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Talk – Sustainability on the Front Lines of Climate Change
January 29 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm| Free
Sustainability on the Front Lines of Climate Change: Inside a UMaine Travel Study Course
Brandon Lieberthal, Postdoctoral Researcher, Civil and Environmental Engineering, UMaine
Allison Gardner, Assistant Professor, Biology & Ecology, UMaine
A complex dual relationship exists between climate change and sustainable development. Through its detrimental effects on food security, fresh water access, and human and environmental health, climate change weakens the basis for social and economic development. Meanwhile, misplaced societal priorities regarding sustainable development influence greenhouse gas emissions and exacerbate the conditions leading to socioeconomic vulnerability. The scientific solutions to these intractable problems lie in interdisciplinary research efforts. This seminar highlights a University of Maine travel study course that uses the subtropical island ecosystem of Eleuthera, The Bahamas, as a case study to examine the nexus between sustainability and climate change. In the on-campus and travel portions of the course, students explored social and cultural dimensions of sustainability and STEM innovations to promote sustainability in a developing country under stress due to global climate change. Students and instructors will discuss the challenges of sustainable living based on their experiences visiting the Cape Eleuthera Institute and present results of field projects conducted in The Bahamas.
Brandon Lieberthal is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Maine. Brandon works with the SEANET program, studying the interactions between tides, currents, and water quality for the benefit of Maine’s aquaculture industry. His goal is to promote sustainable, ecofriendly economic growth that serves local communities. He completed his PhD at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 2015.
Allison Gardner is an Assistant Professor in the School of Biology and Ecology at the University of Maine. Her entomology research focuses on the ecology and dynamics of arthropod-borne disease, including mosquito-borne viruses in the Caribbean and tick-borne pathogens in Maine. She completed her PhD at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 2016.
The speakers also include students who participated in BIO 387/GEE 398: Sustainability on the Front Lines of Climate Change in Fall 2017 and traveled to the Bahamas in January 2018.