Category: Lawrence Faculty & Staff

A Message From More Light! Leadership

Dear Alumni and Friends of Lawrence,

The More Light! campaign has moved Lawrence forward in both tangible and intangible ways. It is difficult for today’s Lawrence student to recall a campus before the Warch Campus Center, an expanded Björklunden lodge, Riverwalk and Hurvis Crossing. More Light! gifts to our endowment have bolstered the university’s ability to provide necessary scholarships to the more than 90 percent of our students who are dependent on some level of financial assistance. Endowment gifts have created professorships in the sciences and conservatory, increased the total number of faculty at Lawrence and the competitiveness of their salaries. Gifts to the Lawrence Fund have supported new initiatives such as the Lawrence Fellows in numerous disciplines and Posse Scholars, enhancing the fabric of our community and broadening the learning opportunities offered at our university. Awards from private family foundations have enabled Lawrence to strengthen its curriculum, building Senior Experience campus-wide; focused Dance Studies; and Cinema, Media and Cultural Studies in the Humanities.

There can be no question that the unwavering generosity and determination of our alumni, friends and supporters have transformed this institution. The More Light! campaign will have an enduring legacy that will positively impact the educations of countless Lawrentians far beyond our lifetimes. On behalf of the More Light! campaign steering committee and the Lawrence community, thank you for your support of the campaign and the college.

Jill Beck
President

Bill Hochkammer ’66
More Light! Co-Chair

Harry Jansen Kraemer, Jr. ’77
More Light! Co-Chair

Lawrence University Adds Wind Turbine to Sustainability Efforts

As Lawrence University’s successful More Light! campaign draws to a close, one of its latest initiatives is coming to life in Northeast Wisconsin.

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A wind turbine is being constructed at Bjorklunden. Photo credit: Matt Jeanquart

With its vast assortment of cedars, pines, firs and spruce, Lawrence University’s 425-acre northern campus at Björklunden in Door County has never had a problem being green.

In a few days it will be even greener, thanks to college’s first venture into wind energy. A 120-foot tall, 50-kilowatt turbine is being assembled and erected on the estate just south of Baileys Harbor and will be generating electricity by mid-November.

In the next 20 years, the turbine project is expected to convert Door peninsula breezes into enough electricity to cover a third of the electrical needs of the 37,000-square-foot lodge that is home to Björklunden’s summer adult seminar series and student immersion weekends during the academic year. The nearly $370,000 project was funded by private donations and grants from Focus on Energy and Wisconsin Public Service.

“This project is a powerful symbol of our long-term commitment to environmental sustainability, and it will have a substantial impact on our energy use and carbon emissions,” said Jason Brozek, assistant professor of government and current chair of Lawrence’s Green Roots initiative.

The wind turbine at Björklunden is only the latest Lawrence effort to harness alternative energy sources. In August, the college installed its second solar panel, a 20-kilowatt array on the roof of Hiett Hall. Utility company and Focus on Energy grants, along with a manufacturer’s rebate, reduced the panel’s cost by more than $65,000 and reducing the college’s investment payback to six years on a panel with an estimated life span of more than 30 years.

The Hiett Hall panel complements Lawrence’s first solar panel, a 2.92-kilowatt unit on the roof of Youngchild Hall. Installed appropriately on Earth Day, 2010, that panel already has generated more than 4,700 kilowatt hours of electricity while reducing the college’s carbon dioxide production by nearly five tons.

Since launching its Green Roots initiative in 2008, Lawrence has twice been named to the Princeton Review’s list of America’s greenest colleges and was ranked 44th nationally on the 2011 Sierra Club’s cool school rankings of the country’s top green colleges.

Among Lawrence’s sustainability efforts:

The turbine will produce a third of Bjorklunden's power. Photo credit: Matt Jeanquart
  • A five percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the past year — and a 41 percent reduction since 2002 — through energy efficiency changes.
  • 100 percent use of recycled paper on campus for photocopying and letterhead.
  • 15 percent commitment of campus food is sourced and produced locally (within 100 miles)
  • The diversion of 30 tons of kitchen waste to the student-run sustainable garden on campus for composting.
  • A total of 12,000 pounds of electronic waste collected and recycled in the campus’ first “e-sweep” last May.
  • First-place in the 2011 Upper Midwest Association for Campus Sustainability’s Campus Energy Challenge with an overall energy reduction of 12.86 percent.
  • 10th place in the 2011 Recyclemania national recycling competition (per capita category) with an average of 39.15 pounds per person.

“From students and faculty to staff, administration and alumni, we’ve pulled together as a community to make environmental sustainability a priority across the entire campus,” said Brozek.

