Ohio Wesleyan to Explore Global Impact of Climate Change

2013 Sagan National Colloquium to Feature Art Exhibit, Lectures, National Book Award-Winning Author
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Barry Lopez, National Book Award-winning author of ‘Arctic Dreams,’ will discuss his exploration of life in the Canadian far north during this year’s Sagan National Colloquium at Ohio Wesleyan University. Each year, the colloquium examines an issue of international importance. (Photo courtesy of Barry Lopez)

Barry Lopez, National Book Award-winning author of ‘Arctic Dreams,’ will discuss ‘The Writer and Social Responsibility’ during this year’s Sagan National Colloquium at Ohio Wesleyan University. Each year, the colloquium examines an issue of international importance. (Photo courtesy of Barry Lopez)

DELAWARE, OH – Ohio Wesleyan University’s 29th annual Sagan National Colloquium will explore the global impact of climate change. The semester-long series begins Sept. 12 with acclaimed photographer Caleb Cain Marcus discussing “A Portrait of Ice,” his exploration of glaciers, and includes a presentation by Barry Lopez, award-winning author of “Arctic Dreams.”

“Climate change has the potential to profoundly impact human activity and well-being on a wide range of temporal and spatial scales through, for example, its effect on international politics, global markets, agricultural productivity, and natural resources,” said Craig Jackson, Ph.D., an Ohio Wesleyan associate professor of mathematics and computer science. Jackson is co-director of the 2013 colloquium, “Interdisciplinary Impacts of Climate Change,” with Laurel Anderson, Ph.D., professor of botany-microbiology.

“Even the way in which we conceive of our relationship with the earth, both individually and as a species, is undergoing revision in the wake of the dramatic and accelerating climate change we have experienced over that past several decades,” Jackson continued. “The 2013 Sagan National Colloquium brings together nationally and internationally recognized artists, writers, and scholars from many diverse fields to offer the OWU community a wide array of experiences, perspectives, and expertise in order to encourage a broad conversation on this important topic.”

Co-director Anderson added, “We hope people will come away from these lectures with a sense of how addressing climate change will require collaboration and communication across disciplines, cultures, and political boundaries.”

All 2013 Sagan National Colloquium presentations will begin at 7 p.m. and are free and open to the public. Unless otherwise noted, all events will be held in the Benes Rooms of Ohio Wesleyan’s Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave., Delaware. Many presentations will be streamed online. For the latest streaming schedule, visit StreamOWU. Presentations currently scheduled for the colloquium are:

Sept. 12Caleb Cain Marcus, acclaimed New York-based photographer, discussing “A Portrait of Ice,” in Phillips Auditorium, 50 S. Henry St., Delaware. An exhibition of Marcus’s glacial photographs also will be on display from Aug. 22 to Oct. 6 at OWU’s Richard M. Ross Art Museum, 60 S. Sandusky St., Delaware, where an artist reception will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 12. Marcus has dedicated himself to the poetic search for the balance among city, nature, man, and the invisible. He also is the author of “The Silent Aftermath of Space,” an exploration of the “silent and haunting experience” of walking alone after dark in New York City.

Sept. 26Michael Dorsey, Ph.D., visiting fellow and professor of environmental studies in the College of the Environment at Wesleyan University, discussing climate and environmental justice. He will speak in Gray Chapel in University Hall, 61 S. Sandusky St., Delaware. Dorsey’s work focuses on global environmental governance and sustainability, including how multilateral finance instruments impact climate and biodiversity policy. His articles have appeared in many publications including Nature, Journal of the North American Congress on Latin America, and Los Angeles Times.

Oct. 2Barry Lopez, National Book Award-winning author of “Arctic Dreams,” discussing “The Writer and Social Responsibility.” Lopez also is the author of “About This Life” and “Of Wolves and Men,” a National Book Award finalist. A former landscape photographer now living in western Oregon, Lopez has been described as “a naturalist with the poetic sensitivity and philosophical disposition of a Thoreau.” His recent work includes “Light Action in the Caribbean,” a collection of stories, and “Resistance,” a response to the recent ideological changes in American society. His books and magazine contributions reflect a life of travel and cultural inquiry that has taken him to nearly 70 countries.

Oct. 8Robert Stavins, Ph.D., of Harvard University, discussing “An Economic Perspective on Climate Change Policy.” At Harvard, he is the Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government, director of the Harvard Environmental Economics Program, director of graduate studies for the doctoral program in public policy and the doctoral program in political economy and government, co-chair of the Harvard Business School – Kennedy School joint degree programs, and director of the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements. His work has appeared in 100 articles in academic journals and popular periodicals, and several books.

Oct. 22Michael Mann, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Meteorology at Penn State University, discussing “The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars.” His research uses theoretical models and observational data to better understand Earth’s climate system. At Penn State, he has joint appointments in the Department of Geosciences and the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute. He also serves as director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center. His books include “Dire Predictions: Understanding Global Warming in 2008” and “The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines in 2012.” He also is a co-founder and contributor to the award-winning science website Real Climate.org.

