New RavenCam at Wellesley’s Science Center

Wellesley has installed a RavenCam to closely observe a pair of Common Ravens nesting on the Science Center.  Frost Professor of Environmental Science and Professor of Biological Sciences Nicholas Rodenhouse sent the following message about the birds:

“We are recording their behavior at the nest 24 hours per day for scientific purposes.  Not much is known about ravens in urban environments, and no one has ever before had the opportunity to observe closely urban ravens at the nest.  Much can potentially be learned about parental behavior, vocalizations, diet, etc.  Ravens until recently have been birds of the wilds in the Northeast, but they have been increasing in abundance in this area since the mid 1970s — no one knows why.  Male and female ravens look alike, but only the female incubates the eggs.  The eggs should hatch in about 9 days (they have been incubating already for about 11 days).  If all goes well, the young will remain in the nest for another five weeks, leaving the nest at about the time of “graduation.”  Ravens are highly social, vocal, creative and love to have fun.  If they are successful in raising two offspring, we will see them learning and playing and hear them laughing over the campus this summer.  It will be a lot of fun for us all.”

Follow the ravens, and read more about these amazingly intelligent birds here:

Wellesley Club of Boston Hosting Food-Themed Spring Meeting

The Wellesley Club of Boston is hosting an exciting Spring Meeting on May 8th, featuring Handprinter Louisa Kasdon ’72 and Wellesley Political Science Professor Rob Paarlberg. The full description is as follows:


When: May 8, 2014 from 6-8:30pm
Where: Nutter, McLellan and Fish, 155 Seaport Boulevard, Boston 02210
Cost: $25 for members, $35 for nonmembers

Food connects us all. It sustains the body, the community. The daily quest for food drives much of human activity. We are in a time of great examination of how we raise our food, over simple sufficiency, over excessive calories consumed and excessive calories wasted. We have angst about whether our food is safe to eat. Whether GMO’s are part of the problem, or part of the solution? Is fresh always better than frozen? Do we all need to become urban farmers or vegans? What are the best strategies to feed a healthy, hungry world? Join Wellesley College political science professor Robert Paarlberg and food writer Louisa Kasdon ‘72 for a conversation that will address these questions.

Mass EEA Awards Urban Agriculture Grants

Handprinter Dorrie Pizzella’s office, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, has awarded $200,000 in grants to fund urban farm pilot projects across the state. These grants represent one of the first state-funded urban farming initiatives, awarding funds to projects in Boston, Everett, Lawrence, Lowell, Somerville, Springfield and Worcester.

Grant recipients include the City of Somerville, to build a raised bed and greenhouse structure at South Street Farm; the City of Everett, to launch a rezoning initiative for urban agriculture; the Food Project, to conduct a cost analysis of their urban and suburban farms in collaboration with the Dudley Street Neighborhood initiative, and many more!

Visit the EEA website for a full list of grant recipients, and details about this exciting grant program.

ES 399 course blog showcases students as public writers

Environmental Synthesis and Communication (ES 399) is a capstone course for Environmental Studies majors at Wellesley where students engage with environmental sustainability issues as public writers. The course blog features students writing on an environmental “beat” of their choosing, communicating the complex scientific, economic, political, and ethical dimensions of pressing policy issues. The blog will be updated throughout the semester, so check back often!

Call for Applicants: Global Food Security Next Generation Delegation

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is now accepting applications from students to participate in the Global Food Security Symposium 2014 Next Generation Delegation.

About the Delegation
Convened annually by The Chicago Council, the Global Food Security Symposium discusses the US government and international community’s progress on addressing global food and nutrition security. The Next Generation Delegation program was launched in 2013 to provide an opportunity for promising students to engage in symposium discussions and to interact with policy, civil society, and business leaders working on agriculture, food, and nutrition issues.  The Global Food Security Symposium 2014 will focus on adapting food and nutrition systems to climate change. It will be held May 22, 2014, in Washington, DC.

Delegate Opportunities
Delegates will have the opportunity to:

  • Attend the symposium.
  • Participate in symposium discussions via social media.
  • Interact with symposium speakers and senior attendees in private forums.
  • Connect with other outstanding students planning careers in the global agriculture, food, and nutrition sectors.

Delegate Responsibilities
Delegates are expected to:

  • Attend all symposium-related events in Washington, DC, from May 21-22, 2014. The Chicago Council will cover airfare, accommodations, and meal expenses.
  • Describe their research and career aspirations related to global agriculture, food, and nutrition issues through a posting on The Chicago Council’s Global Food for Thought blog.
  • Participate in a video interview to be filmed the day of the symposium.

Delegate Criteria
Students must be at the graduate or advanced undergraduate (third or fourth year) level studying agriculture and food policy; public policy or administration; agricultural science; nutrition; or other science, technology, engineering, and math disciplines and must plan to enter the agriculture and food sector upon graduation. International students and students studying at universities outside of the United States are strongly encouraged to apply.

To Apply
Interested applicants should submit the following to CaSandra Carter with the subject line “2014 Next Generation Delegation”:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • A letter of recommendation from a professor or employer
  • An essay explaining their interest in the program (no more than 500 words)
  • A recent headshot (in JPG or PDF format)

The deadline for applications is March 21, 2014.  Please note incomplete applications will not be considered.

Further Information on Global Food Security Symposia