Skiing, Winter Olympics, Healthy VT, Farms and Water Safety
The impacts of climate change on Vermont’s ski areas were modeled in an article in Tourism Management. The researchers looked at 103 ski areas in the Northeast, finding that many will not be viable by the middle of this century. See also recent reporting by Maine Public Radio and this EPA Vermont fact sheet.
A recent study conducted by a group of UVM students synthesized a number of interviews into a narrative chronicling the impacts of a changing climate on average Vermonters. Some of the most frequently cited concerns related to the mental stress associated with rising tick populations and shorter ski seasons.
Vermont sends more athletes per capita to the winter games than any state in the U.S. And the state’s winter medal count tops many countries. This week about 30 athletes with Vermont ties will be competing in Pyeongchang, South Korea. A new book, Norwich: One Tiny Vermont Town’s Secret to Happiness and Excellence, by New York Times reporter Karen Crouse looks at why Norwich has sent so many athletes. The book argues that Norwich kids don’t specialize, their parents are hands-off and it’s about having fun over winning. See Interview with author on NPR’s “Here and Now.”
HEALTHY VERMONT, AGAIN!
Vermont was ranked the third healthiest state in America’s Health Rankings Annual Report, behind only Massachusetts and Hawaii. The strong performance was a sharp improvement from the first time the study was conducted in 1990, when the state ranked 20th. Some key findings from the report were the increase in premature deaths nationally for the third consecutive year—along with a rise in cardiovascular and drug deaths.
Contrasting with the nation’s overall declining health in preterm births, Vermont was one of just four states, including New Hampshire, to earn an ‘A’ grade on the latest March of Dimes Birth Report Card. Vermont had the lowest prematurity rate in the country at 7.3%. See the Vermont Biz article for more information.
FARMS AND WATER POLLUTION
A recent study points to significant relationships between proximity of farmstead and waterway and phosphorus levels, as well as the trend of increased phosphorus levels associated with cover cropping. A group of Middlebury College students distributed a survey to 250 farms to report management practices and utilized statistical software to relate these findings to Lake Champlain.
Reprinted with permission from the Center for Research on Vermont, February 7, 2018 edition of Vermont Research News.