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Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

Archived Events

environmental studies

2017


 

The Environmental Studies Program will be hosting a series of two talks by Prof. David Montgomery from the University of Washington.

First Talk
Tuesday, February 14 at 3:00 p.m., Gasson 305
Reception to follow in Devlln 201
David and his wife, biologist Anne Biklé, will speak on their 2015 book, The Hidden Half of Nature: the Microbial Roots of Life and Health. This book shows how breakthroughs in microbiology are leading to an understanding of the links between the health of our digestive systems and the soil from which the plants that nourish us grow. The event will be followed by a reception and book signing in Devlin 201.

Second Talk
Thursday, February 16 at 5:00 p.m., Higgins 300
Light Refreshments and book signing to follow in Higgins Atrium.
How the mystery of one of the Bible's greatest stories shaped geology: a MacArthur Fellow presents a surprising perspective on Noah's Flood. In Tibet, geologist David R. Montgomery heard a local story about a great flood that bore a striking similarity to Noah’s Flood. Intrigued, Montgomery began investigating the world’s flood stories and—drawing from historic works by theologians, natural philosophers, and scientists—discovered the counterintuitive role Noah’s Flood played in the development of both geology and creationism. Steno, the grandfather of geology, even invoked the Flood in laying geology’s founding principles based on his observations of northern Italian landscapes. Centuries later the founders of modern creationism based their irrational view of a global flood on a perceptive critique of geology. With an explorer’s eye and a refreshing approach to both faith and science Montgomery takes readers on a journey across landscapes and cultures. In the process we discover the illusive nature of truth, whether viewed through the lens of science or religion, and how it changed through history and continues changing, even today.

2016


 

“The Impact of Green Buildings on Cognitive Function: Merging Environmental Science with Health Science”
Monday, November 7, 2016
7:30 p.m., Stokes South 195

In this lecture, Joseph G. Allen, DSc, MPH (BC Class of 1998) of Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, will talk about the role of the environment through a health lens. He will discuss the role of the built environment on human health, the impact of green buildings on cognitive function, and chemicals of concern in the indoor environment. There will be time for discussion on these topics, as well as time to discuss public health as a career path and Harvard’s new Master of Public Health degree track that focuses on Sustainability, Health and the Global Environment.


 

“Science in the Courtroom: From Clarence Darrow to NCIS”
Friday, October 21, 2016
12:00 noon, Devlin 201

Marc Rollo ’87 and Bill Stack, Environmental Law Partners at Archer and Greiner, will address the role of “Science in the Courtroom.” Their presentation will demonstrate the connection between the legal process and several different scientific disciplines. Specifically, this will include a discussion of the unique and pivotal role of scientific evidence in proving claims in environmental litigation, and also a discussion of the criteria for admission of sound expert and scientific evidence and opinions at trial.  Relatedly, the presentation will also include a discussion of the judge’s power as the “gatekeeper” to exclude “junk” science from a jury’s consideration of “junk” or “bad” science at trial.


 

“Shrinking the Earth: The Rise and Decline of American Abundance”
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
4:00 p.m., McGuinn 121

Donald Worster has agreed to give a speech on his new book,“ Shrinking the Earth: The Rise and Decline of American Abundance.” The talk will be about a broad theme — the shift from the post Columbus sense of new world natural abundance (and economic growth) to the age of seeing a tiny, vulnerable Earth from outer space.


 

“40 Years of Exploration and Conservation in China and Beyond”
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
5:00 – 6:30 p.m., Stokes 195S

Dr. How Man Wong visits Boston College from Hong Kong to deliver this installment of the The Daniel C. Morrissey ’88 and Chanannait Paisansathan, MD Lecture Series in Asian Studies. He will discuss his career as an explorer and conservationist.

2015


 

New Rules for Climate Protection: Student and Citizen Action to Change the Future
Eban Goodstein, Bard University
Wednesday, October 21, 2015, 5:00 p.m., Devlin 201

Dr. Eban Goodstein is an economist, author and environmental educator known for his work in the clean energy movement.  Currently Director of the Bard Center for Environmental Policy, he holds a bachelor’s degree in geology from Williams College and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan. Goodstein directs two national educational initiatives on global warming: C2C and The National Climate Seminar.


 

Our Common Home: An Ethic Summons to Tackle Climate Change was held Monday, Sept. 28 – Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015.
“The Environmental Studies Program recently co-sponsored a conference exploring the implications of Pope Francis’s newly released encyclical on the environment and climate change, “Laudato Si' (Praised Be): On Care for our Common Home” over four days at Boston College.  Distinguished speakers, including Cardinal Peter Turkson and Senator Edward Markey (D-MA), discussed how the moral voice of faith communities can offer distinct contributions to address climate change, as well as the national and international policy implications of the upcoming international climate conference (COP21) to be held in Paris, and theological considerations of the encyclical.  Webcasts may be seen here.  Read coverage of the conference at the from the following media outlets: BC Chronicle,  National Catholic ReporterNECNVatican RadioIndependent Catholic News, French financial daily newspaper Les EchosAP via Washington TimesWCVB-TV NewsBoston Herald.”


