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Five weekly talks beginning March 19 to explore climate change impact and costs: Lecture series to explore ‘Climate and Human Civilization’

image of climate change leture series posterDANBURY, CONN. — The Jane Goodall Center for Excellence in Environmental Studies at Western Connecticut State University will host a five-part series of weekly Tuesday lectures by faculty and students from WCSU and Danbury High School about “Climate and Human Civilization” from March 19 through April 16, 2019.

Dr. Mitch Wagener, professor of Biological and Environmental Sciences at WCSU, is the coordinator for this fourth annual series of talks on the subject of climate change. The first three talks will provide scientific evidence of changes in the Earth’s climate and explore various manifestations of its impact including wild fires, natural disasters and species evolution and survival. The final two talks in the series will discuss constructive environmental actions that can be taken at the individual and community levels, and will examine the human costs of climate change.

All lectures will be at 7 p.m. in Room 125 of the Science Building on the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. Admission will be free and the public is invited to attend.

The series will begin on March 19 with a presentation on “Climate and Wild Fires” by Wagener and meteorology major Eric Gottier, of Tolland. Subsequent lectures in the series will include:

  • March 26: “Taking the Natural Out of Natural Disaster: Some Historical Questions,” presented by Professor of History and Non-Western Cultures Dr. Joshua Rosenthal and history major Ashley Vairo, of Danbury.
  • April 2: “The Impact of Climate Change on Arthropods,” presented by Assistant Professor of Biological and Environmental Sciences Dr. Rayda Krell and biology major Jacob Bethin, of Prospect.
  • April 9: “Simple Things You Can Do,” presented by chemistry teacher Susan DeMattio and students from Danbury High School.
  • April 16: “Human Costs,” presented by Wagener and biology/ecological science major Faizah Karim, of New Milford.

Wagener observed that scientists have an important role to play in communicating effectively with the public about the research-based evidence of climate change and the impact of a warming climate on human activity. “Our goal in this lecture series is to provide the best and most accurate information for the public, so that they may act as informed citizens and make good decisions,” he said. “We want people to know how serious this issue is, but also to leave with a list of things that they can do to help in changing the outcomes.”

For more information, contact Wagener at or the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486.



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