FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Atlanta Business Chronicle:Georgia Power Co. will continue reducing its reliance on coal during the next two decades while stepping up its investments in renewable power and energy efficiency, according to a plan the Atlanta-based utility submitted Thursday.The 2019 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) would keep Georgia Power moving toward the goals the company committed to when it filed its last IRP with the state Public Service Commission (PSC) in 2016. Georgia Power is required to submit a report every three years outlining the mix of energy sources it plans to rely on to meet the needs of its 2.5 million customers for the next 20 years.Specifically, the company is asking to retire four coal-burning units at Plant Hammond near Rome, Ga., and to retire one coal unit at Plant McIntosh near Rincon, Ga, west of Savannah. Georgia Power also proposes not to renew the operating licenses of two hydropower projects on the Chattahoochee River in West Georgia, which would ultimately lead to the dams’ removal.While taking those power supply sources out of the mix, the utility is seeking to procure an additional 1,000 megawatts of energy from renewable sources. If approved, the additional renewable power would increase Georgia Power’s renewable portfolio to 18 percent. The IRP also proposes new energy-saving programs for residential and commercial customers aimed at reducing peak demand by about 1,600 megawatts.The plan would continue to emphasize a mixed array of energy sources, long a mantra with Georgia Power. That includes nuclear power, as the utility remains committed to completing a $27.3 billion nuclear expansion at Plant Vogtle despite soaring costs and scheduling delays.“We have invested in a diverse energy mix of nuclear, natural gas, hydro, renewables, coal and energy efficiency resources in order to maintain high levels of reliability for our customers that have resulted in rates that are 15 percent below the national average,” said Allen Reaves, senior vice president and senior production officer at Georgia Power.More: Georgia Power doubles down on renewable power, energy efficiency Georgia Power proposes closing Hammond, McIntosh coal plants
Month: December 2020
Groups sue South Africa government over coal-related air emissions FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:South Africa’s government has failed to tackle high air pollution levels in an area which is home to coal-fired power stations and refineries, a lawsuit filed by environmental and community groups says.The case filed in the Pretoria High Court on Friday claims the government has violated the constitutional right to a healthy environment for people living and working in the densely-polluted Highveld Priority Area. It was brought by environmental justice group groundWork and community organization Vukani Environmental Justice Movement in Action.Africa’s most advanced economy is also its worst polluter, generating most of its energy from coal-fired power plants that emit millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.“Together with groundWork, Vukani has decided to use litigation to push government to take urgent steps to deal with the high air pollution and in the interest of our health and to protect our right to clean air,” Vukani chairperson Vusi Mabaso said in a statement.The Highveld Priority Area, south of Johannesburg and overlapping three provincial boundaries, was declared a climate priority area in 2007 due to poorer-than-average air quality and a high concentration of pollutants because of the type of industries operating there.The area is the site of 12 coal-fired Eskom power plants and Sasol’s coal-to-liquid plant in Secunda and oil refinery in Sasolberg.More: South African government sued over coal and industrial air pollution
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Vietnam’s state oil firm PetroVietnam is seeking to venture into renewable energy sources like wind farms and floating solar panels, as domestic crude oil production has peaked at most of its offshore oil fields.The company, formally known as Vietnam Oil and Gas Group, is targeting 100 megawatts (MW) of renewable capacity by 2025 and 900 MW by 2035, it told Reuters on Wednesday.“Fossil fuels are shrinking and, therefore, developing renewable energy is inevitable,” PetroVietnam said in an email in response to Reuters questions.PetroVietnam said it would initially build floating solar panels at some of its hydropower dams and install rooftop solar panels at its existing coal-fired power plants. It will later seek investment from foreign and domestic investors to develop solar and wind farms and waste-to-power plants throughout the country, it added.According to the Ministry of Industry, the total installed capacity of Vietnam’s wind and solar power plants has risen strongly over the recent years to 5,500 MW.Vietnam said it will more than double its power generation capacity over the next decade to 125-130 gigawatts and raise the proportion of renewable energy to 20% by 2030, from the current of around 10%.. [Khanh Vu]More: PetroVietnam to invest in renewables amid shrinking crude oil production Vietnam’s state-run oil company looks for growth developing solar and wind projects
