Blog Archives

Volunteer Opportunities in Siberia, Great Baikal Trail, Open Enrollment

The Great Baikal Trail
Building the first environmental trail system in Russia

Volunteer in our Office!

The Great Baikal Trail, as a non-profit organization, relies almost entirely on volunteer work for its continued existence and development. We therefore welcome volunteers from Russia and abroad who wish to help us in our Irkutsk office. Volunteers come from all across the globe, often having received funding from organizations such as European Volunteer Services (EVS), Rotary International, or an institution of higher learning. While here, they not only provide valuable, indispensable, and highly rewarding service to the organization, local communities, and future volunteers on projects! No knowledge of Russian is required to make a difference – send us an email if you’d like to find out more about how you can help the Great Baikal Trail continue to thrive!

Our volunteers can work on:

• finding grants and other funding opportunities for summer and educational projects
• writing and editing information for our English-language website
• teaching English classes for our Russian volunteers (this is really important – the better we know English, the better we can serve an international community!)

• translation of educational and promotional materials from Russian into English
• preparation of environmental education materials, both for projects and for development of an environmentally-friendly mindset in communities in and around Baikal
• participate in environmental activism movements run by the GBT club

• assist the day-to-day operation of the GBT office and GBT club
• increasing knowledge of environmental issues and solutions, both in Russia and worldwide
• study Russian and other subjects at Irkutsk State University
• and much more….

all while gaining a unique opportunity to live in Irkutsk, explore the wonders of Siberia and Lake Baikal, and experience Russian culture firsthand!!!

To join us or request more information, email

Posted in: Resources (Funding, Study Abroad, Internships, etc.)
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“What is Red in Hungary’s 2010 Red Sludge Disaster?”

– The World Beyond the Headlines presents —

“What is Red in Hungary’s 2010 Red Sludge Disaster?”

by Prof. Zsuzsa Gille (Sociology, University of Illinois)

*Please Note the New Time and Location*

Thursday, February 24, 2011
Social Sciences Building, Rm 122
1126 East 59th Street

This event is free and open to the public.

Register now:

As Hungary begins its presidency of the European Union, it is still recovering from the October 4 toxic spill that killed ten people and injured more than one hundred. The seven foot wave of red mud that burst from an alumina plant reservoir covered more than fifteen square miles and flooded several villages and towns. All life in the Marcal river, a tributary of the Danube, has been extinguished — fish, birds, insects, and plants. According to government officials, this is Hungary’s worst ecological disaster.

At the next lecture in The World Beyond the Headlines series, sociologist Zsuzsa Gille will place the spill and political reactions to it in context of Hungary’s postsocialist transition and the rise of a peculiar right wing party that is successfully implementing an anti-neoliberal agenda. Gille will describe how some local people make sense of this tragedy, including their views on the toxic brew held in the reservoir, on Roma victims, and on local politics.

Zsuzsa Gille is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her 2008 book, From the Cult of Waste to the Trash Heap of History: The Politics of Waste in Socialist and Postsocialist Hungary, explains changing rationalizations, ideologies, andunintended consequences of industrial waste under state socialism and capitalism in Hungary.

The World Beyond the Headlines series is a project of the University of Chicago Center for International Studies. This event is cosponsored by the Center for East European and Russian/Eurasian Studies and the Program on the Global Environment.

Posted in: University of Chicago Events
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2010 Summer Teacher Institute: WATER, An Interdisciplinary Examination of the World’s Most Essential Resource, June 28-30

2010 Summer Teacher Institute


An Interdisciplinary Examination of the
World’s Most Essential Resource

University of Chicago
International House, Assembly Hall
1414 E. 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637

1 Lane Credit (requires full attendance & development of a classroom lesson by Aug. 2nd)
18 CPDUs for 3-day Summer Institute
CPDUs also available for July 1 & 2
(To receive credit, CPS teachers must also register at CPS University)

This interdisciplinary 3-day institute will explore global water issues, including those that affect the Great Lakes region. Daily topics addressed will include: water scarcity, effective water management, and water issues in politics, sanitation, agriculture, and economics. Faculty and staff from the University of Chicago and other educational institutions from around the world will speak will speak each day, interspersed with discussions of K-12 curriculum development.

