EnviroThursday - Spring 2000

Presentations take place at 12 noon, Olin-Rice Room 250

Title Date Type of Presentation Description
"Gray Whales" 2/3/00 Video This PBS documentary, narrated by Christopher Reeve, follows the gray whale's migration from the Arctic's Bering Strait, off the coast of Siberia, to the shores of the Baja California peninsula.
"Green Plans" 2/10/00 Video A documentary that examines the Netherlands' and New Zealand's widely supported plans for environmentally sound development.
"The Private Lives of Dolphins" 2/17/00 Video This NOVA documentary examines dolphin behavior never documented on film before and shows these animals as they live in the wild.
"Saving Minnesota Tallgrass Prairies" 2/24/00 Speaker: Peter Buesseler A presentation on innovative strategies to help public and private landowners, organizations, and agencies learn about and protect Minnesota's remaining native prairie lands.
"Empolyees or Visionaries: which should a liberal arts education create?" 3/2/00 Speaker: Al Romero and Claudia Curran The presentation will focus on Harvard biologist and national acclaimed author E.O. Wilson. The leading question is, should we continue to produce highly skilled, but rather narrowly focused individuals prepared to compete in the job market, or should liberal arts colleges seriously attempt to create opportunities for students to become the visionary leaders and the polymaths of the new millennium?
"Paradise for Sale" 3/9/00 Speaker: Alberto Rivera Gutiérrez The penetration of the market and the degradation of the environment in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala is the topic of this presentation, by the Program Director for HECUA's South American Urban Semester and Environment, Economy and Community in Latin America programs
"The Heating of the Earth: Global Warming Today" 3/13/00 Speaker:
Dr. Richard Feely
Dr. Feely of the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration is an expert on global warming and will stop by Macalester on his way back from a national conference on his issue that is taking place in Washington DC. He will report to us the latest on the trends of this worldwide phenomenon.
"On Caves, Whales, and Snakes: A Trip to Trinidad, W.I." 3/16/00 Speaker:
Joel Creswell
This presentation is a summary of Mr. Creswell's field research in Trinidad, West Indies, on the history of marine mammal exploitation, and a separate project on cave fish. The presentation includes video footage of a cave fish never videotaped before.
"Campus-Wide Forum on the Talloires Declaration: Figuring out Macalester's Environmental Impact" 3/30/00 Speakers:
Sarah Ullmer and Kira Pascoe
As part of the process leading to the signing of the Talloires Declaration during Earth Week 2000, we are inviting all members of the Macalester Community (students, faculty, and staff) to attend a special session of EnviroThursday dedicated to explain what the Talloires Declaration is all about, what the Campus Environmental Issues Committee (CEIC) has proposed in order to implement that declaration, and how its implementation may affect our lives as members of the College community.
"The Fate of Nature and the Siren of Sustainability" 4/6/00 Speaker:
Michael Soulé
Earth is in the grips of the fourth phase of the sixth major extinction crisis. The megafauana is largely exterminated; oceanic islands have been stripped of their endemic plants and animals, and tropical rain forests will be gone in 40 years. International lending institutions and much of the conservation establishment, encouraged by traditional economists and the development community, have embraced fully the view that we can "develop out" of environmental problems (sustainable development). Thus, the policy pendulum has swung away from national parks to building Third World infrastructure. But recent analyses have shown that sustainable development is doing more harm than good for nature. We need to return to strict nature protection--on a geographically extensive scale--to preserve the last remnants of nature.
"Great White" 4/13/00 Video The Great White Shark is, by reputation, the most fierce and formidable predator on earth. A veritable "killing machine," driven by an insatiable lust for flesh and blood. No creature arouses more fear and fascination, but none is so misunderstood. Filmed on location around the globe, you will enter the private domain of the Great White, with footage never released before. Learn the reason Great White attacks on humans are increasing and possible safeguards for the future. Meet a superlative predator trying to survive overexploitation by humans and marine pollution.
"A New Form of Public Transportation" 4/20/00 Speaker:
Dr. J. Edward Anderson
The need for markedly improved public transportation is more and more pressing as a result of increasing congestion, increasing costs, and declining ridership experienced by conventional transit systems. Research and development work at the University of Minnesota during the 1970s and 1980s led to the design of a system classed as Personal Rapid Transit or PRT, and called Taxi 2000. Investigators in a number of countries have recognized Taxi 2000 as the most rigorously designed new transit system in the world, and it has been called “an essential technology in a sustainable world.” Personal rapid transit in various forms has been under consideration for several decades; however, the technology required to design it effectively only became widely available during the 1980s. In 1991 Taxi 2000 won an alternatives study at SeaTac International Airport in competition with bus, light rail and large-vehicle people movers. In 1993, it was selected for full-scale development in an international competition sponsored by the Northeastern Illinois Regional Transportation Authority. In late 1998, a committee of Forward Quest, a large organization concerned with the future of Northern Kentucky, selected Taxi 2000 for deployment in Downtown Cincinnati-Covington-Newport after examining over 50 elevated rail systems.
"Environmental Costs of the Nuclear Arms Race" 4/27/00 Speaker: The U.S. and other countries are deciding right now whether to restart the nuclear arms race or not. This has major environmental consequences which are worth reviewing. In the worst case, if a general nuclear war were to happen, an environmental disaster on a scale not seen since the end of the dinosaur age would result. Consequences range from massive contamination of the living system inn every way we know to vastly increased rates of extinction as marginal species are further stressed. The prospect of "nuclear winter" presents the most severe scenario now contemplated. In the best case, no nuclear war or detonations and minimal new production of nuclear weapons, there would still be serious environmental consequences.
"Giant Panda" 5/4/00 Video Actress Debra Winger presents this PBS Documentary on one of the most beloved and vulnerable species of animals: the Giant Panda. It was 70 years ago that a Westerner first saw a wild panda in China. Back then, little was known even by the Chinese about this reclusive and solitary animal. Today, thought scientists have learned much, pandas are still a disappearing species. Winger begins her expedition in Shanghai on the banks of the Huang Po River. From there, she takes a boat up the river, finally arriving at Szechuan where the actress journeys to the mountain where pandas are found.