2021-2022 is the 30th year of the environmental lecture series at Ashland University!

The Environmental Lecture Series was established at Ashland University after the Environmental Science program was implemented in 1991-92. The lecture series was designed to support the Environmental Science program by allowing students, faculty and members of North Central Ohio communities to interact with leaders in environmental science and policy. Over the years, the lecture series has generated significant campus and community involvement and support. Recent lectures are archived for viewing on this webpage.

Current support for the lecture series is provided by a grant from the National Science Foundation, the **College of Arts & Sciences Symposium Against Indifference, donations from individuals, and additional support from Ashland University. Past series have been supported by AU and grants from the Lubrizol Foundation, GTE Foundation, and the Fran and Warren Rupp Foundation.

All lectures will be at 7:30 p.m.  In Spring 2022, all events will be held in a webinar format. **Update: Our April 7 event with Dr. Amy Townsend-Small will be hosted from Ronk Lecture Hall in the Schar College of Education. For this presentation we welcome both in person and virtual attendees.***

Both webinar and in-person events are free and open to the public.

2021-2022: Looking at Climate Change through a Scientific Lens

This year’s series is specifically intended to complement our College of Arts and Sciences’ biennial Symposium Against Indifference. Researchers with different scientific questions and technical expertise will share what they have learned from their science and how their work informs our general discussion of climate change.

Feb.17 / Dr. Greg Wiles, Schoolroy Chair of Natural Resources, College of Wooster, Wooster, OH--"What Can Trees Tell Us About Climate Change?" [*link to recording HERE*]

  • Long-lived trees in North America have been tapped for climate information for more that 100 years. The College of Wooster Tree Ring Lab assembles and analyzes tree-ring records from Alaska and Ohio that put cold-and-warm and wet-and-dry times into a long-term context of centuries to millennial. This paleoclimate perspective can be compared with records of past glacier changes in Alaska, and changes in the climate and landscape associated with the history of Ohio. The stories that the trees tell provide a context for ongoing climate change and the results are sometimes surprising.

Mar.24 / Dr. Emilie Beaudon, Senior Research Associate, Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH--"Perspective on the current man-made alteration of the atmospheric composition: what ice cores tell us" [*link to recording HERE*]

  • Paleoclimatology is an increasingly important discipline within the Geological and Earth System Sciences and is essential in the understanding of modern global environmental change, which will impact most aspects of human activities and will map the direction of science in the 21st Century. Ice cores are wonderful archives of past climate and environmental changes as they contain physical and chemical records of variable length (from decades to some hundred thousand years) and time resolution (from seasonal to decadal), making them cornerstones of global change research for 50 years.

Apr.7 / Dr. Amy Townsend-Small, Associate Professor of Environmental Science, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH--"Methane emissions from the oil and gas supply chain" [*link to recording HERE*] ***Update: This event will be hosted from Ronk Lecture Hall, and we welcome both in-person and virtual attendees.

**This event is co-sponsored by the College of Arts & Sciences Symposium Against Indifference.

  • Methane is a greenhouse gas that is up to 86 times more powerful than carbon dioxide.  Over the past decade, concentrations have been rising in the atmosphere at increasing rates.  However, methane has a complex mixture of natural and anthropogenic sources, and scientists disagree on why concentrations have begun to rise in recent years.  In this seminar, IDr. Townsend-Small will discuss her group's research on methane emissions from oil and natural gas sources, including measurements from right here in Ohio.  Assessing the largest methane sources is key to controlling the emissions of this dangerous climate forcer.

2019-2021: Liberty and Responsibility

Talks this year will focus on Liberty and Responsibility: Environmental laws and Ohio wildlife, natural resources, and quality of life. This year’s series is specifically intended to complement our College of Arts and Sciences’ biennial Symposium Against Indifference.

The goal of this year’s Environmental Lecture Series is to engage with this theme through Ohio examples of applying environmental laws and policies.

