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 Improving Communication of Oil Spill Research
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  Science Beyond Politics (2003)

Annual Public Lecture Series

2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005
2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998

Metcalf Institute's Annual Public Lecture Series takes place in the Coastal Institute Auditorium at the URI Narrangansett Bay Campus, 218 South Ferry Road, Narragansett, Rhode Island and is free and open to the public.

Scientists and Journalists: Getting the Point Across
Metcalf Institute 14th Annual Public Lecture Series
June 4-8, 2012

All lectures will be webcast live and archived online. Webcast and web videos require Microsoft's Silverlight. Download the plug-in here.

Lecture summaries will be available starting June 5, 2012.

Monday, June 4, 3:30 p.m.
What are Climate Models Good for?
Gavin A. Schmidt, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
Schmidt, NASA climate scientist and recipient of the American Geophysical Union Climate Communication Prize in 2011 for exceptional work as a climate communicator, will explain the use and effectiveness of climate models for predicting climate change impacts.

Tuesday, June 5, 3:30 p.m.
Deep Breathing: Climate Stressors in the Coastal and Open Sea
Lisa Levin, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Levin is director of the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation and distinguished professor at Scripps and studies benthic ecosystems in the deep sea and shallow water. Her talk will focus on hypoxia, or low levels of oxygen, in coastal and offshore waters that lead to fish kills and other losses.

Wednesday, June 6, 3:30 p.m.
Down the drain: Emerging Contaminants in the Marine Environment
Edward T. Furlong, United States Geological Survey
Furlong is a research chemist in the Methods Research and Development Program of the National Water Quality Laboratory with the USGS. He will discuss emerging contaminants, chemicals that are not currently monitored or regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency but have the potential to cause harm to ecological systems and human health, in U.S. coastal waters.

Thursday, June 7, 3:30 p.m.
Four Fish: the Future of the Last Wild Food
Paul Greenberg, Author and Journalist
Greenberg is the author of the award-winning New York Times bestseller Four Fish: the Future of the Last Wild Food. He will talk about sustainable seafood and how to find the middle ground between aquaculture and wild-caught fisheries.

Friday, June 8, 11 a.m.
Climate Change in the American Mind
Anthony Leiserowitz, Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
Leiserowitz is a research scientist at the Yale School Forestry and Environmental Studies and director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication. He is recognized as an expert on American and international public opinion on global warming. His lecture will highlight his research on the public understanding of climate change impacts and the importance of developing clear messages.

Scientists and Journalists: Getting the Point Across
Metcalf Institute Annual Public Lecture Series
June 13-17, 2011

These lectures were webcast live and archived online. Webcast and web videos require Silverlite (download the program here).

Monday, June 13, 2011, 3:30 p.m.
The Gulf Oil Disaster and the Future of Offshore Drilling [ Webcast ]
Donald Boesch, President, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Boesch, a member of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, will provide a summary of the Commission's findings and recommendations related to ensuring safer operations and protecting and restoring the environment and a current status report on action on these recommendations. [ Summary ]

Tuesday, June 14, 2011, 3:30 p.m. [ Webcast ]
Where Did All That Oil Go? And Why is This Such a Hard Question, Anyway?
Vernon Asper, Department of Marine Science, University of Southern Mississippi
After estimating the amount of oil spilled by the Deepwater Horizon rig, scientists focused next on where the oil went. Many scrambled to model the distribution of oil and measure it in the field. Among the first to visit the spill site, Asper will describe methods he used for studying the oil's pathways, the uncertainties associated with this process, and a summary of the current understanding of the fate and transport of the oil. [ Summary ]

Wednesday, June 15, 2011, 3:30 p.m. [ Webcast ]
Communication Lessons from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
David Ropeik, Author and Risk Communication Consultant, moderator
Communication plans for federal agencies are informed by well-established research and prior experience. The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, however, demonstrated that these plans can be very difficult to follow in the heat of a complex crisis that involves a wide range of levels and branches of government. Panelists will discuss the communication challenges and some resulting missteps made during the 2010 Gulf oil spill, and the lessons learned from this experience. [ Summary ]

