The Clear Case for Microgrid Development in Puerto Rico FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享MicroGridKnowledge.com:With the focus now on survival, most Puerto Ricans are probably not thinking about long-term energy planning. But “there is a huge opportunity, one or two years out, for building the grid in a more sustainable way,” said Cathy Kunkel, an energy analyst with the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.Kunkel is deeply familiar with Puerto Rico’s power woes, which began long before the hurricane. Brought to the island two years ago to help an environmental organization, she has been focused on utility rate and resource planning issues.Rebuilding will not be easy, she warned. The utility was besieged by debt prior to the hurricane and has an old-school grid, heavily reliant on aging, oil-fired power plants.“It was a horrible lump for them that it was the worse hurricane since 1928. That would have done damage to the best of grids,” Kunkel said.Besides lacking capital, Puerto Rico’s electricity industry struggled under competing visions for the future even before the storm, according to Kunkel. PREPA wanted to retain a centralized grid, but switch power plants from oil to liquified natural gas (LNG). Since the island has no LNG, the utility sought permission to build a terminal so that it could import the fuel.Others like Kunkel advocated for more decentralization and renewable energy to strengthen the system.No decision had been made on the LNG terminal before Hurricane Maria. Kunkel pointed out that had it been built, chances are it may have been damaged by the storm.“Hurricane Maria shows the dangers of the path PREPA was trying to go down,” she said. “The frustrating thing to me is that it’s unreasonable to say they didn’t see this coming. It is a tropical island that was in the path of hurricanes and had a decrepit grid running on a shoe string. We’re seeing the consequences of that.”But now Puerto Rico could remake itself into “the poster child for distributed energy,” she said.“If you’re talking about building a grid from scratch, I don’t know why you wouldn’t rebuild it in a much more decentralized way,” she said. “We have the technology now to do it. You certainly can set it up in a way where hospitals and emergency centers would not go dark and would not be relying on diesel fuel in an emergency. Generators are good backup, but only when they do not run out of fuel.”Microgrids typically have more than one form of generation. On a sunny island, that’s likely to include solar and batteries, along with backup generators.More: The Sky Fell in Puerto Rico. The Microgrid Argument is not Chicken Little
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):The Electric Reliability Council of Texas set a new wind output record of 17,920 MW on Monday afternoon as a cold front was moving into the area with windy conditions.The new output wind record was set at 3:32 pm CST Monday and surpassed the previous record of 17,542 MW set in February, by more than 2%, according to ERCOT Wind Integration Report.High temperatures in Dallas reached the mid 40s degrees Monday, as much as 22 degrees below normal, while lows fell near the freezing point, as much as 15 degrees below normal, according to CustomWeather data.When Monday’s record was set, wind generation accounted for 40.49% of system-wide demand, which was 44,258 MW at the time, according to ERCOT data. The wind penetration record stands at 54.22%, reached October 27.Real-time prices in West Hub stayed below $10/MWh for three hours ending 6:15 am before the morning load ramp up, and stayed slightly above $10/MWh before falling below again around noon through 4:30 pm.More ($): ERCOT sets record wind output of 17,920 MW amid wintry weather Texas sets another wind power record
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享ElNeuvoDia.com:Four senior officials of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) must appear in court and explain why the public corporation is allegedly refusing to provide two nonprofit organizations with information about the privatization process and the power grid.That is what San Juan Superior Court Judge Anthony Cuevas ruled. Cuevas -who presided over a follow-up hearing to the “mandamus action” that CAMBIO and the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) filed last May “to obtain information about the electric power utility’s (PREPA’s) system and the ongoing privatization process.”Astrid Rodríguez (Legal Consultant), engineer Hiram Medero (Chief Strategy and Information Officer), engineer Efran Paredes (Planning and Environmental Protection Director) and Fernando Padilla (Project Management Director) are the four PREPA officials called to appear at a new hearing on September 26, with a follow-up hearing on September 30.“The Authority is trying to make it appear that there have been misinterpretations in our requests and that they are willing to provide the documents, but that is not the real experience. The real experience has been that we have to insist that the documents do exist for them to provide us those documents. The requests have been clear,” said CAMBIO co-founder and president Ingrid Vila.She added that PREPA “has refused” to provide them with documents that exist – or that should exist – invoking confidentiality clauses that, in her opinion, do not apply. Judge Cuevas ordered CAMBIO and IEEFA to present, on or before next Thursday, a list of the information that PREPA allegedly owes them.Rodríguez confirmed that the organizations insisted on “stating there is information that PREPA has not provided.” “However, they did not specify what information was missing,” she said.More: PREPA officials will be held accountable Judge orders Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority officials to explain privatization plans
