XL Dissent

This past weekend Unity College students rallied alongside the approximate 1,200 students who traveled from 100 colleges and universities throughout the nation to attend XL Dissent.

XL Dissent*not sponsored by Unity College*


Drop Everything and Rally!

A last minute opportunity for Unity College students! This weekend, March 1st and 2nd, join students from across the nation in a march from Georgetown University to the White House. Demand the attention of Obama and make it known that the youth of America does not want to see him approve the Keystone XL Pipeline. XL Dissent is completely student organized. 

There is also a non-violent direct action training Saturday 5-9PM that we will attend.

20140205233439-mm_copy (1)There are limited seats so please show your interest quickly! If there are more students interested than seats available students will be put on the waiting list.

This trip will last the entirety of the weekend: early morning Saturday-early morning Monday.
More details to come.

Visit: XLDissent.org

To attend this event e-mail: mtheberge11@unity.edu

Canada’s Tar Sands Exposed: Exploring the Human and Environmental Costs

Orono, Maine

Wells Conference Center

Saturday February 1st 2:00-5:00pm

Departure time: 12:45pm


  • Garth Lenz: International award winning photojournalist.
  • Eriel Deranger: Athabasca Chipewyan First Nations (ACFN) Communities Coordinator.
  • Sherri Mitchell: Executive Director of the Land Peace Foundation and Indigenous rights attorney. She will discuss the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership), an international trade agreement, and how it is able to threaten local land use ordinances.

Visit this event on the 350.org website: http://www.350maine.org/tar_sands_speakers_tour

Canada's Tar Sands Exposed: Speakers Tour

Please e-mail by Thursday January 30th if you would like to attend!

E-mail: mtheberge11@unity.edu

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Get Out for Earth Week!

Earth day logo final-01GET OUT! ….for Earth Week.

Cardboard Kayaks, Contra Dance, Goats, Chickens, Trashion Show, Night Paddle, Food Fun, Open Greenhouse, and more!

Earth week activities are planned for the entire week of April 15 and include a full slate of campus events, sustainability challenges, presentations, and trips.  This year’s Earth Week theme, “Get Out!” will include daily emphasis on a variety of sustainability initiatives.

  • Monday 15 – “Get Out…of Your Car” | Alternative Transportation
  • Tuesday 16 – “Get Out…the Word on Climate” | Climate Change
  • Wednesday 17 – “Get Out…and Dig In” | Food & Farm
  • Thursday 18 – “Get Out…and Serve” | Community Engagement
  • Friday 19 – “Get Out…of the Landfill” | Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
  • Saturday 20 – “Get Out…side” | Outdoors


(not Saturday as held in previous years)

Cardboard Kayak Challenge launches Friday at the Earth Week Fair. Get your engineering team together early!

A full schedule of activities will be available on campus and online.

350 Maine Statewide Meeting Sunday at Unity College

Image350 Maine will hold it’s statewide meeting here at Unity College on Sunday, October 28, from 10am to 4pm in the Student Activities Building.  Participants will help shape the organization moving forward and find out how Maine can get involved in local, regional, and global climate campaigning. Student activists and others from around the state are expected to attend.

From the event website:

  • Expand coalitions to confront climate change
  • Skill building
  • Strengthen working groups on media and policy
  • Prepare for upcoming events and campaigns, including:
  1. ‘Do the Math’ Tour with Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein – Portland, Nov. 13, 2012
  2. 350 New England Convergence,Boston, November 17 & 18, 2012
  3. NE Day of Action against fossil fuels, January 19, 2013

For more information or to register for the state-wide meeting, contact Read Brugger (rhbrugger@fairpoint.net).

Map/Direction: here
Ride Share info: here or Contact Read Brugger

White Oak

This spring, we’re celebrating the inauguration of Unity’s 10th president, Dr. Stephen Mulkey.  As is our custom, we planted a tree to honor the occasion — this time a white oak. Professor Doug Fox, campus tree man and director of the Center for Sustainability & Global Change had this to say about the white oak and its symbolism for Unity College and Dr. Mulkey’s presidency.

