2011-12 Presidential Events Series

Environmental Challenges, Sustainable Solutions

Click here to download the fall 2011 brochure

Ecology of a Cracker Childhood

Janisse RayThursday, September 8, 7:30 p.m., Fox Hall
Janisse Ray, writer, naturalist and environmental activist
Sponsored by the Florida Presbyterian/Eckerd College Class of 1968 Endowed Western Heritage in a Global Context Distinguished Visiting Professor Program

In Ecology of a Cracker Childhood, naturalist and environmental activist Janisse Ray introduces readers to the vast and diverse pinelands ecosystem that once covered most of Georgia and Florida. Through the autobiographical story of her childhood living in rural Georgia, Ms. Ray takes readers on her own personal journey of environmental awareness. The book was assigned as the summer 2011 reading for first-year students.

The Edible Peace Patch Garden: Transforming Communities in St. Petersburg

Kip CurtisTuesday, September 13, 7:30 p.m., Fox Hall
Kent "Kip" Curtis, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, Eckerd College
Part of the Center for Spiritual Life Burchenal Lecture Series

Starting as a cooperative effort between Eckerd College Environmental Studies and Lakewood Elementary School to grow an organic garden, The Edible Peace Patch Project is a new organization that will use sustainable urban agriculture and healthy eating as core activities in an effort to build social capital on the south side of St. Petersburg, Florida, and forge a new kind of interracial, interdenominational, social justice community.

ARCAS: Rescuing and Conserving Wildlife in Guatemala

Thursday, September 15, 7:30 p.m., Fox Hall
Alejandro Morales, Assistant Veterinarian and Director of Volunteers, ARCAS Petén Rescue Center
Sponsored by the Office of Service-Learning and the Biology discipline

ARCAS was formed in 1989 to build a rescue center to care for and rehabilitate wild animals that were being confiscated on the black market by the Guatemalan government. The facility receives between 300 and 600 animals of more than 40 species per year. Dr. Morales will discuss impacts of habitat loss and illegal traffic of wildlife, what can be done to conserve natural environments in Latin America, and the impact of volunteer work on and off site.

God in the Wilderness: Rediscovering the Spirituality of the Great Outdoors

Jamie KorngoldTuesday, September 20, 7:30 p.m., Fox Hall
Rabbi Jamie S. Korngold, The Adventure Rabbi
Part of the Center for Spiritual Life Burchenal Lecture Series

Rabbi Jamie S. Korngold serves as the spiritual leader of the Adventure Rabbi Program in Boulder, Colorado. A Reform rabbi ordained by Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion, Rabbi Korngold also received her Master's degree in Hebrew Letters. She is the author of the bestselling books, God in the Wilderness and The God Upgrade. Rabbi Korngold's resume includes experiences as a congregational rabbi in Canada, a street musician in Japan, an Emergency Medical Technician, and an Outward Bound Guide.

Heaven is Under Our Feet: Adventures of a Florida Writer

Thursday, September 22, 7:30 p.m., Fox Hall
Jeff Klinkenberg, Staff Writer for the St. Petersburg Times
Sponsored by the Foundations Collegium

Jeff Klinkenberg writes about Florida culture for the St. Petersburg Times. He is the author of Land of Flowers, Seasons of Real Florida and Pilgrim in the Land of Alligators.

Some Things about the Gulf Stream and Sargasso Sea

Tuesday, September 27, 6:30 p.m., Galbraith Auditorium 110
John C. Ferguson, Professor Emeritus of Biology and Marine Science, Eckerd College
Sponsored by the Eckerd College Sigma Xi Chapter

The Gulf Stream and the Sargasso Sea beyond it are the predominant features of the ocean off the east coast of Florida and the southeastern states. Their unique properties have affected our history, navigation, fisheries, climate, and many other concerns. Dr. Ferguson will briefly describe the properties of these waters – what they are, where they are, and why they are. Then, drawing on his experience as a sailor, teacher, and marine scientist, he will discuss several specific features that he found curious.

Resisting Climate Reality

Bill McKibbenWednesday, October 12, 7:30 p.m., Fox Hall
Bill McKibben, author, educator and environmentalist
Sponsored by the St. Petersburg Times Fund

Bill McKibben frequently writes about global warming and alternative energy and advocates for more localized economies. In 2010 the Boston Globe called him "probably the nation's leading environmentalist" and TIME magazine described him as "the world's best green journalist." In 2009 he led the organization of 350.org, which coordinated what Foreign Policy magazine called "the largest ever global coordinated rally of any kind," with 5,200 simultaneous demonstrations in 181 countries. His bestselling book, Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet, has been incorporated into Eckerd's senior level capstone course, Quest for Meaning.

