Water Expert Robert Gusentine to Give Norwich Todd Lecture

Robert Gusentine poster
Norwich University Office of Communications

February 17, 2016

NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Norwich University continues its Todd Lecture Series with “Water: Understanding the 21st Century Challenge,” a presentation by Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow Robert Gusentine on Thursday, Feb. 25, at 7 p.m. in Dole Auditorium. This lecture is free and open to the public.

The lecture is part of a week-long visit that brings Gusentine into science, mathematics, engineering, business, ROTC, and architecture classrooms and small groups with undergraduate students.

Gusentine is a retired veteran of the United States Navy with 28 years of service. He served in over 30 countries and was selected as one of 10 senior military officers to serve on the Chief of Naval Operation’s Strategic Studies Group before closing out his military career on the Joint Staff.

He has just started a new technical advisory company called I2 Strategy and Development, which offers assessment, design, and development expertise to government, business, and academia.

Gusentine serves on the board of directors for Elsie’s Hope, a nonprofit corporation devoted to improving the living conditions of people around the world by providing sustainable access to clean water through water filtration systems in the field and other on-the-ground efforts.

His Todd Lecture Series presentation at Norwich is co-hosted by the College of Professional Schools and the College of Science and Mathematics.

Norwich University’s Todd Lecture Series is named in honor of retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Russell Todd and his late wife, Carol, in gratitude for their dedicated service to the university. General Todd, a 1950 graduate of the university, also serves as president emeritus. With this series, Norwich brings national thought leaders from business, politics, the arts, science, the military and other fields and endeavors to its Northfield campus. Lectures are streamed live from Todd Lecture Series.

For more information please visit the Todd Lecture Series website (tls.norwich.edu) or call (802) 485-2633.

About the Council of Independent Colleges Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows Program:

For more than 35 years, the Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows program has brought prominent artists, diplomats, journalists, business leaders, and other nonacademic professionals to campuses across the United States for substantive dialogue with students and faculty members. Through a week-long residential program of classes, seminars, workshops, lectures, and informal discussions, the Fellows create better understanding and new connections between the academic and nonacademic worlds.

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Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation’s six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). www.norwich.edu

In fulfillment of Norwich’s mission to train and educate today’s students to be tomorrow’s global leaders and captains of industry, the Forging the Future campaign is committed to creating the best possible learning environment through state-of-the-art academics and world-class facilities. Norwich University will celebrate its bicentennial in 2019. Learn more about the campaign and how to participate in the “Year of Transformation” here: bicentennial.norwich.edu.

NU Wins Grant for Interdisciplinary, Environmental Service-Learning Projects

By David Westerman, PhD
Norwich University Office of Academic Research

 
May 28, 2015

Norwich University has been selected to receive a sub-grant of up to $4,000 from a four-state Campus Compact consortium and the Davis Educational Foundation to create institutional change by embedding environmental service-learning projects into courses, thereby strengthening teaching and curriculum, student learning outcomes, and interdisciplinary approaches to education.

Management of the grant program in Vermont is by the Vermont Campus Compact.

The approved proposal, submitted by Profs. Tara Kulkarni, Matthew Lutz, Tom Roberge and Dave Westerman, calls for offering an “integrated, interdisciplinary set of curriculum modifications built around geology, environmental engineering, sustainable architecture, and outdoor education, all in collaboration with the Town of Northfield and its many partners.”

Northfield zoning administrator Michele Braun will manage the project, which aims to develop an education park about flood zones along the banks of the Dog River. Sited near Northfield’s village green, the park will also include a community garden and a playground.

In their proposal, the four Norwich faculty stated: “We do this because one of the founding principles almost 200 years ago [of Norwich] was to promote experiential learning, cast in the framework of ‘service before self.’ The University’s original concept of developing the citizen soldier has evolved to match the changing nature of our nation, now striving to develop leaders to implement change for the good, from the global stage to the local neighborhood.”

