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Gannon's Culture and Climate Change Series


It's crucial to stay educated about pressing environmental issues such as climate change. Starting this September, Gannon University will be offering a free "Culture and Climate Change" series to the public.

What can you expect from this series? Linda Fleming, Dean of the College of Humanities, Education, and Social Sciences at Gannon says, "Faculty and staff have collaborated to develop a year-long series of activities and events on the topics of Culture and Climate Change, with the goal to create a conversation about the science of climate change and the attending socio-cultural-economic issues." These events will include lectures, a film screening, debates, and even a photo art gallery all challenging and expanding on the causes, effects, and solutions for current climate issues.


Sept. 15: Science and Human Dignity: The View from Space (Zurn Science Center, Room 104, 7 p.m.)

Keynote speaker, astrophysicist, science educator and previous manager of NASA's Space Science Education and Public Outreach Program, Dr. Philip J. Sakimoto explains the science behind climate change—what causes it and how it drives short-term issues. He holds a B.A. in physics from Pomona College, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Sakimoto currently directs the Program for Academic Excellence and teaches in the Sustainability Minor at the University of Notre Dame.

Sept. 22: Chasing Ice Film (Zurn Science Center, Room 104, 7 p.m.)

This Emmy award winning film originally debuted on the National Geographic channel and has since been viewed all over the world. Now, the film will be displayed at Gannon University to allow the community to explore the Earth's changing climate through this breathtaking documentary.

Sept. 22, Oct. 6 & 20, Nov. 3 & 17: Interfaith Discussion Group on Climate Solutions (Recreation and Wellness Center, 4:30 - 6 p.m.)

Using Change is Our Choice: Creating Climate Solutions, a five-session interactive e-book from the Northwest Earth Institute, faculty, staff, students and community members from all faith and philosophical perspectives are invited to reflect together on the challenges of climate change, our obligation to care better for the earth, and imagine possible solutions. E-mail goble001@gannon.edu to register by September 15.

Oct. 4: The Climate Change Debate: Making Fact into Fiction (Waldron Campus Center, Room 219, 7 p.m.)

A panel discussion focused on the so-called controversy of global warming will touch on all angles with Gannon's own Chris Dempsey on the science of global warming, Penny Smith with a rhetorical analysis, Will McAndrew on economic impacts and Anjali Sahay on political implications.

Oct. 26: "Chasing Water in a Rapidly Changing World" with Chief Scientist Brian Richter (Waldron Campus Center, Yehl Ballroom, 7 p.m.)

This presentation will highlight some of the most promising strategies for moving toward a more sustainable water future. Water scarcity has been spreading and intensifying globally, presenting growing challenges for communities, businesses, and ecosystem protection. Today, one-third of all freshwater sources – rivers, lakes, and aquifers – are being heavily depleted by human uses, and lessened water availability is projected for many water-stressed regions due to climate change. New approaches to water management are urgently needed.

Nov. 10: Science, Culture and Climate Change with Former Congressman, Phil English (Waldron Campus Center, Yehl Ballroom, 7 p.m.)

With over 14 years of experience as a member of the United States House of Representatives, Congressman Phil English will offer his insights into the most complex international issues.

Nov. 14: iDebate Rwanda (Waldron Campus Center, Yehl Ballroom, 7 p.m.)

iDebate Rwanda is a Non-Governmental Organization that is using debate to change the lives of young Rwandans and East Africans. iDebate Rwanda gives students the tools to change their own world by teaching them how to think critically, how to solve problems creatively and how to impact their own society.

Rwanda is a small, east African nation known best known in America for the brutal and vicious 1994 genocide. Pitting the majority Hutus against the minority Tutsis population, perpetrators murdered 800,000 of their fellow countrymen in three scant months. Less visible to Western eyes has been the remarkable story of reconciliation since 1994.

iDebate Rwanda features Hutus and Tutsis high school students who have come of age in post-genocide Rwanda. In this program, students will share their families' stories of genocide and Rwanda's most unlikely path toward reconciliation and peaceful co-existence.

Nov. 8 – Jan. 30: Schuster Gallery presents Our Changing (Culture) Climate (Center for Communication and the Arts, Tuesdays through Fridays, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.)

As part International Education Week, this International Education Photo Competition is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. This competition is open to all Gannon students, please contact the International Student office for submission details.

Dec. 2: Gannon's Schuster Gallery and Erie's Gallery Night (Center for Communication and the Arts, 7 - 9 p.m.)

An evening reception with a chance to meet the artists will be held as part of the Erie Art Museum's Gallery Night, which provides the chance for community members to walk around and experience the art and culture of downtown Erie. The art displayed in the Schuster Gallery will consist of the submissions gathered as a part of Gannon's International Education Photo Competition which celebrates the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide.


All of the events are posted in detail on our calendar. Be sure to take advantage of this series to stay informed about the issues revolving climate change!