EDP to close two coal plants, convert a third to gas, in Portugal, Spain in 2021 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):EDP – Energias de Portugal SA is planning to shut down two of its coal-fired power plants in Spain and Portugal by 2021 and convert a third unit to burn gas, following in the footsteps of other utilities as it withdraws from a fuel source that is continuing to lose attractiveness.EDP said July 14 that it has asked for permission to stop producing electricity at its 1,180-MW Sines power plant in Portugal in January 2021 and shut down the 346-MW Soto De Ribera 3 unit in Spain sometime during same year. At a third power plant, Aboño in Spain, EDP wants to convert one 342-MW coal unit to gas by 2022, with another 562-MW unit used as backup capacity.The shutdowns will lead to an extraordinary cost of about €100 million before taxes in its 2020 financial results, the company said.The announcement comes after EDP said in December 2019 that it would write down its remaining coal plants on the Iberian Peninsula to the tune of about €300 million, citing their loss of competitiveness against other forms of generation. Miguel Stilwell de Andrade, EDP’s CFO at the time and now its interim CEO, said then that the company would only keep the coal plants “as long as they’re profitable.”EDP confirmed July 14 that market conditions for its coal plants continued to deteriorate during the first half of 2020. As a result, Sines has not produced any power since January, while Soto de Ribera 3 has been idle for the past 12 months.The capacity the utility now plans to shut down and convert represents more than half of the 2,430 MW of coal it still owned in Iberia as of June. While that figure has been unchanged for the past year, electricity generation from those coal plants was down 76% in the first six months of this year, dropping from about 5 TWh to 1.2 TWh, against a steep recovery in hydropower production.[Yannic Rack]More ($): EDP moves to close unprofitable coal plants in Spain, Portugal
When I was a senior in high school, my goal was not just to go to college; I wanted to go to college as far away as possible from my northern Virginia hometown. But when the acceptance letters rolled in and the dollar signs started showing, I quickly realized that my romanticized higher education plans were simply not going to pan out.My solution? Deny every acceptance letter I had received, apply (past deadline) to a small private college in southwest Virginia that I had never heard of, and wing it. Fortunately, that small private school, Emory & Henry College, accepted me and provided enough financial support to seal the deal. Beyond my misbegotten decision-making process, the one allure that Emory & Henry College held above the rest was a seemingly awesome outdoor program. With less than 1,000 students, Emory & Henry’s tightknit community easily paved the way for my discovery of the incredible opportunities for outdoor recreation in and around the college campus.For the majority of my life, I had been a Pony Clubber and a band geek, but never a kayaker, never a backpacker. When my four years at Emory & Henry were drawing to a close, I had morphed from ballerina to dirt bag. I had picked up a summer job raft guiding on the New River Gorge, had spent three months bushwhacking and canoeing with the NOLS Amazon semester, and had become intimately familiar with the many wilderness playgrounds of southern Appalachia.College selection can be a stressful and overwhelming matter. Here at Blue Ridge Outdoors, we want to make it easier. We selected the top 32 adventure schools, and readers voted for their favorites in a March-Madness-style tournament bracket.After six weeks and over 350,000 votes, our readers decided on the two best adventure colleges that went above and beyond the call of adventure. Appalachian State University, located in Boone, N.C., not only won the big school bracket but also dominated overall with 11,232 votes in the final round. Brevard College, located a couple hours southwest in Brevard, N.C., trumped the small school bracket and came in second overall with 5,391 votes. How did two schools from the Old North State manage to wipe away 30 other colleges and universities across the Blue Ridge? The answer I heard time and time again involved two words: location and community.TOP DOGS1. Appalachian State UniversityLandmark Programs: Wilderness Orientation Program, Instructor Development Program, month-long domestic and international expeditions, outdoor program scholarshipInternational Travel Opportunity? Yes: New Zealand, Wales, Fiji, Canadian Rockies, ItalyOn-Campus Facilities: Indoor climbing wall, 50-meter poolService Opportunities: Blue Ridge Parkway, trail maintenance, Watauga Opportunities and Watauga High School Project RecreationMost Popular Outdoor Activity: ClimbingPlayground: Beech Mountain, Roan Mountain State Park, Linville Gorge Wilderness, Table Rock, French Broad River, Stone Mountain, N.C., Watauga River, New River“I’d never been an outdoor person,” says senior Appropriate Technology major Charlotte Garvey. “Now, I do climbing, kayaking, rafting, everything I can.”Garvey is one of the roughly 17,000 people in the ASU community who has access to the adventure opportunities available through Outdoor Programs (OP). “I’ve learned that I can do a lot more than I originally thought,” she says. “Coming into college, I was pretty shy, pretty introverted, but I’ve become a lot more willing to push past my boundaries. The community that OP has is the closest and most supportive family outside of my own that I’ve ever had.”That sense of community is something OP Associate Director Rich Campbell says is one of ASU’s strongest selling points.