Arcadia Perspectives ) LIFE OF THE MIND
One theme uniting Arcadia worldwide!
During the year 2011, The College of Global Studies adopted the theme The Elements of VITA: (Ventus, Ignis, Terra, Aqua) in our centers around the world. Each center interpreted the theme through the unique perspective of the host country. Below are two events Arcadia is proud to share:
Diversity of Energy in Scotland
Dr. Hamish Thompson
For the Life of the Mind event in Scotland this semester, we had the pleasure of accompanying our students on a 2 day event on the topic of the diversity of energy, co-organized with the University of Aberdeen.
This theme was particularly timely in light of the fact that world’s largest offshore wind farm is set to be built off the Northeast coast of Scotland. Planned to be operational by 2020, this 7-billion-dollar project will create up to 300 turbines in water 200 feet deep, utilizing infrastructure technology developed by the petroleum industry in the North Sea, and will provide enough power for more than a million homes.
Dr. Gordon Walkden, Emeritus Professor of Geology at Aberdeen, provided an extremely informative lecture and excellent workshop at the university. He spoke on the diversity of energy and the future for different renewable sources of energy such as wind, solar and hydro, also addressing the challenges facing renewable sources of energy on a global scale given industrialization, human population growth and the increased demand.
“The lecture by Dr. Gordon Walkden concisely put the current energy crisis into perspective, emphasizing the cyclic economic and social nature of the problem.”
Kenyon College student
Dr. Walkden kindly offered to continue the discussion at a delicious and intellectually satisfying dinner co-hosted by the University of Aberdeen and Arcadia University.
The next day we were guided around the Aberdeen Maritime Museum by Meredith Greiling, the museum’s curator, who provided a broader perspective on both the maritime social history of Aberdeen and the development of North Sea industry.
“I’ve been interested in sustainable farming systems for years now. The opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of these types of farming systems and to actually stand inside a fully operational wind turbine was an invaluable one. Thank you for a wonderful and educational weekend!”
University of Arkansas Fayetteville student
After lunch in the city of Aberdeen, we took a coach to the Mackies of Scotland Ice Cream Dairy. Unique in its efforts to preserve resources and minimize its carbon footprint, this farm and factory generates all of its electricity for production from 3 of its own wind turbines. The facility only requires about 30% of the electricity generated from the wind turbines and so Mackies sells and feeds the surplus electricity production into the national grid. After a delightful taste of their ice-cream, we toured the private facility, guided by Dr. Maitland Mackie, company chairman. He offered insights on locally produced renewable wind energy in the past, present and future, through both individual businesses and community co-operatives, as well as details about the everyday functioning of the farm.
Dr. Mackie generously sent us on our way with a large box of Mackie’s Aberdeen Angus and Haggis flavored potato chips.
Pam Wells, our afternoon and evening tour guide, subsequently took us on a breathtaking evening tour of the Aberdeen Harbor to view some of the considerable onshore and shipping infrastructure required to sustain industry in the North Sea. The port annually handles up to 5 million tons of cargo and is the center for the offshore oil and gas industry for all of North West of Europe We also were given a glimpse into a nearby community, Footdee (pronounced “Fittie” by locals), that was, in previous times, a fishing village, but that now has been revived.
With the harbor lights glowing, we ended our weekend, commenting upon the incredible opportunity to evaluate a full range of perspectives on energy use and production in Scotland.
Arcadia in Greece students participated recently in a five-day trip into the Peloponnesos with Athens Center faculty and staff.
Students explored the 2011 Life of the Mind Theme of VITA (Vente, Ignis, Terra, Aqua) by visiting sites devoted to organic agriculture and local, sustainable farming practices. Visits and discussions with vintners, cheese makers, and olive growers highlighted ethical production practices resulting in quality, organic local products.