As awareness of climate change has grown, phenology increasingly offers evidence of how shifts in temperature, precipitation, available sunlight and other factors are affecting a wide variety of species. These effects may influence how our crops will fare, what and how many pests we may have to contend with, what diseases we may have to be prepared for and what species we may expect to see or lose in our local ecosystems over the long term.
Daily Hampshire Gazettte
The Hitchcock Center for the Environment’s quest to build a new education center on the Hampshire College campus in Amherst is among three projects in the region that received a total of $510,000 in grants from a new state program to assist development of “zero net energy” buildings and homes. The new Pathways to Zero program under the direction of the state Department of Energy Resources recently announced $2.9 million in grants statewide, including $330,000 to the Hitchcock Center in Amherst; $156,000 to Transformations Inc., of Townsend, for two planned housing developments at Village Hill Northampton; and $24,000 to Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity to build two new homes on East Street in Easthampton.
By Elizabeth Farnsworth
Called the “aurora” after the Greek goddess of the dawn, and “borealis” with reference to the north, it is kicked up by the solar wind, the cascade of charged particles continually generated by our ever-burning sun. Electrons rain down on Earth, following the lines of our planet’s magnetic field and transferring their energy to oxygen and nitrogen atoms high in the atmosphere. The shifting colors of the aurora depend on which elements are being charged and the level of excitation to which they are being boosted at any given time. Hence, the aurora is a dynamic light show that dwarfs the most psychedelic of rock concerts here on earth.
By David Spector
When I see a bald eagle, however, my own experiences resonate more deeply with me than all its history and symbolism. My memories of the bird go back to even before I first saw one. When I started recording bird sightings, this species was high on my wish list of birds to see, and, to increase my chances, I read about its shoreline habitat and distribution.
By Lawrence J. Winship
In the autumn, as our neighbors fill their grain bins with barley, and their cellars with potatoes, I am always amazed at their productivity. What a long, interesting journey we and our food plants have taken.
Earlier this year, the Hitchcock Center for the Environment announced plans to create what’s called a Living Building on the campus of Hampshire College. A Living Building is the highest environmental standard there is surpassing the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and there are fewer than a dozen buildings that are so certified in the United States.
Only five buildings have achieved Living Building certification. Several hundred more are being planned, including for the first time – with Hampshire College and the Hitchcock Center – two on adjacent portions of one campus.