Thursday, June 16, 2011, 3:30 p.m. [ Webcast ]
Impacts of the Oil Spill on Seafloor Communities: Coupling Exploration and Damage Assessment
Erik Cordes, Biology Department, Temple University
More than a year after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, damage assessment in the deep waters of the Gulf remains challenge. While satellite imagery is an excellent tool for tracking the spill on the surface, monitoring oil in mid-water or on the seafloor is far more difficult, and assessing the impact on the life of the deep seafloor is even more challenging. Cordes will present ongoing studies on the extent of the damage to coral reefs in the area. [ Summary ]

Friday, June 17, 2011, 11 a.m. [ Webcast ]
Looking Ahead: Developing Alternative Approaches for the Next Oil Spill
Ponisseril Somasundaran, Department of Earth & Environmental Engineering, Columbia University
In the immediate wake of the Deepwater Horizon spill, federal regulators deployed a commonly used chemical to disperse the oil in a trade-off intended to reduce impacts on coastal habitats. No research was available on how these dispersants might perform under different pressure, salinity, temperature and hydrodynamical conditions in the Gulf, particularly in the presence of oil. Somasundaran and his colleagues are developing and testing new bio-dispersants minimally toxic to marine organisms. He will discuss their methods and preliminary results. [ Summary ]

Scientists and Journalists: Getting the Point Across
Metcalf Institute Twelfth Annual Public Lecture Series
June 8-11, 2010

Tuesday, June 8, 3:30 p.m.
Transforming America's Energy Systems
Susan Tierney, The Analysis Group
Coastal and marine environments are important points of access to energy supplies and offer prospects for new resource development, but offshore energy development is fraught with challenges. Tierney, former assistant secretary of energy for policy in the Clinton administration, will outline the potential for clean energy solutions. [ Summary & Bio | Video ]

Wednesday, June 9, 3:30 p.m.
Powering the Future: How Renewables and Efficiency Can Remake the Grid
Jennifer Weeks, Freelance Journalist, moderator; Timothy Roughan, National Grid; Riley Allen, Regulatory Assistance Project; Seth Kaplan, Conservation Law Foundation
How will the U.S. power grid accommodate intermittent renewable energy sources? Can improved grid efficiency salvage a system that was developed for a fossil fuel-based economy? Panelists will discuss the role of local electricity generation in reducing demand on the grid. [ Summary & Bios | Video ]

Thursday, June 10, 3:30 p.m.
Telling the Energy Story through Film: the Making of Carbon Nation
Peter Byck, Documentary Filmmaker
One of the great challenges in addressing climate change is effective communication of the issues. Byck, director of a new documentary about climate change solutions, will describe the film's inspiration and the serendipitous events that can make for effective story-telling. [ Summary & Bio | Video ]

Friday, June 11, 11:00 a.m.
Comprehensive Energy Policy: Planning for a Clean Energy Future
Sheldon Whitehouse, U.S. Senate
Although many agree that the U.S. needs a new and comprehensive energy policy, there are many points of contention. What policy approaches can encourage renewable energy production while providing a viable way to meet our national energy needs? Following Senator Whitehouse, Dennis Nixon, URI Graduate School of Oceanography Associate Dean for Research and Administration, will give a special update on the legal repercussions of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Although the law governing oil spill liability dramatically raised liability limits for tank vessels after the Exxon Valdez spill, offshore drillers had their liability raised to just $75 million. Why does Congress allow liability to be limited at all? That question has been hotly debated in Congress since the spill, and this presentation will examine the choices currently being considered. [ Summary & Bios | Video ]

The 2010 Annual Science Immersion Workshop and Public Lecture Series are made possible with generous support from Charlotte Metcalf, Lucy Metcalf, Pamela Thye & J. Frederick Thye through the J. Frederick Thye Charitable Trust, Helen Buchanan, The Energy Foundation, The Chicago Tribune Foundation, Mrs. Robert H.I. Goddard, Robert Kilmarx, Mr. and Mrs. W.N. Thorndike, and Mr. and Mrs. John S. Penney.

