28 May 2010

cfp: virtual environmental history workshop 4 grad students

i love it!

The New Scholars group of the Network in Canadian History and Environment is hosting a graduate student workshop on the theme of place and placelessness in environmental history on 1-2 October 2010.

They invite submissions of draft papers and unfinished work from graduate students in any related discipline on topics that address, complicate or illustrate the local, regional and transnational ecologies that bind us together.

This is a virtual un-workshop focused on unfinished work: participants will meet via Skype in small panel sessions to collaboratively and constructively discuss these works-in-progress. To help facilitate clear and problem-free participation, all invited participants will receive a FREE Skype headset. The workshop is limited to 20 participants.

Participants are also invited to collaborate in creating an online field trip that will explore the commodity chains that bind us in relations of production, consumption and destruction. Meet and network with your peers – explore new ideas–and have fun in this online workshop that explores new trends in environmental history and digital humanities.

Click here to register. Presenters are asked to submit a 300-word abstract outlining their works-in-progress by 16 July 2010. The full schedule will be announced 31 August 2010.

The conference organizers seek help developing this new model of academic gathering — save your scarce graduate funds and reduce your conference carbon footprint!

Follow them on Twitter at @Place_Placeless and join their Facebook group, Place and Placelessness.

Conference organizers, William Knight and Lauren Wheeler, can also be reached via email, virtualeh2010@gmail.com, and on their website.

27 May 2010

cfp: philosophy of silviculture science symposium

What the hell is silviculture? Now I know I wasn't the only one who didn't know.

Wiki says that it's "the art and science of controlling the establishment, growth, composition, health and quality of forests to meet...the needs and values of...landowners, societies and cultures." What about the needs of forests?

The Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies seeks papers for its Philosophy of Silviculture Science Symposium on Friday 15 October 2010.

There are 4 major themes:

1. Political and Historical Ecology of Silviculture Science
2. Philosophy of Forest and Ecological Sciences
3. Social Construction of Forests
4. Relational Epistemology of Forest Actors

James M. Brown, Coordinator, requests a cv and short abstract asap. Limited financial assistance is available. If needed, provide an estimate of travel and lodging expenses. Email material to jason.brown@yale.edu.

Check out Yale's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies here.

photo from wiki's forest entry

26 May 2010

western history association scholarship

Are you or someone you know a graduate student doing environmental (or other) history in the U.S. West? You can apply for the Western History Association's Trennert-Iverson Scholarship Award to lessen the costs of attending the conference.

Two $500 annual awards will be given to graduate students, MA or PhD, to be used toward travel, and the cost of conference registration, tickets to the welcoming reception, the graduate student social hour and the Presidential luncheon are also included in the award. excellent!

To be considered for this award, send a letter of interest, a cv and a letter of support from a faculty advisor to each member of the committee (see below).

Application Deadline: 16 July 2010


Melody Miyamoto, Collin College (Chair)
Laurie Mercier, Washington State University
David Nesheim, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Melody Miyamoto
P.O. Box 123
Waimea, HI 96796
Attn: Trennert-Iverson Award

Laurie Mercier
9610 SW Third Avenue
Portland, OR 97219

David Nesheim
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Department of History
1034 Oldfather
Lincoln, NE 68588

The conference will be held in Nevada, 13-16 October. Click here for more info.

good luck!

24 May 2010

smartbike dc

I received my SmartBike card today! i'm so excited.

I can now go to 1 of 10 smartbike locations, secure a bike and ride around for 3 hours and then return to any of the locations.

And it was incredibly cheap--just $40 for an annual membership. Operated by ClearChannel, it is billed as the U.S.'s first self service public bike rental program, modeled after Montreal's Bixi program.

Though there are changes afoot. I read on Greater Greater Washington's blog that the program will greatly expand and double in price. Read it here.

I joined to support cycling and non-car transportation. I also joined to satisfy my serious cycling joans and jealousy, especially when i see horizontally-inflected cyclists.