“It’s the community’s atmosphere of collaboration and support that really sets us apart,” Campbell says. “We work with Cultural Affairs to run the Banff Film Festival and our photography competitions. We also work closely with the Sustainability Department to create new programs and biking initiatives. ASU really tries to maximize what we have in our own backyard, and any student, regardless of major, can participate on any level in OP.”Zachary Silverman, a senior psychology major, is one of the students who has taken his participation in OP to a new level. As the Climbing Wall Programmer at ASU, Silverman is responsible for opening up the campus indoor climbing wall to students, faculty and staff. He says the opportunities OP provided him were the reason he was able to develop his rock climbing skills and push to a higher standard.“I feel like OP has a lot of good energy because students come to ASU and are immediately embraced by people who are amped on the outdoors,” says Silverman.Andrew Hawley, one of the full-time coordinators for OP and a person who is definitely amped on the outdoors, has made outdoor recreation and education more than just a career; for Hawley, the outdoors is a way of life.“We offer everything from a backcountry cooking clinic in our warehouse to 30-day international trips. It’s not just for the hardcore. It’s for everybody.”For the students who choose to make some facet of outdoor recreation a part of their academic careers, the Recreation Management department at ASU provides three different concentrations in the field: outdoor experiential education, recreation and parks, and commercial recreation.Kristian Jackson, a faculty member in the Recreation Management department and volunteer boss for the local Rocky Knob mountain bike park, says that the relationship between OP and the students and faculty from the Recreation Management department is what makes the adventure scene at ASU truly unique.“We need more people to be outside, enjoying nature and adventure and realizing, through these activities, that they are capable of more than they thought,” Jackson says.With some of the East Coast’s best mountain biking, climbing, and whitewater paddling within an hour’s drive from the ASU campus, it’s easy to see why the university has worked to develop a comprehensive and inclusive outdoor curriculum into its academics. Developed in the late 1970s, OP has a long history of providing adventurous experiences for the ASU student body.“App State really embraces the fact that we’re in such an amazing outdoor environment and that, for students, it’s a great part in the development of their academic careers,” says senior marketing major and OP member Wes Overvold. “Outdoor recreation allows people to get in touch with their wild spaces. You’re not going to protect anything that you don’t love, and OP helps you realize that. Being outside has been imperative to my collegiate success.”2. Brevard CollegeLandmark Programs: Immersion Semester, Voice of Rivers source-to-sea experience, BC Bikes programInternational Travel Opportunity? NoOn-Campus Facilities: Indoor Climbing Wall, mountain bike loopService Opportunities? Yes: Trail service, American Canoe Association, Adventure Education Conference, practicum professional skills development program, Boys & Girls ClubMost Popular Outdoor Activity: Paddling, Climbing, BikingPlayground: Pisgah National Forest, Looking Glass Rock, French Broad River, Dupont State Forest, Green River, Tuckaseegee River, Chattooga River, Nantahala National ForestAt Brevard College, WLEE is not so much an acronym as it is an identity. Pronounced ‘Willy,’ the WLEE, or Wilderness Leadership & Experiential Education, program is one of the college’s landmark majors. With roughly 600 students at the college, about 10 percent of those are WLEE majors.Clyde Carter, an Associate WLEE Professor and one of the founding fathers of the program, says that the proximity of Brevard College to so many outdoor resources makes it a unique gem for prospective students looking at a career in outdoor recreation.“What I love at Brevard College is that a lot of people have already found that passion,” Carter says, “so the students are excited about being in the outdoors.”The experiential education component of the WLEE program is a core value of Brevard College in general, but the lessons learned by taking the reins and guiding a group of fellow students into the backcountry is incomparable according to Assistant WLEE Professor, Robert Dye.“I have a 15-year-old son,” Dye explains, “and I’ve noticed that he and his peers have lives that are scripted and contained. There’s always a coach or teacher or instructor and they aren’t allowed to fail. Because of that, they are not accustomed to failing and recovering or making decisions with hard consequences. The WLEE program teaches students to make real decisions, because I think a decision without a consequence is not a real decision.”Dye most recently experienced the value of this lesson during the 2013 Voice of Rivers trip, a three-week, source-to-sea expedition that followed the Suwanee River from the headwaters in the Okefenokee Swamp to the Gulf of Mexico.“I’d say the three values that are integral to the trip are the human experience, the environment, and independent thinking,” Dye says. “As a faculty member, that last one’s the scariest to teach, but it’s also one of the most exciting times when you get a student to challenge you in a respectful and appropriate way.”For Andrew Gunan, a theatre and criminal justice double major, the three-week paddling trip was more than just a step outside his comfort zone; it was more like a 13-hour plane ride and a couple bus stops away.