Category Archives: Global Sustainability

Professionalism: 11 Important Workplace Qualities

The following article is taken from a web page called “FairyGodBoss”, a resource for women in the workplace offering advice on how to be successful. It offers interesting advice and tips on professional behavior, regardless of gender identity. Original Post

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Professionalism is pivotal to career success, a recent study on Career Readiness conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) found, with 97.5% of employers who responded calling it absolutely essential or essential. The workplace has certainly changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that doesn’t mean professionalism is any less important.

What is career professionalism? 

Being professional might mean a variety of things, from how you dress at work to how you perform. Mastering professionalism at work is vital for success and happiness on the job. Contrary to what some believe, true professionalism in the workplace is not restricted to any industry. Whether you’re a waitress working a part-time job or a lawyer making six-figures, you need to practice professional behavior and be hard working. There are certain standards of professional conduct, and not meeting them could make or break your future at a company.

Continue reading Professionalism: 11 Important Workplace Qualities

Your personal diversity and inclusion statement

As one of the assignments in STOCKSCH 382 – Professional Development in Sustainable Food and Farming, students are asked to write a Personal Diversity and Inclusion paragraph. This is becoming more common among employers as part of a routine job application package. This blog will help you to create your own D & I statement.

Why write a Diversity and Inclusion Statement

Writing a Diversity and Inclusion Statement of your own allows you to clarify your own thinking with respect to these issues in your life and in the work place or school.  Many employers are now requiring such a statement as part of a routine job application process.  In addition, you may find yourself on a team some day where your workplace is trying to create such a statement.  This is good practice! 

Continue reading Your personal diversity and inclusion statement

Why so many epidemics originate in Asia and Africa – and why we can expect more

Author: Suresh V. Kuchipudi

Clinical Professor and Associate Director of Animal Diagnostic Laboratory, Penn State – March 4, 2020

The coronavirus disease, known as COVID-19, is a frightening reminder of the imminent global threat posed by emerging infectious diseases. Although epidemics have arisen during all of human history, they now seem to be on the rise. In just the past 20 years, coronaviruses alone have caused three major outbreaks worldwide. Even more troubling, the duration between these three pandemics has gotten shorter.

I am a virologist and associate director of the Animal Diagnostic Laboratory at Penn State University, and my laboratory studies zoonotic viruses, those that jump from animals and infect people. Most of the pandemics have at least one thing in common: They began their deadly work in Asia or Africa. The reasons why may surprise you.

Continue reading Why so many epidemics originate in Asia and Africa – and why we can expect more

To our Grandchildren

Shortly after Phyl died, I asked friends and family to send me a short video clip of themselves talking to our grandchildren about their GG. I made the following two videos from these clips. Thanks to everyone who contributed.

John Gerber

1.Family and friends from the “old days” tell GG’s grandchildren about their GG – 28 minutes

2. Remembering Phyl Part II – Amherst Friends – 45 minutes

In addition, there are two videos from Phyl’s Celebration of Life

3. Wildwood Celebration for Phyl – Part I

4. Wildwood Celebration for Phyl – Part II

And a few favorites

5. There is Love – 4 minutes

6. A Parade for Phyl and Sue – May 22, 2020

7. Three Years of Phyl in Four Minutes – 4 minutes

8. Phyl Goes to MIT – 3 minutes

9. Phyl at the Beach – 3 minutes

And finally…

10. Phyl’s story – 38 blog posts

This is what our mermaid is doing now……

Our mermaid

Plants will save us – if we let them do it

The seeds of truly green technologies are being planted now.

By Linda Rodriguez McRobbie – November 29, 2020

In an experiment at MIT called Automated Arbortecture, researchers used computer-controlled lights to control the shape a plant took as it grew.
In an experiment at MIT called Automated Arbortecture, researchers used computer-controlled lights to control the shape a plant took as it grew.HARPREET SAREEN

Karen Sarkisyan’s tobacco plants glow. Not quite enough to read by, and less than, say, a freshly cracked glow stick, but much more than your average tobacco plant glows, because your average tobacco plant doesn’t glow at all. In fact, although many species of marine creatures, insects, fungi, and bacteria naturally emit light, no plants do.