Social structure in Brazilian dolphins (Guiana dolphins – Sotalia guianensis) and Amazon River dolphins – (Inia geoffrensis): Quantitative analysis and conservation implications

Shannon GowansThursday, October 13, 7 p.m., Miller Auditorium
Shannon Gowans, Assistant Professor of Biology and Marine Science, Eckerd College
Sponsored by the Eckerd College Sigma Xi Chapter

Effective conservation of marine mammals (including freshwater dolphins) often depends on an understanding of social organization. How do males and females relate? What is involved in successfully rearing a calf? Using data gathered while she was in Brazil in July 2011, Professor Gowans will discuss how quantitative analysis of social organization can improve our ability to effectively conserve marine mammals in Brazil, including marine tucuxi and Amazon River dolphins.

Leaving Eckerd to Change the World

Craig Altemose '06Tuesday, October 18, 7:30 p.m., Fox Hall
Craig Altemose '06, Founder and Executive Director, Better Future Project
Sponsored by the Eckerd College Organization of Students (ECOS)

Eckerd alumnus Craig Altemose '06 will talk about his journey from Eckerd College to Harvard University, where he entered into and helped lead the student climate movement. Altemose will talk about his efforts in the movement, and why he turned down opportunities to earn a high-paying law firm salary to instead scrape by on a living wage and start his own non-profit, Better Future Project, to help build a movement to end the burning of fossil fuels.

The Future of Plants

Sir Peter CraneThursday, October 20, 7 p.m., Fox Hall
Sir Peter Crane, Carl W. Knobloch, Jr. Dean of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Professor of Botany
Sponsored by the Eckerd College Phi Beta Kappa chapter, Zeta of Florida

Plants are indispensable to human survival and provide us with food, medicines, and a variety of raw materials. Plants are also important regulators of ecological processes at global to local scales. Dean Crane will explore the current status of plant diversity and consider some of the challenges in conserving and managing plants in sustainable ways for human benefit.

The Gulf of Mexico - Where We Are and Where We Are Going

Wednesday, November 9, 4 p.m., Lewis House
Cathy Tortorici, Gulf of Mexico Regional Ecosystem Program Director, U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA Fisheries Service, Southeast Region
Part of the Academy of Senior Professionals (ASPEC) Public Forum Series

Dr. Tortorici has worked for the Environmental Protection Agency and NOAA Fisheries (National Marine Fisheries Service) for more than 20 years. While at EPA, she worked as the Missouri River coordinator on water resource/Big River issues. She has also addressed restoration, regulatory, research and monitoring activities of coastal systems at the local and regional scale as the Branch Chief of the Oregon Coast/Lower Columbia River Branch. Dr. Tortorici’s presentation will provide an overview of the ecology of the Gulf of Mexico and current efforts to conserve and protect this important ecosystem following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Using Social Marketing for International Biodiversity Conservation

Tuesday, November 15, 7:30 p.m., Miller Auditorium
Kate Mannle, Program Development Manager for RARE
Sponsored by the Environmental Studies discipline

Conservationists must become as skilled in social change as well as science and as committed to community-based solutions as national and international policymaking. RARE and its partners have been testing and refining an innovative method for social change that is helping fill this need. It's called a "Pride" campaign, so named because it inspires people to take pride in the species and habitats that make their communities unique, while also giving them real alternatives and incentives to change environmentally destructive behaviors.

Moving the Planet Forward: How citizens can use media to drive the debate on climate change and sustainability

Frank SesnoWednesday, November 30, 7:30 p.m., Fox Hall
Frank Sesno, Director, School of Media and Public Affairs, The George Washington University; host and creator of "Planet Forward"
Sponsored by Eckerd College Organization of Students (ECOS)

Frank Sesno is an internationally recognized journalist with over 30 years of experience reporting from around the world. Well known as a former anchor, White House correspondent and interview host with CNN, he is also a nationally-renowned moderator, engaging some of the world's leading personalities, including five American presidents. His latest initiative is "Planet Forward," a user-driven web site and Public Broadcasting TV program that focuses on energy and global environmental issues.

All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise indicated. For more information about Eckerd College events, please call 727.864.7979 or visit www.eckerd.edu/events.