On January 1, 1970, President Nixon signed into law the National Environmental Policy Act. One of its stated goals was “to promote efforts which will prevent or eliminate damage to the environment and biosphere and stimulate the health and welfare of man.” Later that year, Nixon ordered the establishment of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, with responsibility for maintaining and enforcing national standards under a variety of environmental laws. Nixon signed other laws focused on environmental health, including the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Endangered Species Act. This began a nearly six-decade period in which U.S. citizens were expected to take more responsibility for their actions in the natural environment, including wildlife, ecosystems, and human health. Over this same time period, some individuals and communities objected to new restrictions on liberty with respect to use of natural areas. This tension remains for many examples of both national laws and local policies (e.g. urban planning initiatives; environmental justice advocacy; state priorities, regulations, and incentives related to land-use and energy development).

Nov. 7 / Dr. Laura Johnson, Director, National Center for Water Quality Research, Heidelberg University, Tiffin, OH -- "The effects of phosphorus management in the Lake Erie watershed from 1969 to today"

  • Historically, cultural eutrophication of Lake Erie was a major concern and through efforts by the United States and Canada starting with the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA), Lake Erie largely recovered by the mid-1990s.  However, over the past decade Lake Erie has been experiencing a recurrence of harmful algal blooms (HABs) in the western basin and an increase in hypoxia in the central basin.  The National Center for Water Quality Research at Heidelberg University has been monitoring major tributaries to Lake Erie for up to 45 years.  In the agricultural watersheds (e.g., Maumee and Sandusky Rivers), long-term trends in loads and concentrations indicate that total phosphorus (TP), which consists of particulate and dissolved P, has decreased since the mid-1970s, whereas dissolved reactive P (DRP) has been increased drastically in the mid-1990s. Trends in the Cuyahoga River, which is dominated by point-source inputs of P, are quite different– TP and DRP decreased in the mid-1970s and have since remained consistently low.  Thus, increased DRP and HABs appear to be associated with recent patterns in agriculture such as broadcasting surface fertilizers, build-up of P at the soil surface, unnecessary fertilizer application, increased soil compaction from large equipment, and increased tile drainage intensity.  Encouraging best management practices (BMPs) on farmland focused on DRP loss, such as the 4Rs and nutrient management, rather than particulate P and erosion should help decrease the severity of HABs in the future. 

Jan. 23/ Dr. Andrew May, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil, Environmental & Geodetic Engineering, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH -- "Using low-cost sensors to improve the spatial resolution of air quality measurements" (This talk is co-sponsored by the Ashland University College of Arts & Sciences.)

  • Across the US, air pollutants regulated under the Clean Air Act are monitoring at fixed-location sites, and based on these measurements, the majority of the US does not experience air quality issues. However, these measurement sites may be sparsely distributed through space. Dr. May will discuss two of his projects that seeks to address this issue by providing data with improved spatial resolution in areas where people live, work, and play using low-cost sensors. These projects include deploying sensors on a transit bus to provide regular, repeated measurements in an urban environment and collaborating with high schools near Columbus, OH to establish a network of sensors throughout the local community. Improved spatial resolution can provide better estimates of localized air pollutant concentrations and better protect children, the elderly, and other groups who may be more sensitive to poor air quality.

Feb. 18, 2021 / Megan Seymour, Wildlife Biologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Columbus, OH -- "Wind Turbines Beneath Their Wings:  The Toll of Green Energy on Wildlife (This event was originally scheduled for March 26, 2020. )

  • Megan Seymour is a Wildlife Biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the Columbus, Ohio Ecological Services Field Office, where she has worked for the past 20 years. Her primary duty is to implement various facets of the Endangered Species Act, including listing, consultation, recovery, habitat conservation planning, and delisting. Megan was the lead FWS biologist for the Buckeye Wind Habitat Conservation Plan, which resulted in the first incidental take permit for Indiana bats and wind power in the nation. She is currently leading the development of the Blue Creek Wind Farm HCP, and contributes to many other wind power and bat initiatives. Megan has served on the USFWS’s Indiana bat and wind working group and on the Northern long-eared bat listing team. Megan was a founding member of the Ohio Wind Working Group in the early 2000’s, and led the Wildlife Action Team. Megan received her Bachelor of Science degree, cum laude, in Wildlife Management from The Ohio State University, School of Natural Resources, in 2000.