New steelmaking technology could pose major threat to future demand for metallurgical coal FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:German manufacturing giant Thyssenkrupp has completed a successful, first-of-its-kind demonstration of running a steel furnace completely on hydrogen, a development that is likely to further dent the future prospects for the global coal industry.The company successfully demonstrated the ability for hydrogen to be used to fuel a steel blast furnace, and Thyssenkrupp sees the achievement as the first step towards transitioning the manufacturing industry towards zero-emissions steel production. The use of hydrogen to fuel the blast furnaces in steel production also provides a pathway for using renewable hydrogen, potentially eliminating the dependence of the industry on coal.“Today is a groundbreaking day for the steel industry,” chairman of Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe Premal Desai told Renew Economy in an interview in Sydney. “We are doing pioneering work here. The use of hydrogen is the key lever for climate-neutral steel production. Today’s test is another step in the transformation of our production, which will culminate in green steel.As part of the demonstration conducted in its ‘furnace 9’, Thyssenkrupp fed hydrogen into one of 28 tuyeres, or nozzles, that otherwise supply coal into the blast furnace. Following the successful trial, Thyssenkrupp plans to scale up the injection to all 28 tuyeres within the furnace and aims to eventually run at least three furnaces completely on hydrogen by 2023.Thyssenkrupp is one of the world’s largest steel producers and produces around 12 million tonnes of crude steel annually. The company has committed to achieving a 30 per cent reduction in the company’s emissions by 2030. The company is also aiming to become carbon neutral by 2050.It’s a huge development in the use of zero-emissions and renewable energy supplies in the manufacture of industrial products like steel and presents a major threat to the coal industry. In conventional blast furnaces around 300 kilograms of coking coal and 200 kilograms of pulverised coal are used in the production of a tonne of pig iron.More: Another nail in coal’s coffin? German steel furnace runs on renewable hydrogen in world first
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Contura Energy Inc. is speeding up the exit of its thermal coal operations to focus on metallurgical coal as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the broader coal sector.The company recorded a second-quarter net loss of $238.3 million, or a loss of $13.02 per share, down year over year from a net profit of $24.3 million, or $1.25 per share. The company also noted a noncash asset impairment charge of $162 million. Contura, which completed its exit of the Powder River Basin earlier this year, continues to streamline operations and focus on coal used by steelmakers rather than power generators.“We recognize that the world is transitioning toward an economy that relies less on fossil fuels for power generation, and we therefore have accelerated our strategic exit from thermal coal mining,” CEO David Stetson said during an Aug. 7 earnings call. “To put a finer point on our strategic direction for the next couple of years, I expect our portfolio optimization initiatives … will make us the leading pure-play met coal company by the end of 2022.”Stetson said the transition is well underway and that once the company’s portfolio is optimized, Contura expects to be able to ship up to 14 million tons of metallurgical coal annually, with less than 1 million tons of thermal coal shipments per year.Earlier in the year, the company announced it was shortening supply agreements for coal from its Cumberland mine and would not invest in a new impoundment project at the site. Contura will continue to market the Pennsylvania thermal coal mine for sale until the end of 2022, when its customer contracts expire, and will cease production if it does not find a buyer.The company also said it plans to idle its Kielty mine and the Delbarton prep plant in West Virginia due to uneconomic pricing and cost structures. The mine is expected to cease production in the next six weeks. At the same time, the company has made progress on three of its new metallurgical coal mining operations, Stetson noted.[Taylor Kuykendall]More ($): Contura accelerates exit from thermal coal due to global pivot from fossil fuels U.S. miner Contura Energy looks to accelerate exit from thermal coal market
