By SAMANTHA GRISWOLD
managing editor, news
Gannon University’s College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (CHESS) is keeping with its yearlong theme of academic lectures and happenings centering on issues in culture and climate change with a myriad of events taking place during the spring semester.
Throughout the semester, a display called “Catching Climate Change: A Reality Check” will be available for the Gannon community to explore and expand its knowledge on the topic and how it affects people. The display was created by the honors sociology class taught by Richard Moodey, Ph.D., and is open weekdays from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
E. Rebecca Patton, who holds a master’s degree in education and works climate consideration integration for the Department of Defense, will hold a talk Thursday titled “Climate Change and the Department of Defense,” at 7 p.m. in the Yehl Ballroom and will focus on the DOD’s directive “Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience.”
The directive points out that current and future operations to address the impacts of climate change must be adapted in order to keep a strong military. Patton will go into more detail on what the DOD is doing to combat climate change and why it cares about its effects.
Katelyn Gourley, a sophomore criminal justice and information systems major, said that she thinks climate change is one of the most important issues facing humans.
“Anyone who disbelieves climate change should come to Erie,” Gourley said. “The snowiest city in the U.S. is currently 60 degrees. It’s gross and unnatural weather for January.”
Gourley also said she is very interested in going to the DOD climate talk because it pertains to her major.
February’s event lineup begins with “Conservation in a Changing Climate – What Does the Future Hold for Our Wild Things and Wild Places?” which will be given by Greg Czarnecki, the executive director for Pennsylvania’s Wild Resources Conservation Program at 7 p.m. Feb. 15 in the Yehl Ballroom.
The talk will focus on how climate change impacts native species and forests and the challenges and opportunities environmentalists face in helping to ensure their survival.
“Cha[lle]nges: Understanding and Pursuing Transformation and Renewal Across the Disciplines” will take place from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Feb. 18 as the spring CHESS humanities conference. Students and faculty from Gannon will hold performances, presentations and panel discussions centered on the theme of “transformation and renewal.”
Sherri Mason, Ph.D., chair of the department of geology and environmental sciences at SUNY Fredonia, will hold a seminar called “The Perils of Plastic,” at 7 p.m. March 14 in Room 104 of the Zurn Science Center. The seminar will focus on her research on freshwater plastic pollution, in the Great Lakes, their tributaries and food web.
Geoff Grundy, Ph.D., and John Vohlidka, Ph.D., will hold a talk titled “You’re Hot Then You’re Cold: Climate Change, Crusades and Witch Burning in Europe” that will focus on the little ice age and its relationship to witch burnings in Europe during the 12th century.
The culture and climate change event lineup will end with the 40th annual English Awards Night, which will take place at 7:30 p.m. April 5 in the Yehl Ballroom. The ceremony will honor winners of Gannon’s high school poetry contest and university poetry, journalism and research writing contests.
The awards night will also feature Ross Gay, a poet who won the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award, the Balcones Poetry Prize and the NAACP Image Award.
All of the events included in the “Culture and Climate Change” series are free and open to the public.