UVM News in Brief

Elms Re-Introduced to UVM

The introduction of disease-resistant American elms – part of a concerted effort to return this popular species to the University of Vermont Green – has begun with the planting of four Princeton elms. The arrival of Princeton elms also marks the passing of the traditional American elm on campus. From the early 1900s, when a student-led landscape design for the Green included tree planting, through the 1940s, American elm, Ulmus americana, dominated the Green. The streets of Burlington were also lined with American elms – perhaps up to 10,000 trees. By the 1960s, here as across the nation, most had fallen prey to the Dutch elm disease, a fungus carried by the elm bark beetle. DJ’s Tree Service of Colchester began work Aug. 16 with routine removal of other dead or declining trees on campus that might be unsafe. Since the 1960s, Arborists nationwide have been replacing American elms with many other kinds of trees, but only recently have disease-resistant American elm clones become available in commercial nurseries. About 10 diseased American elms still line Burlington streets, and more reside in city parks. As the replacement program allows, the university plans to bring in other new disease-resistant elm varieties to campus, such as New Harmony, Delaware, Valley Forge and Liberty, Leland said.

Fall Community Medical School

Whether you are a heart attack victim or asthma sufferer, the cause of your condition may have a common cause – blood clots. This fall’s Community Medical School investigates the science behind these and a host of other health concerns, including insomnia, autoimmune disease, varicose veins, enlarged prostates and medical care for the dying. Taught by skilled physicians and scientists from the University of Vermont College of Medicine and Fletcher Allen Health Care, the free lectures will take place on Tuesday evenings September 21 through November 2 from 6 to 7 p.m. in Carpenter Auditorium in the Given Building on the UVM campus. Each lecture will be followed by a question-and-answer session and many will include opportunities for hands-on exploration. For more infromation visit www.med.uvm.edu/cms.

Psychologists to Update Pioneering Study

Sondra Solomon and Esther Rothblum, two psychology faculty who three years ago conducted the first-ever demographic study of gay and lesbian couples joined in civil unions in Vermont, are launching a follow-up study to discover what has changed among study participants since they exchanged vows. The original study entailed mailing anonymous questionnaires to 2,300 couples who had civil unions between June 1, 2000 and June 30, 2001 (the first year civil unions were legal in Vermont) and asked them to provide contact information for a married heterosexual sibling and his/her spouse and a lesbian or gay couple in their friendship circle who had not had a civil union. More than 300 civil union couples, 200 married heterosexual couples and 200 gay and lesbian couples responded, sharing their views on monogamy, religion, childrearing and many other topics. For the follow-up study, the original participants will be mailed or emailed a questionnaire asking about their current level of relationship satisfaction. The follow-up study will be launched this winter and conducted over a period of three years.

Flemings Gets A Special Delivery

The university owns lots of postcards – thousands of them, a dead letter office worth of pocket-sized visions of Vermont. They depict disasters, tourist attractions, buildings and people. They carry messages banal and heartbreaking, couched in handwriting ranging in legibility from copper plate to hieroglyph. The Fleming Museum’s new curator of collections and exhibitions, Evelyn Hankins, who started the job in May after four years at the Whitney Museum of Modern Art in New York, where she worked on the museum’s famous biennial exhibitions among other projects, brought dogged thoroughness in addition to her well-practiced eye to the project of developing the Fleming’s current exhibition, “Wish You Were Here,” which runs through Sept. 19. The Fleming, despite its small size, offers plenty for an eager new curator to look at. The museum’s sprawling collection, which ranges from modern art to anthropological material culture, encompasses dozens of genres. Hankins, who earned her doctorate at Stanford University and primarily specializes in 19th and 20th century art, is looking forward to immersing herself in the museum’s holdings. The Fleming’s past successes, the Andy Warhol retrospective and the Rembrandt exhibit among them, along with Cohen’s presence and the recent completion of a demanding accreditation process, convinced Hankins that the museum was ready to carve out a higher profile locally and nationally. Hankins is still becoming familiar with the museum’s collection and the Vermont art scene, but she’s bubbling with ideas for future shows and collaborations. Something on abstracted landscapes is in store. Maybe something else on the design-build movement, a 1960’s melding of architecture, art and construction with deep local roots. Perhaps a sound installation, or a large-scale outdoor commission of some sort.