Scientists and Journalists: Getting the Point Across
Metcalf Institute Eleventh Annual Public Lecture Series
June 8-12, 2009

Monday, June 8, 3:30 p.m.
Chasing Nitrogen Atoms: The Global Nitrogen Cycle
William Schlesinger, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
Global change includes a variety of human impacts on the environment - climate change, biodiversity loss, nutrient pollution. Schlesinger will discuss the value of taking an ecosystem-wide approach to investigating and addressing these impacts. ( Summary )

Tuesday, June 9, 3:30 p.m.
Thresholds of Climate Change in Ecosystems
Colleen Charles, U.S. Geological Survey
Scientists are increasingly recognizing that small changes in climate trigger major, abrupt responses in ecosystems. Charles will identify the research needed to better understand and predict these responses for effective management. ( Summary )

Wednesday, June 10, 3:30 p.m.
Will Our Coasts Survive Climate Change?
Christophe Tulou, Resilient Coasts Initiative
How can the world's coastal cities manage the multiple risks of climate change? Tulou will present the Resilient Coasts Initiative's strategy for mitigating coastal risks like sea level rise and changes in precipitation patterns. ( Summary | News story )

Thursday, June 11, 3:30 p.m.
Is Journalism Dying? The Future of News, Journalism, and Journalists
Tom Rosenstiel, Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism
The news industry has experienced major shifts over the past five years. Is journalism as we know it disappearing? Or evolving? Assumptions that everything will simply resolve itself in a new technology marketplace may be misguided. Rosenstiel will outline the facts and myths about what is occurring in journalism. ( Summary )

Friday, June 12, 11 a.m.
Predicting the Costs of Climate Change
John Reilly, Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, M.I.T. Sloan School of Management
Economists typically frame environmental issues as a balance between the costs of reducing environmental damage and the benefits of avoiding that damage in the first place. Reilly will address the challenges of estimating these costs when there are so many uncertainties and oversimplifications in the equation. ( Summary )

Scientists and Journalists: Getting the Point Across
Metcalf Institute Tenth Annual Public Lecture Series
June 9-13, 2008

Monday, June 9, 3:30 p.m.
Realizing the Vision for Open Ocean Aquaculture
Richard Langan, Director, Atlantic Marine Aquaculture Center, University of New Hampshire
As wild fish stocks decline, seafood will come increasingly from cultivation, but land-based and nearshore aquaculture face economic and environmental constraints. The potential for farming ocean waters, although formidable, must be explored. Langan, scientist and former fisherman, will discuss international efforts to realize offshore aquaculture. ( Summary & Bio )

Tuesday, June 10, 3:30 p.m.
Hurricane Intensity: Warming Up the Debate
Tom Knutson, Research Meteorologist, Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Human influences on the global climate have lead to warmer oceans. Because hurricanes gain strength from warmer water, some suggest that global change may increase hurricane winds and rainfall. Knutson will present evidence linking human activity to storm intensity and his predictions for future hurricanes in the Atlantic. ( Bio | News story )

Wednesday, June 11, 3:30 p.m.
U.S. Climate Policy and Politics Update
Vicki Arroyo, Director of Policy Analysis, Pew Center on Global Climate Change
How does climate science inform national policy? What is Congress doing to address the pressures of global change? Arroyo will explain how emerging science and politics are influencing legislative efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the inevitable impacts of climate change. ( Summary & Bio )

Thursday, June 12, 3:30 p.m.
Slow Fuse: Reporting the Global Freshwater Crisis
J. Carl Ganter, Journalist and Co-Founder, Circle of Blue
Water is emerging as one of the big stories of the century, influencing everything from economics to health, security, and the environment. Water scarcity and quality affect developed and developing countries alike. Ganter will explore the crucial roles of journalism and science in reporting and responding to the global freshwater crisis. ( Summary & Bio )