Intended primarily for elementary through community college educators (but open to all interested parties), the Institute will address each theme through a series of presentations and group discussions. Attendees will receive suggested instructional resources for curriculum building and K-12 lessons aligned to Illinois State Standards will be developed based on presentations made at the Institute.

For more information and to register, please visit:

Posted in: Chicago Events, Resources (Funding, Study Abroad, Internships, etc.)
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Small Grants Competition for Supervised Undergraduate Research (Environmental Studies), Deadline: May 14

Announcing the Environmental Studies Program’s
Small Grants Competition for Supervised Undergraduate Research 2010-2011
The Program on the Global Environment invites proposals from faculty and researchers in any discipline related to Environmental Studies for grants of up to $2,500 for research that incorporates participation by Environmental Studies undergraduate majors or minors during 2010-2011. Environmental Studies is an interdisciplinary program that draws on the strengths of the University of Chicago to address human interaction with the natural world. The B.A. program combines specialized course work in the social and natural sciences with broad-based distribution requirements to prepare students to understand and address complex environmental issues.
We welcome proposals for projects that address environmental topics including but not limited to environmental economics and policy, development, globalization, environmental history, landscape studies and human ecology, and environmental ethics, philosophy, and representation.
These grants are designed fund supervised undergraduate participation in on-campus research that includes or create opportunities for an undergraduate student to 1) participate in the collection and analysis of data, 2) contribute to research design, and 3) participate in the professional presentation of results.  In the ideal case, opportunities for undergraduate B.A. thesis work would be included in the project.
Proposals must include a 1) two page description of the proposed research project,  2) an itemized budget, 3) a one page explanation of the role, responsibilities, and desired qualifications of the undergraduate participant. To apply, you should submit items 1-5, above, to Dean Clason, Pick 101, by Friday, May 14, 2010.
The proposals will be evaluated by Environmental Studies faculty.  Consult for program information.
All inquiries should be addressed to Dean Clason, Pick 101, phone: 773.702.7721, e-mail:
Posted in: Resources (Funding, Study Abroad, Internships, etc.)
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Tahoe-Baikal Institute, Summer Environmental Exchange, Deadline: February 5

From Jon Green, Programs Director of the Tahoe-Baikal Institute:

The Tahoe-Baikal Institute is pleased to announce that we are currently
accepting applications for the 20th annual Summer Environmental Exchange at
Lake Tahoe in California and Lake Baikal in Siberia, Russia. The deadline to
apply for this unique opportunity for the summer of 2010 is Friday, February

Founded as the cold war drew to a close, the Tahoe-Baikal Institute’s unique
exchange program has grown and matured significantly over the past 20 years.
Originally a program focused on fostering collegial partnerships between
young scientists from Russia and the US, our program is now an international
leader in teaching interdisciplinary approaches to watershed management and
environmental conservation.

In addition to young environmental professionals form the US and Russia, our
program is also open to young leaders from other countries; over the years
we have had participants form Mongolia, China, Cameroon, Israel, Norway,
Finland, Latvia, Canada, and more! The program is open to upper level
college students, recent graduates, and graduate students, as well as young
professionals working in the environmental field.

This one-of-a-kind international exchange program is being offered from June
through August, 2010
. Our 10-week interdisciplinary program exposes TBI
participants to the intersection of watershed science, policy, education,
restoration, and management, and explores issues of sustainable economic
development, technology transfer, and cultural understanding in two of the
world’s premier freshwater ecosystems, Lake Tahoe in California and Nevada
and at Lake Baikal in Siberian Russia.