The overarching issue being addressed in this integrated project was presented as follows:

“The largest overriding issue regarding the future of Earth’s habitability is climate change, with the myriad repercussions that stem from the current warming trend. We want to focus on this tremendous issue, while carrying out a project that highlights the need for interdisciplinary solutions. Our specific project addresses living with flooding, and we seek to use this as a means of helping our students, members of the local community, and ultimately the world at large as they face the process of designing solutions to global environmental change.”

Members of the grant team will receive training in June in Portland, Me., as well as ongoing support in the development and delivery of courses that will partner with community organizations to address environmental challenges.

About the Author: David S. Westerman, PhD, is the Charles A. Dana Professor of Geology at Norwich University and the Associate Vice President for Research in the university’s Office of Academic Research.

Norwich University’s Award-Winning Solar House Earns Recognition in Regional EPA Earth Day Awards

Norwich University Office of Communications

Updated May 1, 2015

NORTHFIELD, Vt. – A team of Norwich University students was recognized by the New England Office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at this year’s Earth Day ceremony in Boston with a 2015 Environmental Merit Award.

The four alumni and two professors present to receive the award helped design and build Norwich’s Delta T-90, the 2013 solar house that won the affordability category at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon in Irvine, Calif.

The team’s latest accolade from the EPA was bestowed in “recognition of exceptional work and commitment to the environment” at a special ceremony held at Faneuil Hall in Boston, Mass., on Wednesday, April 22, 2015.

The annual Earth Day ceremony has recognized the environmental achievements of New Englanders for more than three decades.

“Our students tasked themselves with addressing a real and immediate problem in their community—providing a compelling housing solution that is both affordable and sustainable,” said Aron Temkin, an architect, professor and dean of the College of Professional Schools at Norwich University. “We are very pleased to see them recognized this way, because it reinforces the viability and impact of their work.”

Temkin adds that it also speaks to the impact of the “Norwich educational experience of a cross disciplinary collaboration of designer, engineer and constructor that they will be practicing throughout their careers.”

Today’s EPA merit award is the latest in a string of awards and honors the Delta T-90 solar house has garnered since its inception.

More than a year after successfully competing in the 2013 Solar Decathlon, Norwich University’s Delta T-90 House won the Vermont Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIAVT) 2014 People’s Choice Award.

The Delta T-90 House models how high performance solar-powered dwellings can be made affordably. At the 2013 US Solar Decathlon event in California, the home earned first-place awards for affordability and energy balance. The team also earned the Byron Stafford Award of Distinction for their character and sportsmanship.

Since the competition’s close, the Delta T-90 house has delivered on its mission to educate the public about residential-scale renewable energy and green-design by becoming part of the Westcott Center for Architecture and Design in Springfield, Ohio. The center boasts a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed prairie-style house and seeks to involve and promote architecture and design practices as a medium for educating K-12 students in social studies, math, science, and the arts.

Since moving to Springfield, the Delta T-90 house has graced the cover of Green Energy Ohio magazine and been the subject of many articles. The house has also helped the Westcott Center earn grants from the Ohio Arts Council and the Institute of Museum and Library Services by evidencing strong public outreach capabilities.

Through features like its integrated, digital energy-monitoring dashboard, the Delta T-90 house shows students real-time, measurable evidence of the value of design thinking. It does this by comparing real-time energy use to real-time energy production by the Delta T-90’s 5.84KW solar panel system.

Norwich University Associate Professor Matt Lutz, the faculty leader of the Delta T-90 project, praised the Wescott partnership and the role the Norwich solar house plays today to serve the nonprofit’s central mission.

“The Norwich team couldn’t be more proud of the partnership that the Delta T-90 has helped form with the Westcott Center for Architecture and Design. There, the house is really doing what we intended it to do, to become a living laboratory that will educate the public for years.”

Students and faculty in Norwich University’s College of Professional Schools have now embarked on a plan to design sustainable, micro-houses for low-income Vermonters. Read about the project here.

