Collecting area: Environment

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Talking Truth

Talking Truth Collection

2015-2018
2 boxes 0.75 linear feet
Call no.: RG 040/2 T35
Depiction of

Co-founded by Madeleine Charney, Lena Fletcher, and Kris Nelson, Talking Truth began as a workshop on climate activism held during the Fall of 2015. The original workshop focused on the overwhelming nature of the climate crisis and provided a three part discussion aimed at helping UMass Amherst students, faculty, and librarians find their individual voices as activists and to support collaboration among UMass community members in their efforts to combat climate change. The discussion included a letter writing activity asking writers to share their feelings about climate change. This activity originated in Fletcher’s Natural Resources Conservation course, “Environment and Society” and more letters were written at subsequent Talking Truth events. Through 2018, Talking Truth held a variety of other events including film screenings, author talks, and a booth at the Amherst, Mass. Sustainability Festival.

The Talking Truth Collection consists of letters written during Talking Truth workshops, events, and in Lena Fletcher’s classes. There is also a small group of drawings done as part of the “Teach-in, freak out: building power in a climate of urgency” on November 19th, 2015, which was sponsored by the UMass Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign.

Subjects

Climatic change--Social aspects
United States Works Progress Administration of Massachusetts

United States Works Progress Administration of Massachusetts Water Pollution Surveys Collection

1936-1938
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 068

Under the federal New Deal in the late 1930s, the Works Project Administration authorized a series of surveys of major watersheds to gauge water quality and sources of pollution. In Massachusetts, the studies were coordinated by the Massachusetts Department of Health and resulted in a series of more or less detailed reports issued between September 1936 and January 1938.

The pollution survey collection contains reports for six major watersheds in New England — the Blackstone, Hoosic, Housatonic, Merrimack, Nashua, and Ten Mile — measuring the impact of both civic and industrial waste on regional water resources.

Subjects

Blackstone River Watershed (Mass. and R.I.)Hoosic River WatershedHousatonic River Watershed (Mass. and Conn.)Merrimack River Watershed (N.H. and Mass.)Nashua River Watershed (Mass. and N.H.)Ten Mile River Watershed (Mass.)Water--Pollution--MassachusettsWater-resources--Massachusetts

Contributors

Massachusetts. Department of Public HealthMassachusetts. State Planning Board
Verity, Peter G.

Peter G. Verity Papers

ca.1984-2009
20 boxes 30 linear feet
Call no.: MS 720

After receiving his doctorate from the University of Rhode Island for a study of the physiology and ecology of tintinids in 1984, Peter G. Verity joined the faculty at the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography. As a Professor of Biological Oceanography, Verity was interested broadly in the ecology of plankton and trophic interactions in the pelagic food web, studying the process of eutrophication and dissolved oxygen in the water column among other topics, and conducting a significant long-term analysis of nutrient variation in estuarine waters. Becoming deeply concerned about the future of oceanic environments and the accelerating decline of coastal ecosystems as a result of his research, Verity took on an increasingly active role in educating teachers about environmental issues. For his efforts, he was awarded the Nick Williams Award for Coastal Sustainability from the Center for a Sustainable Coast. Verity died unexpectedly at home on Dec. 31, 2009.

An important resource for marine ecology and scientific study of the environment, the Verity Papers contain an array of correspondence, research and grant proposals, manuscripts of papers, reprints, and notes of meetings.

Gift of Melanie Mirande, Dec. 2011

Subjects

EstuariesMarine ecologyPhytoplanktonSkidaway Institute of Oceanography--Faculty

Contributors

Verity, Peter G.
Vinal, William Gould, 1881-

William Gould Vinal Papers

1931-1963
3 boxes 1.25 linear feet
Call no.: FS 138
Depiction of Cap'n Bill Vinal
Cap'n Bill Vinal

William “Cap’n Bill” Vinal was the first instructor in nature education at Massachusetts State College and a pioneer in the field. A graduate of Bridgewater State (1904), Harvard (MA 1907) and Brown (PhD, 1922), Vinal worked for several years as a camp director on his native Cape Cod and held a variety of university appointments in nature education before joining the faculty at Massachusetts State College as Professor of Nature Education in the Nature Guide School in 1937. Spontaneous in the classroom and field, enthusiastic, and highly popular with his students, Vinal taught courses in conservation, outdoor leadership, outdoor recreation, and nature guiding, and was an important figure in the Massachusetts Audubon Society, the American Camping Association, the Camp Directors Association, and several conservation groups. After retiring from UMass in 1951, Vinal returned to his home in Norwell, Mass., remaining active as a nature writer and teacher until his death in 1973.

