2010. 07. 16
College of Idaho students get serious about sustainability
Alli Parrish and Katy Stewart live in a green house. No, not the kind you grow plants in. The kind where you do everything you possibly can to decrease your carbon footprint by conserving energy, recycling, gardening and generally striving to be as “green” as possible.
It can be a tough job, but Parrish and Stewart are up to the challenge. The College of Idaho sophomores are serving as sustainability stewards, which means they live in the school-owned “Eco House” (nicknamed Gaia, which is Greek for “Mother Nature”) behind campus. In exchange for room and board, Parrish and Stewart tend the College’s on-campus organic garden and a pumpkin patch in their backyard. They’ve also made Gaia more eco-friendly, installing energy-efficient light bulbs, adding an aerator to the kitchen faucet and buying all of their furniture at yard sales.
“Being green really is just about being responsible for what you take from and emit into the environment,” Parrish said. “Free housing isn’t my motivation for doing this; it’s just the right thing to do. And it’s giving me an opportunity to go above and beyond what I would be able to do in a dorm.”
The stewards plan to take their efforts even further. They soon will remove their dryer and hang-dry their clothes. They also want to outfit Gaia with solar panels, Energy Star appliances, a composting system and a graywater system that will reuse leftover bath and sink water for watering plants. Those plans hinge on budgets, but the stewards have shown an ability to help themselves financially, securing a $250 grant from Annie’s Homegrown organic food company to help fund next year’s garden.
“My favorite thing has been seeing how big the garden has grown,” Stewart said. “And we’ve done a lot with the house. Eventually, we are hoping to take it off the (power) grid.”
Parrish and Stewart also want to raise awareness on campus. They started a weekly organic garden newsletter, complete with recipes and fresh produce for sale. They also manage a blog (wormsmoothies.wordpress.com/) and a website (www.wix.com/cofiorganic/sustainablecofi), all with the goal of raising the profile of sustainability at C of I, both now and for the future.
“We have plans for probably the next 5 years,” Stewart said. “Hopefully, future sustainability stewards will want to follow those plans and add their own ideas as well.”
Idaho Wine Country set to hit shelves
For many years, the word “Idaho” has been synonymous with “potatoes” throughout most of America. But as College of Idaho professor Alan Minskoff and photographer Paul Hosefros found out, another crop is changing the Idaho landscape – grapes.
Minskoff, who directs the journalism minor at the College, and Hosefros, a retired New York Times photographer, collaborated to create Idaho Wine Country, a 188-page, full-color paperback that hits shelves July 26. The book, which is written by Minskoff, photographed by Hosefros and published by Caxton Press, explores an industry that has exploded across the state over the past decade.
“This is a story of not just one Idaho industry, but of Idaho agriculture,” Minskoff said. “In a down economy and a time of a lot of gloom and doom, the wine industry has been a bright light.”
The idea for the book grew out of Hosefros and Minskoff’s mutual curiosity over the growth of wineries in Idaho. The two spent over a year gathering materials and conducting interviews while traveling to visit more than 40 wineries – including four run by C of I graduates – in every corner of the state.
“Idaho wines are becoming prize winners,” Hosefros said. “Winemakers here are becoming more experienced and accomplished, and our approach was to take a different look at Idaho and let these people tell their story.”
Idaho Wine Country, which costs $27.95, is available for purchase at Caxton Press in Caldwell, online at www.caxtonpress.com and by phone at (208) 459-7421. It will also be available at several on-campus events during Homecoming and Taste of the Harvest.
Minskoff hopes his readers learn as much about the Idaho wine industry as he did.
“We tried to tell a comprehensive story,” Minskoff said. “There’s a lot that goes into making a bottle of wine, and we took a pretty in-depth look at it.”
C of I grad Andy Benoit hired by CBS Sports
There is no slowing down Andy Benoit these days. The football guru and Boise native added to his impressive resume last month when CBS Sports hired him to write for its new NFL blog.
Benoit, who attended Boise High and graduated with a business degree from The College of Idaho in 2009, has been writing about football for more than a decade. His NFL preview book series, Touchdown, is in its 13th year and his web site, www.nfltouchdown.com, is in its third. The 24-year-old also writes NFL preview articles for the New York Times. The new position with CBS Sports will keep Benoit even busier than usual this season, a challenge he looks forward to.
“I’m doing what I’m meant to do,” Benoit said. “I’ve always loved football. It just comes naturally to me. I’ve been doing it for a while now, but I still appreciate it.”
Benoit still lives and works in Boise, where he pores over game film and statistics to research his articles. His web site is growing and now has 32 writers – one for each NFL team. At CBS Sports, Benoit’s job is to cover breaking news and provide analysis for the NFL Facts and Rumors blog (nfl-facts-and-rumors.blogs.cbssports.com).
“I’ve been in touch with (CBS Sports) for about two years,” said Benoit, who was hired on June 15. “They are expanding their NFL coverage this year, so they asked me to be one of the three new writers for the blog. My job is basically to monitor and follow the NFL and write about it.”
Not a bad gig, especially for a 24-year-old who grew up and went to college 400 miles away from the nearest NFL city.
July 29-31; August 4-7
New men's basketball coach Rod Jensen sat down for a Q & A with the Idaho Press Tribune to discuss his return to the Treasure Valley and the upcoming season at The College of Idaho. Read the article here: www.idahopress.com/sports/article_e1d71bc4-8fd7-11df-b36c-001cc4c03286.html
C of I alumnus Eric Dekker ('92) is putting his chemistry degree to use at his new company, VIP Analytical in Boise. The Idaho Business Review featured Dekker's business in an article you can read here: idahobusinessreview.com/blog/2010/07/07/with-family-help-eric-dekker-opens-vip-analytical-for-fuels-testing/
C of I Biology and Environmental Studies professor Chris Walser was quoted by the Idaho Statesman in an article about a strange fish caught in Meridian's Settlers Park. Read the article here: www.idahostatesman.com/2010/07/12/1264818/meridian-angler-reels-in-large.html
The College of Idaho's interest in joining the Northwest Conference and the NCAA Division III ranks in athletics was featured by the Idaho Press Tribune in an article you can read here: www.idahopress.com/sports/article_4810a162-8cb3-11df-904e-001cc4c03286.html