Friday, June 13, 11 a.m.
Slippery When Wet
Robert Bindschadler, Chief Scientist, Hydrospheric and Biospheric Sciences Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
The great polar ice sheets are shrinking increasingly faster, escalating the rate of sea level rise, surprising researchers, and confounding policymakers. As the world warms, ice sheets will be forced to change in response to the additional meltwater. Will we? ( Summary & Bio )

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Scientists and Journalists: Getting the Point Across
Metcalf Institute Ninth Annual Public Lecture Series
June 11-15, 2007

3:30 p.m. Monday, June 11
Ocean Circulation and Climate Change: A Chilling Combination?
Ruth Curry, Research Specialist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Ocean circulation plays a major role in the global climate system. In storing heat, water and carbon dioxide, exchanging these with the atmosphere, and transporting them around the planet's surface, the oceans perform a crucial part of the climate system, one that can amplify changes triggered by rapidly rising greenhouse gas concentrations. Curry will explain why it is critical to understand the ocean's response to warming and the potential for increased severity of hurricanes, drought and sea level rise.

Ruth Curry is a senior research specialist in physical oceanography at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. She has been going to sea on research vessels and making measurements of ocean properties and currents around the globe since 1980. Curry was recently named the James E. and Barbara V. Molz Research Fellow of the Ocean and Climate Change Institute at WHOI. She was featured in a 2004 Scientific American Frontiers episode "Hot Planet, Cold Comfort" and contributed to Al Gore's documentary film and book on global warming. (Lecture Summary)

3:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 12
A Sea Change for Ecosystems in the North Atlantic
Charles H. Greene, PhD, Ocean Resources and Ecosystems Program, Cornell University
Since the 1970s, unprecedented climate warming in the Arctic has led to increased precipitation, glacial and sea ice melting, and has altered Arctic Ocean circulation patterns. More recently, changes in Arctic circulation patterns have been linked with a dramatic shift in Northwest Atlantic Ocean shelf ecosystems. Greene will relate these circulation patterns to shifts in abundance of plankton and their consumers and explain the consequences for ecosystems.

Charles Greene is a professor in the Earth & Atmospheric Sciences Department at Cornell. He joined the faculty there as a visiting assistant professor in Ecology and Systematics and has served there as the director for the Biological Resources Program and the Ocean Resources and Ecosystems Program in the Center for the Environment. After receiving his doctorate in oceanography from the University of Washington in 1985, Greene began a postdoctoral fellowship at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where he maintains a visiting investigator position to this day. (Lecture Summary)

3:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 13
Reporting on Water Supply: New Stories of Scarcity
Cynthia Barnett, Author and Associate Editor, Florida Trend
Since the 1870s westerners have had to irrigate and share water to survive. Today, vast wetland drainage, development and overuse have led to scarcity and water wars across the American East. Barnett, author of the new book, Mirage: Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S., will outline these new stories of scarcity, and give participants tools for better reporting on water supply on both sides of the 100 th Meridian.

Cynthia Barnett has written for Florida Trend magazine since 1998, where she covers investigative, environmental, public policy and business stories. She has been a reporter and editor at newspapers and magazines for twenty years. Her numerous awards include three investigative-reporting prizes in the Green Eyeshades, which recognize the best journalism in 11 southeastern states. In 2004, she was awarded a Knight-Wallace Fellowship at the University of Michigan, where she spent a year studying freshwater supply. (Lecture Summary)

3:30 p.m. Thursday, June 14
The Potential Health Impacts of Climate Change
Joel D. Scheraga, National Program Director, Global Change Research Program and Mercury Research Program, US Environmental Protection Agency
Global climate change poses a range of new challenges to protecting public health, from extreme temperatures to insect-borne diseases. What are the warning signs? Can infectious diseases be controlled? Scheraga will discuss health impacts of a changing climate and ways to safeguard public well-being.

