Monday, February 5, 2024

Forests, climate and Paul Smith’s

Fall at Paul Smith’s VIC

The Adirondack Park’s only four-year college is looking to expand its funding sources and boost enrollment using several grants. With about $3 million banked and $4 million more pursued, Paul Smith’s College is tracking new opportunities.

Some of their funding was awarded for their climate education.

“You can’t start to separate forestry education from climate education because if you follow the literature, we know that the Adirondacks is a big carbon sink,” Dan Kelting, president of the college, told me yesterday [Jan. 31]. “And so the Adirondacks plays a large role in regulating the carbon that’s in our atmosphere.”

There are also plans to establish a new research institute on campus. Read the story here.

Animals and the eclipse

Butterflies could take shelter, dragonflies rest and allow their blood to cool, garter snakes retreat to insulating cover in forest duff and songbirds and other day-active fliers slip into their nightly bivouacs, Ed Kanze writes.

Read the story here.

Here are some stories I’m paying attention to:

E&E: Energy Department sets efficiency standards for gas stoves

“The Department of Energy unveiled a heavily anticipated, scaled-back regulation Monday to cut greenhouse gas emissions from stovetop cooking in the U.S., going with a compromise that pleased gas stove producers and environmentalists alike.”

Grist: What happened when climate deniers met an AI chatbot?

“What GPT-3 told them about climate change was surprisingly accurate, according to the study: Only 2 percent of its responses went against the commonly understood facts about climate change.”

Science: Time to support Indigenous science

“After years of marginalization by Western science, regard for Indigenous knowledge is reaching high places.”

Reuters: California and Big Oil are splitting after century-long affair

“The No.1 U.S. oil producer’s asset writedown will cost about $2.5 billion and officially end five decades of oil production off the coast of Southern California.”

Washington Post: A veteran adviser is taking over as top U.S. climate diplomat

“Podesta, now a senior adviser on clean energy and a veteran Democratic strategist, will remain at the White House rather than move to the State Department in his new role, which has not previously been reported. His new title will be senior adviser to the president for international climate policy.”

Photo at top: Fall at Paul Smith’s VIC. Photo by Chloe Bennett.

This first appeared in Chloe’s weekly “Climate Matters” newsletter. Click here to sign up.

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Chloe Bennett is a climate change reporter based in Lake Placid, NY. Originally from North Texas, Chloe has always been drawn to the natural world. In 2022, she graduated from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY where she focused on environmental reporting and audio production. She grew a deep appreciation for the Adirondack Park while interning for the Explorer in the summer of 2022.

4 Responses

  1. Linda says:

    Great news for Paul Smith and the community.
    Just look what’s happening in California.

  2. Christopher J. Cohan, says:

    Paul Smith’s has had a undewhelming endowment building effort. Over the years, I offered money, suggestions and my expertise in successfully building endowments. Nope, noteven a thank you for my $ donations.
    Is it a lack of vision, interest, ability, laziness or bunker mentality? Take your pick .Paul Smith’s is like Blanche Dubois…’relying on the kindness of strangers’ to pull them back from the brink?

    Don’t even get me started on their hospitality program- a rare, special and premier program that could place almost 100% of grads. A benefit within The Blueline and beyond.

    • Joan Grabe says:

      Over the years, on another college board, I watched a series of inept “directors of institutional advancement “ neglect to thank donors, neglect to answer people, neglect to solicit new and old donors – just chronic inadequates. Of course we could not pay enough to attract a really first rate fund raiser and foundation Executive Director even when we raised the Title to Vice President. Not saying this was the problem at Paul Smiths but they needed a very active fundraising board and a really strong Finance Committee. I hope Dan Kelting can pull this off.

  3. chris jay cohan says:


    I appreciate all you are saying. FIRST, I am rooting for and wishing ONLY for Paul Smith’s success!

    No need for high-paid titles. 1 motivated in charge and student labor. Simply all who send in checks MUST be replied to PDQ! Simple. Have a charming reply card. Have standard verbiage for someone with nice penmanship to write a reply. ALL handwritten and addressed. Everyone loves REAL mail. Sign, mail.

    Then regular follow-up handwritten communications.

    Now regarding endowment- every incoming student should be grown like the grand trees on campus into lifelong donors. Entry-level freshmen are automatically signed into an annual gifting program- paperwork, etc done as they attend the orientation of say $5 to $10= call Freshmen/ saplings.

    Sophomores/ on up to seniors could be other names like Larch, stately fir, majestic white pines or other trees that best evoke the romance of The ADKs.

    Each year a modest bump up. Then you have ‘cultivated’ a culture of giving back that is with them wherever they go. Heck, come up with a charming pin they would like to display on those ubiquitous well-worn baseball caps or backpacks. Collect all 4 pins!

    Think past the moment- look at each student donor over a 30-40 year giving period which could become a pinch more $ every year. Of course, a few become big donors, some alumni give generously occasionally, and others never open their pocketbooks.

    Of course, the past alumni list must be worked, worked, and then worked.
    All of this does not take a highly paid, top-heavy large staff. 1 can do, motivated, clear thinker with a few part-time students, access to databases, and a budget mostly for printing/postage / part-time student wages and this can supercharge PDQ.

    Time for Board, et al to make this a priority. Anything less than that then they are the wrong folks on Board.

    Again, I wish Paul Smith’s ONLY success.

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