Bart De Stasio named Singleton Professor in the Biological Sciences

Bart De Stasio, a Lawrence University alumnus and esteemed member of the Biology Department faculty, was recently named the first holder of the Singleton Professorship in the Biological Sciences, the college’s newest endowed professorship. Supported by a $1.5 million gift to the More Light! campaign from Charlot and Dennis Singleton of Atherton, Calif., endowed professorships enable Lawrence to attract and retain faculty who are leaders in their academic fields. And, in the selection of De Stasio for this distinction, the Northeast Wisconsin community also benefits.

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Tracking the Invaders: Lawrence University Scientist Monitors Non-native Species in Fox River

De Stasio and Lawrence senior Kristina Riemer

Lawrence University biologist Bart De Stasio is on the hunt. Not for trophy bucks or record-size fish. His targeted prey is invasive species —nickel-sized zebra mussels and six-inch round gobies.

As for his preferred weapon of choice: think giant hot tub.

A specialist in aquatic biology and predator-prey interactions, De Stasio, in collaboration with Lawrence students, is conducting an on-going study of the Fox River, looking for non-native and potentially damaging species that might be making their way up the river from the bay of Green Bay to the upland lakes, including Lake Winnebago.

Working closely with professors outside the classroom on projects such as De Stasio’s invasive species research is regarded by many students as the most enriching experience of their Lawrence education. One of 15 Lawrence students to date who has assisted on the invasive species study, Adam Breseman spent the summer in De Stasio’s lab analyzing water samples, searching for anything from Chinese mystery snails to another invasive fish, the Eurasian Ruffe.

“It was a very intellectually stimulating experience,” said Breseman, a biology major from Baileys Harbor. “Coming into this, I knew very little about zooplankton and benthic invertebrates, but I learned a tremendous amount about those organisms as well as the Fox River watershed system. I’m only a sophomore, so I appreciated the opportunity to work on an internship like this.”

As the process of restoring and reopening the entire 17-lock navigational system between Lake Winnebago and Green Bay moves toward an anticipated 2015 conclusion, De Stasio’s research will be critical in determining whether a proposed boat transfer station at the Rapide Croche lock near Wrightstown is successfully keeping invasive species out of the upper river system.

Started in 2005, De Stasio’s study is collecting data on both species and populations, and is expected to continue for five years after the boatlift becomes operational.

“Right now we’re trying to identify everything, including all of the invertebrates, living at six different locations — three above and three below the site of the proposed boatlift at Rapide Croche lock — and determine whether it is a native or non-native species,” explained De Stasio. “The possibility of transporting something above that lock is a real concern. It would be easy for a zebra mussel attached to a boat’s hull or a spiny water flea on a fishing line to get moved past the barrier.”

Junior Amanda Dwyer from Ralston, Neb., spent 10 weeks this summer dip-netting, beach-seining and working with an Ekman grab on the Fox River, collecting samples for the study.

“It was an awesome experience going out into the field and coming back to the lab to identify what we collected,” said Dwyer, a biology and environmental studies major. “I became more comfortable with the different sampling methods we were taught in class and I learned the distinguishing characteristics of invasive species versus native species we collected. It was great being able to work with Prof. De Stasio on such an extensive and relevant project.”

To limit the possibilities of upstream spread of exotics and in conjunction with his invasive species study, De Stasio has investigated the use of a hot-water treatment to clean boats — and kill any undesirable hitchhikers — before they pass the Rapide Croche lock. Working with a student, Jessica Beyer, De Stasio has determined that for the most probable invasive species, a five-minute minimum immersion in a tank of 110-degree water would essentially kill any of the invasive species they’ve identified.

“Basically, any boat moving up the river would get dunked in a giant hot water tub that could accommodate boats as large as 53-feet in length,” said De Stasio. “Other parts of the boat, the livewell, bilge and motor, would be hosed down with the hot water as well. This is ecologically preferable to a chemical scrub because you don’t have to deal with any potentially toxic waste issues.”

While the hot-water dunk treatment is expected to prevent invasive species from breaching the Rapid Croche lock, it can’t completely eliminate the possibility of non-native species penetrating the upper river.

Boats taken out of Green Bay or the Fox River below the Rapid Croche lock and relaunched upstream can wind up introducing invasive species beyond the barrier.  Educating boaters of this danger will be critical to the success of limiting the number of unwanted species.

“An education program created by Phil Moy from the UW Sea Grant Program is designed to raise boaters’ awareness about the importance of not transporting their boats from one body of water to another without a significant waiting period to allow the boat to completely dry,” said De Stasio. “Five days is the recommended wait time but longer than that would be even better. It’s going to take a concerted effort by all users to keep the Fox River and other upland bodies of water from being invaded with non-native species. While no plan is fail safe, it’s easier to keep them out than it is to control them once they establish themselves.”