Joel Scheraga is the National Program Director for the Global Change Research Program and the Mercury Research Program in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Research and Development. He is responsible for managing the $18 million program and over 50 personnel in five laboratories and centers. Scheraga is actively involved in international research and assessment activities and co-authored of the 2005 Human Health Synthesis Report that is part of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. He received his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from Brown University. (Lecture Summary)

11 a.m. Friday, June 15
The Business of Climate Change: Alternative Energy Realities
Chris Powell, Energy Manager, Department of Facilities Management, Brown University, Moderator
Cutler Cleveland, Professor, Department of Geography and Environment, Center for Energy and Environmental Studies, Boston University
Jeff Deyette, Senior Energy Analyst, Union of Concerned Scientists
Dennis Duffy, Vice President, Cape Wind Associates and Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Energy Management, Inc.
Dan Valianti, Manager, Northeast Energy and Climate Program, Ceres

Twelve states have passed energy standards that require at least fifteen percent of their energy to come from renewable sources in the next two decades. Is this realistic? Will it be enough? Panelists will summarize potential alternative energies and discuss the economic feasibility of and policy hurdles to achieving renewable energy goals. (Lecture Summary)

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Scientists and Journalists: Getting the Point Across
Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting
June 12-16, 2006

Biological Invasions in the Sea: Science, History and Policy
James T. Carlton, Professor of Marine Sciences, Williams College; Director, Williams-Mystic

Living organisms have moved around the planet for billions of years, but dispersal of species by humans, including the expansion of ocean traffic, has radically altered the world’s ecosystems with direct impacts on countless communities. Even with national and international regulation and management of ballast water, communicating the science and impacts of invasive species to the public remains a challenge.

Carlton's world renowned research on global marine invasions and extinctions is applied in his teaching at Williams College, writing and media appearances, and testifying on invasives legislation in Congress. He is a Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation, founding Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Biological Invasions, Smithsonian Institution "Ocean Hero" and the first scientist to receive the federal government's Interagency Recognition Award. (Lecture Summary)

A World Without Sharks: Consequences of Global Loss of Ocean Preditors
Ransom A. Myers, Killam Chair of Ocean Studies, Dalhousie University

In the last five decades, the number of large marine fish predators has decreased by nearly 90 percent. The oceanic white tip shark, once thought to be the world’s most abundant large vertebrate, is now 300 times more scarce off the southern U.S. coast. Myers will address overfishing in the oceans and the ecological consequences of this phenomenal loss of predators.

Myers' current major research focuses on models of extinction in the marine environment and he is actively involved in developing methods for the optimal management of exploited populations. He has published over 100 refereed scientific publications in diverse fields of aquatic ecology. (Lecture Summary)

The Shifting Landscape of Environmental Reporting
Amanda Griscom Little, Columnist, Grist Magazine

Nowhere is change more constant than the environment. Web-based Grist Magazine columnist Little examines how trends in environmental reporting are shifting as the traditional gulf between industry and environmental groups transforms to a more cooperative relationship, where both seek solutions to larger world problems. From fisheries to energy, those who influence policy and public perception are ultimately challenged to change in a rapidly changing world.

Little has reported on the environment for The New York Times, The Nation, The Washington Post, Wired Magazine, and Rolling Stone. She is resident "Muckraker" for web-based Grist Magazine where her column deals with news in the beltway and beyond. (Lecture Summary)

Climate Change and the Ocean's Role in the Future of the Planet
Thomas Delworth, Climate Dynamics and Prediction Group Leader, Princeton University/NOAA

As greenhouse gases increase, the world ocean absorbs more heat and carbon dioxide, thereby influencing climate change. While natural changes in the ocean-atmosphere system over the long term can contribute to large climate shifts, such as recent Atlantic hurricane activity or African rainfall, forced changes can also have important consequences for the planet.

