All posts by Kathryn Malloy

Walking on Glaciers with Dr. Mauri Pelto and Melanie Gajewski ’14

On March 3rd, students gathered in Daniels Auditorium, seeking seats next to classmates. Melanie Gajewski, who graduated Nichols College in 2014, stood at the front of the room. The projector screen lowered behind her and everyone went quiet.

For the past three years, Dr. Mauri Pelto, Nichols College professor and NASA recognized glaciologist, and Melanie have worked together to create videos for the college. Following graduation, Melanie was given an amazing opportunity: Dr. Pelto asked her to join his research team on the North Cascades Mountain Range this past summer. She was part of a five-person team that traveled across glaciers and collected scientific data regarding glacial melt and recession. Dr. Pelto has directed the North Cascade Glacier Climate Project since 1984, charting trips to predesignated glaciers each year. Melanie was specifically recruited to be the videographer, taping the overall day-to-day experiences as well as scientific research. She prepared for six months prior to the expedition, going to Wachusett Mountain and practicing self-arrest techniques as well as improving her hiking abilities. She was excited for the trip, but had no idea what it truly had in store.

“I thought I was just going to go out there, hike a mountain, climb some ice. I didn’t think I’d learn so much about myself,” Melanie told the audience. During her journey, she connected with nature, even writing a book about her thoughts, experiences and revelations.

The end result was an amazing video, chronicling their trip to Washington State and their two-week journey across the glacier. I have known both Melanie and Professor Pelto for a few years now, and following their riveting presentation I only had one question: Where do I sign up? No amount of words can describe the beautiful mountain imagery: click here to watch and enjoy for yourself.

Nichols Bicentennial Committee Presents Captain Richard Phillips

The Nichols College Bicentennial Committee is pleased to welcome Captain Richard Phillips to campus on Sunday February 22nd at 7pm in the athletic center. In addition to the event at 7pm, we invite you to join us for a special screening of the film, Captain Phillips, at 3pm in the Fels Student Center. Both events are free and open to the public.

This riveting film is inspired by the true story of the 2009 Maersk Alabama hijacking, an incident during which merchant mariner Captain Richard Phillips was taken hostage by pirates in the Indian Ocean led by Abduwali Muse. His story of courage and heroism to save his crew and the ship they sailed has inspired people from all walks of life.

Be sure to mark your calendars!

The Crypto-Currency Revolution

On February 3, 2015 Professor Mark Naigles and freshman Russell Katz, enlightened the audience about the growing popularity of encrypted money, also known as Crypto-Currency. The history behind money is fascinating, dating back to BC and even earlier, if bartering is considered legal tender. Professor Naigles covered the Gold Standard. Did you know that when the gold standard was in use, you could bring a $100 bill to a bank and exchange it for $100 worth of gold? This was primarily used from 1875-1914.

Russell Katz presented next, talking about the background of encryption and tying it into money. Bitcoin is encrypted currency, currency that is not easily traceable because it has an internet coded “lock” on it. Bitcoin has been all over the news for the last few years, most commonly associated with the backroom “black market” site, The Silk Road. However, it is not just illegal websites that accept Bitcoins. Many reputable businesses accept payment in Bitcoins, for example, Overstock. But Bitcoins have been the center of the black market scandal, which has very much tarnished their image. Katz stressed that “Bitcoin itself is not the future, but crypto-currency is.” He believes that encrypted money is not going anywhere, and in the future, it will be a major business asset.

Susan Wayman, Director of The Fischer Institute, plans to bring more events about crypto-currency to campus. This is an important topic in the business world and, though small right now, it will continue to rise in popularity. Look for Part 2 of The Crypto-Currency Revolution.