The vast majority of the 12,500 chemicals used by the $50 billion beauty industry have never been assessed for safety.Dear EarthTalk: I know that there are many issues with personal care products being unsafe for our health, but where do I look to find out what’s safe and what’s not?— Mary Pulaski, Trenton, NJThe average American uses about 10 personal care products each day, resulting in exposure to some 100 unique chemicals. But the vast majority of the 12,500 chemicals used by the $50 billion beauty industry have never been assessed for safety, according to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (CSC), a coalition of eight non-profits concerned about the health of cosmetics and personal care products.“Many of these chemicals are linked to adverse health effects like cancer, birth defects and other serious health issues,” CSC reports. And with cosmetics chemicals showing up in breast milk and umbilical cord blood, not to mention rivers, lakes and drinking water aquifers, it is indeed a problem that affects us all.Unfortunately for American consumers, these products aren’t held to the same high safety standard as foods and drugs in the United States, and as such manufacturers do not have to disclose ingredients on their products’ labels. That means it’s up to consumers to educate themselves as to what products to buy and which to avoid if human health and the environment are concerns.To the rescue comes the non-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG), which launched its SkinDeep database back in 2004 to give consumers a way to learn about what’s in the products they use on their skin and bodies. Today, SkinDeep—which is free to use and has a user-friendly, keyword-searchable interface—features health and safety profiles on 69,000 different cosmetics and personal care products.“Our aim is to fill in where industry and government leave off,” reports EWG, whose researchers cross-reference hundreds of safety studies and nearly 60 toxicity and regulatory databases against thousands of product ingredient labels to help consumers find the safest cosmetics and personal care items.Beyond searching for your most frequently used creams, gels and elixirs to get the low-down on their safety, users can also learn what to avoid by browsing the site’s “What Not to Buy” section. Harsh soaps, anything with chemical fragrances, many nail polishes and most dark permanent hair dyes top the list of products health-conscious consumers should steer clear of—or at least check out on SkinDeep. The website lists safer versions of all these product types for those who just can’t live without.But public health advocates and environmentalists alike, of course, would prefer that all personal care products could be trusted to not be rash-inducing, carcinogenic or otherwise harmful. CSC has been lobbying Congress about the need for stricter laws and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversight, and last year was instrumental in getting the Safe Cosmetics Act (HR 2359) introduced into the House of Representatives. While the bill stalled in committee, it would have required the FDA to create a list of specific contaminants likely to be found in certain cosmetics ingredients and provide testing protocols to determine which ones qualified for warning labels, phase-outs or outright bans. Whether a similar bill will come up again anytime soon remains to be seen. In the meantime, consumers should make sure to visit the SkinDeep database before lathering up.CONTACTS: EWG’s SkinDeep Database, www.ewg.org/skindeep; CSC, www.safecosmetics.org.EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E – The Environmental Magazine (www.emagazine.com). Send questions to: [email protected] Subscribe: www.emagazine.com/subscribe. Free Trial Issue: www.emagazine.com/trial.
For decades, Moses Cone—a national park unit near Blowing Rock, N.C.—has attracted elite runners to its wide, rolling carriage trails and scenic lakeside paths. One of the country’s elite Olympic training centers —ZAP Fitness—is headquartered near Moses Cone. Many Olympic hopefuls have been forged on the trails of Moses Cone.Earlier this month, the National Park Service proposed restrictions on trail running in Moses Cone. According to the Blowing Rock News, a senior Blue Ridge Parkway official said that the park’s “frequent use by running groups and trail rides disrupts the experience of anyone wanting to walk in solitude.” Its proposed plan would likely result in a substantial reduction in the carriage roads’ use by organized running groups. Future Olympians—who live and train in our mountains—may have to look elsewhere to chase their dreams. And thousands of everyday runners will be denied access to some of the most scenic and exceptional trail running in the Blue Ridge.Fortunately, the draft plan can still be changed. The National Park Service is seeking comments on the draft plan. Express your thoughts on the proposed trail running restrictions in this beloved national park here.
