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Ben Hellerstein on Getting Massachusetts to 100% Renewable

Ben Hellerstein, the state director of Environment Massachusetts, gave a log lunch talk on the progress MA has made on clean energy and what’s left to do. Growing up in Westchester, NY, Ben reminisces on the glory of vacationing in the mountains and a consequent love of nature. He went to Carlton College, working on

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Profs. Nicolas Howe and John Kleiner on the Controversial Subject of Carbon Offsets

Professors Nicolas Howe and John Kleiner, both part of the Campus Environmental Advocacy Committee, gave an informative log lunch talk about carbon offsets and what the College is doing to decrease them. Though both professors definitely slipped in hints of their personal opinions on the topic, they also conveyed essential information on the moves the

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Bill Vitek: A Farmer and a Philosopher Walk into a Field…

Bill Vitek, former Williams visiting professor and current professor at Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY, gave a Log Lunch talk on Friday about the intersections of philosophy and the earth. He introduced a concept called the “New Perennials” which sounds similar to the word “millennial.” This is rather intentional, as Professor Vitek explicated the novel

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James Carlton on the Relationship Between Tsunamis and Climate Change

Tom VanWinkle calls Dr. Jim Carlton, the director of Williams-Mystic, the “world’s most renowned marine ecologist.” Dr. Carlton certainly knows a lot about tropical storms and climate change. Specifically, his Log Lunch talk was about the greatest Japanese earthquake, which occurred on March 11, 2011, in which 1,000 ocean vessels were lost. Carlton showed a

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Laura Marx on Forests and Climate Change

Laura Marx of the Nature Conservancy gave a talk at the last Log Lunch on how climate change has implications for forests. Severe weather, increased droughts, storms, and altered temperatures are changes in the environment that trees are used to. “Climate change means more energy is entering the atmosphere on earth. More energy = more

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Jessica Leibler on the animal-human interface

Jessica Leibler of the Department of Environmental Health at Boston University’s School of Public Health gave a talk at Log Lunch about her research on animals, humans, and the diseases they carry. She is currently researching three things: zoonotic–animal to human, that is–disease transmission, infectious diseases associated with urban homelessness, and the epidemic of chronic

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Molly Case on SOIL in Haiti

Molly Case, deputy development director of Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL), gave a log lunch talk on this NGO’s work in Haiti tackling the sanitation crisis triggered by the 2010 earthquake. The worst cholera outbreak in recent history bolstered a need for better sanitation–few have flush toilets, if any toilet at all. Most dump their excrement

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America’s Vanishing Coastline: Climate Adaptation and Decision-Making in Southern Louisiana

At the first Log Lunch of the spring semester, Katy Hall, associate professor at Williams-Mystic, and Natalie DiNenno ’18 presented “America’s Vanishing Coastline: Climate Adaptation and Decision-Making in Southern Louisiana.” The presentation was adapted from research DiNenno conducted for Hall’s marine policy class when she attended Williams-Mystic in spring 2017. In the talk, Hall and

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David McGowan on the Role of Land Conservation in the Age of Changing Lands

David McGowan, director of the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation, gave a Log Lunch talk about how he got into land conservation and why it’s important that lands continue to be conserved. The Michigan native talked about some of his favorite, most beautiful places in Massachusetts, including Race Point Beach in Provincetown, where one can see

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Log Lunch: “Berkshire Rattlesnakes: The Most Endangered Vertebrates in New England”

The last Log Lunch of Winter Study featured Tom Tyning— Professor of Environmental Science at Berkshire Community College—who discussed New England’s most endangered vertebrate: the Timber Rattlesnake. This rare reptile is found in the eastern portion of North America, though it has now been extirpated completely from many states due to deforestation and subsequent habitat

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