Archive for the ‘environmental studies’ Tag

Never-Ending Networking

Environmental StudiesEarlier this week, I was walking to my car following a meeting with an environmental scientist at Goodwin College and I realized that this process for researching the land use history is a never-ending series of connections and networking that takes me further and further down a rabbit hole.  To use a driving simile, it’s like I am trying to get across Hartford during the Hartford Marathon. I am taking all sorts of side streets to get to my destination and some are dead ends while others bring me right back to where I started.  Some, however, are accesses to wells of knowledge and interesting characters.  This is how I felt after my meeting with Bruce Morton, director of the environmental studies program at Goodwin College.

Meeting Bruce for the first time in a situation other than passing by, was a great experience.  I had previously heard about this reserved and calculating professor at Goodwin from a colleague of mine at CT River Academy, which is the high school that is hosted by the college.  I walked across campus and strode the stairs to his floor and scouted the room numbers until I found his office.  At Goodwin College, the environmental studies department has a suite with about 6 or 8 offices with a common area.  Bruce’s office was closest to the hallway.  Once the meeting began, I briefly explained the project and my aspirations of publishing the finished product.  Then, I shared about the angle and the happenstance meeting I had with the Vice President and what his expectations were (see previous post).  After some time, I realized that although he might have limited knowledge about what I was looking for, he certainly had a lot of connections.

While I was sitting there, in his office, Bruce began picking up the phone and calling other professors and professionals that he knew in fields related to environmental studies, the CT River, and Goodwin College.  The first person he called was a history professor at the College who seems to have a lot of information about what I am looking for and might be able to direct the approach to the project.  In addition to this contact, Bruce sent an introductory email to four other people, including one from Riverfront recapture, which may also help with some work I am doing with CT Humanities.  Overall, this was a productive meeting.  I am just beginning to realize how important it is for public historians to engage in never-ending networking because you need to know people to get information.  I guess the old adage is right…Sometimes it IS not what you know, but who you know.

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