The first thing you have to do is forget about the man in full body spandex. The one kicking and gliding through the snow on skinny skis at great speeds. This is probably the image that pops into your head when someone says “cross-country skiing.” You think of some ridiculously skinny man trying to break land-speed records on flat ground. This is “skating,” the cross-country skiing that gets airtime during the winter Olympics. This is the cross-country skiing of Biathlons, where skiers strap rifles to their backs in order to perform a bizarre ski/shoot duet. This is the cross-country skiing that made it into the Bond movie where Roger Moore is chased down by a crazed Biathlete on the payroll of some criminal kingpin. And this is exactly the kind of cross-country skiing that keeps people from ever wanting to try cross-country skiing.“Everybody barfing at the finish line and then some announcer saying cross-country is the most arduous sport on the planet?” says Chip Chase, owner of Whitegrass Touring Center in Canaan Valley, West Virginia, the Mid-Atlantic’s premiere cross-country destination. “The cross-country industry has painted themselves into a corner where everybody thinks skating is cross-country skiing, but it’s not. Skaters are a bunch of nerds. They’re a bunch of accountants, no offense to the accountants out there. What we do at Whitegrass has nothing to do with skating.”At first, you’re not going to believe what Chase and a portion of his clientele do at Whitegrass. When I tell you that these skiers bomb steeps, huck boulders, and thread tree runs, you’re not going to believe me, because they do it all on cross-country gear. While skating gets all the press and TV time, there’s a small sect of cross-country skiers that use those long, skinny skis made for kicking and gliding across gentle meadows of snow and traversing hills to shred every inch of vertical drop their local mountains can dish out. The younger generation is even taking their cross-country gear to the terrain park.Search and Destroy“We want to crash and explore,” Chase says. “We want elevation changes and we want to make the most of the terrain. We want to ski it all and we want to do it on cross-country gear.”Some call it new-school cross-country, some call it free-country, others call it extreme Nordic, whatever name you give it, new life has been breathed into cross-country skiing in the last few years. It’s a brave new world where anything on skinny skis is possible and the whole world is a terrain park.Traditional cross-country gear is blissfully simple. The skis are long, skinny, and light. The binding isn’t much more than a bar that hooks into the toe of your boot, which is usually leather, lightweight and comfortable, and all of it together weighs about as much as a pair of feathers. Going from your standard new-school downhill gear (which is increasingly heavy and fat) to cross-country gear for the first time is like having gastro-intestinal surgery. You’re so light on your feet, you feel like you can do anything-which is a bit misleading, because cross-country is all about balance and technique. The gear in downhill does a good job of covering for any faults in your skiing technique. The fatter the skis get, the less you actually have to know how to ski. With cross-country gear on your feet, however, you’re naked: your skiing ability and all its shortcomings are on full display. Just about anyone can strap on a pair of touring skis and glide through the snow on level terrain right off the bat, but throw a downhill in the mix and you’ve got to learn how to ski all over again. When you first strap them on, it’s hard to believe there are kids out there that hit tree runs and half-pipes with these skinny sticks strapped to their feet.“It takes more skill to traverse and ski the fall line with touring gear,” Chase says. “The skis don’t give you an advantage or offer a lot of support, so you have to rely on balance and technique.”Which is probably why so few people ever try anything more demanding than cruising through a meadow with cross-country skis. Mike Dreisbach owns Savage River Lodge, a cross-country resort in Maryland, and sees people succumb to their perceived limitations of cross-country gear all the time. “Most people stick to the valley roads and trails when they come here,” Dreisbach says, even though his lodge sits next to Mount Aetna, which has 1,500 feet of vertical drop and plenty of snow. “There’s so much skiable terrain on that mountain. You can ski all day and never hit the same place twice. But there are only a few backcountry skiers that ever explore it.”More and more, the backcountry skiers that do explore the vertical lines of mountains like Aetna are doing it with traditional cross-country gear. In the past, the gear of choice for this sort of skiing has been telemark skis, which offer the same free-heel movement of cross-country gear, but are wider and more stable. Climbing in telemark gear isn’t as efficient as in cross-country gear, but the wider ski gives the user more control on the downhills. It’s a tradeoff. A tradeoff that a young generation of skiers is no longer willing to make. They still want to hit the backcountry lines, but they want to do it with the lightest gear possible.“To me, there’s no difference between telemark, cross-country, or downhill,” says Morgan Chase, Chip Chase’s 17-year-old son. “I’m always on cross-country gear, no matter what I’m skiing.”Morgan and his two brothers, Adam and Cory, are part of a new breed of skier who are simultaneously drawn to the adrenaline-soaked freeskiing/terrain park movement and the lightweight practicality of cross-country gear.