VRN: Black vultures, Gendered impacts of COVID-19, Library Spending vs Police Spending, more – Vermont Biz

Black vultures found in Burlington

The Black vulture is a New World vulture whose range extends from mid-Chile and Uruguay to the northeastern US. In this new study, scholars report the first breeding couple of Black vultures (Coragyps atratus) in Burlington, Vermont. According to the scholars, “the birds nested in a dilapidated barn in downtown Burlington, and successfully reared a single chick despite the barn’s partial demolition shortly after the chick hatched.” This is the farthest north that this species has ever been found; its range has grown steadily over the past century.

Gendered impacts of COVID-19

A new report, the first of its kind analyzing a dataset of gender-specific Covid-19 data in the United States, finds that a variety of factors contribute to a greater mortality among men compared to women. Vermont is among the states where the disparity is the greatest, alongside Texas, Hawaii, Alaska, the District of Columbia, and New York. The scholars emphasize that patterns of gender disparity are not stable across contexts, and that American men have persistently higher mortality rates for all causes than American women.


Library Spending vs Police Spending — See Map

A new report and map from UVM’s Center for Research on Vermont finds more than 40 Vermont towns spend more on their libraries than they do on police services. See the data here. On average towns spend about $36 per capita on their local library and $105 per capita on police. On average towns spend about $143,000 on libraries and about $756,000 on police – a $613,000 difference. Map prepared by Cory Dawson.

Teaching sustainability through language

Societies, cultures, and thoughts are powered, defined, and limited by language. A new study analyzes the success of a Vermont school which taught the Abenaki language to non-indigenous students in 4th and 5th grade classrooms in helping these students learn about and challenge colonialism and the social injustice of climate change impacts. The scholars conducted a series of semi-structured interviews and examined materials like lesson plans and parent handbooks. They found that the effort to de-center colonial or extractive conceptions of land use conflicted with the content and structure of other classes that the students were taking.

The Irasburg Investigation

In a new podcast episode, Gary Shattuck, author of Night Rider Legacy: Weaponizing Race in the Irasburg Affair of 1968, and Lane Marshall, a former Vermont State Trooper, and later director of the Vermont State Police, speak of the Irasburg Affair, a shooting-turned-adultery case from the 1960s in Irasburg, Vermont. Marshall was the first officer to respond to the shooting and describes for the first time his involvement and impressions in this racially charged case that became a pivotal moment in Vermont history.

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Acupuncture for chronic pain

In response to the opioid crisis, the 2016 Vermont legislature commissioned a study to assess acupuncture for patients with chronic pain in the Vermont Medicaid population in hopes of assessing the feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness of acupuncture provided by licensed acupuncturists for Vermont Medicaid patients with chronic pain. Thirty-two percent of patients using opioid medication reported reductions in use of opioid medication and ninety-six percent reported improvements and would recommend the treatment to others.

UVM Medical Center cyber attack

Cancer treatment often relies on timely diagnostic testing and regular administration of systemic therapy; a logistically intensive process which hospitals often manage with digital tools. A new review explores the impact of the cyberattack that was launched on the University of Vermont Health Network on October 28th, 2020 which had wide-ranging consequences for the network, including loss of access to all network intranet servers, e-mail communications, and the electronic medical record, reducing clinical outpatient care delivery by 40%.

Winter recreation changing

Although winter colds and snowstorms season is over, there are on-going changes in state recreational activities such as snowmobiling. A research study that looked into the sport found that Vermonters are changing their winter recreational activities choices due to climate change, leading to a decline in snowmobiling and snowmobile purchases and a turn towards other winter recreational activities. 

Editor’s note: student interns

The research news is curated and edited by students at UVM. This edition marks the last for Oscar McIntosh and Thaina Calix (!). The two are part of a record number of College of Arts & Sciences interns – about 390 this semester — including students working with Vermont legislatorssmall townscommunity papers, transportation planning and in public health, writing and communications, learning by doing and contributing to our state. Across Vermont, students are graduating this week and next and we wish them all well and know they will always have a home in Vermont, now or in the future. (Photo above, intern graduation party May 9, courtesy of Sophia Trigg). 

Vermont Events 

Exhibits at TW Wood Gallery – May 12
Palettes of Vermont in Williston – May 13
Fairfax Arts Festival – May 14
Eyesight and Insight Lens on American Art – May 15

Copyright © 2021 Center for Research on Vermont, All rights reserved.

The Vermont Research News is a bi-monthly curated collection of Vermont research — focused on research in the Vermont “laboratory” — research that provides original knowledge to the world and research that adds to an understanding of the state’s social, economic, cultural and physical environment. Thanks to support from the Office of Engagement at UVM

Send your news items to Newsletter Editors Thaina Calix; Oscar Mcintosh, Justin Trombly or Richard Watts. CRVT is responsible for the content. The newsletter is published about the 1st and 15th of each month.