2018-2019: Ohio Citizen Science

The overall goal of the series is to explore citizen science projects that are active in Ohio. Why are volunteers needed and what can we learn from these large-scale projects? How does information about the distributions of species distributions, for example, help us learn more about local and regional environmental issues?

Talks this year will focus on Bees, Butterflies, and Dragons!

Oct. 25 / Dr. Karen Goodell, Professor, The Ohio State University at Newark, OH -- "Engaging Ohio’s citizens in bee conservation research"

  • Dr. Goodell will discuss the use of citizen scientist data for two projects aimed at assessing natural habitats for bees. The Ohio Bumble Bee Survey aims to map the distribution of bumble bee species in Ohio and determine critical habitat for rare and endangered species. Trained citizen scientists have identified survey locations throughout the state and have collected data on queen bumble bee nesting habitat. A second study focused on the development of the pollinator community on a newly planted prairie patch on a reclaimed mine. Finally, she will evaluate some of the successes and challenges of the first two years of the Ohio Bee Atlas project administered through the iNaturalist database. She will offer her insights on how to improve citizen engagement in bee conservation research.

Jan. 24/ Dr. Sarah Diamond, George B. Mayer Chair in Urban and Environmental Studies & Assistant Professor of Biology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH -- "How humans redistribute butterflies in space and time: surprises and novel insights from long-term citizen science monitoring"

  • Dr. Diamond will explore the findings from long-term citizen science monitoring of butterflies by the Ohio Lepidopterists’ to understand how climate warming alters seasonal activity and geographic range and distribution of butterflies across the state of Ohio.

Mar. 21/ MaLisa Spring, State Coordinator for the Ohio Dragonfly Survey, Ohio Biodiversity Conservation Partnership, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH -- "Ohio Citizens and Dragons: Documenting threatened species with iNaturalist"

  • Join MaLisa Spring, State Coordinator of the Ohio Dragonfly Survey, to learn more about dragonflies and damselflies in Ohio. Ohio is home to some 170 species of dragonflies and damselflies, with 23 listed as state threatened or endangered. These ferocious aerial acrobats are important for managing insect populations and can serve as indicator species. Learn how you can help these winged predators by documenting them in your own backyard and land management strategies to support your own dragons!

2017-2018: Ohio's North Coast

The goal of the series is to explore what we are learning about the ecosystems along Lake Erie’s coast and how they interact with the Great Lake. Historically, there was a rich complex of rivers and wetland habitats. In recent years, new projects in several regions have re-established connections between a variety of wetlands and the lake. Rivers have always connected land-use to the coast and the lake. Recent projects emphasize the high value of coastal wetlands that have endured over the decades and counteract some of the consequences of on-going urban, suburban, and rural development (pollution mitigation and rehabilitation of wildlife habitat). This lecture series will highlight a few of the existing systems and new projects that help Lake Erie, its coastal wetlands, and the wildlife and people that depend on these complex ecosystems.

Nov 15 (Wednesday)/ Mr. Chris May, Director of Restoration, The Nature Conservancy, Michigan -- "Landscape Restoration and Conservation of Coastal Wetlands in Western Lake Erie"

  • Erie Marsh Preserve on Lake Erie contains some of the last remaining coastal wetlands in southeast Michigan and provides critical habitat for migratory birds and fish. The Nature Conservancy is restoring native ecosystems and natural processes on 950 acres of the preserve. Work at Erie Marsh provides an example of site-scale restoration guided by landscape-scale conservation planning that will benefit native plants and animals, while also providing ecosystem services and recreation opportunities for people across western Lake Erie.