“Originally, I wanted nothing to do with the outdoors,” Gunan says. “I was a city boy, and city boys just don’t do things like that. But when I saw how fun it looked, I couldn’t resist. When you’re separated from the world for three weeks, you learn a little bit about yourself.”Gunan says that the river experience taught him how to work with people he may or may not like, a lesson that he knows will carry over into his career pursuits.“My biggest challenge with the outdoor industry was being comfortable in communicating with all different walks of life,” says 2012 WLEE graduate Jim Wall. As a kayaking instructor and guide for Green River Adventures, Wall knows that those basic communication skills he gained at Brevard were instrumental in helping him be a successful entertainer and educator.WLEE Coordinator and Associate Professor Jennifer Kafsky says that outdoor recreation is important for just that reason.“I see people let down their guard and become more authentic,” she says. “It offers such a great opportunity for community building too.”BIG SCHOOL FINALISTSWest Virginia University Landmark Programs: Diverse winter and spring break trips, Leadership Training seminars, freshman orientation program, SOAR sophomore retention program, first collegiate canopy tour and training center.International Travel opportunity? Yes: Patagonia, Fiji, New ZealandOn-Campus Facilities: Challenge Course, Canopy Tour, indoor climbing wall, Outdoor Rec Center with equipment rental unitService Opportunities? Yes: US Fish & Wildlife Service, Highlands Conservancy, Coopers Rock Foundation, Friends of Deckers CreekMost Popular Outdoor Activity: Whitewater paddling, climbingPlayground: Coopers Rock, Seneca Rocks, New River, Cheat River, Dolly SodsThrough hands-on freshman orientation programs, Adventure WV provides incoming students with a means of developing environmental and cultural awareness as well as service learning and community collaboration.“We use the outdoors to facilitate a sense of belongingness, both with the state of West Virginia and the college community itself,” says Greg Corio, Adventure WV Director.Corio knows all too well what that sense of belonging means to a student. As a WVU alumnus, Corio decided to create an outdoor orientation program as his graduate project, which then turned into his full-time job.“You can use the outdoors as a metaphor for being successful in life,” he says. “Yes, it may hurt and yes, it may be hard, but you can push through any challenge and come out on top.”Third-year student Paris Winfrey is in the process of experiencing just that, having just now changed his major to business.“That’s what I like about Adventure WV though,” Winfrey says. “It fosters individual growth but maintains a solidarity between everyone through our love of the outdoors.”Georgia TechLandmark Programs: CORE Leadership Program, Tech Treks orientation trips, strong volunteer baseInternational Travel opportunity? Yes: France, China, Scotland, Chile, CanadaOn-Campus Facilities: Climbing Wall, Leadership Challenge CourseMost Popular Outdoor Activity: Kayaking, CavingPlayground: Springer Mountain/Amicalola Falls, Chattahoochee River, Boat Rocks, Sope Creek, Kennesaw Mountain, Tumbling Rock, Steward Springs, Howards’ Waterfall“What we do isn’t rocket science, but we do what we do with rocket scientists as staff,” says ORGT Director David Knobbe.This is most certainly true. Georgia Tech’s prestige in the world of higher education does not include any outdoor recreation curriculum, and you certainly won’t find a major in kayaking here. Despite Georgia Tech’s renown for science and math programs, the ORGT has generated mass interest among such scholarly students.“Georgia Tech is a school of super high achievers who are super self-motivated,” says ORGT Assistant Director Matt Marcus. “Students here are aggressive in their pursuit of excellence. If they are going to get into something, they are going to GET INTO something. If they don’t learn the highest level of an activity, they see it as a waste of time.”Both Knobbe and Marcus are themselves accomplished outdoorsmen, having individually thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail prior to working for Georgia Tech. The two are proud of their grassroots program, which boasts over 150 current student and dedicated alumni volunteers.University of TennesseeLandmark Programs: Student Outdoor Leadership Education, Bike Safety and Long-Term Rental ProgramInternational Travel opportunity? Yes: Costa Rica, MexicoOn-Campus Facilities: Vol Wall climbing gym, rental center, bike shopService Opportunities? Yes: All Access Outdoor FestivalMost Popular Outdoor Activity: Kayaking, ClimbingPlayground: Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Roan Mountain State Park, Cherokee National Forest, Rumbling Bald, N.C., Tellico River, Clingmans Dome, Tenn./N.C., Tennessee River, Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness, Obed Wild & Scenic River, Big South ForkUTOP Director Benjy Darnell wasn’t always a certified, safety-inclined outdoorsman. In fact, he hardly knew anything about it until he scrambled up a spray painted boulder and contemplated how neat it would be to climb up something taller.“I was from Powell County, so rock climbing was a completely new concept to me. All I knew was hunting and cow tipping. But I can remember exactly how it felt to climb on top of this dinky rock. I was so elated, and that’s what got me started climbing.”From living out of his truck and climbing for four years to learning to whitewater paddle in middle age, Darnell says the outdoors really broadened his horizons.