A valuable glimpse into the early growth of nature and conservation education, the Vinal collection includes dozens of scarce publications by the exceptionally prolific Cap’n Bill, along with a small quantity of correspondence, talks, and reports. As a collection, these document the origin and growth of the Nature Guide School and the program in nature recreation at MSC and UMass, and more generally the growth of nature, recreation, and conservation education in New England. Of local interest is an extensive report for the town of Amherst Recreation Survey Committee (1948) regarding recreational opportunities for youth. Nearly half of the collection consists of an extensive run of Vinal’s quirky, self-published Nature Guide Newsletter (1935-1951).

Subjects

Amherst (Mass.)--Social life and customsConservation of natural resources--Study and teachingNature Guide NewsletterOutdoor education--MassachusettsRecreation--Massachusetts--AmherstUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Nature Guide SchoolUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Program in Nature Recreation

Contributors

Vinal, William Gould, 1881-
Waldbott, George L., 1898-

George L. Waldbott Papers

1930-1989 Bulk: 1957-1982
7 boxes 10.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 609

After receiving his medical degree from the University of Heidelberg in 1921, George L. Waldbott accepted a residency at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, and embarked on a pioneering career in the study and treatment of allergic diseases. He is noted for his fundamental research on human anaphylaxis and penicillin shock, allergy-induced respiratory problems, and later in his career, the health impact of air pollutants. In 1955, Waldbott began conducting research in fluoride toxicity, becoming one of the first physicians to warn of the health effects of mass fluoridation. A founder of the International Society for Fluoride Research, he was considered one of the key figures in the antifluoridation movement for over two decades, contributing dozens of books and articles, including the influential The American Fluoridation Experiment (1957) and Fluoridation : The Great Dilemma (1978). He died in Detroit on July 17, 1982, from complications following open heart surgery.

The Waldbott Papers document one physician’s long struggle against the fluoridation of the American water supply. In addition to a considerable quantity of correspondence with other leading antifluoridation activists, the collection includes an array of subject files relating to fluoridation, air pollution, and allergens, as well as drafts of articles and offprints, newsclippings, and notes.

Separated from the papers of Martha Bevis, Jan. 2010

Subjects

Air--PollutionAntifluoridation movement--MichiganFluorides--Environmental aspectsFluorides--ToxicologyPublic health

Contributors

Waldbott, George L., 1898-
Wasserman, Harvey, 1945-

Harvey Wasserman Papers

ca.1965-2017
34 boxes 50 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1082
Depiction of Harvey Wasserman at MUSE press conference, 1979
Harvey Wasserman at MUSE press conference, 1979

A journalist, writer, and historian, Harvey Wasserman has been an activist for radical democracy and alternative energy for over five decades. Influenced by civil rights activism as a child, Wasserman became seriously involved in journalism while on the staff of the Michigan Daily at the University of Michigan. After graduating in 1967, he joined the Liberation News Service supplying news to underground and alternative media outlets, remaining with the LNS branch that eventually settled on the Montague Farm Commune in Montague, Mass. During more than a decade at the Farm, Wasserman and his fellow communards helped ignite the modern movement opposing nuclear power. Helping to found two vital antinuclear groups, the Alternative Energy Coalition and the Clamshell Alliance, he became a key strategist and organizer of the mass protests at the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant and was a motive force behind the Musicians United for Safe Energy concerts in 1979. His activism has since expanded into a broad range of environmental issues, alternative energy, election protection, and politics. A prolific writer, he is author of Harvey Wasserman’s History of the United States (1972) and Solartopia (2007), among other books, and his articles have appeared in both the mainstream and alternative press.

The Wasserman Papers document the career of a key figure in antinuclear and alternative energy activism. The collection includes a nearly comprehensive set of Wasserman’s writings, materials on the antinuclear movement, solar power, the Montague Farm Commune, and materials relating to his efforts to protect the American electoral system.