Here I wrote about my intent to start cycling again, about the 5 friends who cycled from NY 2 DC together in 1928 (!) & the tweed ride.

Now I've go to get a helmet.

19 May 2010

baltimore free store take 2

I admit it. I was going to the Baltimore Free Store because I was hoping to snag 6 dining room chairs, which I so desperately need. Turns out that there's not enough space in the store for furniture, so there was none to be had. I was bummed. And still very excited.

Mara and I arrived, via Zipcar, a few minutes before 10am. I asked Mara what she hoped to find. She was still struggling to fully grasp the concept of free. There was a line of about 20. I was hoping to be first in line. (Those who know me are shaking their heads 'of coursedly'.)

Turns out that since the store is small they let in a group of folks at the top of the hour. They get to shop for forty minutes and then the store closes for 20 minutes to restock. Everyone is welcome to get back in line and shop again. I may have gotten a little rowdy after hearing this. It turns out that the wait wasn't long at all.

I followed Mara to the children's section and she marveled at all the great toys. She played with a bunch and grabbed a few that she really liked.

The other shoppers (is it really shopping if no money is exchanged?) had planned ahead and brought their own bags and carts. (BFS also had bags available.) Folks snagged clothes, shoes, toys, books, videos, kitchen appliances, knick knacks, bags, purses, videos, books, art work, bicycles and more. The store was chock full of great goodies and junk. A few lucky shoppers left with televisions and other big electronics after handing over their winning raffle tickets.

Besides the chairs, I also wanted to meet the person(s) who made all this possible. That would be Matt, who started BFS back in 2004. He says that his goal now is to train neighborhood residents to run the store and then jet to start up another one in another neighborhood until, I guess, there are free stores throughout Baltimore.

Stay tuned for a full interview soon.

To read more about the Baltimore Free Store, click here.

Click here and here for my earlier posts on BFS and free stores in general.

14 May 2010

green america green grants

Green America has a new green grants program. They are seeking nominations for organizations that have green projects that are worthy of a small cash prize to help them toward completion. 4 prizes will be given--1 in the amount of $2,500 and 3 in the amount of $1,000. I said small! But still significant.

For a school wanting to create an organic garden, they could use the cash prize to purchase tools, soil, wood, etc. For an organization wanting to encourage bicycling and bicycle repair, they could sponsor free monthly bike workshops, renting out bikes and teaching bicycle repair.

Maybe I'll submit one of my cazillion ideas: the long vegan table! Neighbors would bring their own tables & chairs and share a vegan meal outside in the street. Like a block party! There would be fancy plates, silverware, cloth napkins & candles and fresh cut flowers from neighbors' gardens. And the ingredients would come from people's gardens and, perhaps, neighbors would cook together outside. Maybe stone soup!

Green America is open to all ideas. The only real requirement is that the projects have to combine social & economic justice with environmental & community health. (The organizations don't even have to be non-profits or have 501(c)3 status.)

I find it quite interesting that Green America is stressing the social justice angle--that it cares as much for people as it does the planet/nature. It sounds like Green America is responding to criticism that it didn't give a damn about people. Is this a complete rebranding, a move to something like ' Green America For All'. Watch out 'Green for All'! Or a niche move. I just noticed that they have a new motto--Come Together. more interesting!

For more information about Green America's green grants program, click here.

Click here for my review of Green America's new t-shirt design.

table image from Stone Soup by Jon J. Muth.

13 May 2010

baltimore free store grand opening

The Baltimore Free Store's grand opening is this Saturday, 15 May 2010, 10am-4pm. I'm so excited!!! Their new location is 1413 West Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21223.

What's the Baltimore Free Store? It's a thrift store where everything is free! I wrote about it here in January.

Check out this video, which was made before they moved into their storefront:

They will be giving away items and accepting donations.