“It gave me definition,” he says. “The outdoors opens up a new world to people, and for graduating high schoolers, college is a new world after all. The outdoors is really a venue for these students to try new things and to connect that to an accomplishment. Building on that creates a metamorphic learning opportunity where students realize they can accomplish way more than they ever thought.”SMALL SCHOOL FINALISTSDavidson CollegeLandmark Programs: Semester-long Wilderness Leadership Skills course, Backcountry Odyssey orientation programInternational Travel opportunity? NoOn-Campus Facilities: Climbing wall, equipment rental unit, high and low Challenge Course, disc golf course, trip planning supportService Opportunities? Yes: Long Branch Environmental Center, Hall Fletcher Elementary SchoolMost Popular Outdoor Activity: Backpacking, KayakingPlayground: Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Pilot Mountain, U.S. National Whitewater Center, South Mountains State ParkFor Davidson Outdoors Director Ed Daugherty, the outdoors have always been important in his life. A 1985 Davidson alumnus himself, Daugherty has been intimately familiar with the paddling world for most of his life. He slalom raced at an amateur level for eight years before going on to the Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) to teach and guide for 14 seasons. When he wasn’t working on the water, Daugherty was playing on the water and traveled everywhere from Siberia to Central America to execute personal paddling trips on an international level.When he began working for Davidson Outdoors in 1992, his comprehensive skillset and outdoor experience inspired students all over campus.“Davidson Outdoors emphasizes the importance of experiential learning by encouraging students to take risks (physical, social or emotional), make crucial decisions and explore themselves while outside their comfort zone,” writes Davidson third-year Haley Sanner. “College culture does not always support the importance of experiential learning in conjunction with the theoretical learning that happens in the classroom. Balancing theory with experience helps develop students who are ready to face challenges in the real world.”Maryville CollegeLandmark Programs: Mountain Challenge trips fulfill academic credit, freshman orientation programs, Mountain Challenge FellowshipInternational Travel opportunity? Yes: Costa Rica, Ecuador, CanadaOn-Campus Facilities: Alpine Tower, Low Ropes Course, College WoodsService Opportunities? Yes: Environmental service projects, facilitates outdoor trips for underserved parts of surrounding communityMost Popular Outdoor Activity: Flat water paddling, trail sportsPlayground: Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Ocoee River, Hiwassee River, Little River, Chilhowie Lake, Tellico LakeWhen Mountain Challenge director Bruce Guillaume started the program 25 years ago, he had no idea that he would also be starting a lifelong career.“I know what everyone takes for granted,” Guillaume says. “I’ve found that when you’re fit and you’re outside, you feel better and do better. Not to mention it’s fun.”Guillaume’s passion for the outdoors runs in the family. His daughter, Emily, attends Maryville College and is also a staunch advocate for outdoor recreation and the adventure opportunities available through Mountain Challenge.“We’re committed to bringing passion and a sense of earnestness to outdoor recreation,” she says.That earnestness transcends basic outdoor recreation. The Mountain Challenge program is housed in one of the few LEED-certified buildings in the country, which speaks to the program’s values.“I back-doored becoming an environmental person when I started the program 25 years ago,” Guillaume says. “Back then, I could take the outdoors much more for granted than I could now. But because I enjoy this stuff so much, there becomes this duty to take care of where you play which is so important to outdoor recreation.”Emory & Henry CollegeLandmark Programs: LEAD (Leadership Education and Development) program, Semester-A-Trail, activity courses for academic creditInternational Travel opportunity? No, but maintains partnership with NOLS international semesters, which are available for study abroad creditOn-Campus Facilities: Climbing tower, indoor bouldering cave, disc golf course, indoor heated poolService Opportunities? Yes: Appalachian Teen Trekkers, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, South & North Fork Holston River Cleanup, Keep Bristol BeautifulMost Popular Outdoor Activity: Hiking, KayakingPlayground: Grayson Highlands State Park, Mt. Rogers National Recreation Area, Holston River watershed, Virginia Creeper Trail, New River, Backbone Rock, Hidden Valley, Hungry Mother State Park, Jefferson National Forest, George Washington National ForestWhen Emory & Henry Outdoor Program Director Jim Harrison thru-hiked with his wife in 1997, they made a stop in Damascus, Va., 20 miles away from the Emory & Henry College campus. After completing their southbound voyage, the two relocated to Damascus and never looked back.“The people we met who shared their stories with us revitalized my soul,” Harrison says. “In building the E&H Outdoor Program, I initially wanted to create opportunities for people to have the same kind of experiences I enjoyed on the A.T., to make meaningful connections with the backcountry and with people.”Harrison has gone above and beyond that, building a program that started as a day hiking club to a comprehensive outdoor program that facilitates everything from week-long adventures in the Florida Everglades to whitewater paddling excursions 20 minutes from campus.