About Norwich University

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation’s six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). www.norwich.edu

In fulfillment of Norwich’s mission to train and educate today’s students to be tomorrow’s global leaders and captains of industry, the Forging the Future campaign is committed to creating the best possible learning environment through state-of-the-art academics and world-class facilities. Learn more about the campaign and how to participate in the “Year of Service” here: bicentennial.norwich.edu    

Media Contact:
Daphne Larkin
Assistant Director of Communications
(802) 485-2886; 595-3613
dlarkin@norwich.edu

NU in the News: Professor Sean Prentiss Publishes Book on Edward Abbey

The Times Argus writes about Norwich assistant professor of English Prentiss and his quest to find the final desert resting place of environmental writer Edward Abbey
Norwich University Office of Communications

 
April 15, 2015

The Times Argus profiles Norwich University Assistant Professor of English Sean Prentiss in a March 28, 2015 article and discusses his new book on Edward Abbey.

A poet and author, Prentiss teaches creative writing at Norwich and runs the Norwich University Writers Series. In his new nonfiction book, Prentiss describes his search for the final desert resting place of famed environmental writer Edward Abbey.

Prentiss, who grew up in the same Pennsylvania town as Abbey, tells the Times Argus that his book is part memoir, part biography and part travelogue.

“Finding Abbey: The Search for Edward Abbey and His Hidden Desert Grave” will be issued by publisher University of New Mexico Press on May 1, 2015.

An essayist and novelist, Abbey loved the desert and has been described as the Thoreau of the American West. Among his best-known books are “Desert Solitaire,” an ode to time spent in his favorite landscape.

Before he died in 1989 at the age of 62, Abbey asked four friends to bury him in the Cabeza Prieta Desert in Arizona.

“It was one of Abbey’s favorite deserts,” Prentiss tells the Times Argus. “Maybe America’s most beautiful desert, it’s a spectacular place — a vast wilderness, very stark, very rocky. Full of saguaro cactus and very little else.”

“This book is about mystery, about the search for home and about asking a mentor for advice,” Prentiss says. “Yes, it’s about the search for the grave, but the search doesn’t matter. What matters is the journey.”

Read the full article here.

Two Norwich Student Projects Showcase Research, Start-up Savvy

Norwich student-led research projects and start-ups showcase their ideas at competitions in Washington, DC, and Texas this weekend
Daphne Larkin
Norwich University Office of Communications

April 9, 2015

As the final weeks of the 2014-2015 academic year wind down, Norwich students are packing in as much experiential learning and service as humanly possible.

This Friday six students plus faculty mentor Tara Kulkarni, PhD, will travel to a national research competition in Washington, DC.

A civil and environmental engineering professor, Kulkarni received an EPA pilot grant in September that funds her collaboration on a student research project led by senior civil engineering student Susan Limberg.

Serving as faculty advisor, Kulkarni wrote a proposal based on Limberg’s idea of developing pervious concrete filters to control stormwater runoff. One compelling component of their project is a filtration process aimed at transforming rainwater into drinkable water.

They received a Phase I, $14,957 grant from the P3: People, Prosperity and the Planet Student Design Competition for Sustainability, a national-level competition organized by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

On April 11-12 the team will participate in Phase II at the National Sustainable Design Expo (NSDE) in Washington to compete for the P3 Award and a grant of up to $75,000 to take their design to real world application.

Business Start-up Competition

At the same time, Norwich student entrepreneurs are heading to Texas to showcase their idea for a business startup aimed at the maker movement. Team YETi designed a project board to simplify the electronics of maker applications and will pitch their business start-up at a Texas Christian University competition.

James Whitlock and Josh Coleman, electrical and computer engineering juniors at Norwich, and Joe Poulima, a former Norwich undergrad and current electrical engineering technology major at Vermont Technical College, designed a device to “bridge the gap between conceptual model design and finished product” for the ever-growing maker market.

Norwich faculty helped the team hone their pitch, which won the recent NU Launch! entrepreneurial business competition. Team YETi will now pitch their idea at the 5th Annual TCU Richards Barrentine Values and Ventures student business plan competition to be held at Texas Christian University’s Neeley Entrepreneurship Center on April 10 – 11.

This marks the first time Norwich University will participate in the annual competition in which undergraduate students around the world pitch plans for for-profit values-centered enterprises that impact society in meaningful ways.