Check out their website here.

peach trees in dc

There are fruit trees in DC! And I don't believe these are part of the Casey Trees program. I'm sure they have been planted by an individual/family. I photographed these peach trees coming back from an afternoon walk. They're at the corner of Randolph Street and Kansas Avenue, NW.

While doing research on Echoing Green's social entrepreneurship fellowship, I came across a recipient who had developed a neighborhood fruit tree project. She identified and created a database of all the fruit trees in her neighborhood, shared the information and, with others, picked and ate the bounty.

i love it!

It has now morphed into the Portland Fruit Tree Project and also includes nut trees. Find out more here.

Do you have fruit or nut trees in your neighborhood? If so, send photos. And let us know when they're ripe!

photos: feel free to use/credit

12 May 2010

chocolate & arugula in minneapolis

I was in Minneapolis last week for the UNCF's 2nd Building Green Learning Institute. I blogged about it here. The conference was held near the airport and Mall of America. (I could see Nordstrom from my window and I could hear the size 11/nonanimal shoes beckoning me!)

Since I arrived a day early, I decided to go into Minneapolis and buy some groceries. I took the hotel shuttle to the mall for the light rail. I decided to buy an all-day pass ($6) since I would also have to take a bus. I was a little confused by the signs. I couldn't quite figure out where the light rail was. Someone directed me to what looked like a parking garage or an outdoor bus terminal. I finally figured out where the light rail would stop but there was no gate or person to take my ticket. Once the light rail train came, I got on and still no machine or person to take my ticket. So I asked someobody. He said that I just hold on to it and if a police officer asked for it then I showed it. really?! They rely on an honor system?!

I took the light rail to Franklin Avenue and then caught the #2 bus to South Lyndale. As I was walking to The Wedge health food store, I saw a vision...of a thrift store! Specifically, steeple people surplus store, where I bought a piggy bank

and a pink "M" purse for Mara.

After an hour+, I walked a few blocks to the Ecopolitan raw food restaurant for lunch. I had kimchee, one of my favorites. And I got a cashew cheesecake to go.

Then I walked to The Wedge, an absolutely fabulous health food store, located midway between the thrift store & the restaurant.

It's a great store with items that are often not available in DC, such as barhi dates. I always feel at home when I find a local health food store. It's one of the first places I want to visit. I'm happy, of course, that it exists because it means I will be able to eat well. I'm also happy because it is a window into multiple communities and the commitment/work involved in making it happen.

So, if you find yourself in Minneapolis, hungry & curious, South Lyndale is the place to be.

photos: Hiawatha Line wiki. I took the others. feel free to use/credit.

04 May 2010

aseh members petition against phoenix conference

I just signed a petition requesting that the American Society for Environmental History Executive Committee change the venue of the 2011 conference, currently scheduled for Phoenix, in light of the recent anti-immigration bill passed by the Arizona state legislature and signed into law by Governor Jan Brewer, who looks/is white. The petition states:

Holding the conference in Phoenix would expose Latino[a/] ASEH members to racial profiling and place all its members in the untenable position of choosing between professional development and the moral imperative not to contribute with our tax dollars to a state government that has enacted an updated version of Jim Crow legislation.

(There is work that could be done here re unpacking the statement of looking/being Latino/a &/or an immigrant....)

To read the full petition & add a signature, click here.

To read the ASEH Executive Committee's justification for remaining in Phoenix, click here.

To learn more about ASEH, click here.

01 May 2010

by any greens necessary!!!

May Day 2010 marks the official release of By Any Greens Necessary: A Revolutionary Guide for Black Women Who Want to Eat Great, Get Healthy, Lose Weight, and Look Phat by Tracye Lynn McQuirter, MPH. aka my younger sister!

It is available at local bookstores and on Amazon.

By Any Greens Necessary is part autobiography and history, mixed with nutrition info & recipes and topped off with a dollop of vegan style.

Check out this recent video:

Tracye is already on tour. Check out her website and follow her on Facebook & Twitter to see when she is coming to your city.