The Mellema Program welcomes applications for research and course development grants for 2013. Applications are due by April 5, 2013.
Recent Grant Awards
Ecosystem Management and the Crisis of Scientific and Political Authority
For the summer of 2011, Jamie Skillen of the Department of Geology, Geography, and Environmental Studies at Calvin College was awarded a grant of $1,500 for this book project under contract with the University Press of Kansas, scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2013. The award is related to the core case studies of the book in federal ecosystem management: the Northwest Forest Plan, covering federal lands on the west side of the Cascade Mountains in Washington, Oregon, and California, and the Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project, covering federal lands in the Columbia River watershed east of the Cascade Mountains. The grant will allow Dr. Skillen to travel to offices in Oregon and interview federal employees/retirees and examine documents. The Mellema grant builds on funding provided by other college offices.
Fossil Evidence for the Historical Development of Western North American Salmonid Ecosystems (I): Fossil Salvelinus from the Neogene of Nevada
For the summer of 2010, the Mellema Program awarded Ralph Stearley of the Department of Geology, Geography, and Environmental Studies at Calvin College a grant of $2,400. This project is part of a larger ecosystem natural history study of fish fossils in the Western U.S. states. Beyond its specific contributions to scientific understanding, Stearley’s application says of the study’s potential practical contribution:
. . . this extended ecosystem history should be applied to contemporary problems in anadromous salmonid stock management, particularly as-yet poorly understood relationships between oceanic migrations and the physics of the NE Pacific ocean. Fisheries biologists have achieved increasing finesse in subdividing the global ocean into relevant biogeographic units (c.f. Pauly et al., 2003; chapters in Allen et al., 2006) based on underlying physical and chemical parameters, for management purposes. Climate change during the past 15 million years has periodically resulted in major ecologic community restructuring (Roy and Pandolfi, 2005), and we have evidence on hand that current climate change is exerting influences on the ranges of individual marine taxa and the composition of marine communities (Hoegh-Guildberg, 2005).
Reawakening the Alutiiq Arts
Prof. Ellen Van’t Hof of the Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Dance and Sports (HPERDS) Department of Calvin College received two grants for her for a multimedia project on native traditions, dance, and the arts among the Alutiiq people of Alaska. The project involved cultural studies, working with both scholars and Native elders and performers, and the production of a documentary film entitled Finding Their Own Dance: Reawakening the Alutiiq Arts.
The film, produced by Rob Prince of the Communication Arts and Sciences program, was presented at Calvin in Fall 08 and is intended to help perpetuate, promote, and examine the heritage and contemporary artistic expression of this indigenous people. Van’t Hof and Prince showed the film in Alaska in Fall 08 and at documentary festivals. This film has also generated interest in South America where indigenous groups are struggling with issues comparable to those of the Alutiiq.
They currently are working on a French language version of the film, and they plan to show it later this year in France at a museum exhibition on Alutiiq dance and arts.
Big Sky Geology
In 2005, Prof. Gerry Van Kooten of the department of Geology, Geography, and Environmental Studies received a grant to develop a May Interim course entitled, “Big Sky Geology: Montana Field Experience.” This introductory course was designed to be an immersion geology experience and fills the Physical World core requirement at Calvin. The department offers it each summer.
Restoring Puget Sound Prairie
Also in 2005, Prof. Randy Van Dragt of the Biology Department was awarded a grant to begin a multi-year study on prairie restoration at the Puget Sound campus of Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies on Whidbey Island, Washington. The project is continuing via courses at the Au Sable Institute and Professor Van Dragt’s own restoration ecology course.
Theological Engagement with Frontier Cities
In 2004, the Mellema Program awarded Dr. James K.A. Smith for his sabbatical project, “The City of Angels as a Parody of the City of God: Theological Engagement with Frontier Cities.” The project used the field of philosophical theology known as Radical Orthodoxy to do social-cultural criticism of Los Angeles as a quintessential frontier city and now a postmodern city.
Disease, Habit, or the Story of a People
In 2003, Prof. Glenn Weaver of the Psychology department was awarded a development grant for an off-campus Interim course on “Addiction: Disease, Habit, or the Story of a People.” This program in New Mexico and Arizona focused on patterns of addiction historically and currently among Native Americans, Hispanic immigrant families, and Anglo teenage women