“I personally am amazed every time when I look at them in the dark room,” says Sarkisyan, a synthetic biologist at the London Institute of Medical Sciences at Imperial College London and the CEO of the biotech startup Planta, based in Russia, where Sarkisyan got his degree. A time-lapse video of the plants growing over several weeks shows their

glowing leaves and trumpet-shaped flowers, green as an alien invasion, flaring bright as they curl upwards. Sarkisyan acknowledges that the video makes the genetically modified plants look a bit brighter than they are to the naked eye, but in any case, the sight is captivating.

Continue reading Plants will save us – if we let them do it

Local and Green, Curbing Climate Disaster by Modeling Indigenous Values

Larry Spotted Crow Mann, Nipmuck. Photo: Used with permission of Larry Spotted Crow Mann

Original Post – AmherstINDY; November 13, 2020 by Darcy DuMont

Editor’s note: This column appeared previously in The Amherst Bulletin

“We humbly acknowledge that we stand on historic Nonotuck and current Nipmuck land, acknowledging also our neighboring indigenous nations, the Nipmuck and Wampanoag to the east, the Mohegan and Pequot to the south, the Mohegan to the west and the Abenaki to the north.”

This is a Statement of the Indigenous Heritage of the Land provided at the opening of each of the Amherst climate task groups over the last three months. Such land acknowledgements are becoming common now, throughout Canada and the U.S., on college campuses and generally as a movement in support of Indigenous heritage and rights.

Continue reading Local and Green, Curbing Climate Disaster by Modeling Indigenous Values

Stories within stories

In my Agricultural Systems Thinking class we were talking about the concept of holarchy. This idea suggests that a farm, a business or a person is a “holon”, that is a unique system in itself.

At the same time, a holon (farm, business or human being) is also part of a larger system (holon) and is composed of smaller systems (holons).

A holarchy is a nested hierarchy of holons, where a holon is both a part and a whole. The key relationship in a holarchy is that “we look out for purpose and in for function.” That is the holon represented by a “word” in the diagram below looks “within” (letter) for its function. And the holon “word” finds its purpose in serving the next holon (the sentence).

Get it?

This also works for biological and social systems. So, the individual human might find purpose at the next larger level (family, community etc.) and function within (heart, liver, lungs etc.).

To help us understand this in another way, Michael Dowd claims that we are all “stories within stories.”

And to further “paint a picture” of the concept of stories within stories, we watched this video….

Will we head viral lessons from “broken” tulips?

gazette

By LAWRENCE J. WINSHIP

For the Daily Hampshire Gazette   –    April 25, 2020

Hundreds of years ago, the flowering bulb markets of Holland were overcome by tulip mania. Buyers bid up highly desired varieties to astronomical prices, paying enormous sums for rarity and flamboyance. Fortunes were made and lost. One of the most sought-after varieties was the Semper Augustus, with striking streaks of white in its red petals — strange, magnificent, and deadly to other tulips.

Not until 1928 was it shown that the dramatic white streaks in the Semper Augustus tulips were caused by a viral infection, spread by aphids, and ultimately lethal to all infected tulips and lilies. But so highly desired and valuable were these infected plants that it took years before government stepped in to protect the bulb industry. Continue reading Will we head viral lessons from “broken” tulips?

When someone is grieving….

I wish I had written this myself…..

John Gerber


The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.” ~Henri Nouwen

It’s hard to stand at the edge of someone else’s grief.

There’s the awkwardness. You always feel a little like an uninvited guest who arrived late and missed the first half of the conversation—a conversation that turns out to be a wrestle between another person and the deepest parts of their own soul.

What can you say when you realize you’ve barged in on an interaction so intimate, so personal that you just want to avert your eyes and slink quietly away?

Then there are the triggers. Continue reading When someone is grieving….