Alumni Musician Testifies for Change

Many of you may recall Adam Gardner, front man of the Tufts-born band Guster, from his recent performance at Spring Fling. But the Class of ’95 singer is doing more for music than putting on great shows. On May 8, Gardner spoke at the National Resource Committee Hearing in regards to 1981 amendments to the Lacey Act, demonstrating the value of active citizenship that Tufts promotes. In his speech, Gardner called for harsher punishments to those who partake in illegal logging practices. Specifically, he spoke of rosewood – a material typically used to make guitars. You can learn more about the proposal and the negative effects of illegal logging from the video of Gardner’s speech below:

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The New Entry Sustainable Farming Project

The New Entry Sustainable Farming Project (NESFP) is a program initiated by the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition in an effort to meet the increasing demand for locally grown food. The farmer training program includes people from all over the world, from Zimbabwe to Cambodia, who are interested in small-scale commercial agriculture. One marketing initiative that is part of NESFP is the World PEAS Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, which helps connect local farmers with a consumer base. The goal is to teach aspiring farmers a lost form of agriculture that has been long overlooked in favor of imports and mass-scale farming. This will permit farmers to meet the new demand for fresh, local fruit and vegetables. You can learn more about the program in the video below.

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Growing Civic Fruit

What sounds more like Tufts than puns, civic engagement, and the environment? It won’t come as a surprise that Tufts alumni are essential to The Boston Tree Party.

The Party is a diverse coalition of organizations, institutions, and communities from across the Greater Boston Area coming together in support of Civic Fruit. We call for the planting of fruit trees in civic space and promote the fruits of civic engagement. Each community has committed to planting and caring for a pair of heirloom apple trees.

Three Tufts Alumni are leading the way at The Boston Tree Party. Lisa Gross is the Chairman and Founder, Maura Schorr Beaufait is the Chief of Operations, and Beth Nollner is Project Coordinator. Between them they hold degrees from Tufts/MFA, the Friedman School of Nutrition, and the Urban and Environmental Policy graduate program.

Check out this short documentary: “Growing Civic Fruit: A Documentary Film about the Boston Tree Party”


You can follow the Boston Tree Party on Twitter at @BostTreeParty

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Root to Fruit

Undergraduate Carolyn Pace, E12, is one of 1,237 start-up applicants participating in this year’s MassChallenge. Her project, titled Root to Fruit, aims to help bring locally grown food to mass grocers while simultaneously improving the quality of life for farmers by giving them access to formerly inaccessable markets. Pace is looking to launch the program in Boise in the spring of 2013 and then expand to other Northwest areas by 2016. You can hear Pace explain more about her start-up in the video below, as well as sign up and vote for her proposal here.




Digging for Answers

Tufts Geology Professor Grant Garven doesn’t want to just teach out of books. Instead, he wanted his students to have a hands-on experience of studying water under the Earth’s surface. Just for this purpose has created an outdoor labroratory, complete with a series of very deep and narrow holes in the ground on campus. Have you seen them? There is one behind the Olin Center at the highest elevation on Tufts’ campus and two more near the Campus Center and Powderhouse Circle! Each borehole reaches about 120 to 200 feet into the Earth. To check out the drilling process for a new well near Eaton Hall, check out this video!

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EPIIC on the Web

The 2011-2012 EPIIC symposium, a four day event that took place from February 22 to 26,  was comprised of lectures and panels discussing various aspects of this year’s subject, “Conflict in the 21st Century,” and was put on by the Tufts Institute of Global Leadership. While tickets to the full symposium could run up to $75 a pop (the price was largely discounted for Tufts students and alums), the IGL made it possible to stay in the know no matter where you were, both during and after the symposium. You can scroll back on their twitter account to check out great EPIIC quotes or see their Flickr albums for photos of the many events and speakers.

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My (Subversive) Garden Plot

Roger Doiron, F93, founder of Kitchen Gardeners International, gave a talk at TEDxDirigo in September 2011 entitled “My (subversive) garden plot,” explaining “how gardens can re-localize our food and feed our growing population.”

Doiron spoke at the Friedman School on Oct 21, 2009. Watch the video.


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The Case of Zimbabwe’s Blood Diamonds

Last fall, students in the political science department’s course Conflict and Natural Resources examined the role of natural resource endowments and scarcity in national and international conflict. Groups were tasked with finding an innovative way to present on the topics of oil, diamonds or minerals. Justin G. McCallum, A13, Melissa Karp, A13, Julie Kalt, A12, and Amy Calfas, A13, created the following video as a call to action for producers of Zimbabwe’s blood diamonds.

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Tufts Institute of the Environment

If you care about the environment and want to do graduate work in the subject area, look no further! Tufts Institute of the Environment (TIE), which emphasizes the importance of sustainability and environmental research and awareness through interdisciplinary initiatives, has two exciting opportunities for post-grads.

The TIE Graduate Fellows program allows Tufts graduate students of any discipline to add an environmental component to his or her research. From biology to works of literature, Tufts students have found unique ways to delve into the natural world. Take a look:

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On a different note, TIE Tufts Environmental Literacy Institute (TELI) brings faculty, staff and graduates together for a week-long workshop every year to increase environmental literacy.  Here’s more about this year’s program and what it accomplished:

Be sure to like TIE on Facebook and to check out some cool photos!

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Tufts Grads put the ‘Fond’ back in Fondue

Slow Foods, an international non-profit organization that specializes in the defense of environmentally friendly, great tasting food, has had quite an influence on some Friedman School foodies. This past November, Elaine Siew, N12, took pleasure in hosting a Swiss-style fondue adventure for her fellow Slow Foods members. On the Slow Foods Tufts Blog, she explains in detail the assortment of cheese and chocolate fondue cooking options that seem to be both titillating to the taste and fun for groups of friends to share together. She describes the experience as:

a beautiful evening celebrating everything that is good and right about Swiss cheese, and proving yet again that you can never, never have too much cheese.

For more words of wisdom from Slow Foods Tufts, be sure to check out their blog for regular updates!

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