Wildcat Commuter Challenge for faculty and staff; Profile in Sustainability - Dr. Siobhan Senier; check out our student video and image sumissions!

April 03, 2012

Written By: Sara Cleaves

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UNH Sustainability Academy
UNH Sustainbility Stewards Announce Wildcat Commuter Challenge
Are you the 85%? UNH Wildcat Commuter Challenge for Faculty and StaffThis May, don't be part of the 85% of UNH faculty and staff who drive alone to work. Prepare to leave your car behind - and win big prizes by doing so!

The UNH Sustainability Stewards, a faculty and staff group on campus committed to educating their colleagues about sustainability practices and issues, is hosting its first Wildcat Commuter Challenge for UNH faculty and staff this May and June.

Register to be involved in the Wildcat Commuter Challenge at www.sustainableunh.unh.edu/wildcat-commuter-challenge. On a daily or weekly basis, enter the total number of one-way trips (either departing from your home location to work or departing from work to return home) you make via bike, foot, carpool, car-sharing, bus, or train. (Driving a car, motorcycle or scooter solo does not count.) Each one-way trip is valued at one point. On a typical day of work, most participants will have the opportunity to earn 2 points.

Individuals racking up the most points by Friday, June 1st will be awarded a prize from local bike shops, shoe stores, gas cards, and more. Registered participants will have until June 7th to enter in their data, and winners will be announced after that date.

“The hope is to come away from the Commuter Challenge with some changes in habits,” explains Jackie Furlone of the UNH Sustainability Academy, which helps support the Sustainability Stewards. “The Challenge will also spotlight other on-campus resources that promote transportation alternatives, such as Wildcat Transit, ZipCar, the Amtrak Downeaster, C&J Trailways, and the UNH guaranteed ride home and Cat Courier programs.”

UNH's month-long challenge will coincide with Commute Green NH Challenge and Bike/Walk to Work week.

Try commuting to work by bus, carpool bike or by walking just once during the month! You might find it a pleasant way to come to work feeling energized and refreshed: getting some fresh air walking or biking, having time to chat with colleagues in a carpool, or catching up on a great book while riding in convenience and comfort on the bus.

Learn more at www.sustainbleunh.unh.edu/wildcat-commuter-challenge

Did You Know?

From ZipCar to the Amtrak Downeaster, UNH has a wide variety of alternative transportation options! Visit www.sustainableunh.unh.edu/transportation to learn more.

Tip of the Month

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER for the Wildcat Commuter Challenge.

Our student video and image winners are in!

Congratulations to Jessice Daigle (’13, ‘14G) and Bobby Lambert (’10, ‘12G), image and video winners respectively, of our first “What Sustainability Means to Me” Student Video and Image Contest. You can see our winners and all the entries on Flickr and YouTube.

Profile in Sustainability
Dr. Siobhan Senier, UNH Profile in Sustainablity
Dr. Siobhan Senier
Department of English and UNHSA Faculty Fellow

What does culture have to do with sustainability?

There is considerable evidence that some cultural practices and objects—languages, rituals, values, monuments—can help sustain ecosystems, and vice versa. Generally speaking, environmental upheaval has been bad for culture; and the traumatic ruptures of diverse local cultures (by globalization and colonialism, for instance) have been, in turn, bad for the planet.

Tell us a bit about your scholarship.

I’m a literary historian focused in Native American Studies, which means I try to figure out what kinds of writing indigenous people have produced, from pre-colonial times to the present, and why that writing is or is not more widely disseminated or understood. Right now I’m starting to build a digital archive of Native writing from New England, with the help of regional tribal historians, Native authors, local historical societies, and my students. I’ve been blogging about this project at indiginewenglandlit.wordpress.com.

What motivates you personally to be involved in sustainability?

I was trained to deal with texts, often in isolation from the rest of the world. Years ago, though, I took a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) summer seminar with a group of Native American scholars who pressed me to start thinking about what my scholarship contributed to Native people. I mean really contributed—not some vague “improved understanding of the literature.” That experience forced me to get engaged with Native people, who have been teaching me a lot about how people can sustain local ecologies, cultural traditions, and each other.

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