Feb.22 / Dr. Tom Bridgeman, Associate Professor, Lake Erie Center, University of Toledo--"The Great Green Goo of Lake Erie: What you need to know about harmful algal blooms and your drinking water"

  • Harmful algal blooms (HABs) composed of toxic cyanobacteria (Microcystis sp.) have been increasing in Lake Erie over the past 20 years, leading to the Toledo Water Crisis of 2014 and an eye-catching bloom on the Maumee River in 2017. Studies show a close link between the severity of each summer’s Lake Erie HAB and the amount of plant nutrients (phosphorus and nitrogen) that enter the lake via tributaries during late spring and early summer. Therefore, implementing practices that reduce agricultural inputs is a top priority. Reducing the flow of nutrients into the lake and reducing HABs is likely to take many years. Recognition that HABs need to be reduced in the lake and public health must be protected from algal toxins has resulted in a comprehensive ‘Field to Faucet’ approach. This aims to prevent HABs through wise land use practices while also increasing the margin of safety for public water supplies via lake monitoring programs and by upgrading water treatment capabilities.

Mar. 22 / Mr. John Simpson, Executive Director, Winous Point Marsh Conservancy, Port Clinton, OH -- "Winous Point Marsh: Management and Conservation of Ohio’s Coastal Wetlands"

  • The presentation will focus on the history of coastal wetlands in Ohio and the history of the Winous Point Marsh Conservancy. Simpson will also focus on the current state of these wetlands and what we are currently doing to conserve and manage coastal wetlands within the state.

2016-2017: In Our Own Backyard, Year 2

Last year's theme was popular with students and community members. There seemed so much more still to do. Therefore, this year's series is continuing the "In Our Own Backyard" theme. The goal of the series will continue to be exploration of examples of local natural history and ecology and making connections to issues, questions, and plans for the future. This year, there will be more emphasis on specialized habitats and (perhaps) less familiar species groups. We again define "local” as Ashland and Richland Counties in particular, and north-central Ohio in general. The series will include aquatic and terrestrial examples that offer different perspectives on what makes our own backyard so special.

Oct 27 / Dr. Lisa Rainsong, Professor, Cleveland Institute of Music--"Crickets and katydids: research by ear" --

  • "If you have listened to the sounds of a field, marsh, or woodland on late summer evening or a goldenrod-filled meadow in early fall, you’ve probably noticed that a chorus of insect song is in progress..."
  • Dr. Rainsong's blog is titled Listening in Nature: Music of the natural world in NE Ohio throughout the year.

Nov 17 / Dr. Dave FitzSimmons, Fitzsimmons Photography-- "If You Build It, They Will Come: Vernal Pools, Fauna, and a Whole Lot of Fun!"

  • Dr. FitzSimmons will share his "experiences of studying, photographing, and writing about vernal pools."

March 2 / Mr. David Apsley, Natural Resources Specialist, The Ohio State University Extension, Jackson, OH--"Ohio’s Eastern Hemlock Forests and the Threat of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid"

  • This presentation will provide an overview of the ecological and economic importance of Ohio’s Hemlock forest. It will also provide updates on the current status of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA), an invasive pest that threatens the existence of hemlock in Ohio and the eastern United States, and the collaborative efforts being employed to manage its impact.

March 23 / Dr. Laura Kearns, Wildlife Biologist, Ohio Division of Wildlife, Olentangy Research Station, Delaware, OH-- "Sandhill Cranes of the Black Fork and Beyond: Recent Research Findings"

  • The population of breeding sandhill cranes has been growing throughout the state of Ohio and the region. The ODNR – Division of Wildlife has been involved with research recently to help understand the biology of our local cranes. This presentation will provide an overview of project findings including habitat use and movement ecology.

2015-2016: In Our Own Backyard

The goal of the series this year will be to explore examples of local natural history and ecology and make connections to issues, questions, and plans for the future. There might be a message about land-use priorities for sustaining what we have, insights about special habitats, or highlights about the less common species that do well in our part of Ohio. Here, we define "local” as Ashland and Richland Counties in particular, and north-central Ohio in general. This part of Ohio represents a unique intersection of geological and biological histories, so our landscape and the wildlife that live here are quite rich. This year's environmental lecture series includes aquatic and terrestrial examples that offer different perspectives on what makes our own backyard so special.

