Through a very generous gift from Trustee Sandy Buck ’78 and Sissy Buck, Colby College established the Buck Lab for Climate and Environment in 2017. Through a series of grant programs, the Buck Lab supports broad initiatives at Colby focused on climate change and other environmental issues, including student and faculty research, experiential learning opportunities, student internships with collaborative partners doing environmental work, community engagement, professional skills development, and career networking.
COLLABORATION WITH THE LUNDER INSTITUTE FOR AMERICAN ART
Left: Cal Waichler ‘21 and Helen Bennett ‘22 pose in front of Maya Lin’s Pin River-Kissimmee (2008), installed at the Colby College Museum of Art.
Right: Waichler and Bennett at one of their weekly research meetings at the lobby of the Colby College Museum of Art.
Continuing a fruitful relationship that began last fall, the Buck Lab for Climate and Environment has partnered with Colby’s Lunder Institute for American Art to sponsor a student internship program. Designed to be collaborative at its foundation, the program brings together two students: one with a background in environmental studies, and another whose focus is in the visual arts. The program’s inaugural interns are Cal Waichler ‘21 and Helen Bennett ‘22, who have both been assigned to conduct research for Maya Lin, one of the Lunder Institute’s senior fellows for the current academic year.
Together, Waichler and Bennett are researching Maine’s ecological history to contribute to Lin’s What is Missing?, a multi-sited, multimedia project devoted to issues of biodiversity and habitat loss. At the halfway point of their appointment, the students spoke to Jessamine Batario, the Lunder Institute’s Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, to reflect on their experiences. Read their conversation here.
SAVING THE ENVIRONMENT IN A PANDEMIC
The summer of 2020 was like no other, with a pandemic raging in much of the world. But the Buck Lab carried on, funding student research projects and internships, albeit remote experiences only. We are so proud of our students for designing amazing projects and being willing to intern from home.
Senior Environmental Science major Dominick Leskiw ’21 spent the summer doing a remote internship at Earth Island Journal (see his articles here and here), and researching the material culture of trees.
CLIMATE STORYTELLING PROJECT
The Buck Lab is supporting a collaboration between Colby students and Maine filmmaker Charles Stuart to produce short films that tell stories of grassroots climate action in Maine. In the summer of 2019, students Conor Larkin ’20 (environmental policy major) and Megan Andersen ’22 (environmental science major), pictured below, uncovered inspiring stories from communities all over Maine.
Four amazing films have been made so far! (Click on the links here.)