The Shapiro Wing is now open for silent study. We look forward to welcoming you back into the Library. For more information about study space and resources available, please see our On-Campus Services Page
March 2, 2023
Elizabeth Hennessy, associate professor of History, History of Science, and Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, talks about her research and concepts in her book On the Backs of Tortoises: Darwin, the Galapagos, and the Fate of an Evolutionary Eden.
The Galápagos Islands have long been called a “natural laboratory of evolution.” Since the mid-twentieth century, conservationists have worked diligently to protect evolutionary processes in the equatorial archipelago. Some have even attempted to restore the islands to their “pristine” condition in 1534, the year before Spanish conquistadors first stumbled ashore. But just how does one restore evolution? What happens when conservationists try? Through stories of giant tortoise discoveries and goats run wild, Hennessy explores the contradictions of goals to return to an “evolutionary Eden,” the unforeseen novelty of ecosystem dynamics, and the politics of what she calls “conservationist selection”—the ethical decisions conservationists make about which kinds of human and nonhuman life belong in the archipelago, and which do not. Hennessy argues that history is valuable not as a baseline against which to measure ecosystem purity, but rather as an analytical lens for understanding the weighty consequences of the ways we approach restoration work.
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January 31st, 2023, Co-Sponsored by Heritage Conservancy
Sandra Goldmark is an entre- and intra-preneur of regenerative and circular climate responses. Sandra serves as Senior Assistant Dean for Interdisciplinary Engagement at the Columbia Climate School, and Director of Sustainability and Climate Action and Associate Professor of Professional Practice at Barnard College. Rooted in her training as a theatrical designer, Sandra founded and operated Fixup (2013-2019), a social enterprise repair service dedicated to healthy and circular patterns of consumption. Sandra talks about her work and its connection to the concept of One Health. A circular economy with more mindful "stuff" could greatly impact the world. See related resources below.
October 5, 2022
Miah Hornyak and Tim Hayes, the Bucks County Field Coordinators for the Conservation Voters of PA & PennFuture, detail the state of the environmental movement both statewide and in our region as well as how everyday citizens can get more involved. The environmental challenges Pennsylvania faces are rapidly evolving as climate change continues to take a toll on the world. Pennsylvania is the third highest carbon-emitting state in the country, coupled with issues that are local and statewide, such as water contamination, poor air quality, flooding and infrastructure degradation, and environmental justice concerns. To meet the moment, PA residents from every corner of the state need to get involved through education and advocacy. See related resources below.
Mike Van Clef, Ph.D., Stewardship Director of Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Spaces (FoHVOS) and Program Director of the FoHVOS New Jersey Invasive Species Strike Team, presents the ongoing struggle to control and eliminate invasive species. The Strike Team is most known for their work in eradicating invasive species for the protection and conservation of rare species, including plants and wildlife. He discusses the problems that invasives cause in the ecosystem and their impacts in natural areas. Van Clef provides ways to identify and control invasive species, including using phone apps to identify, confirm, record and and report invasives data. He also guides viewers towards stewardship plans designed to most effectively and efficiently treat invasive species to protect biodiversity. See related resources below.
April 22, 2021, Co-Sponsored by Heritage Conservancy
Members of the Heritage Conservancy, Bucks County Herald, Bucks County Audubon Society, and others from our community host a panel discussion on the history of Earth Day and the challenges environmental activism faces in the future. Panelists discuss how to use your voice to be an advocate for the planet using effective media and messaging strategies to reach the people who can make a difference. See related resources below.
March 23, 2021, Co-Sponsored by the Heritage Conservancy
Mary Ayers, a Pennsylvania Forest Steward and member of the Pennsylvania Forestry Association, reviews the history and struggles of the American chestnut tree. Prior to the 1900s, American chestnut trees were growing throughout the forests of the eastern U.S., but then a blight fungus introduced from Asia spread and killed an estimated 4 billion American chestnuts. The chestnut blight has been called the greatest ecological disaster to strike the world's forests in all of history.
Ayers, through her work with the American Chestnut Foundation (TACF) and her own two-acre TACF research orchard with fifth generation hybrid chestnut trees, describes the latest scientific approaches being used to breed a genetically diverse, locally adapted, blight-resistant American chestnut to be re-established as a keystone species in the eastern forest. See related resources below.
November 5, 2020
Peter Couchman, Executive Director of Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve, presents on the impact of creating green spaces that are ecologically responsible and beneficial to humans, animals and the environment. He has lead such projects as planning and installing of a design-forward 20,000 sq. ft. green roof in Mattiituck, NY and speaks about them in his presentation. See related resources below.
September 10, 2019
In this talk, Dr. Patrick Murphy mapped how the media communicates today's many distinct, competing, and even antagonistic environmental discourses, demonstrating how the media pushes us to save the whales even as we are encouraged to devour all the fish! He authored Media Commons (2017) among many other publications on the topics of global media, media and the environment, ethnographic method, documentary media, and Latin American media and cultural theory. See related resources below.
November 29, 2018
Dr. Val Beasley, a Penn State professor of veterinary, wildlife, and ecological toxicology spoke to DelVal about toxicology and environmental contaminants. 'One Health' as a discipline links human and veterinary medicine as co-equal partners in an increasingly efficient joint venture into health promotion and prioritized research. 'One Toxicology' is proposed as a way to reunify toxicology as a component of 'Ecosystem Health' and the encompassing 'One Health'. Ecotoxicology, which includes wild animal, plant, and microbial communities, is a critical component of 'Ecosystem Health'. 'One Toxicology' is proposed to help hold toxicological sciences together and maintain intimate connections to medicine in general. See related resources below.