Oct. 24 – Environmental ethics and theology panel discussion with Christiana Peppard, Madeline Ostrander, and Sachie Hopkins-Hayakawa. Peppard, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of theology, science, and ethics in the Department of Theology and affiliated faculty in the Environmental Policy Program and the Program in American Studies at Fordham University. Her expertise is freshwater ethics in an era of global resource scarcity and climate change. Ostrander is the creator of Tide at the Doorstep, a project focused on place-based stories about climate change and social justice. Ostrander also is a contributing editor to Yes! Magazine, where she has worked on major features and themed issues covering health, social justice, and activism. In 2012, she received a grant from the Fund for Investigative Journalism to report on climate change in California. Hopkins-Hayakawa has worked as a student-activist to encourage colleges to divest from fossil fuel companies. She is a former summer intern for YES! Magazine.

Oct. 29Alexander Thompson, Ph.D., associate professor of political science and faculty associate of the Mershon Center for International Security Studies at The Ohio State University, discussing “The Evolution of the Global Climate Change Regime.” His research focuses on the design and evolution of international institutions governing climate change. His book “Channels of Power: The UN Security Council and U.S. Statecraft in Iraq” earned the International Studies Association’s Chadwick Alger Prize and the J. David Singer Book Award. He has published in journals including International Organization, International Studies Quarterly, the Journal of Conflict Resolution, and the Journal of Legal Studies.

Nov. 5Mary Lou Zeeman, Ph.D., the R. Wells Johnson Professor of Mathematics at Bowdoin College, discussing mathematical modeling of climate. She also is co-director of the Math Climate Research Network, an organization of leading researchers in mathematics and geosciences seeking to establish a new area of applied mathematics tailored to climate research. Her personal research interests include geometric dynamical systems, mathematical biology, population dynamics, neuroendocrinology and hormone oscillations, hypothalamus-pituitary interactions, climate modeling, and sustainability.

Nov. 7 – David Schimel, Ph.D., research scientist for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, discussing climate change and the biosphere. Schimel was convening lead author for the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former Vice President Al Gore for “their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.”

Nov. 12Lonnie Thompson, Ph.D., Distinguished University Professor in the School of Earth Sciences and a research scientist in the Byrd Polar Research Center at The Ohio State University, discussing ice core paleoclimatology. He and the OSU team have developed light-weight, solar-powered drilling equipment to acquire histories from ice fields in the tropical South American Andes, the Himalayas, and on Kilimanjaro. These paleoclimate histories have advanced the understanding of the coupled nature of the Earth’s climate system. He has published more than 185 peer-reviewed articles, led more than 54 field programs, and received funding from the National Science Foundation, the National Ocean and Atmospheric Association, and NASA.

Nov. 14Anthony Leiserowitz, Ph.D., director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and research scientist at the Yale University School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, discussing “Climate Change in the Ohioan Mind.” His research investigates the psychological, cultural, and political factors that influence environmental attitudes, policy support, and behavior. He conducted the first study of worldwide public values, attitudes, and behaviors regarding sustainability, including environmental protection, economic prosperity, and human development. He has served as a consultant to the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, the United Nations Development Program, the Gallup World Poll, and the World Economic Forum.

Nov. 19Marshall Shepherd, Ph.D., director of the Atmospheric Sciences program at the University of Georgia, discussing atmospheric science and urban climate. He conducts research on weather and climate systems using advanced satellites, experimental aircraft, radars, and sophisticated computer models.  He seeks to understand weather processes – including thunderstorms, hurricanes, and rainfall – and atmospheric processes in order to relate them to current weather and climate change. He previously spent 12 years as a research meteorologist in the Earth-Sun Division at NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center.

Nov. 21Anne Cohen, Ph.D., tenured associate scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, discussing ocean acidification and coral reefs. Cohen’s additional research interests include climate change, biomineralization (marine organisms building calcified structures), and paleoceanography, as described in more than 40 scientific publications. She is involved with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Center for Ocean Solutions, and the National Network for Oceans and Climate Change Interpretation.

About the Sagan National Colloquium
Each year, Ohio Wesleyan’s Sagan National Colloquium addresses an issue of international importance. It is funded through an endowment from the late Margaret (Pickett) Sagan and the late John Sagan, both members of the OWU Class of 1948. Past Colloquium speakers have included social activist Gloria Steinem, authors Barbara Ehrenreich and Kurt Vonnegut, Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams, and former President Gerald Ford.


About Ohio Wesleyan University

Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier small, private universities, with more than 90 undergraduate majors, sequences, and courses of study, and 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Located in Delaware, Ohio, just minutes north of Ohio’s capital and largest city, Columbus, the university combines a globally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities that translate classroom theory into real-world practice. OWU’s close-knit community of 1,850 students represents 47 states and 57 countries. Ohio Wesleyan was named to the 2012 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” and is included on the “best colleges” lists of U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Learn more at www.owu.edu.

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