Delworth's research work with NOAA deals with the role that the Atlantic Ocean plays in climate variability on a variety of time scales. He has served on numerous governmental committees and teams and authored scores of scientific articles on climate change. (Lecture Summary)

Science in the Political Arena
David Goldston, Chief of Majority Staff for the House Science Committee
Politicians, in general, and members of Congress, in particular, are increasingly focusing on questions of science and science policy. Although scientific research is viewed as an objective realm above politics, scientific debate is far more political. In what ways is science becoming politicized? Can scientists and politicians reshape the way science is used in guiding public policy?

Golston is Staff Director for the House Committee on Science overseeing a committee with jurisdiction over most of the federal civilian research and development budgets, including programs run by NASA, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the Department of Commerce and the Environmental Protection Agency. (Lecture Summary)

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Scientists and Journalists: Getting the Point Across
Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting
June 21-25, 2005

URI Narragansett Bay Campus
Coastal Institute Auditorium

Print Journalism on the Precipice
Walter Shapiro, Political Journalist, Author of One-Car Caravan

What is the future of print journalism in an age of bloggers, combative cable TV, talk radio, and partisan polemics? Is traditional reporting doomed in the face of cynical spin, omnipresent secrecy, and a disinterested public? Shapiro, former USA Today political columnist, will describe the challenges facing the press as distrust of the media grows and circulation withers. (Lecture Summary)

Population Growth: The Forgotten Environmental Crisis
Fred Meyerson, Ph.D., J.D., Georgetown University

The media reports global population as leveling off and declining within a few decades. In fact, stabilization is not certain, and the projections themselves may lead to complacency. Each year, U.S. population grows by more than 3 million, increasing oil imports, greenhouse gases, and environmental and economic pressures. Meyerson will explain these complex issues and some population policy options. (Lecture Summary)

Some Say By Fire: Climate Change and the American Response
James Gustave Speth, Dean, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
A quarter century has passed since the National Academy of Sciences held the first panel on climate change, but the U.S. has yet to face this serious environmental problem, despite the fact that most of the research that has led advanced nations to act has been done in the U.S. We have elected leaders in the Presidency and Congress who prefer to ignore this threat. What now? (Lecture Summary)

The Market-Based Approach to Environment
John Fialka, Energy and Environment Reporter, Wall Street Journal Washington Bureau
Cap-and-trade emissions trading systems are designed to remove mercury, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides from the air and reduce the flow of interstate pollutants from coal-fired plants in the South and Midwest. Unpopular with some environmentalists, these systems are also the basis for Europe's response to Kyoto. Fialka will describe market incentives that successfully spur development of renewable energy. (Lecture Summary)

People and Fish: The Environmental Cost of Consumption
Ellen K. Pikitch, Executive Director, Pew Institute of Ocean Science, and Professor, University of Miami Rosensteil School of Marine and Atmospheric Science
The oceans' productive capacity has been outstripped by consumers. Fish are the major source of protein for two-thirds of the world's population and vital to the economies and security of many nations. Key marine fish populations, once the mainstay of coastal economies, are collapsing. Pikitch will discuss how the dynamics between fisheries and consumers may be altered. (Lecture Summary)

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Scientists and Journalists: Getting the Point Across
Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting
June 21-25, 2004

URI Narragansett Bay Campus
Coastal Institute Auditorium

Combatting Global Yawning: Overcoming Public Indifference to the Environment
Jon Palfreman, President, Palfreman Film Group, Inc.
While many profess to care about the environment, people usually prefer news of celebrity scandals over investigations into clean air. What can be done to encourage interest in environmental stories like global climate change? Palfreman, award-winning documentary producer for FRONTLINE and NOVA, considers solutions.

Abrupt Climate Change: Global Warming, Climate Cooling?
Dr. Bruce Peterson, Senior Scientist, Marine Biological Laboratory
Scientists theorize that global warming could set off changes in ocean circulation in the North Atlantic region within the next several decades. Extreme temperature changes could result. What do the climate models tell us about how fast we are moving toward a threshold for rapid climate change?

