Environmental Forum


Environmental Forum News and Highlights
by Dr. Vandana Singh
January 23, 2014

I hope the start of the semester finds you well. I am writing to give you some of the high points of Environmental Forum events last Fall, and to let you know that Larry McKenna and Carl Hakansson are now joint coordinators of the Forum. I am on sabbatical this semester.

We had great student representation in all the Environmental Forum events last fall, with both the Green Team and the Wildlife Club starting ambitious new projects.  The following were part of the 400 ppm series of events (jointly sponsored by the Environmental Forum and the Physics and Earth Science Department):

-- Professor Stephanie Grey's graphic design class came up with several environment-themed logos, one of which was adopted by the Green Team for the upcoming Green Festival this spring.
-- Professor Marc Cote's illustration class came up with several posters on the theme of climate change.
-- Professor Keri Straka's ceramics class designed a number of nature-themed bowls.
-- There was a mini-exhibition of these works of art on December 4 at the last Environmental Forum meeting, which generated a lot of enthusiasm and several suggestions/requests for a wider art exhibition leading up to the Green Festival this April.
-- Dr. Jeremy Shakun, a paleoclimatologist, now at Boston College, gave a brilliant lecture about climate change and his crucial research.
-- Dr. Anamarija Frankic, a biologist from UMass Boston, gave a talk (co-sponsored by the Biology Department) about how biomimicry is inspiring design in the age of climate change, and about her own work on greening Boston Harbor.
-- Dr. Larry McKenna gave a talk at the Library in the Science series about misconceptions that people have regarding climate change.

I wish you all a wonderful semester! I will leave you with some climate-relevant links below.

Cold spells in the US don't disprove climate change:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/video/2014/01/08/polar-vortex-explained-2-minutes

On risk and decision making, in the context of climate change, in less than ten minutes:
http://www.upworthy.com/one-guy-with-a-marker-just-made-the-global-warming-debate-completely-obsolete-7

Leaked IPCC document urges quicker shift to non-carbon economy:
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jan/17/un-climate-report-carbon-economy

All the best,

Vandana Singh, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Physics and Earth Science

About the Environmental Forum

The Environmental Forum is an umbrella group on campus that brings together faculty, staff, and students interested in environmental efforts on campus and beyond. The Forum is a clearinghouse for all things environmental, from campus greening to events large and small. Along with academic departments, the Library, and student organizations such as the Green Team and the Environmental Science Club, we organize several environment-themed events in the fall and spring, culminating in the Green Festival on or around Earth Day in April. Our aim is to spread awareness of the interrelated, interdisciplinary issues that arise in the context of complex environmental issues today. Foremost among our concerns is climate change.

The Forum is a part of FSU’s Climate Action Plan, and is thus part of the effort to limit FSU’s carbon footprint. In the wake of the repeated failure of governments around the world to sign a meaningful, legally binding treaty on climate change, it is ever more important for institutions of higher learning, towns and communities to take the required action while continuing to pressure governments to act. The Environmental Forum represents a necessary part of that action—bringing awareness to the campus community, fostering discussion, and brainstorming new ideas.

The Environmental Forum meets about three times a semester, approximately once a month. For more information, please contact the Forum coordinators:

Dr. Lawrence McKenna
Physics and Earth Science Department
Email:  lmckenna1@framingham.edu

Dr. Carl Hakansson
Geography Department
Email:  chakansson@framingham.edu





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