TEXARKANA, TX., October 21, 2014 | Texas A&M University-Texarkana will host a public lecture by Dr. Richard Primack of Boston University at 6:00 pm on October 22 in Eagle Hall. Primack will talk about his nationally acclaimed book, Walden Warming: Climate Change Comes to Thoreau’s Wood. This is a part of the University’s thematic program and lecture series.
Richard Primack is a Professor of Biology at Boston University and former President of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation. He has current appointments as the Distinguished Overseas Professor at the Northeast Forestry University in Harbin, China, and a Humboldt Research Fellow at the University of Munich in Germany. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Biological Conservation and author of two widely used textbooks, Essentials of Conservation Biology and A Primer of Conservation Biology. Primack co-authored the book Tropical Rain Forests: An Ecological and Biogeographical Comparison. For the past 14 years, Professor Primack and his colleagues have been investigating the effects of a warming climate on the plants and birds of Massachusetts, with an emphasis on continuing the observations made 160 years ago by Henry David Thoreau in Concord. Prof. Primack has recently published his research in Walden Warming: Climate Change Comes to Thoreau’s Woods.
Henry David Thoreau, the author of the ground breaking book Walden, was a climate change scientist! For the past 13 years, Professor Richard Primack and his team have been using Thoreau’s records from the 1850’s and other data sources to document the dramatically earlier flowering and leafing out times of plants, the earlier ice out at Walden Pond, and the more variable response of migratory birds. Arguably the most significant finding is that many plants in Concord are changing in due to a warming climate. While primarily a scientific study, Primack illustrates his talk with beautiful photos and numerous insightful quotes from Thoreau.
This work has received exceptional wide attention in the popular media (http://people.bu.edu/primack/news.html), including the New York Times and Science, and demonstrates the relevance of Thoreau’s legacy to contemporary issues.
Texas A&M-University-Texarkana’s Committee for the Annual Thematic Program and Lecture Series (CATPALS) organized and is sponsoring Dr. Primack’s lecture. The program’s theme for the 2014-2015 academic year is environmental issues. Other speakers coming to A&M-Texarkana to present public lectures:
- Will Allen, an urban farmer and author of the book The Good Food Revolution: Growing Healthy Food, People, and Communities (November 12 at 7:00 p.m. in Eagle Hall);
- Dr. Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch and author of Foodopoly: The Battle Over the Future of Food and Farming in America (February 24 at 4:00 p.m. in UC 210);
- Mark Hertsgaard, Journalist and author of Hot: Living through the Next Fifty Years on Earth (March 6 at 7:00 p.m. in Eagle Hall); and
- David Owen, staff writer for The New Yorker and author of The Conundrum: How Scientific Innovation, Increased Efficiency, and Good Intentions Can Make Our Energy and Climate Problems Worse (April 9 at 7:00 p.m. in Eagle Hall).
In addition, several of A&M-Texarkana’s faculty members are inviting the public to attend their open lectures concerning environmental issues. On Wednesday, November 12, in UC 210 Michael Perri will present his lecture, entitled “Ruined and Lost” Spanish Destruction of the Pearl Coast in the Early Sixteenth Century at 12:00 noon in UC 210, and on Friday, December 5, in UC 217, Dr. Doug Julien will present his lecture, entitled “Gimmie Shelter”: The Rolling Stones, Derrida, and “The Ends of Man”.