 Media Contact:
Daphne Larkin
Assistant Director of Communications
(802) 485-2886, (m) 595-3613
dlarkin@norwich.edu

Climate Change Increasing Security Threat, Former Army Chief Says

In a Todd Lecture Series speech at Norwich, GEN Gordon R. Sullivan said global warming is spurring a spate of growing risks to US interests
Office of Communications

February 6, 2015

Former US Army Chief of Staff Gordon R. Sullivan NU ’59 said climate change is spurring more instability around the world and that the security risks from global warming are advancing faster than expected.

“We are not prepared for the pace of climate change,” Sullivan said, noting that it will impact US military readiness and national power, particularly domestic infrastructure.

Already the US has been caught flat-footed by the speed of melting sea ice in the Arctic. Russia, Canada and Denmark are posturing for control of oil reserves beneath the North Pole. But the US lacks sufficient ice-hardened ships and communications and navigation gear to respond to crises there, Sullivan said.

Elsewhere, shifting weather patterns will stress the world’s ability to meet regional demand for food and fresh water, leading to further political unrest and potential mass transnational migrations. Sullivan said this is particularly true in Africa and Asia, where the human population is exploding.

Climate change will place more demand on the US military to respond to national and international crises, challenge readiness and send troops into harsher operating environments, Sullivan said.

The retired four-star general made the remarks yesterday during a speech focused on climate change and national security at his alma mater, kicking off the first Todd Lecture Series event of 2015.

Established in 2008, the free public lecture series aims to bring thought-provoking speakers to inform and inspire the Norwich campus and central Vermont communities.

Sullivan served as the 32nd Army Chief of Staff under Presidents Bush and Clinton, where he helped reengineer and downsize the US Army in the wake of the Cold War, leading it into the Information Age while facing a 40 percent budget cut.

Since 2006, Sullivan has served on the Military Advisory Board of the CNA Corp., a government-funded nonprofit military research organization.

In 2007, the panel of 16 retired generals and admirals identified climate change as a “threat multiplier,” particularly in fragile areas of the globe.

The board issued a second report last year, concluding that climate change poses an accelerating risk to national security.

For example, it linked the devastating drought of 2010 in the US, Russia and China to a steep decline in world wheat production that sparked a series of cascading effects. Bread prices spiked in Tunisia, Egypt and other wheat-importing countries in Northern Africa. The shortages and massive price increases led to food riots and unrest that precipitated the Arab Spring revolutions.

“While there were deep underlying causes for overthrow of several of the governments, the catalyst that set this off can be directly linked to weather and climate change,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan’s speech outlined the effects climate change is having on four major areas related to US national security: global instability, melting Arctic sea ice, US military readiness and US power.

Sullivan gave a synopsis of recent climate change trends and how they might destabilize regimes or regions in the future.

He noted that in January, both NASA and NOAA reported that 2014 was the warmest year on record since 1880, that the ten warmest years on record have occurred since 2000, and that eight of the ten costliest US storms have occurred in the past decade.

“Globally, we have seen recent prolonged drought act as a factor driving both spikes in food prices and mass displacement of populations, each contributing to instability and eventual conflict,” he said.

“For example, five years of drought in Syria decimated farmers’ crops and forced millions to migrate to urban areas. These drought refugees found little in the way of jobs and were quickly disenfranchised with the government,” Sullivan said.

“The result is civil war in Syria.”

Sullivan said additional impacts can be seen in unprecedented wildfires and the effect of rising sea levels on low-lying island nations, some of which are planning whole-sale evacuation.

“Over the coming decades, I think those areas already stressed by water and food shortage and poor governance—these span the globe—will present the greatest near term threat for conflict,” he said.

“In the longer term, many of these areas will be threatened by rising sea level.”

Sullivan, who serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Norwich, closed his presentation by challenging Norwich students to lead the nation in tackling the complex problems associated with climate change.

Grants to Fund Pervious Concrete, Green Stormwater Solutions Research

NORTHFIELD, Vt. – A way to turn stormwater runoff into drinking water will be investigated in one of two recently awarded research grants to the David Crawford School of Engineering at Norwich University.

