CFP: “Weather the Weather,” a group exhibition by SciArt Center

A group exhibition by SciArt Center at the New York Hall of Science
September 10th, 2019 – January 10th, 2020

Deadline to submit: June 3rd, 11:59pm EST
More information

The weather is ever-present, often dramatic, and always uncontrollable. SciArt welcomes submissions surrounding the topics of studying, understanding, and experiencing the weather.​

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SYMPOSIUM: Changing By Degrees: Multidisciplinary Approaches to Climate Change

A symposium organized by Johns Hopkins University Advanced Academic Programs, Friday, May 3, 2019, 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Rather than an academic conference with speakers presenting formal papers, this symposium will provide a framework for understanding climate issues and engaging in a conversation with a range of climate leaders, including:

  • Dr. Kirk Johnson, director of the National Museum of Natural History (morning keynote)
  • Martin O’Malley, former governor of Maryland (closing keynote)
    Angela Fritz, meteorologist, and deputy editor at the Washington Post (panel facilitator and discussion leader)
  • Martin Dahinden, Swiss ambassador to the United States
    Kate Brown, executive director, Global Island Partnership
  • Dr. John Cook, Center for Climate Change Communication, George Mason University
  • Dr. Brenda Ekwurzel, senior climate scientist and director of climate science, Union of Concerned Scientists
  • Thomas Peterson, director of the Center for Climate Strategies, Johns Hopkins University

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Trees Exposing the Historical Patterns of Weather and Climate

As we aim to learn more about the environment and global warming, one innovative approach is the study of trees. As it turns out, trees are giant organic recording devices. Indeed their rings contain information about past climate, civilizations, ecosystems and even galactic events, much of it many thousands of years old.

Labs around the world are studying this historical data and learning more about historical patterns of climate variations.

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Book Review by Amy Ione: Consecrating Science: Wonder, Knowledge, and the Natural World

Reviewed by Amy Ione, March 2018

The title of Lisa Sideris’ book, Consecrating Science: Wonder, Knowledge, and the Natural World, made me wonder: Would this consecration expose me to something wondrous? While I don’t think the word wondrous quite fits my response, the book is a rewarding read. Sideris, a talented writer, introduces pointed questions to guide her study. I was particularly impressed with her nuanced evaluation of the new cosmologies that claim to bring science and spirituality together. In addition, the author’s erudite discussion stands out as a refreshing example of why the kind of critical thinking encouraged by the humanities has value.

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Book Review: The New Ecology: Rethinking a Science for the Anthropocene

The New Ecology: Rethinking a Science for the Anthropocene
by Oswald J. Schmitz
Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 2016
256 pp. Trade, $35
ISBN: 978-0691160566.

Reviewed by Amy Ione
Director, The Diatrope Institute

ione@diatrope.com

Posted on Leonardo Reviews March 1, 2017: Download PDF

Although global-scale human influence on the environment has been recognized since the 1800s, the term Anthropocene, introduced about a decade or so ago, was only accepted formally as a new geological epoch or era in Earth history in August 2016. Then an official expert group said that humanity’s impact on the Earth is now so profound that a new geological epoch – the Anthropocene – should be officially declared. Ironically, this geologic term, frequently associated with ecology in the public’s mind, is generally attributed to Paul J. Crutzen, a Nobel Prize-winning atmospheric chemist. Crutzen, who is obviously neither a geologist nor ecologist, explains its beginnings as follows:

“The Anthropocene could be said to have started in the latter part of the eighteenth century, when analyses of air trapped in polar ice showed the beginning of growing global concentrations of carbon dioxide and methane. This date also happens to coincide with James Watt’s design of the steam engine in 1784.” [1]

Perhaps it is because Crutzen and Oswald J. Schmitz, the author of The New Ecology: Rethinking a Science for the Anthropocene, come from different backgrounds that there is a noteworthy difference in how each embraces the term. Schmitz’s emphasis in The New Ecology is on optimism despite what many see as a global environmental crisis. Crutzen, by contrast, sees more reason for concern, claiming that the discovery of the ozone hole over Antarctica served as defining evidence that human activity has moved us into a new epoch. Indeed one of the defining features of The New Ecology is Schmitz’s assertions that the idea that Earth’s biota is doomed is incorrect: “[t]he New Ecology reveals that species may rapidly evolve and adapt to their changing environmental conditions,” and, perhaps more importantly given the concerns of many today, “[t]his gives hope that the future may not be as dire as it is often portrayed” (p. 104). In other words, while some see a grim picture, Schmitz, a professor of ecology at Yale University, declares, “the realization that evolutionary and ecological processes operate contemporaneously offers some hope that species have the capacity to adapt and thereby sustain ecological functioning” (p. 102). In support of this view Schmitz further argues that new computational tools now allow us to account for feedbacks and nonlinearities. With the ability to understand the dynamics of complex ecological systems, he claims, we are able to use models to predict how feedbacks propagate throughout food webs in response to disturbances, such as harvesting. Researchers can also explore different scenario outcomes.

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