Monday, September 22, 2008

Photos from Sept 2007 Wind Event at Thorne

In celebration of one year of the new wind exhibit and curriculum at Thorne
Ecological Institute, I'm posting some long-overdue photos taken by Tobias Schunck, an amazing photographer who read about the exhibit in the Daily Camera and dropped by to take some photos, out of the goodness of his heart. So, at long last, here are some of those for you to enjoy. You can see his full series on his website.

Pictured left are Brooke, Thorne founder, Oak Thorne, and Kip.

Below, Maggie Fox remembers Rudd while two of Rudd's grandchildren blow pinwheels.

Below is the SkyStream wind turbine installed at Thorne last year.

Below is a photo of the main exhibit, which was designed by the talented Darin Wacs who created exhibits for half a dozen years at the Palo Alto Junior Museum and who is now living in New Jersey designing more fabulous exhibits, art pieces, and furniture for East Coasters. Picture below are: Oak, Kelly Keena, the crank-driven wind exhibit, Alix, and Brooke.
And, finally, here is a photo of the main exhibit in action, being cranked by one of Rudd's grandchildren, while another grandchild waits his turn.
It was a fabulous event. We can't wait to see more of Thorne's expanding renewable energy curriculum!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Susan Innis Talks about the Highlights of Rudd's Career

Hi everyone, the Rudd Fund is thriving at Thorne Ecological Institute. The wind curriculum has been so popular that Thorne has expanded the program to include education on all renewable energy topics.

Here is a 2003 interview with Susan Innis published on Wind Powering America. I found it recently while conducting some research on wind energy. I think you'll enjoy reading about the highlights of Rudd's career.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

The Wind Celebration

Yesterday's celebration at Thorne Ecological Institute was a huge success! Brooke and I will post photos and possibly some video of the event within the next week. Stay tuned.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Today We Celebrate the new Wind Curriculum at Thorne Ecological

A very nice journalist, Laura Snider, from the Boulder Daily Camera newspaper interviewed Thorne staff and Mayer family members Alix, Brooke, and Kip about the Rudd Fund and the wind project. This article appeared today.

An important point about the partnership with Thorne is that the Mayer Family had a vision of installing a wind turbine in Boulder and continuing Rudd's work in the form of wind energy education. We had stalled out on this idea until we partnered with Thorne. Kelly Keena, Thorne's lead educator and acting Executive Director, was instrumental in fleshing out this idea. The contents of the wind exhibit and the wind curriculum were all designed and inspired by Kelly.

There will be a demonstration of Kelly's Energy Chain curriculum at today's event. One of the educational panels in the exhibit hall is also based on the Energy Chain, showing how much energy it takes to make electricity from coal and how much energy it takes to make electricity from wind. It is enlightening to see how both energy chains converge at the spinning turbine - however, what it takes to propel them is vastly different. It really drives home the message about how important it is to supplement power with wind and other renewable resources as much as possible.

As of today's event to celebrate the wind project, we have transferred stewardship of the Rudd Fund from WRA to Thorne Ecological. We have a small balance to begin the next phase of the project with a new, broader mission to teach kids about all forms of renewable energy. The new name of the Rudd Fund is: The Rudd Renewable Energy Education Fund. Keep your eyes on Thorne - more exciting projects are sure to come!

We'll post photos of the event and the exhibit later this week.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Finalizing the Exhibit at Thorne

We are putting together the final pieces of our wind project at Thorne Ecological Institute! The exhibit, wind turbine, and curriculum will educate kids about wind energy in memory of Rudd Mayer, an award-winning wind energy pioneer who passed away in 2002. We can't think of a better place to teach renewable energy than Thorne's Natural Science School, which reaches thousands of children each year.

This exhibit is made possible by the many donors to the Rudd Fund. We still can't believe we initially raised $100,000 in our mom's memory, in lieu of flowers!

This project is the work of many people, including Rudd's daughters -- Alix Mayer and Brooke Mayer Larson. We are working closely with Kelly Keena, the Acting Executive Director of Thorne Ecological and Jessica Feld, the former Executive Director of Thorne Ecological Institute to bring the wind project to fruition at Thorne's Sombrero Marsh education center. The new wind curriculum will reach thousands of school-aged children through the engaging and creative teaching of Kelly Keena and other educators.