 

Our Common Home: An Ethic Summons to Tackle Climate Change

Monday, Sept. 28 – Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015

The Environmental Studies Program will co-sponsor a conference exploring the the implications of Pope Francis’s newly released encyclical on the environment and climate change, “Laudato Si' (Praised Be): On Care for our Common Home” over four days at Boston College.  Distinguished speakers, including Cardinal Peter Turkson and Senator Edward Markey (D-MA), will discuss how the moral voice of faith communities can offer distinct contributions to address climate change, as well as the national and international policy implications of the upcoming international climate conference (COP21) to be held in Paris, and theological considerations of the encyclical.


 

Katharine Hayhoe
Texas Tech University

Respondent: Stephen Pope, Boston College
Date: Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Time: 5:30-7:00 p.m.
Location: McGuinn Hall 121

Katharine Hayhoe

Katharine Hayhoe is an associate professor in the department of Political Science at Texas Tech University and director of the university’s Climate Science Center. Her research focuses on establishing a scientific basis for assessing the regional to local-scale impacts of climate change on human systems and the natural environment. She serves as a scientific advisor to Citizen’s Climate Lobby, the EcoAmerica MomentUS project, the Energy and Enterprise Initiative, the Evangelical Environmental Network and the International Women’s Earth and Climate Initiative. With her husband Andrew Farley, she is the author of A Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-Based Decisions, and her work as a climate change evangelist was recently featured on the documentary series Years of Living Dangerously. She received a B.Sc. in physics and astronomy from the University of Toronto and an M.S. and a Ph.D. in atmospheric science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Co-sponsored by Boisi Center for Religion and Public Life, the Environmental Studies Program, and The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences

2014


 

Public Lecture by Former Representative Bob Inglis of South Carolina
Tuesday, October 21, 7:00 p.m., Gasson 100
Bob Inglis, Executive Director of the Energy and Enterprise Initiative at George Mason University and former member of the House of Representatives, will address free market solutions to energy and climate change policy. This event is co-sponsored by the College Republicans and the Winston Center for Leadership and Ethics.


 

‘Ubering On: Disappearing Jobs, the “New Economy,” and the Future of Work’ with Eban Goodstein
Wednesday, October 1, 5:00 p.m., Devlin 201
From the depths of the 2008 crash, the US has experienced yet another jobless recovery, with high unemployment sustained for one of the longest periods since the great depression. With the failure of the “old economy,” attention has focused on an IT-enabled New Economy variously modified as “sharing,” local, ”sustainable,” “idealist,” “mission-driven,” and “resilient.” This talk focuses on the forces driving the emergence of the New Economy, and assesses whether the new boss will be the same as the old boss.


 

Climate Smart: Artists Respond to Climate Change
Thursday, April 24
6:30 p.m., Devlin 101
Four artists and Frances Dubrowski ’70, Project Director of Honoring the Future, explored how artists are tacking the complex subject of climate change, pointing the way toward prepared, resilient, ‘climate smart’ communities.


 

Climate Change Comes to Thoreau’s Concord
Tuesday, April 1
6:30 p.m., Fulton 511
Dr. Richard B. Primack of Boston University addressed how evidence climate change at Walden Pond is supported both by scientific data and the work of Thoreau.


 

Sesquincentennial Symposium
Energy: From the Last to the Next 150 Years
Friday, October 25, 9:00 a.m.
The Heights Room, Corcoran Commons
This symposium will explore the science of energy generation and the politics and policies of energy use. Scientists today concur that human dependence on fossil fuels has changed our climate, particularly over the past 150 years. Some of our greatest challenges in the future will involve discovering new forms of energy, finding efficient routes to energy conversion, and developing national and global agreements on energy management.  Massachusetts Senator Edward J. Markey ’68, J.D. ’72 and Dr. Susan Tierney, former Assistant Secretary for Policy in the U.S. Department of Energy and Massachusetts Secretary of Environmental Affairs, will give keynote addresses.


 

Evening with Bill McKibben
Thursday, October 24
7:00 p.m., McGuinn 121
Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, is a leading voice in the movement to take substantial steps to address climate change and is a well-known author of many books on environmental studies topics, including his two most recent, Oil and Honey and Earth. Co-sponsored by the Lowell Humanities Series and the Winston Center for Leadership and Ethics.