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"Lament of a field biologist"




Earth Day Special Edition Newsletter


Earth Day, 2009

Here is a reminder of events taking place this week in celebration of Earth Day, 2009.

When and Where


Monday through Friday 8am-4pm, Dudley Gallery

Sustainability in Design. Materials and Methods of Construction class are holding an exhibition of projects that focus on sustainability. Students recycle everday items to produce practical and beautiful wall finishes.

Tuesday, April 21, 7pm in Haley Center 2370

The Unforeseen. A documentary from Terrence Malick and Robert Redford about urban sprawl and unscrupulous developers in Austin, TX. Co-sponsored by Auburn Sustainability Action Program (ASAP), Friends of Chewacla Creek and the Uphapee Watershed (CHEWUP), and Save Our Saugahatchee (SOS).

Wednesday, April 22 at 10am and 2pm. Miller Gorrie Center, Samford Ave.

Tours of the Miller Gorrie Center. Tours of the McWhorter School of Building Science, Auburn University and Alabama's first LEED Gold building. Organized by Auburn Green Builders. To book a tour, email Sarah-Ashley McCall

Wednesday, April 22, at 12 noon in the Student Center, room 2218.

Final Green Lunch of 2009. Speaker Kirk Iversen, Auburn University, Department of Agronomy and Soils, will discuss sustainable and no-till agriculture.

*Wednesday, April 22, 5pm. Dudley, room B6.

Presentation by CHM Architects. Invited by Building Science, CHM Architects (Birmingham), the group who designed and oversaw the construction of Miller Gorrie Center, will discuss the challenges of going for LEED Gold. For details email Sarah-Ashley McCall

*Correction: A previous newsletter publicized the time of the presentation as 4pm. Please note that the time is now 5pm.




A Poem for Earth Week

We would also like to share a poem with you, in honor of Earth Day. It was written several years ago by the late and still mourned George W. Folkerts. George, who passed away in December 2007, was a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Auburn University for 38 years. His love for the Earth was always evident through his work and has been distilled into words in this poem, "Lament of a Field Biologist."

George's passion, his unparalleled knowledge of the ecology of the southeastern U.S., and his expertise in disappearing habitats made him a champion of nature conservation in the region.

Lament of a Field Biologist
-George W. Folkerts

My former choice collecting spots
Are shopping center parking lots.
The meadow, once abuzz with bee,
Is still now, thanks to DDT.
Shades of Rachel Carson
Whatever will become of me

The glen where trilliums lolled in shade
And toadlets hopped, and chipmunks played
In a watery grave has lain for years
Drowned by the Corps of Engineers.
My wild world is sinking fast,
Whatever will become of me

The marsh, a haunt of coots and rails,
Where Typha waved and wagged its tails,
Succumbed to an ignominious fate,
It’s a cloverleaf on the Interstate.
Nature heaves a dying breath,
Whatever will become of me

Clear birch-edged stream with fauna rank,
With iris blue upon your bank,
Your poisoned pools I now scan,
My seine haul yields one Falstaff can.
Everything I love is gone,
Whatever will become of me

The fields are being, with great precision
Transformed into a subdivision,
The eagle falls, the lily dies,
And on the road a ‘possum lies.
No doubt what will become of me,
Molecular Biology