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Archive for October, 2013

  • Cory Tiger: Helping People, Helping the Planet on October 29th, 2013

    Hey Stony Brook!

    Last month, I chose to highlight one influential Sustainability Studies Program student; you may remember him: Jayme Liardi: The Vegan Man with a Plan. Well, as October comes to a close, I’d like to bring attention to yet another outstanding student enrolled in Stony Brook University’s Sustainability Studies Program…and her name is Cory Tiger!

    Cory grew up in a small artisan town upstate called Warwick (which is a beautiful place to visit this time of year, may I add!). On her grandparents’ farm, Cory found her true love of nature, “introduced to horses before [she] could stand,” forging “a trust beyond human relations” with the majestic creatures. This was the moment  which Cory credits for sparking her passion for studying human-nature interaction.

    Growing up, Cory’s special way with horses flourished, riding during high school, participating in her college equestrian team, and also while exploring the red rock country in Wyoming on horseback. In Wyoming, Cory was amazed by the scenery so different from that which she saw throughout much of New York, especially New York City; instead of cement and paved roads, she saw endless swaths of preserved parkland and sweeping trails. In Cory’s mind, the contrast between the two places: Wyoming and New York, solidified her perceived humanitarian imperative of preserving the natural world.

     

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    Cory forged a special bond with horses as a toddler; her first connection to the natural world.

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    Riding horses in Wyoming, Cory realized: we need to preserve nature!

     

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    Cory Tiger, #supergreenstatus.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As an undergraduate here at Stony Brook, Cory participated in the study abroad program at the Turkana Basin Institute in Kenya. There, she was shocked to find a lack of environmental regulation due to problems with the education system and corrupt government leaders. Cory saw that harmful pesticides like DDT were being used by citizens to prevent insects from eating their crops. However, due to the lack of education and poor government practices, many Kenyan farmers were unaware of the dangers that these chemicals posed to their health.

    Double-majoring in Anthropology and Environmental Humanities, today Cory works to spread her growing knowledge about the human-nature connection and interactions through “organization and action.” This October, Cory attended the National Power Shift Convention in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with two other Stony Brook students. At the convention, Cory joined thousands of other envrionmentally-concerned young people to attend workshops, talks, and team-building activities, teaching our generation how to organize and take action against environmental and humanitarian injustice. As Cory says, “It’s important for the younger generation to know that we serve a purpose, and we can all be the change we not only want to see in the world but also need to see in the world.”

    Go, Cory! Your determination and positive attitude have been deemed exemplary in the quest for environmental justice, peace, and sustainability here at Stony Brook University. #supergreenstatus, in our book.

    Who will be next month’s Sustainability Studies Program “Student of the Month”? Guess you will have to wait and see!

    peace. love. run.

    ericarunsamerica

    PS. We are now on Twitter! Follow us @SustainableSBU

    And, if you haven’t already, LIKE us on Facebook!

  • Study, Work, Live…Abroad? on October 17th, 2013

    I always thought that people exaggerated the importance of studying abroad.  You hear people, even worse – your friends, coming back from their AMAZING study abroad experience and you feel mainly two things: 1. Happiness (for your friend) 2. Jealousy.  You begin to think why you aren’t lucky enough to study abroad or if it’s even worth going through with the process at all! But all the while you are thinking…will financial aid even cover this?

    My advice is: GO!  Seize the moment while you are still an undergraduate and have the opportunity to explore.  But please take my advice and pick a program that you think will change your life or academic experience.  I know a lot of people doing the study abroad programs just to boost their resume or to just get DEC’s finished. Don’t do this!  With a little bit of planning and good luck, you can get your DEC’s finished and have an awesome resume without even leaving the country.

    Go to another country with your eyes open to learn and immerse yourself in another culture.  If you love marine biology and wildlife – go to Jamaica!  If you love the humanities and foreign language go to Rome or St. Petersburg!  For example, I went to Berlin over the summer (as I’ve said in my previous posts).  I knew next-to nothing about the culture besides an intermediate knowledge of the country and geography, but I was open to learning about the culture, literature and history.  Now all of you don’t have to apply to Berlin just because of my high praise, but all I’m saying is choose wisely and grasp your life in your hands.


