden.blogspot.com

Other ways to help with the Community Garden: Fri, Nov 20th, 11am-2pm, Garden Support Tabling, umbcgarden

GES & SEA Aquarium Trip:

https://umbcsea.wordpress.com (or if you are interested in Students for Environmental Awareness): Fri, Nov 20th @5pm Join the GES COM group on facebook & also find the event on there!GES COM and Students for Environmental Awareness (SEA) have planned a trip
to the National Aquarium in Baltimore for this Friday and would like for
you to join us.  Students are planning on carpooling from campus, but you
are also welcome to arrange your own transportation and meet us there.
When: Friday, November 20th
         If carpooling from campus: Meet in front of The Commons at 4:00pm
         If meeting us at the aquarium:  Be in front of the ticket stand
at 4:45pm
Cost: Admission to the aquarium is $8.00 after 5pm on Fridays
        If carpooling please bring $2 – 3 to help pay for parking
To buy your ticket online, go to http://www.aqua.org/discounts.html
Also, this trip is open to anyone, so feel free to bring along friends.
If you would like to attend, RSVP to Lyndar1@umbc.edu by 5pm on Wednesday, Nov. 18th.  Please include whether you are willing to drive others and how many or if you need a ride.

The Chiapas Media Project:

The event is Thursday, November 19, 7 p.m., in the Biological Sciences building, Lecture Hall 1. For more information, contact John Stolle-McAllister at stollem.

The Chiapas Media Project is an award winning, bi-national partnership that provides video equipment, computers and training to enable marginalized Indigenous communities in Southern Mexico to create their own media. Collaborating with autonomous Zapatista communities since 1998, the project has trained indigenous youth to produce videos on agricultural collectives, fair trade coffee, women’s collectives, autonomous education, traditional healing and the history of their struggle for land. Despite the challenges of little formal education and unreliable electrical supply, regional coordinators from the communities in Chiapas are not only producing their own videos but are also running the introductory camera, editing and internet workshops for their regions, providing more opportunities for even more communities to tell their own stories.

Alexandra Halkin, founding director and international coordinator of the program, will screen some of their most recent productions and discuss the role of indigenous media and self-representation, the effects of globalization in the context of the current socio-political situation in Mexico and the effects of the war on drugs on indigenous communities.

This event is sponsored by the Department of Modern Languages, Linguistics and Intercultural Communication; Office of the Provost; College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Language, Literacy and Culture program; Humanities Forum; Social Science Forum; Media and Communication Studies program; Shriver Peaceworkers; New Media Studio; and UMBC Solidarity Coalition.