Sept 16 / Steve McKee, (retired) Director of Richland County Park District--"A natural history of our own backyard"

  • "Perhaps the best place to develop an understanding and love for the natural world is not some distant national park, but in your backyard and other nearby “backyard habitats”. What are the rock layers beneath our feet, the trees near our home, and the animals that thrive near us? How did they get here and how are they all connected? How is north-central Ohio just as fascinating as more exotic locations?" --Steve McKee on becoming a backyard naturalist

  • Steve McKee served as director of the Gorman Nature Center and the Richland County Park District for 35 years, and is now semi-retired. He grew up in Mansfield, graduated from Miami University with a master's degree in botany, ran an environmental education school in the mountains of Kentucky, is married and has two sons. He is enthusiastic about the natural history of north-central Ohio (especially Mohican), and is constantly working on surveys of local wild plants and birds.

>> A bonus event this year! On Monday, Sept. 28 , the Environmental Science Program is co-sponsoring the inaugural event of the 2015-2016 Symposium Against Indifference: Environmental Sustainability. Jenita McGowan, Chief of Sustainability for the City of Cleveland, will be presenting a talk titled "Building a Green City on a Blue Lake." This event will be starting at 7:30 pm in the Trustree's Room, Myers Convocation Center. For more on this and other events in this year's symposium, see also the symposium blog.

Nov 5 / Prof. Merrill Tawse, Dept. of Biology & Environmental Science Program, Ashland University--"Bats in our backyard: a Mohican story"

Feb 11 / Greg Lipps, LLC, Herpetological and GIS Consultant & Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Coordinator, Ohio Biodiversity Conservation Partnership, The Ohio State University--"Partnering to Protect Ohio's Giant Salamander, the Eastern Hellbender"

March 17 / Rick Gardner, Chief Botanist, Division of Natural Areas and Preserves, Ohio Department of Natural Resources--"Ohio's natural heritage, with a focus on Ashland and Richland Counties"

2014-2015: People and Environment: Restoration and Rehabilitation of Natural Areas

The goal of the series this year will be to explore different examples of projects that are working to restore or rehabilitate the natural functions of habitats that have been heavily affected by development projects in and around Ohio. The series includes case studies that represent urban and rural, aquatic and terrestrial projects. The variety of projects will provide some depth and breadth to our understanding of environmental history, the benefits of natural systems, including the “services” provided by rehabilitated habitats in highly impacted regions, and the challenges and limitations of renovating impaired ecosystems.

Jan 22/ Bill Zawiski, Environmental Scientist, Division of Surface Water, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency--"Dam Removal in Ohio: Á fish is swimming upstream and hits its head and what does it say...?"

Apr 9/ Dr. Mary Gardiner, Associate Professor and Director of Urban Landscape Ecology Program, The Ohio State University--"Rehabilitation of biodiversity and ecosystem functions in urban vacant lots"

2013-2014: Environmental and Human Health in Latin America

View Lecture Series Brochure.pdf

Circa 589 million people live in the region we identify as Latin America, including South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Most populations are concentrated in coastal regions, while the interiors of South America and northern Mexico are much more sparsely populated. Famously diverse habitats and climates, valued natural resources, history and culture affect the way people live and make a living. How do human communities and environment interact in Latin America? How can international policies on natural resources affect life in the region and back in the U.S.? Can changing land management practices help wild nature and human communities? This year’s series will include real examples that provide some depth and breadth to our understanding of environmental issues in Latin America and, quite possibly, in our own backyard.

Our choice of topics this year is intended to complement the biennial symposium organized by our College of Arts and Sciences, that this year is titled “Against Indifference: Engaging Latin America and the Caribbean.” Together, these two series encourage immersion in this regional focus, with the Environmental Lecture Series offering perspectives from experts in human ecology, foreign policy, and scientific study related to specific environmental issues.