Ocean Policy in the 21st Century: What's Next?
Dr. Andrew Rosenberg, Professor, Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space, UNH
The U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy is calling for a major shift toward ecosystem-based management in the oceans. Rosenberg, who served as a ocean commissioner, will summarize the next steps for making changes in U.S. ocean policy.

The Global Future of Freshwater
Dr. Charles Vörösmarty, Director, Water Systems Analysis Group, UNH
As demand for freshwater increases, so do the impacts on nature and society. While climate change is a critical focus for international policy, the state of freshwater supplies is gaining importance as a worldwide concern. Vörösmarty will describe how a broad array of human activities may be altering the future of water on earth.

Science, Government, and the Public Interest
Dr. George M. Woodwell, Director, Woods Hole Research Center
Sixty scientists recently signed a letter, prepared under the auspices of the Union of Concerned Scientists, to the Bush Administration presenting scientific facts warning against environmental hazards. Woodwell will talk about worldwide environmental concerns and the responsibilities of the scientific community to help the public and government, which must operate in the public interest.

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Scientists and Journalists: Getting the Point Across
Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting
June 16-20, 2003

URI Bay Campus
Coastal Institute Auditorium

Panel Debate:
Wind Turbines in Nantucket Sound-Any Objections?
Scott MacKay, The Providence Journal, moderator; Dennis Duffy, Cape Wind Associates; Isaac Rosen, Executive Director, Alliance to Save Nantucket Sound
The proposed offshore wind farm has generated disagreement among fishermen, environmentalists, unions, and property owners. Panelists will debate the objections to this renewable energy, who stands to gain or lose, and the environmental repercussions of what could be the first wind farm in the U.S.

The Nature Conservancy: Transparency and Accountability of Environmental Groups
David B. Ottaway, Reporter, The Washington Post
Based on The Washington Post investigative series that detailed the strong corporate ties of The Nature Conservancy, one of country's largest nonprofits, Ottaway will talk about the importance of understanding the practices and underlying agendas of environmental groups.

Ocean Politics and Policy in America: Sizing up the Commissions Reports
Dr. John Farrington, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
The Pew Charitable Trusts and the U.S. Congress each created commissions to review the state of the global oceans. The findings of these reports are due to be announced shortly. What are the outcomes and how will ocean policy change as a result?

Environmental Business: Corporate America Prepares for Climate Change
Mindy S. Lubber, Executive Director, Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies
Climate change is still a question mark for many American businesses. But shareholders are beginning to apply pressure on corporations to address climate change in their business plans. Lubber, the former Regional Administrator for EPA New England, will describe the cost effectiveness of addressing climate change using examples from DuPont, British Petroleum, and Alcoa.

Science Literacy and Public Policy: Why Americans Need to Know
Dr. David L. Evans, Under Secretary for Science, Smithsonian Institution
Stem cell research, global warming, endangered species, natural resource allocation, GMOs, artifical intelligence - many of today's most pressing public issues are either caused by or informed by science. What does the public need to know to participate in a functioning democracy.

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Scientists and Journalists: Getting the Point Across
Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting
June 24-28, 2002

The Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting hosted its fourth annual public lecture series, June 24-28, addressing the science behind environmental news and the impact of science news on public policy and public opinion.

The Price of Dominion: Managing Planet Earth
Andrew Revkin, Environment Reporter, The New York Times

Science, Policy and Politics in Fisheries Management: A Panel Discussion
Dr. Jeremy Collie, URI Graduate School of Oceanography, Moderator
Dr. Andrew Rosenberg, Dean, College of Life Sciences and Agriculture, University of New Hampshire
Bill Amaru, Captain and Owner, F/V Joanne-A III
Peter Shelley, Director, Maine Advocacy Center, and Vice President, Conservation Law Foundation

Lead-Based Paint Poisoning: State and Local Responses
Sheldon Whitehouse, RI State Attorney General

Trends in Human and Societal Development and Climate Change
Dr. James J. McCarthy, Professor of Biological Oceanography and Director of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University

