“Natural History in the Age of Humans” 3/1

Kirk Johnson, the Sant Director of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, and formerly first curator of the Wesleyan museum, will be speaking on “Natural History in the Age of Humans” in Shanklin 107 on March 1st from 7:30-8:30pm, followed by a catered reception at Woodhead Lounge (Exley 184).

“Natural history museums represent a fundamental tool to understand and preserve Earth’s natural and cultural heritage. The public perception of museums as educational experiences masks their deeper value to human society as the creators and keepers of our knowledge of the natural and cultural world. With a rapidly growing world population, food insecurity, infectious diseases, and invasive species are problems that may find their solution in the genomics of biodiversity housed in museum collections. Minerals, meteorites, and fossils are the physical evidence of the planet’s history, climate, biological evolution, and resource base. In an increasingly digital era, museums are one of the last bastions of the real thing. “

Apply for a College of the Environment Internship (Deadline 2/19)

The College of the Environment offers internships for undergrad students to undertake research under the guidance of a Wesleyan faculty or other mentor during the Summer or Fall, 2018 and for the Spring, 2019.  The projects must relate to any of the broad themes covered by Environmental Studies and the College of the Environment. These internships are available to students across the entire University regardless of major or class-year.  The internships may be undertaken at Wesleyan or off-campus.

The summer internship will run from May 30, 2018 – July 27, 2018.  Internships are also available for Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 semesters.  Fall internships may extend into the spring semester but Spring internships must be completed in the spring semester.

The deadline for applications is due on or before Monday, February 19, 2018, 5pm, allowing us to announce internship candidates by Friday, March 9th, prior to spring break.

Please submit the applications online at www.wesleyan.edu/coe. Under the Wesleyan University Internships tab, select “2018-2019 Internship Application.” Complete and submit by the application due date.

The student application must include two short letters of recommendation.  In addition to recommending the student, the faculty mentor must briefly (1-2 paragraphs) explain the project, its importance and relevance to her/his research program.  Letters of recommendation must be delivered to Ms. Valerie Marinelli, Administrative Assistant, College of the Environment by email (pdf preferred) to vmarinelli@wesleyan.edu.

The applications, including statements by faculty, will be judged by the oversight and awards committee. Award decisions will be announced prior to spring break.

For further information, please contact Valerie Marinelli at (860) 685-3733.

Call for Submissions of Art/Performance on Disruption/Disaster

The College of the Environment Think Tank is inviting proposals for creative work on the theme of “Disaster” and the ways in which humans confront or survive disasters, to be shared with the public on Friday, March 2, 2018 in the Memorial Chapel as part of an event hosted by the COE Think Tank.

Below is the description of the themes we are working with.  Proposals can be submitted for the creation of new work, or for existing work.

We are able to offer $200 honoraria. In addition to sharing the work at the March 2 event, we will ask you to talk about your project in 8-10 minute presentation with time for audience to respond and ask questions.

Proposals are due by Thursday, February 1, midnight.

Submit to: Katja Kolcio – Kkolcio@wesleyan.edu

Selection will be determined by Tuesday, February 6. Work must be completed by Monday, February 26 and the event will take place Friday, March 2, afternoon-evening.

Please include:

Your full name
Wesleyan University Email Address
Your Wesleyan University P.O Box # (for payment purposes only)
Your Wesleyan University ID # (for payment purposes only)
Your class year and major(s) if you have declared.
Are you an international student? (for payment purposes only)
A 300 word (maximum) description of the work. A sample of the work or other relevant work if such exists.
A description of the format and technical requirements (Performance? Exhibit? Video? Music? Etc?)

THEME: FROM DISRUPTIONS TO DISASTERS: A LENS ON THE HUMAN-ENVIRONMENT RELATIONSHIP

Since its inception, the Earth has had a violent history of disruption and disasters.  Volcanic eruptions, transformations of the atmosphere, meteoritic collisions, mass extinctions, moving glaciers, plagues, disease, wars, politics and belief systems are but some of the perturbations, natural and otherwise, that disrupt the dynamic processes of the earth and all life that has lived on it. Natural and anthropogenic perturbations across a range of scales set the Earth, ecosystems and human communities onto different courses.  While disruptions and disasters have been an integral part of the history and evolution of the planet, the relationship between humans and their environment continues to evolve as perturbations shift in frequency, magnitude and type.  These perturbations arise from both non-anthropogenic  and anthropogenic  sources.  But there is also a growing human-environment interaction that leads to disruptions and disasters at a variety of scales.  While some of the anthropogenic factors depend upon technological advances (e.g., nuclear radiation) other factors are ancient (e.g., the use of fire to clear large areas for agricultural purposes, such as in Ukraine, Indonesia or South America).

Our current world offers a series of profound challenges to humanity.  We are pushing our world towards a tipping point of climate change by our changes to the carbon cycle and use of fossil fuels. The social-political-ethnic-religious theater of rivalries and conflict intensifies as the environmental stage rotates. The biochemical machinery of humans and the biological world is now constantly challenged by exposure to a bewildering array of microbes, chemical, and other disturbance agents—to which, humans and other Earth inhabitants must continually adapt. In all of this, the human-environment relationship is cyclical. Both parts of the relationship manifest change in the other setting up an ever changing dynamic.

The 2017-2018 College of the Environment Think Tank will focus upon how humanity will confront and take measure of the human-environment relationship from diverse perspectives of biochemistry, ecology, socio-political-religious, somatics, art, and embodiment.

Thank you,

2017-18 Think Tank Members

Katja Kolcio, Chair and Professor of Dance
Ishita Mukerji, Professor of Integrative Science and Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
Marguerite Nguyen, Assistant Professor of English and East Asian Studies
Eiko Otake, Menakka and Essel Bailey ’66 Distinguished Visiting Scholar in the College of the Environment
Helen Poulos, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Environment Studies

WasteNot Application is Open

Are you interested in collecting STUFF? And sorting and storing said stuff? Want to be part of a great team and help carry on one of Wesleyan’s greatest traditions? WANT TO STAY FOR SENIOR WEEK? Then apply to work for Waste Not! Waste Not! is Wesleyan’s student-run tag sale that happens at the beginning of every year! In the spring, you’ll be helping collect donations from students moving out, sorting and storing it for the summer so that the sale can go on without a hitch in the fall! You get to meet and work with a great group of students and stay on campus for senior week! If you’re interested, fill out this form: https://goo.gl/forms/fE3Cas0pYy8gQjhs1