Oct 3 / Dr. Kendra McSweeney, Associate Professor of Geography, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH--"Drug-Trafficking and Deforestation in Central America" [BBC News, Jan. 30, 2014; Science, vol.343, Jan. 31, 2014--summary of research report]

Nov 7/ Dr. Geoffrey Dabelko, Professor and Director, Ohio University Voinovich School Environmental Studies program--"Environment, Peace, and Security: Lessons from Latin America" ~co-hosted by Ashland Center for Nonviolence~ [Environment, Peace, and Security Video}

Feb 20/ Dr. Matt Venesky, Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology, Allegheny College, Meadville, PA-- “Emerging infectious diseases of wildlife and their conservation challenges in the Neotropics” [VIDEO] --> if video does not play properly, see this notice re Firefox security settings or try googling mixed content blocker info

Apr 3 / Dr. Amanda Rodewald, Director of Conservation Science, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and Associate Professor, Dept. of Natural Resources, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY-- "The intersection of coffee, communities, and conservation in Latin America" [VIDEO]

2012-2013 The Ecology of Urban Living

Seventy-nine percent of the U.S. population and 51% of the world’s population now live in urban areas. The realities of city living include high-density development, the importation of resources, export of wastes, and demand for the infrastructure needed to support quality of life. Cities boast both environmental positives and negatives, but above all, cities may seem quite apart from the natural world. Is this really the case? Can nature thrive in the city? Can cities be sustainable systems? This series will include speakers who are urban ecology experts. Planned topics include urban agriculture, wildlife, water resources management, and how urban planning helps or harms beneficial natural functions.

Date / Description

20 Sept / Dr. Anne Jefferson, Assistant Professor of Geology, Kent State University, OH--"The Science of Streams in the City" --[HCSC Auditorium]

11 Oct / Dr. Prawinder Grewal, Professor of Entomology, The Ohio State University--Ohio Agriculture Research and Development Center--"Urban Agriculture, Food Security, and Ecological Footprint of Cities" --[HCSC Auditorium]

31 Jan / Terry Schwarz, Director, Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative, College of Archictecture and Environmental Design, Kent State University, Cleveland, OH--"Urban Obsolescence and the Adaptive Values of Cities"--[HCSC Auditorium]

21 Mar / Dr. Stanley Gehrt, Associate Professor of Environmental and Natural Resources, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH-- "Ghost dogs: Urban ecology of coyotes"--[Ronk Lecture Hall, Schar College of Eduction]

2011-2012 Chemical Pollution in a Global Economy

Our speakers this year will focus on different classes of chemical pollutants, such as pharmaceuticals and other personal care products, pesticides, e-wastes and other complex technology wastes. These are transported by air (as for combustion wastes), by water, and by human commerce. Released into the environment, there are many routes back to humans, and a number of contaminants have demonstrated the potential for harm “downstream.” Current and potential problems with specific chemicals are complicated by the growth of human populations world-wide. The impacts of these chemicals on organisms vary considerably, providing scientists and consumers with a lot of questions to work on.

6 October

Dr. Melissa M. Schultz, Department of Chemistry, College of Wooster, OHClean and Happy Fish (And the Other Effects of Consumer Products on Non-Target Organisms)”

26 January

Dr. Jonathan D. Maul, The Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX—“Contaminants in aquatic ecosystems: Current issues across broad spatial scales"

15 March

Colby Self, Director, Green Ship Recycling Campaign, Basal Action Network, Seattle, WAAway is a Place[Trustee's Room, Upper Convo]

12 April

Dr. David Walters, Ecologist, Aquatic Systems Branch, U.S. Geological Survey, Fort Collins, CO—"The Ghost of Economics Past: Legacy contamination and restoration at Great Lakes Areas of Concern" [Ronk Lecture Hall, Schar College of Education]

2010-2011 Invasive Species

Invasive species are introduced to a region, on purpose or by accident. In order to be "invasive," a new species must be disruptive to the growth of native species and the function of native ecosystems. This can happen if a non-native species can reproduce very quickly and if native predators and diseases are not effective at limiting population growth. It also turns out that invasive plants engage in "chemical warfare" and sometimes facilitate the invasions of non-native animal pests. Familiar examples of invasive species are zebra mussels and garlic mustard, but there are many more.