NOVA: Good Science, Good Television
Paula Apsell, Executive Producer, NOVA

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Scientists and Journalists: Getting the Point Across
Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting
June 11-15, 2001

Nutrients: The Worst Pollution Problem in U.S. Coastal Waters
Dr. Robert Howarth, Senior Marine Scientist and Program Director, The Oceans Program, Environmental Defense

Panel Discussion:
Scalloping on Georges Bank: Is It Possible to Sustain the Fishery and the Ecosystem?
Moderated by Monica Allen, marine and environmental reporter, The Standard Times, New Bedford, MA

Panelists: Dr. Steven A. Murawski, National Marine Fisheries Service, Woods Hole Laboratory; Dr. Brian Rothschild, Director, School for Marine Science and Technology, UMASS-Dartmouth; Lawrence Yacubian, New Bedford scallop fleet; Dr. Cheri Recchia, Center for Marine Conservation, Washington, DC; Dr. Peter Auster, National Undersea Research Center, UCONN at Avery Point, Groton, CT.

The Politics and Economics of Global Warming
Ross Gelbspan, author of The Heat Is On

Climate Change in the Arctic: Looking for Ice in All the Wrong Places
Dr. James McCarthy, Professor of Biological Oceanography and Director of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University

A Congressional Update: The Status of the Environment in Washington
U.S. Senator Lincoln D. Chafee (R-Rhode Island)

Public Lecture: Environmental Policy: Will Bush Dismantle What Clinton Built?
Robert Semple, Associate Editor of the Editorial Page, The New York Times
Sunday, February 25, 2001

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Scientists and Journalists: Getting the Point Across
Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting
June 26 - June 30, 2000

Iron Fertilization of the Ocean
Dr. Sallie Chisholm, Professor, MIT

The Change in the Weather
William K. Stevens, Science Writer, New York Times

The Columbia River: A River Lost
Blaine Harden, Metro and Foreign Reporter, New York Times Magazine

Private Rights and the Collective Good
Moderator: Cory Dean, Science Editor, New York Times
Panelists: Scott Allen, environmental reporter, Boston Globe; Dr. James McCarthy, Harvard; Dennis Nixon, Professor, University of Rhode Island; Dr. Rutherford Platt, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; and Andy Revkin, environmental writer, New York Times

The Environmental Climate in American Science Funding
Dr. Margaret Leinen, assistant director for the Geosciences Directorate, NSF

Works from Nature
Environmental Art Exhibit, The Virginia Lynch Gallery and the Metcalf Institute and lecture by Richard Fleischner, Sculptor

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May 3-26, 1999

From Gloucester to Gaza: Social Tensions Over Scarce Resources
Sandy Tolan, Independent Producer, Homeland Productions

Going Public: Why Scientists Must Explain Their Work
Cory Dean, Science Editor, New York Times

Causes and Effects of Nutrient Enrichment of Coastal Waters
Scott Nixon, Professor, URI Graduate School of Oceanography

Cross Purposes: Why Can't Scientists Speak English, Why Can't Journalists Get It Right?
Moderator: David Baron, National Public Radio
Panelists: Phil Hilts, New York Times; Ellen Ruppel Shell, Boston University; Dr. Art Gold, URI; Trudy Coxe, Preservation Society of Newport County

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What Science Can and Can't Answer in the Providence River Dredging Debate and Other Environmental Issues
Dr. Kenneth Hinga, Assistant GSO Dean, Marine Research Scientist

The Pfiesteria Phenomenon: Conducting Science in the Midst of a Public Health Crisis
Dr. JoAnn Burkholder, North Carolina State University

Managing Science News: Practical Ways to Work with the Media
Media Crisis Management, Dr. Robert Vanderslice, RI Department of Health
Structuring Comments for the Press, Chip Young, URI Coastal Resources Center
What Journalists Need from Scientists, Peter Lord, Providence Journal

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April 29, 2012