MCLA

Endowment boosts MCLA environmental lectures

Series explores land use and wildlife in the Berkshires


06/17/2009

A popular environmental-themed lectureship on campus is now an endowed series. MCLA recently announced that an endowment allows this important series to become a permanent part of the College's long-term offerings.

 

The Vadnais Lecture Series was created by former student members of the Center for Resourceful Living, a cutting-edge environmental studies program founded and overseen by Professor Lawrence Vadnais and his wife, Elizabeth. The couple created an exciting land-based learning experience for students from the mid-1970s until the early 1980s.

 

At first, the Vadnaises used their own farm in Stamford, VT, for the initiative. Later, the College provided land for their use. For students, the importance of the Center for Resourceful Living was as great as their deep affection for Larry and Betty, their mentors.

 

The autumn Vadnais lecture was delivered by naturalist and author Scott Weidensaul, who provided a fascinating picture of migratory patterns of birds. Weidensaul, who wrote the book Living on the Wind: Across the Hemisphere with Migratory Birds, discussed the importance both economically and ecologically of saving migratory birds, and reviewed current threats to bird populations-from insecticides to habitat destruction. The lecture was delivered to a standing-room-only crowd. 

 

Earlier in 2008, Nobel Peace Prize winner William Moomaw delivered the spring lecture, also to a standing-room-only crowd. Moomaw discussed environmentally-sound housing and the critical importance of reducing of carbon emissions.

The honoring of Larry and Betty Vadnais advances some important goals of the College: contributing to environmental sustainability and honoring those who have contributed so much to our educational mission.

 

The College established the Berkshire Environmental Resource Center (BERC) in 2005 to advance student and faculty research and promote environmental awareness. For more information visit www.mcla.edu/About_MCLA.