Fishbowl Talks Spring 2015
Unity Fishbowl Talks
Unity Fishbowl Talks is a colloquium series for Unity College faculty and invited outside speakers to discuss ideas on pedagogy and to present their scholarly work.
These discussions and presentations address the need for a trans-disciplinary forum for teaching efforts at Unity College and also provide an interdisciplinary forum for discussions on research. It is at this intersection of teaching and research goals where speakers can make the most impact on Unity College students.
The Role of Business Education in the Development of Sustainability Science Leaders by Professor John Lawrence, Ph.D. Guest Host: Janis Balda
Tuesday, Feb 17, 11:00 – 12:00 PW 204
About the Talk: This thought provoking talk will explore the value of business education for sustainability science students and consider how this business education can be achieved in a way that best complements the student’s scientific education. The presenter teaches business concepts to environmental science students and sustainability concepts to business students and executives at the University of Idaho. He has written a number of sustainability focused teaching cases and recently guest edited a special issue of the Case Research Journal that focused on sustainability.
About the Speaker: Dr. Lawrence teaches courses in strategy, innovation, and project and process management in the University of Idaho’s Executive MBA, Professional Science Masters, and undergraduate business programs. The UI’s Executive MBA graduating classes have voted Professor Lawrence the outstanding EMBA faculty member four out of the last six years and in 2011 he received the UI’s Teaching Excellence Award, the highest teaching award the university bestows on its faculty. Professor Lawrence has also received the Environmental Science program’s outstanding faculty award in 2011-12 for his work developing the UI’s new Professional Science Master’s program.
Applying Realism to Climate Policy by Professor Mick Womersley
Thursday, Feb 26, 12:00 – 12:30 PW 204
About the Talk:This talk will cover the interactions between climate policy and current geopolitics, particularly the crisis in Ukraine. Professor Womersley will apply Keynesian macroeconomics and geopolitical “realism” to the situation and propose partial resolutions, as well as one or two wilder ideas.
About the Speaker: Mick Womersley is Professor of Human Ecology at the Center for Sustainability and Global Change at Unity College.
The Unity College Bear Study – Jonah Gula and George Matula
Thursday, March 12, 12:00 – 12:30 PW 204
In 2012, Unity College received approval from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) to capture, tag, and track black bears in Central Maine. The project expands bear research into an area where bears are in the early stages of colonization and nuisance complaints are rising. The project is the first to integrate undergraduates into all aspects of the study: planning, implementation, data analysis, and more. Unity College students are acquiring practical, real-world exposure to wildlife management through the bear study. Data collected during the 2013 and 2014 field seasons has provided valuable information about a recolonizing bear population, and can be used by the MDIFW to inform bear management goals and objectives. As the project continues, new opportunities for student research is arising, and students can apply what they have learned in class to real-life conservation.
Forest Response to Stress: The Effects of Invasive Species and Land Use : Erika Latty
Tuesday, March 31, 11:00 – 12:00 PW 204
Latty is Associate Professor of Botany in the Center for Biodiversity at Unity College. Her research focuses on anthropogenic effects on forested ecosystems and she teaches a variety of courses related to plant biology and ecology. She completed a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University and a BA in Biology at Harvard University.
The Impacts of Rockweed Removal: Aimee Phillippi
Thursday, April 9, 12:00 – 12:30 PW 204
Rockweed, Ascophyllum nodosum, the brown intertidal alga that covers Maine’s rocky shores, has been harvested for decades in Europe and has recently been commercialized in Atlantic Canada and Maine. Studies show that rockweed has high productivity and can recover biomass relatively quickly when lower lateral branches are left behind. However, there is concern about how removal of rockweed impacts fauna associated with it. Rockweed beds provide habitat and protection for many invertebrates, which in turn provide food for numerous vertebrate species. Concerns about cascading ecological effects of canopy removal have not been resolved. In my recently published study, I examined the impacts of rockweed removal on the invertebrates living beneath the rockweed canopy.
Disruptive Ideas: Public Intellectuals and their Arguments for Action on Climate Change
Tuesday, April 21, 11:00 – 12:00 PW 204
About the Talk: Drawing a recently published paper, this presentation evaluates the contrasting world views and arguments of prominent public intellectuals urging societal action to address climate change. Popular writers and authors such as Naomi Klein, Bill McKibben, Jeffrey Sachs, Al Gore, and Andrew Revkin each tend to emphasize a unique discourse about climate change, reflecting diverging views of society, nature, technology, policy, and politics. By reflecting on these differences and their implications, we can usefully think through the many ways that our own biases shape how we perceive the political conflict over climate change, who we blame, and what we prefer to be done. The goal is not to choose among competing perspectives, but to constructively grapple with their tensions and uncertainties. Through this process, we can hold our own convictions and opinions more lightly, identifying what is of value among the ideas offered by those on the left, right, and in the center.
About the Speaker: Matthew C. Nisbet, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Communication Studies and Affiliate Associate Professor of Public Policy and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University. He is a Senior Editor at Oxford University Press’ Research Encyclopedia Climate Science and “The Age of Us” columnist at The Conversation. Nisbet studies the role of communication, media, and public opinion in debates over science, technology, and the environment. The author of more than 70 peer-reviewed studies, scholarly book chapters, and reports, at Northeastern University he teaches courses in Environmental and Risk Communication and Health Communication. Nisbet holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Communication from Cornell University and a BA in Government from Dartmouth College. He has served previously on the faculty at American University and The Ohio State University.
Informing sustainable forest management practices in Maine through social science and spatial analyses: Kathleen Dunckel
Tuesday, April 28, 11:00 – 12:00 PW 204
About the Talk: Maine’s forest dominated landscape and position at the leading edge of the hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) invasion provides an excellent opportunity to examine values and social attitudes toward forest resources and HWA management preferences that can contribute to establishing sustainable forest management recommendations. Mapping eastern hemlock in Maine will be crucial to response efforts by anticipating where HWA infestations will occur.
This research explores forest values and forest management preferences held by Maine residents through the analysis of a recent survey conducted in Maine. Eastern hemlock percent basal area is also predicted throughout the state of Maine (~86,156 km2), using over 3000 field reference plots and 11 predictor variables derived from satellite imagery and ancillary GIS data.
About the Speaker: Kathleen Dunckel is Assistant Professor in Computers and Geographic Information Systems for the Center for Natural Resource Management and Protection. She began her career as an environmental scientist in the Adirondack mountains of New York.