William and Mary Digest for Jan. 6

College receives 'best of' recognition for catering

William and Mary was recently awarded the "Best Venue for Unique or Locally Sourced Catering" by Unique Venues, a professional organization for non-traditional event venues.

Unique Venues featured William and Mary Dining Services’ initiatives with Williamsburg Farmers Market and KelRae Farm, plus the annual Farm-to-Fork Dinner on the Sunken Garden, when announcing the award.

“People connect over food," said Mariellynn Maurer, director of William and Mary Conference and Event Services. "Just as we’ve seen a cultural shift of people wanting to know more about their food, we notice that our events are becoming more mindful as well."

Each year, William and Mary Dining sources food from local farms at the Williamsburg Farmers Market as well as plants, tends and harvests seasonal crops at KelRae Farms in Toano. The work is done by staff and William and Mary Dining Sustainability Interns and the produce is brought back to be used in the dining program. The annual Farm-to-Fork Dinner is planned around the seasonal crops and is served family style in the Sunken Garden.

Last fall, Dining Services served nearly 5,000 pounds of watermelon, tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes and leafy greens including spinach and kale from KelRae Farms.

Road to Richmond: Student lobbyists advocate for college

On Jan. 22, students traveled to Richmond to advocate for their school at the 23rd annual Road to Richmond.

Every January, students from different majors, class years and backgrounds are linked by a common passion for their school and for advocacy. The Road to Richmond, sponsored by the William and Mary President’s Office and the Office of Government Relations, allows students to employ their voice and represent the university at the Virginia General Assembly.

Upon arrival at the state capital, students received a welcome from enthusiastic alumni, legislators including local representatives Sen. Monty Mason, D-1st, and Del. Mike Mullin, D-93rd, and college president Katherine Rowe, who participated in the event for the first time.

Armed with names of legislators, students formed small groups to explore the offices of the General Assembly and advocate for their institution. Students primarily visited their own representatives or W&M alumni, many of whom had decorated their office doors with green and gold.

Miles Gordon, legislative assistant for Del. Jeffrey Bourne, D-71st, applauded William and Mary students’ advocacy efforts and greeted the group with a passionate, “Go Tribe!”

Krill range shrinks poleward with ocean warming

A new study based on careful analysis of 90 years of scientific catch data from the South Atlantic Ocean shows that the geographic distribution of Antarctic krill has contracted nearly 300 miles southward in concert with ocean warming, raising concerns for international fisheries managers.

Krill — free-swimming, shrimp-like crustaceans — play a central role in Antarctica’s marine food web, transferring energy and carbon from phytoplankton and zooplankton to fish, penguins, seals and whales. Changes in krill distribution are of considerable concern to both scientists and commercial fishery interests.

The study, in this week’s Nature Climate Change, was written by an international team of scientists from the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany and the U.S. The U.S. authors include Deborah Steinberg of William and Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science, a member of the National Science Foundation’s Palmer Long-Term Ecological Research program — PAL-LTER, which examines the long-term effects of climate change on the ocean ecosystem west of the Antarctic Peninsula.

“We found that the geographic distribution of krill has contracted southward by about 440 kilometers since the 1920s,” says Atkinson. That contraction matches a pronounced warming in the team’s study area — a part of the Southern Ocean known as the Scotia Sea — where ocean surface temperatures have increased by 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit during winter and 3.6 F in summer between 1925 and 2006.

“The northern waters have warmed and conditions throughout the Scotia Sea have become more hostile, with stronger winds, warmer weather, and less ice,” says Hill. “This is bad news for young krill.”

Items from William and Mary news releases were used in this article.

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