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Guest Lecture Series
Dr. Craig Packer, PhD
Title: Lions in the Balance: Man-Eaters, Manes, and Men with Guns
Description: Craig Packer is a Distinguished McKnight University Professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior at the University of Minnesota. He first went to East Africa in 1972 as a field assistant to Jane Goodall and returned to Gombe in 1974-75 to conduct his PhD research on olive baboons. After a brief study of Japanese macaques in Hakusan National Park, he returned to Tanzania in 1978 to head the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Lion Projects. His book, Into Africa, won the John Burroughs Medal in 1995, and he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003. Over the past 10 years, he has served as an official member of the Tanzanian Delegation to CITES and founded an NGO to measure the effectiveness of Foreign Aid projects in rural Africa. Dr. Packer has published over 150 scientific papers, and his new book, Lions in the Balance: Man-Eaters, Manes and Men with Guns, was published in September 2015.
Eric Singsaas Director of Research, Wisconsin Institute for Sustainable Technology
Title: 21st Century Technology Innovations to Sustain People, the Economy and Planet Earth
Description: Dr. Eric Singsaas will discuss his research on bio-based sources of chemicals, materials and fuels developed at the Wisconsin Institute for Sustainable Technology, an institute at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. Dr. Singsaas received his PhD in botany and biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he studied isoprene production and heat tolerance in oak and kudzu leaves. His research encompasses photosynthesis, heat stress, global change effects on plants and ecosystems as well as applications of plant biochemistry to develop new generations of bio-based products. He has five patents in renewable fuel and bio-based products technologies and has founded two startup companies to commercialize these new processes. Dr. Singsaas will contrast renewable bio-product development with today's non-renewable products and what technology platforms he thinks will underlie the development of this new economy.
Title: Bees in Crisis: Colony Collapse, Honey Laundering and Other Problems Bee-Setting American Apiculture
Description: Dr. Berenbaum serves as the Vice-President-Elect of the Entomological Society of America. Dr. Berenbaum founded the long-running University of Illinois’ Insect Fear Film Festival 30 years ago and in 2009 the Pollinatarium, which is a science center devoted to pollinators on the Illinois campus. Dr. Berenbaum will discuss the insect world, including health of honey bees and her research on colony collapse disorder. Dr. Berenbaum has written hundreds of technical and popular press articles and books and received numerous teaching and scientific awards, fellowships, and grants, including the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. She is also the namesake of the fictional character Bambi Berenbaum on The X-Files TV show.
Dr. Stanley Temple (Beers-Bascom Professor Emeritus in Conservation at University of Wisconsin and Senior Fellow at Aldo Leopold Foundation)
Title: Aldo Leopold, Phenology and Climate Change
Description: Aldo Leopold, best known as the author of A Sand County Almanac, was a keen observer of the natural world. Throughout his life he kept daily journals recording observations of seasonal events, especially those occurring at his beloved "shack" on the Leopold farm which was the setting for many essays in A Sand County Almanac. Leopold's meticulous phenological observations have provided us with an unparalleled record of when plants bloomed, birds migrated and other natural events. Analyzing his historical observations of hundreds of natural events as well as recent records helps us understand how climate change is affecting the ecological community.
Dr. Paul K. Strode (Biology Teacher, Boulder, CO)
Title: How Science works and Why You'd Be Miserable Without ItDescription: Dr. Paul Strode discusses how science works and gives important examples of science around us every day, with special emphasis on evolution.
Dr. Tyrone Hayes (Professor in Department of Integrative Biology, University of California Berkeley)
Title: Silent Spring to Silent Night: A Tale of Toads and MenDescription: Dr. Hayes is known internationally for his research on Atrazine, which is shown to alter reproductive development in frogs. Dr. Hayes' findings on amphibians may have strong implications on human health in southeastern Minnesota, as Atrazine is found in drinking water throughout the region.
Are you curious about how organisms interact with their environments?
Do you want hands-on experience doing science in nature?
The environmental science program is a 60-credit Associate of Science degree program that provides a broad based understanding of basic sciences and important environmental and social issues. The AS program will prepare students with content-based and experiential-based knowledge in the environmental science field, so students can gain access to a career in the interdisciplinary field of environmental science or continue on to a four-year degree in an environmental science field. The research experience intends to equip students with practical experience to integrate the knowledge gained in class to real, applied situations in a setting of their choice (e.g., city, county, park, nature center, school, etc.) where they can put their knowledge to work and learn about an important environmental issue of their choice.
The Environmental Science program also serves as the first two years of a Bachelor’s degree in Biology (Environmental Science option) offered at Winona State University (WSU); there is an articulation agreement to facilitate this transfer.