Thoughts & Doings

Huxley Speaker Series 10/29: Bob Dillman on Student Economic Empowerment

As part of the 2015-16 Huxley College of the Environment Speaker Series, Bob Dillman from First Financial Healthcare Solutions will discuss student economic empowerment 4 p.m. on Thursday, October 29 in Communications Facility 120 on the Western Washington University campus. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Dillman, who has worked in lease financing for more than 20 years, will discuss the intersection of economic issues with climate change, development and sustainability. His Speaker Series talk, titled “Economic Empowerment within the WWU Student Population,” will center on both the historical and potential economic power of Western’s student body, with a focus on sustainability issues. In particular, Dillman will highlight the economic impact and environmental implications of student choices in off-campus housing.

Currently Dillman serves as Regional Vice President at First Financial Healthcare Solutions, an... Continue reading

ENVS Brown Bag Series 10/9: Eve Bratman on Sustainable Development

As part of the Department of Environmental Studies brown bag series at Huxley College, Professor Eve Bratman will present "Following the Current: Governance for Sustainable Development and the Case of Brazil's Belo Monte Dam." In her talk, Bratman will describe the activism and environmental decision-making surrounding the Belo Monte dam, a large hydroelectric  project in the Brazilian Amazon. Bratman argues that hegemonic consolidations of state/elite power take place as such projects are conducted under the auspices of sustainable development. Dr. Bratman's research traces nearly four decades of political contestation by a range of local  to international actors. Her research uses political ecology and fine-grained historical analysis to critically assess how environmental governance contested and reproduced. 

Dr. Eve Bratman is an Assistant Professor at American University's School of International Service.... Continue reading

Huxley Speaker Series 10/22: Huxley Alumnus Dave Bennink on Business Sustainability

As part of the 2015-16 Huxley College of the Environment Speaker Series, Huxley College alumnus Dave Bennink, owner of Re-Use Consulting, will discuss business sustainability at 4 p.m. on Thursday, October 22 in Communications Facility 120 on the Western Washington University campus. The presentation is free and open to the public.

In 1993, Dave Bennink began his Huxley College internship: helping open the ReStore in Bellingham. Today, more than two decades later, he continues to assist in the opening of new sustainable businesses throughout North America. In his talk titles “Sustainable Employment, Sustainable Life,” Bennink will describe how he has built sustainability into his everyday decisions at work—and how he is getting others to do the same. Though many examples revolve around the built environment, Bennink will demonstrate how efforts to help people in need can also benefit the environment... Continue reading

Huxley Speaker Series 10/15: Huxley Professor Michael Medler on Western Wildfires

As part of the 2015-16 Huxley College of the Environment Speaker Series, Dr. Michael Medler, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, will discuss the geography of wildfires at 4 p.m. on Thursday, October 15 in Communications Facility 120 on the Western Washington University campus. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Climate change, building practices, and a century of fire policies have combined to leave many of our forests explosive. Wildland firefighters, trained for work in the backcountry, are increasingly expected to protect homes and communities. Meanwhile, our fire suppression costs are going up even in moderate years, and many people are pressuring wildland agencies to vastly increase the acreage of fuel reduction programs. 

In his talk titled “The Pyrogeography of Wildfires in the Western U.S.,” Dr. Medler will discuss many of the spatial considerations in this debate.... Continue reading

Huxley's Fall BBQ/Potluck October 8 @ the Communications Lawn

Each year, Huxley College holds a fall potluck/BBQ to welcome back college students, staff, and faculty. Professor Leo Bodensteiner provides his grill, the dean buys the hot dogs and meatless alternatives, and staff and faculty bring side dishes to share. In other words, FREE FOOD for all Huxleyites.

This year, we will once again hold the BBQ on campus at the Communications Lawn, the wide green space between Environmental Studies, Communications Facility, and Academic West. (See below.) Rain or shine--in case of rain, we will move the BBQ and tables under the Academic West overhang.

Questions? Contact Jen VanderWeyden. Hope to see you there!

Huxley Speaker Series 10/8: Huxley Alum Keturah Witter on Environmental Consulting

As part of the 2015-16 Huxley College of the Environment Speaker Series, Keturah Witter, a scientist with Environmental Resources Management, will discuss environmental consulting at 4pm on Thursday, October 8 in Communications Facility 120 on the Western Washington University campus. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Contemporary environmental consultancies are helping their clients focus increasingly on sustainability and corporate responsibility. In her Speaker Series talk titled “Working Toward the Triple Bottom Line: Sustainability and Consulting,” Witter will discuss her work in environmental consulting and the variety of career paths available to students with an environmental focus.

A Huxley College alumna, Witter studied environmental science and mathematics while at Western. Currently she works as a scientist at ... Continue reading

Huxley Speaker Series 10/1: Dr. Ralph Riley Discusses Ecology Research in Fiji

As part of the 2015-16 Huxley College of the Environment Speaker Series, Dr. Ralph Riley, formerly of the University of the South Pacific, will discuss his ecology research in Fiji’s rainforests at 4pm on Thursday, October 1 in Communications Facility 120 on the Western Washington University campus. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Bryophytes are non-flowering, non-vascular plants that are poorly known compared to vascular plants but play outsize roles in species richness and ecosystem services. In his Speaker Series talk titled “Tropical Rainforest Ecology Research in Fiji,” Riley will describe a research project he completed with the help of Master’s student Mereia Tabua Katafono. The first of its kind in Fiji, the study focused on environmental factors that influence the distribution of bryophytes growing on tree stems in the island nation’s tropical rainforests.

Riley holds a BSc in Forest... Continue reading

The Planet Magazine Named One of the Best Student Magazines in the Country--Again

For the second year in a row, Western’s student-published environmental magazine The Planet was a national finalist  for the “Best Student Magazine” award by the Society of Professional Journalists. The Planet’s Spring 2014 Human Issue earned student editors Mikey Jane Moran, Sarah Mikkelborg, Ruth Ganzhorn, and Zachary Sankey the honor, which places the magazine in the top three student magazines in the nation.

The Planet also celebrated its 35th anniversary this year with a celebration at May’s Back2Bellingham alumni weekend.

ESCI Graduate Student Andres Quesada's Work on Costa Rican Sea Anemones

In addition to pursuing his thesis research on the local sea anemone Anthopleura elegantissima, Environmental Sciences graduate student Andrés Quesada just published a paper about sea anemones in his native Costa Rica. Working in his “spare time,” Andrés has been studying diets of the Costa Rican sea anemone Anthopleura nigrescens. That work was published in 2014 and led to the discovery of a new anemone in his study sites. [Quesada, A.J., F.H Acuña and J Cortés (2014). Diet of the sea anemone Anthopleura nigrescens: composition and variation between daytime and nighttime high tides. Zool Stud. 53: 26-32.]

His new paper, published in Marine Biodiversity Records, reports a range extension for the sea anemone Bunodosoma californicum. He reports that B. californicum may have been recently introduced to Costa Rica or may have simply been overlooked in an invertebrate... Continue reading

VIDEO: Huxley Alumna Crina Hoyer on Working for Change

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