Announcing the 2nd annual Ecofeminism panel in honor of Women’s History Month of March w/ keynote speaker, Dr. Marcy Jung

By Michaela Steiner

A student panel focusing on Ecofeminism and the future will explore connections between environmentalism and feminism in honor of Women’s History Month. The event will be held March 11, 2014, at 7 p.m. in the Vallecito Room on the Fort Lewis College campus, and free food is being provided by Food Not Bombs! and the Sociology Club.

Ecofeminist theories will be applied to current global tribulations to produce a dynamic, inspiring and engaging conversation. The event aims to bring awareness to connections between these two distinct movements, to bring about solutions for our current social and environmental crisis and to empower students to be leaders for an inherited future.

“I am so thrilled to have the honor of facilitating this event for another year,” said student organizer, Michaela Steiner. “This event is unique because it gives students the opportunity to educate the larger Durango and Fort Lewis community and brings a fresh perspective to many environmental and social problems we face today.”

This is Steiner’s second year organizing the event, and she hopes to have similar success as seen last year.  More than 90 students and community members attended the ecofeminism event last year and engaged in an interactive discussion with student panelists.

With a new set of panelists, Steiner is sure interesting topics will be brought up, focusing on a theme of globalization throughout the entire panel.

“I’m always excited to see where the conversation goes, as these panelists are future leaders who can and will provide society with some real insight into how to move forward in a most beneficial and equitable way,” Steiner said.

Intern at Environmental Center examines the benefits interdisciplinary cooperation

The greenhouse as it currently resides.

The greenhouse as it currently resides.

By Steven Cooper, EC intern

As a non-traditional student here at Fort Lewis College, I can see where an interdisciplinary Environmental Center (EC) would greatly benefit not only the college but also the students.

As an example, I am tasked this semester with building a four-season greenhouse so we can start producing our own greens and herbs on campus. The main challenge I have found is the lack of diversity regarding academic disciplines here at the Environmental Center. Engaging a multitude of students at the EC would not only be beneficial for the long-term success of the EC but to the students, as well.

We just had a career fair, did we not? And how many of those mock-interviews did you participate in? How many of those jobs did you feel fully qualified for, knowing that you may have to build your resume a little more before you are considered “hiring material”?

From my experience, I have noticed that interdisciplinary cooperation is a lifelong skill that we need to be promoting here at Fort Lewis. Garnering a broad skill-set makes you more hire-able – to be able to tell your interviewer or boss or business partner or employees that you have these skills is a necessity in today’s modern business world.

In order to finish that project for the city, you’ll need to be able to talk to the mayor, the city council and the city planning committee. All of these people have diverse backgrounds – all of these people have created skills to get them where they are today. As an FLC student, you need to be able to say that you can approach all of these different people and make sure that your project is a success.  This is only actualized through the ability to work at a higher interdisciplinary level. At the EC, we can help create those skills. We have the venue, but we just need the people.

We’re all here to better ourselves.

We’re all here to better our minds and our life long goals.

We’re all here to make the best of this experience that we can.  So, let’s start by coming together to make the EC not only a training ground for our own personal goals but to create an atmosphere of cooperation and knowledge for future generations.

To the professors – can’t you see the benefit of having your students think a little more broadly? Can’t you see the benefit of having your students feel a little more confident in their educational pursuit? Can’t you see that engaging them in a community-minded center that you’d be helping to set them up for long-term success?

Students – let’s become a part of a bigger community. Let’s prepare ourselves a little bit more for that world “out there”. Let’s come together, expand our horizons and start focusing on something a little bit more than just our degrees.

     I feel that if we all start getting involved in an interdisciplinary approach, the Environmental Center and Fort Lewis would lay the groundwork for a more successful and supportive college environment.

A waggle-dance warning

By: Melanie Weber; Real Food Challenge Team member

In light of the hysteria surrounding sudden decline in bee populations, I found the documentary More Than Honey one that was compelling, informative and surprisingly emotional. Something I truly appreciated about the film was how it brought to life the different faces of honey production. The audience is introduced to the diverse world of bee-keeping; starting with a traditional bee keeper in the high mountains of Switzerland, who maintains his hive of native bees out of family tradition; to a traveling bee-keeper who transports thousands of bees in semi-trucks, pollinating America’s massive agricultural fields; and even a breeder of bees, who tricks the hive into producing extra queens to ship around the world.

While exploring the spectrum of bee keepers, I also began to piece together the personality of the main character, the bees themselves. Approximately 50,000 bees are buzzing around one hive, but not one could survive on its own. For this reason, scientists have chDrinking_Beeosen to refer to the hive as the organism, not the individual bee. The efficient delegation and communication in the hive keeps things running smoothly, as the film points out, because there is no one bee enforcing the rules, but each bee performs a task as if it was assigned. Collectively, an average hive has 500 billion neuron cells — five times the neurological capacity of a human. As a human, an independent entity, it is easy to misunderstand the bees’ relationship to their hive.  More than Honey provides the known science of bees, but also provides the viewer with a chance to observe the subtleties and emotions within hives.

Honey has amazing properties. It is filtered by the bees themselves, creating a food that is free of impurities. It also slightly acidic, helping your body fight localized infections. Plus, honey has additional antibacterial compounds. Anyone who experiences allergies can eat local honey to help their immune system. I want to still be able to enjoy my honey, but to make sure I was eating honey that was produced by a bee keeper who was respectful to the hive that produced it.

I decided to do some research on a local honey distributer: Honeyville, located just north of Durango. After talking with the folks there, I found out that Honeyville purchases honey from smaller producers all over- extending throughout the Southwest, into Colorado’s Front Range, and even into Wyoming. Something that was pressing on my mind was the use of antibiotics on hives. The Honeyville representative I spoke to informed me that bee keeping is impossible without the use of antibiotics. The bees sacrifice themselves for the sake of the honey—believing that it is for the longevity of the hive—and filter all those things out with their bodies. While I was informed that no significant levels of antibiotics can be found in the honey, I found myself equally concerned about the bees’ exposure.