Both grant projects are overseen by Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering Tara Kulkarni.

Kulkarni earned a pilot grant that funds her collaboration with a student research project led by senior civil engineering student Susan Limberg. Kulkarni, as the faculty adviser, wrote a proposal based on Limberg’s idea of developing pervious concrete filters to control stormwater runoff. One compelling component to their project is a filtration process aimed at transforming rainwater into drinkable water.

They received a Phase I, $14,957 grant from the P3: People, Prosperity and the Planet Student Design Competition for Sustainability, a national-level competition offered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Limberg serves as a cadet first lieutenant, executive officer of Drill Company in the Norwich University Corps of Cadets and as president of the NU Society of Women Engineers. Working with Prof. Kulkarni as her advisor, Limberg will study the filtration component of the stormwater runoff project as part of her senior honors thesis. Norwich faculty who study economics and sociology are also supporting her research.

Meanwhile, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering Kulkarni has received a $9,917 pilot project grant of her own via the University of Vermont’s National Science Foundation EPSCoR program.

The Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) is designed to fulfill the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) mandate to promote scientific progress nationwide.

Last month Kulkarni began work on her project, which aims to design a suitable model for Green Infrastructure/Low Impact Development (GI/LID) projects to manage stormwater in Vermont watersheds.

Her research is investigating stormwater issues across the Winooski River watershed with a special focus on Montpelier.

The research will involve undergraduate students at Norwich and engage two undergraduate classrooms in stormwater quality assessment and modeling related activities. In addition, K-12 students in four Vermont schools in Montpelier, Burlington, St. Johnsbury, and Williamstown as well as local area Girl Scouts groups will participate in water resource management and green infrastructure related activities as part of a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) educational outreach effort.

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Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation’s six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). www.norwich.edu

In fulfillment of Norwich’s mission to train and educate today’s students to be tomorrow’s global leaders and captains of industry, the Forging the Future campaign is committed to creating the best possible learning environment through state-of-the-art academics and world-class facilities. Learn more about the campaign and how to participate in the “Year of Service” here: bicentennial.norwich.edu.

GEN Gordon R. Sullivan to Discuss Climate Change in Spring Todd Lecture

NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Norwich University continues its Todd Lecture Series this spring with “National Security Implications of Climate Change,’’ a presentation by former Army Chief of Staff, General Gordon R. Sullivan on February 5, 2015, at 7 p.m. in Plumley Armory.

Sullivan served as the 32nd Army Chief of Staff under President Bill Clinton. In the post, the four star general helped reengineer and downsize the US Army in the wake of the Cold War, leading it into the Information Age while facing a 40 percent budget cut.

Sullivan is the president and chief executive officer of the Association of the United States Army, headquartered in Arlington, Va.

Sullivan received a bachelor of arts in political science from Norwich University and commissioned as a US Army second lieutenant of Armor in 1959. He served two tours in Vietnam and is the recipient of the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit and the Army Distinguished Service Medal. Sullivan retired from the Army in 1995 after more than 36 years of active service.

Sullivan currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Norwich University and the Marshall Legacy Institute. He holds positions on the MITRE Army Advisory Board, the MIT Lincoln Labs Advisory Board, the CNA Military Advisory Board and as a Life Trustee of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.

During his Feb. 5 lecture, Sullivan will discuss two studies published in recent years that draw conclusions about the threat of climate change to national security including its role as a threat multiplier for instability in volatile parts of the world and its interrelationship with national security and energy dependence. This lecture is hosted by the College of National Services.

Norwich University’s Todd Lecture Series is named in honor of Army Maj. Gen. Russell Todd (USA Ret.) and his wife, Carol, in gratitude for their dedicated service to the university. Todd ’50, serves as Norwich President Emeritus. With this series, Norwich brings the nation’s foremost thought leaders from the worlds of business, politics, the arts, science, the military and other disciplines to campus. All events are free and open to the public.

For more information please check the Todd Lecture Series website or call (802) 485-2633.