Eco Matters

Dissolving the Future of Coral Reefs

April 9, 2014

DSCF3623Coral reefs, some of the planet's most beautiful and biodiverse ecosystems, face many natural and anthropogenic threats. Tremendous effort has gone into protecting and rehabilitating these reefs worldwide, but the mounting problem of ocean acidification has the potential to obliterate all progress made by marine scientists, conservationists, and policy-makers thus far.

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Strategies for a Hotter, Scarcer and More Open World

April 1, 2014

Big_PivotAuthor Andrew Winston will explore "the mega challenges of climate change, scarcity, and radical transparency that threaten our ability to run an expanding global economy and that are profoundly changing business as usual." He will provide cause for optimism as he profiles leaders in the business community who are bringing value to society and positioning themselves to capture the unprecedented opportunities that will emerge in responding to these challenges. These individuals and companies, and others to come, will be "the winners of this new game who will profit mightily."

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Certificate Program: Black Rock Forest Case Study

March 12, 2014

ExecutiveForests are a vitally important habitat for much of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity. During this class you will learn key issues in forest ecology and management through an all-day field trip to Black Rock Forest, and study how pathogens and other invasive species affect forest structure and function.

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Deep Sea Mining: Out of Sight, Out of Mind?

March 12, 2014

vent2Are we willing to compromise deep sea ecosystems and biodiversity for prodigious amounts of mineral materials? Will deep sea mining have the largest footprint of any single human activity on the planet? The race is on to create more progressive, environmental regulations concerning deep sea mining, but much more scientific research is still necessary to understand how to best regulate these ecosystems.

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‘Oysters, Pearls of Long Island Sound’ at The Bruce Museum

March 8, 2014

Mute Swans on Long Island Sound“Oysters, Pearls of Long Island Sound,” on display now at The Bruce Museum of Arts and Sciences, is both informative and visually engaging. Running until March 23, the exhibition introduces the ecology and evolutionary history of these mollusks, but that’s not all. True to a museum of both art and science, The Bruce has drawn in local history as well, displaying oystermen’s tools, vintage oyster advertisements, and even an early American Impressionist painting. This exhibit highlights the tremendous impact that oysters have had on New England, both ecologically and culturally.

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Employing a Knowledge Systems Approach to Creating a Sustainable Future

February 21, 2014 | 1 Comment

ExecutiveJeffrey Potent discusses his upcoming course, the importance of understanding systems, and employing a knowledge systems approach to creating a sustainable future.

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Keeping our Freshwater Fresh: Ecosystem Management Tools

February 14, 2014

1We have been harming our hard-earned water resources; is it too late to clean up our act? With the help of the nine principles of ecology we can work towards effectively and sustainably managing these ecosystems, which will help us preserve the quality of New York’s freshwater resources and maintain our high quality drinking water.

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A Whole New Way of Seeing…Mantis Shrimp

January 29, 2014

Mantis Shrimp. Nazir Amin, 2008Mantis shrimp are marine crustaceans inhabiting the shallow sunlit waters of tropical seas, where they make a living as voracious ambush predators. This week in Science, new research sheds light on their fascinating visual system, and reveals a novel form of color vision, previously unknown in the animal kingdom.

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Psychology of Environmental Decision Making and Sustainable Behavior

January 6, 2014

Photo Credit: Wikimedia CommonsCountries vary dramatically in their records of environmental responsibility. Some nations such as Switzerland and Norway are well known for their willingness to sacrifice for the future good, while countries such Iraq and South Africa lag far behind. There are certainly socio-economic reasons for these stark differences, but is it also possible that human psychology shapes our perception of environmental responsibility?

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Why Conservation is Not Condescension: A Case Against Eco-imperialism

January 2, 2014

Western ecologists and conservationists have been portrayed at times as modern imperialists, forcefully imposing a radical ideology of environmentalism on the developing world. These so-called “eco-imperialists” are depicted as arrogant and uncaring elites, concerned with the protection of pristine nature, but indifferent to human welfare. But the future of wild places is entwined with human welfare, and the protection of wildlands is in fact critical in the long run. This piece investigates the perception of modern conservationists as eco-imperialists, and argues against that view of environmentalism.

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