    Other than studying abroad, another great opportunity to work abroad!  What can be a better way to learn about a culture than to work in a foreign country!  Even if it is for a short-term, there are so many options and possibilities.  One great internship program is a program hosted by Cultural Vistas (http://culturalvistas.org/).  Most of their programs are in Germany, but they hold some in England, Argentina, and Chile. If you are more academically inclined then apply for a Fulbright Scholarship (http://www.iie.org/fulbright/).

     

  • Stony Brook Homecoming 2013 on October 15th, 2013

    On Saturday, October 5th, Stony Brook University hosted the 2013 Homecoming Football game and Wolfstock. The football game was against Bryant University and ultimately SBU Seawolves came out victorious! We definitely got our “Red” on at this game.

    A historical attendance record was noted in LaValle Stadium- 11,224 fans flooded the seats in the stadium, where capacity in the stadium for seating is approximately 8,000. Additionally, this game was especially important to me since it marked my senior year homecoming experience.

    And what an experience it was indeed. I had the opportunity of singing the national anthem at this game. Was I nervous? You better believe it!!! Would I do it again? In a heartbeat. I love singing for Stony Brook- red runs in my blood, as some say. But overall, the experience was very rewarding, memorable and I was truly honored. Stony Brook made one of my dreams come true.

    And just a word to the wise- take advantage of all the opportunities SBU has to offer you- in academics and extracurricular activities (i.e. clubs and organizations).  Never wonder “What If?” and always strive to make a difference! Check out my national anthem performance here: SBU 2013 Homecoming- National Anthem

    Anna singing the National Anthem at the 2013 SBU Homecoming Game.

    Anna singing the National Anthem at the 2013 SBU Homecoming Game.

     

  • Demetri Martin @ SBU! on October 14th, 2013

    SBU has this great tradition of inviting guest stand up comedians every once in awhile. 3 years ago- Aziz Ansari. 2 years ago- Kevin Hart. Last year- John Oliver and Wyatt Cenac. This year- Demetri Martin. For all of you that don’t know him, Martin had his own show on Comedy Central called “Important Things” and currently works on the John Stewart Show.
    The Staller Center hosted Martin with around 1000 people showing up. The event was spectacular. Unfortunately, I could not take any photos during the event. Fortunately, I was able to google image something. Well just wanted to let people know about the type of guests SBU brings. Till later, peace!
    -Ali

  • Digging for Answers on October 12th, 2013

    Hey Stony Brook!

    Have you ever heard of “earthworm ecotoxicology?”

    Earthworms are one species of animal greatly affected by the “stuff” put onto/into the Earth…since they live in “earth” itself!

    Stony Brook University Sustainability Studies Program (and other interested students) have the awesome opportunity to take part in an ongoing hands-on research project headed by Dr. Sharon Pochron.

    The project entails taking a look at the effects of potential toxins on the health and survival of earthworms, and conducting experiments to find the answers to a variety of questions, including:

    • -Does acid rain kill earthworms?
    • -Does Roundup cause earthworms to lose weight?
    • -Does fertilizer cause infertility in earthworms?

    Dr. Pochron takes students on who would like to earn one to three research credits, or just serve as project volunteers. Students have the opportunity to select, research, and present their experiment to the public during Earthstock and to URECA.
    In addition, students could potentially get their work published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal!

    Gabby and Anna

    Checking on the worms!

    Performing an acid treatment to see its effects on the worms!

    Performing an acid treatment to see its effects on the worms!

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    It’s dirty work, but someone’s gotta do it!

     

    Can you dig it?

    peace. love. run.

    ericarunsamerica

  • Trashed…What One Man Learned from Not Throwing Away Anything for an Entire Year on October 11th, 2013

    Hey Stony Brook!