White oak, Quercus alba, is rarely found this far north. Its ability to grow in a wide variety of soils, its ring-porous vascular system, its monecious flowering, indicate that it may be one of the trees we see migrating northward with climate change.

While Unity College still promotes mitigation of greenhouse gases, we also recognize that adaptation has to be a part of any scientifically-grounded response to climate change. We don’t know if white oak will come out as one of the winners in the process of adapting to climate change in our area, but it likely will be, hence, today we are planting for the future.

White oak, with its 500-year lifespan, may also symbolize that Unity College is finding its niche in the landscape of academics. The landscape of Unity College has been dominated by many short-lived, aggressive pioneer species—paper and gray birch, aspen, and willow—appropriate for a young college gaining a foothold in the marketplace of higher education. It is time for our landscape to reflect our maturity and our intention to contribute in the long term to the intellectual life of humanity.

Lastly, the white oak is a symbol of resilience and hope. Systems ecologist Hank Shugart pointed out that if the progeny of a single white oak was grown to maturity, in just three generations the biomass originating from that single tree would equal the weight of biomass of all living organisms on earth. Working with the earth’s inherent recuperative powers, we at Unity College can become co-workers with nature in the Great Work of our generation.

Join us for official inauguration celebration will take place on May 12th prior to this year’s commencement activities.

Growing Pains: Student Response to Mulkey’s Vision for Sustainability Science

Last month, President Mulkey made a presentation to the faculty introducing the ideas in the white paper he wrote, titled The Imperative of Sustainability and Opportunities for Unity College. His speech, as well as the white paper in greater detail, (both available here: http://www.unity.edu/AboutUnity/PresidentWelcome/PresidentMessages.aspx ) outlined how Unity College’s instructors should go about integrating the concept he refers to as sustainability science into the way courses are taught. The goal of integrating sustainability science into all of the courses is to equip students with what Mulkey calls the “right tools” for facing a changing climate and an economy which has to step up to the task of addressing those changes.

“The thing that matters most for Unity College is that climate change will be the single-most important determinant of our environmental practice and programming,” Mulkey told faculty after beginning to delve into some of the hard facts behind climate science, which he feels will affect every field offered at this college. “It will amplify everything that we do…especially,” he emphasized, “in conservation and natural resources.”

In the white paper, Mulkey, whose previous experience as a research-gathering climate scientist predisposes him to trusting peer-reviewed literature, supports the need for sustainability science with information about climate change and the need to address it. One of the more practical applications of this that I saw was his mention of the zone maps that tell growers where their plants will survive based on the temperatures the plants can tolerate. These zone maps may normally only play a small role in horticulture, but the changes in the location of the zones in the past ten years has much larger implications, such as those that Mulkey warns about. As a sustainable agriculture major, I couldn’t help but notice when the recently revised map was released, and couldn’t help but wonder, How many times will this map have to be re-released to reflect the changing climate across the country before the world will realize what the changes mean?

Mulkey’s plan caused me to realize that Unity College students should already be, and if not, should start, asking in-depth questions about these maps. Almost all students here have chosen to dedicate their lives to managing living organisms whose range is very likely dependent on those USDA-developed zones. To “give our students the tools to deal” with climate change, Mulkey believes we need an “increasingly sophisticated curriculum.” This curriculum, in his vision, will be based around the framework of sustainability science.

The idea of sustainability science as an interdisciplinary tool –rather than a course or degree track –is one that is rapidly being developed by graduate institutions across the country, Mulkey tells us. At Arizona State University, one of the country’s largest universities, a whole school has been devoted to sustainability. There, students can attend a School of Sustainability just as easily as they could attend a School of Technology and Innovation or School of Journalism and Mass Communication. It’s hard to deny that sustainability is an up and coming issue in the world and in education –one that is increasingly in demand, and for good reason. Mulkey assures us that the numbers of green jobs will burgeon as the world realizes a need for sustainable practices.

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