“You can get across terrain faster on cross-country gear,” Morgan says. “You can climb easier so you use less energy in the backcountry and can get more runs in. And you can go anywhere on these skis. Telemark and downhill gear is kind of limiting, but cross-country gear is all about freedom.”Morgan says a number of kids within Canaan Valley are drawn to that sense of unlimited possibilities. “A lot of kids are getting into the same thing around here. Kids are traversing into the backcountry and hitting jumps or boulders. It’s changing the sport.”Evolution or Lack There OfThe surprising thing about cross-country skiing is that it’s been around for so long: 4,000 years, give or take a year or two. That makes cross-country skiing one of the oldest “sports” in the world, even though, originally, skiing was all about survival. The first skiers most likely used one long ski and one short ski. The long one was for gliding, the short one was for kicking. Sometimes they carried a long pole to help propel them across fields and provide balance. Skiing was how men hunted food. It was how they got from point “A” to point “B” during the long winters in landscapes that are now known as Norway, Finland, and Sweden. It was even a part of their mythology. Ull was a powerful god according to Norse mythology, and one of his greatest contributions was giving mankind the practice of skiing.The sad thing is, in those 4,000 years since Ull invented skiing, there hasn’t been a whole lot of evolution in the sport of cross-country. Obviously, the gear has improved since the original short/long ski combo, but the scope of the sport hasn’t changed much. It could be argued that the most drastic evolutionary leap didn’t come until the last few years, when young skiers, raised on cross-country skis like the Chase brothers, started hitting the terrain parks and steeps with their skinny skis.And anywhere you have that coveted target demographic trying something new, you have gear companies ready to capitalize on a fresh market. Last winter, Fischer introduced the Jibskate, the world’s first twin-tip cross-country ski designed to bridge the gap between cross-country devotees and park rats.“You can hit the park, hit jumps, ski backwards, do a rail slide,” Morgan Chase says. “You can do anything on these ski.”Salomon also has a line of cross-country skis that blend downhill performance with cross-country climbing ability. They’re fatter than traditional cross-country gear, a little heavier, have metal edges for carving, and allow skiers new to cross-country the ability to hit downhill lines with more efficiency and style.“Cross-country isn’t just about traipsing across the valley floor anymore,” says Hal Thomson of Salomon. “It’s about going up and down.”Chip Chase believes West Virginia’s terrain lends itself perfectly to this new-school cross-country scene. “In these parts, you don’t get the snow without high elevations. So if you want to ski, you have to ski elevation. Our valleys don’t get snow, so you have to ski the vertical,” Chase says. “Plus, there are no cliff bands along our mountain ridges, and no avalanches, so it’s safe to ski anywhere. [This region is] the perfect environment for backcountry skiing.”The question is, will Chase’s form of adrenaline-induced cross-country skiing win Southeastern skiers over? Will we abandon the lift lines and $60 lift tickets to explore the natural terrain parks of the woods on skinny skis?“Downhill skiing is still pretty new in the South,” Chase says. “But as time goes on, people are more willing to try something different. Once people get bored with traditional downhill, they’ll look for more of a challenge and become more versatile snowsports athletes. It’ll happen in the South, eventually.”The Great Lakes Effect“A lot of people don’t realize that western Maryland and West Virginia are inside a Great Lakes Effect snow-belt,” says Mike Dreisbach of Savage River Lodge. “During a good year, we’ll get 160 to 190 inches of snow. Even a bad winter will give us 120 inches.”What that means for cross-country skiers is more days on the snow. Dreisbach says he got 38 days on the snow last season, which by all accounts was a rather disappointing winter. Normally, he’ll get 50 days of skiing in. In Canaan Valley, Chase has been known to get 120 days of skiing during a single ski season. Even during last year’s warmer than normal winter, Whitegrass saw 100 skiable days.Contrary to popular belief, snow does exist in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. You just have to know where to find it. That’s where BRO comes in. Follow our brief destination guide to find the best natural snow below the Mason Dixon line.Deep Creek, Western MarylandTucked snuggly within that Great Lakes snowbelt, Deep Creek Lake gets so cold and receives so much snow, the community has a long history of dog-sledding and ice fishing. The cross-country skiing ain’t bad either. There are six state parks within the area with cross-country ski trails and a number of guide services and private farms are available for those new to the sport.Check out Backbone Farm, a cross-country resort that gets 150 inches annually, covering its’ 520 acres of forest and farm.And Savage River Lodge has 15 miles of trails with 300 feet of elevation change as well as access to Mount Aetna’s 1,500 feet of vertical drop. 120-190 inches of snow, and it’s only 2.5 hours from D.C.Canaan Valley, West VirginiaThe valley is a nationally renown free-heeling destination that attracts the best skiers in the region. People have even been known to move to the valley just for the endless cross-country skiing possibilities.Whitegrass Touring Center will get you set up with lessons, gear, and guide you through the valley floor or across the mountains. 