“There is an inevitable beatdown in the powerful and humbling forces of the rivers and mountains,” Harrison says. Yet no matter what the day’s adventure may bring, Harrison holds true to some advice a fellow paddler and friend always says. “Who’s the best paddler on the river? The paddler who is having the most fun.” BEST OF THE RESTWarren Wilson College // If you want to get dirty and support a good cause, WWC’s Outdoor Programs hosts the Jason Hunt Memorial Challenge every year. The memorial was founded in honor and remembrance of WWC student Jason Hunt who valued helping at-risk youth through outdoor experiences.Radford University // Are you outdoors? If not, you might want to get off the couch and join RU Outdoors on one of their amazing trips, from horseback riding to tree canopy cruising and skydiving.Lees-McRae College // Serious about climbing? So is LMC. Check out their competition rock climbing team and the annual Reel Rock Film Tour that Outdoor Programs hosts.Washington and Lee University // The W&L campus location is prime for outdoor adventures. Nestled in the Shenandoah Valley, the Outing Club can help facilitate everything from flyfishing on the Maury River to caving in one of Virginia’s 3,650 known caves.UT-Chattanooga // UTC Outdoors offers incoming students the chance to be a part of WILD, the Wilderness Institute for Leadership Development. WILD takes its members into the wilderness once a month to recreate in a variety of settings and learn how to be a good leader.UNC-Asheville // Gear rentals, kayak roll clinics, bike shop, you name it UNCA’s Outdoor Programs has it. What’s more, for those that are serious in taking their outdoor pursuits to the next level, consider joining the Outdoor Leadership Training Program which not only covers backcountry skills but also history and philosophy of outdoor education, risk, and group dynamics.Western Carolina University // Base Camp Cullowhee at WCU offers the greater Cullowhee community opportunities for adventure through its outdoor-oriented events, such as the Tuck River Cleanup, the Catamount Adventure Camp for kids, and the Rock & Rumble Fest/Bouldering Competition.Liberty University // Running is big at Liberty and the Student Activities Board offers a variety of races under the Liberty Mountain Trail Series to accommodate the interest. From the Deep Hollow Half Marathon & 5k to the Arctic 5k, there is sure to be a race that will challenge your innermost Rambo and get the adrenaline flowing.University of the South // Most universities have on-campus trails, but Sewanee’s campus knocks them all out of the water, boasting over 50 miles of trails that are open to students for hiking, biking, horseback riding and even overnight camping.University of Richmond // Natural High is not about doing drugs. It’s a program dedicated to getting Richmond’s college students away from the books and out in the woods.James Madison University // JMU is nestled in the mountains surrounding Harrisonburg, Va., so it’s only natural that outdoor adventure should rank high among JMU students’ “things to do” list. If you can’t get off campus for a few hours, check out JMU’s indoor climbing gym for some extra practice.Duke University // Duke’s competitive attitude goes beyond academics and football. The University hosts an annual Outdoor Adventure Race and the Crimpin’ Crazies Climbing Competition for Duke’s adventurous community.University of North Carolina // Experience Carolina and broaden your perspective with UNC’s multitude of outdoor recreational opportunities, from a comprehensive Challenge Course to WAFFYS (Wilderness Adventures for First Year Students).University of Maryland // Want to go to Altamira, Costa Rica, Guadalupe and Panama? How about Fiji and Norway too? Come to UMD and discover a bottomless vault of adventure leadership courses at home and overseas.Clemson University // CU boasts an impressive Cycling Club that has been in existence for over 20 years and races across the Southeast as part of the Southeastern Collegiate Cycling Conference (SECCC).University of Georgia // If you thought you couldn’t kayak for school credit, think again. UGA offers PE credit for its fall and spring semester courses as well as its two-week adventure trip to Costa Rica.Vanderbilt // Ever dreamed of trekking through the Grand Canyon but never knew how to go about fulfilling that dream? Vanderbilt can help with its 18 years of experience traveling to and within the steep red walls in Arizona’s Grand Canyon National Park.Penn State // Yes, it is possible to learn to SCUBA dive at a state school. Just ask PSU’s Paul Rentschler, SCUBA Diving Supervisor and underwater guru.Virginia Tech // Venture out into the wilderness with VT’s Venture Out program, which provides everything from night ski and snowboarding excursions to SUP sessions.University of Virginia // Whether you’re an amateur or an experienced skier or snowboarder, the Virginia Alpine Ski and Snowboard Team offers powder lovers a chance to get the adrenaline pumping and the competitive edge on at least twice a week at the nearby Wintergreen Ski Resort.University of Kentucky // Rafting on the Chattanooga, climbing in the Red River Gorge, DOG SLEDDING in Michigan?! You name it, UKY’s Outdoor Pursuit team can make it happen.University of South Carolina // Reduce, reuse, and rebicycle with the USC’s Abandoned Bike Project, which revitalizes left-behind bikes for new owners.University of Alabama-Birmingham // Not everyone wants to attend a group-intensive backpacking trip. For the independent-minded, check out Outdoor Rec’s gear rental center and Bama Bikes program.