    First off, in case you haven’t already heard, the Sustainability Studies Program here at Stony Brook (in conjunction with the Humanities Institute) is presenting a plethora of premier programs on sustainability and the environment! These fantastic talks are open and free to all SBU students and staff, lasting about an hour or two in duration. They are WELL worth your time; you will learn so much and meet some of the most highly regarded environmental activists and academics in the nation! Click here to see the full schedule.

    Thus far, we have already had quite a few incredible talks; Joni Adamson, Nicholas Fisher, and Michel Gelobter were all outstanding!

    But there is one speaker I’d like to feature because what he has done is simply…well, crazy!

    So here’s the story: Dave Chameides came to Stony Brook University on Wednesday, October 2 to give a talk titled: “Chasing Sustainability: Visualizing Change“. In his talk he informed his audience that 11 years ago, he had been consuming and throwing out material goods in much of the same way that most people do; you know, “He drove to the market, recycled when he could, didn’t litter too much, and generally tried to be a good guy.” Dave, a two-time Emmy Award winning cameraman and DGA director for shows like the ER, Third Watch, and Studio 60 was living a pretty good life. Doesn’t sound so bad, does it?

    Well, things changed for Dave when his wife became pregnant with the couple’s first child. Dave was suddenly struck with the realization that, in Dave’s words: “I suddenly had to step it up.” He incrementally took steps to reduce his impact on the planet: buying a Prius (later upgrading to a veggie-oil powered vehicle), installing solar panels on his home, and reducing his use of plastic bags. But to him, this was not enough. He wanted to know, “How much trash am I really throwing away?”

    So, on January 1, 2008, Chameides aka “Sustainable Dave” stopped taking out the trash and recycling for an entire year! He started by keeping all the waste in his basement, and keeping a blog detailing the contents of the trash, called 365 Days of Trash.

    Dave Chameides keeps his trash for an entire year...in his own basement!

    Dave Chameides keeps his trash for an entire year…in his own basement!

    So what did Dave learn?

    • That we–even the most seemingly eco-conscious of us–throw out A LOT of stuff! In all, he and his family totaled 28.5 pounds of trash in a year.
    • That recycling is great, but never using something in the first place is even better! 

    You can actually visit Dave’s Trash at The Museum of Trash in Hartford, Connecticut, where it (hopefully) inspires others to be more conscious about the way they consume and trash their garbage.

    Today, Dave speaks and updates his 365 Days of Trash blog with news, tips, and his thoughts on trash.

    Three EASY ways to reduce the amount of trash YOU throw away RIGHT NOW:

    1. Use reusables! From water bottles, to shopping bags, to batteries, and more, reusable is the way to go! Think about all the plastic bottles and bags you’ll be saving from landfills or recycling bins! When it comes to clothing, try to buy high quality pieces made from natural fibers that are durable and will last you a long time.

    2. Only buy/make as much as you will eat! Food waste is a HUGE problem… If your eyes are bigger than your stomach, start retraining your brain to think, how much am I really going to eat? If you have leftovers after eating or cooking a meal, save ‘em for the next day, don’t throw them out (also, leftovers can be an awesome and sustainable next-day lunch, so long as they are packed in reusable containers!). Aside from only buying and cooking as much food as you know you can eat, start a compost pile or bin (if possible) in your yard!

    3. Only press “PRINT” if you know you need it: Ok, so how many times have you been at a SINC site and the printer somehow went whacky and spit out like 20 sheets of nothing that you did not need? Before you can hurriedly scramble and hit the “CANCEL” button, there they are. Waste. And where do all those messed-up printed pages go? The gi-normous recycling bins that line the perimeter of every SINC site! Be sure to double-check print settings and the document you are printing before clicking “OK“!

    Check Dave’s 365 Days of Trash blog for more and constantly updated information pertaining to waste.

    Thanks, Dave, for teaching us so much about trash!

    And with that, as he likes to say, “no one can do everything but everyone can do something.” 

    peace. love. run.

    ericarunsamerica

    PS.

    If you’d like to be involved in helping change the future, contact him at dave@sustainabledave.org.