Presidential Events Series

Environmental Challenges, Sustainable Solutions

Visit the Fall 2011 archive.

The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line between Christianity and Islam

Thursday, February 16, 7:30 pm, Fox Hall
Eliza Griswold, Investigative Journalist and Poet

Eliza GriswoldAward-winning investigative journalist and poet Eliza Griswold spent seven years traveling between the equator and the tenth parallel: in Nigeria, the Sudan, Somalia, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. More than half of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims live along the tenth parallel, so do 60 percent of the world's 2 billion Christians. In her book The Tenth Parallel, Ms. Griswold shows us that religious conflicts are also conflicts about land, water, oil and other natural resources, and that local and tribal issues are often shaped by religious ideas. She will speak to the Eckerd community about the people she wrote about, and how one's sense of God is shaped by one's place on earth. Along the tenth parallel, faith is geographic and demographic.

Part of the Col. Christian L. and Edna March International Relations Lecture Series, Center for Spiritual Life Burchenal Lecture Series and the College Program Series

Nature Cure and Ecology: The Affective Politics of Intimate Nationalism

Thursday, February 23, 7 pm, Fox Hall
Joseph Alter, Chair of Anthropology and UCIS Professor, University of Pittsburgh

Although it was invented in Germany in the 19th century, Nature Cure, as a distinct system of medicine, is institutionalized and professionalized in India, where it is now more popular and pervasive than almost anywhere else in the world. This is very odd considering India is the cultural home of one of the world's most popular forms of alternative, holistic therapy—Ayurveda. So what does Nature Cure have to offer that Ayurveda does not? The question itself, and the apparent redundancy it bespeaks, highlights some interesting problems in the study of colonialism, power and the body. Dr. Alter will address the nature of ecology in relation to health, and the connection between the embodiment of ecology and the affective politics of intimate nationalism.

Sponsored by the Eckerd College Organization of Students (ECOS)

It's All About Jobs

Monday, March 5, 7 pm, Miller Auditorium
Josh Kellam, President of the Citizens for Clean Energy; Justin Sobol and Buck Martinez, Florida Power & Light; Rich Paul-Hus, Hypower; Evan Bollier, Sustainability Fellow, Eckerd College; and David Hastings, Associate Professor of Marine Science and Chemistry, Eckerd College

This presentation will communicate the importance and economic potential of a renewable energy industry in Florida and the impact on students seeking employment after graduation. The panel discussion, with experts from renewable energy companies along with educators and others, will include a question and answer period.

The event is sponsored by Citizens for Clean Energy, which is a coalition of leaders, organizations and concerned Americans committed to supporting education and public policy changes that advance clean energy jobs and technologies to improve our economy, energy security and environment.

Combining Biodiversity Research and Conservation with Sustainable Development in Gabon and Peru

Monday, March 12, 7:30 pm, Miller Auditorium
Francisco Dallmeier, Head of the Center for Conservation Education and Sustainability, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute

Francisco DallmeierFor more than 15 years, the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute has been leading biodiversity research and conservation programs associated with energy development in Peru and Gabon. The programs work with local professionals in science-related careers as well as undergraduate students. Dr. Dallmeier will describe the Gabon Biodiversity Program located in the Gamba Complex of Gabon that has the largest oil exploration and development area in Gabon, two national parks and high biodiversity, including many species of conservation concern such as elephants, gorillas and sea turtles.

Sponsored by the Environmental Studies discipline

The Global Transition Movement: Innovative Local Responses to Peak Oil and Climate Disruption

Tuesday, April 3, 7:30 pm, Miller Auditorium
Steven Chase, Director of Advocacy for Social Justice and Sustainability, Antioch University New England

Steven ChaseThe international Transition Movement is a vibrant grassroots initiative that seeks to build community resilience in the face of such challenges as peak oil, climate change and the economic crisis. The Movement represents one of the most promising ways of engaging local communities in a fun, visionary and participatory process of community redevelopment. Dr. Chase will address the Movement's vision that all communities in the world will engage their collective creativity to help unleash an extraordinary and historic transition to a future beyond fossil fuels; to a more vibrant, abundant and resilient local economy, which includes an expansion of local, sustainable agriculture; and to a renewed cultural way of life that is ultimately preferable to the present mass consumer society.