Please visit the Tahoe-Baikal Institute’s website for more details and to
download program application materials: Applications
should be sent by email to

Posted in: Resources (Funding, Study Abroad, Internships, etc.)
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Call for Papers (Updated): “Environment, Identities, and Space in Europe and Central Asia,” Deadline: December 15

University of Pittsburgh Graduate Organization for the Study of Europe and Central Asia
& Center for Russian and East European Studies present:

Environment, Identities, and Space in Europe and Central Asia

Seventh Annual Graduate Student Conference
February 26-28, 2010

Keynote Address: Eagle Glassheim (University of British Columbia)

On the eve of the September 2009 meeting of the G20 in Pittsburgh, José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, spoke of the “new challenges of the 21st century” as “challenges that have no respect for borders.” Foremost among these Mr. Barroso listed climate change. He prevailed upon the citizens of all prosperous countries to cease gambling over the reality of environmental change and confront this threat with resolve. As he put it: “The time for playing high-stakes poker is over.”

From the city which welcomed the G20 summit, first heard Mr. Barroso’s call for action, and will host the 2010 UN World Environment Day, we raise a call of our own. The Graduate Organization for the Study of Europe and Central Asia (GOSECA) at the University of Pittsburgh has committed its seventh annual conference to scholarship which seeks to better understand the complex bonds between human beings and their environments. How have societies imagined the “natural” world and their relationship to it? What role did the environment play in shaping identities and spaces – political, cultural, and social? How have images and conceptualizations of environment shifted and how did such changes affect societies, their economies, politics, cultures, and identities? As sites of dramatic cultural, social and political transformations, Europe and Central Asia offer a vast potential in addressing these questions.

We strongly encourage submissions from the widest range of disciplines in the social sciences and humanities (and particularly those which cross disciplines) that address the issues of environment, identities, and space, their interplay and the way in which they affect processes in the region. Topics include but are not limited to:
• representations and interpretations in art, literature, geography/cartography, and history
• migration and demography
• policy and controversy
• “alternative voices”: environmentalism and dissident politics
• the shaping of social and cultural identities
• historical legacies of land and resource use
• political violence, war, and ecoterrorism
• energy security, resource management, and cultures of consumption

Students currently enrolled in graduate programs are welcome to submit abstracts, which should be no more than 250 words long. Please submit abstracts, along with an academic CV (limited to two pages) to no later than December 15, 2009. We will contact the authors of accepted abstracts by January 1, 2010.
For the Call for Papers, information on GOSECA, and updated conference information, visit:

ATTENTION: We are pleased to announce that this year we will be offering a limited number of videoconferencing opportunities to confirmed participants who, because of travel limitations, would otherwise be unable to present a paper. Selections will be made at the organizers’ discretion, but participants from Central Asia will receive preference.

Abstract Requirements
Abstracts must be no longer than 250 words. All submissions should be in PDF (preferred) or Microsoft Word format in a standard 12-point font and be double spaced. In order to ensure anonymity during the blind selection process, the body of the abstract should not contain the author’s or authors’ name(s) or other personal identifying information other than the title of the paper. The cover page must include: title of submission, author’s or authors’ name(s), institutional and departmental affiliation(s), e-mail address(es), geographic address(es), and a primary phone number. Although we require all of this information, correspondence will occur mainly via e-mail. An academic CV must also be submitted, but please limit these to two pages.

Paper Requirements
In order to facilitate presentation time limits, and to ensure time for active discussions, paper length will be limited to 8 typed pages, double-spaced, with 12-point font. All accepted participants will be required to submit a copy of the final paper one month prior to the conference.

Registration Requirements
To better promote a meaningful interdisciplinary exchange, participants are expected to attend all panels for the duration of the conference.
Although we cannot provide travel support, we will be happy to arrange housing for the duration of the conference with graduate students.
The registration fee is $25.00, which includes meals. Registration fee must be paid by cash or check at registration on February 26, 2010.

Posted in: Calls for Papers and Upcoming Conferences
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