Dear Mountain Mama,On a recent paddling trip I saw a sign that made me feel unwelcome. It read, “Please remember the following activities are offensive and illegal: changing clothes in public view, blocking traffic with boats or bodies, and drinking alcoholic beverages in public. Citations will be issued.” After I read that, I wanted to leave town.I mostly paddle in remote areas. Is it common for locals and paddlers to clash?Yours,Feeling Uninvited————————————————————–Dear Feeling Uninvited,I bristled when I first read the same poster. I thought the one-stop light town in the northwestern corner of Maryland tucked between West Virginia and Pennsylvania was quaint. The cute cafe, the local museum, and the community park intrigued me. I thought about eating at the vegetarian restaurant on the river’s edge after paddling. But then I read the sign, and instead of lingering and exploring, I left and ate at a bigger town.But then I got to thinking that as much as I have the I’m-on-a-vacation attitude when paddling, the people living in the towns surrounding paddling destinations are home. They probably prefer not to see me nude as I rush to take off my wet gear and put on dry clothes. They probably don’t want their kids to see adults drinking and getting rowdy. They are in the middle of going about their day-to-day errands and it probably gets annoying to have shuttle vehicles blocking their driveways and gear strewn about in the middle of roads.Since then I’ve visited that small town many times, and now make a point to be polite and kind to locals. I also try to create a better reputation for kayakers by supporting the local economy. I buy postcards, t-shirts, meals, groceries, stay at nearby motels, and participate in community activities. As a result, I’ve had the chance to see guys smash up each others’ cars at a derby and dance in a small town parade.Feeling Uninvited, like any relationship, the more effort paddlers put into the local communities that surround rivers, the better the end result. Instead of leaving, instead of playing into the paddlers vs. locals dynamic, try to give back to river towns.Best,Mountain MamaGOT A QUESTION FOR MOUNTAIN MAMA? SEND IT HERE
Your daily outdoor news bulletin for November 20th, the day Cal beat Stanford and the Stanford band with “The Play”:Marlinton Fire UpdateFor those who haven’t heard, a fire ravaged the small town of Marlinton, West Virginia on Nov. 11th. Aided by strong winds and persistent hot spots, the blaze swept through four structures downtown before firefighters, some of whom worked 18 straight hours, could get it under control. Included in the four small businesses and 13 residences that were destroyed was the coffee shop and bike shop Dirt Bean Ohana, a hub for the robust mountain biking scene in this town south of Snowshoe and Slaty Fork in Pocahontas County. Residents say the fire is devastating, but that it has been heartening to see the community rally around those that have been affected. The response has been immediate and overwhelming with donations pouring in from around the region in the form of clothes, supplies and money to assist the victims in getting back on their feet. The cause of the fire is under investigation and the buildings will be razed.For more information on how you can help the Marlinton fire victims, visit the Go Marlinton page on Facebook.ATC Names New Executive DirectorThe Appalachian Trail Conservancy has named Ron Tipton as their new executive director. Tipton was tapped to lead the main preservation and fundraising arm of the Appalachian Trail following the departure of Mark Wenger, who was only on the job for about 18 months – compare that to Wenger’s predecessor David Startzell, who was the ATC Executive Director for 25 years. Tipton was basically recruited by the ATC and is a no-brainer for the position given his background and history with the trail. He thru-hiked in 1978, is a member of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club – one of the largest trail clubs in the system – and was the senior vice president of the National Parks Conservation Association, a 350,000 member citizens advocacy group for national parks. He also holds an environmental law degree and has worked previously for the World Wildlife Fund.Good luck Mr. Tipton!Lindsey Vonn Injured in CrashOlympic champion Lindsey Vonn was injured in a crash while training at Copper Mountain in Colorado Tuesday. Vonn was taken off the hill via sled and transported to her home in Vail where she was evaluated by Dr. William Sterett, the man who repaired her right knee following a crash in February. Vonn’s public relations manager issued a statement indicating that she suffered a partial tear to her ACL and a mild sprain in her right knee – the same knee she injured earlier in the year – along with facial abrasions and scapular contusions (read: scratchy face and shoulder bruise). There is now word on what this does for her World Cup and Olympic aspirations, but needless to say, this is not good on either front.Good luck Ms. Vonn!