Who cares? Invasive species cost billions of dollars as they impact the productivity of fisheries, agriculture, and timber businesses. The diversity and function of natural ecosystems is also compromised, sometimes to the point of extinction or near-extinction of formerly dominant species. Both terrestrial and aquatic invasive species continue to create new and expensive problems for the economy, including national and international commerce.

30 September Dr. Don Cipollini, Professor of Biology, Director of Environmental Sciences Ph.D. Program, Wright State University, Dayton, OH-- “Garlic mustard: Impacts, mechanisms of invasion, and hope for control”
18 November Dr. Mary Gardiner, Assistant Professor of Entomology, OSU-Ohio Agriculture Research and Development Center, Wooster, OH-- “Invasive plants, aphids, and lady beetles: an exotic food web impacting Ohio’s agricultural landscapes”
24 March Dr. Theresa Culley, Associate Professor of Biology,University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH-- "How plants behave badly: the ecology of invasive pears, buckthorn, and grasses”
14 April Dr. John Chick, Field Station Director, National Great Rivers Research and Education Center, Illinois Natural History Survey, Brighton, IL-- “Planktonic food webs and Asian carp in great rivers and potential consequences of an invasion of the Great Lakes”

2009-2010 Sustainability and Environmental Issues in Ohio

24 September

Dr. Deborah H. Stinner, Dept. of Entomology and Admin. Coordinator, Organic Food and Farming Education and Research Program, Ohio Agriculture Research and Development Center, The Ohio State University'Organic Farming'

5 November

Dr. Casey Hoy, Professor and Kellogg Endowed Chair in Agricultural Ecosystems Management, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, The Ohio State University 'Local food systems, local economies, and healthy agroecosystems '

25 February

Dr. David Fitzsimmons, Assistant Professor of English, Ashland University, and freelance photographer and writer; and featuring the live music of Bell Acoustic'350: Images of Fragile Earth'

15 April

Dick Mosley, Retired Director, Natural Areas and Preserves, Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Preserving Ohio's Natural Heritage"'

2008-2009 Global Climate Change

2007-2008 Promises and Perils of Technology

Please note that the theme of this year's environmental science lecture series is shared with that of the 'Against Indifference' Symposium sponsored by the AU College of Arts and Sciences. It is our hope that these two series will complement and enrich one another.
Guest speakers: Dr. Floyd Schanbacher, Bill Spratley, Dr. Jeff Weidenhamer and Dr. Allison Snow
27 September

Dr. Floyd Schanbacher, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, OSU, Wooster 'Renewable energy perspectives and strategies for Ohio: a unique diversity of options, opportunities, and needs'

Dr. Schanbacher is involved with research at OARDC that uses bacteria to convert agricultural waste to a renewable energy supply and a clean fuel source for fuel cell technology.

1 November

Bill Spratley, CEO, Green Energy Ohio 'Sustainable Energy puts Ohio to Work'

Bill Spratley will discuss energy initiatives in Ohio for wind and solar energy, including many examples of how they have been applied in Ohio . Ohio is a leading manufacturer of solar cells, and sustainable energy development offers many potential benefits to Ohio 's economy.

21 February

Dr. Jeff Weidenhamer, Professor of Chemistry, Ashland University 'Down in the Digital Dumps: The Hazards of E-waste?'

Dr. Weidenhamer has published three recent papers on lead contamination of imported, inexpensive jewelry in the US. His work has resulted in four product recalls for lead contamination.

10 April

Dr. Allison Snow, Professor of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology, The Ohio State University 'An Ecologist's View of Genetically Modified Crops'

Dr. Snow studies the ecological impacts of genetically engineered crops on natural and agricultural systems. Dr. Snow's current research combines molecular and ecological approaches to understand how quickly crop genes move into wild populations, and the extent to which novel transgenic traits could benefit weedy and semi-weedy plants. Dr. Snow is the lead author of a 2005 position paper by the Ecological Society of America on environmental effects of genetically engineered organisms.

