Crowded coastlines as coupled social-ecological systems
Dr. Stephen Scyphers, NSF Fellow at Northeastern University
September 15, 7pm, Olin 1
Coastal habitats along shorelines host diverse ecological communities and provide numerous ecosystem services that affect the health, security and quality of life of human societies. Dr. Scyphers talk will highlight our recent and ongoing efforts to understand the social and economic factors that promote sustainable decision-making along residential coastlines, as well as how these decisions scale-up to affect the overall resilience of coastal ecosystems.


Re-Imagining the Promise of Conservation: Obligations and Opportunities in the Next Generation
Peter Forbes, Center For Whole Communities
September 29, 7pm, Ostrove Auditorium
On the eve of the centennial of our national park system, what is the promise of conservation to an America that is rapidly changing demographically, culturally, and physically? What ideals and values need to guide conservation in the next 100 years? Author and conservationist, Peter Forbes, will guide us across a landscape of meaning about the motivations for creating our first national park and how those same instincts toward healing and repairing now guide innovation in conservation across the country, especially in Maine. By examining the sweeping technological and cultural forces changing our country, and looking at how our desire to connect to nature and to one another endures, Peter will offer insights into the special opportunities and obligations facing the next generation to re-imagine conservation from where our different lives intersect. How might we promise to make this powerful concept of Forebearance relevant, useful and durable for the next century? What are the principles of this promise? What might it look like? Do you see yourself within it?

Co-sponsored with Center for the Arts and Humanities, Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement, and the Colby Museum of Art


Growing Power and The Good Food Revolution
Will Allen, Director of Growing Power
October 14, 7pm, Ostrove Auditorium

Will Allen, farmer, founder and CEO of Growing Power Inc., is recognized as a preeminent practitioner of urban agriculture in America and throughout the world.  Will grew up on a small farm in Maryland, the second-youngest of six children of a sharecropper. Despite a strict rule of his father’s – no sports until all farm chores were done – he became a standout basketball player in high school and the first African-American scholarship athlete at the University of Miami. He eventually became the basketball team captain, and still holds a number of Miami Hurricanes records. Will graduated with a degree in education.


Socio-ecological Resilience, Sustainable Local Food Systems and Agro-biodiversity in the Global South
Gloria Otieno, Biodiversity International
November 3, 7pm, Olin 1

Abstract forthcoming


Arsenic in water and food – what might it mean for you?
Dr. Kathy Cottingham, Dartmouth
November 17, 7pm, Olin 1

Arsenic is a known carcinogen that can also affect the cardiac, respiratory, neurological and immune systems. Humans are exposed to arsenic primarily via drinking water and food. Although the majority of U.S. residents consume public drinking water, which is regulated to have arsenic concentrations less than 10 parts per billion by the Environmental Protection Agency, residents in rural areas who drink water from private wells are responsible for ensuring the safety of their own water. Unfortunately, private wells in New Hampshire and Maine can contain elevated levels of arsenic due to natural geological deposits, resulting in increased exposure to this compound with potentially serious consequences. Moreover, we are all exposed to arsenic via trace amounts in food, especially via rice and rice products, and researchers are just beginning to quantify these low-level exposures and their potential health effects. In this talk, I will briefly review our current scientific understanding of low-level arsenic exposure, describe the studies our research team is conducting to contribute to this understanding, and recommend strategies individuals might use to reduce their own exposures.