Sponsored by the Environmental Studies discipline

Chemical Tracking, Ecologic Impact and Geologic Fate of Oil Released During the Deepwater Horizon Blowout in the Northern Gulf of Mexico

Thursday, April 26, 6 pm, Galbraith Auditorium
David Hollander, College of Marine Science, University of South Florida

David HollanderChemical Oceanographer David Hollander of the College of Marine Science, University of South Florida, is studying the effects of the Deepwater Horizon Blowout, one of the worst oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico. He and his colleagues are determining how the Gulf of Mexico is recuperating and how marine life is adapting. Dr. Hollander led a USF research group that developed a "chemical fingerprint" of the oil found after the Deepwater Horizon disaster, identifying the oil as coming from BP and debunking company claims that it was naturally occurring.

Sponsored by Eckerd College Sigma Xi Chapter

All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise indicated. For more information about Eckerd College events, please contact 727-864-7979 or or visit

2012 Visions of Nature/Voices of Nature Environmental Film Festival

February 17 - 25, Miller Auditorium
All showings are at 7 pm, except Sunday, February 19, which is at 2 pm.
Screenings are free and open to the public.

For 14 years, the Visions of Nature/Voices of Nature Environmental Film Festival has brought compelling and important films to the Tampa Bay area and the Eckerd College community to raise awareness and promote discussion of matters relating to nature, place and the environment. Film scholars and filmmakers from around the world engage the audience in a lively dialogue about the environmental perspectives contained in documentary, animated, experimental and feature films.

The Environmental Film Festival is organized by Nathan Andersen, associate professor of philosophy, and Catherine Griggs, program coordinator and associate professor of American studies. Major support is provided by the Phoenix Venture Philanthropy Foundation.

Friday, February 17, 7 pm
Animal Endurance: The Turin Horse
Directors Bela Tarr and Agnes Hranitzky (Hungary/France/Germany, Switzerland/USA, Hungarian with English subtitles, 146m, 2011). Hungary's contender for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar and 2011 Berlinale Jury Grand and Fipresci prizes, this film addresses crude oil, radical environmental groups, light pollution and urban agriculture in the back of a truck. This presentation is offered in collaboration with the Eckerd College International Cinema series and will be introduced by Nathan Andersen, professor of philosophy and film studies at Eckerd College, program director of International Cinema and co-director of Visions of Nature/Voices of Nature Environmental Film Festival.

Saturday, February 18, 7 pm
The Politics of Oil: Crude
Director/Producer/Executive Producer/Cinematographer Joe Berlinger (USA, 105m, 2009). The film Crude will be introduced by Peter Maass, award-winning author and journalist, whose most recent book is Crude World: The Violent Twilight of Oil.

Sunday, February 19, 2 pm
"Protecting Mother Earth"
A series of short films organized by the Film and Video Center, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, in New York, and presented by the Center's director, Elizabeth Weatherford. The following films will be screened: Mother Earth in Crisis (USA, 12m, 2011); The Rights of Mother Earth/Los Derechos de la Pachamama (Peru, 20m, 2010); Elderly Words: Who's Threatening the Water? (Columbia, 7m, 2009); Yukon Circles (Cook Islands, 30m, 2006); and Sisa Ñambi (Ecuador, 25m, 2010).

Monday, February 20, 7 pm
Debts to Nature and Society: Payback
Director Jennifer Baichwal (USA, 86m, 2012). The film will be introduced by Dr. James Deutsch, a program curator at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and an adjunct professor of American studies at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Tuesday, February 21, 7 pm
Environmental Activism after 9/11: If a Tree Falls
Directors Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman (USA, 85m, 2011). The film will be introduced by Eckerd College alumna Darden Rice '00. Rice has more than a decade of experience working for the public interest and progressive political campaigns. Most recently, she was the Florida program director for the Gulf Restoration Network and is currently president of the St. Petersburg League of Women Voters.

Wednesday, February 22, 7 pm
The Importance of the Night Sky: The City Dark
Director Ian Cheney (USA, 84m, 2011). The film will be introduced by writer, producer, director and editor Ian Cheney.

Thursday, February 23, 7 pm
Taking Urban Agriculture on the Road: Truck Farm
Director Ian Cheney (USA, 48m, 2011). The film will be introduced by Kip Curtis, assistant professor of environmental studies, and the Eckerd College organic gardeners.

Friday, February 24, 7 pm
Ethnomusicology and Ecology in Africa: OKA!
Director Lavinia Currier (USA and Central African Republic, 106m, 2011). The film will be introduced by Catherine J. Allen, professor of anthropology at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Allen is a sociocultural anthropologist interested in expressive culture and performance.

Saturday, February 25, 7 pm
Aldo Leopold and the Land Ethic: Green Fire
Director Curt Meine, Narrated by Peter Coyote (USA, 2011)