Gift of Harvey Wasserman, 2017

Subjects

Antinuclear movementsCommunal living--MassachusettsEnvironmentalismLiberation News ServiceMontague Farm CommunityRenewable energySolar energyUnited States--History--20th century
Wendell Post

Wendell Post Collection

1977-2001
1 box 1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 762
Depiction of Wendell Post editorial crew
Wendell Post editorial crew

From 1977 through 2001, the Wendell Post newspaper was published by and for the residents of Wendell, Mass. With its distinctive local perspective, the Post covered local politics, people, and events, but also issues with national implications, including the anti-nuclear movement, environmental concerns, recycling, and peacework.

The Wendell Post collection contains nearly every issue of a community newspaper produced in a small, rural New England town. Most issues include reports on town meetings and elections, the schools, and public works, but the Post also carried news of the stuff of daily life such as births and deaths, high school graduations, anniversaries and Old Home Day, profiles of town residents and town history, and the crime report.

Subjects

New Salem (Mass.)--HistoryNewspapers--MassachusettsWendell (Mass.)--History
Work on Waste USA, Inc.

Work on Waste USA, Inc. Records

ca.1980-2000
62 boxes 93.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 767

In the early 1980s, Paul Connett, a chemist at St. Lawrence University, his wife Ellen, and other environmental activists in upstate New York formed Work on Waste USA to oppose the incineration of solid waste materials. Arguing that incineration was a major source of air pollution, pumping dioxin, mercury, cadmium, and lead into the atmosphere and leaving behind toxic ash and other residues, Work on Waste consulted nationally on issues surrounding incineration, coordinating with dozens of local organizations, and it became an ardent proponent of recycling as an alternative. From 1988-2000, WOW published a pro-recycling, anti-incineration newsletter, Waste Not.

The records of Work on Waste document the national struggle against the incineration of solid waste. With materials from dozens of groups opposing incineration in their communities, the collection provides insight into community activism and grassroots legal and media campaigns. The collection also includes materials relating to Work on Waste’s support for recycling and extensive data on the environmental impact of dioxin and other chemicals, medical waste, and ash landfills, and on the operation of incinerators.

Subjects

IncineratorsMedical wastes

Contributors

Connett, P. H. (Paul H.)
Zube, Ervin H.

Ervin H. Zube Papers

1959-1997
19 boxes 28.5 linear feet
Call no.: FS 017
Depiction of Ervin H. Zube
Ervin H. Zube

Ervin H. Zube was the head of the University’s Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning department (LARP) from 1965-1977. His groundbreaking research on landscape architecture and assessment helped define the international importance and influence of the field and his consultancy work, most notably with the National Park Service, brought his intellectual achievements into practical application. Born on April 24, 1931 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Zube earned his B.S. at the University of Wisconsin in 1954. After a two year service in the United States Air Force, Zube enrolled in Harvard’s Graduate School of Design where he received his M.L.A in 1959. Zube held teaching positions at the University of Wisconsin and the University of California, Berkeley before beginning his ten year professorship at the University of Massachusetts in 1965. As the head of LARP, Zube established the Environmental Design program, which introduced a revolutionary cross-discipline approach to the study of landscape architecture. Zube became the director of the Institute for Man and the Environment in 1972 and restructured the institute to support academic research in new, important topics including community development and cooperation with the National Park Service, seeding important national and international institutions with progressively educated researchers. As a consultant, Zube helped the National Park Service develop their “master plan” for Yosemite and worked with numerous national and international institutions to manage and assess their environmental resources. Zube ended his career as a professor at the University of Arizona where he retired in 1983. He remained active in the field until his death in 2001.

The Ervin H. Zube papers include Zube’s lecture notes and academic correspondence, research materials and publications representing his work in landscape assessment and architecture, notes and reports from his consultancy work with many institutions and committees, correspondence from his role as a conference planner, as well as correspondence relating to his many book reviews. Zube’s papers also cover his research and teaching while at the University of Arizona and contain photographs from his research on the Connecticut River Valley.

Transferred from LARP, 2001

Subjects

Institute for Man and the EnvironmentUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning

Contributors

Zube, Ervin H.
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