2006-2007 Environmental Issues in National Parks

View 2006-07 Brochure (*PDF)
Guest speakers: Dr. Rex Lowe, Dr. Daniel Fagre, Dr. Lisa Petit and Dr. Erica Smithwick

'Using Our National Parks to Assess Biodiversity: Case Study, the All Taxa Biodiversity Survey of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park' Dr. Rex Lowe, Professor of Biology, Bowling Green State University


How Glacier National Park Responds to Climate Change: Cascading ecological effects reflect rising temperatures" Dr. Daniel Fagre, Ecologist and Global Change Coordinator, U.S. Geological Survey, Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center


Preserving Nature in Urban Parks: Does the Path to Yellowstone Begin in the Cuyahoga Valley?" Dr. Lisa Petit, Chief of Science and Resource Management,Cuyahoga Valley National Park


Seeing Through the Smoke: Understanding Fire in Yellowstone National Park" Dr. Erica Smithwick, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

2005-2006 Wetlands Conservation

View 2005-06 Brochure (*PDF)
Guest speakers: Jim Bissell, Dr. Bill Mitsch, Dr. Dave Baker and Dr. Dan Childers

'The Botanical Richness of Ohio's Glacial Lakes' - Jim Bissell, Curator of Botany and Director of Natural Areas, Cleveland Museum of Natural History


'Using Science to Conserve and Restore the World's Wetlands' - Dr. Bill Mitsch, Professor of Natural Resources and Environmental Science & Director, Olentangy River Wetland Research Park, The Ohio State University


'Conservation and restoration of the Sandusky River Watershed' - Dr. Dave Baker, Director of the Water Quality Laboratory, Heidelberg College


'Restoration of the Florida Everglades' - Dr. Dan Childers, Professor of Biology, Florida International University

2004-2005 Endangered Species and the Endangered Species Act

Guest speakers: Megan Seymour, Dr. G. Thomas Watters, Jim McCormac and Jennifer Windus

'Endangered Means There's Still Time: Applying the Endangered Species Act in Ohio' - Megan Seymour, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Reynoldsburg, OH

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'Freshwater Mussels: From Living Rocks to Mean Mothers' - Dr. G. Thomas Watters, Curator of Mollusks, The Ohio State University Museum of Biological Diversity


'Neotropical Birds: Ohio's Role in Their Conservation' - Jim McCormac, Division of Wildlife, Ohio Department of Natural Resources


'The Impacts of Invasive Species on Ohio's Rare Flora and Fauna' - Jennifer Windus, Division of Wildlife, Ohio Department of Natural Resources

2003-2004 Habitat Restoration and Reclamation

View 2003-04 Brochure (*PDF)
Guest speakers: Dr. Joe Keiper, Guy Denny, Mitch Farley, Terry Van Offeren and Dr. Jodi Shann

"Coping with the Loss of Wetlands through Conservation and Restoration" - Dr. Joe Keiper


"Recipe for Establishing a Prairie Garden" - Guy Denny


"Ohio's Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Program" - Mitch Farley, Terry Van Offeren


"Ecological Restoration of Contaminated Sites" - Dr. Jodi Shann

Prior Environmental Lecture Series

Environmental Lecture Series Archives

  • 2002-2003 Energy: Problems and Prospects View 2002-03 Brochure (*PDF)
  • 2001-2002 Extinction: Past, Present and Future View 2001-02 Brochure (*PDF)
  • 2000-2001 The Ecology of Changing Environments View 2000-2001 Brochure (*PDF)
  • 1999-2000 Global Resources View 1999-2000 Brochure (*PDF)
  • 1998-1999 Environmental Issues and Ohio's Future
  • 1997-1998 Sustainable Agriculture View 1997-1998 Brochure (*PDF)
  • 1996-1997 Biodiversity
  • 1995-1996 Risk and Regulation
  • 1994-1995 The Science and Politics of Global Warming (spring) Christian Perspectives on Environmental Stewardship (fall)
  • 1993-1994 Environmental Concerns in Everyday Life
  • 1992-1993 Business and the Environment