Global Warming Topic of Schumann Symposium
When it comes to global warming, where on earth
are we going?
That is the question scholars hope to answer during the 3rd Annual Robert
Schumann Environmental Studies Symposium titled: “Where on Earth Are We
Going? Global Climate Change and Vulnerabilities: A Perspective for the
The event is open to the public and takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Nov. 11 at Exley Science Center Room 150.
“Given the trend of global warming, we need to think about these issues and
prepare for them and adapt,” says Barry Chernoff, the Robert Schumann
Professor of Environmental Studies and event coordinator. “
The symposium will begin with a welcome message by Wesleyan President
Douglas Bennet and a perspective by Sally Smyth '07.
Four internationally-recognized speakers will conduct presentations at the
symposium and answer audience questions.
“The speakers will be addressing everything from food and energy to extreme
weather to human health to global interactions,” Chernoff says. “Global
warming affects not only the sea level but human health. Hopefully this will
make a big difference to all of us and change how the way we act as a
“Failed and Failing States: A Growing Threat to Social Stability and Economic
Progress” will be presented by Lester Brown, president of Earth Policy
Institute, a nonprofit, interdisciplinary research organization based in
Washington, DC. Brown has authored or coauthored 50 books and is the
recipient of many awards, including 23 honorary degrees, a MacArthur
Fellowship, the 1987 United Nations’ Environment Prize and the Borgström
Prize by the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry, and has been
appointed an honorary professor of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
“Healthy People 2100: Climate Change and Human Health” will be presented by
Kristie Ebi, an independent consultant based in Alexandria, Va. Ebi is an
epidemiologist who has worked in the field of global climate change for 10
years. Her research focuses on potential impacts of climate variability and
change, including impacts associated with extreme events, thermal stress,
food-borne diseases, and vector-borne diseases, and on the design of
adaptation response options to reduce current and projected future negative
impacts. Her scientific training includes a master’s degree in toxicology
and a Ph.D. and MPH in epidemiology.
“Global Climate Change and Hurricanes” will be presented by Judith Curry,
professor and chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the
Georgia Institute of Technology. Curry received a Ph.D. in atmospheric
science from the University of Chicago and currently serves on the National
Academies Climate Research Committee and the Space Studies Board, and the
NOAA Climate Working Group. She has published over 130 refereed journal
articles. Curry is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society and the
American Geophysical Union. She is a recipient of the Henry Houghton Award
from the American Meteorological Society.
“Apocalypse Now or Brave New World? Two Scenarios for Social and Cultural
Responses to Global Warming” will be presented by Alaka Wali, curator and
director at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. Wali has a Ph.D.
in anthropology from Columbia University. She is responsible for
coordinating a range of programs designed to enhance interdisciplinary work
at the museum, strengthening public programming on cultural issues and
promoting efforts to link the museum closer to the Chicago community. She is
the author of two books, several monographs and over 30 articles.
John Hall, from the Jonah Center for Earth and Art, will have concluding
Chernoff anticipates an audience of more than 400 people, including college
and high school students who are bussed in for the event. Audio tapes from
last year’s symposium were donated to five area high schools and implemented
into their curriculum.
“We invite Wesleyan students, faculty and staff, but we encourage the local
community to come and ask questions and meet the speakers,” Chernoff says.
“This is an opportunity to meet these scholars and learn from them first
“Where on Earth Are We Going” is sponsored by the Robert Schumann Fund for
Wesleyan’s Environmental Studies Program. Funding for the Environmental
Studies Program also provides funding for the Long Lane Farm Annual Pumpkin
Festival run by Wesleyan students and the Earth Day keynote address at
For more information on the symposium contact Valerie Marinelli,
administrative assistant, at 860-685-3733. More information and video clips
from former symposiums, go to:
By Olivia Bartlett, The Wesleyan Connection