Tuesday, November 6, 2018

From Blueberries to Big Macs: Bees in Virginia

European honeybees are some of the best known celebrities of the natural world. When we think of bees, we think of hives, honey, and the Olympic feats of strength and speed we employ to avoid being stung. But did you know:
Curiosity stoked? Join us on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 to learn more about bees! Dr. T’ai Roulston's discussion, "Conserving Virginia’s Native Bees," will take place in room M229 on the main campus from 12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. His talk will provide a broad survey of the types of bees in Virginia, discuss the various threats and opportunities they encounter in our human dominated landscape, and explore ways in which land management at all scales can contribute to their success.

We can thank bees for dietary staples ranging from honey to Big Macs, and everything in between -- which makes a world without bees a scary one to contemplate. Come learn more about how bees affect the world in which we live, and what you can do to help ensure they'll be buzzing around for millennia more.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Recycle a bag. Save the planet.


Plastic is the new kid on the block, in the grand scheme of things -- considering that Bakelite, the predecessor of plastic, was developed in 1907, plastic has been around for just over one hundred years. It's versatile, durable -- and it's going to be around for a lot longer than we are. According to the Ocean Portal Team, the authors behind the Smithsonian Institution's page on marine plastics, "Depending on the type of plastic and where it lands, items can take days to hundreds of years to break down into very small pieces, which likely never biodegrade." The plastic we use every day has a long shelf life. Even worse, it's piling up, cluttering the planet that we call home.

Plastic poses a big problem, but you can be a part of the solution. Bring your plastic shopping bags to the main campus for a College-wide Recycle Day. Our recycling day will take place in the North Mall Meting Room on Monday, November 5, 2018 from 11:00am to 2:00pm. Every bag counts, because it's one more piece of plastic that can be reduced, removed, reused, and recycled. So clear out that big plastic shopping bag full of smaller shopping bags you keep under the kitchen sink and bring them to campus. Recycle a bag. Save the planet.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Racing Extinction: College Hour with Kibiriti Majuto

There's a sixth mass extinction coming -- and in the words of Elizabeth Kolbert, author of the award-winning book, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, the cataclysm is us.

Kolbert traces the history of mass extinctions from antiquity to the present day, from the mastodon to Panama's golden frog, and shows how humans have impacted the earth in ways not experienced since the extinction of the dinosaurs at the end of Cretaceous period. Humans have catastrophically altered the course of life on this planet -- but while there is no question we can destroy, is there hope that we can also heal?

On Monday, October 15, 2018, join student organizer Kibiriti Majuto as he turns the discussion from extinction to how we -- and specifically, young people -- can alter the planet's course from catastrophe towards a livable future. "Racing Extinction: Youth Movement for Climate Justice" seeks to refocus our attention from what has been done to what can be done, right now, for the planet. Kibiriti is a student organizer with different environmental student organizations such as Virginia Student Environmental Collection and Zero Hour. He is currently on the Earth Guardians National Council, and he worked on developing the Zero Hour’s platform for the Youth March.

Free for college hour? Take some time out of your day to learn about climate justice, and what you can do to help bring justice to our planet.

Kibiriti will be speaking at the main campus in Room M229 from 12:00pm to 1:00pm, Monday, October 15, 2018. Don't miss out!

Monday, September 24, 2018

Us Against the Censors: Banned Books Weeks 2018


Every person from every walk of life has a story to tell. Stories that enlighten us, challenge us, delight and amuse and inspire us. But the right to tell those stories is not guaranteed. Even as we become more aware of the critical importance of allowing traditionally unheard voices to speak up, and space opens in the public discourse for stories that are rarely told, the danger of silencing grows. It's up to us to defend the right of everyone to tell their stories.

Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read and tell stories. From September 23-28, join Jessup Library and PVCC in a celebration of books that have been challenged or outright banned, some in decades past and some as recently as 2018. This year's theme is "Banning Books Silences Stories." Join the fight to defend our right to our stories by reading a banned book. Looking for some suggestions? Jessup Library has got you covered. You can find several of the Top Ten Challenged Books of 2017 in the stacks, from Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher to The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.

Furthermore, don't forget to check out the Human Library storytelling project happening September 24, 26, and 27 in the Betty Sue Jessup Library classroom. Check out the blog post below or the official page here to learn more.

It's us against the censors. Come join the fight.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Check Out A Human Book: The Human Library at PVCC


People read for more reasons than can be contained in a single blog post: to expand their horizons, increase their knowledge, go on adventures, gain experience, or take a walk in another person's shoes. Reading makes us more empathetic, more able to see the world through eyes not our own. Books can be honest with readers in a way it's difficult to be in real life -- but this doesn't always have to be the case.

The Human Library is a project that allows people to be honest with other people in the same ways books are honest with their readers -- by providing space for open conversations about life experiences readers may not have the chance to otherwise experience. How does it work? People with life experiences to share "lend" themselves out to people with time to listen and learn -- a library in which the books are humans. The Human Library began in 2000 in Copenhagen, Denmark and has since become a global movement. And now, it's coming to PVCC and a library classroom near you.

Join us in the Betty Sue Jessup Library classroom for PVCC's Human Library project on the following days:
  • Monday, September 24, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, September 26, noon to 2 p.m.
  • Thursday, September 27, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. 
Come check out a "book" for a 20-minute period and learn about the experiences that others are ready to share. Come with curiosity. Come with difficult questions. And help us challenge stereotypes and prejudices one conversation at a time.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

One Book 2018: The Sixth Extinction

We're back! It's a new semester and it's time for a new One Book. This semester, the PVCC One Book Program is reading The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert. Mass extinction neither began nor ended with the dinosaurs, and Kolbert demonstrates humanity's leading role in the sixth mass extinction happening all around us, right here and right now. Is your interest piqued? Read more about the book here in the Jessup Library catalog or on the One Book Program page.

As ever, mark your calendars. PVCC will be hosting events to celebrate this year's One Book. Here are three upcoming events:

Monday, September 17th is Meatless Monday, a global movement event whose current incarnation began in 2003 with health advocate Sid Lerner and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “One day a week, cut out meat” -- Meatless Monday applies this simple rule in an effort to improve global health. Want to join in? Head over to the Bolick Student Center from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. and sign a pledge to forgo eating meat on this day in an effort to reduce your carbon footprint.

On Wednesday, September 19, cancer biologist and metascientist Dr. Timothy Errington, Ph.D., will be speaking. Science Club: Career Talks explores scientific reproducibility: "Can scientists find the same thing as other scientists?  Why or why not?  And what makes science good, robust and trustworthy (or not)?" Dr. Errington will be speaking from noon to 1 p.m. in Rm. M229.

Finally, Professor Joanna Vondrasek is leading a birding walk on Monday, September 24. Learn about the avian populations that call PVCC home (distinct from the student population who also call PVCC home) and how they're affected by a changing climate. Participants will meet in room M229 at noon for a 15 minute talk and then venture outside. Wear comfortable shoes!

You can learn about all of these events and more here.