Like most people, I am finding it hard to wrap my head around the mind-boggling size of the oil ‘spill’ in the Gulf of Mexico. The images of the oil-soaked animals (the photos that are making it out anyway) are devastating, and I am itching to get down there to help. At this very moment, I am waiting for a call from the folks I worked with during the rescue of 19,000 oiled penguins in South Africa ten years ago. I am hoping to make it to the Gulf in the coming weeks to assist with bird rehab efforts.
I see Facebook posts from concerned people every day – individuals who want to go down to the Gulf coast to help, but who are not able to for various reasons. But there are many others ways to help other than doing the hands-on work. I have to thank my wonderful agent, Julie Barer, for sending me this link, which has a great list of ways to help make a difference for the Gulf region. (How to Help the Gulf Coast.) Action items include sending donations of money or supplies, and how to let your senators know that you support climate and clean energy legislation. There is no need to feel powerless – each small contribution adds up to a greater whole. Together, we can make a difference!
If you need further proof of this, just look to the youth of this country for inspiration. There are many kids who have turned their pain and anger over this disaster into concrete, positive action. Olivia, Alexa and Casey are just a few of these remarkable young people. Ten-year old Alexa (with the help of her mom Cindy) has a great blog (Oceans4Ever) through which she shares her concern for the oceans. Today, in fact, she and her 12-year old friend Casey (whose website is LoveASeaTurtle) are holding a coast-to-coast bake sale to benefit the Gulf animals.
And Olivia’s story is truly incredible. This young artist (who just turned 11-years old) wanted to do something to help the birds that she loves so much. She contacted the Audubon Society and offered to provide them with 500 original bird paintings for them to give to people who donated to Gulf spill relief efforts. In less than two months, her beautiful paintings raised more than $125,000! Check out Olivia’s Facebook page to learn more about this remarkable young woman.
Never doubt that one person can make a difference. It doesn’t matter how young or how old you are. All that matters is that you DO something. Remember that everything you do has a ripple effect – by taking action, you will inspire people around you to get involved as well. And before you know it, you just may have started a new movement. Anthropologist Margaret Mead stated this beautifully when she said, “Never doubt that a group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
~Dyan deNapoli, The Penguin Lady
On Tuesday, April 6th, ERC Coordinator, Janet Graham, and Grant Project Director, Lyena Chavez, traveled to Lawrence, MA to see library kits purchased through this grant in use. They visited St. Mary of the Assumption School, one of the after-school sites for the Lawrence Math & Science Partnership program. Merrimack students were leading hands-on science enrichment activities using the McQuade library kits that McQuade Library purchased. These kits are now available in the Educational Resources Collection (ERC).
We are thrilled to announce that Penguin Expert/Author/Educator Dyan deNapoli will be on campus during the college’s first ever “Blue, Gold, and Green” sustainability festival.
Plan to attend her “Penguin Rescue!” presentation on Wednesday, April 14th at 3:00pm in Murray Lounge.
PENGUIN RESCUE! : Come hear the incredible story of the world’s largest, and most successful, rescue of oiled wildlife. When the MV Treasure sank off the coast of South Africa, 75,000 African penguins were in the path of the oil that spilled from the ship. Nearly 20,000 penguins were oiled and another 20,000 had to be moved to prevent them from becoming oiled. More than 12,500 volunteers came to Cape Town from all around the world and donated 556,000 hours of their time to save the traumatized, oil-covered penguins. Dyan served as a rehabilitation supervisor during the massive rescue effort. Ultimately, 95% of the affected penguins were successfully returned to the wild.
Dyan is currently writing a book about this remarkable event. This inspiring presentation, accompanied by compelling photographs, consistently receives rave reviews.
The Lawrence Math and Science Partnership is an after-school program in which Merrimack students visit sites and engage middle school children in hands-on enrichment activities. This year all the activities are built around a “Healthy Environment” theme. McQuade Library partnered with the Stevens Service Learning Center to offer resources to support this program. In April, Merrimack students will use “Investigating Groundwater Concepts” kits to teach Lawrence students to examine groundwater movement and contamination. “Reduce, Re-Use, Recyle: Plastics Identification” kits will help make these students “plastic literate” and everyone will have fun playing a recycling game! Resources designed to help teachers integrate environmental education into their classrooms are housed in McQuade Library’s Educational Resources Collection.
Last week Dr. Lyon’s and Dr. MacLaren’s BIO1028L students spent time in McQuade Library honing their information literacy skills. Over 50 biology students visited the Periodicals Room and evaluated many print science periodicals (such as Nature, Popular Science, and Journal of Cell Biology), distinguishing between popular and scholarly publications. Librarians introduced these students to health science/biology databases and students used time to locate articles on fish phylogenetics for their lab report. Librarians created a customized online research guide which is available here:
Booklist recently announced their Top 10 Books on the Environment for 2010. See list.
“The best environmental books reviewed over the past 12 months—works of extraordinary research, thought, passion, and artistry—evince a rising intensity of purpose in sync with the increasingly obvious impacts of climate change and the public’s growing awareness of the need for environmentally sound manufacturing, agriculture, and energy.”
All of these books are currently on order for McQuade Library.
Sidewalk Sam, Boston’s official street artist, will be visiting Merrimack College for our Blue, Gold, and Green Festival during the week of April 12th. To learn more, check out Art Street, Inc, home of Sidewalk Sam. His claim to fame is activism through art, and we’re so happy he’ll be making MC his canvas!