The Tikka XP Headlamp from Petzl is, put simply, the perfect modern headlamp. While not the cheapest at $54.95 (you can get perfectly good headlamps for 20 bucks), it has the features you need when you spend quite a few days out of doors each year. Specifically: multiple brightness settings and a red light.Functionally, it’s recommend as well: a sturdy ergonomic headband and a switch that won’t turn on in your pack.The Tikka XP features multiple beams for proximity lighting, trail travel, and long-range vision at 110 lumens up to 65 meters (wide, mixed and focused). For further distances, pump up the lamp to “boost mode” for a quick 140 lumen light as far as 70 meters.The red light option is crucial for close quarters or when there’s a lot of people in your group with headlamps on. And a strobe setting is invaluable to signal your presence or add extra visibility around bikes or vehicles.Another cool feature from Petzl is that brightness doesn’t dim as the battery begins to die. When the power does reach its minimum, the lamp will automatically switch to the red setting to preserve remaining power (therefore, also a battery level indicator).The comfortable headband works well with some helmets and is washable.Part of that price is the weight you’re not paying for, at only 85 grams.The battery lasts anywhere from 2 to 12 hours depending on the setting.It’s not rated submersible but we tested it in rain and snow with no problems. Like many headlamps in this category, it runs on three AAA batteries.
If you’re familiar with DuPont State Recreational Forest, a Western North Carolina mecca for hikers, mountain bikers, and waterfall chasers, you may know that there is a 476-acre expanse of land in the heart of this public tract that has never been open to the public.Now, thanks to a grant from DuPont Corp. this land belongs to the state of North Carolina and could soon be added to the park that surrounds its boarders.According to State Rep. Chris Whitmire (R-Transylvania), the North Carolina Council of State voted to accept the land—known as the “DuPont Donut Hole” because of its central location in the forest—on Tuesday morning.“Persistence and follow-through are key to successfully accomplishing the most complex objectives, and this morning a major milestone in my three-and-a-half-year quest to unlock the DuPont Donut Hole and eventually bring jobs to the former DuPont industrial site came to fruition when the North Carolina Council of State voted to accept the 476-acre parcel from the DuPont Corp. as a gift to the state,” he wrote in a newsletter.Whitmire went on to say that after preforming environmental remediation on the the site—once the largest X-ray film production plant on the planet—the state will likely utilize the ‘Donut Hole’ for emergency responder training and as a parking area for the surrounding recreational forest, offering increased trail connectivity and easier access to DuPont’s famous waterfalls.Read more here.
The cover of Drew Kennedy’s new record, At Home In The Big Lonesome, sets the tone for the songs contained therein.Pictured on the cover is a Texas skyline, mountains in the distance, with a single contrail blazing across the sky. The emptiness is palpable, with the holder of the record seemingly able to gaze deep into the wide open space captured in the artwork.The big lonesome mentioned in Drew Kennedy’s record title echoes, both sonically and psychologically, throughout the record. The first chords of the record’s opening track, “When I’ll Miss You Most,” are sparse and serene, immediately calling to mind a quiet retreat, while “Open Road,” featured on this month’s Trail Mix, is the perfect driving tune, brilliantly dissecting the thoughts of a man behind the wheel with his truck pointed towards the horizon ahead as the miles and the emptiness between the dots on the map churn by.This is a fantastic record to get lost in.I recently caught up with Drew Kennedy to chat about the new record, alone time, and the big lonesome.BRO – Do you think everyone should get lonesome from time to time?DK – Absolutely. Disconnect. Wander. Explore the open road with no road map. The interconnected world we live in is great, but remembering that you are more substantial than your social connections is even better.BRO – Your son spent 37 days in the NICU. How did songwriting help you during, or perhaps after, that ordeal?DK – The songs that I wrote prior to that experience – the songs that make up At Home In The Big Lonesome – served as an anchor in a really tumultuous time in my life. But, really, our focus was Oliver. Music is important in my life, for sure, but everything took a back seat until he could actually breathe on his own.BRO – Favorite guilty pleasure song to listen to when you are alone?DK – Sylvan Esso’s “Coffee.”BRO – We are featuring “Open Road” on this month’s Trail Mix. What’s the story behind the song?DK – If you want to know what far West Texas feels like to me, this is it. That’s the geographic region that runs from Sanderson to Van Horn east to west, and Fort Stockton to Presidio north to south. The first time I went out there, I remember seeing a fully loaded freight train from front to back in its entirety. I grew up in Pennsylvania, and I guess that’s something I never realized I hadn’t seen – with all of the hills, mountains, and trees up there – until I had seen it. It’s big out there. It’s beautiful and wide open. It might as well be the moon compared to where I grew up. I tried to capture that feeling in this song. I was lucky enough to write it with my brother, Josh Grider.BRO – Where is your favorite big lonesome?DK – The stars on a moonless night in Marathon, Texas.Drew Kennedy and his brand of lonesome Texas county will be in Maryland and New York this weekend before returning home to finish the month of November with a run of dates in the Lone Star State. For more information on Drew Kennedy, tour dates, or how you can get a copy of At Home In The Big Lonesome, please check out his website.