1,200 vertical feet, 50 kilometers of trails, and 160 inches of snow every year.Cheat Mountain, West VirginiaThe amount of snow this long, tall mountain gets is unfair. Several peaks along its ridge top out above 4,000 feet and each of them has been known to receive upwards of 220 inches of snow in a single season. That rivals the snowfall seen at mountains in Vermont and New Hampshire. It’s not out of the question for Cheat to have a deep, permanent snow-base throughout January and February, making this the most consistent cross-country skiing in the region.Snowshoe Mountain Resort may be famous for its downhill, but the mountain also boasts 43 kilometers of marked cross-country trails as well. Head out on the Cheat Mountain Ridge Trail to get deep into the backcountry.Cheat Mountain Club offers access to all of Cheat’s snowy bliss, and has played host to some of the most famous men and women in American history. If it was good enough for former presidents and captains of industry, it’s good enough for you too. 304-456-4627.Located at the base of the Cheat Mountain Range, Elk River Touring Center picks up the majority of the snow that Cheat receives on a yearly basis. The center capitalizes on this fact by offering 5 kilometers of groomed trails on site as well as access to 30 kilometers of trails crisscrossing the backcountry of the Monongahela National Forest.[divider]related content[/divider]
Want to see them win again? Vote for 2019 HERE.Nestled in the mountains of Banner Elk, N.C., Lees-McRae College is a hub for outdoor adventure and recreation for its students and staff.Lees-McRae College is officially the first “small school,” with an undergrad of fewer than 5,000 people, to claim the title of Top Adventure College. We reached out to give them the news and they couldn’t have been more excited. It was a huge victory over the giant Liberty University.Before we were able to chat with the Lees-McRae team, they had to finish their graduation ceremonies. Once the Bobcats bid farewell to their 2018 graduates, we caught up with them to chat about the victory and what makes them, in their eyes, the Top Adventure College. Katie Wall is the Assistant Professor of Outdoor Recreation Management, and Bailey Stewart is the Assistant Director of Admissions. Jack Perry is a student at Lees-McRae.The Bobcats really pulled out all the stops this year. You created videos, rallied students, and saturated social media. How does it feel to be the first ever small college to claim TAC?Katie Wall: We are unbelievably excited, proud, and honored. It was a true community effort, and we are so thankful to everyone for their continued excitement and determination. We know that we are a small college, but we have big adventures and big dreams. We are so happy that all the wonderful things that are happening at Lees-McRae are being highlighted.Bailey Stewart: Amazing. We wanted this title and to see the school come together to help make it happen brought me so much joy. In the midst of a very busy season at the College, students, faculty, staff, friends, family, and more came together to show our followers that we deserve to be the Top Adventure College. To see our future Bobcats get excited and share with their families and friends, “hey, my future school could win the Top Adventure College, go vote!” was unbelievable.In your eyes, what makes Lees-McRae College the Top Adventure College?Katie Wall: To me, Lees-McRae is a Top Adventure College not simply because of its incredible views and ways to enjoy outside, but because of the passion of the students, faculty, and staff as well as support from our administration, President Dr. Barry M. Buxton and our President-elect Dr. Herbert L. King, Jr. Our location is like no other. It allows us to have meaningful and beneficial partnerships with local outdoor companies including Beech Mountain Resort, Grandfather Mountain, and Highland Outfitters.Bailey Stewart: We are the gem of the High Country. You look out your residence hall and see frosty Beech Mountain. Or you walk through campus to stumble upon the Elk River that runs through campus and gives us this breathtaking waterfall. Or, you drive less than ten minutes down the road and you’re cruising down the Blue Ridge Parkway. Everywhere you look there is an outdoor adventure waiting for you. That is what makes us the Top Adventure College. We have students on campus that have a true passion for the outdoors. With their help, they make the campus an oasis for those outdoor lovers.Jack Perry: For me, being outside is stepping right out the door. You don’t have to drive half an hour to get there, you are basically already in the wilderness. Our mountain bike trails are amazing and there are a few fun waterfalls that are right next to campus. We also have Hawksbill and the Profile Trail within 15 minutes of campus, which is great on those days when you want to go for a hike.Located in Banner Elk, you’re surrounded by national forests and state parks, what is it about the area that cultivates such an adventurous and outdoorsy lifestyle at Lees-McRae?Katie Wall: You are surrounded by the mountains every day as you drive to campus, walk to class, or take your lunch break. It is