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Science Events Calendar

Friday, October 30, 2020
12:40 pm
Friday, October 30 | 12:40 – 1:30pmVirtual Middlebury

Dr. Luis De Leon, U Mass, Boston: Human development is influencing patterns of biological evolution in unprecedented ways. In this talk, I discuss how these effects are playing out in the iconic Darwin’s finches of the Galapagos. This example illustrates how humans are a novel and potent evolutionary force in nature. Zoom registration required in advance: (For more information:

Monday, November 2, 2020
6 pm
Monday, November 2 | 6 – 8pmFranklin Environmental Center, The Orchard-Hillcrest 103

Stressed? Take a break and come join us for board games and snacks! Sign up for a spot!

Thursday, November 5, 2020
12:40 pm
Thursday, November 5 | 12:40 – 1:30pmVirtual Middlebury

What’s Old is New Again: Activating Natural History Collections for Climate Change Research

Lauren Williams, Curator, Blacker Wood Natural History Collection, Rare Books department, McGill University Library

From 13th century Persian zoological manuscripts to Joseph Banks’ field notes from his journey aboard the Endeavour, McGill Library’s Blacker Wood Natural History Collection is home to thousands of remarkable treasures. These rare books provide an invaluable account of the natural world as it has existed over the course of centuries, and document humanity’s dynamic relationship to the environment that surrounds us. Resources like these have traditionally enriched the research of students and scholars in the humanities, but growing concerns about drastic environmental changes have encouraged a new group of scholars to turn to past for answers: modern climate change scientists. Join Blacker Wood curator Lauren Williams to learn about the ways in which these unique materials are finding new life as crucial resources for climate chance research.

Visit for information on how to view this lecture.

Friday, November 6, 2020
12:30 pm
Friday, November 6 | 12:30 – 2:30pm
2 pm
Friday, November 6 | 2 – 5pmThe Knoll

In collaboration with the Anderson Freeman Center, the Knoll will hold affinity space for BIPOC-identifying students in the time following the US Elections. We will offer peer-led restorative activities around the site. Bundle up and join us to decompress, and just be. 

Rain date: Saturday Nov. 7, 2-5 p.m.

Monday, November 9, 2020
7 pm
Monday, November 9 | 7 – 8:30pmVirtual Middlebury
Mittelman Astronomy Lecture Series: Balloons on Ice: Studying the Aurora in Antarctica

Auroral displays, or “Northern Lights” as they are called in this hemisphere, actually occur in both hemispheres.  Dr. Bering will share some of his experiences from his 6 trips to the Ice to study the aurora australis or “Southern Lights.” Auroras are a complex set of phenomena that are observable over a broad range of wavelengths from X-rays to radio waves.  Since auroras are localized, short lived phenomena, it is frequently easier to study them using ground-based observatories, balloons, and sounding rockets. Stratospheric balloon payloads float at altitudes of 30 km (20 miles) or higher.  They have been used for auroral observation since 1961, when a team from the University of Minnesota first observed X-ray emissions from an active aurora.  This talk will describe a balloon launching expedition to McMurdo Station in 2003.  The science will be presented in overview form.  Most of the talk will emphasize the experience of going to Antarctica, and conducting a balloon launch in this extreme environment.
Edgar Bering P’13 is Professor of Physics and Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of Houston.  His research interests include many areas of space physics, including auroras and a wide variety of atmospheric phenomena.  His research is supported by extensive involvement with sounding rockets, balloon operations, and NASA's Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket development program.
Please register for this free webinar at

Thursday, November 12, 2020
12:40 pm
Thursday, November 12 | 12:40 – 1:30pmVirtual Middlebury

Agroecology and Food Sovereignty - in Theory and Practice

Martha Caswell, Codirector, Agroecology and Livelihoods Collaborative, University of Vermont

Agroecology and Food Sovereignty are global movements for food systems transformation, but there are still many questions about what they represent and what they can achieve. This talk will explore their history and potential.

Visit for information on how to view this lecture.

6 pm
Thursday, November 12 | 6 – 7:30pmVirtual Middlebury
Anxiety to Action: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis

When climate change looms large, the pandemic has no definitive end in sight, racism and racial injustices continue to compound, and everything feels overwhelming, what do you do? How do you find your way to meaningful action? Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine Wilkinson will join us virtually for a special conversation about their experiences and draw on insights from their new book, "All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis,“ a collection of essays by women spanning backgrounds, approaches, and generations at the forefront of the climate movement.

ZOOM information will be provided closer to the event date.

visit for more information.

Sponsored by the Climate Action Capacity Project

Friday, November 13, 2020
12:40 pm
Friday, November 13 | 12:40 – 1:30pmVirtual Middlebury

Dr. Davis is an Assistant Professor (Interim) of the Department of Surgery and Scientific Director of the International Center for the Study of Breast Cancer Subtypes (ICSBCS) at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, NY. Dr. Davis will present findings emerging from her breast cancer research, where she has identified that an African-Ancestry allele, and the recently discovered tumor expression of a gene named DARC (ACKR1) is linked to the tumor-specific immune/inflammatory response. 

PLEASE REGISTER in advance, at:…
For more information visit:

Thursday, November 19, 2020
12:40 pm
Thursday, November 19 | 12:40 – 1:30pmVirtual Middlebury

Other Pastorals: Writing Race and the Environment

Jennifer Chang, Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing, George Washington University.

Cosponsored by Franklin Environmental Center and Bread Loaf Environmental Writers’ Conference

Leo Marx’s axiomatic definition of pastoral – “No shepherd, no pastoral” – suggests that pastoral may no longer be relevant in the twentieth-first century. But pastoral has always been a social form, drawing on the distances between city and country that go beyond mere topography. This talk will consider how the pastoral, as a mode of ecological engagement and sociocultural critique, gets re-imagined by contemporary American poets of color. 

Visit for information on how to view this lecture.

Printed: Friday, October 30, 2020 at 9:28 AM PDT Calendar events displayed in Eastern Daylight Time/Eastern Standard Time