We consult and work with many others to make this project happen, including exhibit designer Darin Wacs, graphic designer, Jina Choi, wind turbine expert Tim Olsen, Susan Innis and Anita Schwartz of Western Resource Advocates, Xcel Energy, the Boulder Valley School District, NREL, University of Colorado, and countless others who have given us their time, advice, and support.

In the past year, Thorne has raised another $50,000 for the project. With Alix and Brooke's service grant time totaling another $100,000, we created a total of $250,000 for this and other Rudd Fund projects!

It's been almost 5 years since Rudd passed away and we are excited to be opening the wind exhibit with a big celebration at Thorne on September 8th, a day that would have been Rudd's 64th birthday. Please join us there if you can.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Wind Farm Art by Patrick Marold

This wind farm art project is moving from Vail to Boulder, Colorado soon. Many think that wind farms are ugly, likely due to the big one outside of Palm Springs, California.

This Patrick Marold exhibit shows that wind farms can be beautiful.

Brooke and I plan to lead a tour of this installation for anyone who is visiting for the Wind Exhibit opening at Thorne Ecological Institute on September 8th.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Rudd Mayer Memorial Endowment at Western Resource Advocates

Western Resource Advocates established the Rudd Mayer Memorial Endowment Fund in 2005 with a gift from Rudd's estate. They have recently updated their website with a way to donate directly to the fund. It is a great way to ensure WRA can continue its amazing environmental policy work for years to come. Here is part of what WRA has to say about Rudd and this gift:

It says a lot about an organization when an employee chooses to make such a gift, but it says far more about the giver. Rudd was simply amazing. During her ten years with WRA, Rudd developed a very successful approach to developing grassroots support for wind power.

Rudd's family is thrilled about the endowment in Rudd's name at WRA.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Women of the Wind: Rudd Mayer Sponsorship

The Rudd Fund has sponsored women to attend the Women of the Wind Luncheon at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) conference each year. It is one of the most rewarding things we get to do with the Rudd Fund.

This year's WindPower 2007 conference will be in Los Angeles. Rudd's daughter, Alix is hoping to attend the luncheon on June 5th when Women of the Wind presents the awardees of this year's sponsorship.

There are incredible women who've earned this sponsorship in the past. Many are students and almost all go on to have careers in wind energy, thanks to the great networking that happens at these events. We are proud to have played a small part in their careers!

If I can go, I'm really excited to meet Suzanne Tegen of the National Renewable Energy Lab, and, of course, the awardees.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Rudd's Daughter Alix Featured as PaloAltoGreen Customer of the Month

PaloAltoGreen Member Spotlight

Alix Mayer

You may recognize spotlight member Alix Mayer from hawking PaloAltoGreen brochures at Al’s film, An Inconvenient Truth. She and other environmentally conscious Palo Altans justified their technique by figuring “if you weren’t already signed up for the program, you’d want to do something about CO2 after seeing the movie.”

Rallying communities around renewable energy runs in Alix’s family: her late mom, Rudd Mayer, started the first wildly successful carbon-offset program in Colorado in 1998. “I’m an MBA which made me doubt her “wimpy” grassroots approach”, says Alix. “I and the other naysayers were wrong. The grassroots campaign convinced 32,000 customers to choose wind energy with their utility bill – fully subscribing the [wind program in] Colorado.”

Alix’s mom Rudd campaigning
for Wind Power in 1998

Whether she’s donning her “Parents inspired by Al” T-shirt at the movies, proudly displaying “Another Palo Altan for Renewable Energy” yard sign, or being interviewed on national TV, Alix is once again proving how effective grassroots techniques can be. Her boundless enthusiasm and community organizing is a contributing reason for the unprecedented success of PaloAltoGreen.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

September 8th, 2007 Wind Turbine Dedication and Exhibit Celebration

Please join us

of our
newest exhibit & curriculum
all about wind energy
for a dedication of our
new SkyStream wind turbine!

September 8th
2 to 4pm

Thorne Ecological Institute
Sombrero Marsh Environmental Education Center
1466 N. 63rd Street

Boulder, Colorado