hard not to fall in love with Banner Elk with all of this inspiration around you. There is also a long-standing history and tradition of outdoor adventure and environmental appreciation here at Lees-McRae, thanks to strong women like Outdoor Recreation Management adjunct instructor Dee Thomas (featured in your Feb 2018 Edition, Women are Forces of Nature) and Director of the May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, Nina Fischesser.Bailey Stewart: I have seen many mountains, but there is something about the Blue Ridge Mountains that always amazes me—and has always amazed our students. With these parks and outdoor adventures at your fingertips, it encourages our students to take advantage of it. There is such a big value in spending time outside, and we make it easy here! The students who may have never hiked before can’t contain themselves when they see the mountains and think, “I want to climb to the top!”“For the four-year journey of college, Lees-McRae provides so many options to our young people, with the close proximity of the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Appalachian Trail, not to mention the trails, waterfalls, campsites, ski slopes, hiking and biking trails within minutes of our residence halls. It provides them a great outdoor student experience.”– Craig McPhail, Vice President of Athletics and Club SportsWhat outdoor program is Lees-McRae particularly proud of?Katie Wall: We are particularly proud of our outdoor certification program and our expeditions. Students, faculty, staff, and the community can benefit from NOLS Wilderness Medicine, Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics, League of American Bicyclists certifications, and come soon the North Carolina Environment Education Certification. Our new expedition program will offer students from all academic disciplines to engage in trips, including Expedition Into the Wild, a historical and literary exploration of the Western National Parks; Italy Adventure Wellness and Ancient Medicine, a biology, health, and wellness program combined with a wide variety of Italian outdoor adventures; and Hawaii Water Sports and the Environment, an in-depth ocean and coastal skill development program with a focus on environmental ethics.I would also like to highlight our Outdoor Recreation Management’s annual Outdoor Legends event that brings together individuals who have contributed significantly to the High Country outdoors through education, service, scholarship, or development. They have made a lifelong dedication to sharing their passion and improving the outdoor community for all. This event allows these Legends the opportunity to share their stories and career success with students, and network with the community. It is a powerful, meaningful, and impactful event.Bailey Stewart: We have much pride in one of our newest programs, Outdoor Recreation Management. With being one of the only programs of its kind under a School of Business, it leads and encourages students to go after that outdoor dream they have. The students learn practical knowledge about the outdoors that will prepare them to be successful in the outdoor realm.What would you like the outdoor enthusiast student considering Lees-McRae to know?Katie Wall: If you’re interested in a career in outdoor recreation, environmental education, cycling, wildlife biology, wildlife rehabilitation and want to live in a place that values community, the outdoors, and fun than Lees-McRae College might be just the place you’re looking for. As we like to say, we are small but we are mighty.Bailey Stewart: If you are an outdoor lover, there is no better place than to study in the High Country. You will have the opportunity to explore your passion for the outdoors while gaining an education that will set you up to pursue your dreams. There is nothing better than that!Jack Perry: I would tell them we have many great courses that they can take and programs they can become involved in. Whatever tickles your fancy, we have hiking, biking, whitewater rafting, Frisbee golf course, and fly-fishing…just to name a few.To get a better look at Lees-McRae College, be sure to check out their website. Congratulations again to the Bobcats!Want to see them win again? Vote for 2019 HERE.
By Dialogo October 07, 2009 Brazil’s recent increase in defense spending is necessary to protect the country’s resources and not a sign of expansionist policies, the country’s defense minister said. “Brazil has not started an arms race and has no expansionist intentions,” Brazilian Defense Minister Nelson Jobim said in an interview with Clarin newspaper in Buenos Aires, where he was giving a speech on development and defense. Jobim said the protection of Brazil’s strategic natural resources required a strong defense policy, which has so far included a massive investment in development of an arms industry to improve the Brazilian military’s technical capacity. Jobim said Brazil is well-positioned for the future because of the richness of its natural resources, but be able to protect them. “We have significant energy resources in terms of hydrocarbons and the sea, we have grain production, the Amazon and part of the Guarani aquifer. The big issues for the future will be energy, water and food,” he said. “The question is one of a deterrent capacity, not imperialism.” The defense minister added that Brazil aims to increase its technological capabilities in the fields of space, nuclear technology and cybertechnology so that “the country can say ‘No’ when we need to say ‘No.’